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Overheated Voting Machine Cast Its Own Votes 378

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-the-machine-vote dept.
longacre writes in with the results of a report on voting machines that malfunctioned in NY during the 2010 mid-term elections. "Tests of a number of electronic voting machines that recorded shockingly high numbers of extra votes in the 2010 election show that overheating may have caused upwards of 30 percent of votes in some South Bronx voting precincts to go uncounted. WNYC first reported on the issue in December 2011, when it was found that tens of thousands of votes in the 2010 elections went uncounted because electronic voting machines counted more than one vote in a race. A review by the state Board of Election and the electronic voting machines’ manufacturer ES&S found that these 'over votes,' as they’re called, were due to a machine error. In the report issued by ES&S, when the machine used in the South Bronx overheated, ballots run during a test began coming back with errors."
Facebook

Facebook Announces App Center 81

Posted by samzenpus
from the friend-this-app dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Facebook today announced the App Center. Whether you're a Facebook user or a third-party developer, think of it like the Apple App Store or the Google Play store, but for Facebook. That's right: while in-app purchases have existed for a while, Facebook will now give developers the option to offer paid apps (users will pay a flat fee to use an app on facebook.com)."
Social Networks

55,000 Twitter Accounts Hacked, Passwords Leaked 66

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
MojoKid writes "Tens of thousands of Twitter accounts have been compromised in a recent hack attack in which more than 55,000 passwords were leaked and posted to Pastebin by anonymous hackers. Most of the accounts supposedly belonged to spammers, and there were many duplicate entries, Twitter officials pointed out. However, to play it safe, you should probably change your Twitter password ASAP."
Mars

The Bouncing Sands of Mars 22

Posted by samzenpus
from the hop-skip-and-a-kuato dept.
astroengine writes "New analysis of high-resolution images of Mars, taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, show sand dunes in an area known as Nili Patera are shifting as fast as some dunes on Earth — despite a dearth of high-speed winds. Scientists suspect it takes a big wind to get sand particles airborne, but once launched from the surface, they bounce around with ease, thanks to the planet's thin atmosphere and low gravity. 'It's kind of like playing golf on the moon — (the sand) goes really high and far compared to what it does on Earth. When it lands it can pick up really large speeds — even with low wind speeds — and splash a whole bunch of other particles to keep the process going,' Jasper Kok, with the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences department at Cornell University, told Discovery News. This research has strong implications for the understanding of erosion processes on the Red Planet's surface and for future astronauts getting caught in a Martian sandstorm, presumably."
Facebook

Password Protection Act: Bans Bosses Asking For Facebook Passwords 247

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-your-hands-off-my-friends-list dept.
An anonymous reader writes "On the heels of a similar bill introduced last month. A group of Democrats today introduced legislation in both the House and Senate to prevent employers from forcing employers and job applicants into sharing information from their personal social networking accounts. In other words, Maryland may soon not be the only state that has banned employers demanding access to Facebook accounts. The Password Protection Act of 2012 (PPA) would also prevent employers from accessing information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employee, including private e-mail accounts, photo sharing sites, and smartphones."
Science

Researchers Conquer "LED Droop" 113

Posted by samzenpus
from the more-shine-for-your-dime dept.
sciencehabit writes "Tiny and efficient, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are supposed to be the bright future of illumination. But they perform best at only low power, enough for a flashlight or the screen of your cellphone. If you increase the current enough for them to light a room like an old-fashioned incandescent bulb, their vaunted efficiency nosedives. It's called LED droop, and it's a real drag on the industry. Now, researchers have found a way to build more efficient LEDs that get more kick from the same amount of current—especially in the hard-to-manufacture green and blue parts of the spectrum."
Science

Warmest 12-Month Period Recorded In US 297

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.
First time accepted submitter seanzig writes "Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground provides a good overview of the State of the Climate Report from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). May 2011 through Apr. 2012 broke the previous record (Nov. 1999 — Oct. 2000). A number of other interesting records (e.g., warmest March on record) and stats emerged. It just presents the data and does not surmise anything about the causes or what should be done about it."
The Almighty Buck

Congress: The TSA Is Wasting Hundreds of Millions In Taxpayer Dollars 199

Posted by samzenpus
from the things-we-knew dept.
TheGift73 writes with a Techdirt story about a House Oversight Committee report that is very critical of the TSA's handling of money. "The House Oversight Committee has come out with a report slamming the TSA for tremendous amounts of waste, specifically in the 'deployment and storage' of its scanning equipment. Basically, it sounds like the TSA likes to go on giant spending sprees, buying up security equipment and then never, ever using it." Earlier this month Rand Paul laid out his plan for dealing with the TSA.
Image

Book Review: Fitness For Geeks 201

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
jsuda writes "You would think that geeks would be as interested in fitness as dogs are of TV. After all, geeks already put in hours of finger dancing on keyboards, assembling hefty code fragments, and juggling PHP programming functions. Although intended, in part, as a guide to real physical fitness the book, Fitness for Geeks, entices geeks with what they are really interested in–the science of fitness, nutrition, and exercise. In 11 chapters over 311 pages (including notes and an index) author, Bruce W Perry, describes in great detail the science of fitness and all of its components–food selections, timings, and fastings; exercising of all types; sleep, rest, and meditation; the benefits of hormesis (shocking the body with stresses); and the benefits of natural sunlight." Read on for the rest of jsuda's review.
Science

The Encyclopedia of Life Passes the 1 Million Page Mark 23

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-whole-lot-of-life dept.
Chuckles08 writes "The Encyclopedia of Life project, an online resource aggregating information about all life on Earth, now has over 1 million taxon pages with content. All content is licensed under a Creative Commons license and includes text, over 1.5 million images, video, and sounds. It's an amazing resource for educators since the information is curated and rated. EOL also develops tools to make the content even more accessible, like the field guide tool that lets you build a customized online (and printable) field guide about any group of species or higher taxa."
Medicine

Israel Passes Photoshop Law To Combat Anorexia 488

Posted by samzenpus
from the bigger-model dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Atlantic reports that the Israeli parliament has passed legislation that prohibits fashion media and advertising with models who fall below the World Health Organization's standard for malnutrition banning underweight models as determined by Body Mass Index. The new law also stipulates that any ad which uses airbrushing, computer editing, or any other form of Photoshop editing to create a slimmer model must clearly state that fact. Advertising campaigns created outside of Israel must comply with the legislation's standards in order to appear in Israel. 'I realized that only legislation can change the situation,' says Rachel Adato, an Israeli parliament member with a background in medicine. 'There was no time to educate so many people, and the change had be forced on the industry. There was no time to waste, so many girls were dieting to death.' The measure has been controversial within Israel for raising the question of where free speech bumps up against the fashion industry's responsibility — and its possible harm — to its customers' psychological well-being. Donald Downs, a professor at the University of Wisconsin and an expert on the First Amendment, says that it would be very tough to pass something like Israel's law in the US Congress. 'In the US, it would be hard to justify this type of law on either legal or normative policy grounds,' says Downs. 'The Israeli law is paternalistic in that it prohibits something because of the effect it might have on others in the longer term.'"
Government

US Metaphor-Recognizing Software System Starts Humming 105

Posted by samzenpus
from the bright-ideas dept.
coondoggie writes "An innovative project, called Autonomous Dynamic Analysis of Metaphor and Analogy, or ADAMA, aims to build a software system that can automatically analyze metaphorical speech in five different languages by analyzing huge quantities of online data got off the ground this week when the U.S. Army Research Laboratory awarded a $1.4 million contract to the team conducting the research. The research is backed by the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), which develops high-risk, reward research projects for the government, and is intended to build a repository of speech metaphors from American/English Iranian Farsi, Mexican Spanish and Russian speakers. ADAMA could have immediate applications in forensics, intelligence analysis, business intelligence, sociological research and communication studies, researchers stated."
Science

Mini Mammoth Once Roamed Crete 50

Posted by samzenpus
from the lets-get-small dept.
ananyo writes "Scientists can now add a 'dwarf mammoth' to the list of biological oxymorons that includes the jumbo shrimp and pygmy whale. Studies of fossils discovered last year on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea reveal that an extinct species once thought to be a diminutive elephant was actually the smallest mammoth known to have existed — which, as an adult, stood no taller than a modern newborn elephant (abstract). The species is the most extreme example of insular dwarfism yet found in mammoths."
Power

Ask Slashdot: Best Option For Heavy-Duty, Full-Home Surge Protection? 341

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-your-stuff dept.
First time accepted submitter kmoser writes "Like most people, I have a couple of surge protectors for sensitive/important electronics, and even a UPS for a couple of items like computers. But I don't have surge protector on all outlets, and these consumer-grade devices don't cover things like 220 volt appliances. Add to that the fact that I live in a lightning-prone area and it's only a matter of time before one of my expensive devices has a major meltdown. I've looked into full-home surge protectors that install next to the fuse box but the prices vary widely and I have no idea how reliable they are or what brands are good. An electrician friend tells me they can still blow out, and when they do they're difficult to replace if they were installed behind a wall. Can anybody shed some light on the best options for protecting all the electronics in my house with a single surge protector?"

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