Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Comment Partly useful (Score 2, Insightful) 227

Indeed, very often the thing about good science is that what they discover may seem obvious in retrospect; in this case the notion that in social situations or warfare men treat enemies or strangers differently than friends and family is directly correlated to testosterone levels. Certainly the concept of social cooperation and distinctions are made between different groups of people is not new. However, coming up with data to show a cause for why this is so can be very useful, it can provide a model for making predictions, and can perhaps be applied to other areas of research. I think it's interesting that the video gamer's social interactions through the digital medium were just as 'real' to their bodies as it would have been to someone in a physical setting.


Linux Port For id's Tech 5 Graphics Engine Unlikely 461

DesiVideoGamer writes "John Carmack, the lead developer for id's Tech 5 graphics engine, does not plan on making a Linux port for the new engine. From his e-mail: 'It isn't out of the question, but I don't think we will be able to justify the work. If there are hundreds of thousands of Linux users playing Quake Live when we are done with Rage, that would certainly influence our decision.' One of the reasons for not making a Linux port was due to the fact that the new engine 'pushes a lot of paths that are not usually optimized' and that the Linux port would have to use the binary blob graphics driver in order to work."

Real-Time Keyloggers 205

The NY Times has a story and a blog backgrounder focusing on a weapon now being wielded by bad guys (most likely in Eastern Europe, according to the Times): Trojan horse keyloggers that report back in real-time. The capability came to light in a court filing (PDF) by Project Honey Pot against "John Doe" thieves. The case was filed in order to compel the banks — which are almost as secretive as the cyber-crooks — to reveal information such as IP addresses that could lead back to the miscreants. Or at least allow victims to be notified. Real-time keyloggers were first discovered in the wild last year, but the court filing and the Times article should bring new attention to the threat. The technique menaces the 2-factor authentication that some banks have instituted: "By going real time, hackers now can get around some of the roadblocks that companies have put in their way. Most significantly, they are now undeterred by systems that create temporary passwords, such as RSA's SecurID system, which involves a small gadget that displays a six-digit number that changes every minute based on a complex formula. If [your] computer is infected, the Trojan zaps your temporary password back to the waiting hacker who immediately uses it to log onto your account. Sometimes, the hacker logs on from his own computer, probably using tricks to hide its location. Other times, the Trojan allows the hacker to control your computer, opening a browser session that you can't see."

Submission + - CAN-SPAM Plaintiff Ordered to Pay $111,000 (spamnotes.com)

Eric Goldman writes: "Everyone hates spam, but that doesn't mean every anti-spam lawsuit is meritorious. In a recent ruling, a federal court in Washington state ordered James Gordon, a notorious anti-spam plaintiff, to pay the defendants $111,000 for attorneys' fees and costs incurred defending Gordon's lawsuit. The court says "Plaintiffs' instant lawsuit is an excellent example of the ill-motivated, unreasonable, and frivolous type of lawsuit that justifies an award of attorneys' fees to Defendants.""
Operating Systems

Submission + - Which tagging file systems are out there?

Jonathan M Lee writes: "I want to start organizing and querying my own local burgeoning heap of files in a way similar to using Delicious to handle bookmarks and Flickr to handle pics. I use Wintels, Macs and GNU/Linux, so I'd appreciate everyone's suggestions. I did some googling and came up with ingenious uses of Spotlight on the Mac, promises of still-to-come WinFS goodness and two neat hacks (1, 2) on GNULinux. What am I missing? Anyone know of other options? I'm interested in neither application-level support for tags nor in currently-in-early-design-stage projects, but instead in general, filesystem-level solutions which work today. Thanks :-)"

Submission + - Penalizing for Poor Health 2

theodp writes: "Perhaps laying the groundwork for Sicko II, Clarian Health announced that starting in 2009, it will fine employees $10 per paycheck if their body mass index is over 30. Even slim-and-trim employees have to worry about their cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose levels — they'll be dinged $5 for each standard they don't meet. Smokers get a sneak preview of the policy starting next year, when they'll find $5 less in each check. Clarian credited new government HIPPAA rules that became effective July 1st for giving it the courage to follow its penalize-for-poor-health convictions."

