lilbridge writes "For over 1,500 years the Chinese have been using sticky rice as an ingredient in mortar, which has resulted in super strong buildings, many of which are still standing after hundreds of years. Scientists have been studying the sticky rice and lime mortar to unlock the secrets of its strength, and have just determined the secret ingredient that makes the mortar more stable and stronger. The scientists have also concluded that this mixture is the most appropriate for restoration of ancient and historic buildings, which means it is probably also appropriate for new construction as well."
cyclocommuter writes with an excerpt from a brief WSJ story on increasing electronic control of car components: "The gas pedal system used Toyota Motor Co.'s recall crisis was born from a movement in the auto industry to rely more on electronics to carry out a vehicle's most critical functions. The intricacy of such systems, which replace hoses and hydraulic fluid with computer chips and electrical sensors, has been a focus as Toyota struggled to find the cause for sudden acceleration of vehicles that led the company to halt sales of eight models this week."
drewtheman writes "New studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. University of Utah research professor of geophysics Robert Smith led four separate studies that verify a plume of hot and molten rock at least 410 miles deep that rises at an angle from the northwest."
An anonymous reader writes "The Conference Board of Canada has withdrawn all three reports on intellectual property after allegations this week by Michael Geist of plagiarism. The organization now admits that its report on copyright was plagiarized from US copyright lobby groups."
bowman9991 writes "Dan Aykroyd reveals that all the original cast have now signed on for Ghostbusters 3, including Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. Apparently Bill Murray, who holds a one-fifth controlling interest, was very reluctant at first, not even willing to read a third draft of Aykroyd's script. Aykroyd would like to see Ivan Reitman or Harold Ramis direct, wants to introduce a 'new generation' of Ghostbusters, and believes they could be filming the new Ghostbuster movie by winter."
heychris writes "Eucalyptus, an ebook app for iPhone, has been rejected from the App Store for 'objectionable content.' What's so objectionable? The Kama Sutra, available from Project Gutenberg, which is available on other ebook readers as well. Not only that, but the screenshot shows that you would have to search for Kama Sutra to get it; it's not built in to Eucalyptus. The author is reasonable but frustrated, while Herr Gruber is more succinct." I wonder how good the now-cheap Nokia 810 is as an e-book reader.
An anonymous reader writes "The French Assembly has rejected the Three Strikes bill (in French!) which would allow ISPs to cut off users found to have been downloading protected content after two warnings. Summary: the Sarkozy administration can go back with a new draft for approval by both chambers or try to get upper house approval of a softer version without the cutoff passed by the lower house."
nloop writes "The Pentagon is intending to develop a new spy ship — a dirigible. At 65,000 feet it would provide a 10 year, solar power based, unblinkingly intricate and continuous view of the surface via radar surveillance. Because of its altitude it would be safe from surface-to-air missiles and most aircraft. A 1/3-scale prototype, now being designed, is 'known as ISIS, for Integrated Sensor Is the Structure, because the radar system will be built into the structure of the ship. ... 'If successful, the dirigible... could pave the way for a fleet of spy airships, military officials said.'"
StrongestLink writes "In an intriguing twist on the recent Comodo CA vulnerability discussed here last week, security researcher Mike Zusman today revealed that three days prior to StartCom's disclosure of a flaw in a Comodo reseller's registration process, he discovered and disclosed an authentication bypass flaw to StartCom in their own registration process that allowed an attacker to submit an authorized request for any domain. During a month which was marked by the continuing paradigm shift to SSL-verified holiday shopping, the Chain of Trust continues to run off the gears, and Bruce Schneier is even commenting publicly that SSL's site validation mission isn't even relevant. What lies ahead for the billion-dollar CA industry?"
An anonymous reader writes "How the Moon arose has long stumped scientists. Now Dutch geophysicists argue that it was created not by a massive collision 4.5 billion years ago, but by a runaway nuclear reaction deep inside the young Earth."
bakamaki writes "I work for a small manufacturing company as a SysAdmin. My boss is a DBA. We are the only IT employees. He recently decided to record hours spent on his projects and then evaluate how much time the databases he writes save the employees. Then he translates that into a $ figure. He's asking me to do something similar but I'm kinda at a loss. It seems most of the stuff I do is preventative, IE care and feeding of servers and network infrastructure in addition to all the break fix stuff I do for the user base with their desktops. When in this position what do you folks usually do?"
Garimelda writes "Scientists have discovered what they believe is an eight-armed creature which colonized a large section of the world's oceans over 300 million years before the first dinosaurs emerged."
fons writes "Dutch Python hacker/artist Stani took part in a contest organised by the Dutch Ministry Of Finance to design a 5 euro commemorative coin. And he won, using only free software: 'The whole design was done for 100% with free software. The biggest part consists of custom software in Python, of course within the SPE editor. For the visual power I used PIL and pyCairo. From time to time also Gimp, Inkscape and Phatch helped quite a bit. All the developing and processing was done on GNU/Linux machines which were running Ubuntu/Debian. I would have loved to release the coin under the GPL, which could maybe solve the financial crisis. However for obvious reasons I was not allowed to do that.'"
Slashdot has one of the best discussion systems there is. It's grown and adapted over the years to meet various challenges and suit the needs of our users. A lot of time and effort has gone into it and we are always open to user input to help make it better. Some of our best ideas start as user suggestions and we appreciate the feedback. Of course they can't all be gems and sometimes the suggestions we get are unworkable or just bizarre. Here are a few of my favorite unhelpful, helpful suggestions.
In this week's Disagree Mail, I try to show the range of messages I get. It's not all angry or insane, sometimes it's sent to us for no apparent reason. We start off a little mad, slip into a whole bunch of crazy and finish with someone who has a complaint about racism at his favorite restaurant. Read below to get started.