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Submission + - Mexican Senate Votes To Drop Out Of ACTA ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Mexican Senate has voted unanimously to drop out of ACTA negotiations, saying that the process has been way too secretive, left out many stakeholders and appears to deny access to knowledge and information. Of course, it's not clear if this "non-binding resolution," actually means much, as the negotiators are not under the Senate's control. At the very least, though, it appears the Mexican Senate is going to fight to keep the country from agreeing to ACTA.
The Internet

Submission + - Libya Takes Hard Line on Link Shortening Domains 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "BBC reports that Libyan government has removed an adult-friendly link-shortening service from the web, saying that it fell afoul of local laws in a crackdown that could come as a blow to other url shortening services such as, which is particularly popular on Twitter where all messages have to be limited to 140 characters. "Other ly domains are being deregistered and removed without warning.," says Co-founder of Ben Metcalfe."We eventually discovered that the domain has been seized because the content of our website, in their opinion, fell outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law." Alaeddin ElSharif from, the body that controls Libyan web addresses, told co-founder Violet Blue that a picture of her on the website had sparked the removal. "I think you'll agree that a picture of a scantily clad lady with some bottle in her hand isn't what most would consider decent or family friendly," says ElSharif. "While letters 'vb' are quite generic and bear no offensive meaning in themselves, they're being used as a domain name for an openly admitted 'adult-friendly url shortener'. It is when you promote your site being solely for adult uses....that we as a Libyan registry have an issue.""

Submission + - You've got to WRITE stuff, baby...

jhoomjhoom writes: Using advanced tools such as magnetic resonance imaging, researchers are finding that writing by hand is more than just a way to communicate. The practice helps with learning letters and shapes, can improve idea composition and expression, and may aid fine motor-skill development.

Studies suggest there's real value in learning and maintaining this ancient skill, even as we increasingly communicate electronically via keyboards big and small. Indeed, technology often gets blamed for handwriting's demise. But in an interesting twist, new software for touch-screen devices, such as the iPad, is starting to reinvigorate the practice.

Submission + - Comcast DNS redirection launched in trial markets (

Anonymous Coward writes: "Comcast has finally launched its DNS Redirector service in trial markets (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington state), and has submit a working draft of the technology to the IETF for review.

Comcast customers can opt-out from the service by providing their account username and cable modem MAC address. Customers in trial areas using "old" Comcast DNS servers, or non-Comcast DNS servers, should not be affected by this.

This deployment comes after many previous ISPs, like DSLExtreme, were forced to pull the plug on such efforts as a result of customer disapproval/retaliation. Some may remember when VeriSign tried this back in 2003, where it also failed."


Submission + - Traffic sniffing on the NYSE drives trades/profit? ( 1

joeblo writes: "There are recent rumors that Goldman Sachs may have been front running everyone in the market to the tune of $100M/day.

"That Goldman Sachs may just possibly have used security access codes and built a system to acquire trading information PRIOR to transaction commit time points at NYSE."

It is well known that GS has comprised as much as 30% of all NYSE daily traffic over the last several months and more than 50% of high speed program trading.

As a "liquidity provider" they have also been give extraordinary access to the NYSE exchange and their network. High speed quantitative trading is also well known, but in recent months various technical trading parties say that the market has been acting very strange with long held correlations falling apart. That along with the arrest of a (until recently) GS employee for allegedly stealing their code has led to some wild speculation.

"The bank [Goldman Sachs] has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways," [Asst. U.S. Attorney] Facciponti said, according to a recording of the hearing made public yesterday. "The copy in Germany is still out there, and we at this time do not know who else has access to it." Bloomberg

Which raises the question why it's unfair, if someone other than GS uses the code to manipulate markets?

Do any of the quant nerds reading Slashdot have comments on the possibility of this? Even if the less wild allegations prove true, it seems difficult to have true market pricing when a single participant controls such a large fraction of trades, and almost all crucial trades near 'the bell'."

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Scientists discover potential Silicon replacement (

Marnhinn writes: "McClatchy News has an interesting article on Graphene, a potential silicon replacement. Graphene is a pure carbon material that is one atom thick, stronger than diamond and can conduct electricity 100 times faster than silicon can in computer chips. While a replacement for silicon is a ways off still, heavy research into Graphene is being done (funded by DARPA)."
The Internet

Submission + - BSA Admits Guessing At Canadian Piracy Rates

An anonymous reader writes: The Business Software Alliance has admitted that it just guessed at Canada's software piracy rate as part of its annual global piracy survey. The BSA says that it did not survey any Canadian businesses or users, primarily because it is a "low piracy country."

Submission + - HP Snubs Moblin, Rolls Out Mi Linux-Atom Netbook (

CWmike writes: "In a pre-emptive strike against the expected onslaught of ARM-based netbooks running Google's Android operating system, Hewlett-Packard yesterday announced a new Intel Atom netbook that will run HP's custom version of Linux and cost just $279 upon its debut. The HP Mini 110 will avoid the Moblin Linux operating system developed by Intel and backed by Novell, in favor of the Mobile internet (Mi) desktop environment HP built on top of a Ubuntu Linux core, said Jonathan Kaye, director of marketing for consumer notebooks at HP. The Mi interface is a smartphone-like user interface that bundles some simple apps such as mail, and uses large customizable icons for easier navigation. It was first offered late last year in the HP Mini 1000. 'We do think we offer a very simple experience for users that enables them to have this 'Internet snacking,'' Kaye said."

Submission + - DOSBox 0.73 released

Kippesoep writes: Almost two years after the previous version 0.72, the popular open source DOS emulator DOSBox has been granted a new release. Version 0.73 is out now. The increase in version number may be small, but a tremendous amount of development has happened. Check out the changelog for a small sampling of the most important changes.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Understanding Addiction-Based Game Design (

spidweb writes: "Everyone knows games like World of Warcraft are addictive. But what are the exact qualities that make it so? Are there specific elements of the design that can be pulled out, distilled, and used at will to give a game druglike properties? And is it wrong to do so? A new article at IGN RPG Vault attempts to isolates the exact qualities that go into making an addiction-based design. From the article, "If a game uses rewards of any sort to entice you to experience highly repetitive content, you should see what it's trying to do and which of your buttons it's trying to press. If you don't mind, that's cool, but you should understand it."

The article is at"


Submission + - Microsoft SharePoint 2007 SP2 Bug Locks Users Out (

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "A bug in Microsoft SharePoint 2007 SP2 is causing the software to believe that the paid version is only a trial version, so that it shuts down and locks everyone out after 180 days. Microsoft has blogged about the issue, saying that there's a KB entry with a workaround and that a hotfix should be available soon."

Submission + - Pirate Party Being Sabotaged in EU Elections

JoonasD6 writes: "Sweden's Pirate Party, Piratpartiet, is apparently facing sabotage in its first European Parliament elections. In his blog, Rick Falkvinge mentions reports coming that officials are refusing to accept voting ballots for Piratpartiet. It was even caught on film (in Swedish). The antagonists seem to be the members of the current parties in the Swedish parliament. The pirate movement sure seems to put the governmental and legal systems through a stress test here. Will the pirates end up being more virtuous than the current statesmen?"

Pascal is a language for children wanting to be naughty. -- Dr. Kasi Ananthanarayanan