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Humans Nearly Went Extinct 70,000 Years Ago 777

Josh Fink brings us a CNN story discussing evidence found by researchers which indicates that humans came close to extinction roughly 70,000 years ago. A similar study by Stanford scientists suggests that droughts reduced the population to as few as 2,000 humans, who were scattered in small, isolated groups. Quoting: "'This study illustrates the extraordinary power of genetics to reveal insights into some of the key events in our species' history,' said Spencer Wells, National Geographic Society explorer in residence. 'Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA.'"

Are C and C++ Losing Ground? 961

Pickens writes "Dr. Dobbs has an interesting interview with Paul Jansen, the managing director of TIOBE Software, about the Programming Community Index, which measures the popularity of programming languages by monitoring their web presence. Since the TIOBE index has been published now for more than 6 years, it gives an interesting picture about trends in the usage of programming languages. Jansen says not much has affected the top ten programming languages in the last five years, with only Python entering the top 10 (replacing COBOL), but C and C++ are definitely losing ground. 'Languages without automated garbage collection are getting out of fashion,' says Jansen. 'The chance of running into all kinds of memory problems is gradually outweighing the performance penalty you have to pay for garbage collection.'"

Bill Gates On the GPL — "We Disagree" 778

Dionysius, God of Wine, writes with a link to an Ars Technica story, quoting Bill Gates: "'There's free software and then there's open source' he suggested, noting that Microsoft gives away its software in developing countries. With open source software, on the other hand, 'there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.' Open source, he said, creates a license 'so that nobody can ever improve the software,' he claimed, bemoaning the squandered opportunity for jobs and business. (Yes, Linux fans, we're aware of how distorted this definition is.) He went back to the analogy of pharmaceuticals: 'I think if you invent drugs, you should be able to charge for them,' he said, adding with a shrug: 'That may seem radical."

Best Way To Avoid Keyloggers On Public Terminals? 701

goombah99 writes "While on vacation, I occasionally need to check my e-mail on a public terminal. What are some good techniques for avoiding keyloggers? Most of my ideas seem to have major drawbacks. Linux LiveCD can probably avoid software keyloggers, but it requires an invasive takeover of the public terminal, and is generally not possible. Kyps.net offers a free reverse proxy that will decode your password from a one-time pad you carry around, then enter it remotely. But, of course, you are giving them your passwords when you do this. You can run Firefox off a USB stick with various plugins (e.g. RoboForm) that will automatically fill the page in some manner they claim to be invulnerable to keyloggers. If that's true, (and I can't evaluate its security) it's getting close to a solution. Unfortunately, keeping the password file up-to-date is a mild nuisance. Moreover, since it will need to be a Windows executable, it's not possible for people without a Windows machine available to fill in their passwords ahead of time. For my business, I have SecureID, which makes one-time passwords. It's a good solution for businesses, but not for personal accounts on things like Gmail, etc. So, what solutions do you use, or how do you mitigate the defects of the above processes? In particular, how do people with Mac or Linux home computers deal with this?"

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.