Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Submission Summary: 0 pending, 17 declined, 4 accepted (21 total, 19.05% accepted)

Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Submission + - How to store your data for 1 million years. (

Whiteox writes: Robert Grass and his team, which is exploring how to use DNA as a data storage mechanism, is one of several academic and commercial entities grappling with the challenge of protecting data against the elements over time spans stretching out to millions of years.
FTA "The idea of storing information on DNA traces back to a Soviet lab in the 1960s, but the first successful implementation wasn't achieved until 2012, when biologist George Church and his colleagues announced in the journal Science that they had encoded one of Church's books in DNA. More recently, reports the New Yorker, the artist Joe Davis, now in residence at Church's lab, has announced plans to encode bits of Wikipedia into a particularly old strain of apple, so that he can create "a living, literal tree of knowledge."

Impressive, but I wonder if our future selves can make life from our archived data?

Submission + - Poll Question: Your preferred OS 1

Whiteox writes: The hypothesis is that over the last 10 years there has been an apparent shift in the Slashdot community for preferred operating systems. Let's take a snapshot of the current user OS landscape out there for 2015

At home I use:

At Work I use:

Submission + - Candy Crush on Windows 10 installs (

Whiteox writes: Are games bloat? A PC news aggregator has reported that Candy Crush Saga will be installed all Windows 10 desktops. Is this the beginning of bloatware for the new OS? For that matter, how many Slashdotters out there regard 'free' games like this just the tip of the iceberg?

Submission + - Programming with computers

Whiteox writes: After a 25 year break from programming on MS DOS and Apple machines, I've decided to take it up again as a hobby for fun (and maybe profit). I had a knowledge of BASIC and macro-assembly compilers. When I dug up my old documentation, most of it was eaten by mice, water damaged — basically unusable. Years ago I tried to convert a compiled basic program to visual basic with disastrous results, so I realize that I need to retrain.
I'm not sure if *nix O/S is more suitable than WinX as a platform of choice either. Whichever way I go, I'll need good support from books and the programming community.
I'm looking for a language that has a short learning curve, good documentation and would lead me towards command and control.
What language/direction should I take?

Submission + - Domestic Network Expansion? Some strategies please

Whiteox writes: "The problem is which would be the most efficient way of increasing my WiFi capacity. I have approximately 10+ devices connected and I'm feeling the strain. I'm not sure whether I should buy a few more WiFi routers or firewall off some of the devices. Do you have any suggestions of how to proceed with a $500 budget.

I'm running a BiPac 7404VNPX which is a +2 modem/4 port LAN and 2 voip lines. All went OK until the modem part fritzed itself and so now I get internet access via another modem serving the BiPac."

Submission + - Softly goes privacy into the night. (

Whiteox writes: "With the passage of the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 in the Senate yesterday, the Australian government gained the power to demand the storage of citizens’ personal data from telephone and internet usage at the behest of foreign governments. This was necessary, we were told, because Australia had to accede to the European Cybercrime Convention.
The convention, described by the US Electronic Frontier Foundation as “one of the world’s worst internet law treaties”, is designed to enable governments to investigate citizens of other countries for activities ranging from terrorism, fraud and child p-rnography to filesharing, political activism and dissent."


Submission + - WebOS: An Open Source Phoenix? (

Whiteox writes: "More info on the demise of the HP Touchpad and why WebOS was abandoned. HP wanted to get onto the tablet bandwagon and the easiest way of doing this was the purchase of Palm. However old hardware and the choice of Webkit which proved to be too slow were not the only reasons. Other factors like the loss of developer talent and poor app programming choices killed it.
Is there still life for WebOS? According to new CEO Meg Whitman, there is but I think she is hoping that the open source community will fix the issues, ready for a new HP tablet in 2013."

Social Networks

Submission + - Slashdot Ecosystem Success Factors.

Whiteox writes: "Well folks, the results of the Slashdot Questionnaire formulated by the City University of Hong Kong have been posted to the 310 lucky Slashdot participants. It was a study to try "to understand the popularity of Slashdot".

They asked 3 questions in late October last year:

Question 1: In your opinion, what (if so) makes Slashdot special among online discussion sites? Is it the content, the group of people it draws in, the discussion engine (e.g., content rating and filters), or possibly other factors?

Question 2: Compared with other discussion sites you know or/and have used, do you consider Slashdot's technology platform to be better? In other words, does it encourage (a) more sense of community or (b) more active participation? (In answering please also feel free to mention the other discussion site or sites you might be comparing to)

Question 3: As a unique user in slashdot, could you please rate your own reciprocity by assessing what you get from the community compared with what you contribute to it?(you can give an answer such as: i think i get more or i contribute more,of course we would be very appreciative for your explanation of detail)

Results are in an emailed PDF and I'm not going to host it cause I don't want my servers to go down.

