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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).


+ - Poverty linked to smaller brain structure in children->

Submitted by cortex
cortex (168860) writes "A Washington Post story covers a provocative new study that suggests that poverty affects brain structure in children and teenagers, with children growing up in the poorest households having smaller brains than those who live in affluence. An interesting follow on to an earlier study discussed on Slashdot."
Link to Original Source

+ - Authors alarmed as Oxford Junior Dictionary drops nature words 1

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "Margaret Atwood, Andrew Motion, and Michael Morpurgo are among 28 authors criticizing Oxford University Press's decision to scrap a number of words associated with nature from its junior dictionary. In an open letter (PDF) released on Monday, the acclaimed writers said they are 'profoundly alarmed' and urged the publisher to reinstate words cut since 2007 in the next edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Amongst words to be dropped are acorn, blackberries, and minnows."

+ - Firefox 35 Arrives With MP4 Playback On Mac, Android Download Manager Support

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today launched Firefox 35 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Major additions to the browser include room-based Firefox Hello conversations, H.264 (MP4 files) playback on OS X, and integration with the Android download manager. Firefox 35 for the desktop is available for download now on, and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play. Full changelogs: desktop and Android."

+ - Microbe found in grassy field contains powerful antibiotic->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "For much of the last decade, a team of researchers in Boston has eagerly exhumed and reburied dirt. It’s part of a strategy to access an untapped source of new antibiotics—the estimated 99% of microbes in the environment that refuse to grow in laboratories. Now, their technique has yielded a promising lead: a previously unknown bacterium that makes a compound with infection-killing abilities. What’s more, the team claims in a report out today, the compound is unlikely to fall prey to the problem of antibiotic resistance. That suggestion has its skeptics, but if the drug makes it through clinical trials, it would be a much needed weapon against several increasingly hard-to-treat infections."
Link to Original Source

+ - Extra Leap Second to be added to Clocks on June 30 3

Submitted by hcs_$reboot
hcs_$reboot (1536101) writes "On June 30 this year, the day will last a tad longer — one second precisely — as a leap second is to be added to clocks worldwide. The time UTC will go from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60 in order to cope with Earth slowing down, a bit. So, what do you intend to do during that extra second added to that day? Well, you may want to fix your systems. The last time a leap second was added, in 2012, a number of websites, Java and even Linux experienced some troubles. Leap seconds can be disruptive to precision systems used for navigation and communication. Has the time to get rid of leap seconds?"

+ - Toyota opens patents on hydrogen fuel cell technology

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Hoping to speed development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, Toyota said Monday that it would offer thousands of patents on related technologies to rival automakers, for free. The announcement, made at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, echoes a similar move by electric car maker Tesla in 2014, when Chief Executive Elon Musk made Tesla patents available to all, hoping to spur innovation in the electric vehicle world (and, perhaps, to draw publicity.) Toyota has similar goals for the fuel-cell car market. 'At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen,' Bob Carter, senior vice president at Toyota, said before the announcement. 'The first generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, launched between 2015 and 2020, will be critical, requiring a concerted effort and unconventional collaboration.'"

+ - Canadian Anti-Piracy Firm Caught Infringing Copyright ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Canipre, a Montreal-based intellectual property enforcement firm, yesterday issued a press release announcing an infringement monitoring program designed to take advantage of the Canada's new copyright notice-and-notice system. Yet a new report indicates that the company may itself be engaged in copyright infringement with a director's blog posting dozens of full-text articles from media organizations around the world, often without attribution and some that are subscription-only content."
Link to Original Source

+ - Age of stars is pinned to their spin->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Astronomers have proved that they can accurately tell the age of a star from how fast it is spinning.

We know that stars slow down over time, but until recently there was little data to support exact calculations.

For the first time, a US team has now measured the spin speed of stars that are more than one billion years old — and it matches what they predicted.

The finding resolves a long-standing challenge, allowing astronomers to estimate a star's age to within 10%."

