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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education

More Schools Go To 4-Day Week To Cut Costs 614

Hugh Pickens writes "As schools return to session in South Dakota, more than one-fourth of students in the state will only be in class from Monday through Thursday as budget constraints lead school districts to hack off a day from the school week. Larry Johnke, superintendant of the Irene-Wakonda school district, says the change will save his schools more than $50,000 per year. In order to make up for the missing day, schools will add 30 minutes to each of the other four days and shorten the daily lunch break. 'In this financial crisis, we wanted to maintain our core content and vocational program, so we were forced to do this,' says Johnke. Experts say research is scant on the effect of a four-day school week on student performance, but many of the 120 districts that have the shortened schedule nationwide say they've seen students who are less tired and more focused, which has helped raise test scores and attendance. Others say that not only did they fail to save a substantial amount of money by being off an extra day, they also saw students struggle because they weren't in class enough and didn't have enough contact with teachers."

Submission + - Teach yourself how to make a radar imaging system (makezine.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Teach yourself how to build a synthetic aperture radar imaging system using coffee cans, wood, and a few microwave parts,
"The MIT Open Courseware (OCW) radar materials from Dr. Gregory L. Charvat (and peers) that Matt blogged about back in February have just been released! .... Now MIT is giving it away to everyone with the internet access and education required to access, read, and understand it:"

http://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-ll-003-build-a-small-radar-system-capable-of-sensing-range-doppler-and-synthetic-aperture-radar-imaging-january-iap-2011/?utm_source=twitter

China

Submission + - Chinese Propaganda Accidentally Reveals Cyberwar (theepochtimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A Chinese military propaganda video aired in mid-July inadvertently showed a Chinese military university launching cyberattacks against U.S. websites. The Epoch Times reports the video shows 'custom-built Chinese software apparently launching a cyber-attack against the main website of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, by using a compromised IP address belonging to a United States university.' A screen in the video also reveals 'the name of the software and the Chinese university that built it, the Electrical Engineering University of China's People's Liberation Army.'
The Internet

Web Surfing At Work Can Boost Productivity 134

An anonymous reader writes "The Wall Street Journal reports on a study into productivity and efficiency in the workplace, which found that people who are given a break to surf the web return to their work with 'lower levels of mental exhaustion, boredom and higher levels of engagement.' Researchers tested against two other groups; one continued working, and one was given a break that did not involve web browsing. They concluded that 'browsing the Internet serves an important restorative function.' In contrast, dealing with personal email was 'particularly distracting.' In the end, the researchers recommended that employers loosen restrictions on employee web access." This backs up a similar study out of Australia from a couple years ago.
Firefox

Submission + - Mozilla Builds A Platform For Your Internet Life (conceivablytech.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla's chairman Mitchell Baker has been saying that Mozilla may be changing and thinking beyond Firefox in the future. Her ideas have become clearer as she is formulating an "Internet Life" platform that will not be based on Gecko and enable users to manage their identity on web. Mozilla believes that this could be a way to reach Firefox with walled gardens such as iOS and reach new users. It seems as if Mozilla is getting much more aggressive to find a future for itself, but a confrontation with Google and apple is inevitable. Can an open platform win against iOS?
Sony

Sony Wins 'Epic Fail' Honors At Pwnie Awards 48

hypnosec writes "Hackers' favorite recent target, Sony, has won an award at the Black Hat conference held in Las Vegas this week. However, much to the embarrassment of the company, the award it nailed was in the category of 'Epic Fail' of the year. The Pwnie awards, which are like Oscar equivalents in the hacker community, gave this 'honor' to Sony following the series of cyberattacks it was subjected to a few months back, which saw the company's PlayStation and PC gaming networks go down, as well as many other services suffering heavily."
Wikipedia

Wikipedia Losing Contributors, Says Wales 533

derGoldstein writes "According to an AP report, 'Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said the nonprofit company that runs the site is scrambling to simplify editing procedures in an attempt to retain volunteers.' He explained, 'We are not replenishing our ranks... It is not a crisis, but I consider it to be important.' Despite Wikipedia's wide-reaching popularity, Wales said the typical profile of a contributor is 'a 26-year-old geeky male' who moves on to other ventures, gets married and leaves the website."
China

Submission + - McAfee Denied Accusing China in Cyberwar (xinhuanet.com)

hackingbear writes: In an interview with Chinese official Xinhua news agency,McAfee said no direct evidence suggests a particular nation such as China is behind Operation Shady RAT, a five-year cyber campaign discovered by McAfee. Alperovitch told Xinhua that they "don't have direct evidence that conclusively points to a particular nation state" behind the scheme. So the same online security industry that has propagated Chinese cyber threats in front of Western media denies they made such suggestion in China, another of their major market. Is there really a cyberwar going on? Or is it really a marketing campaign aim to grab money from taxpayers around the world?
Programming

Learning Programming In a Post-BASIC World 510

ErichTheRed writes "This Computerworld piece actually got me thinking — it basically says that there are few good 'starter languages' to get students interested in programming. I remember hacking away at BASIC incessantly when I was a kid, and it taught me a lot about logic and computers in general. Has the level of abstraction in computer systems reached a point where beginners can't just code something quick without a huge amount of back-story? I find this to be the case now; scripting languages are good, but limited in what you can do... and GUI creation requires students to be familiar with a lot of concepts (event handling, etc.) that aren't intuitive for beginners. What would you show a beginner first — JavaScript? Python? How do you get the instant gratification we oldies got when sitting down in front of the early-80s home computers?"
Advertising

AP Adopts Firefox's 'Do Not Track'; Others On the Way 80

theweatherelectric writes "As noted by the Mozilla Blog, the AP News Registry is the first large scale service to support the Do Not Track (DNT) feature of Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9. They write, 'The Associated Press (AP) is the first company to deploy DNT on a large scale, and it only took a few hours for one engineer to implement. The AP News Registry tracks 1 billion impressions of news content, with 175 million unique visitors per month, and has membership with more than 800 sites. When consumers send a DNT preference via the browser while viewing a story at one of its publisher's sites, the AP News Registry no longer sets any cookies. The previous solution was for users to opt-out via a link to a central opt-out page referenced in each participating news site's privacy policy. They still count the total number of impressions for each news story, but aggregate consumer data for those with DNT in a non-identifiable way.'"

Submission + - Renewable Energy Might Not Be 2

lee1 writes: "Physicist Axel Kleidon of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
in Jena, Germany has shown that it is a mistake to consider the wind and
waves to be truly renewable energy sources. Build enough wind farms to
replace fossil fuels, he says, and we would reduce the energy available
in the atmosphere and actually accelerate climate change. We know from
thermodynamics that only a modest fraction of the solar energy reaching
Earth is available as 'free energy' we can use, taking the form of
winds, ocean currents, and lifting of evaporated water. The rest becomes
heat, which is not available to do work. By building wind and wave farms, we
will be converting part of the sun's useful energy into thermal energy.
The effects of this would probably show up first in the wind farms
themselves, where the gains expected will be less than predicted as the
energy of the Earth system is depleted. Kleidon’s calculations show
that the amount of energy which we can harness from the wind is reduced
by a factor of 100 if you take this into account. In addition, sucking that much energy out of the
atmosphere will alter precipitation, turbulence and the amount of solar
radiation reaching the Earth's surface. The effect
will be comparable to the results of doubling
atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. Even current photovoltaic
designs will contribute to global warming, because they
convert only a small fraction of the light that hits them converting the rest to heat that warms the environment."
Data Storage

Submission + - Confidential Data Not Safe on Solid State Disks (usenix.org)

An anonymous reader writes: I always thought that the SSD was a questionable place to store private data. These researchers at UCSD's Non-Volatile Systems Laboratory have torn apart SSDs and have found remnant data even after running several open source and commerical secure erase tools. They've also proposed some changes to SSDs that would make them more secure. Makes you think twice about storing data on SSDs — once you put it on, getting it off isn't so easy.
Microsoft

Microsoft Bans Open Source From the Windows Market 566

Blacklaw writes "Microsoft has raised the ire of the open source community with its Windows Marketplace licence by specifically refusing to allow software covered under an open licence to be distributed. The licence, which anyone wishing to distribute Windows, Windows Phone, or Xbox applications through the company's copy of Apple's App Store is required to agree to, is the usual torrent of legalese — but hides a nasty surprise for those who support open source ideals."
Businesses

Nokia Plan B Was Just a Hoax 142

suraj.sun writes "There's been a lot of chatter about a 'Nokia Plan B' over the past 48 hours — the site was put up by nine young investors who outlined an audacious plan to rally shareholders, get themselves elected onto Nokia's board, and radically change the company's direction by firing Stephen Elop and committing massive resources to MeeGo. There's just one problem, though: the nine young investors don't really exist — according to the last tweet on the @NokiaPlanB Twitter account, it was all a hoax perpetuated by 'one very bored engineer who really likes his iPhone.' Ouch. That explains why the now-defunct site abruptly gave up the cause this morning after just 36 hours of existence."

Slashdot Top Deals

Where there's a will, there's a relative.

Working...