Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Submission + - Not upgraded to Windows 10? Microsoft has downloaded 6GB of files on to your PC (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: Microsoft is proactively downloading files pertaining to Windows 10 on to PCs, no matter whether users have said they would like to download the new computer operating system or not.

If your PC has automatic updates enabled and is running Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, then Microsoft has secretly installed up to 6GB of files pertaining to Windows 10 in a folder entitled "$Windows.~BT" in the root of your hard drive during a recent Patch Tuesday.

Submission + - Revolutionary metal vapour laser cuts bone, smartphone glass without burning it (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: Russian researchers at the Tomsk State University in Siberia have developed the world's first metal vapour laser that can cut materials without burning them and is usable in a wide number of different industries.

The new laser utilises strontium vapour and works by vaporising the metal from a solid state to a gaseous state at a high temperature. It is able to operate at a wide range of different wavelengths, such as 6.45 microns, which is the optimum range for medical laser surgery cutting live human tissue and bones.

Submission + - Star Wars 3D holograms now possible with screens made from graphene and lasers (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: Optical researchers from four Australian and Chinese universities have made a holographic breakthrough by finding a way to make star Wars-esque 3D displays that can be viewed by the naked eye without wearing 3D glasses.

Researchers from Swinburne University of Technology, the Beijing Institute of Technology, Griffith University and Tsinghua University have succeeded in combining a mesh made from graphene oxide with lasers in order to create a pop-up floating image that looks similar to Princess Leia's urgent message transmission for Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars.

Using a photonic process that does not require heat or a change in temperature, the researchers were able to create nanoscale pixels that are able to bend light as it passes through in order to create optical effects.

Submission + - US Navy invents bulletproof glass from clay to revolutionise screens and lenses (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: The US Navy has invented a type of transparent material that is far more durable than glass and could revolutionise smartphone screens, laptop screens and camera lenses to make them more rugged.

The material, known as Spinel, is made from a special type of synthetic powdered clay and is bulletproof. The US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has been researching it for the past 10 years.

"Spinel is actually a mineral, it's magnesium aluminate," said Dr Jas Sanghera, who led the research. "The advantage is it's so much tougher, stronger, harder than glass. It provides better protection in more hostile environments — so it can withstand sand and rain erosion."

Submission + - Asian hackers using Android malware for sex extortion and blackmail (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: Gangs of cybercriminals in South Korea and Japan are now using advanced Android apps that can steal private data and record conversations for sex extortion – or sextortion – and blackmail.

Rather than just luring victims into performing embarrassing sexual acts on webcam which can then be used to extort money from them, hackers have now evolved to using malicious mobile apps to steal personal data and intercept text messages and phone calls.

Submission + - New 3D printing technique that's up to 100 times faster using light and oxygen (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: A start-up has debuted a new 3D printing technique that is between 25 to 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing techniques today and inspired by an iconic scene from the movie Terminator 2.

Using CLIP, objects are grown out of a pool of resin using both light and oxygen, rather than being printed layer by layer, and this continuous curing process speeds up 3D print times and creates objects with a smoother finish that are just as strong as conventional 3D-printed items.

When CLIP was compared to conventional 3D printing techniques like Polyjet, SLA and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), the CLIP method took 6.5 minutes to print out an object, while the same item took the Polyjet printer three hours, the SLS printer 3.5 hours and the SLA printer 11.5 hours.

Submission + - Chemistry revolution: 3D printer developed to synthesise molecules from scratch (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: Scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have built a 3D printer that is able to synthesise small molecules from scratch, which could potentially revolutionise chemical and biological sciences.

The process to synthesise small molecules is time-consuming and has to be highly customised for each application, so researching and creating new drugs currently takes many years even for highly-trained chemists and a lot of trial and error.

Well, what if there was a machine that would let you print out the chemical compound you wanted, just by using a mixture of some base chemicals, like building blocks being snapped together?

Submission + - Isis and Al-Qaeda terrorists using eBay, Reddit and porn to send coded messages (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: Islamic State (Isis) and Al-Qaeda terrorists have been turning to Reddit, eBay and pornography to send coded messages to their followers, according to an author with sources inside Mossad.

Mossad operatives now routinely monitor social bookmarking website Reddit, where messages can be hidden easily due to the plethora of subreddit sections and millions of posts of comments in each section of the website.

Submission + - XLR-One: Meet the 3D-printed robot that talks, tutors your child and DJs parties (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: A graphic designer and florist has created a customised 3D-printed personal robot companion that has a huge range of abilities — from entertaining users by talking and dancing, to being a party DJ or a home security patrol guard — but without a hefty price tag.

The XLR-One Personal Robot Companion is 30in tall and moves using a wheeled base. It has a Wi-Fi camera for an eye, and it looks and talks a lot like Short Circuit's Johnny Five.

The robot's brain is the ez-bv4 Wi-Fi controller, which contains ARM Cortex-M3 & Microchip PIC32 and offers 200MHz of processing power, and the robot comes equipped with EZ-Robot Revolution, an easy-to-use robotics platform.

Submission + - I Know This: Indie hidden object game lets you hack Jurassic Park's Unix system (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: A developer has designed an indie game based on the "I know this!" scene in Jurassic Park, a family film favourite from 1993 where cloned dinosaurs ran rampant on Islar Nublar, a fictional islet near Costa Rica.

Running on Windows, Mac and Linux, the object of the game is to find a file within 30 seconds and users can navigate a 3D landscape where their cursor searches the file manager system to locate a file.

Submission + - Someone's auctioning Silk Road 2.0 user details, source code on black market (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: An individual alleging to be the lead programmer for the now-defunct Silk Road 2.0 has announced that he wants to anonymously auction off all the user account details and the source code from the website to the highest bidder on a new underground marketplace called "Darkleaks", where people can get hackers to reveal sensitive data through crowdfunding.

Submission + - US: Cornell University students invent insect-based tofu made from mealworms (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: A group of students from Cornell University in the US are trying to revolutionise sustainable food by inventing a tofu made from mealworms that could help to feed the world's booming population, expected to hit nine billion people by 2050.

C-fu is a protein product is made from 100% crushed mealworms and contains 13% protein, 23% fat, iron, omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Submission + - Affordable holographic video displays are possible using surface acoustic waves (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: Researchers from Brigham Young University (BYU) and MIT believe they have figured out a way to make holographic video displays become larger and more affordable, which could pave the way for 3D video holograms like in Star Wars.

A special type of crystal called lithium niobate (LiNbO3) boasts excellent optical properties and beneath the surface of the crystal, microscopic channels, or "waveguides", are created to confine light passing through.

The researchers discovered that by depositing a metal electrode on to each waveguide, it was possible to produce surface acoustic waves that divide the colour frequencies in such a way, a new type of colour display is possible.

Submission + - Crohn's, sickle cell anaemia evolved to protect Neanderthals from deadly disease (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: Sufferers of psoriasis, Crohn's disease or sickle cell anaemia, which are hereditary conditions, might be interested to know these ancient diseases evolved in order to protect our ancestors from even worse medical conditions.

The scientists say the DNA deletions occurred in a common ancestor of humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans about a million or so years ago, in order to make humans in certain parts of the world deliberately susceptible to various health conditions.

Sickle cell anaemia is a serious blood disorder that causes red blood cells to take on a curved, crescent-like shape, which leads to anaemia (a problem) but also protects against malaria, a deadly infectious disease, by keeping parasites out of cells (an advantage).

Without life, Biology itself would be impossible.