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Science

New Nanodevice Creates a Near Perfect Electron Stream 98

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-cross-the-streams dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "Scientists from the National Physics Laboratory of the United Kingdom have teamed up with the University of Cambridge to create a new electron pump that creates a single electron stream. "The device drives electrical current by manipulating individual electrons, one-by-one at very high speed." The pump takes single electrons, and pushes it over a barrier with an indent for the electron to fall into, and is then sent to the opposite side of the barrier with astounding precision. "By employing this technique, the team were able to pump almost a billion electrons per second, 300 times faster than the previous record for an accurate electron pump set at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the USA in 1996." Although the current was very small (150 picoamperes), this event could cause a shift from the ampere measure of current to a smaller, more precise unit of measurement for electrical current."
Idle

Bloodsucking Parasite Named After Bob Marley 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the three-little-reef-fish dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that Gnathia marleyi, a tiny crustacean that feeds off the blood of reef-dwelling Caribbean fish, has been named in honor – for lack of a better term – of the Jamaican musician Bob Marley. Marley, who died in 1981, was an iconic exponent of the Jamaican-born music known as reggae. One of his standards is 'No Woman, No Cry.' Marley joins the 'I have a species named after me' club, which includes Barack Obama, Stephen Colbert, Mick Jagger, and Beyonce. 'I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley's music,' says Paul Sikkel, an assistant professor of marine ecology at Arkansas State University. 'Plus, this species is as uniquely Caribbean as was Marley.' Juvenile gnathid isopods hide within coral rubble or algae so they can launch surprise attacks on fish, and then infest them. As adults, the parasites don't eat. 'We believe that adults subsist for two to three weeks on the last feedings they had as juveniles and then die, hopefully after they have reproduced,' says Sikkel. Specimens of Gnathia marleyi will be housed indefinitely at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. 'We are currently discussing with AMNH the possibility of creating an exhibit featuring this species that could be viewed by the public.'"
Earth

Earliest Americans Arrived In Waves, DNA Study Finds 131

Posted by samzenpus
from the where-are-you-from? dept.
NotSanguine writes "Nicholas Wade of the New York Times has written an article about a new DNA study that suggests the earliest Americans arrived in three waves, not one. 'North and South America were first populated by three waves of migrants from Siberia rather than just a single migration, say researchers who have studied the whole genomes of Native Americans in South America and Canada. Some scientists assert that the Americas were peopled in one large migration from Siberia that happened about 15,000 years ago, but the new genetic research shows that this central episode was followed by at least two smaller migrations from Siberia, one by people who became the ancestors of today's Eskimos and Aleutians and another by people speaking Na-Dene, whose descendants are confined to North America.' The study, published online (paywalled), investigated geographic, linguistic and genetic diversity in native American populations."
The Military

How a 1960s Discovery In Neuroscience Spawned a Military Project 112

Posted by samzenpus
from the did-you-see-that dept.
Harperdog writes "This is pretty fascinating: The Chronicle of Higher Ed has an article about a DARPA project that allows researchers to scan satellite photos, video, etc., and have a computer pick up differences in brain activity to tell whether an image has been seen...images that might flash by before conscious recognition. From the article: 'In a small, anonymous office in the Trump Tower, 28 floors above Wall Street, a man sits in front of a computer screen sifting through satellite images of a foreign desert. The images depict a vast, sandy emptiness, marked every so often by dunes and hills. He is searching for man-made structures: houses, compounds, airfields, any sign of civilization that might be visible from the sky. The images flash at a rate of 20 per second, so fast that before he can truly perceive the details of each landscape, it is gone. He pushes no buttons, takes no notes. His performance is near perfect.'"
Microsoft

In Face of Flame Malware, Microsoft Will Revamp Windows Encryption Keys 100

Posted by samzenpus
from the reinforcing-the-walls dept.
coondoggie writes "Starting next month, updated Windows operating systems will reject encryption keys smaller than 1024 bits, which could cause problems for customer applications accessing Web sites and email platforms that use the keys. The cryptographic policy change is part of Microsoft's response to security weaknesses that came to light after Windows Update became an unwitting party to Flame Malware attacks, and affects Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems."
Security

DHS Still Stonewalling On Body Scanning Ruling One Year Later 242

Posted by Soulskill
from the maybe-they're-just-really-lazy dept.
OverTheGeicoE writes "About a year ago, the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on EPIC v. DHS, a lawsuit that sought to end TSA's use of body scanners. The Court found that DHS violated federal law by not seeking public comment before using body scanners as a primary search method. They ordered TSA to take public comment on its body scanning policy but did not require TSA to suspend its use of the scanners during the comment period. Several months later nothing had been done yet. One year later TSA has still done nothing, and even EPIC, the original plaintiff, seems to have given up. Others have apparently picked up the torch, however. Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute, has posted a piece on Ars Technica about TSA's violation of the court order. He also started a petition on Whitehouse.gov asking TSA to comply with the order. An earlier petition ended with a non-response from TSA Administrator John Pistole. Will the latest petition fare any better, even in an election year?"
Image

Holy iPad Slayer! Company Releases World's First Christian Tablet 326 Screenshot-sm

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-one-comes-to-the-app-store-except-through-me dept.
Velcroman1 writes "Steve Jobs worshippers need not apply. But if you're looking to get in God's good graces, or you're simply in the market for a family-friendly tablet, you may want to check out Family Christian's Edifi. Billed as the world's first Christian tablet, its genesis came with the inevitable intersection of technology and religion, according to Brian Honorable, a technology supervisor at Family Christian, the group that sells the tablet. 'We wanted to be able to offer our customers the ability to use our Holy Bible application, which has 27 different English translations of the Bible,' Honorable said."
Medicine

Study Finds Alcohol, Not Marijuana, Is the Biggest Gateway Drug For Teens 459

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-of-worms dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news of a study out of the University of Florida which found that alcohol is the biggest "gateway" drug, the use of which increases the likelihood of other drug use. Quoting: "In the sample of students, alcohol also represented the most commonly used substance, with 72.2 percent of students reporting alcohol consumption at some point in their lifetime. Comparatively, 45 percent of students reported using tobacco, and 43.3 percent cited marijuana use. In addition, the drug use documented found that substance use typically begins with the most socially acceptable drugs, such as alcohol and cigarettes, then proceeds to marijuana use and finally to other illegal, harder drugs. Moreover, the study showed that students who used alcohol exhibited a significantly greater likelihood — up to 16 times — of licit and illicit substance use."
Desktops (Apple)

OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) Won't Support Some 64-bit Macs With Older GPUs 417

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-invited-to-the-mountain-lion's-reindeer-games dept.
MojoKid writes "Apple is pitching Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) as the cat's meow, with over 200 new features 'that add up to an amazing Mac experience' — but that only applies if you're rocking a compatible system. Some older Mac models, including ones that are 64-bit capable, aren't invited to the Mountain Lion party, and it's likely because of the GPU. It's being reported (unofficially) that an updated graphics architecture intended to smooth out performance in OS X's graphics subsystem is the underlying issue. It's no coincidence, then, that the unsupported GPUs happen to be ones that were fairly common back before 64-bit support became mainstream."
Transportation

Why Ultra-Efficient 4,000 mph Vacuum-Tube Trains Aren't Being Built 625

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
cylonlover writes "In the 1800s, when pneumatic tubes shot telegrams and small items all around buildings and sometimes small cities, the future of mass transit seemed clear: we'd be firing people around through these sealed tubes at high speeds. And it turns out we've got the technology to do that today – mag-lev rail lines remove all rolling friction from the energy equation for a train, and accelerating them through a vacuum tunnel can eliminate wind resistance to the point where it's theoretically possible to reach blistering speeds over 4,000 mph (6,437 km/h) using a fraction of the energy an airliner uses – and recapturing a lot of that energy upon deceleration. Ultra-fast, high efficiency ground transport is technologically within reach – so why isn't anybody building it? This article looks into some of the problems."
Government

