HungWeiLo writes "A California man who believes the literal interpretation of the Bible is real is offering $10,000 to anyone who can successfully debunk claims made in the book of Genesis in front of a judge. Joseph Mastropaolo, the man behind this challenge, is to put $10,000 of his own money into an escrow account. His debate opponent would be asked to do the same. They would then jointly agree on a judge based on a list of possible candidates. Mastropaolo said that any evidence presented in the trial must be 'scientific, objective, valid, reliable and calibrated.' For his part, Mastropaolo has a Ph.D. in kinesiology and writes for the Creation Hall of Fame website, which is helping to organize the minitrial. It's also not the first such trial he's tried to arrange. A previous effort, known as the 'Life Science Prize,' proposed a similar scenario. Mastropaolo includes a list of possible circuit court judges to oversee the trial and a list of those he challenged to take part on the evolutionary side of the debate."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
Egypt's Naval forces claim they have captured three scuba divers who were trying to cut an undersea Internet cable in the Mediterranean. Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali said in a statement that the divers were caught while “cutting the undersea cable” of Telecom Egypt. Internet services have been disrupted since March 22 in Egypt. From the article: "The statement was accompanied by a photo showing three young men, apparently Egyptian, staring up at the camera in what looks like an inflatable launch. It did not have further details on who they were or why they would have wanted to cut a cable."
sciencehabit writes "The electric fields that build up on honey bees as they fly, flutter their wings, or rub body parts together may allow the insects to talk to each other, a new study suggests. Tests show that the electric fields, which can be quite strong, deflect the bees' antennae, which, in turn, provide signals to the brain through specialized organs at their bases. Antenna deflections induced by an electrically charged honey bee wing are about 10 times the size of those that would be caused by airflow from the wing fluttering at the same distance—a sign that electrical fields could be an important signal."
c0lo writes "The editor-in-chief and entire editorial board of the Journal of Library Administration announced their resignation last week, citing 'a crisis of conscience about publishing in a journal that was not open access' in the days after the death of Aaron Swartz. The board had worked with publisher Taylor & Francis on an open-access compromise in the months since, which would allow the journal to release articles without paywall, but Taylor & Francis' final terms asked contributors to pay $2,995 for each open-access article. As more and more contributors began to object, the board ultimately found the terms unworkable. The journal's editor-in-chief said 'After much discussion, the only alternative presented by Taylor & Francis tied a less restrictive license to a $2995 per article fee to be paid by the author. As you know, this is not a viable licensing option for authors from the LIS community who are generally not conducting research under large grants.'"
tsamsoniw writes "Using a combination of relatively low-tech techniques and tools, security researchers have discovered that they can access the contents of one in six Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) buckets whose owners had them set to Public instead of Private. All told, researchers discovered and explored nearly 2,000 public buckets, according to Rapid 7 Senior Security Consultant Will Vandevanter, from which they gathered a list of more than 126 billion files, many of which contained sensitive information such as source code and personal employee information. Researchers noted that S3 URLs are all predictable and public facing, which make it that much easier to find the buckets in the first place with a scripting tool."
coondoggie writes "How is spacecraft development — from the space parts supply chain to actual space operations — protected from those who would try to penetrate or disrupt the networks involved in that process? The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has put out a call for research to understand that security scenario. They say, 'we are much less concerned about information on the broader themes of cyber-security but rather those that pertain to the mission of the spacecraft, the spacecraft as a platform, the systems that constitute the spacecraft, the computers and their software, the busses and networks within, and the elements that interface to the spacecraft.'"
RougeFemme writes "Amazon has been placing lockers in brick-and-mortar retail stores, such as 7-Eleven, for pickup of online purchases. Walmart plans to pilot a similar program, presumably making it easier to pick up online purchases at Wal-Mart. 'Wal-Mart hopes its network of physical stores, which number about 4,000 in the United States, will give it an edge as consumers increasingly use smart phones while they shop. Wal-Mart has been testing the shipping of online orders from a small number of its physical stores for about two years. In 2013, the company plans to expand this program from about 25 stores currently to a total of roughly 50 stores. ... Two-thirds of the U.S. population live within five miles of a Wal-Mart store."
New submitter reygahnci writes "I found a comprehensive summary of the developer-facing changes coming in Java 8 including: improvements to interfaces, functional interfaces, lambdas, functions, streams, parallels, date/time improvements, and more. The article includes example code with realistic examples of use as well as explaining the reasoning behind some of the choices made by the developers who are working on Java 8."
Ransak writes "As we hear more and more about dashboard cameras catching unplanned events, I've thought of equipping my vehicles with them just in case that 'one in a billion' moment happens. But given the level of overreach law enforcement has shown, I'd only consider one if I could be assured that the data was secure from prying eyes (e.g., a camera that writes to encrypted SD memory). Are there any solutions for the niche market of the paranoid photographer/videographer?"
Orome1 writes "The number of IT professionals considering leaving their job due to workplace stress has jumped from 69% last year to 73%. One-third of those surveyed cited dealing with managers as their most stressful job requirement, particularly for IT staff in larger organizations. Handling end user support requests, budget squeeze and tight deadlines were also listed as the main causes of workplace stress for IT managers. Although users are not causing IT staff as much stress as they used to, it isn't stopping them from creating moments that make IT admins want to tear their hair out in frustration. Of great concern is the impact that work stress is having on health and relationships. While a total of 80% of participants revealed that their job had negatively impacted their personal life in some way, the survey discovered some significant personal impact: 18% have suffered stress-related health issues due to their work, and 28% have lost sleep due to work."
MojoKid writes "AMD made a number of interesting announcements today at the Game Developers Conference, currently taking place in San Francisco. AMD revealed their 'Radeon Sky' series of graphics products targeted at cloud gaming and virtualized computing applications. The company also showed off the dual-GPU powered AMD Radeon HD 7990, and extended the 'Never Settle: Reloaded' gaming bundle program to include BioShock Infinite. AMD revealed three Radeon Sky Series cards, two based on the Tahiti GPU and another based on Pitcairn. The top of the line Radeon Sky 900 is powered by two Tahiti GPUs linked to 6GB of memory (3GB per GPU). The Sky 700 is powered by a single Tahiti GPU and the Sky 500 is based on Pitcairn. All of the cards are passively cooled and are designed for cloud gaming / computing servers. The upcoming high-end, consumer targeted Radeon HD 7990 was also previewed, but few details were given. Devon Nekechuk, Product Manager of AMD Graphics, did say the triple-fan setup was whisper quiet. We think it's safe to assume the card features 6GB of memory and clocks are in-line with current Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition cards."
redletterdave writes "After just one month online, North Korea has pulled the plug on its only 3G data network, which was previously made available for tourists to access the Internet starting on Feb. 22. The North Korean government did not explain why its 3G network has been shut off, but given the raised level of international interest in the country's activities (the country is facing UN sanctions after its third nuclear test last month) and how it severed its final communication line with South Korea on Wednesday, the government likely had a change of heart about its loosening communication restrictions. That said, as with most things in North Korea, we may never know the real answer."
Nerval's Lobster writes "One could argue that the University of Illinois' "Blue Waters" supercomputer, scheduled to officially open for business March 28, is lucky to be alive. The 11.6 petaflop supercomputer, commissioned by the University and the National Science Foundation (NSF), will rank in the upper echelon of the world's fastest machines—its compute power would place it third on the current list, just above Japan's K Computer. However, the system will not be submitted to the TOP500 list because of concerns with the way the list is calculated, officials said. University officials and the NSF are lucky to have a machine at all. That's due in part to IBM, which reportedly backed out of the contract when the company determined that it couldn't make a profit. The university then turned to Cray, which would have had to replace what was presumably a POWER or Xeon installation with the current mix of AMD CPUs and Nvidia GPU coprocessors. Allen Blatecky, director of NSF's Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, told Fox that pulling the plug was a 'real possibility.' And Cray itself had to work to find the parts necessary for the supercomputer to begin at least trial operations in the fall of 2012."
hrvatska writes "An article at Weather Underground reports that researchers have linked large snowstorms and cold spring weather across Britain and large parts of Europe and North America to the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice. It is thought that the Arctic ice loss adds heat to the ocean and atmosphere, which shifts the position of the jet stream, allowing cold air from the Arctic to plunge much further south. Researchers expect that a warming Arctic ocean will drive more extreme weather in North America and Europe (abstract)."
