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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Explain That Humans Didn't Ride Dinosaurs? 278

p00kiethebear writes "I have a wonderful and beautiful girlfriend who treats me right in every way. We've been together for almost a year now and everything seemed to be going perfectly until this morning. Over breakfast we were discussing dinosaurs and she told me a story about how her grandfather, fifty years ago, dated footprints of a dinosaurs and a man that were right next to each other to be within the same epoch of history. I laughed when she said this and then realized that she wasn't joking. She believes dinosaurs and humans walked at the same time together. The odd thing is that she's not religious, it's just what her archaeologist grandfather taught her. More important than just backing up evidence to the contrary, how do I explain this to her without crushing her childhood dreams? Is it even worth discussing it further with her?"

Radio Shack TRS-80 Vs. Commodore 64: Battle of the Titans 135

Nerval's Lobster writes "The one and only Jeff Cogswell is back with a new article comparing the two biggest competitors in the home-computing business: the Commodore 64 and the Radio Shack TRS-80. What does he have to say about these absolutely cutting-edge machines? The TRS-80 simply can't stand up to the awe-inspiring Commodore 64, which features the latest processor from MOS Technology, the 6510. Best of all, the C-64s graphics processor can display up to 16 colors simultaneously, and it can create a full screen made up of 320 x 200 'dots.' But the TRS-80 has some good points, as well, including a whopping 512 K of memory (not that you'll ever use that much, anyway). As Cogswell writes: 'Let's cover these two bad boys and provide a totally unbiased review unencumbered by any alleged kickbacks (including a brand new daisy wheel printer and a case of Schiltz Beer) from Commodore, the maker of the awesome machine known as the Commodore 64.'"

YouTube's Ready To Select a Winner 74

Proudrooster writes "From YouTube. 'Thanks for all your great entries. YouTube finally has enough videos to begin selecting a winner. We've been thrilled with all of the diverse, creative entries we've seen so far, and we can't wait to begin the process of selecting the best video (video). We'll be announcing the winner in 10 years. All videos will be deleted within the next 24 hours. What do you think is the #bestvideo on YouTube?"
The Internet

Fairy Penguins Send First Email 68

An anonymous reader writes "Australian researchers have successfully connected a Tasmanian colony of fairy penguins to the internet. The research effort was part of the Interspecies Internet initiative, promoted by Google's chief internet evangelist Vint Cerf and former Genesis lead singer Peter Gabriel in a TED talk earlier this year."

Linus Torvalds To Head Windows 9 Project 174

An anonymous reader writes "Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, and a champion of free and open source software has finally called it a day and has agreed to join Microsoft as the project head of the upcoming Windows 9 project. According to Bloomberg, Linus will be working on a new Kernel design for Microsoft that will make, usually vulnerable, Windows OS virtually impossible to be infected by viruses and malware."

Google Bumps Up Search a Notch With Google Nose BETA 66

coastin writes "The folks at Google Labs have launched a new way to search with Google Nose BETA. The new condensation in search will have you "Coming to your senses" where you can go beyond type, talk, and touch for a new notation of sensation. Get acquainted with Your internet sommelier, expertly curated Knowledge Panels pair images, descriptions, and aromas. Take a whiff of the Google Aromabase — 15M+ scentibytes. Don't ask, don't smell! For when you're wary of your query — SafeSearch included. What's that smell? Google Nose BETA leverages new and existing technologies to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available with: Street Sense (vehicles have inhaled and indexed millions of atmospheric miles), Android Ambient Odor Detection (collects smells via the world's most sensible mobile operating system), and SMELLCD 1.8+ (high-resolution compatible for precise and controlled odors)"
Open Source

Open Sauce Foundation Created 95

First time accepted submitter TekTek writes "In response to the growing proliferation of the use of "secret sauce" as a vehicle for entrepreneurs', venture capitalists', and investment bankers' thinly veiled proprietary machinations, a global consortium of premium condiment manufacturers has launched the Open Sauce Foundation (OSF). Founding members include McIlhenny Company (producer of Tabasco brand pepper sauce), Huy Fong Foods (producer of "Rooster Brand" Sriracha sauce), and Kikkoman (producer of Kikkoman brand Soy Sauce). The new foundation's stated aim is not only to uphold the virtues of buying worthy sauce manufacturers' products, but to demonstrate to the tech, financial, and media communities that "Open" companies, and condiments, can, and do, assume leadership roles in their respective markets."

A New Benefit For Logged-In Readers: Meet Slashdot's ROT13 Initiative 261

We appreciate all the support we've gotten over the years from Slashdot's logged-in users. They take part actively in discussions, and in exchange for their active interest in the site, we like to give a few perks over and above what our beloved anonymous readers get. But we never want to deprive anonymous readers of the actual features of the site — whether you're a logged-in account holder, anonymous, a subscriber, or have a username but are browsing anonymously at any given moment, Slashdot has always been freely available to read for anyone with a browser and an uncensored Internet connection. It's a balance we try to maintain, too, Sure, we'd like you to login, and we think it has some worthwhile benefits (like tracking comment responses, building karma, and using the Zoo system to keep track of your friends and foes), but we'll never force you to. Today, we're building on this approach, by introducing a feature that benefits every logged-in user, but still leaves the page free to read for all. We'll be phasing in over the next few days a button that logged-in users and subscribers can click to decrypt the text of each Slashdot posting with the trivial transform known as Rot13. Read more, below!

Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Ahead of Phone Tracking ? 259

An anonymous reader writes "In the last few years there has been a significant upsurge in subverting the cellular network for law enforcement purposes. Besides old school tapping, phones are have become the ideal informant: they can report a fairly accurate location and can be remotely turned into covert listening devices. This is often done without a warrant. How can I default the RF transmitter to off, be notified when the network is paging my IMSI and manually re-enable it (or not) if I opt to acknowledge the incoming call or SMS? How do I prevent GPS data from ever being gathered or sent ?"

Indies the Biggest Stars At Game Developers Conference 62

RougeFemme writes "Indies beat out mainstream studios for most of the Game Developers Choice Awards. FTL: Faster Than Light, an independent game financed by a Kickstarter campaign, won the award for Best Debut. Because of the growing success of the indies, Eric Zimmerman, game designer and instructor at the NYU Game Center, is canceling the Game Design Challenge that he's held at the conference for the last 10 years. 'The idea of doing strange, bizarre, experimental games is no longer strange, bizarre or experimental.'"

First Petaflop Supercomputer To Shut Down 84

An anonymous reader writes "In 2008 Roadrunner was the world's fastest supercomputer. Now that the first system to break the petaflop barrier has lost a step on today's leaders it will be shut down and dismantled. In its five years of operation, the Roadrunner was the 'workhorse' behind the National Nuclear Security Administration's Advanced Simulation and Computing program, providing key computer simulations for the Stockpile Stewardship Program."

Steve Jobs' First Boss: 'Very Few Companies Would Hire Steve, Even Today' 420

Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Mercury News reports that Nolan Bushnell, who ran video game pioneer Atari in the early 1970s, says he always saw something special in Steve Jobs, and that Atari's refusal to be corralled by the status quo was one of the reasons Jobs went to work there in 1974 as an unkempt, contemptuous 19-year-old. 'The truth is that very few companies would hire Steve, even today,' says Bushnell. 'Why? Because he was an outlier. To most potential employers, he'd just seem like a jerk in bad clothing.' While at Atari, Bushnell broke the corporate mold, creating a template that is now common through much of Silicon Valley. He allowed employees to turn Atari's lobby into a cross between a video game arcade and the Amazon jungle. He started holding keg parties and hiring live bands to play for his employees after work. He encouraged workers to nap during their shifts, reasoning that a short rest would stimulate more creativity when they were awake. He also promised a summer sabbatical every seven years. Bushnell's newly released book, Finding The Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Hire, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent, serves as a primer on how to ensure a company doesn't turn into a mind-numbing bureaucracy that smothers existing employees and scares off rule-bending innovators such as Jobs. The basics: Make work fun; weed out the naysayers; celebrate failure, and then learn from it; allow employees to take short naps during the day; and don't shy away from hiring talented people just because they look sloppy or lack college credentials. Bushnell is convinced that there are all sorts of creative and unconventional people out there working at companies today. The problem is that corporate managers don't recognize them. Or when they do, they push them to conform rather than create. 'Some of the best projects to ever come out of Atari or Chuck E. Cheese's were from high school dropouts, college dropouts,' says Bushnell, 'One guy had been in jail.'"

Green Meteorite Found In Morocco May Be From Mercury 89

An anonymous reader writes in with news that a meteorite found in Morocco might be from Mercury. "The green rock found in Morocco last year may be the first known visitor from the solar system's innermost planet, according to meteorite scientist Anthony Irving, who unveiled the new findings this month at the 44th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas. The study suggests that a space rock called NWA 7325 came from Mercury, and not an asteroid or Mars."

Gauging the Dangers of Surveillance 111

An anonymous reader writes "We have a sense that surveillance is bad, but we often have a hard time saying exactly why. In an interesting and readable new article in the Harvard Law Review, law professor Neil Richards argues that surveillance is bad for two reasons — because it menaces our intellectual privacy (our right to read and think freely and secretly) and because it gives the watcher power over the watched, creating the risk of blackmail, persuasion, or discrimination. The article is available for free download, and is featured on the Bruce Schneier security blog."

Oracle Clings To Java API Copyrights 207

An anonymous reader writes in with a story about some of the ramifications of the Oracle-Google lawsuit. "You could hear a collective sigh of relief from the software developer world when Judge William Alsup issued his ruling in the Oracle-Google lawsuit. Oracle lost on pretty much every point, but the thing that must have stuck most firmly in Oracle’s throat was this: 'So long as the specific code used to implement a method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API. It does not matter that the declaration or method header lines are identical. Under the rules of Java, they must be identical to declare a method specifying the same functionality — even when the implementation is different. When there is only one way to express an idea or function, then everyone is free to do so and no one can monopolize that expression. And, while the Android method and class names could have been different from the names of their counterparts in Java and still have worked, copyright protection never extends to names or short phrases as a matter of law.'"