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Transportation

The Bus That Rides Above Traffic 371

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that's-not-gonna-work dept.
An anonymous reader writes "China is the new tech king. They're developing a new, two-lane bus system that travels over traffic below. It's claimed to cost 10% of a subway system and use 30% less energy than current bus technologies." This one has been boggling my brain. I can't see how this is a good idea or safe. But it sure is awesome.
Cellphones

Microsoft Unveils 'Pink' Phones As Kin One and Two 278

Posted by kdawson
from the japanese-schoolgirls-have-moved-on dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft has recently launched two new phones known as the Kin One and Kin Two, previously codenamed 'Pink.' The phones are designed to appeal to social-networking-focused teens, which is probably why the marketing team has tried to spice up the packaging of the phones. According to a Microsoft official the phones are named Kin because they 'knit together ... kindred spirits.' The phones have a keyboard. The Kin One has a 5-megapixel camera, while the Kin Two's 8-megapixel camera can shoot 720p HD video. Both cameras include an LED flash. The One has a mono speaker, the Two's is stereo. One includes 4GB of on-board memory and the Two has 8GB. Both Kin phones have touch screens. According to the hands-on, the Kin phones are based on the same Windows CE core as Windows Phone 7, and they have an IE-based browser. These phones have no downloadable apps, no games, not even a calendar. They're not meant to be expandable smart phones; instead, very good messaging phones."
Image

Wisconsin DA Threatens Arrests Over Sex Ed 703

Posted by samzenpus
from the talk-about-genitals-go-directly-to-jail dept.
WrongSizeGlass writes "USA Today is reporting that the DA of Juneau County, Wisconsin, is warning teachers that they could face arrest over the new sex-ed curriculum. District Attorney Scott Southworth said a new state law that requires students learn to use condoms and other contraceptives 'promotes the sexualization — and sexual assault — of our children.' Southworth also said, 'I'm not looking to charge any teachers. I've got enough work to do.'"
Government

US Intelligence Planned To Destroy WikiLeaks 555

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the how's-that-working-out-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This document is a classified (SECRET/NOFORN), 32-page US counterintelligence investigation into WikiLeaks (PDF). 'The possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the US government are providing sensitive or classified information to Wikileaks.org cannot be ruled out.' It concocts a plan to fatally marginalize the organization. Since WikiLeaks uses 'trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers or whistleblowers,' the report recommends 'The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Wikileaks.org Web site.' [As two years have passed since the date of the report, with no WikiLeaks' source exposed, it appears that this plan was ineffective.] As an odd justification for the plan, the report claims that 'Several foreign countries including China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe have denounced or blocked access to the Wikileaks.org website.' The report provides further justification by enumerating embarrassing stories broken by WikiLeaks — US equipment expenditure in Iraq, probable US violations of the Chemical Warfare Convention Treaty in Iraq, the battle over the Iraqi town of Fallujah and human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay."
Education

Fingerprint Requirement For a Work-Study Job? 578

Posted by timothy
from the dept-of-double-speak-is-closed-please-come-in dept.
BonesSB writes "I'm a student at a university in Massachusetts, where I have a federal work-study position. Yesterday, I got an email from the office that is responsible for student run organizations (one of which I work for) saying that I need to go to their office and have my fingerprints taken for the purposes of clocking in and out of work. This raises huge privacy concerns for me, as it should for everybody else. I am in the process of contacting the local newspaper, getting the word out to students everywhere, and talking directly to the office regarding this. I got an email back with two very contradictory sentences: 'There will be no image of your fingerprints anywhere. No one will have access to your fingerprints. The machine is storing your prints as a means of identifying who you are when you touch it.' Does anybody else attend a school that requires something similar? This is an obvious slippery slope, and something I am not taking lightly. What else should I do?"
Medicine

Apple Voiding Smokers' Warranties? 1078

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-what-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away dept.
Mr2001 writes "Consumerist reports that Apple is refusing to work on computers that have been used in smoking households. 'The Apple store called and informed me that due to the computer having been used in a house where there was smoking, [the warranty has been voided] and they refuse to work on the machine "due to health risks of second hand smoke,"' wrote one customer. Another said, 'When I asked for an explanation, she said [the owner of the iMac is] a smoker and it's contaminated with cigarette smoke, which they consider a bio-hazard! I checked my Applecare warranty and it says nothing about not honoring warranties if the owner is a smoker.' Apple claims that honoring the warranty would be an OSHA violation. (Remember when they claimed enabling 802.11n for free would be a Sarbanes-Oxley violation?)"
Privacy

Vulgar Comment On Newspaper Site Costs Man His Job 643

Posted by samzenpus
from the sticks-and-stones dept.
DeeFresh writes "ReadWriteWeb has an article up today discussing an incident in which a school employee lost his job after leaving a comment on the website of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper. After the school employee responded to the newspaper's poll of 'the strangest thing you've ever eaten' with a feline-inspired vulgarity, Kurt Greenbaum, the site's director of social media, tracked down the commenter's identity through his IP address and reported him to school officials. When confronted, the school employee resigned from his job."
Displays

Negroponte Hints At Paper-Like Design For XO-3 69

Posted by timothy
from the in-that-it-is-not-made-of-raspberries dept.
waderoush writes "In May 2008, Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of the One Laptop Per Child Foundation, unveiled an e-book like design for the second-generation XO Laptop, consisting of a pair of facing touchscreens. In a new e-mail interview, Negroponte says that design has been thrown out, and that instead the foundation is working on version '1.75' of the existing green-and-white laptop with a more powerful processor, as well as a '3.0' version that would look 'more like a sheet of paper.' Negroponte also addressed a range of other questions about the OLPC project, including the significance of the project to make 1.6 million e-books readable on the XO laptop and the organization's push to reach more children in Latin America, Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan."
Microsoft

Microsoft Freeloading In Washington State Courts 395

Posted by kdawson
from the having-it-both-ways dept.
reifman writes "For tax purposes, Microsoft reports that it's earned its estimated $143 billion in software licensing revenue in Nevada, where there is no licensing tax, as we discussed a few weeks ago. However, for legal purposes, Microsoft relies on Washington law and its underfunded courts to defend its contracts as it did in Microsoft Licensing GP vs. TSR Silicon. Application of common legal doctrines such as nexus, the step doctrine, and alter ego theory may lead to findings that Microsoft owes the state more than $1 billion in taxes, interest, and penalties."
Games

App Store Developer Speaks Out On Game Piracy 762

Posted by Soulskill
from the arr-me-hearties dept.
theguythatwrotethisthing sends in a write-up of his experience releasing an iPhone game on the App Store. By using a software flag to distinguish between high scores submitted by pirates and those submitted by users who purchased the game, the piracy rate is estimated at around 80% during the first week after release. Since a common excuse for piracy is "try before you buy," they also looked at the related iPhone DeviceIDs to see how many of the pirates went on to purchase the game. None of them did.
Privacy

How To Stop Businesses Storing SSNs Indefinitely? 505

Posted by kdawson
from the not-so-secret dept.
The Angry Mick writes "My wife and I recently moved, and during the course of providing change-of-address information to the many companies we do business with, I asked each if they were storing a full Social Security number in their databases, and if so, could they remove it or replace it with an alternate identifier. Neither the experience nor the results were particularly enjoyable. On the positive end of the spectrum, some companies were more than willing to make a change, even offering suggestions for a suitable alternate such as a driver's license number. In the middle were companies that made things a little more difficult, requiring several steps up the management tree before speaking to someone with some actual authority to address the issue. Then there was DirectTV. This company not only flatly refused to consider the suggestion, but also informed me that even if I were to discontinue service with them, they still intended to keep my full SSN on file indefinitely. There is no logical reason for them to do this, and I'm not keen on the idea of being left vulnerable to identity theft should they have experience any security breaches at any future point in my life. So, my questions to the Slashdot community are: Has anyone else tried getting your SSN replaced or removed in corporate databases, and what were your experiences? And short of Armageddon, is there any way to force a company to erase your SSNs after you cease doing business with them, or is this a job for a lawyer or regulatory body?"
Microsoft

Windows 7 RTM Reviewed & Benchmarked 792

Posted by kdawson
from the praising-with-faint-damns dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The code is final, and CNet has reviewed the final version of Windows 7, with benchmarks to support the case that it's not only the fastest version of Windows to shut down, but also looks like 'the operating system that both Microsoft and its consumers have been waiting for.' The review continues: 'By fixing most of the perceived and real problems in Vista, Microsoft has laid the groundwork for the future of where Windows will go. Windows 7 presents a stable platform that can compete comfortably with OS X, while reassuring the world that Microsoft can still turn out a strong, useful operating system.'"

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