Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Submission + - Slashdot: Remove Video Bytes

An anonymous reader writes: Video Bytes are annoying and pointless. Please remove them.

Also, put the poll back on the side.

Submission + - In New Zealand, a legal battle looms over streaming TV (

SpacemanukBEJY.53u writes: After a threat from a law firm, two New Zealand ISPs have withdrawn services that let their customers navigate to content sites outside the country that world normally be geo-blocked. Using VPNs or other services to access content restricted by region isn't specifically outlawed in either New Zealand or in neighboring Australia, but it appears the entertainment industry is prepared to court to try and argue that such services can violate copyright law. Intellectual property experts said the situation in New Zealand, if it goes to court, could result in the first test case over the legality of skirting regional restrictions.

Submission + - Prosecutors suspect man hacked lottery computers to score winning ticket (

SternisheFan writes: Prosecutors say they have evidence indicating the former head of computer security for a state lottery association tampered with lottery computers prior to him buying a ticket that won a $14.3 million jackpot, according to a media report.

Eddie Raymond Tipton, 51, may have inserted a thumbdrive into a highly locked-down computer that's supposed to generate the random numbers used to determine lottery winners, The Des Moines Register reported, citing court documents filed by prosecutors. At the time, Tipton was the information security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, and he was later videotaped purchasing a Hot Lotto ticket that went on to fetch the winning $14.3 million payout.

In court documents filed last week, prosecutors said there is evidence to support the theory Tipton used his privileged position inside the lottery association to enter a locked room that housed the random number generating computers and infect them with software that allowed him to control the winning numbers. The room was enclosed in glass, could only be entered by two people at a time, and was monitored by a video camera. To prevent outside attacks, the computers aren't connected to the Internet. Prosecutors said Tipton entered the so-called draw room on November 20, 2010, ostensibly to change the time on the computers. The cameras on that date recorded only one second per minute rather than running continuously like normal.

"Four of the five individuals who have access to control the camera's settings will testify they did not change the cameras' recording instructions," prosecutors wrote. "The fifth person is defendant. It is a reasonable deduction to infer that defendant tampered with the camera equipment to have an opportunity to insert a thumbdrive into the RNG tower without detection."

Submission + - Sharp Announces 4K Smartphone Display (

An anonymous reader writes: Japanese electronics giant Sharp has announced production of 5.5" displays with 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution. They'll hit the market next year. The display will have a pixel density of 806 PPI. It's not known yet which smartphone makers will build devices with these screens. The displays cost significantly more than a more typical 1080p or 1440p display, so they'll probably only make it into high-end phones. On the other hand, this will help to drive down prices for lower-resolution displays, so it could indirectly benefit everybody.

Submission + - Can civilization reboot without fossil fuels? (

An anonymous reader writes: We often talk about our dependence on fossil fuels, and vigorously debate whether and how we should reduce that dependence. This article at Aeon sidesteps the political bickering and asks an interesting technological question: if we had to rebuild society, could we do it without all the fossil fuels we used to do it the first time? When people write about post-apocalyptic scenarios, the focus is usually on preserving information long enough for humanity to rebuild. But actually rebuilding turns out to be quite a challenge when all the easy oil has been bled from the planet. It's not that we're running out, it's that the best spots for oil now require high tech machinery. This would create a sort of chicken-and-egg problem for a rebuilding society. Technological progress could still happen using other energy production methods. But it would be very slow — we'd never see the dramatic accelerations that marked the industrial age, and then the information age. "A slow-burn progression through the stages of mechanisation, supported by a combination of renewable electricity and sustainably grown biomass, might be possible after all. Then again, it might not. We’d better hope we can secure the future of our own civilisation, because we might have scuppered the chances of any society to follow in our wake."

Submission + - 'Urban Death Project' Proposes to Compost the Dead 1 writes: Even as more people opt for interment in simple shrouds or biodegradable caskets, urban cemeteries continue to fill up and cremation is a problematic option for the environmentally conscious, as the process releases greenhouse gases.Now Catrin Einhorn reports at the NYT that architect Katrina Spade has designed a facility for human composting that is attracting interest from environmental advocates and scientists. “Composting makes people think of banana peels and coffee grounds,” says Spade. But “our bodies have nutrients. What if we could grow new life after we’ve died?” The Urban Death Project's plans call for a three-story-high polished concrete composting structure in Seattle called "the core," which would be surrounded by contemplative spaces for visitors. After a ceremony — religious or not — friends and family would help insert the body into the core. Over several weeks a body would turn into about one cubic yard of compost, enough to plant a tree or a patch of flowers.

For most people in the US, there are two options after death: You are buried or you are burned. The costs, both environmental and financial, are significant, but we accept these options because they are all that we know. Conventional burial is anything but natural. Cadavers are preserved with embalming fluid containing formaldehyde, a carcinogen then buried in caskets made of metal or wood, and placed inside a concrete or metal burial vault. The tradition of embalming in the United States is relatively new, beginning in the Civil War when northern families needed to get their dead men home from the South. Spade understands the idea of human composting may be icky to some, but it’s an important part of her concept, the thing that differentiates it from natural burial, which requires extensive land. "I’m sure I’ll continue to get pushback, but I’ll continue to be stubborn because I think it’s really important that we’re part of a larger ecosystem.”

Submission + - 2:1 faculty preference for women on STEM tenure track (

An anonymous reader writes: The underrepresentation of women in academic science is typically attributed, both in scientific literature and in the media, to sexist hiring. Here we report five hiring experiments in which faculty evaluated hypothetical female and male applicants, using systematically varied profiles disguising identical scholarship, for assistant professorships in biology, engineering, economics, and psychology. Contrary to prevailing assumptions, men and women faculty members from all four fields preferred female applicants 2:1 over identically qualified males with matching lifestyles (single, married, divorced), with the exception of male economists, who showed no gender preference. Comparing different lifestyles revealed that women preferred divorced mothers to married fathers and that men preferred mothers who took parental leaves to mothers who did not. Our findings, supported by real-world academic hiring data, suggest advantages for women launching academic science careers.

Submission + - Nearly Half Of 'Game of Thrones' Season 5 Leaks Online 1 writes: Paul Tassi reports at Forbes that the first four episodes of the new season of "Game of Thrones", nearly half of the ten total episodes, have been leaked online to various torrent sites. The four episodes appeared to come from a screener sent to reviewers with the digital watermark blurred out and are in 480p video format, equivalent to standard-definition TV, not HD.The episodes have already been downloaded almost 800,000 times, and that figure was expected to blow past a million downloads by the season 5 premiere. Game of Thrones has consistently set records for piracy, which has almost been a point of pride for HBO. “Our experience is [piracy] leads to more penetration, more paying subs, more health for HBO, less reliance on having to do paid advertising If you go around the world, I think you’re right, Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world. Well, you know, that’s better than an Emmy.”

How the leak happened isn’t a mystery. Television critics typically receive the first four episodes of an HBO show before its season premiere, and “Game of Thrones” is no exception. HBO could not immediately say whether the leak could be traced to screener copies of the show. "I suspect HBO may be a bit more restrictive about handing out Game of Thrones screeners to press, given the event-like nature of the show and its reliance on keeping spoilers close to the chest," writes Tassi. "I really don’t see why commentary like that needs to exist in the first place." The network can take solace in at least one thing, though. Episode four ends on a heck of a cliffhanger, and those who pirated the episodes will be in the same boat as those of us who received them legally — waiting until May to find out what happens next. "I would imagine it’s more fun to just spend the next month watching week to week as nature intended, even if you are watching illegally," concludes Tassi. "Game of Thrones is one of the last true “event” shows where it’s something you want to talk about Sunday night or Monday morning with friends and strangers alike."

Submission + - UW scientists, biotech firm may have cure for colorblindness

An anonymous reader writes: For the more than 10million Americans with colorblindness, there’s never been a treatment, let alone a cure, for the condition that leaves them unable to distinguish certain hues. Now, for the first time, two University of Washington professors have teamed with a California biotech firm to develop what they say may be a solution: a single shot in the eye that reveals the world in full color. Jay and Maureen Neitz, husband-and-wife scientists who have studied the vision disorder for years, have arranged an exclusive license agreement between UW and Avalanche Biotechnologies of Menlo Park. Together, they’ve found a new way to deliver genes that can replace missing color-producing proteins in certain cells, called cones, in the eyes.

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

Freshly Exhumed 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.

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

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.

There is very little future in being right when your boss is wrong.