Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 22 declined, 5 accepted (27 total, 18.52% accepted)

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Submission + - PICing Arduino (

overshoot writes: At the Bay Area Maker Faire this weekend, Digilent showed a couple of new Arduino family boards — but these are based on 32-bit PIC micros. The IDE is the standard Arduino one, GPL, but with support for both AVR and the PIC devices. The performance is nice, but the thing that got my attention is all of the serial I/O of the Max32.

Submission + - There really is a "stupid" gene (

overshoot writes: Researchers have discovered a gene in mice that reduces the ability to learn and remember. When researchers produced mice without the RGS14 gene, they were better able to remember objects they'd previously encountered and were quicker to learn mazes. Humans also have RGS14, so science has confirmed what we've always joked about: there really is a "stupid gene."

Submission + - Speech gets (slightly) freer in UK (

overshoot writes: Simon Singh, the science writer sued by chiropractors in the UK for daring to call their claims "bogus," just won an appellate decision that his writings are "fair comment." Best of all, the Court was extremely critical of British libel laws and compared the standards Singh faced in the lower court as an "Orwellian ministry of Truth" and held that scientific disputes should not be fought in the courtroom.

Submission + - Jury rules in SCO v Novell (

overshoot writes: Looks like the obese lady in Utah is at least warming up: the jury in SCO v. Novell has returned their decision. It would seem that like Judge Kimball, they don't believe Novell transferred its Unix copyrights (whatever they may be, not that anyone knows by now) to CalderaThe SCO Group.

Submission + - LED wiring for new construction? 1

overshoot writes: With any luck I'll be building a new house in the next year. Rather than wire it for 19th century lighting, I figured it was about time to plan ahead for LED illumination, complete with designed-in addressable color controls and all that. Which is all well and good, but the current house was preplanned for LAN, too — and I totally missed the boat on LAN wiring standards. I'd rather not repeat that little bit of history, but I haven't found any standards in the pipeline for 21st century home lighting connections.

Anyone have suggestions?

Submission + - Mindwipe: we has it

overshoot writes: How often have we all read science fiction stories where someone has the ability to "wipe" memory, perhaps down to tabula rasa? It's a pretty stock plot device, often used as a threat against a framed protagonist. Well, peeps, it might be closer to fact than we'd like. Apparently long-term memory is dynamic, and interfering with the "refresh" process just makes the past ... disappear. So far the experiments involve injections into specific regions of mouse brains — but we all know how technology advances, right?

Submission + - First it was voting machines (

overshoot writes: Now it's breath sniffers. An Arizona Court has ruled that the manufacturers of a popular portable breath sniffer have to turn over the source code to the machine to defense attorneys in 23 criminal DUI cases. The decision was based on Constitutional grounds, and the Pima County Sherriff's department (not, please note, Maricopa County's comedy case) will be appealing. IANAL, but this looks like one to go the distance unless the manufacturer caves.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Worst PowerPoint EVER? (

overshoot writes: Well, maybe this doesn't quite hit the mark as the worst slideware ever. If not, then the question is whether anyone can actually find a worse bad example to use for beating our Marketing geniuses over the head?
The Courts

Submission + - Landshark Cage Match (

overshoot writes: From the "it couldn't happen to nicer people" division of the "a plague on both your houses" department: The Church of Scientology's premier Cruise ship seems to have an asbestos problem — that they've been literally sweeping under the carpet for more than 20 years. Asbestos lawyers all over the place must be cranking out class-action boilerplate at this moment for everyone who's been aboard since the ship was renovated two decades ago.

Popcorn, anyone?


Submission + - What happened to OpenMoko?

overshoot writes: Does anyone know what happened to OpenMoko? First they were going to have development hardware last December, then it slipped to February, with commercial availability in June, then the development units showed up in the summer but the consumer devices were going to be available in October. Well, my calendar says October was two months ago, the website hasn't been updated since July, and I'm still lusting after that phool fone.
United States

Submission + - Hearts and Minds

overshoot writes: I hate to break the news, but the /. readership isn't all that important politically. The people who really count are the over-65 set, who have money and (more important) actually vote. Which is why I was totally floored last week.

I was chatting with my (over 80) mother on the way to a University graduation party for two of my kids when, in response to a rather innocuous comment, she let loose with a rant about how patents and copyright have to change before they ruin the country. Now, this is a woman who has been a Republican for her entire adult life and for years was a loyal party worker — by no means a child of the 60s (that's me, actually.)

So, I'll ask: how many of us have actually talked about the IP wars with our past-retirement-age family? Is there a profound public perception change happening that the noisy (as in, you and me) /. set haven't noticed because we're making too much noise ourselves?

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!