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Submission + - Wyoming teen who built fusion reactor disqualified from science fair (

An anonymous reader writes: "A Wyoming high school student who built a nuclear reactor in his dad's garage was disqualified from the International Science and Engineering Fair this month on a technicality."

His crime: competing in too many science fairs.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Web developers, why restrict special characters in passwords? 5

An anonymous reader writes: I recently had to reset a password used to access an investment account. The instructions stated:

"Do not use symbols, punctuation marks, or spaces (e.g.,#,@,/,*,-.)"

Are there any valid technical reasons for this? If I were to build such a web authentication system, I would have the application server convert the %XX characters from the POST string, salt and hash the value, convert it to a format applicable to the application/storage (i.e. unsigned int, HEX64, etc), then compare it to what I had stored in some flat file or database (depending on the application). Since the format of the password would be immediately converted to a different format, character limitations wouldn't be necessary. At most I would limit the size of acceptable password to save CPU cycles on computing hashes on long inputs. I can see limitations on usernames because it is likely this information is stored in a SQL queried DBMS. Limiting characters would protect the database from SQL injection.

I have worn several different IT hats, web developer is one of the few I haven't worn. I am hoping some web developers here might be able to shine some light on this. Is my general idea of how to go about building an authentication system solid? Am I missing some storage or performance/session related issue?

Submission + - Oklahoma City has a data center built to withstand winds up to 310 MPH (

dcblogs writes: The area around and to the southwest of Oklahoma City, where more tornadoes were disclosed details, "has perhaps the greatest frequency of tornadoes in the U.S.," said John Snow, a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. About 95% of all tornadoes are below EF3 intensity, and only 0.1% achieve EF5, which is what hit Moore earlier this month. To build a data center capable of surviving an EF3, Perimeter Technology in Oklahoma City surrounded the raised floor portion of the data center with 8.5-in. concrete, reinforced walls. The data center is in the middle of the building, and around it are offices protected by another 8.5-in. exterior wall. But there's another data center in Oklahoma City that may be able survive 310 MPH winds. The company, Devon Energy, isn't talking about its data center or even confirm that it has one capable of handling these winds. But a contractor has disclosed details.

Submission + - Lenovo to offer $200 budget tablet (

khellendros1984 writes: Amazon's not the only big-name company planning on a budget-level tablet release; Lenovo recently announced their Ideapad A1 tablet as competition. It includes a 1GHz Cortex A8 CPU, along with other features more commonly seen on higher-priced tablets, such as dual cameras, bluetooth, GPS, wifi, and a MicroSD slot. Is this the start of the Android tablet price avalanche?
United Kingdom

Submission + - So much for Civil Liberties online in the UK... (

Ajehals writes: "It's "acceptable to shut Twitter and Facebook off for an hour or two"... But Government has "no intention of restricting Internet services"? Governments don't get technology.

At every turn, the coalition has been exposed as having no coherent policy on digital rights. Nothing illustrates this better than its zig-zag course on Internet filtering and website blocking."


Submission + - Poor Second-Hand Game Sales Aren't Consumers Fault 1

edcs writes: Insidestroll has a breakdown of why game publishers can't blame their customers for buying used games, and why games are absolutely not a better deal than movies: "Games are a medium that costs less then half as much as movies to make, and yet costs three times as much to consume." The article also speculates that over-inflated prices may have caused the game industry more problems than just a poor second-hand market, mainly by stifling creativity through breeding a timid consumer base that is unlikely to take a risk on innovative titles.

Submission + - Oldest Irion culture in south Asia (

An anonymous reader writes: According to the archeological evidences found recently; Iron Age existed in Sri Lanka as early as 1700 B.C. There by making Sri Lanka as the first country, this used iron in the southern Asia.

Submission + - Move to Rebuild the Berlin Wall

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Today on the the 50th anniversary of one of the biggest and grimmest construction projects in history — the building of the Berlin Wall — AFP reports that there is a move to put parts of the wall back up, “as accurately as possible, with barbed wire, watch towers, and spring guns, so the brutality of the system is evident,” says Berlin’s former Mayor Eberhard Diepgen. “It was wrong to take all those pieces of Berlin Wall, paint them and send them off into the world as souvenirs of a peaceful revolution." Meanwhile some historians are making a reappraisal that the toppling of the wall in 1989 had little to do with Reagan, and even less to do with bellicose confrontation arguing that the wall created the stability between the superpowers that was the precondition for the peaceful demise of communism several decades later. "It's not a very nice solution, but a wall is a hell of a lot better than a war," said President Kennedy when construction began in 1961. The wall forced West Germans to face reality: "The U.S. wasn't going to war over the Berlin Wall; East Germany wasn't going away; and trying to isolate it would only strengthen the hand of communist hard-liners," writes Jacob Heilbrunn. "The shrewder policy was to encourage as much contact as possible with the West.""

Company Seeks To Boost Linux Game Development With 3D Engine Giveaway 140

binstream writes "To support Linux game development, Unigine Corp. announced a competition: it will give a free license for its Unigine engine to a seasoned team willing to work on a native Linux game. The company has been Linux-friendly from the very start; it released advanced GPU benchmarks (Heaven, Tropics, Sanctuary) for Linux before and is working on the OilRush strategy game that supports Linux as well."

Submission + - Large Hadron Collider Detects "Big Bang" Matter (

dvltash writes: A phase of matter created moments after the Big Bang is thought to have been detected at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

"Striking" evidence of a quark-gluon plasma has been observed by a team of researchers, including Canadians, at the facility near Geneva, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced Friday.

The results of the experiment by an international collaboration called ATLAS were accepted Friday morning for publication in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters, less than 24 hours after it was submitted, said Teuscher, a research scientist at the Canadian Institute for Particle Physics and a physics professor at the University of Toronto.

Normally, the peer review process takes weeks or months, added Teuscher, a member of ATLAS who did some of the data analysis for the experiment.

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Comment Re:Unsurprising (Score 2, Informative) 166

The thing is that multicellular organisms require a lot more energy than unicellular organisms and for that there's the citric acid cycle. However there's no citric acid cycle without oxygen. This is the reason we haven't found any multicellular anoxiphiles (?) so far. I think. BTW there's a horrible mistake on the second sentence of the original article and they say it went thru peer-review. WTF! Hint: google "anoxia tolerance"

New Ancient Human Identified 148

krou writes "Working on a finger-bone that was discovered in the Denisova Cave of Siberia's Altai mountains in 2008, Johannes Krause from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and colleagues managed to extract mitochondrial DNA. They compared it to the genetic code of modern humans and other known Neanderthals and discovered a new type of hominin that lived in Central Asia between 48,000 and 30,000 years ago. Professor Chris Stringer, human origins researcher at London's Natural History Museum, said, 'This new DNA work provides an entirely new way of looking at the still poorly-understood evolution of humans in central and eastern Asia.' The last common ancestor of the hominid (dubbed 'X-Woman'), humans and Neanderthals seems to have been about one million years ago."

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas