Technology

Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

Slashdot - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 4:16pm
wbr1 writes Apparently the pit pattern on a blu-ray disk is great at helping trap photons, rather than reflecting them. Applying this pattern to the glass in a solar panel can boost efficiency by 22%. Researchers at Northwestern tested this system with Jackie Chan discs. From the article: "To increase the efficiency of a solar panel by 22%, the researchers at Northwestern bought a copy of Police Story 3: Supercop on Blu-ray; removed the top plastic layer, exposing the recording medium beneath; cast a mold of the quasi-random pattern; and then used the mold to create a photovoltaic cell with the same pattern....The end result is a solar panel that has a quantum efficiency of around 40% — up about 22% from the non-patterned solar panel."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Unity Finally Releases Its Long Promised User Interface Creator (Greg Kumparak/TechCrunch)

TechMeme - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 3:40pm

Greg Kumparak / TechCrunch:
Unity Finally Releases Its Long Promised User Interface Creator  —  Good news, everyone!  —  Once upon a time, Unity promised to overhaul the way developers would build user interfaces in their Unity-powered games.  This was roughly around the time man discovered fire*.

Categories: Technology

Fly With the Brooklyn Aerodrome (Video)

Slashdot - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 3:32pm
A bit of housing insulation material, a battery, a motor and propellor, a radio receiver and transmitter, and servos to control the motor and a pair of ailerons, and you're ready to fly the Brooklyn Aerodrome way. This isn't a tiny radio-controlled paper airplane, but a big bruiser with a 1:1 power to weight ratio (which means it can climb like a bat out of hell) and enough guts to fly in reasonably windy conditions while carrying a camera -- except we'd better not mention cameras, since Brooklyn Aerodrome creations, whether kits or plans, are obviously intended tohelp you build model airplanes, not drones. Timothy ran into project proponent Breck Baldwin at a maker faire near Atlanta, surrounded by a squadron of junior pilots who may someday become astronauts on the Moon - Mars run -- or at least delivery drone controllers for Amazon. (Alternate Video Link)

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

DragonFly BSD 4.0 Released

Slashdot - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 3:03pm
An anonymous reader writes From the release page: Version 4 of DragonFly brings Haswell graphics support, 3D acceleration, and improved performance in extremely high-traffic networks. DragonFly now supports up to 256 CPUs, Haswell graphics (i915), concurrent pf operation, and a variety of other devices.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Apple's new phones taking screen time from iPads; iPhone 6+ owners open 65% more articles and videos than those with smaller phones (Pocket Blog)

TechMeme - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 2:45pm

Pocket Blog:
Apple's new phones taking screen time from iPads; iPhone 6+ owners open 65% more articles and videos than those with smaller phones  —  The Screen-Size Debate: How the iPhone 6 Plus Impacts Where We Read & Watch  —  Every day, millions of articles, videos and web pages are saved and viewed …

Categories: Technology

Was Microsoft Forced To Pay $136M In Back Taxes In China?

Slashdot - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 2:42pm
itwbennett writes China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency said on Sunday that an unnamed international company was forced to pay 840 million yuan ($136 million) in back taxes, as part of a Chinese government crackdown on tax evasion. The Xinhua article simply referred to it as the "M company," describing it as a top 500 global firm headquartered in the U.S. that in 1995 set up a wholly owned foreign subsidiary in Beijing. The details match Microsoft's own background, and no other company obviously fits the bill. Xinhua added, that despite the company's strengths, its subsidiary in China had not been not making a profit, and posted a loss of over $2 billion during a six-year period.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

WIRED Binge-Watching Guide: The Office (UK Version)

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 1:59pm

The most influential comedy since Seinfeld doesn't take long to mainline, and is the cringiest, best time you'll ever have.

