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Medicine

Submission + - Scientific Study: Brits are terrible at washing their Hands (bbc.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC reports the finding of a scientific study on the washing of hands in the UK. The result? 'Faecal bacteria are present on 26% of hands in the UK, 14% of banknotes and 10% of credit cards. 11% of hands are so 'grossly contaminated' they are carrying as many germs as a dirty toilet bowl. It's the same for 8% of cards and 6% of notes. Faecal matter can be found on one in six mobile phones. 99% of people interviewed at motorway service stations toilets claimed they had washed their hands after going to the toilet. Electronic recording devices revealed only 32% of men and 64% of women actually did wash their hands.

  99% of people interviewed at motorway service stations toilets claimed they had washed their hands after going to the toilet. Electronic recording devices revealed only 32% of men and 64% of women actually did.

Apple

Submission + - Jury in Apple v. Samsung case likely to be confused (cnet.com)

puddingebola writes: "Jurors in the Apple v. Samsung case will receive a 100 page "instructions to the jury" document tomorrow. They will also receive a multi-page form with numerous questions to come to a verdict. From the article: "The document, which both sides have yet to agree on, is still in its draft stage. In Samsung's case, it's 33 questions long, and stretched across 17 pages. For Apple, it's 23 questions spread over nine pages."

Perhaps this is standard in patent trials? Perhaps road sobriety tests will soon include hopping on one foot while juggling?"

Piracy

Submission + - Cops Pirate 100's of DVDs, Get Slap on Wrist (kttc.com)

AbsoluteXyro writes: Apparently, the big FBI warning we all see whenever you pop in a DVD does not apply to the fuzz. From KTTC.com — "In mid-2009, former Houston County digital network administrator Lindsay Pierce saw what he calls "suspicious activity" at the Sheriff's Office. "The county owns a duplicator that will make five discs at a time that we use for court cases and things like that, and I had replaced four or five drives and that seemed unusual. I actually saw one of the people involved actually making movies," Pierce said. Kevin Kelleher was a Houston County Commissioner for 16 years. He says he brought the issue before the county board a number of times. "I've given them evidence that I had that showed that members of the Houston County Sheriff's Department were in fact copying DVDs. Not just ones or twos, but hundreds," Kelleher said. FBI agents from Rochester confirmed that they looked into the allegations. They said they spent an hour in Caledonia before deciding the case didn't fall within their federal prosecuting guidelines. No one in the case has yet been charged with any criminal wrongdoing. But the county gave written reprimands to the county's finance director. The Houston County Attorney's Office says the case is closed."
Iphone

Submission + - Apple sold more phones in two quarters than Samsung sold in two years in US (bgr.com) 1

zacharye writes: Between June 2010 and June 2012, Samsung sold a whole lot of smartphones in the United States. According to records the company was forced to released as part of the ongoing soap opera in San Jose, the South Korea-based electronics giant sold approximately 21.25 million Android phones over that period of time, generating more than $7.5 billion in revenue, AllThingsD reports. But as the battle for global dominance continues to heat up, that battle is not close at all here in the U.S. — Apple sold more smartphone in just two quarters than Samsung has in the past two years...
Entertainment

Submission + - Game of Thrones: Bush's Head Gets a Makeover (inquisitr.com)

__aaelyr464 writes: After apologizing for using a likeness of former President George W. Bush's head in the season finale of the first season of "Game of Thrones", HBO has digitally altered the offending scene. From the commentary: "The last head on the left is George Bush. George Bush’s head appears in a couple of beheading scenes. It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement. We just had to use whatever head we had around."

After releasing an formal apology, HBO proceeded to yank the episode off all digital platforms, as well as halt distribution of the Season 1 box sets. The episode is now back with an altered head; more hair, less chin. Show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss later clarified, "We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can't afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk. After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush."

Submission + - TSA Bodyscanner Fail Video - Now with Surveillance Camera Footage! (wordpress.com)

McGruber writes: Jonathan Corbett, the subject of the earlier Slashdot Story "The Ineffectiveness of TSA Body Scanners" (http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/03/07/0329255/the-ineffectiveness-of-tsa-body-scanners), has an update for us.

His video showing him wandering through a nude body scanner with undetected objects is now complete with the feeds from TSA's security cameras at the checkpoint.

Good work Jonathan and thank you TSA for your timely response to his Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request!

Technology

Submission + - Man Builds Half-Ton Robot Wine Rack From Auto Parts, Sells it On Craigslist

derekmead writes: Not content with regular wine rack offerings from Ikea and the like, a guy in Phoenix built a 6-foot tall, 1,000 pound Transformers-eqsue robo-wine rack that quite literally dominates a living room. Now he's put it on Craigslist for the low, low price of $7,000. It's apparently made from a wealth of automotive and motorcycle parts and holds 32 wine bottles, including six in a rather-menacing gatling gun/Merlot launcher mounted on its arm.
Science

Submission + - Fossil turtles caught in flagrante delicto (nature.com)

scibri writes: Several pairs of 47-million-year-old fossil turtles found in Germany provide the first direct evidence for prehistoric vertebrate sex (the first indirect evidence being, presumably, that turtles exist).

Besides science writers a chance to have a bit of fun with the intro to their stories, the researchers also say the fossils can tell us about about the ecology of the ancient German lake where the turtles lived (Abstract).

Like their living cousins, the fossil turtles probably stopped swimming when they started mating. The pairs then sank through the water column, but Messel Lake held a hidden danger. Below the surface waters, palaeontologists have hypothesized, was a layer poisoned by volcanic gases or rotting organic material. Since the skin of some turtles can act as a respiratory membrane, the turtles were killed as the poisons accumulated in their bodies.

AI

Submission + - Apple Tells Siri To Stop Recommending Nokia (techweekeurope.co.uk)

judgecorp writes: "Apple has changed the answer Siri gives to the question "what is the best smartphone ever?’ to prevent the voice-driven assistant from promoting the Nokia Lumia 900. Originally Siri trawled online reviews on the web using the wolfram Alpha search engine, to come up with the Lumia, much to Apple's embarassment. Now, apple has intervened, replacing that answer with a joke: “Wait there are other phones?”"
Technology

Submission + - Berkeley Student Fills Dorm with Home Automation (electronichouse.com)

ElectronicHouseGrant writes: "Freshman Derek Low rigged up his Berkeley dorm room with something he calls B.R.A.D., which is short for “Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm.” The room includes automated lighting, drapes, music, motion detection, and more. He can control everything through voice recognition, but a wireless remote, his iPhone and his iPad are also in on the control party. Derek started the install on February 4 and finished just a few days ago."
Iphone

Submission + - BYOD policy bites vacationing CEO

colinneagle writes: Mimecast CEO Peter Bauer recently found himself at the intersection of consumerization and IT management, falling victim to personal data loss as the result of the internal management policy he himself helped establish.

While on a family vacation in South Africa, Bauer's 5-year-old daughter tried to use his smartphone. After she entered the incorrect PIN code five times, the corporate-installed remote wipe capability kicked in and Bauer lost all of the photos he had taken through the first half of the trip.

The frustration among end users whose personal information can be lost at the hands of their employers' policy is one of the main challenges Bauer says Mimecast has seen as it continues to move forward with its young bring-your-own-device (BYOD) management policy. However, that frustration is both natural and necessary if IT is going to strike a compromise with employees, Bauer says.

"Some pretty key corporate information moves from the secure inner sanctum of your building onto a BYOD device, and if you don't have a way of protecting that stuff, then you're kidding yourself about having information security in place," Bauer says.

Submission + - New website aims to get you that missing apology (virtualforgiveness.com)

danmacklin writes: "virtualForgiveness is a fun new start-up designed to make your life less stressful by getting you an apology when someone upsets you.

Imagine that a friend, family member or partner has wronged you but seem oblivious to their transgression. Frustrating isn't it!

Well you can sort this frustration out by visiting virtualForgiveness.com and "outing" them as a sinner.

The system is really simple. All you have to do is enter a quick message outlining what the sinner has done wrong and what they can do to make it right. If you're feeling cheeky you can even ask them to buy you a present to guarantee forgiveness.

Once you have outed the sinner virtualForgiveness will contact them and tell them of your displeasure, giving them an opportunity to make it right. Will the sinner be forgiven? Only you can decide."

Submission + - Slingshot drone fleet targets US heartland (foxnews.com)

KDN writes: "UAV's in the US: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/04/20/slingshot-drone-fleet-targets-us-heartland/

When I read this I couldn't help thinking of Wild E Coyote chasing the Road Runner: The UAVs are launched like a slingshot using a 100-foot bungee cord: The pilot ties the bungee to a stake in the ground, gets the proper tension and hooks the bungee to the aircraft before lofting it into the skies "

Canada

Submission + - Canadian bureacracy can't answer simple question: What's this study with NASA? (ottawacitizen.com)

Saint Aardvark writes: "It seemed like a pretty simple question about a pretty cool topic: an Ottawa newspaper wanted to ask Canada's National Research Council about a joint study with NASA on tracking falling snow in Canada. Conventional radar can see where it's falling, but not the amount — so NASA, in collaboration with the NRC, Environment Canada and a few universities, arranged flights through falling snow to analyse readings with different instruments. But when they contacted the NRC to get the Canadian angle, "it took a small army of staffers— 11 of them by our count — to decide how to answer, and dozens of emails back and forth to circulate the Citizen’s request, discuss its motivation, develop their response, and “massage” its text." No interview was given: "I am not convinced we need an interview. A few lines are fine. Please let me see them first," says one civil servant in the NRC emails obtained by the newspaper under the Access to Information act. By the time the NRC finally sorted out a boring, technical response, the newspaper had already called up a NASA scientist and got all the info they asked for; it took about 15 minutes."
Science

Submission + - Clues to Species Decline Buried in Pile of Bird Excrement (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: In 2009, while searching for ways to help endangered birds, research technician Chris Grooms heard that a chimney on his university campus used to host a migratory species known as the chimney swift. When he investigated, he found a pile of bird excrement 2 meters deep. The poop lay at the bottom of a five-story-high chimney and had been deposited over 48 years by the birds, which had roosted there until the top was capped in 1992. Now, Grooms and his colleagues have dug into that pile of guano, revealing new clues about why the chimney swift and other species like it have begun to disappear.

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