Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - Neanderthal Dental Records Suggest Prehistoric Man Ate Animal Stomachs-> 1

Submitted by Philip Ross
Philip Ross (3389483) writes "Neanderthals, modern man’s close primitive relative, may have favored the flavor of a food-gorged animal gut now and then, according to scientists studying Neanderthals’ dental records. Anthropologists from London’s Natural History Museum describe the plant material found in the plaque of 50,000-year-old Neanderthal teeth as having come from the stomach contents of their prey. Researchers revisited the dental records of Neanderthals from El Sidrón Cave in Spain, where Neanderthal remains were first uncovered in 1994. The records were assembled last year as part of a study into Neanderthal diets."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ocean currents explain why Northern Hemisphere is soggier->

Submitted by vinces99
vinces99 (2792707) writes "A quick glance at a world precipitation map shows that most tropical rain falls in the Northern Hemisphere. The Palmyra Atoll, at 6 degrees north, gets 175 inches of rain a year, while an equal distance on the opposite side of the equator gets only 45 inches. Scientists long believed that this was a quirk of the Earth’s geometry – that the ocean basins tilting diagonally while the planet spins pushed tropical rain bands north of the equator. But a new University of Washington study shows that the pattern arises from ocean currents originating from the poles, thousands of miles away. The findings, published Oct. 20 in Nature Geoscience, explain a fundamental feature of the planet’s climate, and show that icy waters affect seasonal rains that are crucial for growing crops in such places as Africa’s Sahel region and southern India."
Link to Original Source
Hardware

The Ultimate Geek Christmas Card 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the when-you-care-to-send-the-geekiest dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNET reports on the world's most geeky Christmas card, and also the most expensive. The card is made out of a 1st gen iPhone, hacked into a Christmas card using cardboard, paper and glue. The card includes a virtual 'bauble' which uses the iPhone's accelerometer to recreate Christmas decorations that bounce and move with the card. The makers of the card say that because of the iPhone's battery life 'you probably don't want to post it anywhere it will take more than 3 days to arrive.'"

Comment: Re:Very slow (Score 1) 124

by djMouton (#30233860) Attached to: Magento Beginner's Guide

I actually left a company last year over a custom Magento project. At one point, they were throwing $1500/mo worth of dedicated server at a vanilla install (v1.1.something), and it was taking upwards of 20 seconds to load a product page. Load times have gotten significantly better since then, but it can still be showstoppingly slow even on tier 1 hardware.

The Military

Rise of the Robot Squadrons 245

Posted by timothy
from the nothing-can-go-wrong-nothing-can-go-can-go dept.
Velcroman1 writes 'Taking a cue from the Terminator films, the US Navy is developing unmanned drones that network together and operate in 'swarms.' Predator drones have proven one of the most effective — and most controversial — weapons in the military arsenal. And now, these unmanned aircraft are talking to each other. Until now, each drone was controlled remotely by a single person over a satellite link. A new tech, demoed last week by NAVAIR, adds brains to those drones and allows one person to control a small squadron of them in an intelligent, semiautonomous network.'

Comment: Re:So many others could benefit of similar methods (Score 1) 216

by djMouton (#29820699) Attached to: <em>World of Goo</em> Creators Try Pick-Your-Price Experiment

Indie rockers Speechwriters LLC did something similar with one of their albums, in their case giving it away for free once its associated tour had been paid for and the next album released.

Of course, they're still fairly unknown, so that's not the best example. But I'm sure the number of gained listeners outweighed the number of lost sales, which is clearly what you want if you're considering this kind of price tinkering.

Comment: Re:Oblivion is the perfect example. (Score 1) 404

by djMouton (#29734547) Attached to: Should Computer Games Adapt To the Way You Play?

Try Morrowind. I got exactly this with Arkngthand, my first Dwemer ruin. Naively expecting to slice through whatever came my way, I proceeded to get killed by spider bots about 10 times before I gave up, dumbfounded that the dungeon somehow wasn't matched to my level. After doing a few more side quests, I leveled up sufficiently to carve through the previously unkillable foes and teleport back to the nearest temple, having used all my healing potions and acquired the artifact with something like 10% health remaining.

It was a legitimately awesome experience. Believe the hype, Morrowind really is Oblivion minus the sunshine & bad play mechanics.

Transportation

Synthetic Sebum Makes Slippery Sailboats 128

Posted by timothy
from the so-say-we-all dept.
sonnejw0 writes "Sea-faring vessels are a major contributor of greenhouse gas production due to a deficit in international laws and inherent inefficiencies at sea, such as barnacle build-up on hulls. Many marine animals avoid the build-up of drag-inducing barnacles through secreting oily residues from their pores or through the nano-molecular arrangement of their skin. Sailors regularly defoul their hulls, removing the barnacles at dry-dock, which requires them to reduce the amount of time they have at sea. Some synthetic chemicals in paints have been used to prevent barnacle build-up but have been found to be toxic to marine animals and thus outlawed by several nations. Now, engineers are trying to replicate the skin of marine animals to produce a slippery hull to which marine bacteria cannot attach, saving fuel costs and improving speeds."

Comment: Gears and you're done. (Score 1) 408

by djMouton (#29282139) Attached to: GMail Experiences Serious Outage

This episode made me really glad I use Google Gears. Yes, it makes my Google Apps experience noticeably more wonky, but I've taken to using Safari as my day-to-day Gmail/Docs/Calendar app, firing it up in Firefox + Gears every week or so to keep the offline backup synced. To each his own, but as a guy who just wants a mindless backup solution and doesn't mind having copies of his life floating around Mountain View, I can't recommend Gears highly enough. YMMV.

Science

Entanglement Could Be a Deterministic Phenomenon 259

Posted by kdawson
from the playing-dice dept.
KentuckyFC writes "Nobel prize-winning physicist Gerard 't Hooft has joined the likes of computer scientists Stephen Wolfram and Ed Fredkin in claiming that the universe can be accurately modeled by cellular automata. The novel aspect of 't Hooft's model is that it allows quantum mechanics and, in particular, the spooky action at a distance known as entanglement to be deterministic. The idea that quantum mechanics is fundamentally deterministic is known as hidden variable theory but has been widely discounted by physicists because numerous experiments have shown its predictions to be wrong. But 't Hooft says his cellular automaton model is a new class of hidden variable theory that falls outside the remit of previous tests. However, he readily admits that the new model has serious shortcomings — it lacks some of the basic symmetries that our universe enjoys, such as rotational symmetry. However, 't Hooft adds that he is working on modifications that will make the model more realistic (abstract)."

RadioShack To Rebrand As "The Shack"? 629

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the a-little-old-place-where-we-can-get-together dept.
Harry writes "Rumor has it that RadioShack is planning to re-brand itself as The Shack later this year, after eighty-eight years under the old name (most of them with a space in between 'Radio' and 'Shack'). I hope it's not true, because I don't think the move would do a thing to make the retailer a better, more successful business." Where will we go to buy soldering irons and those RCA to headphone jack adapters now?

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz

Working...