Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

NASA Picks Up Rainstorms On Titan 110

Posted by timothy
from the you-can-still-grill-outdoors-though dept.
RedEaredSlider writes "Rainy seasons aren't just a regular occurrence on Earth — they also happen on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. The rain isn't water, it's methane. And the seasons are years long, as Titan takes two weeks to go around Saturn and Saturn takes 29 years to complete one circuit of the Sun. Recent images from the Cassini probe, which is currently orbiting Saturn, show clouds forming in Titan's atmosphere and evidence that liquid methane is soaking the surface."

Debian Is the Most Important Linux 354

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-of-course-it-is dept.
inkscapee writes "Without Debian we are nothing. Debian is the most influential and important Linux, and is unique for being the largest, oldest, 100% non-commercial community-driven distro. '...just under 63% of all distributions now being developed come ultimately from Debian. By comparison, 50 (15%) are based on Fedora or Red Hat, 28 (9%) on Slackware, and 12 (4%) on Gentoo.'"

Sysbrain Lets Satellites Think For Themselves 128

Posted by timothy
from the skynet-is-upon-us dept.
cylonlover writes "Engineers from the University of Southampton have developed what they say is the world's first control system for programming satellites to think for themselves. It's a cognitive software agent called sysbrain, and it allows satellites to read English-language technical documents, which in turn instruct the satellites on how to do things such as autonomously identifying and avoiding obstacles."

The Dirty Little Secrets of Search 154

Posted by timothy
from the young-girls'-underwear dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The NY Times has an interesting story (reg. may be required) about how JCPenney used link farms to become the number one google search result for such terms as 'dresses,' 'bedding,' and 'samsonite carry on luggage' and what Google did to them when they found out. 'Actually, it's the most ambitious attempt I've ever heard of,' says Doug Pierce, an expert in online search. 'This whole thing just blew me away. Especially for such a major brand. You'd think they would have people around them that would know better.'"

China Starts Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor Project 387

Posted by Soulskill
from the high-sodium-high-energy-diet dept.
greg_barton writes "The Energy From Thorium blog reports, 'The People's Republic of China has initiated a research and development project in thorium molten-salt reactor technology. It was announced in the Chinese Academy of Sciences annual conference on Tuesday, January 25.' The liquid-fluoride thorium reactor is an alternative reactor design that 1) burns existing nuclear waste, 2) uses abundant thorium as a base fuel, 3) produces far less toxic, shorter-lived waste than existing designs, and 4) can be mass produced, run unattended for years, and installed underground for safety."

Model Says Religiosity Gene Will Dominate Society 729

Posted by timothy
from the getchyer-broad-brushes-n'-start-paintin' dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "PhysOrg reports on a study by Robert Rowthorn, emeritus professor at Cambridge University, that predicts that the genetic components that predispose a person toward religion are currently "hitchhiking" on the back of the religious cultural practice of high fertility rates and that provided the fertility of religious people remains on average higher than that of secular people, the genes that predispose people towards religion will spread. For example, in the past 20 years, the Amish population in the US has doubled, increasing from 123,000 in 1991 to 249,000 in 2010. The huge growth stems almost entirely from the religious culture's high fertility rate, which is about 6 children per woman, on average. Rowthorn says that while fertility is determined by culture, an individual's predisposition toward religion is likely to be influenced by genetics, in addition to their upbringing. In the model, Rowthorn uses a "religiosity gene" to represent the various genetic factors that combine to genetically predispose a person toward religion, whether remaining religious from youth or converting to religion from a secular upbringing. Rowthorn's model predicts that the religious fraction of the population will eventually stabilize at less than 100%, and there will remain a possibly large percentage of secular individuals. But nearly all of the secular population will still carry the religious allele, since high defection rates will spread the religious allele to secular society when defectors have children with a secular partner."

Apple Hints At Near-Field Payments System In Next-Gen iPhone, iPad 164

Posted by timothy
from the please-swipe-this-spot-on-your-screen dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The smartphone seems to be well on its way to becoming the next wallet; and Apple could be pushing that movement along. Reports from several outlets suggest the Cupertino, Calif.-based electronics giant has plans to put a near-field communications chip in the next versions of the iPhone and iPad for contactless payments technology. The latest report, from blog Apple Insider, says Apple has put up two job postings for two global payment platforms managers."

Sony Files Lawsuit Against PS3 Hacker GeoHot 508

Posted by timothy
from the poor-sportsmanship dept.
Kayot writes "George Hotz, or, as he is known on the internet, GeoHot, has been served court papers. Shorty after Team fail0verflow discovered faults in the PS3's TPMs, Geohot and others figured out how to extract the long sought after holy grail encryption keys. Apparently Sony is not pleased and is very keen on defending their poorly defended system with the US legal system. The basis is that GeoHot released programs that allow the signing of homebrew which can be used to make PSN-like games out of normal PS3 games. However GeoHot has never supported any form of piracy and in fact has taken a constant stance against it."
Data Storage

EMC Engineer Steals Almost $1 Million of Kit One Piece at a Time 235

Posted by samzenpus
from the and-it-didn't-cost-me-a-dime dept.
aesoteric writes "An EMC test engineer has pleaded guilty to stealing almost $1 million worth of kit from his employer. He reportedly stole the unspecified goods from the storage giant's North Carolina factory using 'a small bag' to smuggle the kit out before selling it on the internet under a pseudonym."

Comment: Re:Ick (Score 2) 359

by old_skul (#34779642) Attached to: Smartphones For Text SSH Use Re-Revisited

I'm pretty sure you have never, ever done any real systems administration of any sort. For you to make uneducated, broad statements such as this...if I had mod points, I would mod you trolling. Having worked in IT for 20 years, I can tell you that there's been plenty of scenarios in which a smartphone with an SSH client was or would have been invaluable. When I'm on call, and I'm at a restaurant, and a critical service gets broken by someone and I need to intervene, a netbook or laptop aren't practicable.


Paris To Test Banning SUVs In the City 509

Posted by timothy
from the you-must-be-shorter-than-this-line-to-ride dept.
thecarchik writes "Paris may be the first city to experiment with such a policy. Next year, it will begin to test restrictions on vehicles that emit more than a certain amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometer — the measure of a car's contribution to greenhouse gases. An official within the Parisian mayor's office, Denis Baupin, identified older diesel-engined cars and sport-utility vehicles as specific targets of the emissions limit. Residents and travelers have responded by buying thousands of electric cars, including the low-speed fiberglass G-Wiz — despite major safety concerns with the vehicle."

Uncompensated overtime? Just Say No.