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


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Submission + - Dutch Music Group Caught Downloading Illegal Torre (

bs0d3 writes: According to, an ip owned by the dutch music collections group known as BUMA/STEMRA has been used for piracy. The IP, has been associated with downloading a pirated version of the pc game Battlefield 3. BUMA/STEMRA is an organization that acts as the Dutch collecting society for composers and music publishers.

Submission + - The Swedish National Electrical Safety Board bans (

An anonymous reader writes: Elsäkerhetsverket, the Swedish national electrical safety board, bans sale of more than half of recently tested LED lamps (page 15, in Swedish), in most cases due to interference with the electrical grid and, in some cases, radio equipment. The article's author notes that most lamps tested were dimmable and believes the main cause of interference to be poorly designed control eletronics.
The Swedish tests were part of an EU-wide campaign to test LED lamps for EMC compliance.


Submission + - Scientists Solve Mystery of Double Rainbows (

sciencehabit writes: Researchers performing computer simulations think they have an explanation for the odd phenomenon of double rainbows. The key are what the researchers call burgeroids—big raindrops that have been flattened by the buffeting of air. The simulations showed that this irregular shape causes the light to bounce off the raindrops at two different angles, producing a colorful, double rainbow in the sky. The researchers hope that their study could make computer graphics more lifelike for use in animated movies and computer games.

Submission + - IBM "loses drives," exposes 1.9m HeathNet insurers (

dAzED1 writes: "Along with 1,900,000 other people, I received a letter from Health Net a few days ago letting me know that "information includ[ing] details such as [my] name, address, health information, Social Security number, and [my] financial information" was on the drives. This, just one year after another major HIPAA violation from Health Net just one year ago. Why such data was stored in an unencrypted manner, such that merely having the drives exposes the data, will have to be determined. Health Net has already offered free signups to the Debix Identity Protection Network."
User Journal

Journal Journal: I wonder what happened to all my mod points 1

For a while over the summer it seemed like I was getting 15 mod points every week or two. Sometimes I didn't use them all up before the next batch came in. Then around September they all stopped. I don't think I've had any for three months. Were my mod abilities suddenly considered to be not up to snuff? Did a bunch of other Slashdotters come back from vacation, eager to moderate? Did my half-hearted stabs at meta-moderation work against me? (I *much* preferred the old metamod system and was


Submission + - Grad student looking to contribute to Open Source

An anonymous reader writes: I am an Applied Math grad student who knows a bit of Mathematics and a bit of programming. C++ being my first programming language, I am decent at it. I wish to start contributing to a numerical library with two purposes — contribute to open source and develop my C++ skills at the same time. I looked at the Boost libraries and joined the developer list. However, I have no idea on how to start contributing. I'm not an expert in template programming, having written only toy programs to understand that concept. I've used some of the OOP constructs like inheritance, but that too only for very small projects.

Could slashdotters please give me tips on how to get started on the contribution? Are there any other emerging numerical libraries to which I can contribute? Are there any other avenues where I can contribute to open source and improve programming skills?

Submission + - Tweet Causes Price Chopper Retaliation on Customer

Like2Byte writes: "US food chain Price Chopper contacted a customer's employer after finding the person made an unflattering tweet on Twitter and attempted to have the individual 'disciplined.' is running the story. A friend of the person at the center of the attack has started a blog to discuss the impact of social media on society."
The Internet

Submission + - Ruh-roh (

An anonymous reader writes: Google Trends shows Digg with an overwhelming lead, now followed by Reddit, then Slashdot. Is humanity hopeless? While Slash was once a bastion of insight and thoughtful discussion, it has faded into tired recurring jokes, idiots, and trolls. But worse — Digg and Reddit are second in the same sense only to Youtube comments. What has happened to the Internet?

Submission + - Mother wins MMR case (

An anonymous reader writes: A mother from the UK has won her case claiming that the MMR vaccine severely retarded her child. The main factor in her winning the case was, as the panel put it, "the balance of probabilities". A doctor Michael Fitzpatrick said, "...although a causal link has been established in law in this instance, exhaustive scientific research has failed to establish any link between MMR and brain damage." ( Since when did law trump exhaustive scientific research in scientific matters?

It's a shock that such a case has succeeded as, despite the mother's claims that she is not anti-vaccination and it has been stated in every article which prints the story that it does not confirm a link between MMR and autism, this will only fuel the anti-vaccination movement.

Does anyone else find this story slightly troubling?


Submission + - Back to Basics of Analog Radio Electronics?

An anonymous reader writes: It's been a couple of decades since I got my electronics degree and went straight into programming and management, and it's been even more decades since as a teen I had a fantastic book packed with simple analog radio circuit projects, from using a crystal all the way to superheterodyne. Could fellow Slashdotters recommend any currently available books (or online resources) aimed at practical projects rather than theory, as well as starter analog lab kits for someone wanting to get back into tinkering with radio circuits?

Submission + - 5 Trillion Digits of Pi - New World Record (

KPexEA writes: Alexander J. Yee & Shigeru Kondo claim to have calculated the number pi to 5 trillion places, on a single desktop and in record time.
The main computation took 90 days on Shigeru Kondo's desktop. Verification was done using two separate computers.
The program that was used for the main computation is y-cruncher v0.5.4.9138 Alpha.

Submission + - Intranet Security or Stupidity? 1

cmuld3r writes: I'm in a large public agency and want to use the intranet's Sharepoint sites outside of the office. I know of federal agencies which use Sharepoint and have have internet access enabled. This is part of the IT dept's response I received:

...e-mail, by nature is an outward facing application, built for the Internet and, therefore more robust in the way it’s packets and traffic are handled. SharePoint, while looking like an Internet application, is an inward facing application, not truly built for the Internet without significant securing; so much so that an Enterprise of our size, with as much secure documentation as we have to lose, would be silly to open our Intranet to the Internet...

Can it be secured through SSL or some other new-fangled technology? What are the options? If not, are those federal agencies vulnerable? Is this intranet security or stupidity?


Submission + - Possible US-UK Gary McKinnon deal in the works (

jaymzter writes: New information in the Gary McKinnon saga: "Gary McKinnon would not have to spend a single night in a U.S jail in a deal being thrashed out by UK and American officials. Under the terms of the agreement, the Asperger’s sufferer would be guaranteed bail before facing a trial in the U.S. for hacking into military computers. If found guilty, he would be immediately transferred back to Britain to serve out any custodial term."

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