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Comment I'd rather capacity (Score 1) 197

I'd like an iPod Touch, I really would. However, but 80GB iPod 5.5G can hold a metric fuckload more data than any of the iTouches available, so I'm sticking with it.
Why bother with a 9" screen when you can only have a handful of movies & TV shows that can take full advantage of it?

Wake me up when they put hard drives in iTouches.
Earth

Is the Yellowstone Supervolcano About To Blow? 877

An anonymous reader writes "Apparently, Yellowstone National Park has been having a very unusual number of earthquakes. Many of the most recent tremors have been deeper underground, an ominous sign. Combine that with a rapid rise in elevation over the past three years, and the possibility that earthquake activity from surrounding areas could trigger such an eruption on its own, and you've got the possible warning signs of a supervolcano eruption that would wipe out half to 2/3 of the continental US, plunge global temperatures, and wipe out a very significant chunk of world food sources. Here's a little more info to make your New Year brighter!"
Music

Will People Really Boycott Apple Over DRM? 664

Ian Lamont writes "DefectiveByDesign.org is waging a battle against DRM with a 35-day campaign targeting various hardware and software products from Microsoft, Nintendo, and others. On day 11 it blasted iTunes for continuing to use DRM-encumbered music, games, TV shows, movies, audiobooks, and apps with DRM, while competitors are selling music without restrictions. DefectiveByDesign calls on readers to include 'iTunes gift cards and purchases in your boycott of all Apple products' to 'help drive change.' However, there's a big problem with this call to arms: most people simply don't care about iTunes DRM. Quoting: 'The average user is more than willing to pay more money for hobbled music because of user interface, ease of use, and marketing. ... Apple regularly features exclusive live sets from popular artists, while Amazon treats its digital media sales as one more commodity being sold.' What's your take on the DRM schemes used by Apple and other companies? Is a boycott called for, and can it be effective?"
Biotech

The Unforgettable Amnesiac 120

jamie found an account in the NYTimes of the life and death of one of the most important figures in modern neuroscience, Henry Gustav Molaison — a man who could not form memories. Molaison became an amnesiac after a brain operation in 1953. Known worldwide as H.M., Molaison was studied intensively for 55 years. Dr. Brenda Milner, a psychologist from Montreal, was the first researcher to visit Molaison. In 1962 she authored a landmark study demonstrating that a part of Molaison's memory was fully intact. "The implications were enormous. Scientists saw that there were at least two systems in the brain for creating new memories. One, known as declarative memory, records names, faces and new experiences and stores them until they are consciously retrieved. ... Another system, commonly known as motor learning, is subconscious and depends on other brain systems. This explains why people can jump on a bike after years away from one and take the thing for a ride, or why they can pick up a guitar that they have not played in years and still remember how to strum it. Soon 'everyone wanted an amnesic to study,' Dr. Milner said..."

Comment Re:Vista reserves 1 GB (Score 1) 983

I think he might actually be referring to Vista's... interesting tendency to allocate ~33-50% of your physical memory upon boot.
I have 6GB installed in my machine, and it's currently using 2.25GB to run Firefox with a handful of tabs, VLC, Windows Explorer, Winamp, and the Sidebar. God only knows how it uses that much to do so little, but I'm not fussed - it's not as if RAM is expensive these days.

An interesting note though - I worked out a while ago that these days, you pay more per chip in a packet of potato chips than you do per megabyte of RAM. Go figure.
Hardware Hacking

MSI Wind U100, Overclocked With Liquid Nitrogen 95

james writes "What do you get when you combine a MSI Wind U100 notebook with liquid nitrogen? The new Intel Atom frequency World Record ... and some damn cool pictures! A large copper pot is used, sitting on top of the GPU and chipset, and cold transfer through the original heatsink plate to the CPU. This was cooled down to about -20 C to achieve the new world mark. (Intel Atom N270 @ 2315mhz) For more information you can check out the original forum thread.
The Internet

Towards a World Wide Grid? 105

Roland Piquepaille writes "In recent months, the concept of 'cloud computing' was all the buzz. European researchers think about another name, the World Wide Grid, which could run on top of the Internet. In an article to appear soon, ICT Results will report about the g-Eclipse project. As the scientists said, 'the g-Eclipse project aims to build an integrated workbench framework to access the power of existing Grid infrastructures. The framework will be built on top of the reliable eco-system of the Eclipse community to enable a sustainable development.' The project started in July 2006 and was successfully completed in June 2008 for a total cost of €2.5 million, including a EU contribution of €1.96 million."
Education

Duke Demands Proof of Infringement From RIAA 159

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to a report at p2pnet, Duke University has told the RIAA that it will no longer forward the RIAA's 'early settlement' letters to its students unless the RIAA submits 'evidence that someone actually downloaded from that student,' and said that 'if the RIAA can't prove that actual illegal behavior occurred, then we're not going to comply.' While it is good news that a university is requiring the RIAA to put up or shut up, the forwarding — or not forwarding — of letters is pretty insignificant. What I want to know is this: 'When the RIAA comes knocking with its Star Chamber, ex parte, 'John Doe' litigation to get the students' identities, is the University going to go to bat for the students and fight the litigation on the ground that it's based on zero evidence, and on the ground that the students weren't given prior notice and an opportunity to be heard?' Over 1,000 infringement notices were sent to Duke students in the last year."
Math

Major Advances In Knot Theory 230

An anonymous reader sends us to Science News, which is running a survey of recent strides in finding an answer to the age-old question: How many ways are there to tie your shoelaces? "Mathematicians have been puzzling over that question for a century or two, and the main thing they've discovered is that the question is really, really hard. In the last decade, though, they've developed some powerful new tools inspired by physics that have pried a few answers from the universe's clutches. Even more exciting is that the new tools seem to be the tip of a much larger theory that mathematicians are just beginning to uncover. That larger mathematical theory, if it exists, may help crack some of the hardest mathematical questions there are, questions about the mathematical structure of the three- and four-dimensional space where we live. ... Revealing the full ... superstructure may be the work of a generation."
Portables (Apple)

Hands-On With the New MacBooks 128

Paige Philuer writes "Macworld has a hands-on article examining the new MacBook and MacBook Pro — not a quickie look from Tuesday's event, but a lengthy, in-depth look with laptops they actually have in their offices. Some interesting observations: No FireWire on the MacBook; the TrackPad doesn't feel like you're running your finger across a pane of glass, though that's what it is; and switching between graphics cards in the MacBook Pro requires you to log out." Reader Bourbon contributes three links at CNET related to the new models, too: a positive written review (giving a score of 8/10 to the new MacBook), a video review, and a behind-the-scenes look at how the new models are machined.
Portables (Apple)

Apple Announces New MacBook, Pro, Air 774

Steve Jobs just got through announcing new MacBook lines in Cupertino. The MacBook, the Pro, and the Air all got revved. The old line of plastic-body MacBooks drops in price by $100, to $999. The new MacBooks have a metal body and multi-touch trackpad, just like the new Pros. The Pro features two NVidia graphics chips. Quoting Jobs: "With the 9400M, you get 5 hours of battery life, with the 9600M GT you get four hours of battery life. You choose." In summary: "We're building both [MacBook and Pro] in a whole new way. From a slab of aluminum to a notebook. New graphics. New trackpad, the best we've ever built. And LED-backlit displays that are far brighter, instant on, far more environmentally responsible." They are shipping today and should be in stores tomorrow. Oh, and one more thing: Steve's blood pressure is 110/70.
Government

Commerce Department Pushing For New "Copyright Czar" 294

TechDirt is reporting that those all-too-familiar "stats" surrounding the cost of piracy are being trotted out in an attempt to push through a new "Copyright Czar" position. "In urging President Bush to sign into law the ProIP bill, which would give him a copyright czar (something the Justice Department had said it doesn't want), the US Chamber of Commerce is claiming that 750,000 American jobs have been lost to piracy. Yet, it doesn't cite where that number comes from."

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