Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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! ×

Portugal's Vortalgate — No Microsoft, No Bidding 312

An anonymous reader writes "Companies using software other than Microsoft's are unable to bid at many Portuguese public tenders. This is due to the use of Silverlight 2.0 technology by the company, Vortal, contracted to build the e-procurement portal. This situation has triggered a complaint to the European Commission by the Portuguese Open Source Business Association; the case is unofficially known in Portugal as 'Vortalgate.'"

The Finns Who Invented the Graphical Browser 148

waderoush writes "If you thought Mosaic was the first graphical Web browser, think again. In their first major interview, three of the four Finnish software engineers behind Erwise — a point-and-click graphical Web browser for the X Window system — describe the creation of their program in 1991-1992, a full year before Marc Andreessen's Mosaic (which, of course, evolved into Netscape). Kim Nyberg, Kari Sydänmaanlakka, and Teemu Rantanen, with their fellow Helsinki University of Technology student Kati Borgers (nee Suominen), gave Erwise features such as text searching and the ability to load multiple Web pages that wouldn't be seen in other browsers until much later. The three engineers, who today work for the architectural software firm Tekla, say they never commercialized the project because there was no financing — Finland was in a deep recession at the time and lacked a strong venture capital or angel investing market. Otherwise, the Web revolution might have begun a year earlier."

Submission + - Latest Earth-crossing asteroid passes by tonight (space.com)

jc42 writes: "Astronomers have been looking at the first images of asteroid 2007 TU24, the 250-meter asteroid that will pass 540,000 km from the Earth at 8:33 UTC (3:30 EST) Tuesday morning. So get your telescopes out; it's a 10th-magnitude object. Or just hold your breath as the time approaches. Maybe astronomers will get good enough numbers for its 2000-year orbit to calculate how long until it hits our planet. It might be sobering to consider that it was just discovered last October, and we know about maybe half of the objects like this in Earth-crossing orbits."
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Apple settles Think Secret out of existence

jmp_nyc writes: Think Secret has just posted a press release on their site, reading as follows:

Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides. As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and Think Secret will no longer be published. Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret's publisher, said "I'm pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits."
Since Think Secret has disabled commenting on the story on their site (big surprise), I figured /. would be the perfect place to pick up the topic.

Submission + - Artificial Blood Vessels Grown on a Nano-Template (eurekalert.org)

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "Researchers at MIT have found a way to induce cells to form parallel tube-like structures that could one day serve as tiny engineered blood vessels. The researchers found that they can control the cells' development by growing them on a surface with nano-scale patterning. The work focuses on vascular tissue, which includes capillaries, the tiniest blood vessels, and is an important part of the circulatory system. The team has created a surface that can serve as a template to grow capillary tubes aligned in a specific direction. The cells, known as endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), not only elongate in the direction of the grooves, but also align themselves along the grooves. That results in a multicellular structure with defined edges — a band structure. Once the band structures form, the researchers apply a commonly used gel that induces cells to form three-dimensional tubes."

Submission + - Zune 2.0 Disassembled (rapidrepair.com)

Mike Arnold writes: "Our company recently got their hands on a new flash based, 8GB Zune MP3 Player. In a fury of interest, we decided to do a step by step disassembly of the unit for the DIY who wants to start thinking of mods, or might just be interested in the technology involved. Given the audience that you are geared toward, we would hope that you would be interested in publishing something about the readily available and free disassembly guide. The guide, along with high quality photos can be located at http://www.rapidrepair.com/guides/zune2/Flash-Zune-8GB-Take-Apart-Guide.htm"

Submission + - Difference between System/Network Administrator 1

sr8outtalotech writes: I earn my living as a Systems Administrator. Recently, I submitted my resume to several jobsites; Monster, Dice, Careerbuilder and Hotjobs to see what was out there. What I find appalling is the overwhelming ignorance of most so called technical recruiters. I've dealt with over 25 recruiters so far and I don't think a single one could tell me the difference between a systems administrator and a network administrator. How does the slashdot community see the difference between a network and systems administrator? In my own opinion a network administrator works with Layers 1-3 of the OSI Model and a system administrator works with Layers 4-7 with some Layer 3/4 overlap in both positions. How do you deal with recruiters and human resources people that don't know the difference? Educate them? Politely ignore them? Tell them to stop wasting your time?

Submission + - Researcher sets salt water on fire (cnn.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A researcher who was trying to use radio waves as a possible cure for cancer has found a way to set salt water on fire. CNN has an article from Popular science discussing how a radio and television station operator who while trying to find a cure for cancer stumbled on a novel way of producing hydrogen and oxygen from salt water using radio wave at a frequency of 14mhz. Additionally the article points out that there may be promise in the technology to fight cancer.

Submission + - First Leopard Update Released

owlgorithm writes: The much-anticipated update for Mac OS X Leopard has arrived, with 10.5.1 bringing many needed fixes but also leaving a lot to be desired, such as the broken X11 application. It isn't as large as rumors reported, but it's a start.

Submission + - Bridge traffic powers its monitoring sensors

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Researchers at Clarkson University, NY, have developed wireless bridge sensors which work without batteries. Instead, they are powered by the vibrations caused by passing traffic. This is good news for all the people in charge of maintaining bridges, who will no longer to have to replace batteries installed in hard-to-access locations. As said one of the researchers, 'We have completely eliminated the battery from the equation. Hermetically sealed wireless sensors powered by bridge vibration can remain on the bridge without need of maintenance for decades, providing continuous monitoring of such parameters as ice conditions, traffic flows and health status.' Nice job, but read more for additional details and a picture of a wireless bridge sensor used to check the safety of the Route 11 bridge in Potsdam, N.Y."

Submission + - Stolen unencrypted laptop contains 159,000 records (computerworld.com) 1

DLa Voie writes: "I received a letter from Administaff yesterday stating my data (SSN and other personally identifiable information) was one of the 159,000 records contained on the unencrypted laptop. The laptop computer, which was reported missing on Oct. 3, contained data that was being compiled "in response to a governmental reporting requirement", according to Administaff. How long will it be before this negligence stops, and what type of action do you suggest when this reoccurring scenario happens?"

Submission + - Evidence of Steganography in Real Criminal Cases

ancientribe writes: Researchers at Purdue University have found proof that criminals indeed are using steganography, the stealth technique of hiding text or images within image files. Experts say that the wide availability of free point-and-click free steganography tools is making the method of hiding illicit images and text easier to use. But security experts such as Bruce Schneier long have dismissed steganography as too complex and conspicuous for the bad guys to bother using, especially for inside corporate espionage: "It doesn't make sense that someone selling out the company can't just leave with a USB," Schneier says. "The one scenario would be an insider who is strip-searched every single time he leaves his office... These are the [far-fetched] types of scenarios you have to invent to make it work." Purdue's research so far shows that convicted criminals in child pornography and finanical fraud used steganography to conceal images and data.

Submission + - RealPlayer Zero-Day Flaw Under Attack (zdnet.com)

openOption writes: ZDNet is reporting that hackers are actively exploiting a zero-day hole in RealNetworks' RealPlayer media player, a software program installed on tens of millions of Windows computers worldwide. The in-the-wild attacks targets a previously unknown and unpatched ActiveX vulnerability in the way RealPlayer interacts with Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. The flaw is causing drive-by malware downloads when an IE user simply browsers to a maliciously rigged Web page.

Slashdot Top Deals

Never call a man a fool. Borrow from him.