Link to Original Source

+ - Peer-reviewed Study: MS Word is Superior to LaTeX

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A study recently published in PLOS ONE has compared MS Word to LaTeX and demonstrated that "...LaTeX users were slower than Word users, wrote less text in the same amount of time, and produced more typesetting, orthographical, grammatical, and formatting errors. On most measures, expert LaTeX users performed even worse than novice Word users... We conclude that even experienced LaTeX users may suffer a loss in productivity when LaTeX is used, relative to other document preparation systems. Individuals, institutions, and journals should carefully consider the ramifications of this finding when choosing document preparation strategies, or requiring them of authors."

Slashdot readers may also be interested in reading post-publication responses to the paper on PubPeer:"

+ - South Korean activists to drop The Interview into North by balloon->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The CBC reports that:

A South Korean activist said Wednesday that he will launch balloons carrying DVDs of Sony's The Interview toward North Korea to try to break down a personality cult built around dictator Kim Jong-un.

Activist Park Sang-hak said he will start dropping 100,000 DVDs and USBs with the movie by balloon in North Korea as early as late January. Park, a North Korean defector, said he's partnering with the U.S.-based non-profit Human Rights Foundation, which is financing the making of the DVDs and USB memory sticks of the movie with Korean subtitles.


Link to Original Source

+ - South Korean Activist to Drop "The Interview" in North Korea Using Balloons

Submitted by Siddharth Srinivas
Siddharth Srinivas (2730177) writes "Park Sang Hak a North Korean democracy activist said he will start dropping 100,000 DVDs and USBs with Sony's "The Interview" by balloon in North Korea as early as late January. He's partnering with the U.S.-based non-profit Human Rights Foundation, which is financing the making of the DVDs and USB memory sticks of the movie with Korean subtitles.
Sony has not released any official response about the drop."

+ - Did North Korea Really Attack Sony? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Many security experts remain skeptical of North Korea's incolvment in the recent Sony hacks. Schneier writes: "Clues in the hackers' attack code seem to point in all directions at once. The FBI points to reused code from previous attacks associated with North Korea, as well as similarities in the networks used to launch the attacks. Korean language in the code also suggests a Korean origin, though not necessarily a North Korean one, since North Koreans use a unique dialect. However you read it, this sort of evidence is circumstantial at best. It's easy to fake, and it's even easier to interpret it incorrectly. In general, it's a situation that rapidly devolves into storytelling, where analysts pick bits and pieces of the "evidence" to suit the narrative they already have worked out in their heads.""

+ - Sony to release The Interview online today; Apple won't play ball->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The BBC writes (
"Sony Pictures is to distribute its film The Interview online, after a cyber-attack and a row over its release. The film will be offered on a dedicated website — — as well as via Google and Microsoft services."

Notably absent among the services to provide The Interview is Apple. The New York Times reports (
"According to people briefed on the matter, Sony had in recent days asked the White House for help in lining up a single technology partner — Apple, which operates iTunes — but the tech company was not interested, at least not on a speedy time table. An Apple spokesman declined to comment. ""

Link to Original Source

Comment: If only the cop had a camera in Ferguson... (Score 3, Interesting) 368

by Bueller_007 (#48666875) Attached to: Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Yes, if only the cop had a camera during the Michael Brown stop, then I suppose his killing would have looked more like this:

Don't forget, the cops in that case knew they were being filmed. Here's another case where cops disgracefully killed someone when they knew they were on film. He had a weapon, but was at such a distance that he posed no threat at all ( ) And another one:

Any time that cops are in a store, they know they're being filmed on security cameras. Here's another "heroic" action by the cops, committing what any sane human would consider to be murder while they know that they are being filmed:

And of course don't expect some of the footage not to go "missing" ( ), and don't expect the footage to even be released ( ). And even if it goes to a grand jury, don't expect the District Attorney not to knowingly put a liar on the stand and throw the case:

Obviously this is all anecdotal and not "scientific" compared with the study in the summary, but it should be clear that this problem of police violence is not going to be completely solved until the cultures of "shoot first and ask questions later" and "protect each other" within law enforcement are changed.

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.