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Earth

O'Reilly Interview Digs Into the Tech of Storm Chasing 64

Posted by timothy
from the started-with-just-a-bicycle-and-some-crayons dept.
blackbearnh writes "If you've watched the Discovery Channel series 'Storm Chasers,' you'll be familiar with Dr. Joshua Wurman and his Doppler on Wheels radar, which he uses to study tornadoes up close and personal every spring. O'Reilly Media spent some time last week speaking to Dr. Wurman about what it takes, technologically, to operate a weather radar in 100-mile-per-hour winds in the middle of a lightning storm. They also talked about the value of this kind of research to both tornado and hurricane research, and how having a film crew around during missions affects the science."
Portables (Apple)

Realtek's Wireless Driver Drives Thoughts of an Apple Netbook 136

Posted by timothy
from the can't-get-there-from-here-in-cupertino dept.
Slatterz writes "With Macworld 2009 mere weeks away, one rumour that seemingly won't die is the idea of a Mac OS X Netbook PC. Asking a company to provide OS X drivers for their netbooks has, up until now, been met with silence, and probably a little quaking on the vendor side as they wait for the heavy footsteps of Apple's army of lawyers. It seems, however, that Realtek, who provide the WiFi chip found in the MSI Wind U100, are dipping their toes into the legally iffy world of the Hackintosh. Forum users at MSIWind.Net asked politely for drivers, and after a lot of patience, Beta drivers were provided."
Intel

Intel Quad-Core Price and Performance Showdown 115

Posted by timothy
from the horses-for-courses dept.
ThinSkin writes "The folks over at ExtremeTech have had enough time on their hands to benchmark Intel's entire quad-core lineup to determine which has the best performance for the dollar. While prices range from $183 to $1399, the real bargain is with Intel's latest Core i7 architecture which outpaced many other more expensive processors. For comparison's sake, Intel's fastest dual-core CPU was thrown into the mix and was, at times, not even competitive, which suggests that we're beginning to see more and more multi-threaded applications take advantage of four cores."
Security

Experts Say To Switch Browsers In Light of IE Vulnerability 455

Posted by timothy
from the here's-my-number-if-the-place-burns-down dept.
It appears that the exploit in IE briefly mentioned a few days ago is causing a serious reaction: SteveAU writes "Microsoft has begun flooding media outlets with information advising users to switch to an alternate browser while a serious security flaw is being patched. The flaw, which affects all versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, is manifested via malware and has infected over 6,000 sites thus far. Microsoft states: 'The vulnerability exists as an invalid pointer reference in the data-binding function of Internet Explorer. When data binding is enabled (which is the default state), it is possible under certain conditions for an object to be released without updating the array length, leaving the potential to access the deleted object's memory space. This can cause Internet Explorer to exit unexpectedly, in a state that is exploitable.'" According to the BBC report, though, Microsoft itself is only asking that users be "vigilant while it investigated and prepared an emergency patch"; it's outside experts who say to dump IE (at least for now).

Update: 12/16 21:11 GMT by KD : Microsoft will issue an emergency critical update for IE tomorrow.
United States

Barack Obama Is One Step Closer To Being President 601

Posted by kdawson
from the donkey-faithful-one-hundred-percent dept.
At 3:00 Eastern time on Monday Dec. 15, 538 electors in state capitols across the US cast the votes that actually elected Barack Obama the 44th President. Obama received, unofficially, 365 electoral votes (with 270 needed to win). The exact total will not be official — or Obama officially elected — until Congress certifies the count of electoral votes in a joint session on Jan. 6, 2009. The Electoral College was established in its present form in 1804 by the Twelfth Amendment to the US Constitution. Electors are not required to vote for the candidate who won their state — in fact, 24 states make it a criminal offense to vote otherwise, but no "faithless elector" has ever been charged with a crime. "On 158 occasions, electors have cast their votes for President or Vice President in a manner different from that prescribed by the legislature of the state they represented. Of those, 71 votes were changed because the original candidate died before the elector was able to cast a vote. Two votes were not cast at all when electors chose to abstain from casting their electoral vote for any candidate. The remaining 85 were changed by the elector's personal interest, or perhaps by accident. Usually, the faithless electors act alone. An exception was in 1836 when 23 Virginia electors changed their vote together. ... To date, faithless electors have never changed the otherwise expected outcome of the election."
Privacy

In Japan, a Billboard That Watches You 133

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-look-now dept.
An anonymous reader writes "At a Tokyo railway station above a flat-panel display hawking DVDs and books sits a small camera hooked up to some image processing software. When trials begin in January the camera will scan travelers to see how many of them are taking note of the panel, in part of a technology test being run by NTT Communications. It doesn't seek to identify individuals, but it will attempt to figure out how many of the people standing in front of an advertisement are actually looking at it. A second camera, which wasn't fitted at the station but will be when tests begin next month, will take care of estimating how many people are in front of the ad, whether they are looking at it or not."
Medicine

Injectable Artificial Bone Developed 105

Posted by kdawson
from the no-op dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with the news that British scientists have invented artificial "injectable bone" that flows like toothpaste and hardens in the body. This new regenerative medicine technology provides a scaffold for the formation of blood vessels and bone tissue, then biodegrades. The injectable bone can also deliver stem cells directly to the site of bone repair, the researchers say. "Not only does the technique reduce the need for dangerous surgery, it also avoids damaging neighboring areas, said [the inventor]. The technology's superiority over existing alternatives is the novel hardening process and strength of the bond... Older products heat up as they harden, killing surrounding cells, whereas 'injectable bone' hardens at body temperature — without generating heat — making a very porous, biodegradable structure."
Cellphones

iPhone Tops Windows Mobile Share; MS Releases iPhone App 269

Posted by kdawson
from the late-to-the-party-but-getting-ahead dept.
walterbyrd notes that new data from Gartner indicates that the successful launch of the iPhone 3G was enough to push iPhone market share over that of Windows Mobile devices — the entire range of them. And reader Spy Hunter writes: "Seadragon Mobile is Microsoft's first iPhone application. Seadragon is a technology for streaming zoomable user interfaces, and this iPhone incarnation allows viewing huge collections of gigapixel-sized images over WiFi or 3G. If you don't have an iPhone, you can also try Seadragon in your browser via Seadragon Ajax."
Transportation

Chinese Automaker Unveils First Electric Car 341

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the jump-start-on-the-competition dept.
JuliusSu writes "A Chinese auto manufacturer, BYD, is introducing today the country's first electric car, a plug-in hybrid vehicle. It plans to sell at least 10,000 cars in 2009 for a price of less than $22,000. This put the company ahead of schedule against other entrants to this market, such as Toyota, due to release a similar car in late 2009; and GM, whose Chevy Volt will be launched in late 2010. The company is best known for making cellphone batteries, and hopes its expertise in ferrous battery technology will allow it to leapfrog established car manufacturers."
Education

Scientists' Success Or Failure Correlated With Beer 349

Posted by kdawson
from the malt-does-more-than-milton-can dept.
mernil sends in an article from the NYTimes that casts a glance at a study done in the Czech Republic (natch) on what divides the successful scientists from the duffers. "Ever since there have been scientists, there have been those who are wildly successful, publishing one well-received paper after another, and those who are not. And since nearly the same time, there have been scholars arguing over what makes the difference. What is it that turns one scientist into more of a Darwin and another into more of a dud? After years of argument over the roles of factors like genius, sex, and dumb luck, a new study shows that something entirely unexpected and considerably sudsier may be at play in determining the success or failure of scientists — beer."
Privacy

Americans Don't Care About Domestic Spying ? 485

Posted by Zonk
from the you're-blocking-the-view-of-the-big-game dept.
S1mmo+61 writes "Salon is analyzing a Time Magazine article today, a piece that essentially claims Americans do not care about the domestic spying. The analysis of the Time magazine piece (which is longer than the article itself) is interesting, if only as a quick history of domestic spying in the last eight years. 'Time claims that "nobody cares" about the Government's increased spying powers and that "polling consistently supports that conclusion." They don't cite a single poll because that assertion is blatantly false. Just this weekend, a new poll released by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University proves that exactly the opposite is true. That poll shows that the percentage of Americans who believe the Federal Government is "very secretive" has doubled in the last two years alone (to 44%)'"
Mozilla

Firefox 3 May Be More Memory Efficient Than Either IE or Opera 370

Posted by Zonk
from the but-is-it-as-efficient-as-a-red-stapler dept.
Edy52285 writes "Ars Technica has an article showing benchmarks pitting Firefox 3 Beta 4 against other browsers. Contenders include IE7, Firefox 2, Opera 9.5 Beta, and Safari 3.0.4 Beta. The piece includes a graph depicting FF3's memory usage well below that of the other browsers. The in-testing browser even trumps Opera, which has long been regarded as the fastest browser around."
The Media

One Minute of Science Per Five Hours of Cable News 184

Posted by Zonk
from the you-don't-learn-things-by-watching-the-news dept.
ideonexus writes "The Pew group has released its annual study into the state of news media. They conclude that science and technology content is a rare treat for cable newscast viewers; some five hours of programming could pass with the average viewer seeing only one minute of science news coverage."

Comment: Trent's relationship with labels has always.. (Score 1) 327

by jonesboy_damnit (#22624494) Attached to: Reznor Follows Radiohead, Offers Free Album
..been extremely rocky. His experience with TVT, especially, was pretty terrible - to the point where he worked with one of the mastering engineers to sneak two 'secret' tracks onto the original release of Broken, since the album's producer said 'no' to them. It's been said before: the fact that he's made enough money to continue producing his own music (and the music of artists he respects), then distributing it himself, is the reason this works. Same with Radiohead. He can make his own publicity due to his fanbase (full disclosure: I'm a member of that fanbase). On top of that, he's got good instincts for marketing and hype. I will third the recommendation that you download the first 9 tracks; they will convince you to immediately surrender $5 for the other 27. It is very, very good stuff. -Matt

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