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


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - 6 month subscription of Pandora One at 46% off. ×

Submission + - CMU Eliminates O-O Studies ( 1

fatherjoecode writes: "According to this blog post from professor Robert Harper, the Carnegie Mellon University Computer Science department is removing the required study of O-O from the Freshman curriculum: "Object-oriented programming is eliminated entirely from the introductory curriculum, because it is both anti-modular and anti-parallel by its very nature, and hence unsuitable for a modern CS curriculum." It goes on to say that "a proposed new course on object-oriented design methodology will be offered at the sophomore level for those students who wish to study this topic." Is O-O dying?"

Submission + - Google Mobile-Payment Patent Raises Privacy Flags (

bizwriter writes: Google has been interested in the mobile payment business, with rumored service tests coming soon. Now the rumors have some more tangible back-up in the form of a patent application that not only describes a versatile payment system, but one in which Google would obtain details of purchasing that are normally unavailable.

Submission + - 'OMG' And 'Heart' Symbol Included In New OED ( 2

autospa writes: More technology-inspired words have entered the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as well as the first graphical symbol to signify a word in the dictionary's history. The popular abbreviation of Oh My God; OMG, which is popular among mobile texters has got a place in the Oxford English Dictionary. The latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary with 5,437 new words, includes several inspired by the web and technology, like 'ego-surfing' and 'dot bomb', as well as the first ever graphical symbol for heart to be given a definition.

Submission + - How Mac OS X, 10 Today, Changed Apple's World (

CWmike writes: "Ten years ago today, Apple's first full public version of Mac OS X went on sale worldwide to a gleeful reception as thousands of Mac users attended special events at their local computer shops all across the planet. What we didn't know then was that Apple was preparing to open up its own chain of retail outlets, nor had we heard Steve Jobs use the phrase, "iPod". Windows was still a competitor, and Google was still a search engine. These were halcyon days, when being a Mac user meant belonging to the second team, writes Jonny Evans. We're looking at the eighth significant OS X release in the next few months, Lion, which should offer some elements of unification between the iOS and OS X. There's still some bugs to iron out though, particularly the problem with ACL's (Access Control Lists) inside the Finder. Hopefully departing ex-NeXT Mac OS chief, Bertrand Serlet, will be able to fix this before he leaves."

Submission + - Quantum physics explanation for smell (

SpuriousLogic writes: The theory that our sense of smell has its basis in quantum physics events is gaining traction, say researchers.

The idea remains controversial, but scientists reporting at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, US, are slowly unpicking how it could work.

The key, they say, is tiny packets of energy, or quanta, lost by electrons.

Experiments using tiny wires show that as electrons move on proteins within the nose, odor molecules could absorb these quanta and thereby be detected.

If the theory is right, by extending these studies, an "electronic nose" superior to any chemical sensor could be devised.

In 1996, Luca Turin, now of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, suggested that the "vibrational modes" of an odorant were its signature.

Molecules can be viewed as a collection of atoms on springs, and energy of just the right frequency — a quantum — can cause the spring to vibrate.

Since different assemblages of molecules have different characteristic frequencies, Turin proposed, these vibrations could act as a molecular signature.

The idea has been debated in the scientific literature, but presentations at the American Physical Society meeting put the theory on firmer footing.

Most recently, Dr Turin published a paper showing that flies can distinguish between molecules that are chemically similar but in which a heavier version of hydrogen had been substituted.

All power corrupts, but we need electricity.