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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×
Science

Researchers Working On Crystallizing Light 129

An anonymous reader writes Researchers at Princeton University have begun crystallizing light as part of an effort to answer fundamental questions about the physics of matter. The researchers are not shining light through crystal – they are transforming light into crystal. As part of an effort to develop exotic materials such as room-temperature superconductors, the researchers have locked together photons, the basic element of light, so that they become fixed in place. "It's something that we have never seen before," said Andrew Houck, one of the researchers. "This is a new behavior for light."
Games

Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content 180

An anonymous reader writes "A new study published in the March edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology indicates that a gamer's experience of a video game and not the content of the game itself can give rise to violent behavior. In other words, 'researchers found it was not the narrative or imagery, but the lack of mastery of the game's controls and the degree of difficulty players had completing the game that led to frustration.' Based on their findings, researchers note that even games like Tetris and Candy Crush can inspire violent behavior more so than games like World of Warcraft or Grand Theft Auto if they are poorly designed and difficult to play."
Privacy

Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal 519

cold fjord writes with this CNN report: "Massachusetts' highest court ruled Wednesday that it is not illegal to secretly photograph underneath a person's clothing — a practice known as "upskirting" — prompting one prosecutor to call for a revision of state law. The high court ruled that the practice did not violate the law because the women who were photographed while riding Boston public transportation were not nude or partially nude."
Mars

NASA: Curiosity Has Found Plastic On Mars 293

dsinc writes "Last week Curiosity was able to use its SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) device to confirm the discovery. A robotic arm with a complex system of Spectral Analysis devices was able to vaporize and identify gasses from the sample, concluding that it is in fact plastic. How plastic formed or ended up on the Martian surface is quite an exciting mystery that sparks many questions. The type of plastic sampled as we know so far can only be formed using petrochemicals, meaning not only that there could possibly be a source of oil on the Red Planet, but that somehow it got turned into plastic. Even more interesting is that oil or petrochemicals used to create this type of plastic are only known to come from ancient fossilized organic materials, such as zooplankton and algae, which geochemical processes convert into oil pointing to the earthshaking evidence that there was once life on mars. 'Right now we have multiple working hypotheses, and each hypothesis makes certain predictions about things like what the spherules are made of and how they are distributed,' said Curiosity's principal investigator, Steve Squyres, of Cornell University. 'Our job as we explore Matijevic Hill in the months ahead will be to make the observations that will let us test all the hypotheses carefully, and find the one that best fits the observations.'" Update: Yes, it's a hoax
Censorship

Twitter Censors German Neo-Nazi Group, Within Germany 227

judgecorp writes "Twitter has censored a neo-Nazi group, blocking Besseres Hannover (Better Hannover), a group accused of promoting race hate. This is the first time Twitter has used its power of blocking users in specific countries, announced back in January. Although blocked in Germany, the group is visible to the rest of the world." Update: 10/18 14:46 GMT by T : Note, that's Twitter doing the blocking, not Google, as it appeared originally. HT to reader eldavojohn.
Announcements

Want to Change the Slashdot Logo? For 1 Day in October, You Can 128

The Slashdot logo has been around for a long time now; the truth is, we're rather fond of it, and have only rarely introduced substantial changes. But for the month of October, as a way of celebrating the site's 15 years of delivering News for Nerds, we invite you to help us temporarily change it. If you have an idea of what the Slashdot logo should look like for one day in October, this is your chance to see it on the page. Starting September 15th, we'll be accepting entries, and sending limited edition anniversary T-shirts to the artists we pick to show off on the page throughout the month. (And a Nexus 7 tablet to the artist who ranks best in show.) Click through for information on what we're looking for, how to enter, and the long list of rules that the legal department has provided for your reading pleasure; we look forward to seeing and sharing your ideas.
Privacy

US Justice Dept Defends Right To Record Police 306

Fluffeh writes "In recent times, it seems many Police Departments believe that recording them doing their work is an act of war with police officers, destroying the tapes, phones or cameras while arresting the folks doing it. But in a surprising twist, the U.S. Justice Department has sent letter (PDF) to attorneys for the Baltimore Police Department — who have been quite heavy handed in enforcing their 'Don't record me bro!' mantra. The letter contains an awful lot of lawyer babble and lists many court cases and the like, although some sections are surprisingly clear: 'Policies should prohibit officers from destroying recording devices or cameras and deleting recordings or photographs under any circumstances. In addition to violating the First Amendment, police officers violate the core requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process clause when they irrevocably deprived individuals of their recordings without first providing notice and an opportunity to object.' There is a lot more and it certainly seems like a firm foothold in the right direction."
Windows

Is Onlive Pirating Windows and Will It Cost Them? 225

An anonymous reader writes "When Onlive, the network gaming company, started offering not just Microsoft Windows but Microsoft Office for free on the iPad, and now on Android, it certainly seemed too good to be true. Speculation abounded on what type of license they could be using to accomplish this magical feat. From sifting through Microsoft's licenses and speaking with sources very familiar with them, the ugly truth may be that they can't."
ISS

Microgravity Coffee Cup 88

BuzzSkyline writes "Despite the fact that astronauts have been eating and drinking out of tubes for decades, it's actually possible to drink from an open-top cup in space. Astronaut Don Pettit recently downlinked a video that shows him slurping coffee from a cup he kludged out of plastic sheet. It appears to work pretty much like a cup on Earth, even in freefall aboard the International Space Station, thanks to capillary action."
Android

Fraunhofer IIS Demos Full-HD Voice Over LTE On Android 99

MojoKid writes "Fraunhofer IIS has chosen Mobile World Congress as the place to present the world's first Full-HD Voice mobile phone calls over an LTE network. Verizon Wireless has toyed with VoLTE (Voice over LTE) before, but this particular method enables mobile phone calls to sound as clear as talking to another person in the same room. Full-HD Voice is already established in several VoIP, video telephony and conferencing systems. However, this will mark the first time Fraunhofer's Full-HD Voice codec AAC-ELD has been integrated into a mobile communications system. Currently, the majority of phone calls are limited to the 3.5 kHz range, whereas humans are able to perceive audio signals up to 20 kHz. The Full-HD Voice codec AAC-ELD gives access to the full audible audio spectrum."
Crime

Children Used To Steal Parents' Data 126

Barence writes "PC Pro's Davey Winder has revealed how pre-school children are being targeted by data thieves. Security vendors have uncovered a bunch of Flash-based games, colorful and attractive to young kids, which came complete with a remote access trojan. The trojan is usually installed behind a button to download more free games, but BitDefender even found one painting application where the very act of swiping the paintbrush over an online pet to change the color of the virtual animal was enough to trigger redirection to an infected site."
Advertising

Company to Send DBA into Space 98

cramco writes "Moments ago, a U.K. software company announced at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference in Seattle that it would send a lucky contestant to space. The sponsors, Red Gate, is holding a five-week DBA contest with the winner getting a trip to space. Why? And why put them through five weeks of quizzes and technical challenges presented within B-movie-looking videos involving rubber Martians, small dogs, alien body parts and one of their own acting very strangely? Well, as any developer knows, DBA stands for Don't Bother Asking."

Comment Re:Escape routes? (Score 1) 417

I 29 is closed between Council Bluffs and I-680. I-29 south of 80 is open until you reach Nebraska City and are detoured east/west because of another levee breach west of Hamburg. I-29 north of I-680 is open. I-80 east and west is open. There are numerous state and local highways in and out of the metro area.

The section of I-29 that is closed is only causing a minor detour if you're heading north or coming into Omaha from the north.

Though, given what people seem to think is happening here, I may need some kind of radiation proof raft instead...

Comment Re:Nothing to worry about, move along (Score 3, Insightful) 417

I'm also from the area. The spin on these stories that the sky is falling are both funny and annoying.

Even if there was some kind of catastrophic failure at FCS that required immediate response, the surrounding infrastructure is still more than able to deal with it. Omaha is still standing and chugging along just fine. The rest of the country isn't exactly paralyzed by a Japan style disaster.

People need to be more concerned about the levees around Omaha and Council Bluffs and the areas already effected by significant breaches. A few feet of water at the station is nothing compared to what is happening elsewhere in the area.

Is your job running? You'd better go catch it!

Working...