Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Submission + - Carbon Dating Shows Koran May Predate the Prophet Muhammad 4 writes: Brian Booker writes at Digital Journal that carbon dating suggests that the Koran, or at least portions of it, may actually be older than the prophet Muhammad himself, a finding that if confirmed could rewrite early Islamic history and shed doubt on the "heavenly" origins of the holy text. Scholars believe that a copy Koran held by the Birmingham Library was actually written sometime between 545 AD and 568, while the Prophet Mohammad was believed to have been born in 570 AD and to have died in 632 AD. It should be noted, however, that the dating was only conducted on the parchment, rather than the ink, so it is possible that the quran was simply written on old paper. Some scholars believe, however, that Muhammad did not receive the Quran from heaven, as he claimed during his lifetime, but instead collected texts and scripts that fit his political agenda. "This gives more ground to what have been peripheral views of the Koran's genesis, like that Muhammad and his early followers used a text that was already in existence and shaped it to fit their own political and theological agenda, rather than Muhammad receiving a revelation from heaven," says Keith Small, from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library. "'It destabilises, to put it mildly, the idea that we can know anything with certainty about how the Koran emerged," says Historian Tom Holland. "and that in turn has implications for the history of Muhammad and the Companions."

Submission + - Death in the Browser Tab

theodp writes: "There you are watching another death on video," writes the NY Times' Teju Cole. "In the course of ordinary life — at lunch or in bed, in a car or in the park — you are suddenly plunged into someone else’s crisis, someone else’s horror. It arrives, absurdly, in the midst of banal things. That is how, late one afternoon in April, I watched Walter Scott die. The footage of his death, taken by a passer-by, had just been published online on the front page of The New York Times. I watched it, sitting at my desk in Brooklyn, and was stunned by it." Cole continues, "For most of human history, to see someone die, you had to be there. Depictions of death, if there were any, came later, at a certain remove of time and space." Disturbing as they may be (Cole notes he couldn't bear to watch the ISIS beheading videos), such images may ultimately change things for the better. Better to publish them than sweep them under the carpet?

Submission + - Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

BarbaraHudson writes: From the "have-it-your-way dept"

Reuters is reporting that Ireland citizens voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriages. While it's also legal in 19 other countries, Ireland was the first to decide this by putting the question to the citizens.

"This has really touched a nerve in Ireland," Equality Minister Aodhan O'Riordain said at the main count center in Dublin. "It's a very strong message to every LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) young person in Ireland and every LGBT young person in the world."

Observers say that the loss of moral authority of the Catholic church after a series of sex scandals was a strong contributing factor, with priests limiting their appeals to the people sitting in their pews. In contrast, the Yes side dominated social media.

Submission + - Jonathan James and Aaron Swartz-Two Obituaries One Prosecutor (

Cexy writes: Years after the suicide of two hacker geniuses, Jonathan James and Aaron Swartz, one question is still circling the online community: How come those two hackers both committed suicide after being charged by the FBI, and what is even more interesting, they had to deal with the same federal prosecutor? Two obituaries one prosecutor?

Submission + - How To View Saved Wi-Fi Passwords On Android (

tahir9110 writes: Sometimes we forgot our Wi-Fi password that is entered in our Android phone, in this situation if guest come to our home and ask for Wi-Fi password then what we do to get the password that is entered in our Android phone?For this solution, i'll show you multiple ways to show the passwords that you forgot after entering into phone.

Submission + - How we'll someday be able to see past the Cosmic Microwave Background

StartsWithABang writes: When it comes to the farthest thing we can see in the Universe, that’s the Cosmic Microwave Background, or the leftover glow from the Big Bang, emitted when the Universe was a mere 380,000 years old. But what, exactly, does this mean? Does it mean that we’re seeing the “edge” of the Universe? Does it mean that there’s nothing to see, farther back beyond it? Does it mean that, as time goes on, we’re going to be able to see farther back in time and space? The answers are no, no, and yes, respectively. If we want to see farther than ever before, we've got two options: either wait for more time to pass, or get moving and build that cosmic neutrino background detector.

Submission + - Universal Jobmatch: A Scammers Paradise (

An anonymous reader writes: The Government’s new job vacancies website, Universal Jobmatch, is riddled with outright scams, data harvesting operations, spoof job vacancies and dodgy business opportunities. The recently launched website is the latest crazy scheme from Iain Duncan Smith to snoop on the ‘job seeking activity’ of benefit claimants.

Submission + - Facebook, Twitter, Google opening URLs in your email (

qubezz writes: You have emailed someone a confidential email with a URL that gives them secure access to your site — well guess what, your email provider is logging into it also. Several email and messaging platforms are reading message contents and following web links in the messages.

Security firm High-Tech Bridge set up a dedicated server to see which of the services picked up and used a unique URL they added to emails sent through various services. During the 10 days of the experiment, only six services out of the 50 took the bait, but they included four of the biggest and most used social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Formspring.

Submission + - Proxy Use Made Criminal Under CFAA ( 1

WillgasM writes: "Changing your IP address or using proxy servers to access public websites you've been forbidden to visit is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act." according to a judge's broad ruling during a case on Friday involving Craigslist and 3taps. Opponents argue that this creates a slippery slope that many unsuspecting web users may find themselves upon. With your typical connection being assigned an address dynamically, is an IP ban really a "technological barrier" to be circumvented? How long until we see the first prosecution for unauthorized viewing of a noindex page?

Submission + - Discrete Log Problem Breakthrough Threatens Crypto

tbonefrog writes: Cryptographic ground truth is changing fast. In February Antoine Joux produced a new record subexponential discrete logarithm algorithm running at L(1/4) speed and beating the long-standing L(1/3) mark. On June 20 a quasipolynomial algorithm was announced at the Workshop on Number-Theoretic Algorithms for Asymmetric Cryptology in France, and explained by Stephen Galbraith

Discrete logarithm and factoring are different problems but progress on one tends to lead to progress in the other. Get a paper bank statement mailed to you each month, order some paper checks, and buy stamps and envelopes for paying your bills via snail mail.

Submission + - Harlan: A language that simplifies GPU programming released ( 1

hypnosec writes: Harlan – a declarative programming language that simplifies development of applications running on GPU has been released by a researcher at Indian University. Erik Holk released his work publicly after working on it for two years. Harlan’s syntax is based on Scheme – a dialect of LISP programming language. The language aims to help developers make productive and efficient use of GPUs by enabling them to carry out their actual work while it takes care of the routine GPU programming tasks. The language has been designed to support GPU programming and it works much closer to the hardware.

Submission + - Who Will Teach U.S. Kids to Code? Rupert Murdoch.

theodp writes: For all of their handwaving at about U.S. kids not being taught Computer Science, tech execs from Microsoft, Google, and Facebook seem more focused lately on Plan B of their 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy . So, who's going to Teach Your Children CompSci? Enter friend-of-the-Gates-Foundation Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch's Amplify Education is launching an AP Computer Science MOOC this fall (Java will be covered), taught by an experienced AP CS high school teacher. An added option, called MOOC Local, will provide additional resources to schools with students in the CS MOOC. MOOC Local will eventually cost $200 per student, but is free for the first year.

Submission + - Texting Hurts Ability to Decode New Words (

garthsundem writes: "Does text messaging make texters more accepting of non-traditional language? Actually, the reverse is true. According to this University of Calgary study, texters lose the ability to infer meaning from words they haven't seen before. (Okay, it's a Masters thesis — but it's still pretty compelling.) In contrast, when presented with unfamiliar words, consumers of traditional media applied more sophisticated strategies to "decode" meaning. The study attributes this to more frequently coming across creative, unfamiliar words in traditional media. In contrast, texters stick to their sad little lexicons — and refuse to accept anything else."

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten