Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Giant Lab Replicates Category 3 Hurricanes 97

Pickens writes "The WSJ reports that a new $40 million research center built by the Institute for Business & Home Safety in Richburg, SC features a massive test chamber as tall as a six-story building that can hold nine 2,300-square-foot homes on a turntable where they can be subjected to tornado-strength winds generated by 105 giant fans to simulate a Category 3 hurricane. The goal is to improve building codes and maintenance practices in disaster-prone regions even though each large hurricane simulation costs about $100,000. The new IBHS lab will be the first to replicate hurricanes with winds channeling water through homes and ripping off roofs, doors and windows. The new facility will give insurers the ability to carefully videotape what happens as powerful winds blow over structures instead of relying on wind data from universities or computer simulations. The center will also be used to test commercial buildings, agriculture structures, tractor-trailers, wind turbines, and airplanes."

Woman Develops Peanut Allergy After Lung Transplant 146

An anonymous reader writes "A woman in need of a lung transplant got her new lungs from someone with a peanut allergy who died of anaphylactic shock. Seven months after the surgery, the woman was at an organ transplant support group when she ate a peanut butter cookie and had a violent allergic reaction. So how had the woman's new lungs brought along a peanut allergy? A blog post dives into the medical details and explains that immune cells in the donated lungs couldn't have lived in the new body for long enough to cause the reaction... however, if they encountered an allergen (i.e. something peanuty) shortly after being transplanted, they could have trained the woman's native immune cells to respond."

Attackers Using Social Networks For Botnet Control 40

Trailrunner7 writes "Bot herders and the crimeware gangs behind banker Trojans have had a lot of success in the last few years with using bulletproof hosting providers as their main base of operations. But more and more, they're finding that social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are offering even more fertile and convenient grounds for controlling their malicious creations. New research from RSA shows that the gangs behind some of the targeted banker Trojans that are such a huge problem in some countries, especially Brazil and other South American nations, are moving quietly and quickly to using social networks as the command-and-control mechanisms for their malware. The company's anti-fraud researchers recently stumbled upon one such attack in progress and watched as it unfolded."
Open Source

Why Linux Is Not Attracting Young Developers 742

judeancodersfront writes "Jonathan Corbet recently pointed out at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit that the Linux kernel team was getting older and not attracting young developers. This article suggests the Linux kernel no longer has the same appeal to young open source developers that it did 10 years ago. Could it be that the massive code base and declining sense of community from corporate involvement has driven young open source programmers elsewhere?"

Comcast Customers Urged To Opt-Out of Settlement 128

funchords writes "As a settlement to the class-action lawsuits over Comcast's blocking of users' Internet traffic, Comcast stands to pay 'up to' $16.00 to every subscriber who makes a claim at their settlement website and declares, under penalty of perjury, that their online activity was for a lawful purpose consistent with applicable copyright and other laws. Robb Topolski, the veteran networking engineer who kicked off the case when he discovered the blocking back in 2007, says that the proposed settlement doesn't make sense, especially after the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled this month that the US Federal Communications Commission didn't have the authority to enforce its Net neutrality principles on Comcast. 'You paid about $50 a month for the service, and the amount that Comcast stands to return is up to about 50c per month for each month that it blocked traffic,' he wrote. 'If that tiny amount of money is compensation, then there is no penalty to Comcast for interfering with its customers, for failing to disclose it, for repeatedly lying about it, and for taking so long to stop it.' The Associated Press and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in late 2007, each independently confirmed Topolski's reports that Comcast was blocking BitTorrent and some other traffic without telling its customers. Comcast first denied interfering with traffic, then finally said it throttled some applications only during times of peak congestion. However, studies from the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Germany eventually proved that Comcast slowed BitTorrent traffic around the clock."

