Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Submission + - Missile test creates huge expanding halo of light over Hawaii

The Bad Astronomer writes: A Minuteman III missile launch from California early Wednesday morning created a weird, expanding halo of light seen from the CFHT observatory on Hawaii's Mauna Kea. The third stage of the missile has ports that open and dump fuel into the near-vacuum. This cloud expands rapidly as a spherical shell, shock-exciting the air molecules and causing them to glow, creating the bizarre effect.

Submission + - Bob Metcalfe: I Was Terrified of IBM for 10 yrs But Ethernet Won Cause it's Open ( 1

darthcamaro writes: Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe drew a diagram on a piece of paper 40 years ago today that defined how Ethernet would work. In an event celebrating that milestone, Metcalfe today admitted that IBM's token ring networking system was his biggest fear for 10 yrs, but eventually it was outdone.

What IBM underestimated in their dominance was the power of an open standard," Metcalfe said. "In that old IBM, in its dark little heart it was not committed to open standards and its products were not interoperable."

Submission + - Close Approach of Asteroid (285263) 1998 QE2 (

An anonymous reader writes: Asteroid 1998 QE2 has an estimated size of 1.3 km — 2.9 km (based on the object's absolute magnitude H=16.6). It was observed by the Spitzer Space Telescope by Trilling et al. (2010), who estimated that it has a diameter of 2.7 km and a dark optical albedo of 0.06. This asteroid will have a close approach with Earth at about 15.2 LD (Lunar Distances = ~384,000 kilometers) or 0.0392 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) at 2059 UT on 2013 May 31 and it will reach the peak magnitude ~10.8 on May 31 around 2300 UT.

Submission + - Computer Model Explains High Blood Pressure (

mikejuk writes: If you are not a medic then presumably you, like me, thought that we knew most of the basics of what causes high blood pressure as we age. It turns out that we really didn't and now a new computer model casts light on the real reason for high blood pressure.
What is known about BP control is that there are pressure sensors in the walls of the major arteries. These are supposed to provide the feedback that the heart needs to keep the BP within normal limits — the so called baroreflex. However, it is also known that as the body ages the feedback or control mechanism seems to fail and the BP rises.
"By use of empirically well-constrained computer models describing the coupled function of the baroreceptor reflex and mechanics of the circulatory system, we demonstrate quantitatively that arterial stiffening seems sufficient to explain age-related emergence of hypertension."
The evidence that the model accurately captures the behavior of the complete system is that it reproduces the results of major surveys of BP with age and it models the sensitivity of the system to the Valsalva maneuver in subjects of varying ages. The Valsalva maneuver increases the BP when the subject breaths out hard against a closed airway.
This could provide new routes to creating medication to lower BP in an aging population.

Submission + - A New Dawn - Google's Android IDE (

mikejuk writes: Yawn, not much happening at Google I/O this year. Well you can't expect it to be exciting every year. What! What's this — an official Android IDE! It can't be! Why isn't this headline news? OK, I admit I should probably get out more, but while Android Studio hasn't got the wow value of Glass for the general geek it should have a big wow value for any programmer thinking of working with Android.
It is a one package download that gets the beginner started with creating Android apps and has lots of editing and refactoring help. It also has a UI preview option that lets you see what your app looks like on a range of devices and lots more.
The main thing is that it promises to bring Android development into the same class as WP8 with Visual Studio and iOS with XCode.
This really is the way forward not only for Android and Java but all programming environments — More Tools!

Submission + - Homeland Security seizes account of largest Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox (

An anonymous reader writes: For the past few years, Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has billed itself as the largest, safest repository for Bitcoin buying and selling. The site has weathered a number of DDoS attacks and survived the launch (and failure) of multiple rival exchanges. Last night, for the first time, it ran afoul of the United States government.

Submission + - Canada courts, patent office warns against trying to patent mathematics (

davecb writes: The Canadian Intellectial Property Office (CIPO) warns patent examiners that ..."for example, what appears on its face to be a claim for an “art” or a “process” may, on a proper construction, be a claim for a mathematical formula and therefore not patentable subject matter.” (Courtesy of Paula Bremner at Slaw)

Submission + - Google demands Microsoft pull YouTube app for WP8 (

exomondo writes: Google has given Microsoft until May 22nd to pull their Windows Phone 8 YouTube app from the marketplace and disable it on customer devices. It not only includes a built-in ad blocker but also allows users to download videos and doesn't impose device-specific streaming restrictions outlined in the YouTube Terms Of Service.

Submission + - Interactive Raycaster for the Commodore 64 under 256 bytes (

Wisdom writes: 1bir (1 Block Interactive Raycaster) is a simple ray casting engine implemented only in 254 bytes to run on a stock, unexpanded Commodore 64. The name comes from the fact that on a C64 floppy disk, 1 block is equivalent to 254 bytes stored on a disk sector. In 254 bytes, 1bir sets up the screen for drawing, creates sine and cosine tables for 256 brads based on a simple approximation, casts rays into a 2D map that lives inside the C64 KERNAL ROM, renders the screen in coordination with KERNAL, evaluates 8-way joystick input and detects collision against walls. The ray casting core employs a brute force algorithm to determine visible walls, while the mapping portion supports both open-ended (infinitely looped) and traditional, closed maps. The source code in 6502 assembly is available, with extensive comments. A YouTube video showcases 1bir in a detailed manner with both kind of maps and more information, while a Vimeo video presents a shorter demonstration.

Submission + - Cannabis cures Crohn's Disease, finds study (

terrancem writes: The marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa) induced remissions in patients with Crohn's disease, according to a new study of 21 patients who hadn't previously responded to other forms of treatment. The study is published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Submission + - Happy Birthday Frank Hornby!

ErkDemon writes: Today is the 150th anniversary of the birth of inventor and toymaker Frank Hornby.
Hornby invented the Meccano metal construction toy (currently sold as Erector in the US) that inspired generations of children to become engineers, patenting the basis of his system in 1901. Originally sold as an educational system for teaching mechanics, “Mechanics Made Easy” became “Meccano” in 1907, and Hornby’s company, Meccano Ltd. went on to become one of Britain’s biggest toymakers, with Hornby creating a further string of product lines including Hornby Trains and Dinky Toys.
Hornby’s is a rare “British inventor” success story — his creation turned him from being a clerk in a meat importing company with no real qualifications or schooling into a millionaire industrialist and Member of Parliament.

Submission + - Minoan civilization was made in Europe (

ananyo writes: The Minoans flourished on Crete for as many as 12 centuries. They are widely recognized as one of Europe's first 'high cultures', renowned for their pottery, metal-work and colourful frescoes. Their civilization fuelled Greek myths such as the story of the Minotaur. But their origins have been contentious, with many arguing that Minoans settled on Crete after arriving from North Africa or the Middle East. Now, a genetic analysis suggests that the Minoans were the descendents of European farmers who settled the island thousands of years earlier.

Slashdot Top Deals

You do not have mail.