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The Military

Submission + - Critics Say US Antimissle Defense Flawed, Dangerou

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that President Obama’s plans for reducing America’s nuclear arsenal and defeating Iran’s missiles rely heavily on a new generation of antimissile defenses which last year he called “proven and effective," but now a new analysis being published by two antimissile critics at MIT and Cornell, casts doubt on the reliability of the a rocket-powered interceptor known as the SM-3. The Pentagon asserts that the SM-3, or Standard Missile 3, had intercepted 84 percent of incoming targets in tests but a re-examination of results from 10 of those apparently successful tests by Theodore A. Postol and George N. Lewis, finds only one or two successful intercepts — for a success rate of 10 to 20 percent. Most of the approaching warheads, they say, would have been knocked off course but not destroyed and while that might work against a conventionally armed missile, it suggests that a nuclear warhead might still detonate. “The system is highly fragile and brittle and will intercept warheads only by accident, if ever,” says Dr. Postol, a former Pentagon science adviser who forcefully criticized the performance of the Patriot antimissile system in the 1991 Persian Gulf war. Dr. Postol says the SM-3 interceptor must shatter the warhead directly, and public statements of the Pentagon agency seem to suggest that it agrees. In combat, the scientists added, “the warhead would have not been destroyed, but would have continued toward the target" causing a warhead to fall short or give it an added nudge, with the exact site of the weapon’s impact uncertain. “It matters if it’s Wall Street or Brooklyn,” says Postol, “but we won’t know in advance.”"

Submission + - Mobile 'Remote Wipe' Thwarts Secret Service (

bennyboy64 writes: Smartphones that offer the ability to 'remote wipe' are great for when your device goes missing and you want to delete your data so that someone else can't look at it, but not so great for the United States Secret Service, ZDNet reports. The ability to 'remote wipe' some smartphones such as BlackBerry and iPhone was causing havoc for law enforcement agencies, according to USSS special agent Andy Kearns, speaking on mobile phone forensics at a security conference in Australia.

Submission + - Steam on a retail DVD PC Game?

jitterman writes: I purchased "Metro 2033" for Windows yesterday. After thinking about downloading it from a disreputable source, I decided, "No, I want PC gaming to thrive." So, I went to my local retailer, put down $49.95 plus tax, came home, and installed... Steam. Right off the disc. Which then began the download process to install the game on my machine. Now, there were .sid files on the disc, but I couldn't determine if there was a way for Steam to use them to "restore" the game to my system.

I have no issue with Steam itself, but if I had wanted to buy the game this way, I would have done that in the first place. If I had know that THIS was how a supposed DVD of this title was going to work, my choice between "purchase/pirate" might have been different. As it is, I did find a nice Razor1911 copy of the game to actually use should I ever have to reinstall from scratch. Yes, I still had to download the iso, but at least now I *have* it. I suppose the upside is that I did support PC gaming with my money.

Comments? Criticisms (both of me and/or of the Steam situation)? Similar anecdotes?

Submission + - Google Chrome Incognito Tracks Visited Sites (

wiplash writes: Google Chrome appears to store at least some information related to, and including, the sites that you have visited when browsing in Incognito mode. Lewis Thompson outlines a set of steps you can follow to confirm whether you are affected. He has apparently reported this to Google, but no response has yet been received.

Submission + - Trademark attack on Open Source project

jfbilodeau writes: I've been contributing and releasing open-source projects for a number of years now, and managed to stay (mostly) clear of conflict. One of my projects BSOD(roid) have been available on the Android Market for nearly a year. Last night, I've received a email asking me to rename my product because it infringes on the trademark ROID. This trademark has been filled nearly six month after my project was on the market. The two projects are completely unrelated and do not compete. Renaming the project is not the issue here. Responding to mindless corporate bullying is. I'm curious to know if this happened to other slashdotter and what suggestions you may have.

Submission + - What can a programmer do? 5

ppaulin writes: "Maybe it's because I'm 40. Maybe it's because I'm sitting on my couch drinking scotch watching West Wing reruns. The bottom line is that I'm a programmer and I'm lucky to have some free time on my hands. I'm not a rich dot-com guy looking to create a foundation, just a programmer trying to figure out what to do with the next 20 years of my life. I'd like my kids to be proud of me. So I'm asking (and please hold the snark, it's too easy) — What can a programmer do?"

Submission + - SCO Group gets the boot from Nasdaq (

mytrip writes: "The Nasdaq market has delisted The SCO Group, the Linux-seller-turned-Linux-litigant now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Lindon, Utah-based company's shares were taken off the Nasdaq because of the bankruptcy proceedings, the company said Thursday in a statement. The company had appealed Nasdaq's decision to do so but lost its appeal on December 21, the company said in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in the wake of years of steadily declining Unix revenue and a court ruling in August that crippled its legal argument that its proprietary Unix technology is used in open-source Linux. A court ruled Novell still holds the Unix copyrights."

PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - 40GB PS3 will NOT be backwards compatible! ( 2

gevmage writes: "An article on says that the 40GB version of the PlayStation 3 console, which will supplant the 60GB version (at least in Europe) will not be backwards compatible. From the article: 'In a new eye-opener from Sony the company's revealed that it's to drop backwards-compatibility support in PlayStation products.'

Personally, I think that Sony's generally good attitudes about backwards compatibility has been one reason that I own a PlayStation 2. If they dump that completely, then I may go Wii shopping."


Submission + - Microsoft's Looking Glass Clone (

angryfirelord writes: "360Desktop is a startup that reorganizes the standard Windows desktop into a panoramic, revolving pane of glass thousands of pixels long. 360Desktop is due to debut Wednesday at the DemoFall 2007 show in San Diego. While not for everybody, this reorganization of the desktop opens the door to many additional user interface elements beyond the stack of icons currently found on a typical Microsoft Office desktop, Evan Jones, CEO of the Melbourne, Australia, firm, said in an interview. 360Desktop does not replace the Windows user interface. It overlays and redefines it so the viewing area can be extended, Jones said. He envisions numerous Web resources being added as the user scrolls through what is meant to feel like a continuous pane of glass, instead of just a screen. He said it also will be a highly personalize-able environment, with some users perhaps using a favorite street scene in New York or Prague as their backdrop as they move around the desktop. As you reach the end of the scene, you keep going, starting around again. The company offers an an artist's graphic of such a desktop on its Web site."

Submission + - Ubuntu 7.10 Beta Released

An anonymous reader writes: The Ubuntu team is proud to announce the beta release of Ubuntu 7.10 and its variants, Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu. Codenamed "Gutsy Gibbon", 7.10 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year