Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Sure It's Doable, Just Shift Subsidies (Score 1) 603

When the US downgradeds, it will send a shudder through markets that day. That will followed, as usual, by the more sober realisation that what S&P, Moody’s think about the nation’s creditworthiness is almost irrelevant. The more ratings become removed from reality, the more I am horrified to their semi-government approved status. The more we can rely on them less, the better. I'm pretty sure that the problems will be large institutions that have to scrammmbe to put up more risk reserves,

Romanians Find Cure For Conficker 145

mask.of.sanity writes "BitDefender has released what it claims is the first vaccination tool to remove the notorious Conficker virus that infected some 9 million Windows machines in about three months. The worm, also known as Downadup, exploits a bug in the Windows Server service used by Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008. It spreads primarily through a buffer overflow vulnerability in Windows Server Service where it disables the operating system update service, security center, including Windows Defender, and error reporting. The Romanian security vendor said its removal tool will delete all versions of Downadup and will not be detected by the virus."

Amateurs Are Trying Genetic Engineering At Home 245

the_kanzure points out this AP story on amateur genetic engineering, excerpting: "The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself. Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories." Reader resistant has a few ideas about how to use this sort of lab: "Personally, I'd like to whip up a reasonably long-lasting and durable paint made with dye based on squid genes that glows brightly enough to allow 'guide lines' to be daubed along hallway baseboards, powered by a very low trickle of electricity. Plus, a harmless glowing yogurt would make for a cool prank."

Chinese Automaker Unveils First Electric Car 341

JuliusSu writes "A Chinese auto manufacturer, BYD, is introducing today the country's first electric car, a plug-in hybrid vehicle. It plans to sell at least 10,000 cars in 2009 for a price of less than $22,000. This put the company ahead of schedule against other entrants to this market, such as Toyota, due to release a similar car in late 2009; and GM, whose Chevy Volt will be launched in late 2010. The company is best known for making cellphone batteries, and hopes its expertise in ferrous battery technology will allow it to leapfrog established car manufacturers."

Comment Re:Cattle...? Thanks! (Score 1) 816

Governments care about the health of their citizens when they pay for healthcare.

When the ban on smoking in public places was being debated in the UK, one arguments put forth was that it will reduce the National Health Service's (NHS) costs (from the BBC ).

Paternalistic perhaps, but they didn't ban smoking altogether.

Radiation Not As Hazardous As Once Believed 570

HeavensBlade23 sends in an article from the German site Spiegel Online about mounting evidence that nuclear radiation may not be as deadly as has been widely believed. The article cites studies by German, US, and Japanese researchers concluding, for example, that fewer than 800 deaths are attributable to the after-effects of radiation in over 86,500 survivors of the Hiroshima bombing. Other surprisingly low death rates are reported in studies of Chernobyl and of a secret Siberian town called Mayak, devoted to producing plutonium, that was abandoned after a nuclear accident in 1957.

Feed Techdirt: The Google Phone... Everything You Expected And Less (For Now)->

After Apple finally announced its iPhone, all the folks who spent years and years passing around rumors about it needed to move onto something else. The first easy target was the gPhone from Google, which has been rumored to be all different things over the past year. However, in the last couple of months, Google and its partners started leaking out a lot more info to tamp down expectations. They stated a few times that they were not building hardware, and then it came out that it was really just software that device manufacturers and mobile operators could offer that would be more "open," but would clearly promote various Google services. Not quite as exciting as some of the earlier rumors. Today Google finally put out the official announcement and there are no real surprises. It appears to be exactly what the lowered expectations set it to be: an operating system built on Linux, that is open source and free for anyone to use. That is, it's not a phone at all, but simply a platform for others to use.

Sprint and T-Mobile have signed up as partners agreeing to offer it -- but it isn't expected on handsets until the latter half of 2008. Despite some rumors that Verizon Wireless would put aside its dislike of Google and participate, so far it is staying on the sidelines. This isn't surprising both given Verizon Wireless' distaste for Google and its insistence on walled gardens over anything open. Also staying away is ATT, which is hardly surprising at all, given its investment in the iPhone. The big handset partners are HTC and Motorola -- again, no surprise. Motorola has dabbled around with Linux phones before and knows that it needs some kind of differentiator after getting clobbered by others in the market. HTC is a huge producer of Windows Mobile phones but has long had a pretty rocky relationship with Microsoft, so seeing a way to potentially get out from under that yoke must be appealing.

