Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cellphones

Security Flaw In Android Web Browser 59

Posted by timothy
from the more-information-would-be-nice dept.
r writes "The New York Times reports on a security flaw discovered in the new Android phones. The article is light on details, but it hints at a security hole in the browser, allowing for trojans to install themselves in the same security partition as the browser: 'The risk in the Google design, according to Mr. Miller, who is a principal security analyst at Independent Security Evaluators in Baltimore, lies in the danger from within the Web browser partition in the phone. It would be possible, for example, for an intruder to install software that would capture keystrokes entered by the user when surfing to other Web sites. That would make it possible to steal identity information or passwords.'"
Biotech

Couch Potato Gene Identified In Fruit Flies 105

Posted by timothy
from the or-extract-it-straight-from-me dept.
Pickens writes "University of Pennsylvania biologists have discovered a mutation in fruit flies aptly named the 'couch potato' gene that allows them to simply chill out — entering a mild state of quasi-hibernation known as diapause, when winter arrives. 'It's not like they're bears sleeping in a cave,' says Paul Schmidt. 'They just look like they're a little bit more sluggish.' The couch potato gene, first discovered in the early 1990s, got its nickname because flies with mutations in the gene became really sluggish and behaved abnormally. Little is known about the underlying evolutionary genetic architecture, but in diapause, the slacking off is far less severe. The flies' bodily functions slow down, and they are better able to tolerate stress. The fruit fly gene may have implications for human health, as it can help biologists study the function of the nervous system and diseases such as epilepsy, refuting a recent statement by a political candidate that fruit fly research has 'little or nothing to do with the public good.'"
Cellphones

Cellphone Banking Helping To Fight Poverty In India 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the will-it-work-here-too? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Technology Review is running an in-depth story about the way cellphone banking is transforming the lives of many poor people in India. By enabling users to manage a legitimate bank account and finance micro-loans, cellphones are a major force of social and economic change. It's perhaps not surprising, given that despite widespread poverty, India has the world's fastest-growing cellphone market and the second largest number of cellphone users (after China). The article mentions one Indian start-up, mChek, that is thriving as a result. There's also an excellent video report."
Education

How Do I Talk To 4th Graders About IT? 531

Posted by kdawson
from the just-promise-you-won't-introduce-them-to-basic dept.
Tsunayoshi writes "My son volunteered me to give a presentation on what I do for a living for career day at his elementary school. I need to come up with a roughly 20-minute presentation to be given to 4-5 different classrooms. I am a systems administrator, primarily Unix/Linux and enterprise NAS/SAN storage, working for an aerospace company. I was thinking something along the lines of explaining how some everyday things they experience (websites, telephone systems, etc.) all depend on servers, and those servers are maintained by systems administrators. I was also going to talk about what I do specifically, which is maintain the computer systems that allow the really smart rocket scientists to get things into space. Am I on the right track? Can anyone suggest some good (and cheap/easy to make) visual aids?"
Games

BBC Ponders Another Games Industry Crash 219

Posted by Zonk
from the just-like-clockwork dept.
weirdguy writes with a link to a BBC article that poses the same question asked by journalists every couple of years: is the games industry headed for another crash? "Yes, gamers are snapping up the new generation of games consoles — Microsoft's Xbox 360, Nintendo's Wii, and Sony's Playstation 3 [PS3], but at huge cost to the industry. Hardware makers are losing hundreds of dollars on every console sold, and games publishers face an "increasingly difficult environment, as rising development costs and small user bases [mean] that return on investment in next generation games development is unlikely to be achieved before 2008," according to media analysts Screen Digest. More importantly, though, the video games publishers are facing a revolution of their business model."
Nintendo

Spore Dev Down On the Wii 315

Posted by Zonk
from the cruel-to-be-kind dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As reported by IGN, Spore developer Chris Hecker made a very quotable statement at a traditionally contentious GDC panel. At the 'Game Publishers Rant' event Wednesday morning, Hecker stated that he thought the Wii is a piece of sh*t. He went on to refer to it as 'two GameCubes stuck together with duct tape.' He also took Nintendo to task for not taking games seriously enough. 'It's not clear to me that Nintendo gives a s*** about games as an art form.'"
Google

+ - Google drop tips service

Submitted by
Koninklijke
Koninklijke writes "Google have decided to remove the Google tips feature after some prominent bloggers questioned their impartiality. These tips were a way of promoting other services that Google offered by placing a notice above the search results whenever certain search terms were entered. Although most people admitted that the tips weren't a reason to distrust Google they believed it was a step in the wrong direction as Google as set high standards for itself in the past."
Wii

Two Weeks with the Wii 458

Posted by Zonk
from the different-than-anything-you've-known-before dept.
In the 80s, kids of my generation cut their teeth on Super Mario Bros.. They went through high school with Mario Kart, and bonded with college friends playing Super Smash Bros. By 1999, though, the N64 had long since proven that Nintendo's dominance in American videogaming was over. The GameCube that followed was largely a disappointment. Nintendo failed to interest third party developers, and frustrated fans with long-delayed chapters of the Mario, Zelda, and Metroid franchises. Coming into this no-longer-next generation of consoles, Nintendo announced they were aiming for a Revolution, and then confused everyone by renaming it Wii. Their actions left a lot of people wondering if the company still had what it took to compete with committed powerhouses like Microsoft and Sony. The launch lineup is kind of tepid, and the controls really do take some getting used to. We've already established that they're not aiming to compete in the graphics race. So what is the console really like? Why is it selling so quickly? What does it have to offer? I've had two weeks to find out. Read on, so that you can get a feel for the system you'll definitely be playing (if not owning) at some point in the future.

The Google Toolbar PageRank Demystified 143

Posted by Hemos
from the might-still-be-myth-and-rumor dept.
nywanna writes "SEO is an extremely unpredictable aspect of running an online business. Every month the rules change slightly, and with every rule change we receive new bad information from speculators and those who spew nothing but conjecture. David Harry looks at one of the greatest Google misconceptions and bits of misinformation that exists right now: This brings me to the greatest mythological creature to roam the Google landscape since 'the sandbox'; The Google Toolbar PageRank (TBPR) system. While the jury may still be out on the 'sandbox,' I am here to slay the beast that is the TBPR, right here, right now."

DS Web Browsing Looks Refreshingly Good 108

Posted by Zonk
from the mario-on-mario dept.
ElFozzie writes "Browsing the web on a handheld console or mobile phone has never been the most pleasant experience. The new Opera browser for the DS looks like it might change all that. On the eve of the Japanese launch, a story at Pocketgamer outlines the features and links to a video of the new browser in action." From the article: "The video illustrates the browsing technique, which sees the lower touch screen used for scanning zoomed-out pages and interaction via the stylus, whilst the top screen displays the zoomed-in detail. It also shows both text entry and handwriting recognition systems for rapid entry of URLs, as well as a host of standard browser features including bookmarks."

Problems at the W3C 303

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the family-feud dept.
dustin writes "Public outcry against the workings of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is growing. On Sunday, Björn Höhrmann announced his departure in a lengthy critique of problems at the W3C. Web standards champion Zeldman adds his comments as well: 'Beholden to its corporate paymasters who alone can afford membership, the W3C seems increasingly detached from ordinary designers and developers.'"

More Wii-mote Info 191

Posted by Zonk
from the blue-games dept.
Psykechan writes "IGN has revealed some more info about Nintendo's Wii remote controller. Paraphrasing from the official Developer documentation, the controller will communicate with the console using Bluetooth and will last up to 60 hours on two AA (R6/UM3) batteries using only accelerometer functionality or 30 hours using precision aim functionality via the sensor bar. There's also details on memory, LEDs, possible camera functionality, and environmental distractions." From the article: "Light sources from fluorescent and halogen lamps, plastic, mirrors and more may occasionally interfere with the pointer, based on official documentation. To eliminate this interference, the pointer must identify the sensor bar and mark its two coordinates. When pointing with the Wii-mote, the unit is actually interacting with the sensor bar, which then translates data to the television, in effect simulating a direct aim to the television."

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

Working...