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Submission + - Another View of Geeks from the Outside

jamestheprogrammer writes: "There are many different views on the common geek. Some people see them as targets for bullying, others see them as great help with that hard math homework. However, even with the rise in the population of tech-types, there remain many misconceptions of the geek, such as this one found by a father of his own son. What makes people think this way? How can they be convinced otherwise?"
Space

Submission + - ROCKET EXPLOSION

PhreakOfTime writes: http://www.spaceweather.com/ ROCKET EXPLOSION: What was it? It was a mystery for almost 24 hours until satellite expert Daniel Deak matched the trajectory of the plume in Palmer's photo with the orbit of a derelict rocket booster — "a Briz-M, catalog number 28944." One year ago, the Briz-M sat atop a Russian Proton rocket that left Earth on Feb. 28, 2006, carrying an Arabsat-4A communications satellite. Shortly after launch, the rocket malfunctioned, leaving the satellite in the wrong orbit and the Briz-M looping around Earth partially-filled with fuel. On Feb. 19, 2007, for reasons unknown, the fuel tanks ruptured over Australia.
Google

Submission + - Google developing AI

chonny69 writes: "Developers at search engine giant Google "are really trying to build artificial intelligence and to do it on a large scale," Google co-founder Larry Page said at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science conference Saturday. "It's not as far off as people think," he said. Page also said that in the programming language of humans the brain's algorithms weren't all that complicated and could be approximated, eventually, with a lot of computational power."
Quickies

Submission + - Cold Fusion Reborn?

Icarus1919 writes: New Scientist reports that the scientist who discovered a possible fusion reaction by bombarding a solvent with neutrons and sonic waves (known as cold fusion because you don't have to deal with those sun-like temperatures and magnetic fields) has recently been exonerated of accusations of scientific misconduct Purdue University following the verification of his results by another scientist. Is cold fusion back?
Space

Fermi Paradox Predicting Humankind's Future? 854

An anonymous reader writes "The Fermi paradox says that if extraterrestrial civilizations exist, at least one of them should have colonized the entire galaxy by now. But since there is no evidence of this, humankind must be the only intelligent life in the galaxy. The Space Review has an article on how the Fermi paradox can be applied to human civilization. It says that, like the extraterrestrials, humans have three choices: colonize the galaxy, remain on Earth, or become extinct."
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Regrowing lost body parts coming in the future

[TheBORG] writes: "There are two stories on Yahoo! News about regrowing lost body parts. One is about regrowing lost fingers & limbs and the other one is about regrowing teeth. The story about regrowing lost fingers and limbs talks about the experimental use of powdered pig bladder to regrow fingers and eventually lost limbs for soldiers and others in need from information that Pentagon-funded scientists hopefully learn from studying the salamander. The story about regrowing teeth talks about how Japanese scientists used primitive cells (not quite as early as stem cells) and injected them into a framework of collagen (the material that holds the body together). Once grown to a certain point, scientists implanted the growths into mice where the teeth developed normally."
The Almighty Buck

RIAA Hires Artists, Then Sends In the SWAT team 420

cancan writes "The NY times is carrying an article about how the RIAA is hiring hip hop artists to make mix tapes, and then helping the police raid their studios. In the case of DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon, they were raided by SWAT teams with their guns drawn. The local police chief said later that they were 'prepared for the worst.' Men in RIAA jackets helped cart away 'evidence'. Just the same, 'Record labels regularly hire mixtape D.J.'s to produce CDs featuring a specific artist. In many cases, these arrangements are conducted with a wink and a nod rather than with a contract; the label doesn't officially grant the D.J. the right to distribute the artist's songs or formally allow the artist to record work outside of his contract.' " This is more of the shenanigans that we've previously discussed on the site.
Microsoft

Submission + - JetBlue's Windows Infrastructure Crashes

hawks5999 writes: JetBlue's reservation and communication systems have been down for 5 days leaving thousands of passengers stranded and stockholders seeing red. It was almost exactly 4 years ago that JetBlue trumpeted it's reliance on Windows to help it see black. From a 2003 news.com article:

