Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Submission + - Google Ingress; Google Maps/StreetView turned up to 11. (

BiophysicalLOVE writes: Meet Google Ingress, a computer game with a difference; large scale data acquisition of your life and times all to allow for a more "embedded" experience. With Ingressyou’re letting them know not only where people can walk, but also which routes are most frequently used and how long it takes to walk along them. All in the guise of what is actually an ingenious piece of gaming.

But they don’t stop there. Does your local library/town hall/greasy spoon not have a portal? They’ve given you the facility to make it one! Just take a picture of it, give it a name and they’ll review it to see whether it fits the criteria. A couple of weeks later and your chosen spot could have its very own hackable, defendable portal.


Submission + - New Self-Assembling Particles Open Doors to Atomic Tech (

BiophysicalLOVE writes: "Scientists working with colloids — micro- and nanoscale particles suspended in a liquid — as components of self-assembling systems have found that imparting directions and specificity to the bonds they are aiming to create has been particularly tricky. To overcome this they originally attached single-stranded DNA molecules to particles, so that they interact only with other particles bearing complementary DNA. But imparting directional bonding interactions to colloidal particles has remained more of a challenge. Here scientists take the concept of DNA-mediated interactions a step further with their report of micrometre-sized particles that have symmetrically arranged, 'sticky' patches of DNA on their surfaces. The patches force the particles to interact only along certain vectors, mimicking the connectivity of atoms in molecules. Here is a major advance on earlier attempts to generate directional interactions between particles, allowing a great increase in the sophistication of structures that can be built 'bottom up' from smaller components."
The Military

Submission + - Targeting the President's DNA 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Atlantic reports that experts in genetics and microbiology are convinced we may be only a few years away from the development of advanced, genetic bio-weapons able to target a single human being based on their DNA. The authors paint a scenario of the development of a virus that causes only mild flu in the general population but when the virus crosses paths with cells containing a very specific DNA sequence, the sequence would act as a molecular key to unlock secondary functions that would trigger a fast-acting neuro-destructive disease that produces memory loss and, eventually, death. The requisite equipment including gene sequencers, micro-array scanners, and mass spectrometers now cost over $1 million but on eBay, it can be had for as little as $10,000. According to Ronald Kessler, the author of the 2009 book In the President’s Secret Service, Navy stewards gather bedsheets, drinking glasses, and other objects the president has touched—they are later sanitized or destroyed—in an effort to keep would-be malefactors from obtaining his genetic material. However no amount of Secret Service vigilance can ever fully secure the president’s DNA, because an entire genetic blueprint can now be produced from the information within just a single cell. How to protect the President? The authors propose open-sourcing the president’s genetic information to a select group of security-cleared researchers who could follow in the footsteps of the computer sciences, where “red-team exercises,” are extremely common practices so a similar testing environment could be developed for biological war games. "Advances in biotechnology are radically changing the scientific landscape. We are entering a world where imagination is the only brake on biology," write the authors. "In light of this coming synbio revolution, a wider-ranging relationship between scientists and security organizations—one defined by open exchange, continual collaboration, and crowd-sourced defenses—may prove the only way to protect the president.""

Comment Cognitive Dissonance (Score 4, Interesting) 1142

Is it possible to fully comprehend the world scientifically, and foster a mechanistic perception of the universe, and still foster a faith at the same time? If this it isn't possible, and it is argued that faith will cloud our otherwise pristine judgement, how can we trust the observations or arguments produced by scientists of faith?

Submission + - Complex Logic Circuit Made from Bacterial Genes (

another random user writes: Just as electronic circuits are made from resistors, capacitors and transistors, biological circuits can be made from genes and regulatory proteins. Engineer Tae Seok Moon’s dream is to design modular “genetic parts” that can be used to build logic controllers inside microbes that will program them to make fuel, clean up pollutants, or kill infectious bacteria or cancerous cells.

The circuit Moon eventually built consisted of four sensors for four different molecules that fed into three two-input AND gates. If all four molecules were present, all three AND gates turned on and the last one produced a reporter protein that fluoresced red, so that the operation of the circuit could be easily monitored.


Submission + - BBC Interviews Apple vs Samsung Jury Foreman ( 1

MrSteveSD writes: The BBC has published a long interview with Velvin Hogan, the jury foreman in the Apple vs Samsung case. He still seems to be sticking to a rather confused definition of what constitutes prior art.

I showed the jurors that the two methods in software were not the same, nor could they be interchangeable because the hardware that was involved between the old processor and the new processor — you couldn't load the new software methodology in the old system and expect that it was going to work.

Submission + - Bigger Brain = More Mates? (

BiophysicalLOVE writes: Both the "theory of the mind" (the process of intentionality, or in some degree consciousness) and social group size (the number of social contacts we maintain) are thought to be the result of the workings of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), one of the most evolutionarily recent additions to the brain. Evidence of this was most apparent from the correlation between brain-to-body mass ratio and social group size seen in primates — with higher brain-to-body mass ratios maintaining larger social networks-. Now neurobiologists in the UK have shown that in a sample of 40 humans, measurements of the PFC indeed correlate with intentionally scores, which in turn are a measure for your maximum manageable social group size. So brains = buddies?
Data Storage

Submission + - Sapphire disk to last tens of thousands of years (

Frosty Piss writes: No data storage medium seems to last long before becoming obsolete. This has become an issue for the builders of nuclear waste repositories, who are trying to preserve records of what they've buried and where, not for a few years but for tens of thousands of years. The solution may be a sapphire disk inside which information is engraved using platinum. The prototype costs around $30,493 to make, but Patrick Charton of the French nuclear waste management agency ANDRA says it will survive for a million years. The aim, Charton says, is to provide 'information for future archaeologists.' But, he concedes: 'We have no idea what language to write it in.'

Submission + - Microsoft Nukes Sidebar From Orbit - It's the Only Way to be Sure (

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft quietly shut down the Windows Gadget Gallery this week, shuttering the official directory of useful addons for your desktop. "Because we want to focus on the exciting possibilities of the newest version of Windows, the Windows website no longer hosts the gadget gallery." Windows Gadgets were recently found to have a security vulnerability but rather than fix the issue, Microsoft has put out a patch which removes the Sidebar completely and recommended developers move on to developing live tiles for Windows 8.

Slashdot Top Deals

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.