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


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Submission + - Avoiding genetic damage with anti-radiation underwear ( 1

Mark Gibbs writes: If you're unlucky enough to live somewhere near Fukushima and particularly if you're even more unlucky enough to be one of the workers cleaning up the mess then protecting your genes would seem to be a really good idea and Yamamoto Corporation of Osaka, Japan, has the answer: Radiation-proof underwear.

Submission + - Amazon Raises Free Shipping Threshold, Then Beats Revenue Expectations

14erCleaner writes: Three days ago, increased its threshold for free "Super Saver" shipping from $25 to $35. This led one short-seller to speculate that they would badly miss earning estimates. Yesterday evening, Amazon announced earnings of $17.1 billion for the third quarter of 2013, handily beating the average estimate of $16.8b. They still lost 9 cents per share, but they're making it up in volume.

Submission + - India to build neutrino observatory (

TeriMaKiChooth writes: Only the fifth in the world, this is being called one of the biggest and most ambitious scientific projects ever undertaken by India.
About 90 scientists from 26 organisations will be involved in the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO), organisers say.
Neutrinos are elusive, nearly mass-less elementary particles, sometimes called "ghost particles".


Submission + - Mozilla Updates Firefox for Gopher Flaw (

darthcamaro writes: Remember Gopher? Back in the pre-WWW day, Gopher was the text-only Internet. Apparently some people are still using it and it could potentially have been the route for an attack too.

"Firefox 3.6.11 also provides fixes for a number of interesting vulnerabilities, including one related to how Firefox handles the nearly extinct Gopher server system. The Gopher vulnerability could have led to a Cross Site Scripting (XSS) attack.


Mega Man Designer Explains Japan's Waning Video Game Influence 315

eldavojohn writes "As one of the creators of Mega Man, Keiji Inafune remembers the days when Japan redefined video games. He believes those days are long gone as he reveals much in his criticisms of Japan's ailing game economy. Inafune says Japan is five years behind — still making games for older consoles with 'no diversity, no originality.' When asked why, he responds, 'A lot of designers, if they find a genre that works for them, they stick with it. A lot of designers just stick to a set formula. That doesn't work any more. You can't just tweak the graphics, work just on image quality. You can't compete on that. The business side is not keeping up with investment. You need to be prepared to invest 4 billion yen or more on a game, and then spend 2 billion yen more to promote it. But Japanese companies can't do that. So we're losing out to the West in terms of investment in games. It's a vicious cycle, a deflationary spiral. Because you don't invest, you can't sell games, and because you don't sell games, you can't invest.' He compares making games for Japan and the US to Sushi and basketball — two popular things but each done in distinctly different ways by the two nations."

Fine-Structure Constant Maybe Not So Constant 105

Kilrah_il writes "The fine-structure constant, a coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction, has been measured lately by scientists from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and has been found to change slightly in light sent from quasars in galaxies as far back as 12 billion years ago. Although the results look promising, caution is advised: 'This would be sensational if it were real, but I'm still not completely convinced that it's not simply systematic errors' in the data, comments cosmologist Max Tegmark of MIT. Craig Hogan of the University of Chicago and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., acknowledges that 'it's a competent team and a thorough analysis.' But because the work has such profound implications for physics and requires such a high level of precision measurements, 'it needs more proof before we'll believe it.'"

Ideas For a Great Control Room? 421

lewko writes "Our company is about to build a central monitoring facility and I'm looking for ideas/suggestions about the best hardware and the best way to make it comfortable for those manning a screen. It will be manned 24x7 and operators will be monitoring a variety of systems including security, network, fire, video and more. These will be observed via local multi-monitor workstations and a common videowall. This is going to be a massively expensive exercise and we only get one chance to get it right. The facility is in a secure windowless bunker and staff will generally be in there for many hours at a time. So we have to implement design elements which make it a 'happy' place. At the same time, it has to be ergonomically sound. Lastly, we will be showing it to our clients, so without undoing the above objectives, it would be nice if it was 'cool' (yet functional). Whilst Television doesn't transfer to real life always, think 'CTU' from 24."

Yellowstone Hot Spot Shreds Ancient Pacific Ocean 69

jamie passes along this excerpt from DiscoveryNews: "If you thought the geysers and overblown threat of a supervolcanic eruption in Yellowstone National Park were dramatic, you ain't seen nothing: deep beneath Earth's surface, the hot spot that feeds the park has torn an entire tectonic plate in half. The revelation comes from a new study (abstract) in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that peered into the mantle beneath the Pacific Northwest to see what happens when ancient ocean crust from the Pacific Ocean runs headlong into a churning plume of ultra-hot mantle material."

Submission + - Photographing Buildings Excluded From Street View (

crf00 writes: Spiegel reports that German photographer and IT consultant Jens Best wants to personally take snapshots of all those (German) buildings which people asked Google Street View to remove. He then wants to add those photos to Picasa, including GPS coordinates, and in turn re-connect them with Google Maps. Jens believes that for the internet “we must apply the same rules as we do in the real world. Our right to take panoramic snapshots, for instance, or to take photographs in public spaces, both base laws which determine that one may photograph those things that are visible from public streets and places.”

Jens says that for his believe in the right of photographing in public places, as last resort he’s even willing to go to jail. Spiegel says Jens already found over 200 people who want to help out in this project and look for removed locations in Google Street View, as there’s no official list of such places published by Google.

Submission + - Sharpie creates Liquid Pencil -permanent in 3 days (

An anonymous reader writes: Sharpie has managed to flip what we all know about a pencil on its head. Your typical pencil is made of hard graphite and can easily be erased. Not so with the new Sharpie pencil, it is liquid and becomes permanent.

Something that writes like a pencil but can’t be erased isn’t that useful as you could just use a pen. But there’s a clever twist to Sharpie’s invention. The liquid pencil can be erased just like a normal pencil for up to three days. After that it is permanent.

Submission + - Spinal-Fluid Test Is Found to Predict Alzheimer&rs (

omnibit writes: The New York Times reports that researchers have found a spinal-fluid test can be 100 percent accurate in identifying patients with significant memory loss who are on their way to developing Alzheimer’s disease. The new study included more than 300 patients in their seventies, 114 with normal memories, 200 with memory problems, and 102 with Alzheimer’s disease. Their spinal fluid was analyzed for amyloid beta, which forms plaques in the brain, and for tau, another protein that accumulates in dead and dying nerve cells in the brain. Nearly every person with Alzheimer’s had the characteristic spinal fluid protein levels. However, should doctors offer, or patients accept, commercially available spinal tap tests to find a disease that is, as yet, untreatable?

AT&T Won't Block Black Hat Eavesdropping Demo 126

snydeq writes "AT&T says it won't interfere with a highly anticipated talk on intercepting cell phone calls at the Black Hat conference this week. Hacker Chris Paget last week said that he plans to demonstrate on Saturday how to set up what's essentially a fake cell tower that allows him listen in on nearby mobile calls. But Tuesday, he wrote on his blog that he had 'heard that AT&T may be considering suing me to stop my talk.' AT&T, however, has insisted it has no plans to interfere with the talk."

Black Hole Emits a 1,000-Light-Year-Wide Gas Bubble 145

PhrostyMcByte writes "12 million light-years away, in the outer spiral of galaxy NGC 7793, a bubble of hot gas approximately 1,000 light-years in diameter can be found shooting out of a black hole — one of the most powerful jets of energy ever seen. (Abstract available at Nature.) The bubble has been growing for approximately 200,000 years, and is expanding at around 1,000,000 kilometers per hour."

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