Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Submission + - Bradley Manning offers partial guilty plea to military court (

concealment writes: "During a pre-trial hearing in military court today, Manning's attorney, David Coombs, proposed a partial guilty plea covering a subset of the slew of criminal charges that the U.S. Army has lodged against him.

"Manning is attempting to accept responsibility for offenses that are encapsulated within, or are a subset of, the charged offenses," Coombs wrote on his blog this evening. "The court will consider whether this is a permissible plea.""

Your Rights Online

Submission + - Australia abandons plans for a mandatory internet filter (

littlekorea writes: The Australian Government has officially abandoned plans to legislate a mandatory internet filter. The news ends a four-year campaign by the ruling party to implement legislation that would have compelled ISPs to block a list of URLs dictated by Australia's telecommunications regulator, the ACMA. ISPs have instead been told to block a list of known child pornography sites maintained by INTERPOL.

Submission + - Microsoft's Hidden Windows 8 Feature: Ads (

MojoKid writes: "Despite the fact that I've been using Windows 8 for the past three weeks, I somehow managed to overlook a rather stark feature in the OS: ads. No, we're not talking about ads cluttering up the desktop or login screen (thankfully), but rather ads that can be found inside of some Modern UI apps that Windows ships with. That includes Finance, Weather, Travel, News and so forth. On previous mobile platforms, such as iOS and Android, seeing ads inside of free apps hasn't been uncommon. It's a way for the developer to get paid while allowing the user to have the app for free. However, while people can expect ads in a free app, no one expects ads in a piece of software that they just paid good money for."

Submission + - Adobe Reader zero-day found, selling for $50k (

mask.of.sanity writes: A new exploit is being reportedly sold on underground cybercrime forums that is capable of compromising machines running the latest versions of Adobe Reader.

The exploit escapes the sandbox in Windows-based Reader installs of versions X and IX. It was selling for as much as US$50,000 on a few small underground criminal websites.

It was already incorporated into a version of the hugely popular Blackhole exploit kit.

Concerned users can protect themselves by switching pdf readers.


Submission + - Ear-powered medical devices in development (

cylonlover writes: Our ears work by converting the vibrations of the eardrum into electrochemical signals that can be interpreted by the brain. The current for those signals is supplied by an ion-filled chamber deep within the inner ear – it’s essentially a natural battery. Scientists are now looking at using that battery to power devices that could be implanted in the ear, without affecting the recipient’s hearing.

The “battery chamber” is located in the cochlea. It is internally divided by a membrane, some of the cells of which are designed to pump ions. The arrangement of those specialized cells, combined with an imbalance of potassium and sodium ions on opposite sides of the membrane, are what creates the electrical voltage.

A team of scientists from MIT, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology have recently succeeded in running an ultra-low-power radio-transmitting chip using power from these battery chambers – in guinea pigs’ ears.

Lord of the Rings

Submission + - New Dinosaur Named After the Eye of Sauron ( 1

SchrodingerZ writes: "A new study shows that 95 million years ago, the dinosaur Sauroniops pachytholus roamed northern Africa. The fossil, originally found in southern Morocco, only consisted of the upper skull, which included the eerie looking eye socket which resembles the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings movies. Andrea Cau, the leader of the study in Bologna, Italy, explains "The idea of a predator that is physically known only as its fierce eye reminded me of Sauron, in particular as depicted in Peter Jackson's movies." Using skull comparison, it is theorized the two-legged meat-eater would have been 40 feet tall, challenging the Tyrannosaurus Rex in height. More fossils are needed for a full analysis, but so far it is very clear this dinosaur towered over many."

Submission + - Samsung may start making ARM server chips (

angry tapir writes: "Samsung's recent licensing of 64-bit processor designs from ARM suggests that the chip maker may expand from smartphones and tablets into the server market, analysts believe. Samsung last week licensed ARM's first 64-bit Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processors, a sign the chip maker is preparing the groundwork to develop 64-bit chips for low-power servers, analysts said. The faster 64-bit processors will appear in servers, high-end smartphones and tablets, and offer better performance-per-watt than ARM's current 32-bit processors, which haven't been able to expand beyond embedded and mobile devices. The first servers with 64-bit ARM processors are expected to become available in 2014."

Submission + - Super-Earth Discovered in Stars' Habitable Zone (

astroengine writes: "The family of planets circling a relatively close dwarf star has grown to six, including a potential rocky world at least seven times more massive than Earth that is properly located for liquid water to exist on its surface, a condition believed to be necessary for life. Scientists added three new planets to three discovered in 2008 orbiting an orange star called HD 40307, which is roughly three-quarters as massive as the sun and located about 42 light-years away in the constellation Pictor. Of particular interest is the outermost planet, which is believed to fly around its parent star over 320 days, a distance that places it within HD 40307's so-called "habitable zone.""

Submission + - California Sex Offenders get Support from the EFF ( 2

Bobfrankly1 writes: The EFF sued to block portions of the approved Prop 35 today. Prop 35 requires sex offenders (including indecent exposure and non-internet offenses) to provide all of their online aliases to law enforcement. This would include e-mail addresses, screen and user names, and other identifiers used on the internet.
The heart of the matter as the EFF sees it, would be not only the chilling effect it would have on free speech, but also the propensity of these kind of laws to be applied to other (non-sex offending) people as well.


Submission + - Study: The universe has almost stopped making new stars (

SternisheFan writes: By Ian Steadman, Wired UK:
    Most of the stars that will ever exist have already been born, according to the most comprehensive survey of the age of the night sky.
    An international team of astronomers used three telescopes —the UK Infrared Telescope and the Subaru Telescope, both in Hawaii, and Chile’s Very Large Telescope — to study trends in star formation, from the earliest days of the universe. Extrapolating their findings has revealed that half of all the stars that have ever existed were created between 9 and 11 billion years ago, with the other half created in the years since. That means that rate at which new stars are born has dropped off massively, to the extent that (if this trend continues) 95 percent of all the stars that this universe will ever see have already been born. Several studies have looked at specific time “epochs”, but the different methods used by each study has restricted the ability to compare their findings and discern a fuller model of how stars have evolved over the course of the entire universe’s lifespan.
    We do know that many stars around today — including our own — likely formed out of the dust left over from earlier, bigger stars going supernova in the early years of the universe. The problem was figuring out exactly how many stars the universe used to give birth to relative to how many are born in later years, as it seemed that at some point there was a steep drop off in the creation of new stars.
The telescopes searched for alpha particles emitted by Hydrogen atoms (commonly found in star formation, appearing as a bright red light) throughout huge patches of sky. Snapshots were taken of the look of the universe at defined different points in time, when it was 2, 4, 6 and 9 billion years old — a sample that’s 10 times as large as any previous similar study.
    The results showed clearly that half of all the stars that have ever existed in the universe were created more than 9 billion years ago, with the remaining half coming into existence since then.


Submission + - Nanoscale Device Makes Light Travel Infinitely Fast (

sciencehabit writes: Physicists have developed a tiny device in which the index of refraction for visible light is zero—so that within it, visible light travels infinitely fast. The gizmo won't lead to instantaneous communication—the famous speed limit of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity remains in force—but it could have a variety of pretty cool uses, including serving as an element in a type of optical circuitry.

Submission + - Do Recreational Drugs Help Programmers? ( 1

jfruh writes: "Among the winners of last night's election: marijuana users. Voters in both Washington and Colorado approved referenda that legalized marijuana for recreational use, though the drug remains illegal under federal law. There's been a long-standing debate among programmers as to whether recreational drugs, including pot and hallucinagens like LSD, can actually help programmers code. Don't forget, there was a substantial overlap between the wave of computer professionals who came of age in the '60s and that era's counterculture."

Submission + - Elon Musk Will Usher in the Era of Electric Cars (

pigrabbitbear writes: "There’s a reason why Elon Musk is being called the next Steve Jobs. Like Jobs, he’s a visionary, a super successful serial entrepreneur, having made his initial fortune with a company he sold to Compaq before starting Paypal. Like Jobs, he saved his beloved baby Tesla Motors from the brink of oblivion. Like Jobs, he’s a genius generalist with “huge steel balls” (according to his ex-wife) and a knack for paradigm-shifting industry disruption. Which means he’s also demanding. “Like Jobs, Elon does not tolerate C or D players,” SpaceX board member and early Tesla investor Steve Jurvetson told BusinessWeek.

But while Jobs was slinging multi-colored music players and touchable smartphones, Musk is building rocket ships and electric-powered supercars. It’s why his friends describe him as not just Steve Jobs but also John D. Rockefeller and Howard Hughes all wrapped in one. His friend Jon Favreau used Musk as the real-life inspiration for the big screen version of Tony Stark. Elon Musk is a badass."


Submission + - Dragonfly spy drone fits in a hand Georgia Tech (

garymortimer writes: "The TechJect Robot Dragonfly is a multi-engineering design. It requires everything from aerodynamics, machine design, mechatronics, electronics, communication systems, flight control software, user-interfaces and much more. We’ve put in a lot of work to bring harmony to chaos and bring the dragonfly to life; however, getting something robust enough to endure the elements, strong enough to outlast crashes and accidents; smart enough so everyone can operate them easily; and finally cheap enough so everyone can afford one, we have to professionally manufacture the robot bugs; which is an expensive proposition."

Submission + - Pixar Names Main Studio Building for Steve Jobs

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Jordan Kahn reports that the main building on Pixar’s campus has been named in memory of Steve Jobs who actually played a big role in designing the building itself as CEO of Pixar. Pixar’s campus design originally separated different employee disciplines into different buildings – one for computer scientists, another for animators, and a third building for everybody else but according to Jobs’ recent biography, the headquarters was to be a place that “promoted encounters and unplanned collaborations.” Because Jobs was fanatic about unplanned collaborations, he envisioned a campus where these encounters could take place, and his design included a great atrium space that acts as a central hub for the campus. “Steve’s theory worked from day one,” says John Lasseter, Pixar’s chief creative officer. "I’ve never seen a building that promoted collaboration and creativity as well as this one.”"