Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Social Networks

Submission + - The Cultures of Texting In Europe and America

Ponca City, We Love You writes: "The cultures of text messaging are very different in Europe and North America and economics drive the differences says "internet sociologist" Danah Boyd. Americans and Canadians have historically paid to receive text messages creating a stilted social dynamic whereby a friend forces you to pay $.10 simply by deciding to send you something. But now "all-you-can-eat" plans are changing everything. Rather than having to mentally calculate the number of texts sent and received, a floodgate of opportunities is suddenly opened. The weights are lifted and freedom reigns. The result? Zero to a thousand text messages in under a month! All-you-can-eat plans are still relatively rare in Europe. When a European youth runs out of texts and can't afford to top up, they simply don't text. But they can still receive texts without cost so they aren't actually kept out of the loop. What you see in Europe is a muffled fluidity of communication, comfortable but not excessive. Back in America, older users are less inclined to be prolific texters, maybe because they are more accustomed to the onerous plans and never really developed a fluid texting practice while younger."

Submission + - Major QuickTime Vulnerability in Latest Version (

SkiifGeek writes: "Less than a month after news of active OS X fake codec malware, a major vulnerability in the latest version of QuickTime (7.3, only released two weeks ago) has been discovered and has already gone from proof-of-concept exploit code to two readily available exploit samples.

With the ease by which this exploit can be integrated with media streams, it marks a greater threat for end users than a fake codec. At this stage, about the best mitigation recommended is to disable support for RTSP via the File Type / Advanced -> MIME Settings option in QuickTime's Control Panel / PreferencePane. Even though the exploit is only for Windows systems (including Vista — QuickTime apparently doesn't utilise ASLR), OS X users could be at threat from related problems, given historical RTSP vulnerabilities."


Submission + - NYTimes Editorial Says Science Is a Religion ( 1

jeffporcaro writes: Paul Davies writes a guest editorial in the NYTimes (sorry, but that's where it is) in which he shares his opinion that science is no better/no different than religion, since it forces its adherents to take items on faith. Examples he gives of faith-based science include our belief that the laws of physics will not change tomorrow and the idea that there are multiple universes — both are non-falsifiable and therefore no better than religious faith. Similarly, the fact that fundamental concepts are not fully explained (Why are the laws that regulate motion the way that they are? Who/what made them that way?) proves to him that science is based on a faulty, "deeply anti-rational" foundation. See here for full story.

Submission + - What every programmer should know about memory (

mrcgran writes: "LWN.NET has just finished publishing an excellent series about memory, by Ulrich Drepper:"What every programmer should know about memory". Wonder the difference between PC100 and PC1600? Challeges of NUMA systems, access optimizations for L1 and L2 caches? Want to write code which performs well in several memory contexts? Then this series is probably what you should read first. There is also a PDF version available from Ulrich's home page. While at it, why not do a combo grabbing a copy of Goldberg's classical paper "What Every Computer Scientist Should Know About Floating Point Arithmetic"?."

Submission + - IBM computer faster than 1.5 mile stack of laptops (

jbrodkin writes: "IBM has built a supercomputer that is faster than the combined power of a stack of laptop computers piled 1.5 miles high. Blue Gene/P will be used by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Max Planck Society for some of the most complex analytical problems ever tackled by a machine. upercomputer.html"

Journal Journal: Our Solar system was adopted? 4

Our Solar System is traveling at a 60 to 90 degree angle compared to the rest of the Milky Way Galaxy and scientists have now discovered why. It seems our solar system originated not in the Milky Way Galaxy, but in the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy, which is in the process of being eaten by the Milky Way.
The Internet

Submission + - Wikipedia gets state funding in Germany (

tmk writes: "How can the Wikipedia be improved? The German government started today a project to train experts to contribute to Wikipedia. The goal is to write or improve several hundret articles about renewable ressources in the Internet encyclopaedia. The project ist funded by the German Ministry of Nutrition, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection. The German chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation is hiring a Wikipedian to coordinate the efforts."

Submission + - Scientist Calls Mars a Terraforming Target (

Raver32 writes: "Mars will be transformed into a shirt-sleeve, habitable world for humanity before century's end, made livable by thawing out the coldish climes of the red planet and altering its now carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. How best to carry out a fast-paced, decade by decade planetary facelift of Mars — a technique called "terraforming" — has been outlined by Lowell Wood, a noted physicist and recent retiree of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a long-time Visiting Fellow of the Hoover Institution. Lowell presented his eye-opening Mars manifesto at Flight School, held here June 20-22 at the Aspen Institute, laying out a scientific plan to "experiment on a planet we're not living on.""

Slashdot Top Deals

Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders. -- Gauss