Here's some of the results:

1. Reason To Communicate Slashdot participants enjoyed communicating with like-minded individuals and generated net positive value from their participation.

2. Community Centered Design The majority of users felt the Slashdot engine was community- enhancing.

3. Usability (good) Half of the respondents commented positively on the technology.

4. Registration Moderation (appropriate and responsible) Participants commented on the value of anonymous commenting. Further, some responses were made about moderation and meta- moderation

5. Moderation The moderation system was considered positive. The rating system was described as fair, trustworthy, and quality enhancing.

6. And Epic Fail on the 'Nature of Distributed Resources' Evidently Slashdot doesn't have any.

Here's their conclusion:

"Thus it remains to explore, among other issues, whether community members balance the reason to communicate with the effort to communicate and ultimately place their resources into communities accordingly. If community success could be determined based on this trade-off, it would provide a great impetus for the design of highly efficient community information and coordination portals, so as to not only achieve sustainability, but sustained growth."

Yep. I don't understand it either."


Submission + - European Neanderthals were freckled flame brains

Whiteox writes: "Just ready for the New Year, Spanish scientists have discovered 2 genes and some neat forensic blood-typing leading to their conclusion that European Neanderthals possessed language skills, and probably had freckles and ginger hair. Although I'm not responsible for the title, I did a bit of digging around (pun intended), and found an abstract of the actual research paper. Food for thought, especially for freckly, red-haired homo sapiens with blood-type O. Readers who want more, can wade through the provisional pdf."

Submission + - Octopuses have no personalities and enjoy HDTV

Whiteox writes: "A recent article in the SMH reports that researcher, Miss Renata Pronk has discovered that gloomy octopuses found in the Chowder Bay waters have the ability to view HDTV due to its increased frame rate of 50fps compared to the 25fps found on standard PAL.

It was via HDTV that she also found that octopuses show no trait of individual personalities even though they exhibit a high level of intelligence. The test involved showing video images of crabs, another octopus and a swinging bottle on the end of a string. Print version here"

Submission + - Next: Battery Powerd Credit Cards

Whiteox writes: "SMH has an article on some new tech — a battery powered credit card. EMUE Technologies (Australia) developed the card as a way of defeating the various forms of credit card fraud. When a user enters a PIN into the card the display shows a one-time number with which to authenticate each online credit card transaction.
The new card is being trialled by Visa in Britain, Israel, Switzerland and Italy. The card will be sold to banking customers for about $18 — $30 US each.

(print version here)"

Submission + - Vale Michael Crichton

Whiteox writes: "Michael Crichton passed away on November 4th aged 66 from cancer. He was the author of many Sci-Fi works and was notable in that many of them became very successful movies like The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park and the Lost World. "The world knew him as a great storyteller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us and entertained us all while doing so..." He was one of the few Sci-Fi authors that managed to translate much of his work into film through his skills in producing and script writing."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Choosing the right Linux

Whiteox writes: "After many years with Windows and Apple/Mac OS, I have decided to work using Linux for a number of reasons. I turn to Slashdot for help as I'm not sure which distro I should adopt. I've tried PCOS and Ubuntu but they are not for me.
So here is what I would like:
1. Learning curve doesn't matter
2. I am interested in programming and development (but stopped 10 years ago) and would like to access a variety of languages.
3. I need it to work with common whitebox hardware
4. I found Windows too slow to work with gigabytes of files and I need speed for listings.
5. A functional and hopefully customizable GUI
6. Stability
The top 2 or 3 would be excellent for my short list.
I appreciate your advice."

Submission + - NSW considers giving students Linux laptops | Aust ( 1

Whiteox writes: "The Australian Prime Minister's plan to equip high schools with 'one laptop per child' may go open source. Kevin Rudd's $56 million digital revolution will include "laptops (that will) run on an open source operating system with a suite of open source applications like those packaged under Edubuntu. This would include Open Office for productivity software, Gimp for picture editing and the Firefox internet browser." So far this has been considered for NSW and I think other states may follow.,24897,24490953-15306,00.html"

Submission + - BSOD at Olympic Opening Projected for all to see (

Whiteox writes: "Check this out! Sydney Morning Herald has reported that a BSOD was projected onto the roof of the National Stadium during the grand finale to the four-hour spectacular at the Olympics. Lenovo chairman, Yang Yuanqing chose to go with XP instead of Vista because of the complexity of the IT functions at the Games. His comment on Vista? "If it's not stable, it could have some problems," he said. Evidently Bill Gates attended the opening ceremony, so he must have witnessed it. I remember at least one other occasion where the BSOD followed him around. I was wondering if there were other public appearances of Bill and BSOD together?"

Those who claim the dead never return to life haven't ever been around here at quitting time.