Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

+ - 113 Collapse of Mayans Associated with Climate Change->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The collapse of the Mayan civilization within decades after 1000 CE was probably triggered by climate change
in the form of centuries-long droughts that resulted in mass starvation and destruction of the king's ritual authority, according to researchers from Pennsylvania State University attempting to assemble the historical climate record by examining stalagmites in a cave in Belize. While this earlier climate change would have been produced by natural, cyclic causes, the study notes that the effects on the Mayas (a civilization that flourished from c. 2000 BCE to 900 CE) were exacerbated by overpopulation and intensive farming. Lead author Douglas Kennett notes possible parallels with the effects of today's climate change on regions such as Africa and Europe. Meanwhile, Dec 21, 2012 is only a few weeks away."

Link to Original Source

+ - 217 "Why the hell does this mouse need to connect to the Internet?"->

Submitted by
jbrodkin
jbrodkin writes "In this hyper-connected, networked world, many more of our devices are getting linked to the cloud, whether we want them to or not. That's sometimes good, and sometimes bad, so when a basic device like a mouse requires a user to go online and set up an account to activate all of its functionality, people are understandably going to ask why? The latest entry in the saga of "Why the hell does this thing need to connect to the Internet?" comes from Razer, which has caused an uproar by asking users to register gaming mice on the Internet. While it's mainly for syncing settings across devices, gamers are complaining that certain functionality might not be available unless you create an online account for your mouse. Razer has responded to the controversy, but its answers aren't entirely satisfactory."
Link to Original Source
Security

+ - 217 Telcos declare SMS unsafe for bank transactions->

Submitted by littlekorea
littlekorea (1656839) writes "Australia's telcos have declared that SMS technology should not be used by banks to verify identities for online banking transactions, in a bid to wash their hands of culpability for phone porting hacks. But three of Australia's largest four banks insist they will continue to use SMS messages to carry authentication codes for transactions."
Link to Original Source

+ - 132 Cisco VP to memo leaker: Finding you now 'my hobby'->

Submitted by
netbuzz
netbuzz writes "A Cisco vice president, who happens to have been a CIA operations officer in the 1980s, believes that the employee who recently leaked an internal company memo to a blogger committed corporate treason and violated a “family” trust. In an email sent to Cisco employees, the executive invites the anonymous leaker to come clean, concedes that’s unlikely, and adds, “so I will now make (finding) you my hobby. Ask around (and) you will find out that I like to work on my hobbies.” That email got leaked and published as well. The tempest was sparked by a series of stories in Network World examining a host of bidding and contract questions involving the California higher education system"
Link to Original Source
Government

+ - 150 Romney Campain Accidentally Launches Transition Web Site->

Submitted by stevegee58
stevegee58 (1179505) writes "The Mitt Romney presidential campain accidentally launched a transition web site the day after the election. Sporting a "President Elect" seal and a catchy new tagline ("Smaller, Simpler, Smarter") , the site was up briefly before the gaffe was discovered and the site taken down.

Fortunately an alert blogger, Taegan Goddard, found the errant site and published some screen shots."

Link to Original Source
Businesses

+ - 98 Europe surpasses its plastic recycling aims->

Submitted by apcox
apcox (2543946) writes "European countries recycled 33.6% of all its plastics packaging waste in 2011, surpassing the EU’s minimum requirement of 22.5%, according to a new report. The report `Plastics – The Facts 2012’ says European Union members, as well as Norway and Sweden, recovered 66.8% of plastic packaging waste last year. Some 5.246m tonnes (33.6%) was recycled and 33.2% went to energy recovery processes."
Link to Original Source
Intel

+ - 137 Intel's Eight-Core, Heavily-Updated Poulson Itanium Processor Unveiled->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel's Itanium 9500 family, codenamed Poulson, was announced today and it's the most significant refresh Intel has ever done on the Itanium family. Just moving from 65nm to 32nm technology would've substantially reduced power consumption and increased clock speeds, but Santa Clara has overhauled virtually every aspect of the CPU. Poulson can issue 11 instructions per cycle compared to Tukwila's six. It adds execution units and rebalances those units to favor server workloads over HPC and workstation capabilities. Its multi-threading capabilities have been overhauled and it uses faster QPI links between the CPUs. The L3 cache design has also changed. Previous Itanium 9300 processors had a dedicated L3 cache for each core. Poulson, in contrast, has a unified L3 that's attached to all its cores by a common ring bus."
Link to Original Source
Data Storage