What the Leap Motion product (they only have one right now) does is allow you to control your computer with gestures. We're not talking about just jumping around, but "painting" on the screen with your fingers (or even chopsticks) with fine enough control that Autodesk and other drawing-orientd software vendors are working to make applications compatible with the Leap Motion Controller. And game developers? You bet! Lots of them -- and this is for a device that's not even supposed to start shipping until May 13. But, says CEO Michael Buckwald, they already have "hundreds of thousands of pre-orders," so it looks like they are developing a large market for developers (over 12,000 are in the Leap Motion developer program -- out of 50,000 who applied) so it's possible that Leap Motion could become a pretty big deal. (You can see the Leap Motion Controller in action at the end of the video.)
An anonymous reader writes "The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that text messages are private communication (Official Ruling) and therefore police are required to get a warrant to gain access to the text messages of private citizens. The CBC reports: '[Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Silberman] Abella said the only practical difference between text messaging and traditional voice communications is the transmission process. "This distinction should not take text messages outside the protection to which private communications are entitled," she wrote.'" Quite different from the attitude in the U.S.
jrepin writes "The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is running its annual Document Freedom Day campaign today to raise awareness of the importance of open standards. This year's Document Freedom Day involves over 50 groups from 30 countries and focuses on open standards in web-based streaming technologies, especially on increasing the awareness and usage of HTML5. This year's campaign is sponsored by Google and openSUSE. To celebrate the Document Freedom Day April has published a poster to explain to software users, the interest of opting for 'open formats' to exchange and store their files."
He was the CTO at Microsoft, is an accomplished nature and wildlife photographer, and his cookbook Modernist Cuisine won a James Beard award, but Nathan Myhrvold is probably best known for being co-founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures. In 2009 the company launched a prototyping and research laboratory called Intellectual Ventures Lab. The lab has hired many prominent scientists to work on a variety of inventions including safer nuclear reactor designs and vaccine research. Under Myhrvold's direction Intellectual Ventures has purchased 40,000 patents and applications and internally developed over 2000 inventions, but not without controversy. Nathan has agreed to take some time to answer your questions but please limit yourself to one question per post. As a bonus on Wed. April 3, Nathan will be doing a live Q&A from 12-12:30pm PDT.
First time accepted submitter bobthesungeek76036 writes "On March 26th, Larry Ellison and always with fashionable haircut John Fowler announced the new line of SPARC servers from Oracle. Touted as the fastest microprocessor in the world, they put up some impressive SPEC numbers against much more expensive (and older) IBM hardware. Is the industry still interested in SPARC or is it too late for Larry to regain the server market that Sun Microsystems had many moons ago?" El Reg has a pretty good overview of the new hardware; the T5 certainly looks interesting for highly threaded work loads (there's some massive SMT going on with 16 threads per core), but with Intel dominating for single-threaded performance and ARM-based servers becoming available squeezing them for massive multi-threading, is there really any hope in Oracle's efforts to stay in the hardware game?
Supp0rtLinux writes "Bitcoins are currently trading around $75. I work for a very large organization. We have a fairly large HPC that is usually about 50% idle, as well as about 18K desktops on 4 campuses connected with dark fiber. All stay on 24x7 for after-hours AV scans (weekly) and backups (2-3x a week). All are leases that refresh every 2 years so all have fairly good CPU & RAM specs. As part of a go-green initiative a proposal has come up to use all the PCs for bitcoin in our own mining group; sort of like SETI-at-home style, but with a real dollar value return to us. Additionally, we would setup a queue in our HPC that dedicates 30% to BC mining when in use and up to 99.5% when no other jobs are running. The thought is that all the PCs are on 24x7 anyway and consuming resources so why not allow them to be useful 24x7 as well and generate bitcoins which can then be sold to offset the electrical costs of the running equipment and/or possibly even make a little profit. The guy with the idea says its a no-lose situation as if the price of bitcoins drops to below a certain level and is no longer a financially viable option, we simply stop the mining process. I'm curious what the Slashdot community thinks of this? " Read on for a few more details.
