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Triple-Shape Plastics for Surgery 27

Roland Piquepaille writes "In Plastics' Day in Surgery, Red Herring reports that an international team of U.S. and German researchers has developed a new kind of plastic that can shift between three different shapes when the temperature increases. Even if these polymeric triple-shape materials have not emerged from the lab, they could eventually be employed as removable 'stents' and self-closing fasteners used by surgeons and more generally by the healthcare industry. The Emerging Tech ZDNet blog has additional references and pictures of these morphing plastics."

Firefox 2.0 Password Manager Bug Exposes Passwords 315

zbuffered writes, "Today, Mozilla made public bug #360493, which exposes Firefox's Password Manager on many public sites. The flaw derives from Firefox's willingness to supply the username and password stored on one page on a domain to another page on a domain. For example, username/password input tags on a Myspace user's site will be unhelpfully propagated with the visitor's Myspace.com credentials. It was first discovered in the wild by Netcraft on Oct. 27. As this proof-of-concept illustrates, because the username/password fields need not be visible on the page, your password can be stolen in an almost completely transparent fashion. Stopgap solutions include avoiding using Password Manager and the Master Password Timeout Firefox extension, which will at least cause a prompt before the fields are filled. However, in the original case detailed in the bug report, the phish mimicked the login.myspace.com site almost perfectly, causing many users to believe they needed to log in. A description of this new type of attack, dubbed the Reverse Cross-Site Request (RCSR) vulnerability, is available from the bug's original author."

Scott Adams Suggests Bill Gates For President 1224

gerrysteele writes to point out a recent post to the Dilbert blog, in which Scott Adams discusses the atheist ascendancy in America and rationalizes the need for an atheist leader. From the article: "Ask a deeply religious Christian if he'd rather live next to a bearded Muslim that may or may not be plotting a terror attack, or an atheist that may or may not show him how to set up a wireless network in his house. On the scale of prejudice, atheists don't seem so bad lately. I think that in an election cycle or two you will see an atheist business leader emerge as a legitimate candidate for president. And his name will be Bill Gates."

Babylon 5 Direct-To-DVD Project In Production 194

ajs writes "As previously announced, 'Babylon 5: The Lost Tales' is a direct-to-DVD project based on the popular series from the mid-1990s. Lost Tales first DVD, titled 'Voices of the Dark' has now begun production. As usual, J. Michael Straczynski and Doug Netter will be running the show with Straczynski directing. The characters, President John Sheridan (Boxleitner), Captain Elizabeth Lochley (Scoggins) and the technomage Galen (Woodward) are returning. The Lost Tales is an anthology series of sorts with two movies (previously three) per DVD starting in 2007. Straczynski has commented on Usenet that a more CG-intensive installment is coming in the next batch, featuring the character of Michael Garibaldi (Doyle)."
Education

More A's, More Pay 366

theodp writes "Little slashdotters may find teacher a tad more upset when they screw up on a test. The Dept. of Education just launched the first federal program that uses bonuses to motivate teachers who raise test scores in at-risk communities, awarding $42M this month to 16 school systems. Any fears that teachers might cook the books to score a typical $5,000 payoff? Not to worry, says Chicago's school chief, there are statistical analyses in place that spot testing irregularities, presumably better at catching Cheaters than those used in the past."

Guitar Hero Is Big Hit With Bands 225

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "An unlikely but growing group of rock stars are also avid players of Guitar Hero, a PlayStation title that uses a miniature plastic guitar to let gamers pretend to be, well, rock stars, the Wall Street Journal reports. From the article: 'Michael Einziger, the 30-year-old guitarist for the hard-rock band Incubus, says he was "shocked at how hard it was" to play the videogame's version of his song "Stellar." He admits he was handily beaten by his then-14-year-old sister, Ruby Aldridge, when the two of them squared off earlier this year. "It doesn't have anything to do with playing guitar," Mr. Einziger says. "It's all rhythmic." When the four members of the punk-pop band the Donnas got together to play Guitar Hero last week, guitarist Allison Robertson took some good-natured ribbing from her bandmates, says drummer Torry Castellano. That's because Ms. Robertson had a hard time playing along with the band's own song "Take It Off." "Expectations for her are pretty high because she's the guitar player and because she's so good at videogames in general," says Ms. Castellano.'"

