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Slashdot.org

Get Your 15 Years of Slashdot Shirt (For free, Depending) 146

Posted by timothy
from the test-of-free-will-and-determinism dept.
We'll be sending a passel of shirts to the crowd-sourced parties that we hope you'll get to, and to any artists whose Slashdot logo suggestions we end up selecting. (There are nearly 30 parties planned so far, in places as far-flung as Latvia and Nigeria!) But starting today the limited edition Slashdot anniversary shirt is also available from our brethren and sistren at ThinkGeek (still, for now, serving the same corporate overlord as Slashdot). So if you can't land one of the swag ones (sorry!), you can still swathe yourself in the Slashdot livery, which isn't so different from the colors of the Vogon constructor fleet. We'll only turn 15 once, but a clever T-shirt is forever. Update: 09/21 17:12 GMT by T : If you want to come hang out with the folks who post the stories to Slashdot day-to-day, note that Unknown Lamer is hosting a party in Raleigh, NC, Soulskill and Samzenpus will both be in Ann Arbor, and timothy will be at parties (coffee shops are awesome!) in Houston and Austin.
Iphone

iPhone 5 Teardown Shows Boost To Repairability 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-it's-broke,-fix-it dept.
iFixit has posted a detailed teardown of the new iPhone 5. While the casing still uses Apple's proprietary pentalobe fasteners, the good news is that Apple has made the screen much easier to remove. Once the fasteners have been removed, the screen will lift out easily through the use of a suction cup. The screens are by far the most common parts of iPhones to break, and this change turns a complicated 38-step procedure that takes about 45 minutes at minimum into a quick, 5-10 minute job. The teardown also shows the iPhone 5 battery to be very similar to the iPhone 4S's, suggesting that the improvements to battery life come from other hardware and software changes. We get a look at the new A6 processor running the phone, which is a custom design based on ARMv7. iFixit also looks at the Lightning connector assembly; unfortunately, it includes the loudspeaker, bottom microphone, Wi-Fi antenna, and headphone jack as well, so fixing any one of those parts individually will be difficult. Whatever you think of Apple's decision to move to Lightning instead of micro-USB, it seems their switch away from the 30-pin connecter was necessitated by size constraints.
The Internet

The Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link Sold To Its Members 36

Posted by Soulskill
from the well-done dept.
New submitter nadaou sends this quote from the NY Times: "One of the earliest online communities, The WELL, has a new owner: its members. On Thursday evening, Salon Media Group, the previous owner of The WELL, said it had sold the community to the Well Group, a private investment group consisting of longtime members of the community, which was founded in 1985, long before the rise of the Web."
Businesses

When the Hiring Boss Is an Algorithm 245

Posted by Soulskill
from the doesn't-care-why-manhole-covers-are-round dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Joseph Walker writes at the WSJ that although personality tests have a long history in hiring, sophisticated software has now made it possible to evaluate more candidates, amass more data and peer more deeply into applicants' personal lives and interests. This allows employers to predict specific outcomes, such as whether a prospective hire will quit too soon, file disability claims, or steal. For example after a half-year trial that cut attrition by a fifth, Xerox now leaves all hiring for its 48,700 call-center jobs to software. Xerox used to pay lots of attention to applicants who had done the job before. Then, an algorithm told the company that experience doesn't matter. It determined what does matter in a good call-center worker — one who won't quit before the company recoups its $5,000 investment in training. By putting applicants through a battery of tests and then tracking their job performance, Evolv has developed a model for the ideal call-center worker (PDF). The data recommend a person who lives near the job, has reliable transportation and uses one or more social networks, but not more than four. He or she tends not to be overly inquisitive or empathetic, but is creative. 'Some of the assumptions we had weren't valid,' says Connie Harvey, Xerox's chief operating officer of commercial services. However, data-based hiring can expose companies to legal risk. Practices that even unintentionally filter out older or minority applicants can be illegal under federal equal opportunity laws. If a hiring practice is challenged in court as discriminatory, a company must show the criteria it is using are proven to predict success in the job."
Security

Meet Two Security Researchers Apple Hates (Video) 146

Posted by Roblimo
from the my-exploits-are-better-than-yours dept.
This video is a half-hour speech given by Dino Dai Zovi and Charlie Miller, two people Apple corporately hates because of their success in finding security holes in Apple operating systems and software. Both Charlie and Dino have been mentioned on Slashdot before and probably will be again. This is a chance to see how they sound and look in person, talking to a small "by invitation only" group. They have a book to push, too: The iOS Hacker's Handbook. (Please note that this book is supposed to help you secure iOS and iOS apps, not exploit security holes in them.)
Space

Copenhagen Suborbitals Seeking $10k In Crowdfunding For New Space Capsule 31

Posted by Soulskill
from the cheapifying-the-space-race dept.
Plammox writes "As Copenhagen Suborbitals continue to develop their donation-based, garage-level technology solution to manned suborbital spaceflight, they're looking to crowdfund the next space capsule design. For a mere $25, your name will fly in the next capsule test launch. $2000 will buy you a guided tour of the premises in Copenhagen. The volunteer-based organization has previously done a number of different static engine tests with spectators, and two sea launches of a launch escape system and their first big rocket."
Earth

Rapid Arctic Melt Called 'Planetary Emergency' 757

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-cool dept.
Freshly Exhumed writes "Drawing on new data released Wednesday by the National Snow and Ice Data Center that the Arctic ice pack has melted to an all time low within the satellite record (video), NASA climate scientist James Hansen has declared the current reality a 'planetary emergency.' As pointed out by Prof. David Barber from the University of Manitoba, 'The thaw this year broke all the records that we had previous to this and it didn't just break them, it smashed them.' So, not sure why your mainstream press isn't covering this story? 'It's hard for the public to realize,' Hansen said, 'because they stick their head out the window and don't see much going on.' Thankfully, some people are noticing, as Bill McKibben's recent Rolling Stone article, Global Warming's Terrifying New Math has gone viral."
Science

Your Moral Compass Is Reversible 295

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-must-have-had-a-good-reason dept.
scibri writes "Your moral positions may be more flexible than you think. Researchers in Sweden have tricked people into reversing their opinions on moral issues, even to the point of constructing good arguments to support the opposite of their original positions (paper in PLOS ONE). They used a 'magic trick' to reverse a person's responses to such moral issues as 'Large-scale governmental surveillance of e-mail and Internet traffic ought to be forbidden as a means to combat international crime and terrorism,' by switching 'forbidden' to 'permitted' when the subject turned the page of the questionaire. When asked to read back the questions and answers, about half of the subjects did not detect the changes, and a full 53% of participants argued unequivocally for the opposite of their original attitude in at least one of the manipulated statements."
The Internet

W3C Announces Plan To Deliver HTML 5 by 2014 110

Posted by samzenpus
from the accelerate-the-plan dept.
The World Wide Web Consortium has proposed "a new plan that would see the HTML 5 spec positioned as a Recommendation—which in W3C's lingo represents a complete, finished standard—by the end of 2014. The group plans a follow-up, HTML 5.1, for the end of 2016." Instead of working toward one-specification-to-rule-them-all in 2022, features that are stable and implemented in multiple browsers now will be finalized as HTML 5.0 by 2014 with unstable features moved into HTML 5.1 (developed in parallel). In 2014, the commonly implemented parts of HTML 5.1 will begin finalization for 2016, with the unstable parts moved into HTML 5.2 (wash, rinse, repeat). Additionally, things like Web Sockets are being moved into their own modular standards (sound familiar?) for "...the social benefits that accrue from such an approach. Splitting out separate specifications allows those technologies to be advanced by their respective communities of interest, allowing more productive development of approaches that may eventually be able reach broader consensus."
Government

