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 + - Sugar industry's secret docs echo Big Tobacco's anti-science tactics

Freshly Exhumed writes: Evidence of the Sugar Association's decades-old attempts to stifle its critics and shape public opinion has been uncovered by Dr. Cristin Couzens, who went on a sabbatical to hunt for proof after noting that sugar was never being discussed in dental forums as a causative source of health problems. She is a dentist by training, not an investigator, but what Couzens found was something food industry critics have been seeking for years: confidential industry documents going back to the 1970s showing that the sugar industry used Big Tobacco's tactics to deflect growing public and professional concern over the deleterious health effects of sugar, such as the alarming rise in childhood obesity and diabetes levels and the ongoing high cost of dental cavity treatment, from which the poor are often left out.

Submission + - Google Glass Banned From Seattle Pub (

supertall writes: Google Glass is sure to prompt a wave of innovative new hands-free applications, but privacy concerns have led to the 5-Point Cafe in Seattle banning the wearable technology. The issues comes down to being photographed/recorded without knowledge or consent. Some people just don't like it, as demonstrated by Steve Mann's assault at a Paris McDonald's. The misuse of such technologies may have deeper implications. Imagine with a single innocuous glance facial recognition technology doing a web search and pulling up someone's personal information such as their home address. Would you be comfortable in a world full of this tech?

Submission + - SXSW: How Mobile Devices Are Changing Africa (

Nerval's Lobster writes: "Mobile phones are kicking off a revolution in Africa, with everyone from farmers to villagers relying on apps to make electronic payments, check on expiration dates for medicine, and predict future storms or the best prices for produce. In a SXSW session titled “The $100bn Mobile Bullet Train Called Africa” (which would also be a pretty good name for one of the indie films playing at this massive convention), Tech4Africa founder Gareth Knight explained the contours of this revolution. According to Shapshak, more kids in Africa have access to the Internet than consistent electricity. Nobody owns a PC or can access a fixed-line telephone, so mobile phones are a conduit for everything from email to news to making payments via SMS. Many people on the continent also own phones equipped with flashlights and radios—“Radios are the killer app in Africa,” Shapshak said—and the percentage of the population equipped with mobile devices is primed to explode over the next few years. Many of the mobile devices used in Africa aren’t cutting-edge, and SMS-based platforms are a necessity when it comes to sharing information. “SMS is so fantastic because it gets to every device everywhere,” Shapshak said. “SMS has a 100 percent read rate; you read every SMS you get.” Here’s how a typical SMS platform might work: someone purchasing a box of malaria medicine could send the barcode information to a text number, which would send back an SMS message identifying the drug as real or counterfeit. Famers and other food-producers can receive SMS messages about the best ways to handle pests, for example, or take care of their cows."

Submission + - Thunderbolt on Windows: Hardware and Performance Explored (

MojoKid writes: "Intel's Light Peak technology eventually matured into what now is known in the market as Thunderbolt, which debuted initially as an Apple I/O exclusive last year. Light Peak was being developed by Intel in collaboration with Apple. It wasn't a huge surprise that Apple got an early exclusivity agreement, but there were actually a number of other partners on board as well, including Aja, Apogee, Avid, Blackmagic, LaCie, Promise and Western Digital. On the Windows front, Thunderbolt is still in its infancy and though there are still a few bugs to work out of systems and solutions, Thunderbolt capable motherboards and devices for Windows are starting to come to market. Performance-wise in Windows, the Promise RAID DAS system tested here offers near 1GB/s of peak read throughput and 500MB/s for writes, which certainly does leave even USB 3.0 SuperSpeed throughput in the dust."

Submission + - GE forces Chevy Volt onto employees ( 3

thecarchik writes: Sixteen months ago, General Electric announced it would place the "largest order in history" for electric cars , to be used by its employees who are issued company cars. Now, those cars are starting to arrive and be placed with employees.

And where changes are made, personnel policies are sure to follow. A person inside GE recently forwarded a memo to us that covers some of the nuts and bolts of using the 2012 Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car . It's from the fleet operations manager for GE Healthcare.

Among the interesting points:

"All sedans ordered in 2012 will be the Chevrolet Volt"

Crossovers and minivans will be replaced by electric-vehicle sedans, i.e. the Volt

Open Source

Submission + - The Best Unknown Open Source Projects (

itwbennett writes: "Carla Schroder points to an interesting trend in open source: 'The growth of large distributed projects.' OpenTox, which uses computer modeling instead of animal testing for chemical toxicity testing, and AMEE (Avoiding Mass Extinctions Engine), which leverages open source software and methodologies to collect, map, measure and analyze carbon dioxide data, are two such projects. 'FOSS presents a natural platform for building large distributed projects because of the low barrier to entry — open code, open standards, and freely-available robust, high-quality high-performance software,' says Schroder."