Submission + - Illuminated Smoke Plume From Phoenix Spacecraft (stormvideographer.com)

StormVideo writes: "Here is a very cool picture from the launch yesterday of the Delta II rocket that carried the Phoenix Spacecraft on it's journey to Mars. The pic is of left over's from the launch of the rocket smoke trail and gas plume. It was very cool as the gas plume was being illuminated by the sun that was still below the horizon making for a awesome scene in the dark morning Florida sky."

Submission + - Corporate CEO targets teenage blogger 3

marylouluddite writes: "A corporate CEO named Patrick Byrne, who runs a company called Overstock.com, has sicced his Director of Communications, Judd Bagley, on a teenage blogger who lampooned him.

The blogger's name is Zac Bissonnette, a college freshman and 19 years old. Zac blogs on stocks at AOL, and also has a parody website, wwww.hedgefunnies.com.

One of his items lampooned Patrick Byrne, and he has also been critical of Byrne in Blogging Stocks. See http://hedgefunnies.com/2007/07/30/patrick-byrne-u nveils-irrefutable-proof-of-naked-short-selling

Byrne struck back by having Bagley attack Zac on Wikipedia, and by threatening to do an item about him in antisocialmedia.net, a website dedicated to attacking critics of Patrick Byrne.

An investigative reporter, Gary Weiss, has the scoop on his blog: http://garyweiss.blogspot.com/2007/08/overstockcom -sinks-to-new-low-targets.html

It's really a shame that a big company is so paranoid and sensitive to criticism that it has to chase after a teenage blogger."
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Second Life Financial Sector in Crisis? (sl-investors-bank.com)

Anonymous writes: Second Life's micro-economy is currently in the grip of a financial crisis, its real, its here and its now! This all started some months ago and is in part thanks to Linden Lab's sheer incompetence and greed. Many things have led SL economy to the edge of collapse, many of them had to do with the way Linden Lab handles matters. They keep slapping `residents` in the face, with mainland market flood, age verification threatening, which is by the way illegal in many countries, lies, poor communication, and last but not least, gambling ban.

Submission + - The physics of beer bubbles

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Yesterday, I told you about virtual beer. Today, let's follow two North America researchers who are studying the physics of real beer bubbles. 'Singly scattered waves form the basis of many imaging techniques such as radar or seismic exploration.' But pouring beer in a mug involves multiply scattered acoustic waves. They are more complex to study, but they can be used to look at various phenomena, such as predicting volcanic eruptions or understanding the movement of particles in fluids like beer. They also could be used to monitor the structural health of bridges and buildings or the stability of food products over time. Read more for additional references and a photo showing how the researchers monitor beer bubbles."

Submission + - The Physical Hacks at DefCon (physorg.com)

eldavojohn writes: "As we all know, DefCon is occurring in Vegas this weekend but Saturday held a room that focused on possibly the oldest form of hacking — lockpicking. That's right, as software security becomes better and better, the focus may instead shift towards simple hacking tips like looking over someone's shoulder for their password, faking employment or just picking the locks to gain access to the building where machines are left on overnight. This is nothing to sneeze at, "Medeco deadbolt locks relied on worldwide at embassies, banks and other tempting targets for thieves, spies or terrorists can be opened in seconds with a strip of metal and a thin screw driver, Marc Tobias of Security.org demonstrated for AFP ... Tobias says he refuses to publish details of 'defeating' the locks because they are used in places ranging from homes, banks and jewelers to the White House and the Pentagon. He asked AFP not to disclose how it is done." I'm sure all Slashdot readers are savvy enough to use firewall(s) but do you know and trust what locks 'physically' protect your data from hacks like these?"

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year