Google Incorporates Site Speed Into PageRank Calculation 202

lee1 writes "Google is now taking into account how fast a page loads in calculating its PageRank. In their own words: '[W]e're including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests. ... our users place a lot of value in speed — that's why we've decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. ... While site speed is a new signal, it doesn't carry as much weight as the relevance of a page. Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal in our implementation and the signal for site speed only applies for visitors searching in English on Google.com at this point.' Considering the increasing dilution of high-ranking results by endless series of plagiarizing 'blogs,' brainless forums, and outright scam sites, anything that further reduces the influence of the quality of the content is something I would rather not have. Not that Google asked me."

"Father of Java" Resigns From Sun/Oracle 396

Thrashing Rage writes "James Gosling has confirmed he is leaving Sun/Oracle: 'Yes, indeed, the rumors are true: I resigned from Oracle a week ago (April 2nd). I apologize to everyone in St. Petersburg who came to TechDays on Thursday expecting to hear from me. I really hated not being there. As to why I left, it's difficult to answer: just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good. The hardest part is no longer being with all the great people I've had the privilege to work with over the years. I don't know what I'm going to do next, other than take some time off before I start job hunting.'"

Good SAT Scores Lead To Higher Egg Donor Prices 175

alphadogg writes "Analysis from Georgia Institute of Technology of college newspaper egg donor ads showed that higher payments offered to egg donors correlated with higher SAT scores. 'Holding all else equal, an increase of 100 SAT points in the score of a typical incoming student increased the compensation offered to oocyte donors at that college or university by $2,350,' writes researcher Aaron D. Levine in a paper published in the March-April issue of the Hastings Center Report. Concerned about eggs being treated as commodities, and worried that big financial rewards could entice women to ignore the risks of the rigorous procedures required for harvesting, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine discourages compensation based on donors' personal characteristics. The society also discourages any payments over $10,000."

RPG Heroes Are Jerks 119

I have to give him credit for smashing the vases to get the medicine, and finding the legendary wedding dress among the rags. However, he forgot to kill the peasants for xp and you should always check the fireplace for any remaining food.

Millennium Prize Awarded For Perelman's Poincaré Proof 117

epee1221 writes "The Clay Mathematics Institute has announced its acceptance of Dr. Grigori Perelman's proof of the Poincaré conjecture and awarded the first Millennium Prize. Poincaré questioned whether there exists a method for determining whether a three-dimensional manifold is a spherical: is there a 3-manifold not homologous to the 3-sphere in which any loop can be gradually shrunk to a single point? The Poincaré conjecture is that there is no such 3-manifold, i.e. any boundless 3-manifold in which the condition holds is homeomorphic to the 3-sphere. A sketch of the proof using language intended for the lay reader is available at Wikipedia."
Wireless Networking

Best WAP For Dense Crowds? 178

An anonymous reader writes "A local community organization has asked me to help them set up Wi-Fi access for an upcoming event, with some unusual (to me) requirements. All users (up to 500 people) will occupy a relatively small area and more-or-less have line-of-sight to the WAP, so issues like signal strength and wall penetration don't matter. Security also does not matter, as we plan to open this to anyone wanting to connect. Cost always matters, but we realize a $50 Linksys or three won't cut it here. In the past, I have used Cisco AP1200s for a few dozen users to great satisfaction, but they only handle 50 connections at a time, and practically count as antiques at this point anyway. My research on the matter tells me that 802.11n performs far better in this regard, but I want to support 802.11g as well. I have no objection to using two APs to split those apart (with n limited to 5.8GHz, as per the suggestion of several comments in a recent Ask Slashdot), but physical constraints make it preferable to minimize the total number of APs needed — Ten WRT54s might cost about the same as one Aironet, but I only have three good places to mount these. I welcome any suggestions and real-world experiences with similar situations, including the ever-popular Ask Slashdot refrain of 'What kind of idiot would do it like that, when you can just do this?' Ideally, I would like to know model numbers and how well they held up under real-world loads comparable to my situation."

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard