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


Forgot your password?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How to handle unfixed Linux accessibility bugs?

dotancohen writes: It is commonly said that open source software is preferable because if you need something changed, you can change it yourself. Well, I am not an Xorg developer and I cannot maintain a separate Xorg fork. Xorg version 1.13.1 introduced a bug which breaks the "Sticky Keys" accessibility option. Thus, handicapped users who rely on the feature cannot use Xorg-based systems with the affected versions and are stuck on older software versions. Though all pre-bug Linux distros are soon scheduled for retirement, there seems to be no fix in sight. Should disabled users stick with outdated, vulnerable, and unsupported Linux distros or should we move to OS-X / Windows? The prospect of changing my OS, applications, and practices due to such an ostensibly small issue is frightening.

Note that we are not discussing "I don't like change" but rather "this unintentional change is incompatible with my physical disability". Thus this is not a case of every change breaks someone's workflow.

Submission + - 3-D Printed Skull Successfully Implanted in Woman

djhaskin987 writes: The first successful implantation of a 3-D printed skull has taken place in the Netherlands, according to NBC news:

Doctors in the Netherlands report that they have for the first time successfully replaced most of a human’s skull with a 3-D printed plastic one — and likely saved a woman's life in the process. The 23-hour surgery took place three months ago at University Medical Center Utrecht. The hospital announced details of the groundbreaking operation this week and said the patient, a 22-year-old woman, is doing just fine.

Submission + - MIT researchers bring Javascript to Google Glass (networkworld.com)

colinneagle writes: Earlier this week, Brandyn White, a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, and Scott Greenberg, a PhD candidate at MIT, led a workshop at the MIT Media Lab to showcase an open source project called WearScript, a Javascript environment that runs on Google Glass. White demonstrated how Glass's UI extends beyond its touchpad, winks, and head movements by adding a homemade eye tracker to Glass as an input device. The camera and controller were dissected from a $25 PC video camera and attached to the Glass frame with a 3D-printed mount. A few modifications were made, such as replacing the obtrusively bright LEDs with infrared LEDs, and a cable was added with a little soldering. The whole process takes about 15 minutes for someone with component soldering skills. With this eye tracker and a few lines of Wearscript, the researchers demonstrated a new interface by playing Super Mario on Google Glass with just eye movements.

Submission + - China Arrests 1,500 People for Sending Spam Text Messages from Fake Mobile Base (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: Chinese authorities have detained a total of 1,530 suspects in a crackdown on spam SMS text messages being sent out by illegal telecoms equipment, according to Chinese news agency ECNS.

Over 2,600 fake mobile base stations were seized and 24 sites manufacturing illegal telecoms equipment shut down as part of a massive nationwide operation involving nine central government and Communist Party of China departments.

A report released by Trend Micro this month looked into the telecoms equipment black market in China and found that cybercriminals routinely use either a GSM modem, an internet short message gateway and an SMS server to send out spam messages.

On the underground market, SMS servers come in "all-in-one" packages that include a laptop, a GSM mobile phone, an SMS server, an antenna to send out the fake signal and a USB cable, all for RMB 45,000 (£4,355).

Submission + - Kim Dotcom Launches Political Party In New Zealand (Though He Cannot Stand) (techweekeurope.co.uk)

judgecorp writes: Fugitive entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has launched a political party in New Zealand although he himself cannot stand for election. Dotcom, founder of Megaupload is a German national, not a New Zealand citizen. He is also on bail pending extradition to the US over claims that his Megaupload site infringed copyright. The Internet Party manifesto promises net neutrality, privacy, and faster broadband. Meanwhile, his new venture Mega is now worth NZ$210 million (£108m) thanks to a reverse takeover. He has also had to assure the New Zealand media that owning a signed copy of Mein Kampf doesn't mean he is a Nazi.

Comment Re:Fork Slashdot? (Score 2) 188

That sounds good. I don't want it to be _my_ project, even if I'm coding it. I come to /. for the discussion, and I'll go wherever that discussion goes, even if I have to code it.

Can we get a list of things we want and don't want from the current and past slashdot incarnations? I'll draw up a plan and as people get interested I'll start assigning responsibilities and give access to the code. Everyone here knows how to work with Git, right?

Preliminary Wants:
1) Threaded commenting.
2) Limited modding

Comment Re:Fork Slashdot? (Score 3, Interesting) 188

Unfortunately something like 15 years worth of usernames and comments, because although the comments are still owned by each respective user I doubt the database is.

User comments could probably be taken care of on a limited per-user basis by scraping the user's personal page:

If a user opens an account on slashdotan and then _logs_into_slashdot_ via slashdotan (i.e. gives slashdotan his /. username and password) then I believe that the content could be legally scraped.

I'll go register the domain and see what I can code. Anybody who is interested can email me, my Gmail username is the same as my /. username.

Comment Re:how many products? (Score 1) 298

Nothing is decreasing in price. Please name ONE thing that is still the same quality as before but is lower in price.

Amazon Web Services.

Every few months I get an email that some aspect is lowering in price. Last week it was EBS: the price of storage just dropped from 10 cent/GiB/month to 5 cent/GiB/month. That, with always more and more features. The latest feature that has become widespread that I'm excited about is Virtual Private Cloud, where one can set up their entire virtual network infrastructure. VPC is free with EC2, which itself has a price decrease a few months ago.

Myself and my employer are _very_ happy AWS customers.

Comment Re:No horns? (Score 1) 267

Ok, let's assume in this wondrous future, you are being driven (can't exactly call it driving if you're not in control) on some country roads and you encounter a very large bull standing in the middle of the road.

Do you really think it a good idea to deliberately get into a competition of "who's stronger with their horns" with a bull?

Comment Re:No real surprise (Score 1) 313

The rods are "safely subcritical" so long as the heavy elements (probably uranium in this case) remain where they should: suspended in the cast.

The term meltdown refers to the fuel rods actually melting. Gravity then differentiates the component materials: heavy stuff pools at the bottom. Once you have a pool of uranium there is danger of it becoming dense enough to become critical. There is even evidence of this having happened in nature.

Slashdot Top Deals

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton