Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Get The Fastest VPN For Your Internet Security Lifetime Subscription Of PureVPN at 88% off. ×

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Best Valentine Day Gift from Nerds? (

retroworks writes: is increasingly setting itself apart from the 1970s B-Movie-Mad-Magazine days, with some interesting online writing and a huge following on Facebook. Today, Cracked posted an article on the top ten "geek" gifts for Valentines Day, going to tired old staples like "one ring to rule them all" and a "chunk of gallium". Ok, I'd dig the gallium. But can Slashdot suggest another valentines day gift besides "non-BETA" /.? (The answer may be "NO")

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Where do you draw the line on GPL v2 derived works and fees? ( 12

Shifuimam writes: I downloaded a DOSBox port for Android recently to get back into all the games of my childhood. Turns out that the only free distribution available hasn't been updated in nearly two years, so I looked for alternatives.

There are two on Google Play — DOSBox Turbo and "DOSBot". Both charge a fee — DOSBox Turbo is $3.99; DOSBot is $0.99. The developer of DOSBot says on his Google Play entry that he will not release the source code of his application because it's not GPL, even though it's derived from source released under GPL v2 — this is definitely a violation of the license. The developer of DOSBox Turbo is refusing to release the source for his application unless you pay the $3.99 to "buy" a license of it.

The same developer explicitly states that the "small" fee (although one might argue that $3.99 is pretty expensive for an OSS Android app) is to cover the cost of development. Unless I'm misreading the text of GPL v2, a fee can only be charged to cover the cost of the distribution of a program or derived work, not the cost of development. And, of course, it doesn't cost the developer anything for someone to log in to Google Play and download their app. In fact, from what I can tell, there's a one-time $25 fee to register for Google Checkout, after which releasing apps is free.

Where do you draw the line on this? What do you do in this kind of situation?


Submission + - 68% of iPhone Apps Collect Unique Device ID (

An anonymous reader writes: It looks like iPhone users are not immune to the types of data leaks recently discovered on the Android platform. Researchers looked at the top free applications available from the App Store and discovered that "68% of these applications were transmitting UDIDs to servers under the application vendor’s control each time the application is launched." The iPhone's Unique Device ID, or UDID, cannot be changed, nor can it's transmission be disabled by the user. The full paper is here.

Submission + - Duke Nukem: Forever To Appear At Mana Bar (

An anonymous reader writes: On October 16th, Duke Nukem: Forever will make an appearance at the Mana Bar in Brisbane, Australia. From the article:
"We all know co-founder Yug has a little black box full of pictures of developers on their drunken adventures at the bar for future leverage and blackmail. But more likely this is the last stop of Pitchford's tour after travelling Europe, ending with Brisbane's EB vendor show, to show that, yes, this game does indeed exist."

Submission + - Amazon building its own Android App Market? (

Thinkcloud writes: Speculation abounds that Amazon is planning their own storefront for selling Android apps, one in which they, not the developers, will set the price and decide which apps to feature (and which apps to exclude from the store all together). It's a shrewd move and smart strategy for Amazon, though its impact on app sellers is less certain.

Submission + - Wii 2 to use Marvell Quad-Core ARM Processor? (

Blacklaw writes: Comments made by Marvell's Jack Kang at the Mobilize 2010 conference suggest that his company's latest quad-core chips may form the heart of the next-generation Wii 2.
Describing the new chip as being too "power-hungry" for use in mobile devices, Kang commented at the Mobilize 2010 conference that it would be finding its way into a next-generation games console in the near future instead — and logic suggests that console will be the successor to Nintendo's Wii.


Morphing Metals 121

aarondubrow writes "Imagine a metal that 'remembers' its original, cold-forged shape, and can return to that shape when exposed to heat or a magnetic pulse. Like magic out of a Harry Potter novel, such a metal could contract on command, or swing back and forth like a pendulum. Believe it or not, such metals already exist. First discovered in 1931, they belong to a class of materials called 'shape memory alloys (SMA),' whose unique atomic make-up allows them to return to their initial form, or alternate between forms through a phase change."

Submission + - Lucy in the Sky made of Diamond ( 1

artao writes: Astronomers have discovered a star made of diamond in the constellation Centaurus and named it 'Lucy' in honor of the Beatles song. Some scientists and cosmologists have been predicting this for many years, so it's nice they finally actually found one.

From the article: "Twinkling in the sky is a diamond star of 10 billion trillion trillion carats, astronomers have discovered.
The cosmic diamond is a chunk of crystallised carbon, 4,000 km across, some 50 light-years from the Earth in the constellation Centaurus.
It's the compressed heart of an old star that was once bright like our Sun but has since faded and shrunk.
Astronomers have decided to call the star "Lucy" after the Beatles song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

NOTE: I have not yet found any other source on this, but I do generally trust the BBC.


Big Brother In the School Cafeteria? 425

AustinSlacker writes "An Iowa school district's lunch program asks children as young as 5 years old to memorize a four-digit PIN code so it can monitor what they eat in the school cafeteria - prompting some parents to claim it's an unhealthy case of 'Big Brother.' An over reaction by parents or an unnecessary invasion of privacy?"
Emulation (Games)

Submission + - Good book on hardware emulation ?

An anonymous reader writes: As a lot of old pc-demos don't work anymore these days i would like to get into hardware emulation but don't know any good books to start with. I do have a cs degree and know basic hardware design, so I know how a good old 386 works, for example, and know what I have to do to accurately emulate the individual components but don't know how to effectively design my software to be clock accurate without getting into serious speed issues. The hardware needs to be emulated as precise as possible.
Does anyone know a good book to start with ?

Submission + - Distributed secure networking closer yet 1

paxcoder writes: FreedomBox, a convenient personal server may be a step closer to reality than skeptics imagine. While Diaspora is arguably vaporware at this point, another distributed social network project, GNU social has recently hit alpha (preview) and as announced by Tim Berners-Lee(!), is now organizing a theme design contest.

In the same time, Debian is considering a special distro that would run on 'plug computers' for which some of the goals, along with the wiki and the mailing list have been set at Debconf 10, as early as 3 days after the now-famous Moglen's talk (first link). At present stage, developers are still proposing hardware and software which will make FreedomBox a reality, and particular attention is now being given to yet another GNU project, GNUnet, a versatile secure peer-oriented networking framwork.

Submission + - Pac-Man on Google Doodle (

Kilrah_il writes: Although we had much of Google in the last few days, this is just to geekly-cool to pass. In order to celebrate Pac-Man's 30th birthday, Google featured a doodle of Pac-Man on their home page, but with a cool twist: It is a playable doodle of the original Pac-Man game. "To play the game, go to during the next 48 hours (because it’s too cool to keep for just one day) and either press the “Insert Coin” button or just wait for a few seconds." There is also an easter egg for those who want to recall one of the first multi-player games, but you'll have to RTFA to find it.

Submission + - Principal urges parents to ban social networks. (

An anonymous reader writes: A story of another clueless administrator trying to control what students do outside of class. Anthony Orsini, principal at the Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, N.J., does not seem to be a reasonable person. From an e-mail sent to parents:

"It is time for every single member of the BF Community to take a stand! There is absolutely no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! ... Let me repeat that — there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! None."

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.