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


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Submission + - Smart Neanderthals copied human tools ( 1

ananyo writes: "Fossils and artefacts pulled from the Grotte du Renne cave in central France present anthropologists with a Pleistocene puzzle. Strewn among the remains of prehistoric mammals are the bones of Neanderthals, along with bladelets, bone points and body ornaments belonging to what archaeologists call the Châtelperronian culture. Such complex artifacts are often attributed to modern humans, but a new report suggests that Neanderthals created the objects in imitation of their Homo sapiens neighbors.
The remains and artifacts were found together during excavations between 1949 and 1963, but were thought to be mixed together from different strata -so that artifacts created by modern humans were in Neanderthal layers. But if Neanderthals left the assemblage, as the researchers suggest on the basis of carbon dating, then they were capable of a degree of symbolic behaviour thought to be unique to humans."


Submission + - How do you include open source options in a software RFP?

macguys writes: I work for a government agency that is about to put out an RFP for software to support the business of the agency. There are several commercial products which would probably meet the needs of the agency. There are also several open source options. I'd like to consider open source, but don't have a clue on how I can include them. While the commercial vendors have staff to respond to an RFP, for open source software, there is no one to package a response. Ideas?

Submission + - FunnyJunk steals The Oatmeal's cartoons, sends him $20K extortion demand (

Sarusa writes: From the Oatmeal: 'Almost exactly a year ago I published a blog post about my comics being stolen, re-hosted, and monetized on FunnyJunk's website. The owner of the site responded and some of the comics were taken down, He still had a ton of my comics hosted without credit, but the energy it would take to get him to take them down wasn't worth it. I thought the issue was done and over with so I let him be.

A few days ago I was served papers informing me that the owner of FunnyJunk is going to file a federal lawsuit against me unless I pay him $20,000 in damages.'

The text is not quite safe for work, as The Oatmeal rarely is, but well worth reading.


Submission + - 2013 H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted ( 1

CowboyRobot writes: "Last year work visas did not run out until late November, but this year the pool of visas is almost entirely claimed and it's still only June.
One interpretation of this is that the tech industry is hiring much more actively than it was a year ago.
Some companies, such as Microsoft, have been lobbying to increase the number of available visas (currently limited to 65,000) while others argue that offering visas to foreign workers reduces job prospects for Americans."


Submission + - BT Blocks Disabled Rights Site? ( 2

judgecorp writes: "BT has blocked access to the Black Triangle disabled rights website according to activists. BT has confirmed there is a problem, but won't give any details on why it is not available to any BT subscribers. Black Triangle is campaigning against Atos Healthcare which is applying government rules on entitlement to disability benefits — and which has previously shut down critical websites and forums."

Submission + - Vanity Fair on TSA and Security Theater ( 1

OverTheGeicoE writes: Perhaps its now officially cool to criticize TSA. Vanity Fair has a story questioning the true value of TSA security. The story features Bruce Schneier, inventor of the term 'security theater' and contender for the Most Interesting Man in the World, it would seem. With Schneier's, um, mentoring, the author allegedly doctors a boarding pass to breach security at Reagan National Airport to do an interview with Schneier. 'To walk through an airport with Bruce Schneier is to see how much change a trillion dollars can wreak. So much inconvenience for so little benefit at such a staggering cost.' Perhaps. The real question is this: now that he's been idolized in Vanity Fair, will Bruce still eat lunch with us in the cafeteria after math class?

Submission + - Ideal High School Computer Lab

dmiller1984 writes: I am a high school computer teacher and I've been put in the unique situation of designing my ideal computer lab since our high school will be undergoing a major expansion over the summer. I thought the Slashdot community might have some great ideas to help me out. I've never liked the lecture hall labs that I've seen in some schools, but I would like some way to get natural light in the room without worrying about glare on the computer screens (skylights, perhaps?). What are some of your ideas for a great computer lab for education?

Submission + - Google teases future of search in short video (

BogenDorpher writes: Google has put together a six minute video that highlights the major improvements in search technology over the past several years. On top of that, Google talks about the evolution of search and teases about what the company has in store for the future.

Submission + - Even 8-month old babies long for justice (

Pierre Bezukhov writes: Infants as young as eight months old like to see bad behaviour punished and don't like those who commit anti-social acts, according to new research that suggests that humans carry out complex social evaluations at a surprisingly early age.

A group of Canadian and U.S. scientists tested a variety of scenarios on 100 babies using hand puppets that looked like animals. The babies watched these puppets act either negatively or positively toward other characters. They then saw puppets either giving toys (rewarding) or taking toys (punishing) from the "good" and "bad" puppets.

A UBC-led study shows that babies as young as eight months old want to see bad puppets punished for anti-social behaviour. (UBC)

When the infants were asked to pick out their favourite characters, they preferred the puppets that had punished the "bad" puppets more than those that treated others well.


Submission + - Reading, Writing, Ruby? ( 2

itwbennett writes: "A BBC article outlines a push to make software programming a basic course of study for British schoolchildren in hopes that Britain could become a major programming center for video games and special effects. Can earlier exposure to better technology courses reverse the declining enrollment in university computer science courses and make coding cool?"

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