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Submission + - Global Warming Really Just a Statistical Fluke? (statisticsblog.com)

J Story writes: Matt Asher, a statistics wonk, in a blog posting (The surprisingly weak case for global warming) claims that: "Based solely on year-over-year changes in surface temperatures, the net increase since 1881 is fully explainable as a non-independent random walk with no trend."

For the programmer/statistics junkie, R code is provided.

Submission + - The world's oldest original digital computer springs back into action at TNMOC (tnmoc.org) 1

prpplague writes: "After a three-year restoration project at The National Museum of Computing, the Harwell Dekatron (aka WITCH) computer will rebooted on 20 November 2012 to become the world's oldest original working digital computer.
Now in its seventh decade and in its fifth home, the computer with its flashing lights and clattering printers and readers provides an awe-inspiring display for visiting school groups and the general public keen to learn about our rich computer heritage."


Submission + - Sweden Imports European Garbage to Power the Nation

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "NPR reports that Sweden's program of generating energy from garbage is wildly successful, but recently its success has also generated a surprising issue: There is simply not enough trash. Sweden has recently begun to import about eight hundred thousand tons of trash from the rest of Europe per year to use in its power plants. Sweden already brings trash from Norway and hopes to get garbage from Italy, Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltic countries. Sweden creates energy for around 250,000 homes and powers one-fifth of the district heating system. Its incineration plants offer a look into the future where countries could potentially make money off of their trash instead of dumping. Landfilling of organic materials – a highly inefficient and environmentally degrading system (PDF) — has been forbidden in Sweden since 2005 and emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from landfills has fallen dramatically (PDF). "“I hope that we instead will get the waste from Italy or from Romania or Bulgaria or the Baltic countries because they landfill a lot in these countries," says Catarina Ostlund, a senior advisor for the country's environmental protection agency. "They don’t have any incineration plants or recycling plants, so they need to find a solution for their waste,”"

Submission + - Antarctic Ice hits an all-time record high level

dtjohnson writes: "Two weeks after a new record was set in the Arctic Ocean for the least amount of sea ice coverage in the satellite record, the ice surrounding Antarctica reached its highest ever level. Sea ice extended over 19.44 million square kilometers (7.51 million square miles) in 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The previous record of 19.39 million kilometers (7.49 million square miles) was set in 2006." Ice extent is reaching an all-time record high on the bottom of the planet just after ice reached an all-time record low on the top of the planet. What can it mean? Either there will soon be more ice at the top or less ice at the bottom or the planet will become seriously 'bottom heavy.' Now there is something to worry about...

Submission + - Sony's thermal sheet good as paste for CPU cooling (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Sony has demonstrated a thermal sheet that it claims matches thermal paste in terms of cooling ability while beating it on life span. The key to the sheet is a combination of silicon and carbon fibers, to produce a thermal conductive layer that’s between 0.3 and 2mm thick.

In the demonstration, the same CPU was cooled by thermal paste and the thermal sheet side-by-side, with the paste keeping the processor at a steady 53 degrees Celsius. The sheet achieved a slightly better 50 degrees Celsius. The actual CPU used in the demonstration wasn’t identified.

Sony wants to get the thermal sheet used in servers and for projection units, but I can definitely see this being an option for typical PC builds, too. It's certainly going to be less messy and probably a lot cheaper than buying a tube of thermal paste.


Submission + - Aussie retailer slaps IE7 users with tax (delimiter.com.au)

daria42 writes: Bad news, Internet Explorer users. If you're using version 7 of IE and want to buy goods from major Australian online retailer Kogan, you'll be paying 6.8 percent more than those using alternative browsers or IE8 or IE9. Kogan this week said it was fed up with the high costs of keeping its web site compatible with IE7, so it's passing the cost onto those who use the browser. Sounds like it's about time to switch ;)

Submission + - America's Secret Space Plane To Land After A Year in Orbit (dailymail.co.uk)

SomePgmr writes: "The U.S Air Force's highly secret unmanned space plane will land in June — ending a year-long mission in orbit. The experimental Boeing X37-B has been circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour and was due to land in California in December. It is now expected to land in mid to late June. And still, no one knows what the space drone has been doing up there all this time."
Red Hat Software

Submission + - Red Hat will pay Microsoft to install Fedora (dreamwidth.org)

ToriaUru writes: "Fedora is going to pay Microsoft to let them distribute a PC operating system. Microsoft is about to move from effectively owning the PC hardware platform to literally owning it. Once Windows 8 is released, hardware manufacturers will be forced to ship machines that refuse to run any software that is not explicitly approved by Microsoft — and that includes competing operating systems like Linux.

Technically Fedora didn't have to go down this path. But, as this article explains, they are between a rock and a hard place: if they didn't pay Microsoft to let them onto the PC platform, they would have to explain to their potential users how to mess with firmware settings just to install the OS.

How long before circumventing the secure boot mechanism is considered a DMCA violation and a felony?"


Submission + - China Has Backdoor On US Military Chip (cam.ac.uk) 11

jjp9999 writes: Based on claims that silicon chips could be infected, security researcher Sergei Skorobogatov claims he and his team developed chip scanning software to put this to the test. They got their hands on a US military chip "that is highly secure with sophisticated encryption standards," that also happens to be manufactured in China. What they found was the chip has a backdoor on it that can disable the chip or reopen it at will. "This particular chip is prevalent in many systems from weapons, nuclear power plants to public transport. In other words, this backdoor access could be turned into an advanced Stuxnet weapon to attack potentially millions of systems. The scale and range of possible attacks has huge implications for National Security and public infrastructure," Skorobogatov writes on his blog.

Submission + - Sound increases the efficiency of boiling (phys.org)

hessian writes: "Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology achieved a 17-percent increase in boiling efficiency by using an acoustic field to enhance heat transfer. The acoustic field does this by efficiently removing vapor bubbles from the heated surface and suppressing the formation of an insulating vapor film."

Submission + - Severe Nuclear Reactor Accidents Likely Every 10 to 20 Years (sciencedaily.com)

surveyork writes: "Catastrophic nuclear accidents such as the core meltdowns in Chernobyl and Fukushima are more likely to happen than previously assumed. Based on the operating hours of all civil nuclear reactors and the number of nuclear meltdowns that have occurred, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz have calculated that such events may occur once every 10 to 20 years (based on the current number of reactors) — some 200 times more often than estimated in the past."

Submission + - Researchers generate electricity from viruses (phys.org)

toomuchtogrok writes: Imagine charging your phone as you walk, thanks to a paper-thin generator embedded in the sole of your shoe. This futuristic scenario is now a little closer to reality. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a way to generate power using harmless viruses that convert mechanical energy into electricity. The scientists tested their approach by creating a generator that produces enough current to operate a small liquid-crystal display. It works by tapping a finger on a postage stamp-sized electrode coated with specially engineered viruses. The viruses convert the force of the tap into an electric charge.

The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities."