For the homebrew hardware nerds out there who also homebrew beer: "BrewPi is an open source fermentation controller that runs on an Arduino (for now) and a Raspberry Pi. It can control your beer temperature with 0.1 degree precision, log temperature data in nice graphs and is fully configurable from a web interface." Source code. The article has lots of photos and screenshots. The project involves rewiring the compressor's electrical connection through a PID controller, and includes both a fancy OLED display on the fridge and support for logging statistics and control over the web. If you've ever had the joy of gradually crash-cooling a lager (not too fast, not too slow), the software includes settings to effect gradual temperatures changes in the fermenting wort. Certainly fancier than a Johnson controller and a probe attached to a fermenter with a strip of insulating tape.
TheNextCorner writes "PersonalWeb's software patent suit against Github and others threatens the freedom of the Web. In order to make sure that the Web can remain a free and accessible space for everyone, we need to rid ourselves of all the patents that threaten its viability. We need to end software patents."
RockDoctor writes "A recent paper published in PNAS describes statistical techniques for clearly displaying the presence of two types of electoral fraud (PDF) — 'incremental fraud' (stuffing of ballot boxes containing genuine votes with ballots for the winning party) and 'extreme fraud' (reporting completely contrived numbers, typically 100% turnout for a vote-counting region, with 100% voting for the winning party). While the techniques would require skill with statistical software to apply in real time, the graphs produced in the paper provide tools for the interested non-statistician to monitor an election 'live.' Examples are discussed with both 'normal' elections, fraud by the techniques mentioned, and cases of genuine voter inhomogeneity. Other types of fraud, such as gerrymandering and inhibiting the registration of minority voters, are not considered."
An anonymous reader writes "Here's one that even The Onion would reject as too blatantly ridiculous: American right-wing radio and TV clown Glenn Beck believes that Sean Smith aka Vile Rat, the EVE Online diplomat who was killed earlier this month during the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, was actually a CIA agent, relaying communications to his fellow undercover agents at Something Awful."
An anonymous reader writes with some chilling news about PRQ, the infamous colo founded by two Pirate Bay founders. From the article: "Stockholm police raided the free-speech focused firm (PRQ) Monday and took four of its servers, the company's owner Mikael Viborg told the Swedish news outlet Nyheter24. While a number of bittorrent-based filesharing sites including PRQ's most notorious client, the Pirate Bay, have been down for most of Monday as well as PRQ's own website, Viborg told the Swedish news site that the site outages were the result of a technical issue, rather than the police's seizure of servers." Torrentfreak is reporting that the Pirate Bay isn't using PRQ for anything important (if at all), and that their downtime is due to a faulty PDU that happened to fail as a coincidence.
An anonymous reader writes "British researchers at the Universities of Sussex and Sheffield are developing a computer model of a bee's brain that they hope can help scientists better understand the brains of more-complex animals, such as humans, and perhaps power artificial intelligence systems for bee-like robots. Called 'Green Brain,' the project is trying to advance the science of AI beyond systems that just follow a predetermined set of rules, and into an area where AI systems can actually act autonomously and respond to sensory signals."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Back in May, I took a look at three cloud management platforms: RightScale, Scalr, and enStratus. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that people from two of those companies—RightScale and Scalr—took note of the article and replied in the comments, offering some clarification on their offerings. (And they were very civil: thank you!) What I'd like to do next is re-visit these platforms, but focus directly on the APIs that the three offer—not so much coding, but a high-level picture of them. How do they stack up? What features do they have? How do they fit with standards? And what can you expect from the long-term?"
RougeFive writes "Imagine a warship weapon that can launch projectiles at Mach 10 without explosives (more than three times the muzzle speed of an M16 rifle), that has a range of 220 miles and that uses the enormous speed to destroy the target by causing as much damage as a Tomahawk missile. Meet the U.S. Navy's electromagnetic railgun program."
An anonymous reader writes "The European Union believes that Apple should be investigated for the way that it advertises warranties on their products. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding wrote to the member countries which is 27 to ask them to check whether Apple retailers failed to let buyers know about the right to a minimum 2-year warranty for products such as the iPhone and iPad under EU law."
adeelarshad82 writes "For a second year in a row PCMag partnered with Speedtest to find out the fastest ISPs in the U.S. The results were a product of 110,000 tests ran between January 1, 2012 and September 19, 2012. Collecting data for both download and upload speeds for each test, Speednet was able to calculate an index score for a better one-to-one comparison, where downloads counted for 80 percent and uploads 20 percent. Moreover, rather than testing the upload and download speed of a single file, the tests used multiple broadband threads to measure the total capacity of the 'pipe.' While the results at the nationwide level were fairly obvious with Verizon FiOS crushing its opposition, the results at regional level were a lot more interesting and competitive."
New submitter clam666 writes "White House sources partly confirmed that U.S. government computers — reportedly including systems used by the military for nuclear commands — were breached by Chinese hackers. From the article: 'The attempted hack used 'spear phishing,' in which an attacker sends an email to a specific target that uses familiar phrases in hopes that the recipient will follow links or download attachments that unleash the hacker's malware. None of the White House's secure, classified computer systems were affected, said the official, who reached out to POLITICO after the Free Beacon story appeared — without having been asked for comment. Nor had there been any attempted breach of a classified system, according to the official.'"
justelite writes "It is an old trend to build "The World's largest..." something. One of the latest somethings is a 630-foot tall Ferris wheel planned for Staten Island. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 'The New York Wheel will be an attraction unlike any other in New York City even unlike any other on the planet.' Designed to carry 1,440 passengers at a time, it's expected to draw 4.5 million people a year to a setting that also would include a 100-shop outlet mall and a 200-room hotel."
Zothecula writes "The internet has revolutionized global communications and now researchers at Stanford University are looking to provide a similar boost to bioengineering with a new process dubbed "Bi-Fi." The technology uses an innocuous virus called M13 to increase the complexity and amount of information that can be sent from cell to cell. The researchers say the Bi-Fi could help bio-engineers create complex, multicellular communities that work together to carry out important biological functions."