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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Communications

Arranging Electronic Access For Your Survivors? 335

smee2 writes "In the past, when a family member died, you could look through their files and address books to find all the people and businesses that should be notified that the person is deceased. Now the hard-copy address book is becoming a thing of the past. I keep some contact information in a spreadsheet, but I have many online friends that I only have contact with through web sites such as Flickr. My email accounts have many more people listed than my address book spreadsheet. I have no interest in collecting real world info from all my online contacts. The sites where I have social contact with people from around the world (obviously) require user names and passwords. Two questions: 1. How do you intend to let the executors of your estate or family members know which online sites/people you'd like them to notify of your demise? 2. How are you going to give access to the passwords, etc. needed to access those sites in a way that doesn't cause a security concern while you're still alive?"
Privacy

Verizon Employees Fired For Snooping Obama's Record 344

longhairedgnome writes "The curiosity in President-elect Barack Obama's phone records came with a high price tag for Verizon Wireless employees. According to CNN, the workers who snooped on Obama's phone records have been fired. 'This was some employees' idle curiosity,' a company source told CNN and added 'we now consider this matter closed.' Justice served? What about legal possibilities?" Can we expect anyone who followed a warrantless wiretap from the Bush administration to also be fired then? I mean, they violated our privacy as well.
Microsoft

Ballmer Ordered To Testify In 'Vista Capable' Case 235

alphadogg writes "A federal judge in Seattle has ordered Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to testify in a class action lawsuit against Microsoft that alleges the company misled consumers in a marketing campaign for its Windows Vista operating system in which computers sold with an older Microsoft OS were labeled 'Vista Capable' when in fact they could only run a basic version of Vista. Ballmer has unique personal knowledge of facts surrounding the case, therefore he must face questioning, Judge Marsha Pechman of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle ruled, according to court documents released late Friday."
Space

SpaceX Successfully Tests Nine-Engine Cluster 182

the_other_chewey writes "At their test facility in Texas, SpaceX, the privately funded space-flight company, have successfully tested their nine-engine cluster which is planned to provide the heavy lifting capability for their Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy rockets. The firing lasted three minutes (a full 'mission duty cycle,' i.e. a simulated launch) under full power, delivering 3.8MN (or 855,000 lbs.) of thrust. SpaceX have made a video of the test available. The Waco Tribune has a short report about it, with comments by locals."
Cellphones

South Carolina Wants To Jam Cell Phone Signals 601

Corey Brook writes "The South Carolina state prison system wants the FCC to grant them and local officers permission to block cell phone signals. News has been out about the growing problem of them perps smuggling cell phones into prisons for a while now. Inmates use cell phones as commerce, to implement fraud, smuggle drugs and weapons, and to order hits. Of course, some may use it to just talk to a loved one any time they can." Hopefully movie theaters and restaurants do it next.
The Internet

EU Strikes Down French "3 Strikes" Copyright Infringement Law 271

Erris writes "Opendotdotdot has good news about laws in the EU: 'EU culture ministers yesterday (20 November) rejected French proposals to curb online piracy through compulsory measures against free downloading ... [and instead pushed] for "a fair balance between the various fundamental rights" while fighting online piracy, first listing "the right to personal data protection," then "the freedom of information" and only lastly "the protection of intellectual property." [This] indicates that the culture ministers and their advisers are beginning to understand the dynamics of the Net, that throttling its use through crude instruments like the "three strikes and you're out" is exactly the wrong thing to do.'"
Earth

Machine Condenses Drinking Water Out of Thin Air 438

longacre writes "A new $1,200 machine that uses the same amount of power as three light bulbs promises to condense drinkable water out of the air. On display at Wired Magazine's annual tech showcase, the WaterMill 'looks like a giant golf ball that has been chopped in half: it is about 3ft in diameter, made of white plastic, and is attached to the wall. It works by drawing air through filters to remove dust and particles, then cooling it to just below the temperature at which dew forms. The condensed water is passed through a self-sterilising chamber that uses microbe-busting UV light to eradicate any possibility of Legionnaires' disease or other infections. Finally, it is filtered and passed through a pipe to the owner's fridge or kitchen tap.'"
Google

Google Sorts 1 Petabyte In 6 Hours 166

krewemaynard writes "Google has announced that they were able to sort one petabyte of data in 6 hours and 2 minutes across 4,000 computers. According to the Google Blog, '... to put this amount in perspective, it is 12 times the amount of archived web data in the US Library of Congress as of May 2008. In comparison, consider that the aggregate size of data processed by all instances of MapReduce at Google was on average 20PB per day in January 2008.' The technology making this possible is MapReduce 'a programming model and an associated implementation for processing and generating large data sets.' We discussed it a few months ago. Google has also posted a video from their Technology RoundTable discussing MapReduce."
Education

How to Deal With an Aging Brain? 684

An anonymous reader writes "I'm sure this is something all older Slashdotters are aware of: as I get older my once-sharp brain is, well, getting worse. In particular, I'm not able to remember things as well as I once did. As a geek my capacity in this area was always what defined me as a geek. Nowadays things seem to go in OK, but then leak out. A few weeks later I've mostly forgotten. So, I ask Slashdot: how do you cope with your mind getting older? What's your trick? Fish-oil? Brain Training on the DS? Exercise? Or just trying harder to remember things?"
Networking

A Web App For Real-Time Collaborative Writing 157

adamengst writes in with good news for anyone who needs to collaborate remotely on a writing or editing project — coding too. It's especially good news for those using Windows and Linux. Mac users have had SubEthaEdit for a few years now. With EtherPad, two or more people can edit a document and see all the edits simultaneously. EtherPad's main differences from SubEthaEdit: it's a Web application that de facto supports many platforms without the need for a central Mac OS X host; and it's free. Here is a comparison of EtherPad and SubEthaEdit.
Supercomputing

E=mc^2 Verified In Quantum Chromodynamic Calculation 268

chirishnique and other readers sent in a story in AFP about a heroic supercomputer computation that has verified Einstein's most famous equation at the level of subatomic particles for the first time. "A brainpower consortium led by Laurent Lellouch of France's Centre for Theoretical Physics, using some of the world's mightiest supercomputers, have set down the calculations for estimating the mass of protons and neutrons, the particles at the nucleus of atoms. ... [T]he mass of gluons is zero and the mass of quarks is only five per cent. Where, therefore, is the missing 95 per cent? The answer, according to the study published in the US journal Science on Thursday, comes from the energy from the movements and interactions of quarks and gluons. ... [E]nergy and mass are equivalent, as Einstein proposed in his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905." Update: 11/21 15:50 GMT by KD : New Scientist has a slightly more technical look at the accomplishment.
The Military

AP Suspends DoD Over Altered US Army Photo 622

djupedal notes a story up at the BBC about the Associated Press's suspension of the use of Department of Defense photos after a photo of General Ann Dunwoody was found to have been altered (before and after comparison). "The Pentagon has become embroiled in a row after the US Army released a photo of a general to the media which was found to have been digitally altered. Ann Dunwoody was shown in front of the US flag but it later emerged that this background had been added. The Associated Press news agency subsequently suspended the use of US Department of Defense photos. 'For us, there's a zero-tolerance policy of adding or subtracting actual content from an image,' said Santiago Lyon, AP's director of photography."
Displays

Oblong's g-speak Brings "Minority Report" Interface To Life 221

tracheopterix writes "Oblong Industries, a startup based in LA has unveiled g-speak, an operational version of the notable interface from Minority Report. One of Oblong's founders served as science and technology adviser for the film; the interface was an extension of his doctoral work at the MIT Media Lab. Oblong calls g-speak a 'spatial operating environment' and adds that 'the SOE's combination of gestural i/o, recombinant networking, and real-world pixels brings the first major step in computer interface since 1984.'" The video shown on Oblong's front page is an impressive demo.
Space

Massive Martian Glaciers Found 314

Kozar_The_Malignant writes "Scientific American is reporting that 'data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter point to vast glaciers buried beneath thin layers of crustal debris.' Data from the surface-penetrating radar on MRO revealed that two well-known mid-latitude features are composed of solid water ice. One is about three times the size of the City of Los Angeles. This certainly makes the idea of establishing a station on Mars far more plausible."
Cellphones

How To Find a Mobile Games Publisher? 119

n01 writes "In the last few months of my spare time, I've been implementing an abstract strategy board game (that I invented) along with a decent AI. The game resembles TwixT in that it is also a connection game, and could be played without the need for a cellphone or computer. The implementation on the Java 2 Mobile Edition platform will soon be finished, with only some minor usability and sound issues to fix. While I enjoyed working on the game (actually more than on my day job as a programmer) I would still like to earn some money from selling the game, so I can work more on such projects in the future. What experiences have Slashdot readers had with selling their applications/games for mobile phones? With which publisher will I have the broadest audience and achieve the highest earnings? Would you try to publish the game both as a mobile game and a traditional board game?"

Slashdot Top Deals

Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it. -- William Buckley

Working...