Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment 5G is already outdated (Score 4, Funny) 164

I have a 7G mobile hanging in my window. That is seven G's! Two more than this 5G and at least THREE MORE than what most people have.

I added a small bell to balance them to eight items. I had used a pre-made mobile ring with eight holes around the circumference and was too lazy to measure and drill seven new ones for the strings. But when the window is open, and the wind catches the G's in the mobile, the bell hanging from the ring rings.
People have asked me if I could also talk into it: of course I can, but I don't see the point.

Comment Re:What's wrong with titanium dioxide? (Score 4, Interesting) 112

Titanium Dioxide is a common additive as white colouring in foodstuffs such as cookies and candy. For instance, it is sometimes used to make sugar glazing on German lebkuchen cookies whiter.
In Europe it is often in ingredients lists under the number E-171 rather than its full name.

Titanium Dioxide is one of the pigments that are suspected of leaking into the body, both from food and from its use in sunscreen.
Therefore, it is something that I look for and avoid.

Comment Re:The consortium needs to finish human languages (Score 1) 264

Why don't you re-educate the world to speak Lojban while you're at it? Then computers would also understand humans, with much less difficulty as many of the ambiguities of language have been removed.

If you have studied anything about any ethnic minority, then you will have come across cases of their native language being suppressed in schools and society at large.
You will find several examples of such if you read up on the history of Native Americans and in the history of French-speaking Cajun and Creole in Southern USA.

Suppression of language is a form of suppression of culture, and suppression of a people's culture is oppression of people.

Comment Electrohypersensitivity is real (Score 0, Troll) 456

... but not a very popular disability, Especially not among people who depend on electronics for their livelihood, or in other ways in our daily lives - which is the entire user base of Slashdot. It goes without saying that someone with Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) will never ever post on Slashdot.

The theory behind EHS is well established in academia. The mechanism called NO-/ONOO+ - cycle is well known, and the trigger mechanism: voltage-gated calcium canals is too, and has been linked to the NO-/ONOO+ - cycle. The cycle builds up from prolonged exposure to certain chemicals, not electric fields by itself.

It is not an allergy, it is not a disease: it is a hypersensitivity. There is also not just one type of EHS, and not all EHS manifest themselves in physical sensation - which is why there have been many studies that have failed to detect it in people who claim to suffer from it. Almost every person with EHS has at one time or another had a job that involved strong solvents, and almost every person with EHS has also hypersensitivity to certain chemicals.

I am not going to post links to articles, because there are so many of them and you will in most cases need a degree in something or other to understand any of them. The keywords are above. Use Google! Instead I would suggest you search Youtube for lectures by Martin Pall.

That is not to say that there aren't people who claim to suffer from EHS who are emotionally unstable.
But ponder that if EHS was real, and you got it, and everyone you told about it called you a faker, wouldn't that make you paranoid?

Comment Re:This has long been settled (Score 1) 240

I am a keyboard geek, and I collect all info I can get on split ergonomic keyboards.
I found that among different keyboard brands there is about a 2:1 ratio of having the '6' key on the left vs. right.
I suspect however that most brands have it on the left, because of Microsoft. (Above, I counted Microsoft as one, and discarded all direct clones.)
On keyboards with columns instead of rows, the '6' key is always on the right side, in the same columns as 'Y', 'H' and 'N'.

I know of one keyboard with the '6' key on both sides:
Kinesis Evolution.

Comment Re:They Lie (Score 1) 417

Actually, even back in the 1970s there were more scientists who were inclined to believe in global warming than in global cooling. It is just that cooling was more interesting to put in the news...

For instance, Global warming was one of the more important topics of the Stockholm Conference in 1972 (the biggest conference on the environment in the 70's) , while global cooling wasn't even hinted at.

Of course not all of the world is warming right now.
Some parts of the world are indeed cooling (temporarily) because of warming having disrupting ocean currents that would otherwise warm those areas, or from warming having caused some areas to be cloudier and/or rainier.
That is why climatologists prefer to use the term "Climate Change" rather than "Global Warming".

Beside the effects of carbon compounds in the atmosphere, there is also the effect of increased aerosols from human activity and those do cause a bit of climate change in form of more clouds, which cool. It has been theorized that this had contributed significantly to the Ethiopian famine in the mid-1980s - again, the effect in one part of the system causing a different effect in another. Ethiopia got a draught while another part of Africa got more rain.
But while carbon emissions take thirty or more years to make a measurable difference in the atmosphere, aerosol cooling is very temporary. The white condensation trails from airplanes do contribute to cooling (cue the tin foil hat people :-P ) and that is only because how they are artificial clouds - and clouds cool. Back in September 11, 2001, airplanes across the USA were grounded causing the airspace above USA to be clear from condensation trails for the first time in decades - which had a measurable effect on the weather that day. But it was back to "normal" a couple of days later.

Comment Re:"Only" 22 seconds (Score 1) 664

What is new is:
1. Auto-stabilisation, so it does not require as much skill to handle as before.
2. Realtime video feed, so you won't need to keep the helicopter in your line of sight at all times.
3. High-quality cameras are cheap and light: lighter weight means cheaper helicopter. Back 15-20 years ago, the kind of model helicopter that could carry a reasonably good camera had to be larger than the hobbyist norm just to be able to carry the weight.

I have an early, cheap quadcopter without auto-stabilisation and video feed. It takes hours to learn how to fly one of those things and still after you have learned how it requires your complete concentration to do it.
With one of the new breed of drones, you can buy it at the local gadget store and be filming nude children in an hour with no previous skill.


OpenGL ES 3.2 & New Extensions Unveiled 46

An anonymous reader writes: With kicking off ACM SIGGRAPH '15, The Khronos Group came out with several big announcements, including the release of OpenGL ES 3.2 (which incorporates Android AEP functionality), confirmation that Google will support Vulkan on Android (when released), new desktop OpenGL extensions, and updates to the existing OpenCL 2.0 specification. They stopped short of releasing the heavily anticipated Vulkan Graphics API and also refrained from releasing a new desktop OpenGL version. They hope to have the Vulkan specification and its implementations released before year's end.

Counterterrorism Expert: It's Time To Give Companies Offensive Cybercapabilities 220

itwbennett writes: Juan Zarate, the former deputy national security advisor for counterterrorism during President George W. Bush's administration says the U.S. government should should consider allowing businesses to develop 'tailored hack-back capabilities,' deputizing them to strike back against cyberattackers. The government could issue cyberwarrants, giving a private company license 'to protect its system, to go and destroy data that's been stolen or maybe even something more aggressive,' Zarate said Monday at a forum on economic and cyberespionage hosted by think tank the Hudson Institute.
United States

Obama Unveils Major Climate Change Proposal 413

An anonymous reader writes: Two years in the making, President Obama formally unveiled his plan to cut power plant emissions today, calling it the "single most important step that America has ever made in the fight against global climate change." The "Clean Power Plan" includes the first ever EPA standards on carbon pollution from power plants. CNN reports: "Under the plan, the administration will require states to meet specific carbon emission reduction standards, based on their individual energy consumption. The plan also includes an incentive program for states to get a head start on meeting standards on early deployment of renewable energy and low-income energy efficiency."

How come everyone's going so slow if it's called rush hour?