+ - 160 A year after Thailand flooding, hard drive prices remain high-> 1

Submitted by
crookedvulture
crookedvulture writes "Last October, Thailand was hit by massive flooding that put much of the world's hard drive industry under water. Production slowed to a crawl as drive makers and their suppliers mopped up the damage, and prices predictably skyrocketed. One year later, production has rebounded, with the industry expected to ship more drives in 2012 than it did in 2011. For the most part, though, hard drive prices haven't returned to pre-flood levels. Although 2.5" notebook drives are a little cheaper now than before the flood, the average price of 3.5" desktop drives is up 35% from a year ago. Prices have certainly fallen dramatically from their post-flood peaks, but the rate of decline has slowed substantially in recent months, suggesting that higher prices are the new norm for desktop drives."
Link to Original Source
Intel

+ - 184 Cray Unveils XC30 Supercomputer->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "Cray has unveiled a XC30 supercomputer capable of high-performance computing (HPC) workloads of more than 100 petaflops. Originally code-named “Cascade,” the system relies on Intel Xeon processors and Aries interconnect chipset technology, paired with Cray’s integrated software environment. Cray touts the XC30’s ability to utilize a wide variety of processor types; future versions of the platform will apparently feature Intel Xeon Phi and Nvidia Tesla GPUs based on the Kepler GPU computing architecture. Cray leveraged its work with DARPA’s High Productivity Computing Systems program in order to design and build the XC30.

Cray’s XC30 isn’t the only supercomputer aiming for that 100-petaflop crown. China’s Guangzhou Supercomputing Center recently announced the development of a Tianhe-2 supercomputer theoretically capable of 100 petaflops, but that system isn’t due to launch until 2015. Cray also faces significant competition in the realm of super-computer makers: it only built 5.4 percent of the systems on the Top500 list, compared to IBM with 42.6 percent and Hewlett-Packard with 27.6 percent. However, Cray also leads Appro (3.6 percent) and SGI and Bull (3.2 percent each)."

Link to Original Source
Space

+ - 102 Just how do you find an exoplanet?->

Submitted by bdking
bdking (1938328) writes "Astronomers continue to discover planets outside our solar system, with the latest being located in the constellation Pictor, about 42 light years from Earth. This comes two weeks after an exoplanet was found "just" 4.4 light years from our planet. What are the various techniques scientists use to identify exoplanets?"
Link to Original Source

+ - 126 City of Paris Loses Domain Hijacking Case->

Submitted by jollyrgr3
jollyrgr3 (1025506) writes "This story comes from domainnamewire.com

A U.S. federal district court has ordered Ville de Paris (City of Paris) to pay $100,000 for reverse domain name hijacking and tortious interference.

Judge Melinda Harmon also ordered the city to pay $26,830 in attorney’s fees and costs.

The judgment stems from a UDRP the city of Paris filed against the owner of Parvi.org in 2009. In that case, panelist Andrew Christie decided to give the domain name to Paris despite determining that the domain name was not originally registered in bad faith.

The domain owner sued to stop the transfer. His lawsuit asked for a determination that he wasn’t cybersquatting and that Paris was attempting reverse domain name hijacking.

When Paris filed the UDRP with World Intellectual Property Organization it agreed to court jurisdiction in the location of the domain registrar, which was Texas. Yet, despite agreeing to this jurisdiction, the city decided not to show up to fight the charges. (This isn’t the first time Paris has run away from U.S. jurisdiction after picking a fight.)

The judge entered a default judgment against Ville de Paris. She issued the final judgment with damages on Friday.

This is the second Texas court I’m aware of that has awarded six figure damages for reverse domain name hijacking.

Will Parvi.org’s owner ever collect the judgment? It won’t be easy. But keep in mind that the defendant here is applying for the .paris top level domain name. It won’t be disqualified from getting the TLD just because it’s guilty of reverse domain name hijacking (the guidebook allows three such rulings before you’re disqualified). But it’s possible .paris will be an asset in the United States, which might give Parvi.org’s owner something to go after.

The plaintiff’s attorneys in the case were Travis Crabtree, Paul Keating, and John Berryhill."

