MatthewVD writes "New Zealand electric racecar developer Greenstage is close to finishing an open source project called 'Tumanako,' which would allow owners of electric cars and motorcycles to tweak the code in their vehicles. Electric vehicle gearheads grouse about proprietary code that keeps current, torque and speed within very conservative limits. 'In racing, you need the system to push all those parameters to the limits. You only need the system to survive until just past the finish line,' says Bill Dube, the owner of the record-setting KillaCycle. Open source code could also be used to build any type of electric vehicle, from cars and submarines to motor-launched aerial gliders, from scratch. It's like Linux for your Chevy Volt."
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An anonymous reader writes "Today, a typical chip might have six or eight cores, all communicating with each other over a single bundle of wires, called a bus. With a bus, only one pair of cores can talk at a time, which would be a serious limitation in chips with hundreds or even thousands of cores. Researchers at MIT say cores should instead communicate the same way computers hooked to the Internet do: by bundling the information they transmit into 'packets.' Each core would have its own router, which could send a packet down any of several paths, depending on the condition of the network as a whole."
Freddybear writes with news that yesterday Maryland passed a bill through both houses of the state legislature that would forbid employers from requiring job applicants or employees to provide access to social media accounts. The bill now awaits only the signature of governor Martin O'Malley. "The bill is the first of its kind in the country, and has shined a spotlight on the practice of employers demanding personal social media passwords from potential hires, [said Melissa Goemann of the ACLU]." Similar legislation is being developed in California, Illinois and Michigan, according to the Washington Post.
An anonymous reader writes "Don't look now, but Google has officially revealed their intentions to go after Windows and OS X. Chrome OS 19 has arrived for Samsung Series 5 and Acer AC700 Chromebooks running the developer channel, and the changes it brings may shock you. The new Aura window manager has landed, bringing with it a number of features that you'd expect from a traditional OS. For starters, there’s the Shelf along the bottom of the screen. It’s set to hide when you’ve got a browser window maximized by default, but you can choose to have it always on top or auto-hide, too, just like the Windows taskbar or OS X dock."
We've heard recently of CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a bill currently making its way through Congress that many are calling the latest incarnation of SOPA. Reader SolKeshNaranek points out an article at Techdirt explaining exactly why this bill is bad, and how its backers are trying to deflect criticism by using language that's different and rather vague. Quoting: "The bill defines 'cybersecurity systems' and 'cyber threat information' as anything to do with protecting a network from: '(A) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or (B) theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.' It's easy to see how that definition could be interpreted to include things that go way beyond network security — specifically, copyright policing systems at virtually any point along a network could easily qualify."
An anonymous reader sends this quote from a NASA report: "One day in the fall of 2011, Neil Sheeley, a solar scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., did what he always does — look through the daily images of the sun from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). But on this day he saw something he'd never noticed before: a pattern of cells with bright centers and dark boundaries occurring in the sun's atmosphere, the corona. ... The coronal cells occur in areas between coronal holes – colder and less dense areas of the corona seen as dark regions in images -- and "filament channels" which mark the boundaries between sections of upward-pointing magnetic fields and downward-pointing ones. Understanding how these cells evolve can provide clues as to the changing magnetic fields at the boundaries of coronal holes and how they affect the steady emission of solar material known as the solar wind streaming from these holes."
bobwrit writes with this excerpt from CNN: "Conservative challenger Rick Santorum announced Tuesday that he is suspending his Republican presidential campaign after a weekend of 'prayer and thought,' effectively ceding the GOP nomination to front-runner Mitt Romney. Santorum made his announcement after the weekend hospitalization of his 3-year-old daughter Isabella, and in the face of tightening poll numbers in Pennsylvania — the state he represented as a U.S. senator — ahead of the April 24 primary. 'Ladies and gentlemen, we made the decision to get into this race around our kitchen table, against all the odds,' Santorum told a news conference, flanked by emotional family members. 'We made a decision over the weekend that while the presidential race for us is over, and I will suspend my campaign effective today, we are not done fighting.'"
An anonymous reader writes "'The Harrier' (or 'Eastern star,' as it is also called), is very well known, and is considered to be one of the best paper airplane designs. After much searching and trying, I have not found a better plane. So, I am asking Slashdot: is there anything that beats 'The Harrier' in a competition (indoors or outdoors)? This would be a really nice geek skill!"
judgecorp writes "Intel security subsidiary McAfee has claimed a successful wireless attack on insulin pumps that diabetics rely on to control blood sugar. While previous attempts to attack insulin pumps have met with mixed success, McAfee's Barnaby Jack says he has persuaded an insulin pump to deliver 45 days worth of insulin in one go, without triggering the pump's vibrating alert safety feature. All security experts still say that surgical implants are a benefit overall."
rullywowr writes "A customer with a defective Blu-Ray disc returns to the Best Buy store where he purchased it. After having his driver's license scanned into the system, he is now banned from returning/exchanging goods for 90 days. This is becoming one of the latest practices big-box stores are using to limit fraud and abuse of the return system — for example, the people who buy a giant TV before the big game and then return it on Monday. Opponents feel this return-limiting concept has this gone too far, including the harvesting of your personal data."
Trepidity writes "In a decision today (PDF), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act 'does not extend to violations of use restrictions,' and therefore violating terms of service and corporate use policies is not a federal crime. Law profesor Orin Kerr cheered the decision, but since three other Courts of Appeals have reached opposite decisions, it might be heading to the Supreme Court."
samazon writes "North Carolina State University researcher Jag Kasichainula has developed a 'heat spreader' to cool electronics more efficiently using a copper-graphene composite, which is attached using an indium-graphene interface film. According to Kasichainula, the technique will cool 25% faster than pure copper and will cost less to produce than the copper plate heat spreaders currently used by most electronics (abstract). Better performance at a lower cost? Let's hope so."
New submitter gchaix writes "The U.S. Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has publicly embraced open source software and has begun posting its code to GitHub. From the article: 'Until recently, the federal government was hesitant to adopt open-source software due to a perceived ambiguity around its legal status as a commercial good. In 2009, however, the Department of Defense made it clear that open-source software products are on equal footing with their proprietary counterparts. We agree, and the first section of our source code policy is unequivocal: We use open-source software, and we do so because it helps us fulfill our mission. Open-source software works because it enables people from around the world to share their contributions with each other. The CFPB has benefited tremendously from other people's efforts, so it's only right that we give back to the community by sharing our work with others.'"
An anonymous reader writes with this news out of the University of Illinois: "Scientists report that they have mapped the physical architecture of intelligence in the brain. Theirs is one of the largest and most comprehensive analyses so far of the brain structures vital to general intelligence and to specific aspects of intellectual functioning, such as verbal comprehension and working memory. Their study, published in Brain: A Journal of Neurology (abstract), is unique in that it enlisted an extraordinary pool of volunteer participants: 182 Vietnam veterans with highly localized brain damage from penetrating head injuries. ... The researchers took CT scans of the participants’ brains and administered an extensive battery of cognitive tests. They pooled the CT data to produce a collective map of the cortex, which they divided into more than 3,000 three-dimensional units called voxels. By analyzing multiple patients with damage to a particular voxel or cluster of voxels and comparing their cognitive abilities with those of patients in whom the same structures were intact, the researchers were able to identify brain regions essential to specific cognitive functions, and those structures that contribute significantly to intelligence."
An anonymous reader writes "The DARPA Robotics Challenge is offering tens of million of dollars in funding to teams from anywhere in the world to build robots capable of performing complex mobility and manipulation tasks such as walking over rubble and operating power tools. It all will culminate in an audacious competition with robots driving trucks, breaking through walls, and attempting to perform repairs in a simulated industrial-disaster setting. The winner takes all: a $2 million cash prize."