Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - China Now Worlds Largest Exporter-> 2

Submitted by Entropy98
Entropy98 (1340659) writes "China is reporting its exports for December are up 17.7% over last year, which if true, would mean it has overtaken Germany as the Worlds largest exporter.

FTA: China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) said exports overall in the year were $1.2tn, down 16% from in 2008, while imports were 11.2% down from a year earlier at $1.01tn.

The politically sensitive total trade surplus was down 34.2% to $196.1bn.

The figures suggests China will surpass Germany's export total for the whole of 2009, although this will not be confirmed until Germany's full-year data is published in February.

In related China news, James S. Chanos, who 'built one of the largest fortunes on Wall Street by foreseeing the collapse of Enron and other highflying companies whose stories were too good to be true' is 'warning that China's hyperstimulated economy is headed for a crash, rather than the sustained boom that most economists predict. Its surging real estate sector, buoyed by a flood of speculative capital, looks like "Dubai times 1,000 — or worse," he frets. He even suspects that Beijing is cooking its books, faking, among other things, its eye-popping growth rates of more than 8 percent. '"

Link to Original Source

+ - The Copenhagen Wheel->

Submitted by
bstender writes "The Copenhagen Wheel — a revolutionary new bicycle wheel that not only boosts power, but can keep track of friends, fitness, smog and traffic.
"The Wheel uses a technology similar to the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), which has radically changed Formula One racing over the past couple of years,” says Ratti. "When you brake, your kinetic energy is recuperated by an electric motor and then stored by batteries within the wheel, so that you can have it back to you when you need it. The bike wheel contains all you need so that no sensors or additional electronics need to be added to the frame and an existing bike can be retrofitted with the blink of an eye.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Firefox Mobile Release Days Away->

Submitted by
Entropy98 writes "Firefox Mobile, in development for the last 1.5 years, could be released before the end of the year.
It will initially be available for the Nokia N900, to be followed by other handsets, but not the iPhone (Apple doesn't allow 3rd party browsers)

FTA: The open-source browser will be able to synchronise with the desktop version.
Software will mean that any web pages open in a user's desktop browser will automatically open in the mobile version.
"At the end of the working day you can walk away from your computer and keep on going on your phone," Mr Sullivan told the BBC.
"It encrypts all of the information and sends it back through the cloud between your desktop and mobile."

I wonder if it will be able to handle the 100+ tabs I typically have open?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Ex-Programmer on Disability trying to get better-> 9

Submitted by
Orion Blastar
Orion Blastar writes "I suffer from schizoaffective disorder and other illnesses that forced me to go on disability. I used to be a programmer who made a good salary until I got too sick to work and my doctors ordered me not to work anymore.

I am so sick I cannot get regular health insurance and had to get medicare instead. Regular health insurance jacked up my rates where I couldn't afford it and very few if any would insure me. Many jobs I think I lost due to health care benefits being too much for my employers and a combination of discrimination for me being sick and disabled.

Disability allows me to work and earn $500 to $800 a month and still stay on disability and medicare, but if I earn more than that I could get kicked off. It would be part-time work and only after I improve enough in my illnesses to get well enough to handle part-time work, which I haven't yet. But I am working on getting healthier and made some improvements in some of my illness, but not enough to return to work yet.

Has anyone else gotten too sick to work a computer job, and ended up on disability? What is the best way to get off disability?

I figured I could start up my own small business and do computer work from home. When I worked jobs, I wore many hats. I also ran two small businesses before, but couldn't make them profitable enough to keep them going. I went back to college and earned a bachelors degree in business management to go with my computer science and information systems degrees. It should be enough to run a small business. I can fix computers, write programs, write and administer databases, administer networks, use HTML to make web pages (ASP and PHP as well as XML), etc. But if I do too much I make myself sick and have to stop, or suffer a "panic attack" and find it hard to work. So it would have to be part-time in a way until I get well enough to handle full-time. I only say that as no company would hire me even after I get well enough to work full-time because of my medical history, and while there is the ADA to protect me in the USA, they can always use a different excuse as "over qualified" or my health benefits will be too expensive, or I haven't worked in a while, or something else they can just make up to get rid of me and avoid a discrimination lawsuit. I really can do the work when I am well enough, but when my illnesses act up, I can't do very much, and no employer would want to tolerate that and accommodate me for it. Had I been blind, or deaf, or in a wheelchair, it would be a different story. Because I am mentally ill and go through good and bad cycles, management would just claim I am not reaching my potential when I am in a bad cycle, and tell me to just "snap out of it" but that isn't possible when I am really sick.

