Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - New Paper Claims Neutrino Is Likely A Faster-Than-Light Particle 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Phys.org reports that in a new paper accepted by the journal Astroparticle Physics, Robert Ehrlich, a recently retired physicist from George Mason University, claims that the neutrino is very likely a tachyon or faster-than-light particle. Ehrlich's new claim of faster-than-light neutrinos is based on a much more sensitive method than measuring their speed, namely by finding their mass. The result relies on tachyons having an imaginary mass, or a negative mass squared. Imaginary mass particles have the weird property that they speed up as they lose energy – the value of their imaginary mass being defined by the rate at which this occurs. According to Ehrlich, the magnitude of the neutrino's imaginary mass is 0.33 electronvolts, or 2/3 of a millionth that of an electron. He deduces this value by showing that six different observations from cosmic rays, cosmology, and particle physics all yield this same value within their margin of error. One check on Ehrlich's claim could come from the experiment known as KATRIN, which should start taking data in 2015. In this experiment the mass of the neutrino could be revealed by looking at the shape of the spectrum in the beta decay of tritium, the heaviest isotope of hydrogen.p

But be careful. There have been many such claims, the last being in 2011 when the "OPERA" experiment measured the speed of neutrinos and claimed they travelled a tiny amount faster than light. When their speed was measured again the original result was found to be in error – the result of a loose cable no less. "Before you try designing a "tachyon telephone" to send messages back in time to your earlier self it might be prudent to see if Ehrlich's claim is corroborated by others.""

+ - The Open Bay Helps Launch 372 'Copies' Of The Pirate Bay In A Week

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "isoHunt, the group now best known for launching The Old Pirate Bay, has shared an update a week after debuting The Open Bay. The Pirate Bay, the most popular file sharing website on the planet, still isn’t back following police raids on its data center in Sweden, but its “cause” is very much alive. So far, 372 “copies” of The Pirate Bay have been created thanks to the project. The torrent database dump, which combines content from isoHunt, KickassTorrents (via its public API), and The Old Pirate Bay, has seen 1,256 downloads to date."

+ - All your onions are belong to us...Lizard Squad Targets Tor

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "“Lizard Squad,” the notorious hacker collective is now reportedly after the anonymous communication service, the Tor Project. Tor's service keeps users anonymous by bouncing communications around a large network of computers known as "volunteer nodes." But as Gizmodo points out, if one group can control most of the nodes — which is exactly what Lizard Squad is attempting to do here — it may “be able to eavesdrop on a substantial number of vulnerable users.” Computer programmer Nadim Kobeissi says Lizard Squad has claimed nearly half of Tor’s ~8,000 relays. As for the Tor project, the group has not released any statements."

+ - Climate scientists massage data to create illusion of ocean acidification

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "NOAA scientists deliberately excluded huge swathes of the ocean acid dataset going back 100 years in order to create the false impression that there has been an increase in ocean acid due to increased CO2. More details here.

How did they do it? They cherry-picked when their dataset would begin, in 1988, rather than using the full dataset beginning in 1920. In addition, they also only used computer models that showed this correlation."

+ - Post-Christmas surge of returns->

Submitted by Trachman
Trachman (3499895) writes "Today I have stopped by the local Walmart to buy some stationary and I have noticed a long line, perhaps a dozen people, who were standing to return the merchandise.

The first thing I saw is 2 meter long box with the plastic toy castle. I get it: unwanted gift to the kid.

The next thing I have noticed is a plastic Christmas tree, in the box, clearly opened and taped with transparent packing tapes, and a middle age lady looking to return it. The article below cites that 5% of the returns are fraudulent, but the Christmas tree returned on Dec 26 is ... a bit too obvious.

I think that sellers should have a two tier pricing system, a la carte: one price if you want the right to return and warranties, another price is where sales are final, no right to return for any reason.

Here is the question: what will be the next step from who return a lot of merchandise and do not want to be included into the database?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "YCombinator's Paul Graham has posted an essay arguing in favor of relaxed immigration rules. His argument is straight-forward: with only 5% of the world's population, the U.S. can only expect about 5% of great programmers to be born here. He says, "What the anti-immigration people don't understand is that there is a huge variation in ability between competent programmers and exceptional ones, and while you can train people to be competent, you can't train them to be exceptional. Exceptional programmers have an aptitude for and interest in programming that is not merely the product of training."

Graham says expecting to dramatically ramp up the training of programmers within the U.S. can't hope to match the resources available elsewhere. "We have the potential to ensure that the US remains a technology superpower just by letting in a few thousand great programmers a year. What a colossal mistake it would be to let that opportunity slip. It could easily be the defining mistake this generation of American politicians later become famous for.""

Link to Original Source

+ - FCC Misplaced Around 600,000 Net Neutrality Comments

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "FCC States It Misplaced Around 600,000 Net Neutrality Comments

Just as net neutrality opponents were celebrating the claim that their outrage-o-matic form letter campaigns resulted in more FCC-filed comments than neutrality supporters, the FCC has announced that it somehow managed to lose roughly 600,000 net neutrality comments during processing. According to a blog post by the FCC, the agency says that the comments were misplaced due to the agency's "18-year-old Electronic Comment Filing system (ECFS)."

"

+ - Conservative Judge Strikes Down Abortion Requirement for Real-Time View

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Dahlia Lithwick reports that a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has voted to strike down a highly controversial North Carolina law requiring doctors and ultrasound technicians to perform an ultrasound, display the image of the sonogram, and specifically describe the fetus to any pregnant woman seeking an abortion, even if the woman actively “averts her eyes” and “refuses to hear.” In July 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the Woman’s Right to Know Act over then-Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto. One provision of the law, the “Display of Real-Time View Requirement,” forces doctors or technicians to perform an ultrasound on any woman seeking an abortion at least four but not more than 72 hours before the abortion is to take place. They must show the sonogram so that the woman can see it and describe the fetus in detail, “including the presence, location, and dimensions of the unborn child within the uterus and the number of unborn children depicted.” Doctors who violate the act are liable for damages and may lose their licenses to practice in North Carolina. A lower federal court found that the Display of Real-Time View Requirement violated physicians’ First Amendment rights to free speech (PDF), and the three-judge panel affirmed a lower court’s determination that the law is a compelled speech provision that violates the First Amendment rights of providers. “The requirement is quintessential compelled speech," wrote Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, a conservative judge who was shortlisted for John Roberts’ seat as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. "It forces physicians to say things they otherwise would not say. Moreover, the statement compelled here is ideological; it conveys a particular opinion. The state freely admits that the purpose and anticipated effect of the Display of Real-Time View Requirement is to convince women seeking abortions to change their minds or reassess their decisions.”"

+ - High Speed DIY M&M Sorting Machine Uses iPhone Brain

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Canoe Tech reports that M&M sorting machines are a popular project for people who like combining electronics, programming and machine building. Most of them send a single M&M down a chute to a simple color sensor where the color sensor will then take a second or two to figure out the color. A servo motor will then rotate a chute that will direct the M&M into the correct pot. But a new project created by the nameless blogger behind the reviewmylife blog, that uses an iPhone 5s as its brain is capable of sensing different colors and so can "sort" the M&Ms as they fall past. The iPhone communicates the information via Bluetooth to an Arduino board, which in turn fires off the correct electro magnet controlled gate. One practical application of the sorter could be creating a bowl of M&Ms — with all the brown ones removed. According to Dan and Chip Heath, that's just what rock band Van Halen demand in one of the riders to their standard contract. The band’s “M&M clause” was written into its contract to serve a very specic purpose. It was called Article 126, and it read as follows: “There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.” The article was buried in the middle of countless technical specications. When David Lee Roth would arrive at a new venue, he’d immediately walk backstage and glance at the M&M bowl. If he saw a brown M&M, he’d demand a line check of the entire production. “Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error,” said Roth.. “They didn’t read the contract Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show.”"

+ - What is this "Linux", anyhow?-> 2

Submitted by coop0030
coop0030 (263345) writes "If you're starting down the path to learning about electronics or computers, you may have noticed or heard about "Linux" — as in "this dev board is linux-based" or "this wearable runs linux" or "I wrote a linux script to control the barcode scanner" And you might be wondering Well, what is this "Linux" anyhow? Does it matter to me? and then maybe you asked someone and you got a long rant about stuff called kernels and bashed shells and now you're wondering if its corn-related or is some sort of crab. Being that this question and confusion is inevitable, and we're getting so many people asking about this mysterious Linux, we at Adafruit thought we'd write up a series of tutorials to help you understand what linux is, when you want linux and how to use it when you do."
Link to Original Source

+ - Crowds Flock to "The Interview": Free As In Speech

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Theatres showing "The Interview" on Christmas were rewarded with sell-out crowds. While reviews of the comedy have been mixed, many movie-goers expressed solidarity with the sentiment expressed by one, "I wanted to support the U.S." Meanwhile, some reviewers have found the film tedious, with "...forced comedy that turns you off." Another opined, "It was more serious, the satire, than I was expecting," and, ""There's a message for America in there too about America's foreign policy." Then, of course, there's the North Korean take, that it is an "act of war.""

+ - Donald Knuth Worried About the "Dumbing Down" of Computer Science History->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Thomas Haigh, writing for Communications of the ACM, has an in-depth column about Donald Knuth and the history of computer science. It's centered on a video of Knuth giving a lecture at Stanford earlier this year, in which he sadly recounts how we're doing a poor job of capturing the development of computer science, which obscures vital experience in discovering new concepts and overcoming new obstacles. Haigh disagrees with Knuth, and explains why: "Distinguished computer scientists are prone to blur their own discipline, and in particular few dozen elite programs, with the much broader field of computing. The tools and ideas produced by computer scientists underpin all areas of IT and make possible the work carried out by network technicians, business analysts, help desk workers, and Excel programmers. That does not make those workers computer scientists. ... Computing is much bigger than computer science, and so the history of computing is much bigger than the history of computer science. Yet Knuth treated Campbell-Kelly's book on the business history of the software industry (accurately subtitled 'a history of the software industry') and all the rest of the history of computing as part of 'the history of computer science.'""
Link to Original Source

+ - MIT Unifies Web Development In Single, Speedy New Language->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "The language, called Ur/Web, provides a way for developers to write pages as self-contained programs. It incorporates many of the most widely used Web technologies, freeing the developer from working with each language individually. Ur/Web’s author, Adam Chlipala, an MIT computer science assistant professor, will present his work next month at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages."
Link to Original Source

+ - Why Lizard Squad took down PSN and Xbox Live on Christmas Day

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Early Christmas morning, hacker group Lizard Squad took credit for taking down PlayStation Network and Xbox Live for hours. This affected those who had received new Xbox One or PS4 consoles, preventing them from playing online.

So why did they do it? According to an exclusive interview with Lizard Squad, it had to do with convincing companies to improve their security — the hard way. "Taking down Microsoft and Sony networks shows the companies’ inability to protect their consumers and instead shows their true vulnerability. Lizard Squad claims that their actions are simple, take down gaming networks for a short while, and forcing companies to upgrade their security as a result.""

Line Printer paper is strongest at the perforations.

Working...