US House STEM Visa Bill Fails 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-back-home dept.
dcblogs writes "A Republican-led effort to issue up to 55,000 STEM visas a year to students who earn advanced degrees at U.S. universities was defeated in a House vote. It needed a two-thirds vote, or about 290 ayes, for approval. Its supporters came up short, 257 to 158. Both parties support green cards for science, technology, engineering and math advanced degree grads, but can't agree on legislation. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who has introduced his own STEM bill, urged House leaders to seek new negotiations: 'A bipartisan compromise can easily be ready for the lame duck session. There is too broad a consensus in favor of this policy to settle for gridlock.'"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Ig Nobels Feature Exploding Colonoscopies, Left Leaning Views of Eiffel Tower 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-your-prize dept.
alphadogg writes "The Ig Nobel Prize ceremony has honored a wide array of strange research and advancement over the years, from exploding pants to woodpecker headaches to aggressive parking enforcement, and Thursday night's ceremony in Cambridge, Mass., was no exception. Particular highlights included a Russian company that turns ammunition into trace amounts of diamond, Japanese engineers who developed a speech jamming device, and research into such critical topics as why coffee is so hard to carry without slopping and what makes a ponytail move the way it does."
Space

Largest Moon Rock Ever Auctioned Expected To Sell For $380,000 49

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-lot-of-cheese dept.
First time accepted submitter amkkhan writes "One lucky space-lover with some extra cash could become the proud new owner of the largest moon rock ever to be auctioned, according to the auction house Heritage Auctions. The moon rock, known as Dar al Gani 1058, is part of a lunar meteorite that was found on Earth in 1988 and is expected to fetch as much as $380,000 at auction."
Science

Three Mile Island Shuts Down After Pump Failure 247

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-bit-of-a-problem dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "The nuclear power station on Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania shut down abruptly this afternoon. Its shutdown was caused when one of four coolant pumps for a reactor failed to work. 'The Unit 1 reactor shut off automatically about 2:20 p.m., the plant's owner, Exelon Corporation, reported. There is no danger to the public, but the release of steam in the process created "a loud noise heard by nearby residents," the company said.' If radiation was released into the environment, it is so low that it thus far has not been detected. The plant is a 825-megawatt pressurized water reactor, supplying power to around 800,000 homes, thought there has been no loss of electrical service. Three Mile Island was the site of a partial nuclear meltdown in 1979. The Unit 2 reactor has not been reactivated since."
Google

Microsoft Urging Safari Users To Use Bing 266

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-tried-the-rest-now-try-the-best dept.
New submitter SquarePixel writes "Microsoft is urging Safari users to switch to Bing after Google was fined $22.5 million for violating Safari privacy settings. 'Microsoft is keen to make sure that no-one forgets this, let alone Safari users, and the page summarizes the events that took place.' It tells users how Google promised not to track Safari users, but tracked them without their permission and used this data to serve them advertisement. Lastly, it tells how Google was fined $22.5 million for this and suggests users to try the more privacy oriented Bing search engine."
KDE

Notification UI Overhauled in KDE 4.10 (And a Plan For Modernized Notifications) 67

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the it's-the-little-things dept.
Via Planet KDE, some good news for people who hate the KDE 4 notifications applet (coming in KDE 4.10): "So, it seems it's that time of the year again... the plasmoid used in KDE Plasma Desktop to display notifications and the progress of transfer jobs started to really show its age, due to some bad limitations in the old QGraphicsview code to handle complex layouts, so it appeared quite buggy and not so smooth to use. ... The fact that there is some research/development being made to build a new backend for notifications that will support many new features, more 'modern' to be actually useful with the applications that are so heavily 'communication' oriented (both desktop clients and web stuff), that became essential part of out workflow. ... The story begins more than a year ago: we needed a way to display notifications on Plasma Active, and obviously the desktop applet used back then wasn't enough. ... Since we would have to rewrite it in QML anyways, we started it." The article has two videos: one of the new UI in Plasma Active on a tablet, and another of it on the desktop. They share basically the same code base, differing only by a couple hundred lines of QML. In addition to this, another KDE developer has been musing on a replacement for the freedesktop.org notification protocol designed to fix the deficiencies that have made themselves apparent over the last few years (parts one and two).

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