Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Scientists Make Artificial Protein Mimic Blood 94

Al writes "Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have created a protein that can carry and deliver oxygen — a useful step towards developing artificial blood. This would avoid the problems involved with donor blood — contamination, limited storage, and short supply — and lead to easier and faster blood transfusions on the battlefield and in trauma cases. The Penn researchers used three amino acids to make a four-helix columned protein structure put a smaller structure, called a heme, inside it. The heme is a large flat molecule that has an iron atom at its center, which oxygen binds to. The researchers also made the protein structure flexible, so that it can open to receive the oxygen and close again without letting any water in. They did this by linking together the helical columns with loops to restrict their motions, giving the final structure a candelabra shape."

Cold War Standoff Over ISS Toilet 417

Hugh Pickens writes "The International Space Station, once a place where astronauts would share food and facilities, is said to be embroiled in a Cold War-like stand-off after a Russian cosmonaut complained he is no longer allowed to use a US toilet or the US gym machine. Gennady Padalka, a veteran Russian cosmonaut, says that space officials from Russia, the United States and other countries now require cosmonauts and astronauts to eat their own food and follow stringent rules on access to other facilities, including lavatories. Padalka, who will be the station's next commander, says the arguments date back to 2003, when Russia started charging other space agencies for the resources used by their astronauts and other partners in space station responded in kind. 'Cosmonauts are above the ongoing squabble, no matter what officials decide,' says Padalka. 'We are grown-up, well-educated and good-mannered people and can use our own brains to create normal relationship. It's politicians and bureaucrats who can't reach agreement, not us, cosmonauts and astronauts.' While sharing food in the past helped the crew feel like a team, the new rules oblige Russian cosmonauts and US astronauts to eat their own food. 'They also recommend us to only use national toilets,' says Padalka. 'What is going on has an adverse effect on our work.'"

Feed Schneier: DHS Reality Show (

On ABC: Every day the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security patrol more than 100,000 miles of America's borders. This territory includes airports, seaports, land borders, international mail centers, the open seas, mountains, deserts and even cyberspace. Now viewers will get an unprecedented look at the work of these men and women while they use the newest...

Submission + - The Death of the Spreadsheet? (

CtrlAltDebt writes: "A recent NY Times article points out how, unsurprisingly, people are losing trust in their banks, and many are opting to use relatively new third-party websites to manage their money (or lack thereof) and get personalized financial advice. The services and tools offered by these sites, which are generally free-as-in-bailout, employ advanced proprietary algorithms that pull data from your bank accounts and a variety of other sources to translate your financial situation into insights such as "you can survive without a job for X days" and advice that goes well beyond "don't spend so much, dummy." That said, these sites generally require your bank login credentials in order to be useful, and the article asks: "After all, if people no longer trusted their banks, why would they trust some start-up with their most private financial information?" As a recent addition to one such personal finance tech start-up, I'm curious as to what others think about this. For those who use traditional desktop financial software and prefer to do their budgeting offline, is it because of trust concerns with these third-party websites, or simply out of habit, or something else? For those who have tried the online money management route, do these services replace, complement, or fall short of a simple spreadsheet?"

Submission + - Money Management Software: Online or Offline? (

CtrlAltDebt writes: "As economies decline and wallets thin, it seems that more people are getting serious about better managing their own personal finances. A recent Wall Street Journal article points out that there is a rising trend, especially among younger people, in the use of online services to track their money (or lack thereof). As a recent university graduate who is now a software engineer at a personal finance startup, I'm curious as to what others think about this trend. Even if personal money management websites can offer tools and advice that traditional desktop financial software doesn't, do these online services replace, complement, or fall short of a simple spreadsheet? To those who prefer to manage their money offline, is it out of habit or because of privacy, security, or other concerns? When does utility outweigh these concerns?"

Submission + - New Contest Looks for Best "I'm Linux" Vid (

LinuxScribe writes: From Apple's ubiquitous "I'm a Mac" to Jerry Seinfeld to Microsoft's "I'm a PC" retort, operating system commercials have been flooding the airways. Except one OS has been notably absent--Linux. Now the Linux Foundation is holding a video contest to rectify this absence on their new video site. The winner gets a trip to Tokyo and some serious geek cred.

Submission + - Hardware is Cheap, Programmers are Expensive (

Sportsqs writes: Given the rapid advance of Moore's Law, when does it make sense to throw hardware at a programming problem? As a general rule, I'd say almost always.
Consider the average programmer salary here in the US:
You probably have several of these programmer guys or gals on staff. I can't speak to how much your servers may cost, or how many of them you may need. Or, maybe you don't need any — perhaps all your code executes on your users' hardware, which is an entirely different scenario. Obviously, situations vary. But even the most rudimentary math will tell you that it'd take a massive hardware outlay to equal the yearly costs of even a modest five person programming team.


Submission + - Abit to Close Its Doors Forever on Dec 31, 2008 ( 1

ki1obyte writes: Earlier this year, Abit, once leading-edge maker of computer mainboards and other components, was slated to shut down motherboard production by the end of 2008 and focus on consumer electronics devices. X-bit labs reports that Abit will cease to exist entirely starting the first of January, 2009, as the owner of the brand — Universal Scientific Industrial — is in the process of restructuring and cutting down the costs.

Slashdot Top Deals

Like punning, programming is a play on words.