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Medicine

Submission + - Should Medical Apps Be Regulated? (itworld.com) 2

maximus1 writes: There's a tidal wave of medical-related apps coming to smartphones and tablets that will be used by doctors and patients alike. But how should the medical establishment deal with them? Neurologist Steven Levine, currently working on an app for stroke victims, thinks they should be treated like new medicines: developed using scientific peer review and subject to regulation by the government or professional associations. Obstetrician Kurian Thott, developer of an app called iRounds that helps communication between doctors, thinks they should be released quickly and the market should decide which take off. What do you think?
Space

Submission + - Earth's Corner of the Galaxy Just Got a Little Lonelier

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Only 4 stars, including Barnard's Star, are within 6 light years of the Sun, and only 11 are within 10 light years. That's why Barnard's star, popularized in Robert Forward's hard-sf novel, "Flight of the Dragonfly," is often short-listed as a target for humanity's first interstellar probe. Astronomers have long hoped to find a habitable planet around it, an alien Earth that might someday bear the boot prints of a future Neil Armstrong, or the tire tracks of a souped-up 25th-century Curiosity rover. But now Ross Anderson reports that a group of researchers led by UC Berkeley's Jieun Choi have delivered the fatal blow to Barnard's Star when they revealed the results of 248 precise Doppler measurements that were designed to examine the star for wobbles indicative of planets around it. The measurements, taken over a period of 25 years, led to a depressing conclusion: "the habitable zone around Barnard's star appears to be devoid of roughly Earth-mass planets or larger . . . [p]revious claims of planets around the star by van de Kamp are strongly refuted." NASA's Kepler space telescope, which studies a group of distant Milky Way stars, has found more than 2,000 exoplanet candidates in just the past two years, leading many to suspect that our galaxy is home to billions of planets, a sizable portion of which could be habitable. "This non-detection of nearly Earth-mass planets around Barnard’s Star is surely unfortunate, as its distance of only 1.8 parsecs would render any Earth-size planets valuable targets for imaging and spectroscopy, as well as compelling destinations for robotic probes by the end of the century.""
Google

Submission + - Google, Oracle Deny Direct Payments to Media (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "Earlier this month, the judge in the Oracle v. Google trial ordered the companies to disclose the names of bloggers and reporters who had taken payments from them. Not surprisingly, both companies have denied making direct payments to writers (with the exception of Florian Mueller of FOSSPatents whose relationship to Google was disclosed in April). But Oracle has tattled on Google regarding some indirect connections. In particular, Google called out Ed Black for an article he wrote about the case for Forbes. And Jonathan Band, co-author of the book, 'Interfaces on Trial 2.0,' which Google cited in its April 3, 2012 copyright brief."
Social Networks

Submission + - Training Cops To Use Social Media Information (itworld.com) 2

jfruh writes: "Cynthia Navarro starts her sessions training police to mine social media in dramatic fashion: by quickly finding data about the officers themselves. She also provides information about who's where online — for instance, younger suspects will probably be focused on Twitter, while older folks are on Twitter or even MySpace. It's all part of a drive to teach even nontechinical police officers at small and midsized departments how to use social media to track suspects."
United States

Submission + - The U.S.'s Insane Attempt to Build a Harbor with a Two Megaton Nuclear Bomb

pigrabbitbear writes: Its destructive force aside, the atomic bomb represented the pinnacle of American scientific development in the mid-20th century. And even as scientists like J. Robert Oppenheimer seemed rather horrified at what they’d unleashed, others became more consumed by the scientific possibilities of the atomic age. The most famous proponent of nuclear was Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb and one of the inspirations for Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove.

As the world’s superpowers raced towards mutually-assured destruction, Teller became more enthusiastic about finding potential non-weapon uses for the phenomenal power of splitting or fusing the atom. Teller liked nuclear energy; his final paper, in 2006, would detail how to build an underground thorium reactor. But as the Cold War heated up, Teller became obsessed with using actual atomic bombs for civil engineering. Thanks to that type of numbers-driven thinking — if a bomb is as powerful as a million tons of TNT, why not use it to reshape the Panama Canal? — as well as Teller’s incessant prodding, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) created Project Chariot. The mission: to create a new port in northwestern Alaska using a series of underwater nuclear explosions.
Facebook

Submission + - The Long Arm of the Tweet (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "According to a recent Lexis-Nexis survey of 1200 law enforcement personnel, 80% use social media to conduct investigations. And it's easy to see why: While it helps that you share 'enormously detailed information' online, it's your social network that really does the talking, says Lee Altschuler, a Federal defense attorney. 'Cops will figure out who the associates of the suspect are,' Altschuler explained. 'The police will then friend or connect to the associates, working to gain their trust, and then will eventually friend the target directly, or be able to glean information about the target through the associates.' Of course, this is pretty much the same action they've always taken in the offline world, it's just far more efficient on social media (plus, there's the aforementioned willingness to share information online)."
Android

Submission + - Paid Media Must Be Disclosed In Oracle v. Google (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: "One of the odder moments during the Oracle v. Google trial over Java patents came when patent blogger Florian Mueller revealed that he had a "consulting relationship" with Oracle. Now it looks like we're going to find out which other tech bloggers and journalists were on the payroll of one of the two sides in this epic fight. Judge William Alsup has ordered that both parties disclose 'all authors, journalists, commentators or bloggers who have reported or commented on any issues in this case and who have received money (other than normal subscription fees) from the party or its counsel during the pendency of this action.'"
Television

Submission + - Is TV Over The 'Net Really Cheaper Than Cable? (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: "More and more people are joining the ranks of "cord-cutters" — those who cancel their cable TV subscriptions and get their televisied entertainment either for free over the airwaves or over the Internet. But, assuming you're going to do things legally, is this really a cheaper option? Depends on what you watch. Brian Proffitt contemplated this move, and he walks you through the calculations he made to figure out the prices of cutting the cord. He weighed the costs of various a la carte and all-you-can-eat Internet streaming services, and took into account the fact that Internet service on its own is often pricier than it would be if bundled with cable TV."
Linux

Submission + - Linux.org Quietly Comes Back To Life (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: "The venerable Linux.org site quietly relaunched some weeks ago, offering much of the original useful content on Linux as well as some new articles. The site is still associated with Michael McLagen, a somewhat controversial figure due to the fights around the Linux Standards Assocation back in the late '90s. McLagen has not responded to requests for comments on the relaunched site."
Microsoft

Submission + - The Terrible Management Technique That Cost Microsoft Its Creativity (forbes.com)

KingGypsy writes: "Vanity Fair has an article in its August issue that tells the story of how Microsoft “since 2000 . . . has fallen flat in every area it entered: e-books, music, search, social networking, etc., etc.” According to a summary available online, the article finds a devastatingly destructive management technique at the heart of Microsoft’s problems....."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - A Cashless, High-Value, Anonymous Currency: How? (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: "The cashless future is one of those concepts that always seems to be just around the corner, but never quite gets here. There's been a lot of hype around Sweden going almost cashless, but most transactions there use easily traceable credit and debit cards. Bitcoin offers anonymity, but isn't backed by any government and has seen high-profile hacks and collapses in value. Could an experiment brewing in Canada finally take us to cashless nirvana?"
Open Source

Submission + - FLOSS For End Users May Be Facing Extinction (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "If you buy into the idea that tablets (and ultrabooks, and smartphones) in the enterprise are nothing more than glorified thin clients, then Microsoft's Surface presentation seemed more flashback than future. And if you're a fan of free software, the announcement might also have struck fear in your heart. While Microsoft has never locked out apps based on license, it's not impossible that they might chose a more locked-down Apple-esque approach for Surface, writes blogger Brian Proffitt. 'And that could put free software for end users very much at risk.'"

Submission + - Physics Community Afire With Rumors of Higgs Boson Discovery | Wired Science | W (wired.com) 5

sirlark writes: The latest rumors circulating around the physics blogosphere suggest that scientists with the Large Hadron Collider will announce the discovery of the Higgs boson within weeks. “The bottom line though is now clear: There’s something there which looks like a Higgs is supposed to look,” wrote mathematician Peter Woit on his blog, Not Even Wrong.
Power

Submission + - Turbine Company Compiles Worldwide Wind Database (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: "Wind power involves more than just sticking a turbine on a hill and seeing what happens; you need to know exactly what typical wind conditions are like to determine where to install what kind of turbine facing which direction. Vestas, a Danish company whose turbines produce 20 percent of the world's wind energy, has a digital wind library with that information, and it's using new data analytics techniques to improve it. The original library could give you details of a 27-by-27 kilometer grid square; now they've got that down to 10-by10 meters. Reports that used to take three weeks to run now take 15 minutes."

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