Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Submission + - Celebrates 100M Hours of Code, 5B Lines of Code (Whatever That Means)

theodp writes: "The impact of $5 million," explained the pitch for the Indiegogo 'crowdfunding' campaign backed by matching funds from the likes of Bill Gates, Microsoft, and Google, means "100 million students do an Hour of Code." And on Tuesday — two months after the biggest Indiegogo campaign in history met its fundraising goal — took to Twitter to exclaim "We just passed 100 MILLION Hours of Code!", posted a YouTube video featuring the President and tech CEOs to commemorate the milestone, and boasted on Tumblr of also having 5 billion lines of code 'written' by students. "Thank you to everyone who's given computer science a shot with your very first Hour of Code," writes, "everyone who told a student or friend about it, and to our partners and donors who helped bring the movement to life." So, not to be a buzzkill, but what exactly does "do an Hour of Code" mean? On its website, notes that "we do not view the Hour of Code tracker to be an exact measure of usage", but asserts that "it is certainly directionally correct." The fuzzy public-facing stats (the City of 'Other' tops the HOC leaderboard) don't seem to bother the National Science Foundation, which has partnered with, taking note of how ", with its amazing marketing prowess, its Hour of Code, and its success in attracting major funding, has completely changed the national conversation" on getting CS education into the K-12 curriculum.

Submission + - Apple Invests $848 Million Into Solar Farm (

An anonymous reader writes: Apple is making a huge investment in solar energy, sending $848 million to First Solar’s California Flats Solar Project. The deal will supply Apple with energy for 25 years. Construction of the new 2,900-acre solar farm will start this summer and finish by the end of 2016. Apple's share of the energy produced will be about 130 megawatts, while another 150 MW will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric. "The iPhone maker already powers all of its data centers with renewable energy. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer, has advocated taking more steps to combat climate change."

Submission + - Alcohol's evaporating health benefits

Heart44 writes: A study in the bmj (British Medical Journal) shows that consuming alcohol — any volume, any type — does not increase life expectancy. Study here, bmj editorial here.
The article is not paywalled. From the conclusions: "Beneficial associations between low intensity alcohol consumption and all cause mortality may in part be attributable to inappropriate selection of a referent group and weak adjustment for confounders. "

Submission + - Samsung Smart TVs forcing ads into video streaming apps ( 1

mpicpp writes: Just days after its TV voice recognition software came under fire for invading privacy, Samsung users are reporting unwanted Pepsi ads appearing while they watch their Smart TVs.

Reports are emerging that Samsung smart TVs have begun inserting short advertisements directly into video streaming apps, with no influence from the third-party app providers.

The news comes just days after Samsung made headlines for another incursion into user's lounge rooms, when it was revealed that its TV voice recognition software is capable of capturing personal information and transmitting it to third parties. The issue was discovered in the fine print of Samsung's voice recognition privacy policy, but the company says it has since changed the policy to "better explain what actually occurs" during this voice capture process.

The latest complaints directed at the South Korean electronics giant relate to a Pepsi advertisement that has reportedly started to appear during content streamed through Smart TV apps from personal media libraries and video streaming services.

The issue has been reported on the Plex streaming service — a brand of media player that allows users to stream their own video from a personal library or hard drive and push it to a smart TV.

One Plex user took to the company's customer forum to complain about the constant intrusion of ads on his Samsung TV.

"I have recently upgraded my Plex Media Server to version 0.9.1101 and every 10-15 minutes whilst watching content on my Samsung TV I get a Pepsi advertisement showing!" user Mike wrote. "At first I thought I was seeing things but no it repeats. Sometimes I can get out of it and go back to my media, others it hangs the app and the TV restarts."

Submission + - Comets Form Like Deep Fried Ice Cream Scoops (

astroengine writes: Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calif., have added another oddity to the cometary ‘weird list’: comets are best described as scoops of deep fried ice cream. “The crust is made of crystalline ice, while the interior is colder and more porous,” said Murthy Gudipati of JPL, co-author of a recent study appearing in The Journal of Physical Chemistry. “The organics are like a final layer of chocolate on top.”

Submission + - Wasp virus turns ladybugs into zombie babysitters (

sciencehabit writes: The green-eyed wasp Dinocampus coccinellae turns ladybugs into zombie babysitters. Three weeks after a wasp lays its egg inside the hapless beetle, a wasp larva bursts from her belly and weaves itself a cocoon between her legs. The ladybug doesn’t die, but becomes paralyzed, involuntarily twitching her spotted red carapace to ward off predators until the adult wasp emerges a week later. How D. coccinellae enslaves its host at just the right time had been a mystery, but now researchers believe the insect has an accomplice: a newly identified virus that attacks the beetle’s brain. The findings raise questions about whether other parasites also use viruses as neurological weapons.

Submission + - Jon Stewart leaving "The Daily Show"

slimjim8094 writes: According to the NYT, Jon Stewart is leaving "The Daily Show". This was announced during the taping of this evening's show. He will “remain at the helm of ‘The Daily Show’ until later this year,” but no word on exactly when the change will take place, or what the replacement (host or show) will be. Presumably the current and past correspondents would be the first choice for a new host.

His program will be sorely missed by at least this viewer. Maybe Comedy Central can get John Oliver out of his HBO show...

Submission + - Why a quantum equation doesn't disprove the Big Bang

StartsWithABang writes: It is true: as reported on slashdot earlier today, a new calculation suggests that the Universe has no beginning, implying that space and time may have always existed. But that is not the same — despite what the original article states — as there being no Big Bang. Quite to the contrary, the Big Bang is extremely well-cemented as a scientifically valid fact, and it's only a decades-out-of-date assumption that would lead one to say that the birth of space and time is the same as the Big Bang.

Comment Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (Score 1) 136

Yes, too cold to snow. The amount of water vapor in the air is very temperature dependent. Even below freezing air can have water vapor:

So as the air cools more and more, there is less vapor available for snow.

So another side effect of the overall warming can definitely be larger snowfalls in the winter - there is more moisture in the air to work with.

You do realize the interior of Antarctica is one of the world's largest deserts, right? Because it is so cold that the air can't hold very much water. And now it is receiving large snowfalls because of the increased water vapor. Look at that chart, and see how much the % increase is from say 0F to 15F (remember, the amount of warming is much larger in the arctic areas) - nearly double.

So yeah, more heating == more snowfall.

Hotels are tired of getting ripped off. I checked into a hotel and they had towels from my house. -- Mark Guido