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Submission + - Valve Giving Away Free Copies of Left 4 Dead 2 (steampowered.com)

jones_supa writes: The holiday sales of Steam are, uhh, running full steam. Among the discounts, Valve is giving Left 4 Dead 2 as a free Christmas present for anyone who has an account. So if you are interested, remember to grab your copy before 10:00 PST on December 26. Left 4 Dead 2 is a survival-horror first-person shooter with a heavy emphasis on cooperative gameplay. Windows, Linux and OS X are supported.

Submission + - The first phone you can actually bend: LG G Flex (engadget.com)

iONiUM writes: As a follow up to LG's announcement of mass flexible OLED production, and as a competitor to the limited Samsung Round trial which was only available in Korea on SK Telecom, LG has released the G Flex phone which is curved vertically (instead of the Round's horizontal bend, which many thought was the 'wrong way'). In addition, the G Flex can actually be flexed, as shown in the video in the article.

Submission + - Why is India Sending a Probe to Mars when it Has so Many Poor People? (yahoo.com)

MarkWhittington writes: The recent launch of India's first mission to Mars has ignited a debate in that country that has parallels of a debate that was once raging in the United States. The question arises, why does a country with a severe poverty problem have a space program?

The Economist points out that India's space program, of which the Mars mission is a small part, costs about $1 billion a year. It claims that spending on things like public health in that country is "abysmally low."

On the other hand, most of India's space program is directed toward communications and other satellites that have a direct benefit to its people.

The BBC adds that the inspirational and national prestige aspects of the Mars mission are not to be sneezed at. India has a growing middle class, technically trained, and a good space program is part of a mix of policies that encouraged that development.

The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."

Submission + - SPAM: WePab – The Apple iPad Alternative

oldwina writes: WePab – The Apple iPad Alternative

WeTab is initially announced as WePad. The WeTab tablet is designed to be a competitor to Apple’s iPad. The device was earlier named WePad but the company later changed the name to WeTab in order to avoid any legal battles with Apple. The WeTab consists of a 11.6-inch multitouch display with a resolution of 1366×768 pixels.

Link to Original Source

Chemical Cocktail Can Keep a Heart Viable 10 Days, Outside the Body 97

nj_peeps writes "Harvard professor Hemant Thatte has developed a cocktail of 21 chemical compounds that he calls Somah, derived from the Sanskrit for 'ambrosia of rejuvenation.' Using Somah, Thatte and his team have accomplished some amazing feats with pig hearts. They can keep the organ viable for transplant up to 10 days after harvest — far longer than the four-hour limit seen in hospitals today. Not only that, but using low temperatures and Somah, they were able to take a pig heart that was removed post mortem and get it to beat 24 hours later in the lab."

Supermassive Black Hole Is Thrown Out of Galaxy 167

DarkKnightRadick writes "An undergrad student at the University of Utrecht, Marianne Heida, has found evidence of a supermassive black hole being tossed out of its galaxy. According to the article, the black hole — which has a mass equivalent to one billion suns — is possibly the culmination of two galaxies merging (or colliding, depending on how you like to look at it) and their black holes merging, creating one supermassive beast. The black hole was found using the Chandra Source Catalog (from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory). The direction of the expulsion is also possibly indicative of the direction of rotation of the two black holes as they circled each other before merging."

Pluto — a Complex and Changing World 191

astroengine writes "After 4 years of processing the highest resolution photographs the Hubble Space Telescope could muster, we now have the highest resolution view of Pluto's surface ever produced. Most excitingly, these new observations show an active world with seasonal changes altering the dwarf planet's surface. It turns out that this far-flung world has more in common with Earth than we would have ever imagined."

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.