Nano-Optical Switches To Restore Sight? 51

Roland Piquepaille writes, "Researchers in California are now using light to control biological nanomolecules and proteins. They think it can help them to develop treatments for eye diseases, such as the loss of the light detectors in the retina that is a major cause of blindness. They envision putting some of their nano-photoswitches in the cells of the retina, restoring light sensitivity in people with degenerative blindness such as macular degeneration. It will be a while before this technique emerges from the laboratory. ZDNet has additional references and pictures of what you can do with these photoswitches."

Will Red Hat Survive? 158

An anonymous reader writes "Red Herring has an in-depth analysis interviewing industry experts on what the future of Linux distributor Red Hat will likely be now that Oracle is offering cheaper support and services essentially identical to Red Hat Linux. Will Oracle purchase Red Hat? Or is it not yet too late?" From the article: "Mr. Dargo countered that Oracle's move indicated a lack of understanding of the value that Red Hat's support and service provide. But he noted that Red Hat could be vulnerable if Oracle manages to provide better service. 'If the strategy at Oracle works out, Red Hat is going to face some serious issues, but I don't think it is going to work out,' he said. 'There are lots of opportunities for Red Hat to do some aggressive and creative things to turn around.'"

Mapping Interior Spaces With Robots And GIS 47

Roland Piquepaille writes "In an article about GIS and Robotics, Directions Magazine reports that architects and other professionals can now use spatially intelligent robots to collect interior space data. With such mapping robots, it's possible to capture accurate data for over 10,000 square meters per day and to easily integrate it with existing software. The article doesn't mention the sources for its illustrations about these robotic systems, so I thought I'd point them out: a company in Maine called Penobscot Bay Media. You'll find more details and pictures about these mapping robots at ZDNet."

A Buckyegg Breaks Pentagon Rules 137

Roland Piquepaille writes "Chemists from Virginia and California have cooked a soup of fullerenes which produced an improbable buckyegg. The egg-shaped structure of their 'buckyballs' was a complete surprise for the researchers. In fact, they wanted to trap some atoms of terbium in a buckyball "to make compounds that could be both medically useful and well-tolerated in the body." And they obtained a buckyegg which both violates some chemistry laws and the FIFA soccer laws which were used until the last World Cup. Read more for additional references and a picture of this buckyegg carrying metal molecules."

Sam And Max May Be Wiibound 66

1up reports that fan outcry to Nintendo may result in Sam and Max on the Wii. From the article: "Telltale contacted 1UP last Friday, letting us know gamers can stop pestering the company, as Telltale received a call from Nintendo earlier that afternoon. 'They took notice! We got a phone call from Nintendo this afternoon. We'll take it from here - please don't email them anymore!,' said Telltale's Web Coordinator Emily Morganti to 1UP, who also wrote the original blog asking gamers to begin virtually rioting."

"How to Talk Like a Pirate" Film 95

An arrr-nonymous reader writes, "With International Talk Like a Pirate Day mere days away, it's best to be prepared with this high-school film reel 'for the less nautically inclined among us.'" Dave Barry gave momentum to this international movement. You'll have to decide for yourself which of talklikeapirate.com or talklikeapirateday.com more accurately conveys the genuine holiday spirit.

Radio Shack E-Fires 400 Workers 512

KingSkippus writes "You've got mail! ...and no job! The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that RadioShack has notified 400 workers by e-mail that they are being laid off. The e-mails state, 'The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated.' Nothing says thank you for your years of service to our company quite like an e-boot out the door."

The NYT's OS-Restrictive Video Policies 223

ro1 writes to mention a story on Linux.com about the NYT's confusing video policies. Essentially, if you're running Linux you can only see videos running on the front page of the site; videos elsewhere on the site require Windows or OSX. Roblimo has a video tour of the NYT site to explain the issue in detail. (Linux.com and Slashdot are both owned by OSTG.)

Data Mining Used to Create New Materials 106

Roland Piquepaille writes "MIT researchers have successfully integrated data mining tools and modern methods of quantum mechanics. They've designed software which can help predict the crystal structures of materials. To simplify, they say they've used methods used by online sales sites to suggest books to customers. And it seems to work: they claim they can determine in days the properties of atomic structures that might have taken months before. Read more for additional references and pictures."

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