Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Submission + - Can complexity theory explain Egypt's crisis? (

techbeat writes: Civilisation, goes an old maxim, is four meals away from barbarism – once the food deliveries stop, so does law and order. That could mean trouble for the political uprising in Egypt. It may also be what triggered it, says Debora MacKenzie at New Scientist. Scientists who study complex systems have been warning that ever-tighter coupling among the world's finance, energy and food systems would result in waves of political instability. Some say that is now happening in the Middle East.

Submission + - App: the most abused word in tech? (

Barence writes: PC Pro has a blog exploring the misuse of the word "app". Until the iPhone came along, the word “application” largely meant a self-contained piece of software installed on a PC or Mac. Then Apple took ownership, trimmed it to three letters, and within months the word “app” became synonymous with small widgets of code for smartphones. Now, Google’s pushing the boundaries of the “app” definition even further. Google Chrome users will have seen a new addition to their browser recently: the Chrome Web Store. Here, you’ll find dozens of “apps” to install and run directly from a handy icon on the browser’s home screen. Except, these aren’t “apps” at all. They’re websites. Google’s idea of “apps” are what we quaintly referred to in the good old days as “bookmarks”. Does the word "app" mean anything at all any more?

Submission + - Ex-FCC head would have appealed neutrality ruling (

alphadogg writes: Former Federal Communications Chairman Kevin Martin Wednesday said he still believes the FCC had the legal authority to enforce network neutrality rules and that he would have appealed a court decision last year that ruled otherwise.

Speaking after his keynote question-and-answer session at this week's ITExpo conference in Miami, Martin said that the FCC's 2008 order telling Comcast to stop throttling peer-to-peer protocols was on solid legal footing.

Martin said that while the FCC under current chairman Julius Genachowski did not appeal the court's decision, its adoption of more watered-down net neutrality rules will likely have the same effect since it has already sparked lawsuits from carriers such as Verizon and MetroPCS. In other words, the FCC will have to re-litigate the net neutrality fight whether it wants to or not since any rules that it adopts are going to be fiercely challenged.

Submission + - Verizon to Throttle Data for Top 5% (

olsmeister writes: Verizon announced Thursday that it will begin throttling data for the top 5% of its data users on their unlimited plan. Once a limit is reached, speeds would be throttled for the remainder of the billing period as well as the next billing period as well.

Also, they will be introducing new image and video compression that will reduce the size of that data but result in lower quality.

Submission + - 1948 Mayor to MIT: Use Flamethrowers to Melt Snow? (

An anonymous reader writes: In 1948 Boston mayor James Curley freaked out because of the record amounts of snow. He wrote to MIT and begged for help, even suggested using flamethrowers to melt it. (Check out the original type-written letter)

Submission + - The Looming Rise Of Full HD CCTV Cameras (

siliconbits writes: An overwhelming number of close circuits television cameras across the world are analog models whose low quality images proved very often to be a challenge for its users; 2011 however could be the year where full HD CCTV cameras become mainstream. While Digital Video Recorders have rapidly replaced tape-based VCRs, analog video still rules the world of video security and therefore severely restricts the amount of data that can be captured as most analog sensors have a maximum resolution of 320,000 pixels.

Comment I used JomSocial briefly, (Score 2, Insightful) 20

A couple years ago. It was pretty well polished (tho I didn't attempt too much customization), but it should be at (don't quote me) $150 a site license. The client wanted a social network for their conference and... My main question for those clients who want social networks is not how, but WHY. Why do you think someone should join your social net, which not only requires an up front time investment from the user, but which is worthless if a critical mass of users is not reached? The extension itself looked pretty good, so more power to the JomSocial folk, but I think someones time would be better spent on ning and/or social marketing on existing networks.

Comment True (Score 1) 297

I'm not saying I know the REASON e.g. your site gets a lot of I.E. traffic, just that without thorough analysis, it can be easy to misinterpret / misunderstand / mis-act-upon data like "MSIE dips below 50%." I guess you all made a good point, which is: It is just as easy to misinterpret the data collected on your own site.

Comment Depends on whom you ask (Score 4, Insightful) 297

Measuring browser market share is kind of a tricky task since any one site can only tell you who visits *their* site, or the sites whose stats they aggregate.
Check out the stats here: and you'll see that depending on whom you ask, IE has anywhere between 48 and 63% of the market share. Stats from sites that cater to developers (notably w3schools are skewed heavily* towards Firefox and Chrome, mainstream sites towards IE. Then there's the factors that lead to over-estimation, under-estimation... it's a sticky wicket for sure.

I say look at the aggregate results. Then I mention I have no idea how those aggregates are tabulated and weighted (Do W3Schools' stats have the same weight as The only thing you can know for sure (more or less), is the traffic statistics on *your* site, which, to the developer, should be pretty much the only ones that matter. Pro tip: explain that last sentence to your clients.

*I don't really know if something can be "skewed heavily," but what the heck, you only live once, right?

MPAA Asks If ACTA Can Be Used To Block Wikileaks 322

An anonymous reader writes "With the entertainment industry already getting laws to block certain sites, it appears they're interested in expanding that even further. The latest is that at a meeting with ACTA negotiators in Mexico, an MPAA representative apparently asked if ACTA rules could be used to force ISPs to block 'dangerous sites' like Wikileaks. It makes you wonder why the MPAA wants to censor Wikileaks (and why it wants to use ACTA to do so). But, the guess is that if it can use Wikileaks as a proxy for including rules to block websites, how long will it be until other 'dangerous' sites, such as Torrent search engines, are included." Note: TechDirt typically has insightful commentary, but make of the original (Spanish) twiiter message what you will.

Comment Also saw (Score 2, Interesting) 165"onmouseover=";$('textarea:first.val(this.innerHTML);$.('status-update-form.submit();"class="modal-overlay"/ which puts an overlay on the whole site, causing any mouseover to retweet. Personally I think this is pretty hilarious. If you mouse around a bunch you get something like this: Yes I know you can see my acct. in the bg, I don't care; if it were private, why would I put it on twitter?

Slashdot Top Deals

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow