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Politics

Azerbaijan Election Results Released Before Voting Had Even Started 266

Posted by samzenpus
from the and-the-winner-is dept.
Jah-Wren Ryel writes "Florida's hanging chads ain't going nothing on Azerbaijan. Fully a day before the polls were to open, election results were accidentally released via an official smartphone app, confirming what everybody already knew — the election was rigged from the beginning. The official story is that the app's developer had mistakenly sent out the 2008 election results as part of a test. But that's a bit flimsy, given that the released totals show the candidates from this week, not from 2008."
Programming

What Are the Genuinely Useful Ideas In Programming? 598

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the lattices-are-pretty-cool dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Computer Scientist Daniel Lemire has had an interesting discussion going on at his site about the ideas in software that are universally recognized as useful. 'Let me put it this way: if you were to meet a master of software programming, what are you absolutely sure he will recommend to a kid who wants to become a programmer?' Lemire's list currently includes structured programming; Unix and its corresponding philosophy; database transactions; the 'relational database;' the graphical user interface; software testing; the most basic data structures (the heap, the hash table, and trees) and a handful of basic algorithms such as quicksort; public-key encryption and cryptographic hashing; high-level programming and typing; and version control. 'Maybe you feel that functional and object-oriented programming are essential. Maybe you think that I should include complexity analysis, JavaScript, XML, or garbage collection. One can have endless debates but I am trying to narrow it down to an uncontroversial list.' Inspired by Lemire, Philip Reames has come up with his own list of 'Things every practicing software engineer should aim to know.'"
Crime

Dutch Police Recruit Rats To Sniff Out Crime 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the law-and-order-rat-mystery-club dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ratting someone out' just became much more literal. Dutch police are using trained rats to help keep the streets clean. 'Detective Derrick and his rat partners cost just £8 each and are capable of being trained to identify an impressive range of odors—including drugs and explosives—within ten to 15 days. In contrast, a police dog costs thousands of pounds and requires a minimum training period of eight months. The training procedure is straightforward: the rats are kept in a cage with four metal tea strainers attached inside, one of which contains gunpowder. When the rat recognizes the smell, it is rewarded with a "click" and a small treat. Eventually the rat will learn to move towards the smell instantly. In a demonstration it takes Derrick just two seconds to locate the offending odor."
Transportation

Fighting Zombies? Chevrolet Reveals New "Black Ops" Concept Truck 220

Posted by samzenpus
from the dead-man-walking dept.
cartechboy writes "Whether its the Mayan calendar, a rough economy, or a fear of zombies, there are people who are currently preparing for the end of the world, coming, like, soon. And they can attract some fringe elements. So maybe those elements are worth a little truck marketing. Yesterday at the Texas State Fair, Chevrolet unveiled a "Black Ops" concept truck that it says will "explore the extremes of preparedness." The truck comes with a vault storage unit, solar power pack, gas masks, gloves, a military first aid kit, a folding shovel, a generator and some rope. Twinkies apparently not included."
Idle

Apple Maps Flaw Sends Drivers Across Airport Runway 311

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the wrong-turn dept.
solareagle writes "The BBC reports that an Alaskan airport says it has had to place barricades across one of its taxiways after an Apple Maps flaw resulted in iPhone users driving across a runway. The airport said it had complained to the phone-maker through the local attorney general's office. 'We asked them to disable the map for Fairbanks until they could correct it, thinking it would be better to have nothing show up than to take the chance that one more person would do this,' Melissa Osborn, chief of operations at the airport, told the Alaska Dispatch newspaper. The airport said it had been told the problem would be fixed by Wednesday. However the BBC still experienced the issue when it tested the app, asking for directions to the site from a property to the east of the airport. By contrast the Google Maps app provided a different, longer route which takes drivers to the property's car park."
Privacy

Angry Brazilian Whacks NASA To Put a Stop To ... Er, the NSA 90

Posted by samzenpus
from the horseshoes-and-hand-grenades dept.
An anonymous reader writes "From the Register, "Multiple NASA websites were defaced last week by a Brazilian hacktivist who may have misread the sites' URLs, because he wasn't protesting about the US space agency giving joyrides to inhuman stowaways – he was protesting against NSA spying. 'BMPoC' hit kepler.arc.nasa.gov and 13 other sites with messages protesting against US spying on Brazil, as well as a possible US military intervention in Syria. It's hard to believe anyone would confuse the NSA spy agency with NASA, the space agency, except for satirical purposes or to mock script kiddies in some way, so we can only guess that the hackers behind the attack hit NASA because it's a US government agency whose systems are noted for being insecure.""
Technology

Toronto Family Bans All Technology In Their Home Made After 1986 534

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-you-tried-super-mario-bros-yet? dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Mary Am Shah reports in the Toronto Sun that 26-year-old Blair McMillan has banned any technology in his house post-1986, the year he and his girlfriend Morgan were born. They're doing it because their kids – Trey, 5, and Denton, 2 – wouldn't look up from their parents' iPhones and iPads long enough to kick a ball around the backyard. 'That's kind of when it hit me because I'm like, wow, when I was a kid, I lived outside,' says Blair adding that now 'we're parenting our kids the same way we were parented for a year just to see what it's like.' The McMillans do their banking in person instead of online. They develop rolls of film for $20 each instead of Instagramming their sons' antics. They recently traveled across the United States using paper maps and entertaining their screaming kids with coloring books and stickers, passing car after car with TVs embedded in the headrests and content infants seated in the back. Their plan is to continue living like it's 1986 until April 2014. Morgan, who admits she thought her boyfriend was 'crazy,' now devours books to pass the time and only uses a computer at work. 'I remember the day before we started this, I was a wreck and I was like I can't believe I have to delete my Facebook!' Blair originally experienced a form of phantom pain for the first few days after giving up his cellphone. 'The strangest thing without having a cellphone is that I could almost feel my pocket vibrating and I wanted to check my pocket.' Still Morgan says the change has been good for their family's spirit. 'We're just closer, there's more talking,'"
Intel

Intel's Wine-Powered Microprocessor 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the it-does-go-well-with-the-fish dept.
angry tapir writes "In a new twist on strange brew, an Intel engineer has showed off a project using wine to power a microprocessor. The engineer poured red wine into a glass containing circuitry on two metal boards during a keynote by Genevieve Bell, Intel fellow, at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. Once the red wine hit the metal, the microprocessor on a circuit board powered up. The low-power microprocessor then ran a graphics program on a computer with an e-ink display."
Idle

Man Trying To Fly Across the Atlantic On Helium Balloons 92

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.
coondoggie writes "f you've ever wondered if you could fly just by holding onto a bunch of helium balloons over your head, well then you might understand where Accenture IT Technical Projects Manager Jonathan Trappe is coming from. Trappe today set out today from Caribou, Maine to cross 2,500 miles of Atlantic Ocean using 370 helium balloons slung under a small gondola. According to a DailyMail.com story, Trappe is relying on state-of-the-art weather data from the meteorologist who advised Felix Baumgartner on his record-breaking skydive from the stratosphere last year. The latest weather reports before the launch suggested winds would take Trappe to western Europe, though the exact destination would be hard to predict." Update: 09/13 14:08 GMT by S : The attempt is already over and unsuccessful. Trappe landed safely in Newfoundland, saying he was having trouble controlling the balloons.
Books

Meet the Guy Who Fact-Checks Stephen King On Stephen King 121

Posted by samzenpus
from the ask-me-anything dept.
cartechboy writes "Stephen King has sold more than 300 million books of horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy. The guy has written so many works, and words, that he actually needs a "continuity adviser" to fact check him when he picks old stories up as a new book. Enter Rocky Wood — who is the world-wide leading expert on Stephen King's work. So much so, that King hired Wood (who has authored a 6000+ page encyclopedia on CD-ROM on every single aspect of King's work — including 26,000 different King characters) to fact check himself when he writes."
Transportation

TSA Reminds You Not To Travel With Hand Grenades 378

Posted by samzenpus
from the thanks-for-the-tip dept.
coondoggie writes "Some of the travel recommendations posted on the Transportation Security Administration's blog seem stupefying obvious. This week's, entitled: 'Leave Your Grenades at Home' seemed like a no brainer, but alas. The TSA wrote about grenades in particular: Year to date, the agency's officers have discovered: 43 grenades in carry-on baggage and 40 grenades in checked baggage."
Apple

The iPhone 5S Hasn't Been Officially Announced, Already Has Line 181

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-I-want-it-now dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "The iPhone 5S line has already begun, despite Apple not even having made its announcement yet. From the looks of the invite to the unveiling in San Francisco on Sept. 10 (and another event the following day in Beijing, where iPhones are all the rage), the company will not only be announcing a next generation iPhone, the 5S, but also the lower-priced 5C model, in a variety of cheaper-looking colors."
Idle

Egyptian Authorities Detain French "Spy" Bird Found With Tracker 110

Posted by samzenpus
from the duck-privacy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post reports, 'In a case that ruffled feathers in Egypt, authorities have detained a migratory bird that a citizen suspected of being a spy. A man in Egypt's Qena governorate, some 450 kilometers (280 miles) southeast of Cairo, found the suspicious bird among four others near his home and brought them to a police station Friday, said Mohammed Kamal, the head of the security in the region. With turmoil gripping Egypt following the July 3 popularly backed military coup that overthrew the country's president, authorities and citizens remain highly suspicious of anything foreign. Conspiracy theories easily find their ways into cafe discussion — as well as some media in the country. Earlier this year, a security guard filed a police report after capturing a pigeon he said carried microfilm. A previous rumor in 2010 blamed a series of shark attacks along Egypt's Mediterranean coast on an Israeli plot. It wasn't. In the bird's case, even military officials ultimately had to deny the bird carried any spying devices. They spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.'"
The Almighty Buck

How One Man Turns Annoying Cold Calls Into Cash 227

Posted by samzenpus
from the hoisting-with-his-own-petard dept.
First time accepted submitter georgeaperkins writes "A man targeted by marketing companies is making money from cold calls with his own premium-rate phone number. So far he's made £300 profit following a £10+VAT initial investment. The premium rate regulator has 'strongly discouraged' the practice, as it violates the code of practice. Nevertheless, the novel idea is sure to resonate with everyone worn down by mindless cold calling!"
Image

Pastafarian Wins Battle To Wear Colander In License Photo 535

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-do-you-like-me-now dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Eddie Castillo is the first American to successfully have his government-issued photo identification taken while wearing a colander, though DPS officials are reportedly planning to follow up with Castillo in order to 'rectify' the situation. Others have tried unsuccessfully, and Castillo told KLBK that he was surprised at his victory, which he called a 'political and religious milestone for all atheists everywhere.'" Two years ago Niko Alm won the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head although Austrian authorities required him to obtain a doctor's certificate that he was "psychologically fit" to drive.
Idle

Bitcoin, BYOD, Phablet, Selfie, and Twerking Find Place In Oxford Dictionary 131

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-keep-using-that-word-I-do-not-think-it-means-what-you-think-it-means dept.
hypnosec writes "The Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO) has been updated today to include some of the widely used tech words like Bitcoin, BYOD, Phablet, Selfie, and Twerking among others. Some of the other common tech words which have found a place in the dictionary are 'click and connect', 'digital detox', 'FOMO', 'geek chic', 'hackerspace', 'Internet of Things', 'MOOC', 'selfie', and 'TL;DR'."
Biotech

Dentist Wants To Clone John Lennon Using DNA Extracted From Lennon's Tooth 224

Posted by samzenpus
from the with-a-little-help-from-my-molar dept.
dryriver writes "People fantasizing about a Beatles comeback tour might yet see their dream come true, all thanks to Dr. Michael Zuk. This dentist is the proud owner of one of John Lennon's teeth, and hopes to use it to clone the musician. By the looks of it, Dr. Michael Zuk came in possession of the tooth in 2011. At that time, he purchased the molar at an auction organized in the United Kingdom, and paid about $30,000 (€22,424) for it. According to The Inquisitr, the dentist is now working alongside scientists in the United States, who are helping him figure out a way to extract DNA from the tooth without damaging it in the process. This DNA would serve to bring back John Lennon. Apparently, Dr. Michael Zuk hopes that his project will snowball into a scientific and pop-cultural revolution. 'To potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of Rock's greatest stars would be mind-blowing. I am nervous and excited at the possibility that we will be able to fully sequence John Lennon's DNA, very soon I hope,' the dentist reportedly commented on the importance of his work."
Idle

Amazon Selects Their Favorite Fake Customer Reviews 98

Posted by samzenpus
from the creative-writing dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon's just created a new web page where they're officially acknowledging fake reviews posted by their customers — and they've even selected their own favorites . ('I was very disappointed to have my uranium confiscated at the airport. It was a gift for my son for his birthday. Also, I'm in prison now, so that's not good either...') On the front page of Amazon, in big orange letters, Amazon posted 'You guys are really funny.'And then — next to a funny picture of a rubber horse head mask — Amazon's linked to a list of some of the very best satirical reviews their customers have submitted over the years, noting fondly that 'occasionally customer creativity goes off the charts in the best possible way...'"
Idle

20 People Shot With BB Guns At LG G2 Promotional Event 151

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the run-for-cover dept.
coolnumbr12 tipped us to a tale of a contest gone wrong at LG's G2 release event. Quoting El Reg: "The PR boffins at LG decided it would be a good idea to release 100 helium-filled balloons, each carrying a voucher entitling the recipient to claim their 950,000 won ($852.54) smartphone. It then took to social media to promote the event, inviting people to witness the balloons' release and encouraging them to grab one of the vouchers. But what must have sounded like a good idea in the marketing meeting quickly dissolved into chaos. People aren’t stupid. They figured out that the only way to get the voucher was to burst the balloons, and they showed up equipped to do so with BB guns, knives on sticks, and other tools." In the ensuing carnage, 20 people were injured. Whoops.
It's funny.  Laugh.

10 Wearable Habitats To Shelter You From the Apocalypse 135

Posted by samzenpus
from the tucking-in-for-the-night dept.
fangmcgee writes "The end may not be nigh, but with vicious storms, severe flooding, and rising temperatures becoming the new normal, the apocalypse might be closer than we think. In the case of a cataclysmic event that could displace thousands, if not millions, of people, the availability of emergency shelter becomes a pressing concern. Here are 10 'wearable shelters' that serve as protective all-weather garments in the day and insulating dwellings at night."
Image

The Latest Security Vulnerability: Your Toilet 211

Posted by samzenpus
from the reverse-the-flow dept.
NobleSavage writes "We all knew it was just a matter of time. With the rush to put more and more appliances on-line Japanese toilet-maker Satis, one of Japan's largest commode companies, has finally networked the toilet. Just as you would have predicted, the information security company Trustwave Holdings has published an advisory regarding Satis-brand toilets. According to Trustwave, every Satis toilet has the same hard-coded Bluetooth PIN, which means any person using the 'My Satis' [Android] application can control any Satis toilet."
Robotics

Give Zebrafish Some Booze and They Stop Fearing Robots 58

Posted by Soulskill
from the valuable-life-advice dept.
Zothecula writes "With some help from a robotic fish, scientists have discovered that zebrafish are much like humans in at least one way – they get reckless when they get drunk. OK, 'drunk' might not be technically accurate, but when exposed to alcohol, the fish show no fear of a robotic version of one of their natural predators, the Indian leaf fish. When they're "sober," they avoid the thing like crazy. The researchers believe that the experiments indicate a promising future for robots in behavioral studies."
Idle

