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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - Harvard researchers determine answer to beguiling question regarding flatus

Submitted by wbr1
wbr1 (2538558) writes "Scientists working at the Harvard School of Public Health have solved the age old question, "who farted?"

By connecting a trace portal machine and independently derived machine learning algorithms, the source of an offensive (humorous) gaseous emission can be identified with 98.6% accuracy.

Steven Passovitz of HSPH states, "All humans have a unique mix of bacteria in their intestines. These colonies leave a distinct fingerprint of trace gasses in the excreted flatus of an individual. It does not matter how overlaid by old eggs or cabbage the particular flatus is, we can sniff you out.""

+ - World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Airlander 10 is the world's biggest aircraft. It's an airship that incorporates elements of blimps, planes, and hovercraft. Buoyed by a vast volume of helium, it's capable of cruising at a speed of 80 knots. It was built as a military venture, intended to be used for surveillance tasks. But as the war in Afghanistan wound down, government officials found they had no use for the airship. They ended up selling it back to the company who made it for $300,000 — after paying them $90 million to build it. Now, a small group of investors are trying to get it operational, in part to show people how safe the technology can be, and to hopefully spur construction of more airships. They say the Airlander 10 is capable of surviving a missile strike, but visions of the Hindenberg still loom large in our cultural memory."
Link to Original Source

+ - Facebook Tracks All Site Vistors, Violating EU Law, Report Says->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "In a technical analysis of Facebook’s tracking practices, researchers at the University of Leuven in cooperation with researchers at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel found that Facebook tracks everyone who visits its site, including people who don’t have an account, and even continues to track users and non-users who have opted out of targeted ads. The problem with these practices is that the cookies are placed without consent, which under EU law is only allowed if there is a strict necessity to do so."
Link to Original Source

+ - Robots4Us: DARPA's Response to Mounting Robophobia is Adorable->

Submitted by malachiorion
malachiorion (1205130) writes "DARPA knows that people are afraid of robots. Even Steve Wozniak has joined the growing chorus of household names (Musk, Hawking, Gates) who are terrified of bots and AI. And the agency's response--a video contest for kids--is equal parts silly and insightful. It's called Robots4Us, and it asks high schoolers to describe their hopes for a robot-assisted future. Five winners will be flown to the DARPA Robotics Competition Finals this June, where they'll participate in a day-after discussion with experts in the field. But this isn't quite as useless as it sounds. As DRC program manager Gill Pratt points out, it's kids who will be impacted by the major changes to come, moreso than people his age (or mine, for that matter). Here's my post on the contest for Popular Science."
Link to Original Source

+ - Many password strength meters are downright weak, researchers say->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Website password strength meters often tell you only what you want to hear rather than what you need to hear. That’s the finding from researchers at Concordia University in Montreal, who examined the usefulness of those ubiquitous red-yellow-green password strength testers on websites run by big names such as Google, Yahoo, Twitter and Microsoft/Skype. The researchers used algorithms to send millions of “not-so-good” passwords through these meters, as well as through the meters of password management services such as LastPass and 1Password, and were largely underwhelmed by what they termed wildly inconsistent results."
Link to Original Source

+ - Confidential Documents on a Public Repository

Submitted by anonymousone
anonymousone (4053137) writes "Browsing online for available ways to customize a rom of an entertainment device, I came across a public repository meant for open source code, containing the entire project documents of the a major Japanese corporate. Documents include schematics, PCB files,source code, communication protocols between different controllers and basically all relative documents to the project, many of them marked clearly as Confidential, and carry the names of a lot of employees. Even worse, a text file with username and password for the corporate internal SVN repo, and several mirrors, even the username and password of the open source repo itself (this file was replace with a password protected one later, but the plain text was still available in the history), obviously created by an employee. How common are such incidents? As much as I was hoping for a customized software for such a successful product, I find it ugly to see the guts of a great product spilled like this in the open without the owners approval. How often are such incidents, and what is the best way to deal with this if I do not want to into legal troubles or get implicated into this. so please Slashdot community advise me on what to do."

Comment: Re:Some advice to Indians (Score 1) 264

Funny you should ask. The Kannada version is http://kn.wikipedia.org/wiki/%... and the Gujarati version is http://gu.wikipedia.org/wiki/%... but I couldn't find one in Hindi or Sanskrit. Of course, in English (the language of the school) the way you say it is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W...

Comment: Re:Well if Wikipedia said it, it must be true (Score 2) 264

Wrong. Administrators are not employees, they are volunteers taking on extra jobs, nominally to execute the rules established by the community as a whole. In a community of mostly pseudonymous volunteers it can be very difficult to detect and respond to conflicts of interest in such people. Still, the community needs to find a way to do better.

+ - MuseScore 2.0 Released->

Submitted by rDouglass
rDouglass (1068738) writes "MuseScore, the open source desktop application for music notation, has released MuseScore 2.0 for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. This release represents the culmination of four years of development, including technical contributions from over 400 people. In addition to a completely new UI, top features include linked parts (good for pieces with many instruments), guitar tablature, flexible chord symbols, and fret diagrams. The program integrates directly with the MuseScore.com online library of scores, and music written with the application can be displayed and played using the MuseScore mobile app."
Link to Original Source

"Success covers a multitude of blunders." -- George Bernard Shaw