Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


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! ×

Why the First Cowboy To Draw Always Gets Shot 398

cremeglace writes "Have you ever noticed that the first cowboy to draw his gun in a Hollywood Western is invariably the one to get shot? Nobel-winning physicist Niels Bohr did, once arranging mock duels to test the validity of this cinematic curiosity. Researchers have now confirmed that people indeed move faster if they are reacting, rather than acting first."

Submission + - Climategate spreads to Wikipedia ( 14

sparkydevil writes: Some catnip to those who have long argued about administrator bias and groupthink in Wikipedia.

Canada's National Post reports here and here that one of the objectives of those promoting Climate alarm was to control Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003 U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley, one of nine team members, rewrote Wikipedia'½Â½Â(TM)s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling as well as working to erase the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period and infamous hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the team.

According to the article Connolly created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles, removed more than 500 articles as an administrator and barred over 2000 Wikipedia contributors while rewarding those who supported his views. "In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement."


Submission + - How to get back at the noisy nextdoor neighbor 2

MindPrison writes: After a long time with that annoying downstairs neighbor playing too loud music, I've been contemplating HOW to deal with it, being a teenager AND a female — you know the drill — asking nicely is NOT an option, teenagers usually get angry because you should NOT tell them what to do I came up with a quite devious way to solve the issue, and the trick is fighting fire with fire, for once :)

Here's how I did it:

I made a small low-frequency microphone amplifier, hot glued an electret microphone to the floor, and made sure there were no leaks around the microphone (to avoid audio-feedback). I connected this to an active subwoofer (this is a subwoofer that has an power amplifier built in, typically the thing you have in your average surround amplifier, and placed the subwoofer in the room next door to the mike (to avoid feedback!). Now — it's very important to disconnect any surround speakers as you ONLY want the BASS to distribute into the structure of the building itself, this makes it IMPOSSIBLE to locate the sound from YOUR flat, and the penetrating middle-tones that comes from your noisy neighbors stereo — will reveal that it is YOUR NEIGHBOR that plays the loud music.

It worked flawlessly, the entire building shook with the sound of the neighbors stereo, and the teenager had to turn down the sound several times due to multiple complaints from the ENTIRE neighborhood.

Revenge is SOO sweet ;)

Submission + - Gravity explained as not a force. (

sciencewatcher writes: The Dutch theoretical physicist Erik Verlinde proposed a remarkable simple theory which explains gravity as a statistical phenomenon resulting from different concentrations of information in empty spaces between masses. If it holds the magnitude of this new theory is of the same order as Einstein's introduction of the relativity theory and would result in a rewrite of all secondary education physics books. 'Gravity is not a fundamental force. It emergences from a deeper microscopic reality' he stated in a newspaper article (Dutch, Google translated). Simple Newtonian laws like the law of motion (F=m*a) can be easily derived from the new theory. So far his colleagues have stated to be intrigued rather than sceptic. The implications for other theories such as the unification theory are enormous.

Submission + - SPAM: LSE trading hit by technical glitch

viralMeme writes: Trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has been brought to a halt by technical difficulties.

The LSE said it had been affected by connectivity issues and at 1033 GMT had placed all orders for shares into an "auction call period".

This allows traders to put orders to buy or sell shares into the system but without executing them.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Facebook TOS in trouble (

yonii writes: The Consumer Council of Norway have read through the TOS on several social networking sites, as illustrated in the matrix on this page. The conclusion is clear: social networks seem to operate in a legal vacuum and irrespective of norms and standards for contract terms and privacy. No longer so! They are therefore currently preparing complaints against several sites, including Facebook, demanding that the same standards that apply in an offline environment are applied online.

Google Apologizes For "Michelle Obama" Results 783

theodp writes "CNN reports that for most of the past week, when someone did a Google image search for 'Michelle Obama,' one of the first images that came up was a picture of the First Lady altered to resemble a monkey. After being hit with a firestorm of criticism over the episode, Google first banned the site that posted the photo, saying it could spread malware. Then, when the image appeared on another site, Google displayed the photo in its search results, but displayed an apologetic Google ad above it. On Wednesday morning, the racially offensive image appeared to have been removed from any Google Image searches for 'Michelle Obama.' Google officials could not immediately be reached for comment." Update — 15:38 GMT by SS: A reader pointed out that this article from the Guardian says the image was de-listed simply because it was removed from the blog where it was hosted rather than by any "deliberate" action from Google.

Comment Re:Thought crime? (Score 1) 586

Well, for one thing, viewing and distribution of pictures of a typical rape is not a crime in the US. Ergo, not a thought crime.

You have such a thing as a "thought crime" in US law? If not, then by your logic, nothing is a 'thought crime'. Could you please make up your mind if you want to discuss current US law, or how you want the law to be?

Ok, that's not quite fair, most people who are raped know they were raped and they probably know if they were recorded. So, in that case, maybe they do feel injured but how does making it illegal make them any less injured?.

How does this argument differ from the punishment of the crime of rape itself? How does making the crime of [insert any crime that injures someone] illegal make the victim feel any less injured?

Whether they are passed around to a million people or just two, the original victim will never know.

Well, I have to call a [citation needed] on that one.

Comment Thought crime? (Score 1) 586

possession of kiddie porn is just another thought crime.

Well, tell that to the kids (and the parents) that have to live with the images of them (or their kids) being abused, is traded on the Internet.

Imagine your having a girlfriend, and her being raped. Sharing pictures of that after the fact - just a thought crime?

Comment Re:Yes, ordinary people are stupid regarding priva (Score 1) 205

The exact information you get when installing a Facebook application (could be some kind of game) is this:

"Allowing [name of application] access will let it pull your profile information, photos, your friends' info, and other content that it requires to work."

Note the "that it requires to work" part that I took the liberty of bold'ing.

Do you really think the average user thinks; "Oh yeah, let me give this little game access to my friends personal data, because it totally requires access to those data to work"?

But the problem stands: Facebook promises me, as a user, control over my private data, but lets my friends - knowingly or unknowingly - overrule my control over my private data.

Comment Re:Yes, ordinary people are stupid regarding priva (Score 3, Insightful) 205

No, "Private" as in "only friends I have chosen to share information with", not as in "and every application that they are stupid enough to install".

And you are missing the point

No one is "feeding the information" to an application. The application is sucking the information without anyone being aware of it.

The solution it simple:

Whenever one of my friends grants an application access to my data, Facebook should ask me:

"You have chosen NOT to share information with applications on Facebook. Your friend XYZ has now granted Application APP1 access to your profile. What would you like to do now?


Comment Yes, ordinary people are stupid regarding privacy (Score 5, Interesting) 205

But here is what Facebook tells their users:

Facebook Principles


We understand you may not want everyone in the world to have the information you share on Facebook; that is why we give you control of your information.


Facebook follows two core principles:

1. You should have control over your personal information.

Yeah, there is a lot of 'small print' too, but why wouldn't the average user expect the information they put on Facebook to be private, unless they change some (default) setting?

Slashdot Top Deals

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow