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


Forgot your password?
Last Chance - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Submission + - Unicode 6.1 released (

An anonymous reader writes: The latest version of the Unicode standard (v. 6.1.0) was officially released January 31. The latest version includes 732 new characters, inluding seven brand new scripts. It also adds support for distinguishing emoji-style and text-style symbols and emoticons with variation selectors, updates to the line-breaking algorithm to more accurately reflect Japanese and Hebrew texts, and updates other algorithms and technical notes to reflect new characters and newly documented text behaviors.

Submission + - Apple's new retail boss "Bad For Apple" (

An anonymous reader writes: Just days after plans were made to hire John Browett as Apple's new Senior VP for Retail, reports are coming in from UK customers (Browett was the former CEO of Dixons Retail, an electronics retailer going under the name of Currys and PC World) about completely lousy customer service, clueless staff and pushy salespeople while he was managing the chain.

Submission + - Australian media giant hacked (

An anonymous reader writes: Hackers claim to have accessed 10,000 unencrypted credit cards after two microsites owned by one of Australia's largest media giants, FairFax, were hacked.

Attackers broke into the sites and claimed to have accessed the domains of its major newspapers from where they said credit card and subscriber data were exposed.

The media giant said its credit card data was encrypted. It added that the microsites were hosted on an outsourced shared service meaning the credit card data could have been owned by another customer.

Submission + - Why can't Netflix support Linux? 2

sheehaje writes: "I've been trying for almost 2 years to find a way to get Netflix to run on Linux. Avoiding the usual "Just run it on XP under VirtualBox" workarounds, I have even tried to write my own Silverlight wrap arounds. It hasn't worked, mainly because I am substandard coder. But I know there are a lot that are up to the challenge. Why doesn't Linux have support for Netflix instant streaming yet? Netflix isn't worth the hack? Netflix doesn't exactly want to look at the issue; if you search for "linux" in their knowledge base, it does not even show a get well sympathy message. Where have all the rebels gone?"

Submission + - Transitioning from "hacker"(positive sense) to "en

antifoidulus writes: So I'm about to get my masters in CS and start out (again) in the "real world", I already have a job lined up, but there is one thing that is really nagging me. Since my academic work has focused almost solely on computer science and not software engineering per se, I'm really still a "hacker", meaning I take a problem, sketch together a rough solution using the appropriate Computer Science algorithms, and then code something up(using a lot of prints to debug), do some basic testing and go with it.... Obviously something that works quite well in the academic environment but not in the "real world" obviously. Even at my previous job, which was sort of a jack-of-all-trades(sysadmin, security, support, and programming) the testing procedures were not particularly rigorous and as a result I don't think I'm really mature as an "engineer"

So my question to the community is how do you make the transition from hacker(in the positive sense) to a real engineer. Obviously the "Mythical Man Month" on the reading list, but anything else? How do you get out of the "hacker" mindset?

Submission + - Massive Deployment to Secure the Super Bowl

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "As millions of fans sit glued to their sets next Sunday, one part of the game they will not see is the massive deployment of federal and local law enforcement resources to achieve what is being called the most technologically secure Super Bowl in history, an event that has been officially designated as a National Security Special Event (PDF). At the top of the list are gamma-ray cargo and vehicles scanners that can reportedly see through six inches of steel to reveal the contents of large vehicles. “We can detect people, handguns and rifles," says Customs and Border Protection Officer Brian Bell. "You’d be a fool to bring something into that stadium that you shouldn’t. We’re going to catch it. Our goal is to look at every vehicle that makes a delivery inside the stadium and inside the secure perimeter." Next is the 51-foot Featherlite mobile command center for disaster response that will support the newly constructed $18 million Regional Operations Center (ROC) for the Marion County Department of Homeland Security that will serve as a fusion center for coordinating the various federal agencies involved in providing security for the Super Bowl. One interesting security measure are the “Swiveloc” explosion-proof manhole covers (video) that Indianapolis has spent $150,000 installing that are locked down during the Super Bowl. In case of an underground explosion, the covers lift a couple of inches off the ground — enough to vent gas out without feeding in oxygen to make an explosion bigger — before falling back into place. Finally the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI has installed a network of cameras that will be just a click away for government officials. “If you had the right (Internet) address, you could set up a laptop anywhere and you could watch the camera from there," says Brigadier General Stewart Goodwin."

Submission + - Juror's Tweets Overturns Trial Verdict ( 1

D H NG writes: The Arkansas Supreme Court had overturned a murder conviction due to a juror tweeting during the trial. Erickson Dimas-Martinez was convicted in 2010 of killing a teenager and was sentenced to death. His lawyers appealed the case on account of a juror tweeting his musings during the trial. Tweets sent include "The coffee here sucks" and "Court. Day 5. here we go again". In an opinion, Associate Justice Donald Corbin wrote "because of the very nature of Twitter as an... online social media site, Juror 2's tweets about the trial were very much public discussions." Dimas-Martinez is to be given a new trial.

Submission + - Intel Core i7-3930K And Core i7-3820: Sandy Bridge (

An anonymous reader writes: A couple of weeks ago Intel launched the successor to their high performance Gulftown chips and X68 Express platform. Sandy Bridge-E and its accompanying X79 chipset represents the new high-end in Intel's line of desktop processors. Requiring the new LGA 2011 socket and sporting a quad-channel memory controller, Sandy Bridge-E is no mere incremental upgrade. The flagship Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition retails for a whopping $1,000, like the Core i7-990X before it.

Tack on a pricey new motherboard and four-channel memory kit, and it's easy to understand why cautious buyers are holding off until the less expensive Ivy Bridge design arrives next year. Not entirely dismissing Sandy Bridge-E as a rich man's luxury, the Tom's Hardware guys went out and bought the $600 Core i7-3930K and somehow got their hands on the [purportedly] sub-$300 unreleased Core i7-3820 to see if either is more reasonable than the ridiculously-priced Core i7-3960X.

This article pits all three Sandy Bridge-E chips against Intel's mainstream Sandy Bridge and previous-generation Gulftown processors, as well as Zambesi (FX), Thuban, and Deneb chips from AMD. Long story short, the Core i7-3930K is a much better value for performance-minded enthusiasts, overclockers, and workstation users alike. While most folks will continue waiting for Ivy Bridge, the author is pretty confident they won't be able to match an overclocked Core i7-3930K, and if Intel extends the life of LGA 2011 to Ivy Bridge-E, Sandy Bridge-E may very well be a solid long-term prospect.

Submission + - Royalty-Free MPEG Video Proposals Announced (

theweatherelectric writes: Rob Glidden notes on his blog that MPEG has recently 'announced it has received proposals for a royalty-free MPEG standard and has settled on a deliberation process to consider them.' There two tracks towards royalty-free video currently under consideration by MPEG. The first track is IVC, a new 'standard based on MPEG-1 technology which is believed a safe royalty-free baseline that can be enhanced by additional unencumbered technology described in MPEG-2, JPEG, research publications and innovative technologies which are promised to be subject to royalty-free licenses.' The second proposed track is WebVC, an attempt to get the constrained baseline profile of H.264 licensed under royalty-free terms. Rob Glidden offers an analysis of both proposals. Also of interest is Rob's short history of why royalty-free H.264 failed last time.

Submission + - Was Russia Behind Stuxnet? (

An anonymous reader writes: Despite the U.S. and Israel being widely assumed to be responsible for Stuxnet, Russia is the more likely culprit, says U.S. Air Force cyber analyst. The nuclear gangsterism of the past 20 years give sit plenty of motive.

Submission + - New Australian court victory for Samsung against A (

angry tapir writes: "Samsung will finally be able to launch its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in just in time for Christmas after the High Court lifted the ban preventing its sale in Australia and refused Apple's expedited special leave application. Apple had attempted to appeal an earlier court ruling overturning the ban."


Submission + - China 'has up to 3,000 nuclear weapons hidden in t (

WindBourne writes: China may be using thousands of miles of underground tunnels to hide a nuclear missile arsenal that is far bigger than current estimates, according to researchers.

They spent three years translating secret military documents, scouring the internet and studying satellite images for clues – and concluded that China may have as many as 3,000 missiles, compared with general estimates of between 80 and 400.

Submission + - Has the Higgs Been Discovered? Physicists Gear Up (

An anonymous reader writes: The physics buzz reached a frenzy in the past few days over the announcement that the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva is planning to release what is widely expected to be tantalizing although not conclusive evidence for the existence of the Higgs boson, the elementary particle hypothesized to be the origin of the mass of all matter.

Many physicists have already swung into action, swapping rumors about the contents of the announcement and proposing grand ideas about what those rumors would mean, if true. "It's impossible to be excited enough," says Gordon Kane, a theoretical physicist at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982