Submission + - iPhone 5 To get curved glass display?

RedEaredSlider writes: "The new look of the Apple iPhone 5 might resemble the fourth- and fifth-generation iPod nano more than the current crop of iPhones and iPods.

DigiTimes is reporting that Apple has been buying new glass cutting machines — about 200-300 of them. Citing anonymous sources the site says the machines must first demonstrate that they can produce the curved glass in bulk. The makers of the screens have been wary of buying the machines themselves because of the cost involved."

Submission + - American Airlines tests streaming in-flight movies ( 1

wolog writes: "American began testing a wifi in-flight entertainment system last month on two wide-body jets and will expand the testing among customers this summer. If all goes well, American said, it will be the first domestic (US) airline to provide streaming service on all Wi-Fi-enabled planes, starting this fall. Of course, the airline industry offers in-flight entertainment not solely to keep passengers amused but also to generate revenue."

I'm wondering if some people here have already used this wifi streaming system, and get some feedback.. I'm curious how such system work in real life. Having 250+ wifi client connected inside a long metallic cylinder and doing some video streaming seems a really big challenge..


Submission + - Google Founders' Jets Caught on WSJ's Radar

theodp writes: Via an FOIA request, the Wall Street Journal acquired records of every private aircraft flight recorded in the FAA's air-traffic management system for 2007 through 2010, using them to build a private jet tracker database (currently experiencing technical difficulties). Among the high fliers who found their records unblocked were Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, whose 767 and Gulfstream reportedly burned an estimated 52,000 gallons of aviation fuel and $430,000 on two round-trips from the U.S. mainland to Tahiti to catch last summer's total eclipse of the sun. A Google spokeswoman confirmed the pair's jaunt, but added that Page and Brin mitigated the greenhouse gas emissions from their aircraft usage by purchasing an even greater amount of carbon offsets. Tech-boom billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban seemed unfazed by the prospect of his past plane movements becoming public: 'I have a plane,' Cuban quipped. 'I bought it so I could use it. Shocking, isn't it?'
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Don't Panic Over the Latest Mac Malware Stories (

wiredmikey writes: Many recent stories are suggesting a large increase in customers who are complaining about malware in Apple support forums. All of these posts are meant to persuade readers that, indeed, the Mac is becoming just like Windows: malware-laden and dangerous.

As with most stories Mac-related, recent malware-is-finally-coming stories attracted a lot of press. It made the rounds across the tech world, started a huge flame war on Slashdot, and set Twitter afire.

It has taken the Windows malware supply chain twenty years to evolve to its current level of stratification and sophistication. It stands to reason that supply chain won’t be replicated overnight for the Mac.

Here is why Mac OS might not be as attractive to attackers as you might think and how the Mac is relatively low-risk computing platform this month, and will continue to be one next month, too.


Submission + - How I kicked Mac Defender's butt in five seconds (

jbrodkin writes: "You call that a virus? After six months of owning a Mac, I got my first piece of malware: the famous Mac Defender virus. While it sort of looks scary, taking over a whole browser tab and automatically downloading a malicious file, it is laughably easy to obliterate, especially compared to the nasty viruses one gets using Windows. Close the browser tab, delete the file from the downloads folder, and you're done. If you make the mistake of opening the file, there are a few extra steps to get rid of it, but nothing a human being of average intelligence can't handle. Will Mac malware remain this primitive? We can only hope. In the meantime, install Sophos."

Submission + - Twitter sued by British Soccer Player (

norriefc writes: Here in the UK super injunctions are all the rage. These are injunctions that bar the press from even mentioning that the injunction exist. Recently a twitter account exposed several of these super injunctions and named several people involved and what their alleged indiscretions were. Now one "famous" soccer player is trying to sue Twitter and the the yet to be named tweeters for invasion of privacy, apparently in ignorance of the Streisand effect. I'm doubtful of an American company paying much attention to UK anti free speech laws

Submission + - 3,000-mile-wide storm wreaks havoc on Saturn (

coondoggie writes: "NASA said today its Cassini spacecraft were tracking a 3,000-mile-wide storm on Saturn that stretches around the ringed planet and could ultimately change its atmosphere. NASA's Cassini satellite, in conjunction with the ground-based European Southern Observatory, have tracked the growth of the storm since it began as a small disturbance in December 2010. Now, NASA says the storm as sent deep plumes high up in Saturn's usually stable stratosphere, generating regions of warm air that shine like beacons on Cassini's infrared system."

Slashdot Top Deals

Many people are unenthusiastic about their work.