Link to Original Source
Hardware

+ - 148 Open Compute Wants to Make Biodegradable Servers->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "The Open Compute Project has challenged students at Purdue University to develop a biodegradable server chassis. Although the steel used in most server chassis can be recycled, the OCP says it wants to "explore designs that retain the needed resiliency but push the boundaries of sustainability,” even allowing a chassis to be composted. The project aligns with Facebook's goal of separating the technology refresh cycle for CPUs and other components from the surrounding chassis and racks. The Purdue students will tackle this issue next semester, but Slashdot readers can brainstorm the issue now. Is a biodegradable server chassis viable? If so, can it be affordable?"
Link to Original Source
IT

+ - 187 What to do after you fire an idiot sysadmin or developer-> 1

Submitted by
Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler writes "The job of dealing with an under-performing employee doesn't end when the culprit is shown the door. Everyone focuses on security tasks, after you fire the idiot, such as changing passwords, but that's just one part of the To Do list. More important, in the long run, is the cleanup job that needs to be done after you fire the turkey, looking for the hidden messes and security flaws the ex-employee may have left behind. Otherwise, you’ll still be cleaning up the problems six months later, when you discovered that the backup he automated... well, not that we are speaking from experience or anything, but we wanted to bring him back in just so we could fire his butt all over again. Rick Cook has a checklist of Stuff To Look For in his article, Cleaning Out The Turkey Coop: What To Do After You Get Rid of an Incompetent Employee. See what you might add to the list."
Link to Original Source

+ - 138 Why are online contact forms so bad?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This is a cry for help and an attempt to speak directly to the world's web developers. Why are web contact forms so useless? In the last hour I used one contact form for my bank that prohibited the use of the Euro symbol. I live in Europe. Ok, so banking back ends are subject to all kinds of regulation but another form I just used to contact an insurance company prohibited the pound sterling sign. Currency symbols aren't the only issue, of course. Contact forms often balk at dates and phone numbers not being entered exactly as they want them to be. Fields to type credit card numbers often balk if you type a space between the numbers — although that's how the numbers are printed on the card. Shouldn't we have found a way past these elementary gotchas in our modern day and age? Are there any open source libraries that can parse contact forms so that they're made safe, regardless of what the user types, so that the user isn't picked up for typing a potentially dangerous / or in their messages? Or that include intelligence to understand the various ways humans type dates? In short, does it really have to be like this?"
Politics

+ - 164 All of Nate Silver's Presidential Predictions Proved True-> 2

Submitted by
kkleiner
kkleiner writes "For the last few months, the political pundit class has been at war with NYT/FiveThirtyEight blogger Nate Silver. Joe Scarborough of MSNBC called him a “joke,” while an op-ed in the LA Times accused him of running a “numbers racket.” But last night, Silver triumphed: every one of his state-level presidential predictions proved true. Statistics FTW!"
Link to Original Source
China

+ - 154 Foxconn Sees New Source Of Cheap Labor: The United States-> 1

Submitted by hackingbear
hackingbear (988354) writes "Foxconn is planning to build manufacturing plants in the U.S., probably in cites such as Detroit and Los Angeles. “Since the manufacturing of Apple’s products is rather complicated, the market watchers expect the rumored plants to focus on LCD TV production, which can be highly automated and easier.” Nice to think they will be hiring herebut still a fascinating insult to U.S. manufacturing prowess, dontcha think – the idea that actually making Apple products is a little too complicated for Americans to handle (Or maybe they won't be able to hire enough workers sitting 8 hours a day screwing really tiny screws into iPhone 5; despite of the higher unemployment rate, laborers here may not be as desperate as the millions of migrant workers looking for work in China.) Foxconn chairman Terry Guo, at a recent public event, noted that the company is planning a training program for US-based engineers, bringing them to Taiwan or China to learn the processes of product design and manufacturing."
Link to Original Source
Toys

+ - 134 Buckyballs Throws in the Towell

Submitted by RenderSeven
RenderSeven (938535) writes "As previously reported the immensely popular Buckyballs office toys have been targeted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Last week Maxfield and Oberton, the maker of Buckyballs gave up the battle and announced they would discontinue sales and close. However, being driven out of business is not enough for R Buckminster Fuller's estate, who has filed yet another lawsuit that they own all rights to the name "buckyballs" despite widespread use of the term. If you still haven't bought your own yet, a few thousand sets in stock are still available."
Biotech

+ - 235 Proteins made to order->

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "Proteins are an enormous molecular achievement: chains of amino acids that fold spontaneously into a precise conformation, time after time, optimized by evolution for their particular function. Yet given the exponential number of contortions possible for any chain of amino acids, dictating a sequence that will fold into a predictable structure has been a daunting task.
Now researchers report that they can do just that. By following a set of rules described in a paper published in Nature (abstract), a husband and wife team from David Baker’s laboratory at the University of Washington in Seattle has designed five proteins from scratch that fold reliably into predicted conformations. The work could eventually allow scientists to custom design proteins with specific functions."

Link to Original Source

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

Working...