So we marched down the road of the Windows platform. We don't have any Unix; we don't have an AS/400; we don't have any mainframes — we don't have anything outside of Windows. There has been tremendous cost savings. ...everything's Windows. Every technician that works on a server works on a Windows server. Every technician working on a desktop works on a Windows desktop. That's quite a bit easier than other flavors of desktops or OS/2 or whatever else is out there.
I guess they didn't look at redundancy or reliability in their cost equation...
Robotics

Robotic Arm Aids in Grasping After Stroke 32

Roland Piquepaille writes "In the U.S., stroke is a major cause of long-term disability which affects 700,000 people annually. Most of them are over 65 years old and some have difficulties grasping objects after their stroke. This is why Californian researchers have developed a robotic therapy which helps restore hand use after stroke. The Hand-Wrist Assisting Robotic Device (HoWARD) has successfully been tested on seven women and six men who had suffered a stroke at least three months before the study. These results, while encouraging, need to be balanced. There must be enough residual motor power in the arm and hand of stroke patients to initiate some movement for this robotic therapy to work."
Businesses

Submission + - CompUSA Gives Customer 4+ Month Run-around

Andy writes: "I've had an ongoing...adventure...with CompUSA's repair and customer service departments for the last four months, the short version of which is that — two years in a row — they damaged my laptop while repairing it (this second time more than once!) and are dragging their feet in responding to me and replacing the computer their service center damaged. I've tried to handle it privately for four months, but at this point, I'm running out of options and hope that Slashdot can help bring some attention to my troubles and turn the heat up on CompUSA a bit so they'll do the right thing!

In October 2005 I brought my Sony laptop to them for service, and it came back with all the case screws in the wrong places, causing physical damage to the case and a big loose gap in the front edge. Then, a year later, they again returned my laptop to me with incorrect screws, and with a wad of tape wedged between the keyboard and the cooling fan!

That started a saga, still ongoing, with more missing screws, a heat-related video problem, a damaged hinge cover, missing protective covers for the LCD's screws, and four months of broken promises, abysmal customer disservice, and lack of returned calls on all levels from the local store's tech services manager, operations manager, and GM up to the corporate manager of customer service and chief of escalation.

I've posted my story on my blog at http://www.onefromtheroad.com/index.php?cat=11 (posts are in reverse order, since it's a blog!)

Please help me spread my story, and hold CompUSA responsible for mistreating their customers like this!

— Andy

P.S.-For futher episodes of CompUSA being involved in grossly mishandling repairs, see http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=28004 5"
Biotech

Submission + - Search for New Autism Genes

iuvasago writes: "The largest search for autism genes to date, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has implicated components of the brain's glutamate chemical messenger system and a previously overlooked site on chromosome 11. Based on 1,168 families with at least two affected members, the genome scan adds to evidence that tiny, rare variations in genes may heighten risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). [Read More] from Physorg.com"
Google

Submission + - Year of the pig Google Logo censured

Staalorm writes: Using anon proxy you can see that many countries don't display the Chinese "year of the pig" logo from Google. USA has it and China too, but many European countries don't. What is the criteria Google uses not to display the piglet-logo? In previous years all countries could view the "year of the monkey" and the "year of the dog". Are Google afraid of an Islamic equivalent of the Danish cartoon-row?
The Internet

IBM Sued for Firing Alleged Internet Addict 341

globring sent us a link to a CNN article covering a trial with a unique defense. James Pacenza, a 58 year old Alabama man, has been fired from his position at IBM for visiting adult sites during working hours. The man is now suing the company for $5 Million, alleging that he is an internet addict. The plaintiff claims he visits these sites as a way of dealing with traumatic stress incurred in the Vietnam War. He claims that while he is addicted to sex and the internet, he never visited adult sites at work. Age-related issues, he says, are the cause of his filing. IBM, on its part, says that Pacenza was warned during a similar incident several months ago. Pacenza denies this as well.

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