I've even considered developing open source software, but in my current state I cannot do much until I get better. But how does one get better with schizoaffective disorder to do anything to earn money?

I am told unless I get support from my family, friends, and society as well as employers, etc that I won't be able to function and hope to rehabilitate myself. But society doesn't support me, and most people don't understand my mental illness and write me off as a total loss and other insult me, ignore me, or enable my illness so it gets worse. The online society is even worse than the real life one.

So how exactly am I supposed to recover from this, and become functional enough to go back to doing something to earn money doing what I love with computers and technology?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Amazon Kindle proprietary format broken-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Register reports that the proprietary document format used by Amazon's Kindle and the Amazon online store have been successfully reverse engineered, allowing these DRM protected documents to be converted into the open MOBI format.

Users of alternative E-book readers rejoice."

Link to Original Source

+ - Scientists crack 'entire genetic code' of cancer->

Submitted by Entropy98
Entropy98 (1340659) writes "From the article: "Scientists have unlocked the entire genetic code of two of the most common cancers — skin and lung — a move they say could revolutionise cancer care.

Not only will the cancer maps pave the way for blood tests to spot tumours far earlier, they will also yield new drug targets, say the Wellcome Trust team. The scientists found the DNA code for a skin cancer called melanoma contained more than 30,000 errors almost entirely caused by too much sun exposure.

The lung cancer DNA code had more than 23,000 errors largely triggered by cigarette smoke exposure.

From this, the experts estimate a typical smoker acquires one new mutation for every 15 cigarettes they smoke.

Although many of these mutations will be harmless, some will trigger cancer."

Yet another step towards curing cancer. Though it will probably take many years to study so many mutations. My moneys still on viruses as the cure for cancer."

Link to Original Source
Social Networks

+ - Adults MySpace Hoax Leads to 13-year-old's Suicide->

Submitted by
mastershake_phd writes ""Megan Meier thought she had made a new friend in cyberspace when a cute teenage boy named Josh contacted her on MySpace and began exchanging messages with her.

Megan, a 13-year-old who suffered from depression and attention deficit disorder, corresponded with Josh for more than a month before he abruptly ended their friendship, telling her he had heard she was cruel.

The next day Megan committed suicide. Her family learned later that Josh never actually existed; he was created by members of a neighborhood family that included a former friend of Megan's.

Now Megan's parents hope the people who made the fraudulent profile on the social networking Web site will be prosecuted, and they are seeking legal changes to safeguard children on the Internet."

Of course now it's time to pass some new laws so this never happens again:

"Aldermen in Dardenne Prairie, a community of about 7,000 residents about 35 miles from St. Louis, have proposed a new ordinance related to child endangerment and Internet harassment. It could come before city leaders on Wednesday.

``Is this enough?'' Mayor Pam Fogarty said Friday. ``No, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it's something, and you have to start somewhere.''""

Link to Original Source

+ - Automobile engine the size of a basketball->

Submitted by Trystan365
Trystan365 (1114705) writes "Revolutionary doesn't begin to cover this. I want one of these retro-fitted into my car right now! This little tiny engine,about the same size as a basketball, has more power than my 3.0 litre engine and can be scaled up to power a freight train or semi-truck. From the main site, "The MYT(TM) Engine has the potential to replace all the existing internal combustion engines and jet engines. With 40 times higher power to weight ratio, low parts count, low maintenance, high mechanical efficienty, and low pollution, the MYT(TM) Engine will benefit airplane, big ship, 18 wheeler, SUV, passenger car, even down to carry on power generator applications. The MYT(TM) Engine as a pump/compressor also exceeds exisiting pumps/compressors in providing massive pressure, volume, and flow, all in one unit."

Make sure you check out the videos located here. This engine can even run on plain old air!"

Link to Original Source

All the simple programs have been written.