All in all, this is a good step forward for the mobile industry -- offering a more open alternative with some big name backers. However, it's not a revolutionary leap forward just yet. It's an enabling move that hopefully will drive more innovation and potentially push operators towards a more open, more innovative world, but it's going to be an incremental process. Even though it clearly wasn't for everyone, the iPhone redefined what mobile phones could be overnight. Almost every company in the space has adjusted at least some part of their strategy to deal with the iPhone. The Google phone platform won't have that same overnight impact, and depending on how well it works, it may never have that kind of impact. There will be a number of powerful forces working against Google in this space -- and unlike Apple, since Google isn't controlling the initial rollout and everything around it, it may make things tougher to fight through the initial noise. However, if it can get through any initial troubles towards adoption, then its openness and Google's commitment to push it forward could lead to mobile devices and services that are a lot more powerful. So, while it's not the flashy overnight sensation that the iPhone was, it has the potential to have a much larger long-term impact, though done so in a more typical understated manner.
Link to Original Source

Submission There will be no gPhone

dredre123 writes: The new Open Phone coalition may preclude an actual gPhone device.
From the BBC : "[Google] is working with four mobile manufacturers — Samsung, HTC, Motorola and LG — but there will not be a Google brand phone."
According to Eric Schmidt, Google CEO: "Today's announcement is more ambitious than any single Google Phone that the press has been speculating about over the past few weeks,"
So no gPhone after all.

Journal Journal: Will the Radiohead model stunt other artists?

(Originally from Music2.0 .... Now that we are probably over the initial amazement and exuberance at Radiohead's innovative pricing and marketing model which seemed to involve virtually all of blogosphere, it may be time to look at further impact on the rest of the industry while we wait patiently for our donation enabled Radiohead downloads to materialize on 10 Oct. The unbridled glee that greeted the Radiohead model was unabashedly ac

Submission Choose your own CD price

PadRacerExtreme writes: Radiohead has announced it will let its fans decide how much to pay for its next CD according to a NY Times article. The minimum price is 1 British penny and there is no maximum price. From the article

This is what happens when you sell twenty dollar CDs with one good track and sue your customers for [file-sharing]. This is what happens when you believe you're ENTITLED to your business. This is what happens when music is a second-class citizen only interested in the bottom line.
So, will it work? or will everyone just pay a penny? Or is a penny still to expensive?

Submission BlackBerry ban for French Cabinet->

dredre123 writes: "According to the Financial Times:

Members of the new French cabinet have been told to stop using their BlackBerries because of fears that the US could intercept state secrets.

The ban has been prompted by SGDN (responsible for national security) concerns that the BlackBerry system is based on servers located in the US and the UK, and that highly sensitive strategic information being passed between French ministers could fall into foreign hands.

Unfortunately, no alternative service has been declared secure yet."

Link to Original Source

How the Pentagon Got Its Shape 473

Pcol writes "The Washington Post is running a story on the design process for the Pentagon building and why it ended up with its unusual shape. In July 1941 with World War II looming, a small group of army officers met to consider a secret plan to provide a permanent home for War Department headquarters containing 4 million square feet of office space and housing 40,000 people. The building that Brig. Gen. Brehon Burke Somervell, head of the Army's Construction Division, wanted to build was too large to fit within the confines of Washington DC and would have to be located across the Potomac River in Arlington. "We want 500,000 square feet ready in six months, and the whole thing ready in a year," the general said adding that he wanted a design on his desk by Monday morning. The easiest solution, a tall building, was out because of pre-war restrictions on steel usage and the desire not to ruin Washington's skyline. The tract selected had a asymmetrical pentagon shape bound on five sides by roads or other divisions so the building was designed to conform to the tract of land. Then with objections that the new building would block views from Arlington National Cemetery, the location was moved almost one-half mile south. The building would no longer be constructed on the five-sided Arlington Farm site yet the team continued with plans for a pentagon at the new location. In the rush to complete the project, there was simply no time to change the design."

Dinosaurs aren't extinct. They've just learned to hide in the trees.