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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - The Last Time Oceans Got This Acidic This Fast, 96% of Marine Life Went Extinct

Submitted by merbs
merbs (2708203) writes "The biggest extinction event in planetary history was driven by the rapid acidification of our oceans, a new study concludes. So much carbon was released into the atmosphere, and the oceans absorbed so much of it so quickly, that marine life simply died off, from the bottom of the food chain up. That doesn’t bode well for the present, given the similarly disturbing rate that our seas are acidifying right now."

+ - Amazon sues to block fake reviews

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon has filed suit against operators of sites that offer Amazon sellers the ability to purchase fake 4 and 5 star customer reviews. The suit is the first of its kind and was filed in King County Superior Court against a California man, Jay Gentile, identified in Amazon’s filings as the operator of buyazonreviews.com. The site also targets unidentified “John Does” who operate similar sites: buyreviewsnow.com, bayreviews.net, and buyamazonreviews.com. From the article: "The site buyazonreviews.com, which the suit claims is run by Gentile, didn’t respond to a request for comment. But Mark Collins, the owner of buyamazonreviews.com, denied Amazon’s claims. In an email interview, Collins said the site simply offers to help Amazon’s third-party sellers get reviews. 'We are not selling fake reviews. however we do provide Unbiased and Honest reviews on all the products,' Collins wrote. 'And this is not illegal at all.'”"

Comment: Get a Kano (Score 1) 315

by braindrainbahrain (#49442613) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?
Get a Kano. Yes, it's just a Raspberry Pi, but first off, your kid has to assemble it (hardware!), and it comes loaded with many of the products already mentioned here, such as Scratch, a Scratch-modifiable version of Minecraft, and a couple of others. I got it for my kid when he was 10, but it is really geared towards younger children. Age seven should be just perfect.

Comment: Language Requirements per Dijkstra (Score 1) 624

"... natural language is wonderful for the purposes it was created for, such as to be rude in, to tell jokes in, to cheat or to make love in (and Theorists of Literary Criticism can even be content-free in it), but it is hopelessly inadequate when we have to deal unambiguously with situations of great intricacy, situations which unavoidably arise in such activities as legislation, arbitration, mathematics or programming. "

Edsger Dijkstra - 1966

+ - Senate Draft of No Child Left Behind Act Draft Makes CS a 'Core' Subject

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "If at first you don't succeed, lobby, lobby again. That's a lesson to be learned from Microsoft and Google, who in 2010 launched advocacy coalition Computing in the Core, which aimed "to strengthen K-12 computer science education and ensure that computer science is one of the core academic subjects that prepares students for jobs in our digital society." In 2013, Computing in the Core "merged" with Code.org, a new nonprofit led by the next door neighbor of Microsoft's General Counsel and funded by wealthy tech execs and their companies. When Code.org 'taught President Obama to code' in a widely-publicized White House event last December, visitor records indicate that Google, Microsoft, and Code.org execs had a sitdown immediately afterwards with the head of the NSF, and a Microsoft lobbyist in attendance returned to the White House the next day with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and General Counsel Brad Smith (who also sits on Code.org's Board) in tow. Looks like all of that hard work may finally pay off. Education Week reports that computer science has been quietly added to the list of disciplines defined as 'core academic subjects' in the Senate draft of the rewritten No Child Left Behind Act, a status that opens the doors to a number of funding opportunities. After expressing concern that his teenage daughters hadn't taken to coding the way he’d like, President Obama added, "I think they got started a little bit late. Part of what you want to do is introduce this with the ABCs and the colors." So, don't be too surprised if your little ones are soon focusing on the four R's — reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic, and Rapunzel — in school!"

+ - Substitutional Reality: incorporating physical objects in Virtual Reality->

Submitted by AvengerDr
AvengerDr (4074293) writes "In Substitutional Reality, we imagine a class of Virtual Environments where every physical object surrounding the user is paired, with a degree of discrepancy, to a contextually appropriate virtual object. For example, our living room could be replaced by a medieval courtyard or the bridge of a spaceship. Common household items such as a torch or an umbrella could be replaced by a sword or a lightsaber. In this way, physical objects provide tangibility to Virtual Reality experience.

In our vision, users would be able to move within a VE based on their physical environment which would look radically different. However, they will know that everything they see really exists, although it might present a mismatch.

The scientific paper will be presented at CHI 2015 in Seoul on April 23rd. A video is also available."

Link to Original Source

+ - What Would A Year in Space Do to Your Mind?

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "This week, NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency will send two astronauts to spend a year in the International Space Station. This will be one of the first times people have stayed in space for such a long period of time, and the first time anybody has spent so much time aboard the ISS. While they're up there, American Scott Kelly and Russian Mikhail Kornienko will take part in more than a dozen studies about the physical and mental effects of working in space longer-term.

NASA tests aspiring astronauts strictly —and somewhat mysteriously— before choosing them for missions. Those selected are easygoing with good social skills. If they're married, they can't have marital problems.

Even after weeding out those with mental disorders, depression and conflicts still arise among well-adjusted crews. After all, they're in a situation that's basically new to humanity. Longtime space-psychology researcher Nick Kanas listed someknown problems long-term astronauts can face: anxiety, depression, and psychosis, psychosomatic symptoms [one Soviet astronaut had psychosomatic toothaches], emotional problems related to the stage of the mission, and postflight personality changes. Interpersonal issues include interpersonal tension, decreased cohesiveness over time, need for privacy, and task vs emotional leadership.

Over the past several years, NASA has been funding a group of psychologists to develop a software program astronauts could use, while aboard spacecraft, to help them work through depression and conflicts with their fellow space-goers. Because astronauts are often reluctant to admit to anxiety or depression, out of fear they won't be allowed to go to space again, the software is designed so nobody can track whether an astronaut uses it,"

+ - Mark Pincus Tries Again To Save Zynga, Stepping In As CEO->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Zynga founder Mark Pincus is rejoining the gaming company as CEO effective immediately, replacing Don Mattrick, who led Zynga for less than two years. The company reported a net loss of $45 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. In 2013 it laid off more than 500 employees, or 18 percent of its workforce. Pincus’s return is surprising, because he led the company during its downturn as well as in its heady early days."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: What would a constructed language have to be to replace English? 8

Submitted by Loren Chorley
Loren Chorley (3000737) writes "This idea has fascinated me for a long time and I'd like to start a project with some of my own ideas and anyone who's interested. Though I'd really like to hear what the Slashdot community thinks on the topic first. Not necessarily is it possible, because it's highly unlikely, but rather if it were to happen, what would that language have to be and have to have. More specifically: How could the language be made as easy as possible to learn coming from any linguistic background? How could interest in the language be fostered in as many people as possible? What sort of grammar would you choose and why? How would you build words and how would you select meanings for them, and why? What sounds and letters (and script(s)) would you choose and why? How important is simplicity and brevity, and why? How important are aesthetics and what makes a language aesthetic? What other factors could be important to consider and what other things would you like to see in such a language?"

+ - A Low Cost Satellite Groundstation Network using modified RTL-SDRs->

Submitted by Habberhead
Habberhead (178825) writes "The RTL-SDR website is running an article about a group that is aiming to provide low cost radio receivers intended to monitor satellites, to students and any other interested communities in order to promote worldwide education in science, technology and engineering.

By donating the hardware to schools and educational groups, the ThumbNet Project is trying to increase global attention to STEM courses for students who might otherwise never hear about it."

Link to Original Source

+ - Composites->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Westech Aerosol Corporation provide services Composites and Glue for Composites in United State of America — ok2spray."
Link to Original Source

+ - Why CSI: Cyber Matters->

Submitted by hypercard
hypercard (3406949) writes "CSI: Cyber has been the butt of many jokes in the info community since its inception. But in addition to facilitating lots of cyber bingo events and live tweets to call out technical errors, the show has real value in bringing awareness about infosec issues to the masses. Members of the Army Cyber Institute at West Point discuss the upside of CSI: Cyber in an article in the Cyber Defense Review. Shad Moss (aka Bow Wow), has more followers than the entire top one thousand information security professionals on twitter, and Shad Moss is just one cast member!"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:After School? (Score 1) 2

by braindrainbahrain (#49425811) Attached to: Robotics is better for kids than sports!
There are no easy answers, but some companies and organizations will support the development of a robotics team. See the FIRST robotics website for info:


Corporate sponsors sometimes make available resources and/or mentors. Maybe some more kids would be interested if they actually saw the robots?

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.