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! ×

Measles Outbreak Tied To Texas Megachurch 622

New submitter the eric conspiracy sends this quote from NBC: "An outbreak of measles tied to a Texas megachurch where ministers have questioned vaccination has sickened at least 21 people, including a 4-month-old infant — and it's expected to spread further, state and federal health officials said. 'There's likely a lot more susceptible people,' said Dr. Jane Seward, the deputy director for the viral diseases division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ... All of the cases are linked to the Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, Texas, where a visitor who'd traveled to Indonesia became infected with measles – and then returned to the U.S., spreading it to the largely unvaccinated church community, said Russell Jones, the Texas state epidemiologist. ... Terri Pearsons, a senior pastor of Eagle Mountain International said she has had concerns about possible ties between early childhood vaccines and autism. In the wake of the measles outbreak, however, Pearsons has urged followers to get vaccinated and the church has held several vaccination clinics. ... 'In this community, these cases so far are all in people who refused vaccination for themselves and their children,' [Steward] added. The disease that once killed 500 people a year in the U.S. and hospitalized 48,000 had been considered virtually eradicated after a vaccine introduced in 1963. Cases now show up typically when an unvaccinated person contracts the disease abroad and spreads it upon return to the U.S."

Comment Re:Not at all impressive performance (Score 1) 350

I also haven't looked at the study in detail, but I agree that there are certainly a lot of people who don't fit the generalizations one might conclude from the article and summary (which are both perfect examples of scientific reporting - i.e. they are shit). For example, I (over)use emoticons and exclamation points myself, depending on the tone I'm trying to convey, and how important I feel it is to get the tone right. Maybe it is a "feminine" trait to care about tone and trying to express it clearly, but obviously that doesn't require someone with that trait to be female. Don't conflate statistical averages (i.e. more women exhibit feminine traits than men, hence their designation as feminine) with absolute accuracy in judging an individual (i.e. because a person exhibits feminine traits she must be a woman). The former is useful when trying to target ads to millions of people and hoping to improve your click-through rate, but the latter is socially dangerous.

You do raise some interesting points about whether their model would be stable over time - for example, perhaps women are just early adopters w.r.t. determining how to express tone in tweets via emoticons, and stupid men will eventually figure it out and use it as well, destroying the predictive capability of that particular feature of their model. On the other hand, it would seem they determined their features automatically via data mining of gender-tagged data, so presumably they can continue to feed new gender-tagged data to their system to evolve the model to handle shifts in writing style over time, e.g. lowering the weight of the emoticon feature as men use it more and discovering a new feature to replace it.


Submission + - Mass Effect movie to be discussed at Comic-Con (

UgLyPuNk writes: More than a year ago, we heard that Mass Effect was being made into a motion picture and that, my friends, was all we heard. Until now, anyway, when we learn that the film – or something relating to the film – will be shown off at this year’s Comic-Con.

Legendary Pictures, the production company behind the project (and The Dark Knight and Where the Wild Things Are, not to mention the Warcraft movie with Sam Raimi) has today unveiled its plans for the convention – and nobody was quite expecting one of those dot points.


Submission + - New system for the blind assigns sounds to shapes (

cylonlover writes: Engineers from the Research Center for Graphic Technologies at Spain's Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) have created an experimental system, that allows the blind to be aware of their surroundings through the use of sound. Called EYE 21, it consists of a pair of sunglasses with two built-in micro video cameras, a computer, and a pair of headphones. Sounds are assigned to the various surfaces in that space, and are played back through the headphones.

Submission + - Solar Power Rises Out Of Fukushima's Ashes (

mdsolar writes: "The Japanese government has directed high-volume electricity users serviced by embattled Tokyo Electric Power Co. to reduce electricity demand by 15% in the face of the ongoing nuclear crisis at Fukushima, giving rise to on-site renewable energy production.

It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good they say and the nuclear disaster at Fukushima has seen Japan seriously reconsidering how it sources its energy; including possibly making solar power systems mandatory on all new buildings. Companies in affected areas are already responding to the current shortfall in electricity production by implementing more energy efficiency strategies and turning to wind and solar power.

Solar panel manufacturer Kyocera Corporation has announced it has significantly increased the size of the rooftop solar power system at its Tanagura manufacturing plant in Fukushima Prefecture by 194kW to a total of 230kW. What was previously more of a demonstration installation is now helping the company to meet the Japanese Government's directive.


