Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: "Do people even want digital magazines?" (Score 2, Informative) 41

by timon (#34213188) Attached to: 'Hulu For Magazines' Relies On Users' Data

I used to work for one of the major providers of digital editions for the magazine industry, and given what I've seen in the past 5 years, I think the answer is no. At least, not replicas of existing consumer-oriented magazines in a digital format for the same or slightly lower price. Existing subscribers are also extremely reluctant to sign up for free digital editions even if all it requires is giving someone their email address. No privacy policy will convince them that it won't be sold. Adoption rates are better for B2B or trade magazines, but the readership for those is very small and targeted in the first place, so it often doesn't make sense to try to sell those subscribers on unrelated magazines. "We see you are a subscriber to a journal on the bulk cargo shipping industry. Would you like to sign up for this mass-marketed exercise magazine aimed at women 30-45?"

Comment: Re:Swing and a miss... (Score 1) 312

by timon (#32959948) Attached to: Catching Satnav Errors On Google Street View

Same thing here. I live in Southern NH and most of the business addresses along the NH routes in my town are misplaced on Google Maps et al. Most are placed several miles north into a residential area in the next town because the maps cannot handle addresses like '123 NH Route 10 S' and the ones on the east-west are often marked on the wrong side of a junction. This is even after Google Streetview made its way out here and includes easy landmarks like the Post Office. My house has the same street address as one in a town across the state line and we've had very confused travelers, sales calls and even a prom-night limousine show up here because a car GPS unit picked the wrong one, even after putting in town & state - Google Maps always makes me select the correct *county* before giving me directions.


Tattoos For the Math and Science Geek? 1186

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what's-wrong-with-a-slashdot dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I've been thinking of getting a sleeve of math and science tattoos for quite a while now. With the money saved up, the only question remaining is, what equations/ideas should I get? I know for certain that I'm going to include some of Maxwell's equations, and definitely Ohm's Law. So, if you were going to put a tribute to the great math and science minds on your body forever, which ones would you choose?"

Ubisoft's Authentication Servers Go Down 634

Posted by kdawson
from the single-point-of-well-you-know dept.
ZuchinniOne writes "With Ubisoft's fantastically awful new DRM you must be online and logged in to their servers to play the games you buy. Not only was this DRM broken the very first day it was released, but now their authentication servers have failed so absolutely that no-one who legally bought their games can play them. 'At around 8am GMT, people began to complain in the Assassin's Creed 2 forum that they couldn't access the Ubisoft servers and were unable to play their games.' One can only hope that this utter failure will help to stem the tide of bad DRM."

FairPort Accused of Faking Network Readiness Test 144

Posted by kdawson
from the sufficiently-rigged-demo-is-indistinguishable-from-magic dept.
wytcld writes "When Verizon spun off its Northern New England lines to FairPoint, FairPoint leased Verizon's computer network to manage them. This was costly, so FairPoint readied its own network. To prove its own network was ready for the switchover a demonstration was prepared for an outside auditor, Liberty. Now a whistleblower claims: '...when Liberty was watching what they thought was "flow thru" within a system and from one system to another, they were really only seeing a small program that was created to assimilate what they wanted the systems to do. They were not actually in the systems at the time nor were they in the test systems. They were in a newly created small program that used screen shots from the real system to deceive the audience into believing that they were watching a real demonstration.' How easy is it to find auditors who can be fooled by such a simple trick? Whether or not the test was faked, the network has proved so unready that FairPoint is close to bankruptcy, and may have its licenses to operate revoked in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont."

Should Copyright of Academic Works Be Abolished? 349

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the time-for-the-copyright-anarchist-movement-to-start dept.
Dr_Ken writes to mention recent coverage of a Harvard Cyber-Law study on Techdirt that analyzes the uses of copyright in the academic world. Some are claiming that the applications of copyright in academia are stifling and that we should perhaps go so far as to abolish copyright in the academic world entirely. "I've even heard of academics who had to redo pretty much the identical experiment because they couldn't even cite their own earlier results for fear of a copyright claim. It leads to wacky situations where academics either ignore the fact that the journals they published in hold the copyright on their work, or they're forced to jump through hoops to retain certain rights. That's bad for everyone."
The Internet

British Library Puts Oldest Surviving Bible Online 568

Posted by kdawson
from the greek-to-me dept.
Peace Corps Library writes "BBC reports that about 800 pages of the earliest surviving Christian Bible, the 1,600-year-old Codex Sinaiticus manuscript, have been recovered and put on the Internet. 'The Codex Sinaiticus is one of the world's greatest written treasures,' says Dr. Scot McKendrick, head of Western manuscripts at the British Library. 'This 1,600-year-old manuscript offers a window into the development of early Christianity and first-hand evidence of how the text of the Bible was transmitted from generation to generation.' The New Testament of the Codex Sinaiticus appears in Koine Greek, the original vernacular language, and the Old Testament in the version, known as the Septuagint, that was adopted by early Greek-speaking Christians. For 1,500 years, the Codex Sinaiticus lay undisturbed in a Sinai monastery until it was found in 1844 and split between Egypt, Russia, Germany, and Britain. It is thought to have survived because the desert air was ideal for preservation and because the monastery, on a Christian island in a Muslim sea, remained untouched, its walls unconquered. The British Library is marking the online launch of the manuscript with an exhibition which includes a range of historic items and artifacts linked to the document. 'The availability of the virtual manuscript for study by scholars around the world creates opportunities for collaborative research that would not have been possible just a few years ago.'"
United States

+ - People On Terror Watch List Still Able To Buy Guns->

Submitted by
s31523 writes "The GAO has provided a report, at the request of Sen. Frank Lautenberg(D-New Jersey), on gun sales to people that have somehow made it on to the US terrorist watch list. The report shows that from February 2004 to February 2009 there were 963 positive matches to the list. Of the 963, 865 were allowed to proceed, and 98 were denied, the report said. According to a statement made by Lautenberg, he is introducing legislation that would give the U.S. attorney general authority to stop the sale of guns or explosives to terrorists. The NRA has balked at this stating "The integrity of the terror watch list is poor, as it mistakenly contains the names of many men and women, including some high-profile Americans, who have not violated the law". Is this just a slick way for the government to get around the 2nd Amendment and simply add people to the terror watch list at will to prevent gun sales?"
Link to Original Source

+ - DHS to kill domestic satellite spying program 1

Submitted by
mcgrew writes "The Bush administration had plans in place to use spy satellites to spy on American citizens. This morning the AP reports that new DHS head Janet Napolitano has axed those plans.

The program was announced in 2007 and was to have the Homeland Security Department use overhead and mapping imagery from existing satellites for homeland security and law enforcement purposes.

The program, called the National Applications Office, has been delayed because of privacy and civil liberty concerns.

The program was included in the Obama administration's 2010 budget request, according to Rep. Jane Harman, a California Democrat and House homeland security committee member who was briefed on the department's classified intelligence budget.


Mass Arrests of Journalists Follow Iran Elections 333

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it's-a-sheikh-down dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the fact that no less than 23 journalists have been arrested in Iran in the week following the elections, making Iran one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Online activists are trying to counter this trend by giving advice for helping Iranian protesters. One problem is that Iranian leaders are trying to delegitimize the reform movement by pretending that the reformers are puppets of foreign powers, so special discretion is required for anyone wanting to help the Iranian people."
The Courts

$1.9 Million Award In Thomas Case Raises Constitutional Questions 439

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the copyright-is-out-of-control dept.
Techdirt points out that the EFF is examining the constitutionality of the recent $1.9 million verdict awarded in favor of the RIAA against Jammie Thomas. While on the surface it may seem that this excessive award should be easy to overturn since grossly excessive punitive damage awards are considered to violate the Due Process clause of the US Constitution, the Supreme Court seems to have been ignoring precedent and upholding copyright's importance at any cost. "Given the size of the statutory damages award, Ms. Thomas-Rasset's legal team will likely be seriously considering a constitutional challenge to the verdict. A large and disproportionate damage award like this raises at least two potential constitutional concerns. First, the Supreme Court has made it clear that 'grossly excessive' punitive damage awards (e.g., $2 million award against BMW for selling a repainted BMW as 'new') violate the Due Process clause of the US Constitution. In evaluating whether an award 'grossly excessive,' courts evaluate three criteria: 1) the degree of reprehensibility of the defendant's actions, 2) the disparity between the harm to the plaintiff and the punitive award, and 3) the similarity or difference between the punitive award and civil penalties authorized or imposed in comparable situations. Does a $1.92 million award for sharing 24 songs cross the line into 'grossly excessive?' And do these Due Process limitations apply differently to statutory damages than to punitive damages? These are questions that the court will have to decide if the issue is raised by Ms. Thomas-Rasset's attorneys."
The Military

$10M For Unmanned Aircraft That Can Perch Like a Bird 176

Posted by samzenpus
from the UAV-wanna-cracker dept.
coondoggie writes "Unmanned aircraft maker AeroVironment got an additional $5.4 million to further develop a diminutive aircraft that can fly into tight spaces undetected, perch and send live surveillance information to its handlers. Last Fall, AeroVironment, got $4.6 million initial funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop the Stealthy, Persistent, Perch and Stare Air Vehicle System (SP2S), which is being built on the company's one-pound, 29-inch wingspan battery-powered Wasp unmanned system."

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354