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 + - University of Saskatchewan biochemistry professor ready to start a study (

Droog57 writes: The first time I read this I was sure that it was a joke, but no. Federal Funds will be granted for the study. Ahh, the wonderful world of higher education.
"Despite everything you may have heard from your mom, picking your nose and eating what you find may have some health benefits, according to a biochemistry professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon."
Read on for more, and prepare to laugh out loud.
Happy Friday.

Comment Where to start?? (Score 1) 215

Hi Michael, Thanks for listening. For some time now, I have had an idea floating around in my head for the proverbial "Great Sci-fi Story" and while I'd be the first to say that I don't have a snowball's chance on Mercury to ever have it published, it has occurred to me that it MAY make a reasonably decent treatment for either a comic or a TV series. MAY is the operative word here.. Now, assuming that I actually have something to offer the hard bleak world that is waiting for me, where do I start?? There are horror stories about folks submitting concepts that get stolen etc, but I'm sure that there are some valid and honorable ways to have your ideas at least glanced at by someone that knows what they are doing. I'm quite willing to sink or swim and have no delusions of grandeur, so rejection would not bother me, it would motivate me to improve my craft. But with no idea who to approach or how, it is inevitable that I will always remain a frustrated wordsmith. To be clear, I'm not looking for you to help me directly, just asking if you can cover the basics of getting started. You obviously started somewhere, can you tell us how it works? Cheers.

Submission + - Enormous Amorous Elk banished from Canadian Ranch (

Droog57 writes: Seriously, this is not a joke article.

100 MILE HOUSE, B.C. — Somewhere east of this Cariboo community wanders an enormous bull elk, stripped of its crown of six-point antlers and a misplaced attraction for one of Greg Messner’s cows.

The elk, a loner that had been turning up at the century-old 100 Mile Ranch to check out Messner’s herd for three years, was relocated earlier this month for its own safety and for the probity of the cow.

“He stuck around for a couple of days the first year,” said Messner, whose wife has had the ranch in her family for its entire history.

“Then last year, he was just hanging around again for a couple of weeks and not really doing anything, just hanging around and looking at the cows. This year, he decided to go for it.”


Submission + - Google threatens French media ban (

another random user writes: Google has threatened to exclude French media sites from search results if France goes ahead with plans to make search engines to pay for content.

In a letter sent to several ministerial offices, Google said such a law "would threaten its very existence".

French newspaper publishers have been pushing for the law, saying it is unfair that Google receives advertising revenue from searches for news. French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti also favours the idea. She told a parliamentary commission it was "a tool that it seems important to me to develop".

Submission + - Pause in global warming has now lasted 16 years 1

phlinn writes: Despite some localized excessively hot summer days this year, global average temperatures appear to still be stalled since 1997 according to data recently released by the UK met office. Phil Jones, who previously said 15 years would worry him, continues to predict significant warming by the end of the decade, and now won't worry until 20 years have passed.

Submission + - Deanonymizing You: I know who you are after 1 click online or a mobile call (

concealment writes: "Matching a user's mobility trace to their identity "can provide information about habits, interests and activities—or anomalies to them—which in turn may be exploited for illicit gain via theft, blackmail, or even physical violence," stated the research. It's worth a read to see how the researchers used Wi-Fi hotspots on a university campus, captured chats via instant messengers, as well as Bluetooth connectivity to show inter-user correlations. In these social network side channel attacks, they were able to strip out privacy and deanonymize users via their mobility traces with an accuracy of 80%. And this flyer claimed that the "proposed algorithms to quantify information released in location traces, using social networks as a side-channel, are within 90% of the optimal.""

Submission + - That time someone registered a spambot with my e-mail address. 2

davewoods writes: "So this morning (About 2AM CST) I got an e-mail on my phone, grumpily I glanced at it and read the word "Penny" and something about my recent purchase. Of course, I figured it to be spam, so I did not bother reading it, and went back to sleep. When I finally did get a chance to read that e-mail, I learned that I had just registered a domain name with GoDaddy under the alias "Penny Woods". Fantastic, similar things have happened where someone used my e-mail address instead of theirs, I figured it was just a typo and I could get to the bottom of it quickly.

After "Forgetting" my username, and then "Forgetting" my password, I was logged in to the account and ready to find some contact info. Penny had set up four e-mail accounts, so I clicked through to do a web login on the first one. Lo and behold, it had sent out 31 thousand e-mails in the last seven hours, all claiming that the receiver had recently won 1.5 million dollars.

Sooooo, now I apparently own a spambot domain, and I have no idea what to do with it. The e-mail accounts have not sent out any e-mails recently, so I have not bothered to change the passwords on them or anything (Stealthy, right?). Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do with all of this?"

Submission + - Baltic Sea Anomaly UPDATE: Nazi Connection? (

Droog57 writes: When the strange object at the bottom of the Baltic Sea was first spotted, some thought it might be a UFO that crashed into the waters between Sweden and Finland, and at the very least, it bore a striking resemblance to the "Star Wars" Millennium Falcon.

Hardly any media outlets are still calling it a UFO — and that's a relief, since there's never been any evidence of any kind that this thing was ever an unidentified flying object.

But there's a lingering wrinkle in the origin of this mushroom-shaped anomaly: Could it have been part of a Nazi secret anti-submarine device?


Submission + - Twitter hands over messages at heart of Occupy case (

another random user writes: Legal pressure has forced Twitter to handed over messages sent by an Occupy Wall Street protester.

Twitter spent months resisting the call to release the messages, saying to do so would undermine privacy laws.

The Manhattan district attorney's office wanted the tweets to help its case against protester Malcolm Harris.

It believes the messages undermine Mr Harris' claim that New York police led protesters on to the Brooklyn Bridge to make it easier to arrest them. It claims the messages will show Mr Harris was aware of police orders that he then disregarded.


Submission + - First part of Black Mesa released (

ProbablyJoe writes: The long awaited Source engine remake of the Valve's original Half Life has finally been released. The initial release only includes the story up until Xen, but the developers say they'll be adding the rest of the story, along with an online multiplayer Deathmatch mode, soon. The game is available to download for free, and only requires players to install the Source SDK (included with all Source games, or a free download.

The highly anticipated release has also caused a huge amount of traffic for any servers hosting the files, with GameFront, GameUpdates, and Black Mesa's own CDN brought down within minutes of the release. The project has also been approved by Steam's Greenlight program, and will hopefully be available through Steam soon, though no timeframe has been given.


Submission + - Burglar returns goods with apology note & $50.00 (

Droog57 writes: A burglar quietly returned a to Guelph, Ont. home 24 hours affter a break and enter last week, giving back over $1,000 in stolen goods along with an apology letter and money for the broken screen door that granted entry to the home last week.

“I compromised your feelings of safety in your own home,” read the typed, anonymous letter, posted online by CTV on Wednesday.

The letter was addressed to “the family I have wronged.”

Comment it took MONTHS (Score 0) 81

That is my biggest problem with this issue. Not that the dolts that were responsible screwed up, but that it took MONTHS of internal "investigations" before some bright spark decided that it was time to share the facts with the people most affected. Typical Ontario Liberal nanny state policies.. Bad Dalton. Down boy, stop humping granny's leg!

Slashdot Top Deals

"It's the best thing since professional golfers on 'ludes." -- Rick Obidiah