Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

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).


Comment: Dunning Kruger effect (Score 1) 687

Dunning Kruger effect

Or more succinctly put by Charles Darwin

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."

Comment: Last week ... (Score 5, Interesting) 289

by Martin S. (#49106791) Attached to: How Walking With Smartphones May Have Changed Pedestrian Etiquette

Last week when I was driving to work as was approaching a traffic light that turned from red to green as I approached. I noticed a youth crossing the other side, head phones in and face down in his phone, slowed down in anticipation of him walking out in front of me. He did, I braked and blew my horn in warning and stopped and stepped backwards onto the central refuge and launched into a tirade of abuse and offensive gestures. Despite the fact I'd just saved him from serious injury at minimum as a result of his own stupidity.

You just cannot help some people.

Comment: Measure twice (Score 1) 323


The most important Engineering Principle is to measure everything using metrics to guide the process, in a word continuously testing your assumptions and decisions.

This IS applicable to software engineering through the application of test driven development, to ensure the component meets the requirements and continues to do throughout the development process.

Comment: And ... (Score 1) 425

by Martin S. (#48973077) Attached to: One Man's Quest To Rid Wikipedia of Exactly One Grammatical Mistake

Comprise: to be made up of (something) : to include or consist of (something)

Comprise: to have as parts or members, or to be those parts or members:

to include; contain
to constitute the whole of; consist of

+ - This Battery Has Lasted 175 Years and No One Knows How->

Submitted by sarahnaomi
sarahnaomi (3948215) writes "There sits, in the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford University, a bell that has been ringing, nonstop, for at least 175 years. It's powered by a single battery that was installed in 1840. Researchers would love to know what the battery is made of, but they are afraid that opening the bell would ruin an experiment to see how long it will last.

The bell’s clapper oscillates back and forth constantly and quickly, meaning the Oxford Electric Bell, as it’s called, has rung roughly 10 billion times, according to the university. It's made of what's called a "dry pile," which is one of the first electric batteries. Dry piles were invented by a guy named Giuseppe Zamboni (no relation to the ice resurfacing company) in the early 1800s. They use alternating discs of silver, zinc, sulfur, and other materials to generate low currents of electricity."

Link to Original Source

+ - 10 new Rosetta images reveal comet 67P in all its glory->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The first scientific results from Rosetta at comet 67P have been published, and they detail a surprising diversity of features on the 4-kilometer-long duck-shaped comet. The discoveries include images from Rosetta’s main science camera, OSIRIS, which reveal 67P to be a far more diverse place than anyone expected."
Link to Original Source

+ - Cure for a financial epidemic? Help! I've Been Hacked...->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Reports indicate that incidents of hacking, identity theft and fraud have reached epidemic proportions.

Consider the following:

        The number of U.S. data breaches rose 27.5 percent in 2014 to a new record, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. The breaches involved more than 85 million records, with hacking incidents accounting for 29 percent of the total. []

        Identity theft has been identified as the fastest growing crime in America, with the number of incidents reaching 9.9 million a year, according to the Federal Trade Commission. []

        Hackers have exposed the personal information of 110 million Americans, based on the most recent 12-month tally, according to data compiled for CNN Money by Ponemon Institute, and potentially involved up to 432 million accounts.[

        There were "at least 123,741 unique phishing attacks worldwide" in the first half of 2014 that each targeted a specific brand or entity, according to The Global Phishing Survey, detailed in a story by CBS News. Almost 23,000 domain names "were registered maliciously by phishers," mostly in China, the report said. []

And yet, while there are various public and private sector resources available that can help those who've been affected, they are many are widely dispersed, hard to track down and require considerable effort to marshal effectively.

Needless to say, that is the last thing victims need when defenses are low and time is of the essence.

Now, though, there is a new resource that can speed up the recovery process. Help! I've Been Hacked is a free online directory of links, telephone numbers, and relevant resources for Americans who have been "compromised" by hacking, fraud, identity theft, or credit and debit card theft.

Featuring a clean, multi-device-friendly layout, Help! I've Been Hacked allows people to quickly and easily connect, via smartphone, tablet or desktop PC, with credit card issuers, online service providers, and other firms who can help them get their lives back.

For those who would say it is just as easy for people to "Google it," that is probably not the best approach when it comes to tracking down a list of after-hours contact numbers or the correct URLs to visit to reclaim hacked numerous email and social media accounts before further damage is done.

Instead, it would be easier to visit the place where the work has already been done: Help! I've Been Hacked ("

Link to Original Source

+ - Scottish Parliament asked to treat creationism as equal to science->

Submitted by 00_NOP
00_NOP (559413) writes "John Mason, a legislator from the governing Scottish National Party, has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament demanding that creationist theories be given credence in schools because scientists "cannot disprove" their validity. Mason made his move after it was revealed that the education authority (the equivalent of a school board in the US) in one of Scotland's biggest areas are to set down new rules for religious education in schools after reports of Christian fundamentalist influence over the teaching of science."
Link to Original Source

+ - Scottish scientists slow down speed of light in free space->

Submitted by lightbox32
lightbox32 (1903946) writes "It has generally been thought impossible for particles of light, known as photons, to be slowed as they travel through free space, unimpeded by interactions with any materials.

In a paper published in Science Express, researchers from the Univ. of Glasgow and Heriot-Watt Univ. describe how they have managed to slow photons in free space for the first time. They have demonstrated that applying a mask to an optical beam to give photons a spatial structure can reduce their speed."

Link to Original Source

+ - 'I paid $25 for an Invisible Boyfriend and I Think I Might Be in Love'

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Caitlin Dewey writes in the Washington Post that she's been using a new service called "Invisible Boyfriend" and that she's fallen in love with it. When you sign up for the service, you design a boyfriend (or girlfriend) to your specifications. "You pick his name, his age, his interests and personality traits. You tell the app if you prefer blonds or brunettes, tall guys or short, guys who like theater or guys who watch sports. Then you swipe your credit card — $25 per month, cha-ching! — and the imaginary man of your dreams starts texting you." Invisible boyfriend is actually boyfriends, plural: The service’s texting operation is powered by CrowdSource, a St. Louis-based tech company that manages 200,000 remote, microtask-focused workers. "When I send a text to the Ryan number saved in my phone, the message routes through Invisible Boyfriend, where it’s anonymized and assigned to some Amazon Turk or Fivrr freelancer. He (or she) gets a couple of cents to respond. He never sees my name or number, and he can’t really have anything like an actual conversation with me." Dewey says that the point of Invisible Boyfriend is to deceive the user’s meddling friends and relatives. "I was newly divorced and got tired of everyone asking if I was dating or seeing someone," says co-founder Matthew Homann. "There seems to be this romance culture in our country where people are looked down upon if they aren't in a relationship."

Evidence suggests that people can be conned into loving just about anything. There is no shortage of stories about couples carrying on “relationships” exclusively via Second Life , the game critic Kate Gray recently published an ode to “Dorian,” a character she fell in love with in a video game, and one anthropologist argues that our relationships are increasingly so mediated by tech that they’ve become indistinguishable from Tamagotchis. “The Internet is a disinhibiting medium, where people’s emotional guard is down,” says Mark Griffiths. “It’s the same phenomenon as the stranger on the train, where you find yourself telling your life story to someone you don’t know.” It’s not exactly the stuff of fairytales, concludes Dewey. "But given enough time and texts — a full 100 are included in my monthly package — I’m pretty sure I could fall for him. I mean, er them.""

The less time planning, the more time programming.