Submission + - Game store owner's 290 year child porn sentence ( 1

dotarray writes: An American man who ran sleepover gaming tournaments at his video games store has been sentenced to nearly 300 years for producing and possessing child pornography.

Leland Beasley, 43, had been running overnight tournaments since 2006, and during these events would videotape himself fondling the sleeping boys and performing lewd actions, as well as sexually abusing them. His behaviour has lead to ten counts of production of child pornography, and two counts of possession – and the largest federal sentence ever handed down for the crime in the eastern district of Missouri, 290 years in prison.


Submission + - Lawyer Attempts to Trademark Bitcoin ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: A NY based lawyer has submitted an application to the US Patent and Trademark Office claiming first use of the term bitcoin on June 22nd, 2011. The evidence of first use in the form of a letter a letter detailing his wife's offer to sell "bitcoin" for $17.50 on June 23rd. A pdf extolling the virtues of bitcoin has also been uploaded to his law firms webpage

Submission + - Citizen data pushed to cloud in terrorism fight (

mask.of.sanity writes: Australia's Federal Police, anti fraud agency, border protection, and Crime Commission are trying to build a private cloud to host data considered 'confidential and protected' by the nation's Department of Defence.

They say the private cloud would, among other benefits, help crack down on terrorism funding networks and money laundering, estimated to cost Australia $4.5 billion a year.

Defence policies stand in the way of the effort because they mandate confidential data be locked up locally, but the crime and fraud investigators are pushing for the agency to reconsider in a review of its


Submission + - SKA telescope set to generate more data than Net (

angry tapir writes: "The forthcoming $2.1 billion Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope could generate more data per day than the entire internet when it comes online in 2020, according to the director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), Professor Peter Quinn. SKA — which Australia with New Zealand and South Africa are competing to host, and which will help the search for Earth-like planets, alien life forms, dark matter and black holes — will be 10,000 times more powerful than any telescope currently used. Slashdot has previously discussed the proposal to use "Skynet" — a grid-computing-based solution for processing and storage"

Submission + - Millions of DNS Servers at Risk From New BIND Bugs (

Trailrunner7 writes: The Internet Systems Consortium is warning organizations about a pair of vulnerabilities in existing releases of the ubiquitous BIND DNS server one of which enables an attacker to stop the software from running on remote DNS servers.

The high-severity vulnerability in many versions of the BIND software has the effect of causing the BIND server to exit when it receives a specially formatted packet. The ISC said that although it isn't aware of any public exploits for the bug, it still recommends that organizations upgrade to one of the newer versions of BIND


Submission + - Jailbreak Artists Exploit Unpatched iOS Apps (

CWmike writes: "Developers said on Wednesday that they used a pair of unpatched vulnerabilities in Apple's iOS to 'jailbreak' the iPhone and iPad, including the first-ever hack of the iPad 2. Some security experts immediately said the unfixed flaw — and the fact it's essentially been released into the wild for miscreants to exploit — posed a danger to iPhone and iPad owners. 'If they exploited the same vulnerability in a copy-cat maneuver, cybercriminals could create booby-trapped webpages that could — if visited by an unsuspecting iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad owner — run code on visiting devices,' Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant with Sophos, warned in a blog post. 'All eyes now turn to Apple to see how quickly it can secure its users,' Cluley said. 'Leaving a security hole like this open is simply inviting malicious hackers to exploit it.'"
PC Games (Games)

What Game Devs Should Learn From EVE 270

An anonymous reader passes along this excerpt from Gamesradar about EVE Online's Council of Stellar Management (CSM), a group of elected player representatives that serve to facilitate communications between the developers and the community: "On the last day, the devs announced that after the earlier discussions about improving the CSM’s ability to effect change, the CSM was being raised to the status of its own department within CCP. This is revolutionary; in one swift move, the CSM went from what could be considered a glorified focus group to what CCP considers to be a 'stakeholder' in the company, given equal consideration with every other department in requesting development time for a project. That means the CSM — and the entire playerbase it represents — has as much influence on development projects as Marketing, Accounting, Publicity and all the other teams outside of the development team. This is, of course, the stated intention. But has any developer gone to such lengths for its fans?"

Slashdot Top Deals

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!