The post WIRED Binge-Watching Guide: The Office (UK Version) appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Clarificiation on the IP Address Security in Dropbox Case

Slashdot - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 1:59pm
Bennett Haselton writes A judge rules that a county has to turn over the IP addresses that were used to access a county mayor's Dropbox account, stating that there is no valid security-related reason why the IP addresses should be exempt from a public records request. I think the judge's conclusion about IP addresses was right, but the reasoning was flawed; here is a technically more correct argument that would have led to the same answer. Keep Reading to see what Bennett has to say about the case.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Lyft says it had record usage last week in wake of Uber controversy (Kia Kokalitcheva/VentureBeat)

TechMeme - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 1:55pm

Kia Kokalitcheva / VentureBeat:
Lyft says it had record usage last week in wake of Uber controversy  —  Uber had a rough week following its PR meltdown involving a journalist, an Uber executive, possible threats against that journalist, calls to ban Uber, and the specter of possible privacy violations by Uber execs.

Categories: Technology

AT&T responds to FTC about plans to pause fiber spending, says only new commitments affected (Alina Selyukh/Reuters)

TechMeme - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 1:30pm

Alina Selyukh / Reuters:
AT&T responds to FTC about plans to pause fiber spending, says only new commitments affected  —  AT&T says fiber spending pause affects only new commitments  —  (Reuters) - AT&T Inc sought to clarify to U.S. regulators its plans to pause investments in high-speed Internet connections until …

Categories: Technology

Video: F1 Drivers Race Through a Dubai Mall in Renault’s Tiny EV

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 1:29pm

When you give F1 drivers a lightweight ride with plenty of power and free run of the enormous and nearly empty Dubai Mall, they can put on a show.

The post Video: F1 Drivers Race Through a Dubai Mall in Renault’s Tiny EV appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

The Yawn Known as HR Gamification

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 1:21pm

Is it just me or have we all been talking for a long time now about how gamification is going to revolutionize HR functions? While much of the research indicates that more businesses and brands are using gamification to drive greater engagement with consumers than ever before, most folks in HR are just scratching the surface […]

The post The Yawn Known as HR Gamification appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

WaveNET – the Floating, Flexible Wave Energy Generator

Slashdot - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 1:15pm
Zothecula writes: Scotland's Albatern is putting a new, modular spin on renewable energy generation. WaveNET is a scalable array of floating "Squid" generator units that harvest wave energy as their buoyant arms rise and fall with the motion of the waves. Each Squid can link up to as many as three others, effectively creating a large, floating grid that's flexible in every direction. The bigger this grid gets, the more efficient it becomes at harvesting energy, and the more different wave movements it can extract energy from. Albatern's 10-year target is to have 1.25 kilometer-long floating energy farms pumping out as much as 100 megawatts by 2024.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Twitter to Start Tracking Which Apps Its Users Have Downloaded (Kurt Wagner/Re/code)

TechMeme - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 1:00pm

Kurt Wagner / Re/code:
Twitter to Start Tracking Which Apps Its Users Have Downloaded  —  Twitter will soon be peeking in on your smartphone.  Literally.  —  The social network says it will start collecting data on which apps its users have downloaded onto their phones.  The update is opt-out …

Categories: Technology

The Internet of Things Is Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes (Part 2)

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 12:52pm

Last week I talked about how people are thinking too small when they think about the Internet of Things (See Part 1). When we truly consider the ramifications of connecting a vast array of data-gathering sensors, devices, and machines together, what’s important to realize is that information will be translated into action at a rate […]

The post The Internet of Things Is Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes (Part 2) appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Auto Industry Teams Up With Military To Stop Car Hacking

Slashdot - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 12:32pm
An anonymous reader writes: A team of hackers is collaborating with military and industry groups to develop cyber security defenses for commercially available cars, in response to a growing threat from criminals and terrorists. In the U.K., hackers are now responsible for a third of car thefts in London and there are fears that while technology is progressing, older models will remain vulnerable to attack. Although there have been no reported instances of a car being completely commandeered outside of controlled conditions, during tests hackers come out on top every time – unlocking car boots, setting off windscreen wipers, locking brakes, and cutting the engine.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

3-D Printed Parts That Help Your Kids Play With Their Food

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 12:24pm

If your kid is going to play with her vegetables, you might as let her really get down to business.

The post 3-D Printed Parts That Help Your Kids Play With Their Food appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Cape Watch: Wonder Woman Gets a Director and Jared Leto Gets Coy About the Joker

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 12:18pm

With the holidays just around the corner, Cape Watch has arrived on the scene just a little earlier than usual to ensure that you have something to distract you while you try and sit and patiently wait for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer. We've got a couple of announcements about movies you won't see for at least a couple of years, tales of a female director for Wonder Woman, and Jared Leto's best attempt at distraction from the topic at hand. Here are the highlights of the week's superhero news.

