Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

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

Science

+ - 218 Scientists Study "Frictional Ageing" - Standing Objects Becoming Harder to Move-> 1

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "The BBC reports: 'Have you ever had the impression that heavy items of furniture start to take root – that after years standing in the same place, they’re harder to slide to a new position? Do your best wine glasses, after standing many months unused in the cabinet, seem slightly stuck to the shelf? Has the fine sand in the kids’ play tray set into a lump?

If so, you’re not just imagining it. The friction between two surfaces in contact with each other does slowly increase over time. But why? A paper by two materials scientists at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA, suggests that the surfaces could actually be slowly chemically bonding together.

There are already several other explanations for this so-called “frictional ageing” effect. One is simply that two surfaces get squashed closer together. But a curious thing about friction is that the frictional force opposing sliding doesn’t depend on the area of the contacting surfaces. You’d expect the opposite to be the case: more contact should create more friction. But in fact two surfaces in apparent contact are mostly not touching at all, because little bumps and irregularities, called asperities, prop them apart. That’s true even for apparently smooth surfaces like glass, which are still rough at the microscopic scale. It’s only the contacts between these asperities that cause friction.'"

Link to Original Source
IBM

+ - 219 With All Due Respect: The Patent System's Not Broken->

Submitted by TurinX
TurinX (1323321) writes "Unsurprisingly, IBM's Chief Patent Counsel thinks the patent system’s not broken. "Patent disputes like this are a natural characteristic of a vigorously competitive industry.And they’re nothing new: Similar skirmishes have historically occurred in areas as diverse as sewing machines, winged flight, agriculture, and telegraph technology. Each marked the emergence of incredible technological advances, and each generated similar outcries about the patent system. We are actually witnessing fewer patent suits per patent issued today than the historical average.""
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - 162 The Information Age: North Korean Style-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It seems cell phones and the internet have come to the reclusive nation of North Korea — albeit in a manor that you might not expect. North Korea now sports over 1 million cell phones, although calls are not allowed outside of the country, text messages come daily from North Korean authorities sporting government propaganda. The internet is not the global internet of Twitter and Facebook, but a government crafted intranet that is restricted to just a tiny percentage of the population. The intranet is restricted to elites in North Korea with good standing. The intranet uses message boards, chat functions, and state sponsored messages; its use has also been encouraged among universities, technical professionals and scientists, and others to exchange info. An even smaller fraction can access the outside internet. All of this seems to be an effort to control the information revolution without loosing authority."
Link to Original Source
Power

+ - 191 Germany exports more power than ever despite phasing out nuclear enegery->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The german magazine "Der Spiegel" writes, that "the current export from Germany reached a record high this year — despite nuclear phase. Reason is the boom in green energy." Especially in the Netherlands power-plants are shut down because "electricity imported from Germany is cheaper." Is Germany an example of forward looking energy policy after all?"
Link to Original Source
Your Rights Online

+ - 182 Staff emails are not owned by firms, UK judge rules->

Submitted by Qedward
Qedward (2499046) writes "A high court judge has ruled that companies do not have a general claim of ownership of the content contained in staff emails.

The decision creates a potential legal minefield for the terms of staff contracts and an administrative nightmare for IT teams running email servers, back up and storage.

The judge ruled businesses do not have an "enforceable proprietary claim" to staff email content unless that content can be considered to be confidential information belonging to a business, unless business copyright applies to the content, or unless the business has a contractual right of ownership over the content.

Ruling in the case involving Fairstar Heavy Transport and its former chief executive, Justice Edwards-Stewart said: "I can find no practical basis for holding that there should be property in the content of an email, even if I thought that it was otherwise open to me to do so.

"To the extent that people require protection against the misuse of information contained in emails, in my judgment satisfactory protection is provided under English law either by the equitable jurisdiction to which I have referred in relation to confidential information (or by contract, where there is one) or, where applicable, the law of copyright.

"There are no compelling practical reasons that support the existence of a proprietary right — indeed, practical considerations militate against it."

Justice Edwards-Stuart added it was "quite impractical and unrealistic" to determine that ownership of the content of emails either belongs exclusively to the creator or the recipient of an email."

Link to Original Source
Apple

+ - 188 Judge to review whether foreman in Apple v. Samsung hid info->

Submitted by thomst
thomst (1640045) writes "Cnet's Greg Sandoval is reporting that Lucy Koh the Federal judge in the Apple v. Samsung patent infringement case is reviewing whether jury foreman Velvin Hogan failed to disclose his own patent suit v. Seagate during the jury selection process. Samsung, which lost the suit filed by Apple has complained that Hogan's failure to disclose his own status as a former patent case plaintiff constituted misconduct serious enough to invalidate the jury's verdict in the case."
Link to Original Source
Power

+ - 170 Pee-Powered Generator Unveiled at Maker Faire Africa-> 1

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Four Nigerian girls aged between 14 and 15 have unveiled their creation – a urine-powered generator that is capable of generating six hours of electricity using a liter of pee. Showcased at the fourth annual Maker Faire Africa in Lagos, Nigeria, the generator is an eco-friendly power source that generates electricity by separating hydrogen present in the excreted bodily fluids with an electrolytic cell. The design is more or less crude as of now and if enough attention and funding are made available, chances are that this pee-powered generator may very well be available at your local hardware store."
Link to Original Source
Medicine

+ - 146 Methamphetamine vaccine shows promise->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive and thus commonly-used street drugs – according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there are currently nearly 25 million meth addicts worldwide. Help may be on the way, however. Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have had success in using a methamphetamine vaccine to block the effects on meth on lab rats. The vaccine works by allowing the body’s immune system to attack methamphetamine molecules in the bloodstream, keeping them from entering the nervous system. This keeps the meth from affecting the user’s brain, and thus removes the incentive for using the drug."
Link to Original Source
Google

+ - 198 Google Patents Guilt-By-Association

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Guilt by association is defined as the attribution of guilt (without proof) to individuals because the people they associate with are guilty. It's also at the heart of U.S. Patent No. 8,306,922, which was awarded to Google on Tuesday for Detecting Content on a Social Network Using Links, the invention of three Googlers. In its patent application, Google argues that if an individual posts content to social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. 'that is illegal (e.g., content violating copyright law, content violating penal statutes, etc.), inappropriate for minors (e.g., pornography, "R" or "NC-17" rated videos, adult content, etc.), in contravention of an end user licensing agreement (EULA), etc.', then their friends 'may be likely to post content to their profile pages related to similar topics.' Google further explains: 'For instance, a first user and a second user that are designated as friends on a social network may be friends based upon a set of common interests (e.g., the first user and the second user are both interested in tennis). If the first user adds content to its profile page that is related to sports, then the friendship (link) between the first user and the second user can indicate that the profile page of the second user is likely to contain content related to sports as well.' By extension, the same holds true for porn, pirated videos and music, etc., right? So, would you feel comfortable being judged by the online company you keep?"
Australia

+ - 231 Amazon to launch Sydney data centre->

Submitted by schliz
schliz (994115) writes "Amazon Web Services will unveil its first Australian data centres on Tuesday, ending more than a year of speculation. The move is expected to address enterprises' data soverignty and latency concerns, although local cloud providers argue that data held by US company Amazon would still be subject to the Patriot Act."
Link to Original Source
The Military

+ - 194 Naval Seals Disciplined for Revealing Secrets As Consultants on Video Game

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "CBS reports that seven active duty members of SEAL Team Six, best known for killing Osama bin Laden, have been disciplined for revealing secrets working as paid consultants on a video game, "Medal of Honor: Warfighter." The game does not recreate the bin Laden raid, but it does portray realistic missions, such as an attack on a pirates' den in Somalia. Electronic Arts boasts that real commandos, both active duty and retired, help make its games as realistic as possible. EA says "Medal of Honor Warfighter" was "written by actual U.S. Tier 1 Operators while deployed overseas," and that it "features a dotted line to real world events and provides players a view into globally recognized threats and situations letting them experience the action as it might have unfolded." It is unclear what secrets members of SEAL Team Six gave away, but while serving as consultants for the game, they used classified material which had been given to them by the Navy and also violated the unwritten code that SEALs are silent warriors who shun the spotlight. "We do not tolerate deviations from the policies that govern who we are and what we do as Sailors in the United States Navy," says Deputy Commander of Naval Special Warfare, Rear Admiral Garry Bonelli. "The non-judicial punishment decisions made today send a clear message throughout our Force that we are and will be held to a high standard of accountability.""
Canada

+ - 208 Canada's Supreme Court Tosses Viagra Patent For Vagueness

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "In a 7-to-0 decision, the Supreme Court Of Canada has ruled that Pfizer Canada Inc.'s patent on well-known erectile dysfunction remedy Viagra is now invalid due to insufficient information in Pfizer's patent application. The upshot is that competitors can now manufacture cheaper, generic versions of Viagra for sale in Canada. A problem with spreading this news item is that many email filters will not allow the topic, so cheers to /."

+ - 169 NY AG Subpoena's Craigslist for Post-Sandy Price Gougers->

Submitted by TheSync
TheSync (5291) writes "In the wake of Hurrican Sandy, the New York State Attorney General has subpoenaed Craigslist, demanding that the site identify more than 100 sellers whose prices on post-Sandy gas, generators and other supplies were of an “unconscionably excessive price” during an emergency. AG Eric Schneiderman said: “Our office has zero tolerance for price gouging [and] will do everything we can to stop unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of New Yorkers trying to rebuild their lives.""
Link to Original Source

+ - 255 Ask Slashdot: Which virtual machine software for a beginner 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I am getting ready to start trying out / learning the use of virtual machines. This is for personal use.

It would be good to run both Windows vms and linux vms. Early use would be maintaining multiple Windows installs using only one desktop computer with plenty of cores and memory. I would be starting with a Windows host, but probably later switching to a linux host after i learn more about linux.

Free is good, but reliability and ease of use are better.

What is the current Slashdot choice for a vm beginner:
vmware, zen, virtual box, etc. ???"

There are three kinds of people: men, women, and unix.

Working...