Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:It's about science (Score 2) 199

Indeed I can.


from the article itself.

It looks very much like an experimental error. The fact they didn't use a multichannel analyser to look at the energy of the signal makes it very hard to exclude background signal (like from the sun, a massive radiation source).

They didn't even use much of a lead shield - 5mm, which is hardly anything for higher energy photons.

Comment: Re:Media sensationalism no doubt (Score 1) 392

by Bert the Turtle (#35553754) Attached to: A Handy Radiation Dose Chart From XKCD
It is slightly disingenius to suggest there is no evidence for the linear no-threshold model. All the epidemiological data at higher doses supports it. Low dose data is weak, we know that and it is a problem.

That said, it is clear from cell studies and animal studies that the type of radiation, dose rates, fractionation and the possible priming of repair mechanisms all play a part in low dose risk. It is reasonable to assume that low dose radiation risk is non-linear, but it is damn near impossible to actually plot the relationship.

I know there a strong proponents of the idea of a threshold. That's where this 100mSv number keeps coming from. Do keep in mind that there is a lot of money in cleaning up waste etc, and a lot of people with vested interests.

While the ICRP support the LNT as the best practical model, I'll keep using it. When they pick a better one, I (and my colleagues) will move to that.

Comment: Re:Units (Score 2) 392

by Bert the Turtle (#35553662) Attached to: A Handy Radiation Dose Chart From XKCD
They are used for different things.

Exposure (Roentgens) is a measure of radiation in air. Useful for physicists, but not for anyone else.

Absorbed dose (gray, J/kg) is a meaure of the energy deposited. Useful for single organ tissue effects (look up deterministic effects).

Equivalent dose (sievert) is absorbed dose corrected with a radiation weighting factor, as high energy transfer radiation is more damaging (ie alpha radiation).

Effective dose (also sievert) reflects the biological risk by including a tissue weighting factor. This is important when doses are received only by certain organs. More useful for estimating cancer risk.

Rads and Rems are old and deprecated non-SI units.

Comment: Already debunked (Score 3, Informative) 587

I have my concerns that the Slashdot crowd seem to have immediately disregarded this research, particularly that "correlation is not causation" rant. In this case, they *have* been looking for causation. There is, however, already a response from researchers at Texas A&M discussing the flaws of this particular paper (link below), including selection bias and apparent contradictions from other evidence. In short, peer-review is acting just as it should. It is only because Anderson has jammed out a press release to get his 15 minutes that we are even discussing it. Link to A&M paper http://www.tamiu.edu/~cferguson/Much%20Ado.pdf

+ - Science proves zombies could annihilate humans-> 1

Submitted by cb95amc
cb95amc (99589) writes "If zombies actually existed, an attack by them would lead to the collapse of civilisation unless dealt with quickly and aggressively. That is the conclusion of a mathematical exercise carried out by researchers in Canada. They say only frequent counter-attacks with increasing force would eradicate the fictional creatures. The scientific paper is published in a book — Infectious Diseases Modelling Research Progress. In books, films, video games and folklore, zombies are undead creatures, able to turn the living into other zombies with a bite. But there is a serious side to the work. In some respects, a zombie "plague" resembles a lethal rapidly-spreading infection."
Link to Original Source

+ - Pi calculated to record 2.5 trillion digits-> 6

Submitted by
Joshua writes "Researchers from Japan have calculated Pi to over 2.5 trillion decimals using the T2K Open Supercomputer (which is currently ranked 47th in the world according to a June, 2009 report from Top500.org). This new number more than doubles the previous record of about 1.2 trillion decimals set in 2002 by another Japanese research team. Unfortunately, there still seems to be no pattern."
Link to Original Source

+ - E-crime cops make 21 convictions in three years-> 1

Submitted by
Barence writes "The UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency's e-Crime unit has recorded only 21 convictions in the past three years. The figures came to light following a question tabled by Shadow Home Secretary, Chris Grayling, who asked the Government to release details of the e-Crime unit's performance. Home Secretary Alan Johnson revealed the unit was involved in 22 prosecutions and 21 convictions between April 2006 and March 2009. The Home Secretary went on to defend the unit's performance in his response. "Prosecution is however only one of a number of tools available to help achieve harm reduction in line with the Home Secretary's priorities in this area," Johnson said. The figures will once again ignite criticism that the UK is a soft touch for e-crime."
Link to Original Source

+ - Security Threats 3 Levels Beyond Kernel Rootkits

Submitted by GhostX9
GhostX9 (1525571) writes "Tom's Hardware recently interviewed security expert Joanna Rutkowska. Many think that kernel rootkits are the most dangerous attacks, but Joanna and her team have been studying exploits beyond Ring 0 for some time. Joanna is most well known for the red pill/blue pill virtualization attack (Ring -1) and in this interview chats a little bit about Ring -2 and Ring -3 attacks that go beyond kernel rootkits. What's surprising is how robust the classic BluePill proof-of-concept is:

'Many people tried to prove that BluePill is "detectable" by writing various virtualization detectors (but not BluePill detectors). They simply assumed that if we detect a virtualization being used, this means that we are "under" BluePill.This assumption was made because there were no products using hardware virtualization a few years ago. Needless to say, if we followed this way of reasoning, we might similarly say that if an executable makes network connections, then it must surely be a botnet.'"

+ - HM Revenue lose 25 Million users' personal data

Submitted by Bert the Turtle
Bert the Turtle (1073828) writes "The UK HM Revenue and Customs have announced that personal data for 25 million people has been "lost" while being transported on password-protected CDs by unrecorded means. This highlights the privacy issues faced by large organisations / governments collecting huge amounts of digital data. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7103566.stm"

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T