Man Builds Fully-Functional Boeing 737 Flight Simulator In His Son's Bedroom 128

Posted by samzenpus
from the those-magnificent-men-in-their-flying-machines dept.
laejoh writes "An aeroplane enthusiast has taken his obsession a step further than most after using his son's bedroom to build a Boeing 737 flight simulator that exactly mimics the real thing. Laurent Aigon, 40, from Lacanau in France, has spent the last five years collecting and buying components from around the world with best friend and fellow enthusiast (obviously) Jean-Paul Dupuy. The pair spent thousands of euros on internet orders for bits and pieces to construct the simulator – which is so realistic that the Institute of Aircraft Maintenance at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport asked him to give a lecture on his achievement. Mr Aigon has since schooled himself in all the procedures for take off and landing and says he is able to fly his 'plane' just like a real-life pilot."
Crime

Cybercriminals Has Heroin Delivered To Brian Krebs, Then Calls Police 187

Posted by samzenpus
from the gift-that-keeps-on-giving dept.
Okian Warrior writes in about a package of heroin that found its way to the door of Brian Krebs. "'Fans' of [security researcher Brian Krebs] have shown their affection in some curious ways. One called in a phony hostage situation that resulted in a dozen heavily armed police surrounding my home. Another opened a $20,000 new line of credit in my name. Others sent more than $1,000 in bogus PayPal donations from hacked accounts. Still more admirers paid my cable bill for the next three years using stolen credit cards. Malware authors have even used my name and likeness to peddle their wares. But the most recent attempt to embarrass and fluster this author easily takes the cake as the most elaborate: Earlier this month, the administrator of an exclusive cybercrime forum hatched and executed a plan to purchase heroin, have it mailed to my home, and then spoof a phone call from one of my neighbors alerting the local police. Thankfully, I had already established a presence on his forum and was able to monitor the scam in real time and alert my local police well in advance of the delivery."
The Military

Indian Army Mistook Planets For Spy Drones 143

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the alien-invasion-fleet dept.
hackingbear writes "BBC reports that India's army spent six months watching 'Chinese spy drones' violating its air space, only to find out they were actually Jupiter and Venus. Between last August and February, Indian troops had already documented 329 sightings of unidentified objects over a lake in the border region next to China. India accused the objects being Chinese spy drones. The incident even escalated to a military build-up and a stand-off at border between the two countries. Residents of the solar system are glad that India does not possess the capability to shoot down such high altitude objects."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Fake "Speed Enforced By Drones" Signs On California Freeways 218

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the we-only-track-all-your-movements dept.
NF6X writes "CBS station KPIX reports that somebody has been installing counterfeit traffic signs on California bay area freeways, warning motorists of drone-based speed enforcement. They are professionally-made reflective metal signs of comparable style and quality to official traffic signs, and in some cases are even mounted with tamper-resistant hardware. The signs show the familiar silhouette of an MQ-1 Predator drone launching a weapon. According to KPIX, California Highway Patrol denies that they operate any drones, and states that the signs are fake."
Government

Don't Tie a Horse To a Tree and Other Open Data Lessons 109

Posted by samzenpus
from the made-sense-at-the-time dept.
itwbennett writes "Baltimore this week became the first city to hop on the open data bandwagon with the launch of the Baltimore Decoded website. The site makes the city's charter and codes more accessible to the public and will eventually include information on court decisions, legislative tracking and city technical standards (e.g., building regulations, zoning restrictions, fire codes). The site also offers a RESTful, JSON-based API for accessing the data. ITworld's Phil Johnson dug in and found these lesser-known Baltimore codes: You can't hold more than 1 yard sale every 6 months, you can't tie a horse to a tree, and you can't have fruit on a wharf. What you do with this information is up to you."
Bug

PayPal Credits Man With $92 Quadrillion 151

Posted by timothy
from the ok-but-are-those-old-imperial-credits-or-new dept.
solareagle writes "Pennsylvania resident Chris Reynolds got quite a shock when he opened his most recent PayPal statement — it said he had a $92,233,720,368,547,800 balance in his account. 'I'm just feeling like a million bucks,' Reynolds told the [Philadelphia] Daily News yesterday. 'At first I thought that I owed quadrillions. It was quite a big surprise.' When asked what he would do with the money, he said, 'I would pay the national debt down first. Then I would buy the Phillies, if I could get a great price.' The Daily News speculates that the astronomical balance may be related to PayPal's new Galactic initiative, announced last month, to expand its business beyond Earth." He should have quickly minted a new coin.
Businesses

Better Factories Through Role Playing 160

Posted by samzenpus
from the +1-or-better-to-hit-boss dept.
pacopico writes "A former Ford executive has taken his unique brand of factory training to the public. According to Businessweek, Hossein Nivi has set up a new company called Pendaran that forces people to endure a week-long, manic training simulation that's meant to produce safer, better workers. The participants — lots of people from the tech and military fields — get yelled at by actors while they try to assemble things like golf carts and airplanes in a simulation that mixes virtual tasks on computers with real world tasks. After their spirits get broken, the workers actually start functioning as a well-oiled team. It sounds both awesome and bizarre."
Cellphones

Cell Phone Powered By Urine 88

Posted by samzenpus
from the want-to-use-my-phone? dept.
sciencehabit writes "The newest source of battery power for your cell phone is both cheap and abundant. Scientists report that microbial fuel cells using human urine can directly power a cell phone battery. However, the devices are not quite portable enough to come in handy during a marathon pub crawl. One consists of six, 4-inch-long ceramic cylinders; the other is a network of 25 smaller fuel cells borrowed from the team's waste-fueled EcoBot. And urine-powered conversations would have to be short and sweet. After 24 hours of charging, a Samsung phone stayed alive for 25 minutes—enough to send several texts and make a 6-minute, 20-second call."
Bug

German Drone Darts Off and Hits Transport Plane On Ground 74

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the destroy-all-humans dept.
garymortimer writes "German tabloid newspaper The Bild has unearthed new video from a herons eye view of a 2010 taxi accident in Afghanistan. According to Bild a junior officer put the Heron into auto start and then was unable to stop it. The incident occurred at Mazar-i-Sharif on Mar. 17, 2010 Watch the ground crew get out of the way quick!"
The Courts

Apple Sued For Man's Porn Addiction 509

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
coolnumbr12 writes "Chris Sevier, a 36-year-old man from Tennessee, got so addicted to porn videos that his wife took his children and left him. Now he has sued Apple saying the company failed to install any filter in its devices to prevent his addiction. In a 50-page complaint, Sevier calls Apple a 'silent poisoner' responsible for the proliferation of 'arousal addiction, sex trafficking, prostitution, and countless numbers of destroyed lives.' Sevier is seeking damages from Apple, but said he we will drop the lawsuit if Apple agrees to sell devices with a 'safe mode.'"
Television

TV Programmers Seek the Elusive Dog Market 199

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-does-your-fish-read? dept.
HonorPoncaCityDotCom writes "Stanley Coren reports that a number of new television stations are providing programming specifically designed for dogs and while many people report that their dogs completely ignore what is visible on television, with modern resolution and quicker imaging, more dogs have become potential television viewers. The increase in dog viewership is primarily attributed to the way the dog's eye works. The image on a standard television screen is updated 60 times per second and since a human's flicker fusion frequency is only 55 Hz, the image appears continuous and the gradually changing images give us the illusion of movement. However dogs can discern flickers at up to 80 Hz so with the increased availability of high-resolution digital screens that are refreshed at a much higher rate, the images are less likely to appear to be flickering to the canine eye. Presentation factors are also an issue. Dogs are most likely to respond to images that have been captured at the eye level of a dog with a low camera angle where there are moving things like animals or birds. But even if that requirement is fulfilled, most dogs do not watch television because the TV is normally placed at a comfortable eye level for human beings and dogs do tend not to scan upward, and therefore do not notice the TV images. All of which brings us to DogTV, the first cable network to deliver 24-hour programming for dogs that lets you flip on the channel while you go out for the day as your pet is stimulated, entertained and relaxed. 'If the dog wasn't enjoying it, he would find something else to do, like nibble on the end of a sofa,' says veterinarian Ann E. Hohenhaus."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Real Version of Homer Simpson's Dream Car Built 53

Posted by Soulskill
from the mmmmm,-dreeeeam-car dept.
Meshach writes "Some fans of The Simpsons have built a real-life version of Homer Simpson's dream car. In The Simpsons' world, Homer finds out he has a long, lost cousin named Herb Powell (voiced by Danny DeVito), who owns a car company in Detroit. Herb is so delighted to meet Homer that he allows Homer to design a car, which eventually ruins the company. This real vehicle is a working replica of the infamous car from the series."
Space

PayPal Spaces Out With Paypal Galactic 60

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-space-no-one-can-take-your-payment dept.
sl4shd0rk writes "Presuming aliens won't have terrible Ebay experiences, PayPal means to position themselves to take on payments in the cosmos: 'With our fifteen years of experience in global online payments, PayPal has a unique perspective to speak to the possibilities of an interplanetary economy.' Apparently, Paypal is taking up bedmates with Virgin Galatic along with Buzz Aldrin and the SETI Institute to allow you to 'explore the possibilities of travel' as well as tourism and commerce."
Google

How Not To Be a SEO Spammer 65

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-up-to-you-whether-or-not-you-want-to-just-do-the-bare-minimum dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The head of Google's webspam team, Matt Cutts, has blogged about one of his colleagues receiving an email offering SEO services to help the web site www.google.com. The irony wasn't lost on Matt, who has blogged about these emails before. As this article points out, if ever there was evidence that the people who send many of these emails haven't done their homework, this is it."
Businesses

Pro Bono Lawyer Fights C&D With Humor 144

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-it-is-worth dept.
Zordak writes "When Jake Freivald received a questionable Cease and Desist letter from a big-firm attorney, demanding that he immediately relinquish rights to his website http://westorage.info, his pro-bono lawyer decided to treat the letter like the joke that it was. In a three-page missive, the lawyer points out the legal, constitutional, and ethical problems with the letter that led him to conclude that the letter was a joke. He concludes, in a postscript, with an unsubstantiated demand for $28,000 in overpaid property taxes, and offers to lease the city the domain name 'westorange.gov' in exchange."
Crime

2 Men Accused of Trying To Make X-Ray Weapon 470

Posted by samzenpus
from the firing-the-cancer-gun dept.
gurps_npc writes "Two radical pro-Israel terrorists were caught in upstate NY when they tried to solicit money from various honorable Jewish organizations to build a truck based x-ray weapon. They intended to drive the truck around and then turn on the x-ray machine, focusing on enemies of Israel. But the Jewish organizations they tried to solicit money from refused to participate. Instead they called the FBI, who promptly set up a sting. The men were arrested before the machine was in working order."
Japan

With Sales Down, Whale Meat Flogged As Source of Strength 311

Posted by timothy
from the why-not-flog-whale-ice-cream-instead? dept.
beaverdownunder writes "From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: 'Japan's peak whaling body has launched a new campaign to promote whale meat as a nutritious food that enhances physical strength and reduces fatigue. With about 5,000 tonnes of whale meat sitting unwanted in freezers around Japan, the country's Institute for Cetacean Research has decided to launch a new campaign to promote the by-product of its so-called scientific whaling program. Once popular in school lunches, younger generations of Japanese rarely, if ever, eat whale."
Star Wars Prequels

Meet the 23-Ton X-Wing, the World's Largest Lego Model 121

Posted by samzenpus
from the stay-on-target dept.
First time accepted submitter awaissoft writes "There's big, then there's really big, and then there's colossal, which might be a good word to use when describing a near 46,000-pound Lego X-Wing that made a triumphant debut Thursday in New York's Times Square. The full-size replica, about 42 times the size of the Lego Star Wars X-Wing set available on store shelves, celebrates the debut of Cartoon Network's The Yoda Chronicles, which premieres on May 29 at 8 p.m. It took a small army of 32 Lego master builders, housed in a facility in the Czech Republic, to build the 45,980-pound, or 23-ton, Lego ship. It stands 11 feet high and 43 feet long, and contains more than 5 million Lego pieces."
Google

Leaked Microsoft Video Parodies Chrome Ad 243

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the fighting-for-evildoer-crown dept.
First time accepted submitter Stratus311 writes "An article from The Verge shows a video leaked from Microsoft that parodies Google's Chrome ad. From the article: 'Microsoft and Google have been locked in a war of words over a YouTube Windows Phone app, but in the midst of the arguments a new Scroogled ad has emerged. Designed to be an internal-only video, a copy has somehow managed to find its way onto the web right in the middle of Google's I/O developer conference.'" "Somehow" leaked.
Government

UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects? 626

Posted by samzenpus
from the other-other-white-meat dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes in with news about a U.N. plan to get more bugs in your belly. "The U.N. has new weapons to fight hunger, boost nutrition and reduce pollution, and they might be crawling or flying near you right now: edible insects. The Food and Agriculture Organization on Monday hailed the likes of grasshoppers, ants and other members of the insect world as an underutilized food for people, livestock and pets. Insects are 'extremely efficient' in converting feed into edible meat, the agency said. Most insects are likely to produce fewer environmentally harmful greenhouse gases, and also feed on human and food waste, compost and animal slurry, with the products being used for agricultural feed, the agency said. 'Insects are everywhere and they reproduce quickly,' the agency said, adding they leave a 'low environmental footprint.' The agency noted that its Edible Insect Program is also examining the potential of arachnids, such as spiders and scorpions."
Government

Lawyer Loses It In Letter To Patent Office 342

Posted by samzenpus
from the remain-calm dept.
bizwriter writes "Nobody would ever say that the world of patent law is a roller coaster of excitement but every now and then something interesting happens. Take this attorney who was angry over a patent examiner's rejection of his client's application. Here are a few snippets from the lawyers letter to the examiner: 'Are you drunk? No, seriously... are you drinking scotch and whiskey with a side of crack cocaine while you "examine" patent applications? (Heavy emphasis on the quotes.) Do you just mail merge rejection letters from your home? Is that what taxpayers are getting in exchange for your services? Have you even read the patent application? I'm curious. Because you either haven't read the patent application or are... (I don't want to say the "R" word) "Special."....Your job is not a joke, but you are turning it into a regular three ring circus. If you can't motivate yourself to take your job seriously, then you need to quit and let someone else take over what that actually wants to do the job right.'"
Google

Crazy Eric Schmidt, His Yacht Prices Are Insaaane! 179

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the rusty-bids-ten-dollars dept.
theodp writes "After languishing on the market, the price of Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's Lone Ranger expedition yacht was cut from $20,000,000 to a mere $14,000,000 (sales brochure). Still no takers for the vessel, so the former pride of the Schmidt Ocean Institute — which can travel an amazing 31,000 miles at 12 knots thanks to a fuel capacity of 1.3 million liters — will be auctioned "as is" on April 20th at the Antibes Yacht Show, with bid estimates ranging from EUR 3 million to EUR 10 million (auction brochure). 'Lone Ranger and her truly astonishing story will appeal to a new generation of luxury yacht owner,' the sales brochure notes. 'The yacht epitomizes low key luxury, but most importantly offers the ideal platform for anyone wanting to explore the farthest flung corners of the world with their family.' And you can buy it just in time for Earth Day gift giving!"
Science

Tiny Tentacled Microorganisms Named After Cthulu 54

Posted by samzenpus
from the on-his-slide-dead-cthulhu-waits-dreaming dept.
First time accepted submitter mebates writes "Two newly discovered protists, found in the guts of termites, were named after monstrous cosmic entities featured in Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos as an ode to the sometimes strange and fascinating world of the microbe. From the article: 'The single-cell protists, Cthulhu macrofasciculumque and Cthylla microfasciculumque, help termites digest wood. The researchers decided to name them after monstrous cosmic entities featured in Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos as an ode to the sometimes strange and fascinating world of the microbe. 'When we first saw them under the microscope they had this unique motion, it looked almost like an octopus swimming,' says UBC researcher Erick James, lead author of the paper describing the new protists, published in the online journal PLoS ONE.'"

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