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 + - GIMP Abandons SourceForge. Distributes via FTP Instead (

Dangerous_Minds writes: GIMP, a free and open source altenernative to image manipulation software like Photoshop, recently announced that it will no longer be distributing their program through SourceForge. Citing some of the ads as reasons, they say that the tipping point was "the introduction of their own SourceForge Installer software, which bundles third-party offers with Free Software packages. We do not want to support this kind of behavior, and have thus decided to abandon SourceForge." The policy changes were reported back in August by Gluster. GIMP is now distributing their software via their own FTP page instead. Is Sourceforge becoming the next CNET?

Submission + - NWS to Al Gore: There Is No "Category Six" Hurricane 1

barlevg writes: In a recent interview, former Vice President and environmental activist Al Gore made a bold claim, that man-made global warming was causing hurricanes to be formed of such severity that "they’re adding a 6" to the hurricane scale, going on to say that "The fingerprint of man-made global warming is all over these storms and extreme weather events." In response, the National Weather Service has responded that they have no plans to add a "doomsday Category 6" to their rating scale: "No, we’re not pursuing any such change. I’m also not sure who VP Gore means by 'they,'" also noting that "Category 5 has no ceiling: it includes hurricanes with top sustained winds of 157 mph and higher." Furthermore, a recently leaked United Nations climate assessment claims only “low confidence” of a link between human activity and increased hurricane severity and that this is likely due to increased human settlement in coastal areas and other regions vulnerable to natural disasters.

Submission + - Liquid Drops Reveal Link to Quantum Physics (

cgscience writes: After a droplet falls onto a vat of vibrating liquid, what it does next could help solve fundamental mysteries in quantum physics. Now, scientists have mapped out the behavior of such drops to more detail than ever before, discovering new ways in which they can move.

If a vat of fluid throbs with too little force, the droplet falling onto it will merely disappear into the liquid. With just the right amount of force, however, the drop will bounce in place or even walk across the surface of the fluid. It can also behave even more unusually

Submission + - RegEx driven baby name search?

Ryyuajnin writes: My wife is expecting soon, and we are still negotiating over names. we have agreed on a specific pattern on the name, (^.+[ygjp].*n$), but it's difficult to find name databases laying around the Internet? Has anyone ever found a RegEx driven baby name database out there, or at least a raw text or oss name database?

Submission + - Forget Apple: Samsung Could Be Google's Next Big Rival (

Nerval's Lobster writes: The idea of Samsung as a Google rival isn’t unprecedented. For the past several quarters, Samsung has progressively molded Android to its own vision: layered with TouchWiz and sprinkled with all sorts of Samsung-centric apps, the software interface on Samsung devices is deviating rapidly away from the “stock” Android that runs on other manufacturers’ devices. During this year’s unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S4 at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, Samsung executives onstage barely mentioned the word “Android,” and played up features designed specifically for the device. Establishing its own brand identity by moving away from “stock” Android has done Samsung a lot of good: its smartphones and tablets not only stand out from the flood of Android devices on the market, but it’s given the company an opportunity to position itself as the one true rival to iOS. While other Android manufacturers struggle, Samsung has profited. If Samsung continues to gain strength, it could become a huge issue for Google, which has its own eye on the hardware segment. Although Google purchased Motorola in 2011 for $12.5 billion, it hasn’t yet remolded the brand in its own image, claiming that the subsidiary’s existing pipeline of products first needs to be flushed into the ecosystem. But that reluctance could be coming to an end: reports suggest that Google will pump $500 million into marketing the Moto X, an upcoming “hero” smartphone meant to reestablish Motorola’s dominance of the Android space. If the Moto X succeeds, and Google decides to push aggressively into the branded hardware space, it could drive Samsung even further away from core Android. Never mind issuing TouchWiz updates until the original Android interface is virtually unrecognizable—with its industry heft, Samsung could potentially boot Google Play from the home-screen and substitute it with an apps-and-content hub of its own design. That would take a lot of work, of course: first, Samsung would need to build a substantial developer ecosystem, and then it would need to score great deals with movie studios and other content providers. But as Amazon and Apple have shown, such things aren’t impossible. The only questions are whether (a) Samsung has the will to devote the necessary time and resources to such a project, and (b) if it’s willing to transform its symbiotic relationship with Google into an antagonistic one.

Submission + - ComiXology says "Move along, Nothing to See Here" (SAGA #12) (

mtb_ogre writes: From the CEO of ComiXologythe publisher of the Comic publishing app which is used to push out SAGA

In the last 24 hours there has been a lot of chatter about Apple banning Saga #12 from our Comics App on the Apple App Store due to depictions of gay sex. This is simply not true, and we’d like to clarify.

As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps. Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today.

The app developer self censored. Further, after discussing the issue directly with Apple, they are releasing the issue. Considering Apple's previous track record on gay marriage, it's somewhat surprising so many people were so eager to claim this related to sexual orientation.


Submission + - Doom 3 Source Code: Beautiful

jones_supa writes: Shawn McGrath, the creator of the PS3 psychedelic puzzle-racing game Dyad, takes another look at Doom 3 source code. Instead of the technical reviews of Fabien Sanglard, Shawn zooms in with emphasis purely on coding style. He gives his insights in lexical analysis, const and rigid parameters, amount of comments, spacing, templates and method names. There is also some thoughts about coming to C++ with C background and without it. Even John Carmack himself popped in to give a comment.
Star Wars Prequels

Submission + - Faux-Fur "Chewbacca" Hoodie Turns You Into a Big Walking Carpet (

fangmcgee writes: If Marc Ecko’s “Chewbacca” hoodie isn’t the coolest faux-fur jacket in the galaxy, then it’s certainly the geekiest. Part of larger lineup of Star Wars-inspired threads, the chocolate-fleece number even includes our favorite Wookie’s signature bandoleer utility belt. The best part? On the off, off chance you tire of looking like a big walking carpet—why would you?—the hairy topper reverses into a Rebel Alliance bomber toasty enough for a trip to Hoth. (We’d keep a Tauntaun close-by just in case, though.)

Submission + - Infiniti to offer steer by wire next year (

CaptSlaq writes: Fly by wire has long been a mainstay in aircraft, and now Infiniti is ready to try it out for your car. The design is interesting using cameras and other sensors to manage the small stuff, and has a mechanical fail over in the event something goes wrong. If the mechanical fail over could be removed, this would be quite the boon for automotive packaging, as the steering mechanism can be put outside the engine bay, and the steering wheel can easily be put anywhere else inside the car.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Why Everything Is Trying To Be An RPG ( 2

antdude writes: This three pages article talks about "why everything is trying to be an role playing game (RPG) now" — "Twenty years ago, the idea of levelling up in a game was confined to a very specific genre: the role-playing game, whose systems were based on pen-and-paper games such as Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). Today, you can still level up in an RPG such as Dragon Age, but you can also level up in far wider variety of games, from sports titles to first perspective shooter (FPS) games... The vast majority of modern games monitor, quantify and reward your skills in a way that would only have been familiar to the biggest geeks in the 1980s.

While gamers often lament a lack of innovation in games, game mechanics change as rapidly as styles do in other forms of media — so while levelling has gone mainstream, the health bar appears to be on the way out and very few games these days features lives or continues. The question then, is why is levelling up so popular? ..."

Seen on Blue's News.


Submission + - Researchers Think They'll Find Avatar's "Pandora" (

astroengine writes: In James Cameron's film Avatar, the alien world is in fact an "exomoon" orbiting a fictional exoplanet around Alpha Centauri A. According to a Discovery News interview with Cameron, he says that his animated epic is "scientifically accurate," but is it accurate to think an exomoon could be habitable or already inhabited by an alien ecosystem? Yes, say a group of Harvard researchers. What's more, with the help of the Kepler space telescope and forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), we should have the capability to detect an exomoon and analyze its atmosphere for organic chemicals. And if there is a Pandora out there, we could detect it within a decade.

Lake On Titan Winks From a Billion Kilometers Away 139

The Bad Astronomer writes "NASA's Cassini spacecraft took an image of Saturn's giant moon Titan earlier this year that serendipitously provides proof of liquid (probably methane) on its surface. The picture shows a glint of reflected sunlight off of a monster lake called Kraken Mare (larger than the Caspian Sea!). Scientists have been getting better and better evidence of liquid methane on Titan, but this is the first direct proof."

Submission + - US McDonald's Wi-Fi Going Free in January ( 3

Knowzy writes: After five years behind a paywall, McDonald's plans to stop charging for its Wi-Fi in mid-January in the US. According to the Dallas Morning News, you aren't even required to make a purchase. It's also been widely reported that they won’t impose time limits on your surfing. With around 20,000 free hotspots between McDonald’s and Starbucks (who went free(ish) earlier this year), anyone still charging for Wi-Fi is going to look downright greedy.

Submission + - Ten years of .NET - did Microsoft deliver? ( 2

cyclocommuter writes: Interesting snippet from this article from The Register: "If the goal of .NET was to see off Java, it was at least partially successful. Java did not die, but enterprise Java became mired in complexity, making .NET an easy sell as a more productive alternative. C# has steadily grown in popularity, and is now the first choice for most Windows development. ASP.NET has been a popular business web framework. The common language runtime has proved robust and flexible."

The article also continues: "Job trend figures here show steadily increasing demand for C#, which is now mentioned in around 32 per cent of UK IT programming vacancies, ahead of Java at 26 per cent."

The Internet

Hunting the Mythical "Bandwidth Hog" 497

eldavojohn writes "Benoit Felten, an analyst in Paris, has heard enough of the elusive creature known as the bandwidth hog. Like its cousin the Boogie Man, the 'bandwidth hog' is a tale that ISPs tell their frightened users to keep them in check or to cut off whoever they want to cut off from service. And Felten's calling them out because he's certain that bandwidth hogs don't exist. What's actually happening is the ISPs are selecting the top 5% of users, by volume of bits that move on their wire, and revoking their service, even if they aren't negatively impacting other users. Which means that they are targeting 'heavy users' simply for being 'heavy users.' Felten has thrown down the gauntlet asking for a standardized data set from any telco that he can do statistical analysis on that will allow him to find any evidence of a single outlier ruining the experience for everyone else. Unlikely any telco will take him up on that offer but his point still stands." Felten's challenge is paired with a more technical look at how networks operate, which claims that TCP/IP by its design eliminates the possibility of hogging bandwidth. But Wes Felter corrects that mis-impression in a post to a network neutrality mailing list.

Slashdot Top Deals

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.