Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Cold Fusion Rears Ugly Head With Claims of Deuterium-Powered Homes 143

szczys writes: Ah, who can forget the cold-fusion fiasco of the early 1990s? Promises of room-temperature fusion machines in every home providing nearly-free energy for all. Relive those glory days of hype with this report of Deuterium-Based Home Reactors. Elliot Williams does a good job of deflating the sensationalism by pointing out all of the "breakthroughs," their lack of having any other labs successfully verify the experiments, and the fact that many of the same players from the news stories in the '90s are once again wrapped up in this one. I'm still waiting for the neighborhood E-Cat to arrive ...

Submission Endocannabinoids Contribute to Runner's High->

MTorrice writes: After a nice long bout of aerobic exercise, some people experience what’s known as a “runner’s high”: a feeling of euphoria coupled with reduced anxiety and a lessened ability to feel pain. For decades, scientists have associated this phenomenon with an increased level in the blood of -endorphins, opioid peptides thought to elevate mood.

Now, German researchers have shown the brain’s endocannabinoid system—the same one affected by marijuana’s 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—may also play a role in producing runner’s high, at least in mice.

Link to Original Source

Feed Google News Sci Tech: The secret Maoist Chinese operation that conquered malaria - and won a Nobel - Huffington Post->

Huffington Post

The secret Maoist Chinese operation that conquered malaria - and won a Nobel
Huffington Post
At the height of the Cultural Revolution, Project 523 - a covert operation launched by the Chinese government and headed by a young Chinese medical researcher by the name of Tu Youyou - discovered what has been the most powerful and effective...
Answering an Appeal by Mao Led Tu Youyou, a Chinese Scientist, to a Nobel PrizeNew York Times
Tu Youyou: An Outlier Of China's Scientific And Technological SystemForbes
Nobel prize in medicine for new tools to kill parasitesSan Jose Mercury News
all 1,857 news articles

Link to Original Source

Worries Mount Over Upcoming LTE-U Deployments Hurting Wi-Fi 149

alphadogg writes: LTE-U is a technology developed by Qualcomm that lets a service provider broadcast and receive signals over unlicensed spectrum, which is usable by anybody – specifically, in this case, the spectrum used by Wi-Fi networks in both businesses and homes. By opening up this new spectrum, major U.S. wireless carriers hope to ease the load on the licensed frequencies they control and help their services keep up with demand. Unsurprisingly, several outside experiments that pitted standard LTE technology or 'simulated LTE-U' technology, in the case of one in-depth Google study, against Wi-Fi transmitters on the same frequencies found that LTE drastically reduced the throughput on the Wi-Fi connection.

Submission Dear FCC : Please don't kill my PC!->

An anonymous reader writes: This past year the FCC passed a set of rules that require manufacturers to thwart end-users from violating rules intended to keep the airwaves usable by all. Unfortunately the rules are such that they will do nothing to stop violators who have the knowledge and intent to bypass them and are already having massive collateral damage on non-violating users. Many people in the OpenWRT and LibreCMC communities are already seeing these locks in newer stock firmware images.

What we would like people to keep in mind is that these rules are not explicit to routers and will hamper other devices as well. Can't install your favourite distribution on a new computer? These rules may be to blame.

The EFF, FSF, Purple Foundation, OpenWRT, ThinkPenguin, Qualcomm, and others have been working diligently to stop this, but we need your help. This is your last chance to send in comments for a set of proposed rules that will make the situation even worse than it already is. For accurate information (there have been many factually inaccurate and misleading stories/quotes) check out the following blog post: and send your comments into the FCC via the EFF's new site: Also see

This is your last chance to stop this. The comment period ends October 9th!

Additional thoughts: Canada and Europe are also passing a similar set of rules. This fight won't be over any time soon. However we won't win unless we can overcome and win the first battle: stopping the proposed rules in the USA.

Link to Original Source
Open Source

Matthew Garrett Forks the Linux Kernel 521

jones_supa writes: Just like Sarah Sharp, Linux developer Matthew Garrett has gotten fed up with the unprofessional development culture surrounding the kernel. "I remember having to deal with interminable arguments over the naming of an interface because Linus has an undying hatred of BSD securelevel, or having my name forever associated with the deepthroating of Microsoft because Linus couldn't be bothered asking questions about the reasoning behind a design before trashing it," Garrett writes. He has chosen to go his own way, and has forked the Linux kernel and added patches that implement a BSD-style securelevel interface. Over time it is expected to pick up some of the power management code that Garrett is working on, and we shall see where it goes from there.

Comment Re:Labor reduction (Score 1) 89

What good is $1/lb rice over $3/lb rice when we have to spend an extra $8/lb to cover the social welfare costs so the farmers who formally grew the rice can afford to purchase that rice to feed their family?

You're making a false dichotomy. Go back to colonial America--yes, that recent--and even England had no notable welfare system. England implemented old-age pensions and unemployment insurance before the United States, and unemployment insurance was hotly debated because of expense--with people citing old-age pensions as having worked out fine in support; now unemployment insurance is ... a tiny, tiny thing. Why do you think that is?

Our social welfare systems in America cost 1.5% of taxed AGI back in 1950--including social security. Back in 1790, such social welfare systems would have bankrupt America--not required 30% of our taxable money, but required 500% of our taxable money. That 1% income tax they levied in 1820 covered some extremely minor functions of government on a small body of people, without the costs of things like communications infrastructure, space-age military, interstate highways, ICBM launch silos, nuclear submarine programs, or military satellite systems. America's navy wasn't England's; wooden ships were expensive, but we relied on militia men and a standing army rather than infinite sea power, since well-armed galleons wouldn't stop invasion from our two fucking huge borders. A standing militia is cheap.

The fact is these systems of $1/lb rice over $3/lb rice have made enough excessive wealth for us to actually implement those social welfare programs and still come out richer. We were once a nation--once a world--of blacksmiths and farmers, with the blacksmiths mostly supporting the farmers with plows and scythes; now farmers are 0.25% of our population. We're reaching a point where our current-model welfare system--the social programs system--is growing out of control in cost, while minimum wage--a good system for the 1900s--is actually threatening to undermine the economy; and, at this point, we can implement a Citizen's Dividend system which will continuously reduce its minimum operating cost (I argue, as a matter of policy, to lock the financing sources and just let the minimum standard of living grow as our nation becomes more wealthy), eliminating both problems and completely ending homelessness and hunger forever.

That's what cheaper rice gets you. It's what every step in history has been: cheaper metal products (blacksmiths go away), automatic elevators (bellhops go away), more food from less land (lots of farmers go away), advanced low-cost materials like plastic (shipping costs drop because fuel needs go down, manufacturing labor drops, and lots of people in many sectors need new jobs), and so forth have steadily cut down the price of a T-shirt from $4,000 (479 labor-hours at $8.25/hr minimum wage, a la 1820, before the power loom entered wide deployment) to $15 (8.6 hours at $1.73/hr) and moved the labor elsewhere. That labor, moved elsewhere, does other things: we still have t-shirts, but we also have rockets that go to the moon, and social programs that keep people from starving.


From Microsoft, HoloLens VR Dev Kit, New Phones, Continuum 82

Ars Technica and scads of other tech hardware sites are reporting that the big news so far from this morning's Microsoft product launch event in New York is that the company's Hololens development kit will begin shipping in the first quarter of next year, and at a price that puts the units out of the hands of typical consumers: $3000. At that level, developers are more likely to make the plunge, which Ars applauds.

The company also announced three new smartphones: two of them, the Lumia 950, 950XL, are worth designating "flagships," while the 550, notably, will sell for $139, putting it in the territory of cheap grey-market Android phones. More interesting than spec bumps, though, is Continuum for Windows, a Window 10 feature which made its official debut at the event. Continuum is one manifestation of the pocket-computer idea that others have had as well in various forms: it means that with an adapter, a phone can be used as the CPU and graphics engine when connected to a screen and keyboard: "The adapter features a Microsoft Display Dock, an HDMI and Display Port, plus 3 USB ports to provide productivity on the go and let you plug in additional peripherals, such as mice and keyboards. Other accessories can be connected too, Microsoft said."

Microsoft also demo'd the Surface 4. Its improved screen is 12.3" at 2160x1440, for a pixel density of 267 PPI. The new pro has a Skylake 6th-gen processor, which they say provides a 30% performance boost over the Surface Pro 3, and a 50% boost over the MacBook Air. The SP4 goes up to 1TB of storage, and up to 16GB of RAM. The Type Cover was improved as well — the touchpad is 40% larger and supports 5-point multi-touch, while the keys have better travel and pitch.

On top of this, Microsoft also unveiled the Surface Book laptop. Its defining feature is that you can unclip the 13.5" touchscreen and use it separately as a tablet. The keyboard dock has a dedicated GPU that will boost performance when attached. Microsoft is using a new type of hinge that bends and extends at multiple points, so you can also reattach the screen backward if you want to use it as a tablet while keeping the extra GPU power available. They claim a 12-hour battery life for the Surface Book.

International Exploit Kit Angler Thwarted By Cisco Security Team 36

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at a Cisco security unit have successfully interrupted the spread of a massive international exploit kit which is commonly used in ransomware attacks. The scientists discovered that around 50% of computers infected with Angler were connecting with servers based at a Dallas facility, owned by provider Limestone Networks. Once informed, Limestone cut the servers from its network and handed over the data to the researchers who were able to recover Angler authentication protocols, information needed to disrupt future diffusion.
The Almighty Buck

NY Times Passes 1M Digital Subscribers 89 writes: Many news organizations, facing competition from digital outlets, have sharply reduced the size of their newsrooms and their investment in news gathering but less than four-and-a-half years after launching its pay model the NY Times has increased coverage as it announced that the Times has passed one million digital-only subscribers, giving them far more than any other news organization in the world. The Times still employs as many reporters as it did 15 years ago — and its ranks now include graphics editors, developers, video journalists and other digital innovators. "It's a tribute to the hard work and innovation of our marketing, product and technology teams and the continued excellence of our journalism," says CEO Mark Thompson.

According to Ken Doctor the takeaway from the Times success is that readers reward elite global journalism. The Wall Street Journal is close behind the Times, at 900,000, while the FT's digital subscription number stands at 520,000. "These solid numbers form bedrock for the future. For news companies, being national now means being global, and being global means enjoying unprecedented reach," says Doctor. "These audiences of a half-million and more portend more reader revenue to come."

Comment A few counter examples don't disprove the general (Score 4, Insightful) 259

I'm sure you can find plenty of teams of rockstar coders who can scale in amazing ways. Unfortunately, this does not apply to teams of average programmers. An average programmer knows how to code but is typically much less intuitive about how their components impact other developers. To deal with this, you need to do all this up-front design work that it entirely serial (not scalable) and takes a substantial portion of the total development time.


Neutrino 'Flip' Discovery Earns Nobel For Japanese, Canadian Researchers 52

Dave Knott writes with news that the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to Takaaki Kajita (of the University of Tokyo in Japan) and Arthur McDonald (of Queens University in Canada), for discovering how neutrinos switch between different "flavours." As the linked BBC article explains: In 1998, Prof Kajita's team reported that neutrinos they had caught, bouncing out of collisions in the Earth's atmosphere, had switched identity: they were a different "flavour" from what those collisions must have released. Then in 2001, the group led by Prof McDonald announced that the neutrinos they were detecting in Ontario, which started out in the Sun, had also "flipped" from their expected identity. This discovery of the particle's wobbly identity had crucial implications. It explained why neutrino detections had not matched the predicted quantities — and it meant that the baffling particles must have a mass. This contradicted the Standard Model of particle physics and changed calculations about the nature of the Universe, including its eternal expansion.

EU Court of Justice Declares US-EU Data Transfer Pact Invalid 179

Sique writes: Europe's highest court ruled on Tuesday that a widely used international agreement for moving people's digital data between the European Union and the United States was invalid. The decision, by the European Court of Justice, throws into doubt how global technology giants like Facebook and Google can collect, manage and analyze online information from their millions of users in the 28-member bloc. The court decreed that the data-transfer agreement was invalid as of Tuesday's ruling. New submitter nava68 adds links to coverage at the Telegraph; also at TechWeek Europe. From TechWeek Europe's article: The ruling was the court’s final decision in a data-protection case brought by 27-year-old Austrian law student Max Schrems against the Irish data protection commissioner. That case, in turn, was spurred by Schrems’ concerns over the collection of his personal data by Facebook, whose European headquarters is in Ireland, and the possibility that the data was being handed over to US intelligence services.