Via Engadget, comes a press release that might bring joy to fans of science fiction dismayed by years without any new scifi shows: "Continuing its quest to sate subscribers' appetites with a flow of original content, Netflix has announced a new original series, Sense8. Due in late 2014, it's being developed by the Wachowskis of The Matrix, V for Vendetta, Cloud Atlas and Speed Race fame, as well as J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5. Details are thin, but the press release promises a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted with a ten episode run for its first season." Hopefully it'll end up available on DVD eventually, for us poor GNU/Linux users who are not worthy enough for Netflix (or: to any Netflix engineers reading, make it work).
An anonymous reader writes "The NYT is reporting that the Largest DDoS in history reached 300 Gbps. The dispute started when the spam-fighting group Spamhaus added the Dutch company Cyberbunker to its blacklist, which is used by e-mail providers to weed out spam. Millions of ordinary Internet users have experienced delays in services like Netflix or could not reach a particular Web site for a short time. Dutch authorities and the police have made several attempts to enter the bunker by force but failed to do so. The attacks were first mentioned publicly last week by Cloudflare, an Internet security firm in Silicon Valley that was trying to defend against the attacks and as a result became a target."
An anonymous reader writes "The E17 Enlightenment project has released a new version of its Terminology terminal emulator. With Terminology 0.3 comes several fancy features, including the ability to preview video files, images, and PDF files from within the terminal. There's new escape sequences, inline video playback, and other features to this terminal emulator that's only built on EFL and libc."
chicksdaddy writes "Mobile phone use may be a more accurate identifier of individuals than even their own fingerprints, according to research published on the web site of the scientific journal Nature. Scientists at MIT and the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium analyzed 15 months of mobility data for 1.5 million individuals who the same mobile carrier. Their analysis, 'Unique in the Crowd: the privacy bounds of human mobility' showed that data from just four, randomly chosen 'spatio-temporal points' (for example, mobile device pings to carrier antennas) was enough to uniquely identify 95% of the individuals, based on their pattern of movement. Even with just two randomly chosen points, the researchers say they could uniquely characterize around half of the 1.5 million mobile phone users. The research has profound implications for privacy, suggesting that the use of mobile devices makes it impossible to remain anonymous – even without the use of tracking software."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Kickstarter has taken off in the past year, raising big money for a wide variety of projects. Look at some of their stats: in June 2012, only seven projects raised more than a million dollars apiece; in the past nine months, another 16 projects have passed that threshold. Since the site began operations in 2009, several of the 38,000 funded projects have broken out as superstars, including the Pebble Watch and a new gaming console. With all this competition, has crowdfunding gotten, well, too crowded? Is Kickstarter peaking? As the dollar amounts have grown, so has the potential for abuse. Hidden amidst all these success stories and multi-million dollar payouts are some sadder tales. The majority of the nearly 50,000 unfunded Kickstarter projects received less than 20 precent of their funding goals, with 11 percent never even getting a single pledge."
fish waffle writes "Suspecting that their strongly branded 'Atheist' products may be treated differently by more religiously-oriented postal regions, Kickstarter success Atheist Shoes conducted an experiment. They sent 178 packages to 89 people in different parts of the U.S., each person receiving one package prominently branded as 'Atheist' merchandise, and one not. The results: packages with the atheist label were nearly 10 times more likely to be 'lost,' and took on average 3 days longer to show up when they did. Control experiments were also done in Europe and Germany — it's definitely a USPS problem."
sciencehabit writes "Researchers who mapped methane concentrations on the streets of the nation's capital found natural gas leaks everywhere, at concentrations of up to 50 times the normal background levels. The leaking gas wastes resources, enhances ozone production, and exacerbates global warming—not to mention powering the city's infamous exploding manholes. Most of the natural gas we burn for heat and on stovetops in the United States is methane, a simple carbon atom surrounded by four hydrogens. Carbon dioxide gets more press, but methane is the more powerful agent of global warming, 21 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. And methane levels are rising fast. Methane levels in the atmosphere were just 650 parts per billion a century ago, versus 1800 ppb today."