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! ×

Submission + - Supreme Court Hears Texting Privacy Case (

Bryan Gividen writes: The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in City of Chino v. Quon today. As Slashdot reported, the case is about a policy officer from Ontario, California who used his government issued pager to receive sexually explicit messages. The department pulled the records of his messages and the employee sued for a violation of his civil rights. A copy of the transcript is available from the Supreme Court's website.

Comment Re:Good Idea (Score 1) 544

who the frack cares what a college student has to say?

I do when that college student has a PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Chemistry, was lead bioinformatics scientist at a pharmaceutical company, and goes to the most prestigious law school in the United States (possibly world). (Source:

Comment Doesn't Create a Need (Score 4, Insightful) 1713

This entire presentation seems a little disappointing. Really, it looks, acts, and feels like a giant iPod Touch. Whereas the iPhone and iPod really created a need , I don't see that this substantially innovate to make it a must-have. It doesn't seem to improve on anything so substantially that it is an obvious choice. Maybe I need to see a few more videos, but I don't see this pulling serious market share away from Kindle's targeted market segment.

Submission + - Linux Media Center Apps?

Bryan Gividen writes: I am looking to turn my quickly-aging Dell Laptop into a Linux Media Center that I will hook up to a flatscreen TV. As a Linux novice, I use Ubuntu and am looking for good applications to make it a complete Media Center. Thing is, I don't know how complete, complete can be. I turn to Slashdot to guide me on everything I should install and any additional hardware I ought to look into.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Alaskan Blob is an Algae Bloom (

Bryan Gividen writes: is running a story on the previously unidentified blob floating off of the coast of Alaska. The article states that the blob is an algae bloom — far less sinister (or exciting) than any The Thing or The Blob comparison that was jokingly made. From the article: "'It's sort of like a swimming pool that hasn't been cleaned in a while.' The blob, Konar said, is a microalgae made up of 'billions and billions of individuals.'"
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA Loses Bid To Keep Revenues Secret ( 1

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA's motion to keep secret the record companies' 1999-to-date revenues for the copyrighted song files at the heart of the case has been denied, in the Boston case scheduled for trial July 27th, SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum. The Judge had previously ordered the plaintiff record companies to produce a summary of the 1999-to-date revenues for the recordings, broken down into physical and digital sales. On the day the summary was due to be produced, instead of producing it, they produced a 'protective order motion' asking the Judge to rule that the information would have to be kept secret. The Judge rejected that motion : 'the Court does not comprehend how disclosure would impair the Plaintiffs' competitive business prospects when three of the four biggest record labels in the world — Warner Bros. Records, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and UMG Recording, Inc. — are participating jointly in this lawsuit and, presumably, would have joint access to this information.'"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Apple Asks Microsoft to Stop New Ad Campaign (

Hyppy writes: Microsoft COO Kevin Turner has received multiple correspondences from Apple requesting that Microsoft cease their new ad campaign. From the article: "Turner said Apple's legal eagles tried to depict the ads as inaccurate. 'Hey, you need to stop running those ads, we lowered our prices,' Turner quoted Apple's attorneys as saying. 'They took like $100 off or something,' said Turner. 'It was the single greatest phone call in history that I've ever taken in business.'"
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Three Arrested For Conspiring to Violate the DMCA

jtcm writes: Three men have been charged with conspiring to violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act after federal investigators found that they allegedly offered a cracker more than $250,000 to assist with breaking Dish Network's satellite TV encryption scheme.

Kwak had two co-conspirators secure the services of a cracker and allegedly reimbursed the unidentified person about $8,500 to buy a specialized and expensive microscope used for reverse engineering smart cards. He also allegedly offered the cracker more than $250,000 if he successfully secured a Nagra card's EPROM (eraseable programmable read-only memory), the guts of the chip that is needed to reverse-engineer Dish Network's encryption.

Jung Kwak owns a company known as Viewtech, which imports and sells Viewsat satellite receiver boxes. Dish Network's latest encryption scheme, dubbed Nagra 3, has not yet been cracked by satellite TV pirates.

The Internet

Submission + - Al Franken Questions Sotomayor on Net Neutrality (

Bryan Gividen writes: As was reported this morning by Minnesota Public Radio, Senator Al Franken intended to question Supreme Sonya Sotomayor on the subject of net neutrality. Franken said, "I just want to make sure the Internet remains the Internet and that Internet service providers aren't being, in a sense, a gateway to the Internet and slowing down certain content and speeding up certain content." During the hearings, Franken specifically questioned Sotomayor about the Brand X decision and whether or not internet access was "compelling, over-riding 1st Amendment right." The LA Times has a brief blog post with the essence of Sotomayor's response: "Rights are not looked at by the courts as 'overriding.' Rights are rights and what the court looks at is how Congress balances those rights in a particular situation and then judges whether that balance is within constitutional boundaries."

Submission + - Confidential Twitter Files Distributed By Hacker ( 1

Oracle Goddess writes: "The hacker who broke into Twitter in May has been distributing the company's confidential documents to various Web sites. On Tuesday TechCrunch said it had received a compressed file containing 310 documents. Most, said editor Michael Arrington, are mildly embarrassing but are not otherwise noteworthy. A few, however, contain sensitive information such as security passcodes. Twitter founder Evan Williams reportedly has confirmed the authenticity of the documents. Neither Williams nor Twitter responded to requests for comment."

Comment What other papers? (Score 2, Interesting) 339

The Wikipedia page for Coalinga, California (where I assume this is taking place) estimates the 2007 population at just over 18,000 people. (,_California). It seems that the paper involved, the Hanford Sentinel, services all of King County (,_California) which has a little over 150,000 people total. Granted, I am sure the LA Times or some other large circulation paper could condemn them, I doubt they cater to the same audience as those subscribing to a small-town oriented paper like the Sentinel.

Still, I agree with your point - people need to shun this circulation for its lack of journalistic integrity. Sadly, there aren't a lot of competitors (to my knowledge - someone have better knowledge?) to wag their finger at them.

Comment Qualified Immunity (Score 4, Informative) 528

The reason the officials were not held responsible is because of an idea called qualified immunity ( which essentially states that public officials cannot be held personally responsible for actions they undertake as part of their public duty and which, if illegal or unconstitutional, must clearly be illegal or unconstitutional.

It is interesting to note that the two Justices that dissented regarding whether or not the school officials were covered by qualified immunity were Justice John Paul Stevens and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and that Justice Souter was a part of the majority. If Sotomayor is placed on the bench, it is feasible she would rule much closer to Justice Ginsburg and Stevens then to Souter on these types of matters.

Slashdot Top Deals

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.