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Comment: Re:Forcing strong passwords in the first place. (Score 1) 211 211

I think it can be acceptable for gaming websites and other low-value websites to allow weaker passwords though, because the inconvenience of a lot of extra typing isn't worth the utility and so that people automatically have multiple passwords if that password is insecure.
NASA

NASA Holding Space Vs. Earth Chess Game 36 36

A few days ago, NASA and the US Chess Federation teamed up to host a space vs. Earth chess game. Astronaut Greg Chamitoff is playing one side, while the other side's moves will be determined by a public vote. Four potential moves will be selected each weekday by a chess club comprised of students from kindergarten through third grade. Once the selections are made, visitors to the USCF's site can vote for the move they like best. The USCF is maintaining a blog to update the moves and board position, and to provide commentary.
Software

Optical Character Recognition Still Struggling With Handwriting 150 150

Ian Lamont recently asked Google if they planned to extend their transcription of books and other printed media to include public records, many of which were handwritten before word processors became ubiquitous. Google wouldn't talk about any potential plans, but Lamont found out a bit more about the limits of optical character recognition in the process: "Even though some CAPTCHA schemes have been cracked in the past year, a far more difficult challenge lies in using software to recognize handwritten text. Optical character recognition has been used for years to convert printed documents into text data, but the enormous variation in handwriting styles has thwarted large-scale OCR imports of handwritten public documents and historical records. Ancestry.com took a surprising approach to digitizing and converting all publicly released US census records from 1790 to 1930: It contracted the job to Chinese firms whose staff manually transcribed the names and other information. The Chinese staff are specially trained to read the cursive and other handwriting styles from digitized paper records and microfilm. The task is ongoing with other handwritten records, at a cost of approximately $10 million per year, the company's CEO says."
Space

Hubble Stops Sending Data, Mission On Hold 141 141

mknewman writes to tell us that NASA is no longer receiving data from the Hubble Space Telescope, which could possibly delay the shuttle launch planned just two weeks from now. There is a backup system installed which may be used instead of training the astronauts on the installation of the new component, but that would itself leave no fallback option. "NASA is reviewing whether the mission should be delayed a couple of months so that plans can be made to send up a replacement part for the failed component, said NASA spokesman Michael Curie. It would take time to test and qualify the old replacement part and train the astronauts to install it in the telescope, Curie said. NASA also would have to work out new mission details for the astronauts who have trained for two years to carry out five Hubble repair spacewalks."
Programming

Becoming a Famous Programmer 347 347

An anonymous reader writes "GrokCode analyzes more than 200 famous programmers to determine what types of projects made them famous. Inventing a programming language, game, or OS ranked among the top projects likely to lead to fame. Most programmers became famous through their work on only one project. The article also shows that among famous programmers, the ratio of males to females is much larger than among normal programmers."
Businesses

RIAA and MPAA Developing Domain-Based DRM 272 272

An anonymous reader points out news that the music and movie studios are attempting to develop a new type of DRM that would allow customers more flexibility in playing content on multiple devices. The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) would establish a list of devices in your personal "domain" (unrelated to web domains), and minimizes or removes restrictions within that domain. TechCrunch summarizes DECE and notes that many of the big corporations have decided to support it. "The ecosystem envisioned by Singer et al revolves around a common set of formats, interfaces and other standards. Devices built to the DECE specifications would be able to play any DECE-branded content and work with any DECE-certified service. The goal is to create for downloads the same kind of interoperability that's been true for physical products, such as CDs and DVDs. Where it gets really interesting, though, is the group's stated intention to make digital files as flexible and permissive as CDs, at least within the confines of someone's personal domain. Once you've acquired a file, you could play it on any of your devices -- if it couldn't be passed directly from one DECE-ready device to another, you'd be allowed to download additional copies. And when you're away from home, you could stream the file to any device with a DECE-compatible Web browser."

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?

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