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Submission + - The most energetic particles in the Universe dwarf the LHC

StartsWithABang writes: When it comes to the Universe, you might think that energy really is only limited by rarity: get enough particles accelerated by enough supermassive, super-energetic sources, and it’s only a matter of time (and flux) before you get one that reaches any arbitrary energy threshold. After all, we’ve got no shortage of, say, supermassive black holes at the hearts of active galaxies. And yes, we do find cosmic rays hundreds, thousands or even millions of times the energy that the LHC can achieve. But when we think about the Universe in detail, these cosmic rays aren’t unlimited in their energy, but are rather stopped in their tracks by the most unlikely of sources: the ultra-low-energy cosmic microwave background, left over some 13.8 billion years after the Big Bang.

Submission + - Moving Monopoles Caught on Camera ( writes: Science Daily is reporting on magnetic monopoles.
For decades, researchers have been searching for magnetic monopoles — isolated magnetic charges, which can move around freely in the same way as electrical charges. Magnetic poles normally only occur in pairs. Now a team of researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland and University College Dublin has managed to create monopoles in the form of quasiparticles in an assembly of nanoscale magnets and to observe how they move using a microscope at the Swiss Light Source (SLS) to make the magnetic structures visible.
As with the elementary monopoles, which were first predicted by the British physicist Paul Dirac in 1931, each monopole is connected by a "string" to a monopole of opposite charge. The two monopoles can nevertheless move independently of each other. These results are not only of scientific interest, but could also provide a basis for the development of future electronic devices. The results are published online in the journal Nature Physics (Oct. 17, 2010).


After Learning Java Syntax, What Next? 293

Niris writes "I'm currently taking a course called Advanced Java Programming, which is using the text book Absolute Java, 4th edition, by Walter Savitch. As I work at night as a security guard in the middle of nowhere, I've had enough time to read through the entire course part of the book, finish all eleven chapter quizzes, and do all of the assignments within a month, so all that's left is a group assignment that won't be ready until late April. I'm trying to figure out what else to read that's Java related aside from the usual 'This is how to create a tree. This is recursion. This is how to implement an interface and make an anonymous object,' and wanted to see what Slashdotters have to suggest. So far I'm looking at reading Beginning Algorithms, by Simon Harris and James Ross."

Adobe Download Manager Installing Software Without Consent 98

"Not all is worth cheering about as Adobe turns 20," writes reader adeelarshad82, who excerpts from a story at PC Magazine's Security Watch: "Researcher Aviv Raff has found a problem in ADM (Adobe Download Manager) and the method through which it is delivered from The net effect of the problem is that a user can be tricked into downloading and installing software using ADM without actual consent. Tonight Adobe acknowledged the report and said they were working on the issue with Raff and NOS Microsystems, the company that wrote ADM."

New Riddick Movie Made Possible By Games? 160

Hugh Pickens writes "Scott Harris writes on Moviefone that the economics of Hollywood are often baffling, as DVD sales, broadcast fees and merchandising tie-ins balance against advertising costs and pay-or-play deals to form an accounting maze. The latest example is the untitled sequel to The Chronicles of Riddick, released in 2004 to a slew of negative reviews and general viewer indifference. Despite its hefty $105 million budget, most of which was spent on special effects, the film topped out at a paltry $57 million domestically. So how can a sequel be made if the movie lost money? The answer has to do with ancillary profits from revenue streams outside the box office. While the combined $116 million worldwide probably still didn't cover distribution and advertising costs, it likely brought the film close to even, meaning DVD sales and profits from the tie-in video game franchise may have put the movie in the black. In addition, Riddick itself was a sequel to Pitch Black, a modestly budgeted ($23 million) success back in 2000. Extending the franchise to a third film may help boost ancillary profits by introducing the Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick DVDs and merchandise to new audiences, meaning that the new film may not even need to break even to eventually turn a profit for the studio."

Google, Apple Call Workers' Race & Gender Trade Secrets 554

theodp writes "The Mercury News reports that Google, whose stated mission is to make the world's information universally accessible, says the race and gender of its work force is a trade secret that cannot be released. So do Apple, Yahoo, Oracle, and Applied Materials. The five companies waged a successful 18-month FOIA battle with the Merc, convincing federal regulators who collect the data that its release would cause 'commercial harm' by potentially revealing the companies' business strategy to competitors. Law professor John Sims called the objections — the details of which the Dept. of Labor declined to share — 'absurd.' Many industry peers see the issue differently — Intel, Cisco, eBay, AMD, Sanmina, and Sun agreed to allow the DOL to provide the requested info. 'There's nothing to hide, in our view,' said a spokesman for Intel. Some observers note it's not the first time Google has declined to put a number on its vaunted diversity — in earlier Congressional testimony, Google's top HR exec dodged the question of how many African-American employees the company had."

Next Flash Version Will Support Private Browsing 192

An anonymous reader writes "The world rolled its eyes when the problem of Flash cookies came to light several months ago. Even if you're careful about cookies or even if you use your browser's private surfing feature, sites can still track you through cookies stored by Flash. However, soon enough the next version of Flash, 10.1, will support private browsing and will integrate with browsers to turn it on when the browser itself is in private browsing mode. Browsers still store data during a private browser session, but they will delete it all at the end of the session. The same will be true of Flash private browsing."

Verizon To Allow Skype Calling On Its Network 98

The Verizon press release begins: "At the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Verizon Wireless and Skype today announced a strategic relationship that will bring Skype to Verizon Wireless smartphones in March." What used to be one of the most protective carriers anywhere has been opening up in major ways since the introduction of the Motorola Droid. Phandroid summarizes: "Starting next month, Verizon Smartphone users with data plans will enjoy free and unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls to anyone on the planet. And you’ll enjoy amazingly cheap Skype International calls as well. All this from Verizon Wireless’ 3G network." Some are wondering how the DoJ and law enforcement will react to a major upsurge in fully encrypted traffic.

Robots To Clear the Baltic Seafloor of WW-II Mines 286

An anonymous reader writes "A Russian company is building a massive natural gas pipeline that will run across the Baltic Sea floor. But first, they must clear some of the 150,000 unexploded bombs sitting at the bottom of the sea, left there by the Russian and German armies in the 1940s. About 70 of these mines, each filled with 300 kg of explosive charge, sit in the pipeline's path, mostly in its northern section just south of Finland. And so the company contracted to remove the mines is bringing in robots to do the dirty work. Here's how it will work: A research ship deploys the robot to the seabed, where it identifies the exact location of the explosive. After sounding a warning to surrounding ship traffic, scaring fish away using a small explosive, and then emitting a 'seal screamer' of high intensity noises designed to make the area around the blast quite uncomfortable for marine mammals, Bactec's engineers erupt a 5 kg blast, forcing the mine to detonate. This process ensures the safety of humans plus any animals living in the surrounding environment. The operation concludes with the robot being redeployed to clear up the scrap of the now-destroyed bomb."

Malicious Spam Jumps To 3B Messages Per Day 211

Trailrunner7 writes "Last year saw a monstrous increase in the volume of malicious spam, according to a new report (PDF). In the second half of 2009, the number of spam messages sent per day skyrocketed from 600 million to three billion, according to new research. For some time now, spam has been accounting for 90 or more percent of all email messages. But the volume of spam had been relatively steady in the last couple of years. Now, the emergence of several large-scale botnets, including Zeus and Koobface, has led to an enormous spike in the volume of spam."
The Internet

A Simple Guide To Net Neutrality 154

superapecommando writes in with a neutral introduction to net neutrality from ComputerWorld UK. While it doesn't go into a lot of technical depth, it's rare to see anything written on the subject that isn't rabid on one side or the other. "Google's recently announced plan to set up trial fiber-optic networks in the US with ultra-high-speed Internet connections puts the long running national debate over Net Neutrality back into high gear. A hot topic of discussion and debate in government and telecom circles since at least 2003, Net Neutrality, actually involves a broad array of topics, technologies and players. Here's a primer for those looking to get up to speed fast."

Apple Bans Jailbreakers From the App Store 507

Hugh Pickens writes "Adam Mills writes in the Examiner that Apple has been cutting off access to the iTunes App Store for iPhone hackers and jailbreakers. Sherif Hashim, the iPhone developer who successfully hacked the iPhone OS 3.1.3 and unlocked the 05.12.01 baseband for iPhone 3GS and 3G devices, discovered he'd been cut off and twittered: '"Your Apple ID was banned for security reasons," that's what i get when i try to go to the app store, they must be really angry.' Another hacker, iH8Sn0w, who is behind the Sn0wbreeze tool, confirms that his account has also been deactivated even though iH8sn0w's exploit had only been revealed to Dev Team, the group responsible for the PwnageTool. 'It is kind of surprising that two people associated with jailbreaking have had this happen to them so soon after one another, but it's too early to say if this is a campaign that Apple is starting up,' writes Mills."

Did We Lose the Privacy War? 521

eihab writes "I've been a fanatic about my online privacy for the last few years. I've been using NoScript and blocking Google Analytics, disabling third-party cookies, encrypting IM and doing everything in my power to keep data-miners at bay. Recently, I've been feeling like I'm just doing too much and still losing! No matter what I do, I know that there's a weak link somewhere, be it my ISP, Flash cookies, etc. I've recently gotten AT&T U-Verse, who, according to their privacy statement, will be monitoring my TV watching habits for advertisement purposes. I'm extremely annoyed by that, yet I love the service so much and I don't think I can cancel it. I just can't take this anymore. I have nothing to hide, but I do not want to be profiled and become member #5534289 in a database somewhere that records everything I do. I know I'm not that interesting to anyone, but the idea of someone being able to pull up everything about me with a simple SQL SELECT statement and a couple of JOINS makes me cringe. One of the reasons I hate data mining is that data security is not understood and almost non-existent at a lot of places. Case in point: I changed my life insurance two years ago, and the medical firm that conducted my health screening was broken into and computers with non-encrypted hard drives and patients' data were stolen. That medical firm didn't really need my SSN, but then again neither did AT&T when I signed up for U-Verse. Am I just too paranoid? Is privacy dead? Should I just give up and accept the fact that privacy is not the norm anymore (like Facebook's founder recently said) or should I keep fighting the good fight for my privacy?"
Data Storage

Quality Concerns For Kingston microSD Cards 149

Andrew "bunnie" Huang, whom we've discussed before for his book on Xbox hacking and development of the Chumby, has made an interesting blog post about problems he's found with Kingston microSD cards. He first encountered a batch of bad cards during production of the ChumbyOne, and found Kingston initially unhelpful when trying to get them replaced. After noticing some unusual markings on the chips, he decided to investigate for himself, comparing the ID data and dissolving the cards' casings with nitric acid to take a look inside. He found that each of his Kingston-branded samples actually had a Toshiba/SanDisk memory chip inside, and that the batch of low-quality cards he received may not be as uncommon as he thought. "Significantly, Kingston is revealed as simply a vendor that re-marks other people's chips in its own packaging. Every Kingston card surprisingly had a SanDisk/Toshiba memory chip inside, and the only variance or 'value add' that could be found is in the selection of the controller chip. ... This tells me that Kingston must be crushed when it comes to margin, which may explain why irregular cards are finding their way into their supply chain. Kingston is also probably more willing to talk to smaller accounts like me because as a channel brand they can't compete against OEMs like Sandisk or Samsung for the biggest contracts from the likes of Nokia or RIMM. Effectively, Kingston is just a channel trader and is probably seen by SanDisk/Toshiba as a demand buffer for their production output. I also wouldn't be surprised if SanDisk/Toshiba was selling Kingston 'A-' grade parts, i.e., parts with slightly more defective sectors, but otherwise perfectly serviceable. As a result, Kingston plays a significant and important role in stabilizing microSD card prices and improving fab margins, but at some risk to their own brand image."

Meteorite Contains Complex Organic Molecules 106

An anonymous reader writes "Previously unknown organic molecules have been discovered in a 100 kg meteorite that hit Australia in 1969, suggesting that our early Solar System contained a soup of highly complex organic chemistry long before life appeared. Quoting: 'According to [the study's lead author], the newly discovered compounds in the Murchison meteorite "may have contributed to the organic complexity of the early 'soup' that led to the development of life on Earth." The findings also suggest that extraterrestrial chemical diversity surpasses that found on Earth. The meteor probably passed through primordial clouds in the early solar system, accumulating organic molecules in a snowball effect along the way. By tracing the sequence of organic molecules in the meteorite, researchers believe they may also be able to create a timeline for their formation and alteration since the early days of our solar system.'"

God is real, unless declared integer.