Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Terrible terrible terrible... (Score 1) 441 441

This is terrible. All across the country it seems that local government's are becoming more aggressive. This poor guy wrote a fictional book, set in the future and is now being severely punished for it. What will come next? Will we /.ers become targets? I remember in the past thinking "nope, that can never happen in the States", now I see that it is happening. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Comment: We need more competent people, not smart guns (Score 1) 1013 1013

A serious flaw exists whether or not we have smart guns. The individual who is contemplating a crime with a gun as their tool doesn't care if they know that a bullet is in the chamber, or of the magazine is in. Their goal is to commit a crime. Hell, someone could be killed with a #2 pencil. Where are the smart pencils? What about smart kitchen knives that automatically dull themselves when the user is about to cut their finger? Smart guns just will not work as long as there are crazed idiots out there who somehow manage to obtain a gun.


+ - Did You See That Woman...Wait...She's A Robot!-> 4 4

Singularity Hub writes: "Check out the HRP-4C robot, one of the first humanoid robots to boldly sidestep the typical transformer look, instead posing as an attractive manga style woman. Is anyone else having flashbacks of the movie Blade Runner where robots are indistinguishable from humans? The HRP-4c robot is slated to strut down the catwalk March 23 (tomorrow) as a model in a Tokyo fashion show."
Link to Original Source
The Courts

Supreme Court Holds Right to Bear Arms Applies to Individuals 2221 2221

Now.Imperfect writes "In its last day of session, the Supreme Court has definitively clarified the meaning of the Second Amendment. The confusion is whether the Second Amendment allows merely for the existence of a state militia, or the private ownership of guns. This ruling is in response to a case regarding the 32-year-old Washington DC ban on guns." This is one of the most-watched Supreme Court cases in a long time, and Wikipedia's page on the case gives a good overview; the actual text of the decision (PDF) runs to 157 pages, but the holding is summarized in the first three. There are certainly other aspects of the Second Amendment left unaddressed, however, so you can't go straight to the store for a recently made automatic rifle.

Does an Open Java Really Matter? 766 766

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister questions the relevance of the recent opening of Java given the wealth of options open source developers enjoy today. Sure, as the first full-blooded Java implementation available under a 100 percent Free Software license, RedHat's IcedTea pushes aside open source objections to developing in Java. Yet, McAllister asks, if Java really were released today, brand-new, would it be a tool you'd choose? 'The problem, as I see it, is twofold,' he writes. 'First, as the Java platform has matured, it has become incredibly complex. Today it's possible to do anything with Java, but no one developer can do everything — there simply aren't enough hours in the day to learn it all. Second, and most important, even as Java has stretched outward to embrace more concepts and technologies — adding APIs and language features as it goes — newer, more lightweight tools have appeared that do most of what Java aims to do. And they often do it better.'" Since Java itself never mattered except to sell books, I still don't see why opening it matters.

Mars Had an Ancient Impact Like Earth 167 167

quixote9 writes "The BBC reports on a set of Nature articles showing that Mars had an impact about four billion years ago by a huge asteroid. This was about the same time that a much bigger object slammed into the Earth, throwing material into orbit around our infant planet. This material is thought to have coalesced to form the Moon. 'It happened probably right at the end of the formation of the four terrestrial planets — Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars,' said Craig Agnor, a co-author on the Francis Nimmo study. 'In terms of the process of the planets sweeping up the last bits of debris, this could have been one of the last big bits of debris.' There's a theory that having a big moon is important to the development of life, because the much bigger tides create a bigger intertidal zone, but people used to think having a huge Moon like ours was a once-in-a-universe event."
The Military

A Marine's-Eye View of the Networked Battlefield 205 205

Ian Lamont writes "Tyler Boudreau, a Marine veteran of the war in Iraq and a blogger, has written an interesting analysis of the impact of email, IM, and other digital devices upon 'ground-pounders' and their commanders in the field. These innovations were introduced in hopes of increasing situational awareness, rapidly gathering data, analyzing it, organizing it, and then pushing it back out to operators as actionable intelligence. They also provide commanders with the freshest possible information and aid them in their moment-to-moment decision-making. However, Boudreau found that the technologies can lead to micromanagement and deep frustration, trends that he illustrates by describing a shooting incident in al Anbar and its aftermath. He also warns that soldiers can become too dependent upon headquarters for critical decisions, which can lead to dangerous situations when communications get cut off."

IT Students Contract Out Coursework To India 642 642

An anonymous reader writes "Students studying computing in the UK and US are outsourcing their university coursework to graduates in India and Romania. Work is being contracted out for as little as £5 on contract coding websites usually used by businesses. Students are outsourcing everything from simple coursework to full blown final year dissertations. It's causing a major headache for lecturers who say it is almost impossible to detect." The irony, of course, is that if they actually get jobs in the sector, this will be how they actually work anyway.

Bill Gates Chews Out Microsoft 836 836

s31523 writes "All of us have one time or another been completely frustrated by certain Windows usability issues, and in many cases our experiences have driven us over to Linux, or kept us there. For anyone that has ever been frustrated, you will be happy to know you aren't the only one. After reading this leaked Microsoft memo from Bill Gates back in 2003, you will surely have more insight into why Vista is a complete disaster due to Microsoft not learning anything from their experiences from XP."

Scandinavian Scientists Designing Robotic Snakes 129 129

Cowards Anonymous writes "The Sintef Group, a research company based in Trondheim, Norway, announced that it's designing a robot based on snakes. The 1.5-meter long robots, which are made of aluminum, are being designed to inspect and clean complicated industrial pipe systems that are typically narrow and inaccessible to humans. The intelligent robots have multiple joints to enable them to twist vertically and climb up through pipe systems to locate leaks in water systems, inspect oil and gas pipelines and clean ventilation systems."

The World's 10 Dirtiest Cities 286 286

neever writes "You may already know about the pollution plight of Linfen, China. But how about the heavy metals Pittsburghers breathe in on a daily basis? Or the incomparable smog Milanesi put up with? PopSci has culled an eye-opening selection of some of the world's most problematic cities. From the painfully high cancer rates in Sumgayit, Azerbaijan to the acid rain destroying La Oroya, Peru, writer Jason Daley walks readers through the lowest of the low; and explains why, despite it all, there's still hope for these places."

The World's Nine Largest Science Projects 89 89

JBG667 writes "Nice overview of the 9 largest science projects currently ongoing. Some of the usual suspects are on the list including CERN, Space Elevator, Space Station, etc. As well as some lesser known including a 3,000-foot-tall 'Solar tower,' the ANTARES underwater neutrino detecting array, and more. Nice read for science buffs."

Many people are unenthusiastic about their work.