The DHS's Latest Investment: Terahertz Laser Scanners 169

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-we-shoot-you-with-this-laser-to-uhhhh-scan-you? dept.
MrSeb writes "It seems like every time I set foot in an airport, there is some new machine I need to stand in, walk through, or put my shoes on. The argument can be made that much of this is security theater — an effort to just make things look safe. However, if a new kind of laser-based molecular scanner lives up to its promise and finds its way into airports as planned, it could actually make a difference. A company called Genia Photonics has developed a programmable picosecond laser that is capable of spotting trace amounts of a variety of substances. Genia claims that the system can detect explosives, chemical agents, and hazardous biological substances at up to 50 meters. This device relies on classic spectroscopy; just a very advanced form of it. In the case of Genia's scanner, it is using far-infrared radiation in the terahertz band. This is why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is so keen on getting it into airports. Understandably, some are calling foul on the possible privacy concerns, but this technology is halfway to a Star Trek tricorder."
Media

DirecTV Drops Viacom Channels 378

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
An anonymous reader writes "DirecTV has dropped all of Viacom's channels. This includes channels such as MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. The drop is reported to be over a carrier fee dispute. It appears programming content can magically disappear from satellite, too, and not just from streaming services. Viacom said it was 'because contract talks with DirecTV had “reached an impasse.” DirecTV, in turn, said in a statement that it had offered Viacom “increased fees for their networks going forward; we just can’t afford the extreme increases they are asking for.”' I guess pirating and physical media is the only way to make sure the content we pay for doesn't disappear."
NASA

Hubble Discovers 5th Moon of Pluto 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-traffic-for-some-new-horizons-frogger dept.
Stirling Newberry writes "This image shows 'P5,' the placeholder name for a fifth natural moon of Pluto, a tiny sliver that orbits ~29,000 miles from its primary in a circular orbit. Other than Charon, Hubble has been the means by which astronomers have found all of the known moons of Pluto. 'The new detection will help scientists navigate NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft through the Pluto system in 2015, when it makes an historic and long-awaited high-speed flyby of the distant world. The team is using Hubble’s powerful vision to scour the Pluto system to uncover potential hazards to the New Horizons spacecraft. Moving past the dwarf planet at a speed of 30,000 miles per hour, New Horizons could be destroyed in a collision with even a BB-shot-size piece of orbital debris.'"
Censorship

UK ISP Asks Religious Groups To Set Parental Controls 205

Posted by Soulskill
from the think-of-the-children dept.
Barence writes "A British ISP is inviting religious groups to help set parental controls for its customers. Claranet says it is recruiting volunteer 'Guardians' from a number of different organizations — including religious organizations, schools and child safety experts. A press spokesman for the ISP said that an 'Islamic advisor' was among the first batch of Guardians, but refused to identify them. The Claranet Guardians will be asked to choose whether they think 140 different categories of internet content are appropriate. Within those categories, the Guardians can choose to add or remove individual websites from the blacklists, which are created by a third-party company that Claranet also refused to name."
Image

CowboyNeal On Dota 2, Modern Games, and Software Development 148

Posted by samzenpus
from the listen-up dept.
CowboyNeal writes "Unless you don't care about PC gaming at all, by now you're aware of Valve's entry into the MOBA/ARTS genre, Dota 2. Despite still being in a closed beta, it's currently the number one game on Valve's Steam gaming service, and judging from Valve's earlier declaration regarding Steam on Linux, it's only a matter of time, even if that time be a year or more, before we see Dota 2 come to Linux as well as Mac. Valve has big plans for Dota 2, no less big than what happened with Team Fortress 2, even if it took them a few years to get to where Team Fortress 2 is today. What makes the current state of Dota 2 noteworthy, however, is that it has managed to displace Team Fortress 2 as Steam's most popular game, while still being tested in a closed beta." Read on for the rest of CowboyNeal's thoughts on games, and what it's like being a Slashdot poll option.

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