The post Cape Watch: Wonder Woman Gets a Director and Jared Leto Gets Coy About the Joker appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

Slashdot - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 11:50am
An anonymous reader writes: It's no secret that prosecutors usually throw every charge they can at an alleged criminal, but the case of Aaron Swartz brought to light how poorly-written computer abuse laws lend themselves to this practice. Now, another perfect example has resolved itself: a hacker with ties to Anonymous was recently threatened with 44 felony counts of computer fraud and cyberstalking, each with its own 10-year maximum sentence. If the charges stuck, the man was facing multiple lifetimes worth of imprisonment. But, of course, they didn't. Prosecutors struck a deal to get him to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor charge, which carried only a $10,000 fine. The man's attorney, Tor Eklund, said, "The more I looked at this, the more it seemed like an archetypal example of the Department of Justice's prosecutorial abuse when it comes to computer crime. It shows how aggressive they are, and how they seek to destroy your reputation in the press even when the charges are complete, fricking garbage."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Bitcoin Black Friday Wants You To Remember Bitcoin Exists

ReadWriteWeb - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 11:07am

Spending bitcoins is a little bit like spending gold. Most stores don’t accept it, and owners want to hold on to it anyway just in case the value hikes up.

Bitcoin Black Friday is Jon Holmquist’s solution to stagnating Bitcoin transactions. Amid a recent report that 70% of Bitcoins remain unspent for six months or more, the Nov. 28 shopping day aims to entice owners of the cryptocurrency to make purchases. With Friday-only discounts offered from online merchants for those who pay with bitcoin, it also aims to improve and increase Bitcoin’s public image through an increasingly large shopping event.

See also: Bitcoin Black Friday Aims To Get People To Actually Spend Their Bitcoins

Holmquist, founder of Bitcoin Black Friday, lists the one-day event as his primary employment on his LinkedIn. He spends a major part of the year reaching out to Bitcoin merchants about participating and drumming up publicity on Bitcoin forums.

This year marks the third annual Bitcoin Black Friday. In 2012, it was held on Nov. 9, a second anniversary of sorts for Bitcoin. Holmquist moved it to the more traditional day-after-Thanksgiving date and experienced a jump from 75 merchants to around 600, netting about 100,000 visitors to the Bitcoin Black Friday central hub, according to Holmquist.

"The big problem for us is that most merchants don't want to plan ahead," Holmquist told NBC. "It's a lot of smaller merchants, so they put it off until the day of or the day before."

In 2013, Holmquist reported that Bitcoin sales hit the equivalent of $6 million during the event. This year, he told NBC that 1,200 merchants are expected to take part. There are as many as 80,000 Bitcoin-accepting merchants globally, the New York Times reports, so Bitcoin Black Friday has a lot of room to grow. Mainly, Holmquist hopes to use the event to attract people who aren’t already Bitcoin users to consider the currency.

"We have two things planned," he told NBC, regarding low-risk purchasing options. "First is the ability to instantly purchase bitcoin with your credit card: a small amount, like $25 worth. For most people, that's not too much of a risk. And we're also going to have a section [of the site] where you can purchase something for a small amount of money."

Holmquist has a lot of allies in the form of merchants who are finally willing to bet big on Bitcoin. PayPal announced in September that it had entered into agreements with Bitcoin payment processors BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin, allowing just about any merchant who uses PayPal to accept Bitcoin payments. Several major companies like such as Dell and Showroomprive in Europe have also begun to recently accept Bitcoin payments.

See also: The Mt. Gox Implosion Is Bitcoin's First Financial Crisis

Since last year, the value of a single Bitcoin has crashed from north of $1,000 at the end of 2013 to about $370 today. The plummet is credited in part to the fall of Mt. Gox, a formerly popular Bitcoin exchange that no longer exists. Now that people are less likely to see Bitcoins as nest eggs, and the options for spending them are ever increasing, they may be more willing to part with them. 

Photo by btckeychain

Categories: Technology