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PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - EA to charge for game demos (

Kohato writes: Electronic Arts wants you to start paying for your demos. That's not how they would word it of course, they're calling it "premium downloadable content" that will launch before the game is released.
The always controversial Michael Pachter sat in on a Electronic Arts investor meeting today in which the world's second largest publisher laid out this diabolical plot...


Submission + - SPAM: Google stops censoring in China

alphadogg writes: Google has stopped censoring results in China, acting on a decision it made in January.

On Monday, Google stopped censoring Google Search, Google News and Google Images on, according to a blog post from Chief Legal Officer David Drummond. "Users visiting are now being redirected to, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong," he wrote. As expected, the Chinese government didn't entertain allowing Google to continue operating an uncensored The Hong Kong work-around is "entirely legal," he said.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Lie-in for teenagers sees drop in absenteeism ( 1

krou writes: Monkseaton High School in North Tyneside, UK, began an experiment in October that saw its 800 pupils ranging in age from 13-19 attend school an hour later than normal at 10am. Early results indicate that 'general absence has dropped by 8% and persistent absenteeism by 27%'. Head teacher Paul Kelley supported the idea because he believed that 'it was now medically established that it was better for teenagers to start their school day later in terms of their mental and physical health and how they learn better in the afternoon', and he now claims that the children are becoming 'happier better educated teenagers' as a result of the experiment. The experiment is being overseen by Oxford neuroscience professor Russell Foster. 'He performed memory tests on pupils at the school which suggested the more difficult lessons should take place in the afternoon. He said young people's body clocks may shift as they reach their teenage years — meaning they want to get up later not because they are lazy but because they are biologically programmed to do.'

Submission + - Verizon Sells Phone Lines in 14 States (

gmagill writes: Quoted from article: "Verizon Communications Inc. agreed to sell local phone businesses in 14 states to Frontier Communications Corp. in a deal valued at $8.6 billion, the latest move by Verizon to focus on markets that are better tailored to its fiber-optic services."
The Courts

Submission + - Judge in Pirate Bay case formally scrutinized 2

metacell writes: The judge in the Pirate Bay case, who was accused of being partial due to being a member of pro-IP organizations and having several connections to the prosecution's lawyers, will be formally scrutinized. The appeals court has selected Anders Eka to perform the scrutiny. Anders Eka is himself a member of a research team at Stockholm University, together with the prosecution's two lawyers, Monique Wadsted and Peter Danowsky.
Article in Swedish, sorry!
The Courts

Submission + - Supreme Court Nominee Sotomayor's Cyberlaw Record

Hugh Pickens writes: "Thomas O'Toole writes that President Obama's choice for Associate Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, authored several cyberlaw opinions regarding online contracting law, domain names, and computer privacy while on the Second Circuit. Judge Sotomayor wrote the court's 2002 opinion in Specht v. Netscape Communications Corp., an important online contracting case. In Specht, the Second Circuit declined to enforce contract terms that were available behind a hyperlink that could only be seen by scrolling down on a Web page (pdf). "We are not persuaded that a reasonably prudent offeree in these circumstances would have known of the existence of license terms," wrote Sotomayor. Judge Sotomayor wrote an opinion in a domain name case, Storey v. Cello Holdings LLC in 2003 that held that an adverse outcome in an administrative proceeding under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy did not preclude a later-initiated federal suit (pdf) brought under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). In Leventhal v. Knapek, a privacy case, Judge Sotomayor wrote for the Second Circuit that New York state agency officials and investigators did not violate a state employee's Fourth Amendment rights when they searched the contents of his office computer for evidence of unauthorized use of state equipment. While none of these cases may mean much as far as what Judge Sotomayor will do as an Associate Supreme Court Justice "if confirmed, she will be the first justice who has written cyberlaw-related opinions before joining the court," writes O'Toole."
The Military

Submission + - Pentagon Plans New Arm to Wage CyberWars 3

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that the Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace, administration officials say, stepping up preparations by the armed forces to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare. Obama is expected to sign a classified order in coming weeks that will create the military cybercommand, The decision to create a cybercommand is a major step beyond the actions taken by the Bush administration, which authorized several computer-based attacks but never resolved the question of how the government would prepare for a new era of warfare fought over digital networks. The main dispute has been over whether the Pentagon or the National Security Agency should take the lead in preparing for and fighting cyberbattles. Under one proposal still being debated, parts of the NSA would be integrated into the military command so they could operate jointly. Officials declined to describe potential offensive operations, but said they now viewed cyberspace as comparable to more traditional battlefields. "We are not comfortable discussing the question of offensive cyberoperations, but we consider cyberspace a war-fighting domain," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. "We need to be able to operate within that domain just like on any battlefield, which includes protecting our freedom of movement and preserving our capability to perform in that environment.""

Submission + - Valve now sells in Euro, USD to EURO rates: 1:1

nautsch writes: The online distribution platform of valve, Steam (, has just introduce new pricing for big parts of the rest of the world outside of the US. Steam News. The funny thing is, that the rates between Euro and USD are 1:1, which is kind of a price increase of up to 50%. European customers feel ripped of and theres a thread in their forum which got 1000 replies in under two days (Steam forum thread.

Anyone else thinks, that valve has made a horrible mistake?
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - EA is Now Officially on Steam; Spore Loses SecuROM (

Trevor DeRiza writes: "Today, Valve and EA revealed that this week's earlier rumors were true: Spore (and other EA games) are coming to Steam. As of today, Spore, Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack, Warhammer Online, Mass Effect, Need for Speed: Undercover, and FIFA Manager 2009 are all available for download on Steam. In the coming weeks, EA will add Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, and Red Alert 3. On the official Steam forums, when asked whether or not Spore would contain the dreaded DRM that "caused" it to be the most pirated game of 2008, a moderator replied, "It does not have third party DRM.""
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Mechanical AI made in Little Big Planet

Laurens writes: Despite slow sales of Little Big Planet in the USA, you might have heard of the calculator made in Little Big Planet, but now that has been topped. I found a fully-functioning AI machine which plays Tic-Tac-Toe against the player. Considering that you can't actually program in LBP, this feat is impressive: it is a machine wich has mechanical AND and OR ports made of pistons and proximity detectors, a phyically moving Program Counter, and hundreds of wires. The level is called 'Tic Tac Toe' and is by author Cristel

Submission + - SPAM: Unmanned machines fight to the death

coondoggie writes: "What happens when science-fiction becomes reality? In what certainly could be a precursor to future battles, the Air Force said this week its unmanned MQ-9 Reaper aircraft destroyed and unmanned, remotely controlled vehicle containing an explosive device in Iraq. While the event was extraordinary in that it was the first time a Reaper had blown something up since arriving in Iraq in late July, it was also one of the first documented cases of two unmanned vehicles doing battle. The Reaper is a faster, larger, higher-flying version of the highly successful MQ-1 Predator. The Reaper has engaged enemy forces in Afghanistan, the Air Force said. Such battles are likely to accelerate in the future. According to the Unmanned Systems Roadmap 2007-2013 the US said it will spend an estimated $4 billion by 2010 on unmanned systems technology. The total spending is expected to rise above $24 billion. Over 4,000 robots are currently deployed on the ground in Iraq. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source

Submission + - The Most Advanced Robotic Quadruped on Earth (

EmagGeek writes: "BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog's legs are articulated like an animal's, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight.

This thing looks truly amazing. I can think of a number of uses for a robot such as this, including search and rescue, hostile package delivery, and more. Let the SkyNet tags fly!"


Submission + - CAPTCHA used to rescue old books and newspapers (

sciencehabit writes: Computer scientists have developed a program, called called reCAPTCHA, which is being used in lieu of CAPTCHA by several sites, to help digitize old books and newspapers. The reCAPTCHA takes entries from old and faded texts that optical scanners and digital-text readers have trouble with. So every time you solve that string of crooked letters, you may actually be helping historians digitally reconstruct a page from the 1908 New York Times.

Submission + - ABC News: Farmers on the Cutting Edge of Energy (

Scott Mayerowitz writes: "TRIMONT, Minn. — One would hardly know it driving down Main Street, but this tiny prairie town surrounded by corn and soybean fields is at the forefront of America's fight to wean itself off oil. Long before gas topped $4 a gallon or Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens embraced renewable energy, a group of farmers here banded together to build a massive wind farm. Today their vision is paying off. At the edge of town, 67 giant turbines — each taller than the Statue of Liberty — rise above the landscape, producing enough electricity to power 29,000 homes throughout the state and providing the farmers and local government with roughly $2 million a year. And it's just the beginning. Soon, a second phase of the project will be online — doubling the number of towers — and a third phase is already being planned. Read more at:"

Submission + - SPAM: Solar nanoantenna energy collectors

Roland Piquepaille writes: "U.S. researchers have developed a cheap way to produce plastic sheets containing billions of nanoantennas that collect solar energy. As said one Idaho National Laboratory (INL) scientist, 'these antennas are good at capturing energy, but they're not very good at converting it.' In fact, the team estimates these individual nanoantennas can absorb close to 80% of the available energy from the sun. So these sheets of 'nantennas,' as the team calls them, might first be used as cooling devices that draw waste heat from buildings or electronics without using electricity. According to the research team, nanoantennas have the potential to be a more efficient alternative to solar cells and we might be only a few years away of the next generation of solar energy collectors. But read this overview for many additional details, references and pictures about these 'nantennas.'"

Leveraging always beats prototyping.