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


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Submission + - 300 Million Year Old Fossil Fish Likely Had Color Vision (

westlake writes: Nature is reporting the discovery of mineralized rods and cones in a 300 million year old fossil fish found in Kansas. The soft tissues of the eye and brain decay rapidly after death, within 64 days and 11 days, respectively, and are almost never preserved in the fossil record — making this is the first discovery of fossil rods and cones in general and the first evidence for color vision in a fossilized vertebrate eye.

Submission + - Glow-In-The-Dark Roads Experiencing Issues Already

cartechboy writes: Back in April we read about the first glow-in-the-dark road debuting in the Netherlands. The concept is not only awesome, but it also has a real safety upside to it. Less than a month into the trial there's already a large stumbling block: the roads go dark when they get too wet. More specifically, moisture, such as that encountered during rainfall, can quickly reduce the effectiveness of the glowing paint's light output. The engineers at Heijmans, which is behind the pilot program, say a new version of the glowing road markings is already in development and will be ready later this summer. Maybe the second iteration of the glow-in-the-dark roads will work as expected. Which then leads to the question of whether the future will include glow-in-the-dark roads. Seriously, our roads might just start to look like something out of tron if you throw the new 2015 BMW i8 into the mix.

Submission + - Ecuadorian Navy Rescues Bezos After Kidney Stone Attack 1

theodp writes: Hopefully, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos splurged on a Platinum Marketplace Health Insurance Plan for 2014 or he could be looking at some serious out-of-pocket costs. While vacationing aboard a cruise ship in the Galapagos Islands, where the State Department warns the quality of medical facilities and services are 'generally well below U.S. standards', Gawker reports that Bezos was rescued by the Ecuadorian Navy so he could receive treatment for a kidney stone attack on New Year's Day. The Ecuadorian Navy confirmed Bezos' rescue, which involved taking Bezos by Navy helicopter from Academy Bay in Santa Cruz Island to his private jet stationed on Baltra Island. Hey, it should make for a great Affordable Health Care Act ad!

Submission + - We don't want your Coffee ( 1

bevacqua writes: It isn't JavaScript, it just compiles down to it. Stop trying to subjugate people on StackOverflow by answering their JavaScript questions with CoffeeScript code. Stop trying to get JavaScript help posting Coffee code we don't understand.

Snowden Nominated For Freedom of Thought Prize 212

First time accepted submitter DigitalKhaos23 writes "Snowden is a candidate for the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, which honors people or organizations for their work in the defense of human rights and freedom of thought. The article adds: 'Edward Snowden risked his life to confirm what we had long suspected regarding mass online surveillance, a major scandal of our times. He revealed details of violations of EU data protection law and fundamental rights.'"

Submission + - Ditch Your Passwords -- US Gov To Issue Secure Online IDs

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Tom Groenfeldt reports in Forbes that the US Postal Service has awarded a contract to SecureKey to implement the Federal Cloud Credential Exchange (FCXX) designed to enable individuals to securely access online services at multiple federal agencies —such as health benefits, student loan information, and retirement benefit information—without the need to use a different password or other digital identification for each service. SecureKey already operates a trusted identity service in Canada using identification keys provided by one of five participating Canadian banks, that allows Canadians to connect with 120 government programs online with no additional user names or passwords for everything from benefits queries to fishing licenses. “This system marks a significant milestone in the evolution of cloud computing, leading the way in demonstrating how identities will be utilized and managed in the online world for years to come, and we are thrilled to have been selected by the USPS for this critical national initiative,” says Andre Boysen, chief marketing officer for SecureKey. The SecureKey program is designed to connect identity providers—such as banks, governments, healthcare organizations, and others—with consumers’ favorite online services though a cloud-based broker service. The platform allows identity providers and online services to integrate once, reducing the integration and business complexity otherwise incurred in establishing many-to-many relationships.

Submission + - MS Tackles CS Education Crisis with Popularity Contest

theodp writes: 'The lack of education in computer science is an example of an area of particularly acute concern,' Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith told Congress as he sold lawmakers on the need to improve 'America's access to high skilled foreign talent'. Smith added that Microsoft also wants to 'help American students and workers gain the skills needed for the jobs that will fuel the innovation economy.' Towards that end, Microsoft will award $100,000 worth of donations to five technology education nonprofits 'who teach programming and provide technical resources to those who might not otherwise get the chance.' So, how will Microsoft determine who's most worthy? With a popularity contest, of course! At the end of October, the top five vote-getting nonprofits — only Windows AzureDev Community members are eligible to vote — will split the Microsoft Money. By the way, currently in second place but trying harder is, the seemingly dual-missioned organization advised by Microsoft's Smith which has reached out to its 140,000 Facebook fans, and 17,000 Twitter followers in its quest for the $50,000 first prize.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is a Biographical movie for Grace Hopper overdue?

Dabido writes: Rear Admiral Grace Hopper is probably last centuries most important female figure in computer science, yet no one has ever made a biographical movie based on her life. There is certainly enough material to make a movie (maybe even a mini-series). She certainly has wit, charm and personality, as demonstrated by her appearance on the David Letterman show With many media stories complaining that females are under represented in the sciences, is it not time that Hollywood finally made a biographical movie of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper?

Submission + - Android Passes BlackBerry In US Market Share

An anonymous reader writes: 69.5 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in February 2011, up 13 percent from the preceding three-month period. For the first time, more Americans are using phones running Google's Android operating system than Research In Motion's BlackBerry, according to comScore. Having passed the iPhone in the preceding three-month period, this now means that Android has been crowned king in the US.

Newspaper Plagiarizes Blog, Taunts Real Author 301

iandennismiller writes "I've been keeping an eye on this viral marketing campaign called Petite Lap Giraffe — it's the DirecTV ads with the Russian guy and the tiny giraffe. I was pretty quick to debunk the existence of the giraffes, so a lot of people have been visiting my blog as a result. Today, I noticed a New-York area newspaper that was represented my research as their own, so I asked them to link to my blog (i.e. provide attribution). What ended up happening perfectly illustrates that newspapers just don't understand how the Internet works ..."

Feed Google News Sci Tech: A Guided Tour of Computing History - PC World (


A Guided Tour of Computing History
PC World
On January 13th, the seven-year-old Computer History Museum will open its first truly full-blown permanent exhibit:, the 25000-square-foot, $19 million "Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing. ...
Cassidy: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is a Silicon Valley treasureSan Jose Mercury News
Woz goes hands-on with technology relicsCNET
Steve Wozniak the ultimate icon for the history of computingStark Insider
IEEE Spectrum-TopNews United States-Gizmodo Australia
all 15 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Google Chrome OS Netbook Set for Dec. 7 Unveiling - eWeek (


Google Chrome OS Netbook Set for Dec. 7 Unveiling
Google will unveil a Chrome OS netbook Dec. 7. Key questions include: when can the public get them, and will the iPad and Android machines allow them to prosper? Google is hosting an event Dec. 7 where it will likely demonstrate a netbook based on its ...
Google Chrome OS Netbook Launching Tuesday?Gotta Be Mobile
Google's Chrome OS netbook coming Dec. 7thVentureBeat
Google sends invites for Chrome event December 7Electronista
all 209 news articles

Submission + - Ruby on Rails To Replace Sports Bloggers (

tesmar writes: "Here come the robo sports journalists. While people in the media biz worry about content mills like Demand Media and Associated Content spitting out endless SEO-targeted articles written by low-paid Internet writers, at least those articles are still written by humans. We may no longer need the humans, at least for data-driven stories.

A startup in North Carolina, StatSheet, today is launching a remarkable network of 345 sports sites, one dedicated to each Division 1 college basketball tam in the U.S. For instance, there is a site for the Michigan State Spartans, North Carolina Tar Heels, and Ohio Buckeyes. Every story on each site was written by a robot, or to put it more precisely, by StatSheet’s content algorithms. “The posts are completely auto-generated,” says founder Robbie Allen. “The only human involvement is with creating the algorithms that generate the posts.”"


Submission + - Someone cooked with their USB ports, Awesome ( 4

tekgoblin writes: Wow, I would have never have thought to try and cook food with the power that a standard USB port provides well someone did. A standard port provides around 5V of power give or take a little. I am not even sure what it takes to heat a small hotplate but I am sure it is more than 5V. It looks like the guy tied together around 30 USB cables powered by his PC to power this small hotplate. But believe it or not it seems to have cooked the meat perfectly.

Software Theft a Problem For Actual Thieves, Too 152

Velcroman1 writes "Pity the criminal mastermind. After all, he's a victim too, reports Despite the sophisticated DRM baked into the ZeuS bot to protect it from theft, that's exactly what has happened. 'ZeuS is actually being pirated, so you can get all the versions for free,' said Roel Schouwenberg, senior anti-virus researcher with security software firm Kaspersky Labs. 'They introduced a hardware-based activation process similar to Windows activation, to make sure only one purchased copy of the ZeuS kit — the kit that produces malware — can run on one computer,' said Sergei Shevchenko, senior malware analyst for security software company PC Tools."

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!