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

 



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

Commodore 64 turns 30 218

will_die writes "The Commodore 64 came out 30 years ago and to celebrate this the BBC went and got two groups of kids to try out an old system, complete with tape drive. It's sure to bring a few grins to people who had one of these old systems. From the article: 'The Commodore's ability to display 16 colours, smoothly scroll graphics and play back music through its superior SID (sound interface device) chip - even while loading programs off tape - helped win over fans, but it did not become the market leader until the late 1980s.'" Last spring a modern version of the C64 was released.
Crime

Jedi Master's Hand-Made Lightsaber Stolen 174

First time accepted submitter psiogen writes "Flynn Michael, an instructor at New York Jedi, an organization that teaches 'practical knowledge of how to use a lightsaber, left his custom-crafted blade for only a few imperial minutes, but when he returned, it was gone. From the article:'“Who steals somebody’s lightsaber? It’s like stealing someone’s toy out of the sandbox,” said Michael, the founder of New York Jedi, a stage combat performance group. “I finally got my uber custom saber, and then some jerk walks out with it."'"
Science

If You're Fat, Broke, and Smoking, Blame Language 297

First time accepted submitter derekmead writes "A Yale researcher says that culture differences how much money we save, how well we take care of ourselves, and other behavior indicative of taking the long view, are all based on language. His study argues that the way a language's syntax refers to the future (PDF) affects how its speakers perceive the future. For example, English and Greek make strong distinctions between the present and the future, while German doesn't, while English and Greek speakers are statistically poorer and in worse health than Germans. (The study includes a broader swath of languages/nationalities, but that's a start.)"
Media

Tapeheads and the Quiet Return of VHS 446

Hugh Pickens writes "Joshua Phillips writes that something was lost when videos went from magnetic tape and plastic, to plastic discs, and now to digital streams as browsing aisles is no more and the once-great video shops slowly board up their windows across the country. Future generations may know little of the days when buying a movie meant you owned it even if the Internet went down and when getting a movie meant you had to scour aisles of boxes in search of one whose cover art called back a story that echoed your interests. Josh Johnson, one of the filmmakers behind the upcoming documentary 'Rewind This!' hopes to tell the story of how and why home video came about, and how it changed our culture giving B movies and films that didn't make the silver screen their own chance to shine. 'Essentially, the rental market expanded, because of voracious consumer demand, into non-blockbuster, off-Hollywood video content which would never have had a theatrical life otherwise,' says Palmer. While researching the documentary Palmer found something interesting: there is a resurgence taking place of people going back to VHS because a massive number of films are 'trapped on VHS' with 30 and 40 percent of films released on VHS never to be seen again on any other format. 'Most of the true VHS fanatics are children of the 1980s,' says Palmer. 'Whether they are motivated by a sense of nostalgia or prefer the format for the grainy aesthetic qualities of magnetic tape or some other reason entirely unknown, each tapehead is unique like a snowflake.'"
The Media

New BBC Sports Website Makes Heavy Use of RDF 89

New submitter whyloginwhysubscribe writes "A technical blog post describes how the BBC has rolled out the latest changes to its sports website in anticipation of the Summer Olympics in London. The innovative content management system extends the already available dynamic semantic publishing, which enables their journalists 'to spend more time creating great content and less time managing that content.' The post covers some of the technical and lots of the HCI / UI design decisions and is accompanied by a non-technical overview of the re-design."
Microsoft

Windows 8 To Include Built-in Reset, Refresh 441

MrSeb writes "Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, will provide push-button Reset and Refresh in Windows 8. Reset will restore a Windows 8 PC to its stock, fresh-from-the-factory state; Refresh will reinstall Windows 8, but keep your documents and installed Metro apps in tact. For the power users, Windows 8 will include a new tool called recimg.exe, which allows you to create a hard drive image that Refresh will use (you can install all of your Desktop apps, tweak all your settings, run recimg.exe... and then, when you Refresh, you'll be handed a clean, ready-to-go computer). Reset and Refresh are obviously tablety features that Windows 8 will need to compete against iOS and Android — but considering Windows' malware magnetism and the number of times I've had to schlep over to my mother's house with a Windows CD... these features should be very welcome on the desktop, too."
Censorship

Censored Religious Debate Video Released After Public Outrage 717

First time accepted submitter tkel writes "On October 12, 2011 Theologian John Haught publicly debated prominent evolutionary scientist and atheist Jerry Coyne at the University of Kentucky. Although both agreed to a videotaping of the event, Haught later prohibited its release because he felt he had been treated unfairly. Coyne released blog posts addressing the matter as an offense to free speech. Reviewing their new status in the blogosphere, Haught and his associates at the University of Kentucky have decided to release the video."
Censorship

41% of Chinese Websites Shut Down In 2010 203

BinaryMage found a pretty shocking bit- apparently the Chinese government has shut down 1.3 million websites in 2010, an incredible 41% of all sites behind the great firewall. The usual reasons (pornography) are cited, as well as the reminder that China blocks Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from its citizens. Anyone behind the firewall know if Slashdot is currently blocked? I've heard it varies.
The Courts

Judge Puts Righthaven Cases In Colorado On Hold 36

Hugh Pickens writes "Senior US District Judge John Kane says there are serious questions about the validity of Righthaven's copyright infringement lawsuits in Colorado, and has put them all on hold. Kane says the main case in which he'll rule on the jurisdiction issue is that of Righthaven defendant Leland Wolf, who was sued over a Denver Post TSA pat-down photo. Wolf's attorneys filed briefs saying that based on Righthaven's lawsuit contract with Review-Journal owner Stephens Media LLC, its lawsuit contract with the Post is likely similar, and that their contract doesn't give Righthaven standing to sue. 'Righthaven very likely is neither the owner nor exclusive holder of any rights in the copyrighted work underlying this lawsuit,' say attorneys for Wolf. 'As such, Righthaven has suffered no injury or other cognizable harm required for it to have standing.' Judge Kane says he wants to resolve that issue before proceeding. 'Because there are serious questions as to whether my exercise of subject matter jurisdiction over Righthaven's claim of copyright infringement is proper, I think it most prudent to stay the proceedings in all pending cases in this district in which Righthaven is the named plaintiff,' wrote Kane. 'Should I find that I lack subject matter jurisdiction over Righthaven's claim of copyright infringement, it is likely that I will be required to dismiss all pending actions.'"
Crime

Cisco Accused of Orchestrating Engineer's Arrest 160

alphadogg writes "Cisco Systems orchestrated the arrest of Multiven founder Peter Alfred-Adekeye last year in order to force a settlement of Multiven's antitrust lawsuit against Cisco, a Multiven executive said on Wednesday. Multiven, an independent provider of service and support for networking gear, sued Cisco in 2008, alleging that the company monopolized the market for its software. Cisco countersued, charging that Alfred-Adekeye hacked into Cisco's computers and stole copyrighted software. In May 2010, Alfred-Adekeye was arrested in Vancouver, Canada, on 97 counts of intentionally accessing a protected computer system without authorization for the purposes of commercial advantage, according to his arrest warrant. He could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. The arrest came to light only this week after local Vancouver press reported it."
Transportation

The End of the "Age of Speed" 531

DesScorp writes "'The human race is slowing down,' begins an article in the Wall Street Journal that laments the state of man's quest of aerial speed: we're going backwards. With the end of the Space Shuttle program, man is losing its fastest carrier of human beings (only single use moonshot rockets were faster). 'The shuttles' retirement follows the grounding over recent years of other ultra-fast people carriers, including the supersonic Concorde and the speedier SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. With nothing ready to replace them, our species is decelerating—perhaps for the first time in history,' the article notes. Astronauts are interviewed, and their sadness and disappointment is apparent. In the '60s and '70s, it was assumed that Mach 2+ airline travel would one day be cheap and commonplace. And now it seems that we, and our children, will fly no faster than our grandparents did in 707s. The last major attempt at faster commerical air travel — Boeing's Sonic Cruiser — was abandoned and replaced with the Dreamliner, an airliner designed from the ground up for fuel efficiency."
Science

Accidental Find May Lead To a Cure For Baldness 404

kkleiner writes "Science is full of stories in which great discoveries are made by accident: the discovery of radiation, the discovery of the universe's shape through x-ray detection, and now perhaps the cure for hair loss. At the time they returned to the cages to find that their bald mice had miraculously grown their hair back, the scientists at UCLA had no intention of curing baldness. Originally, theirs was in fact a study aimed at reducing the harmful affects of chronic stress. The unanticipated side effect of their treatment could prove a boon to balding men and women everywhere, not to mention to the drug company that delivers the cure to them."
Microsoft

Microsoft Buys 666,000 IP Addresses 264

RabidMonkey writes "Microsoft has managed to purchase 666,624 IP addresses from the bankrupt Canadian company Nortel for $7.5 million. This works out to $11.25/ip. An exact list of blocks isn't available yet. There has been a lot of discussion on NANOG about whether this allowed or not, and what the implications to the dwindling IPv4 pool may be. Is this the first of many such moves as IPv4 address space has run out? Will ARIN step in and block the sale/transfer? How long will such measures drag out the eventual necessity of IPv6?"
The Courts

Righthaven Copyright Lawsuit Backfires 88

Hugh Pickens writes "Steve Green reports in the Las Vegas Sun that US District Judge James Mahan has ruled that the Center for Intercultural Organizing, an Oregon nonprofit, did not infringe on copyrights when it posted an entire Las Vegas Review-Journal story on its website without authorization and that there was no harm to the market for the story. Mahan stressed that his ruling hinged largely on the CIO's nonprofit status and said the copyright lawsuit would be dismissed because the nonprofit used it in an educational way, didn't try to use the story to raise money, and because the story in question was primarily factual as opposed to being creative. 'The market (served by the CIO) is not the R-J's market,' says Mahan. This is the second fair use defeat for Righthaven and is significant since it involved an entire story post rather than a partial story post. Green says that Righthaven's strategy of suing 250 web site and demanding $150,000 in damages plus forfeiture of the web site's domain name has clearly backfired and now Righthaven, the self-appointed protector of the newspaper industry, has left the newspaper industry with less copyright protection than if they never filed their lawsuits at all."
The Internet

When the Internet Nearly Fractured 119

An anonymous reader writes "The Atlantic has a fascinating, if lengthy, story about a man named Eugene Kashpureff who 'ignited a battle over the future of the global network' by launching a rogue DNS registry in the late '90s. Here's an excerpt: 'He opted to go a step beyond simply registering sites on alternative top-level domains, and hijacked traffic intended for InterNIC.net. He pointed the domain to his own site, where he lodged a note of protest over how the domain name space was being controlled, and then offered visitors the option of continuing on to Network Solution's site. This was, you'll recall, at about the same moment that the federal government was attempting to make the case to the business community, to the world, that this Internet thing was no digital Wild West.'"

Slashdot Top Deals

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde

Working...