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


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Submission + - Windows 8 Will Run From USB Thumb Drive ( 1

CWmike writes: "Windows 8 will include a new feature that lets IT administrators provide workers with a portable Windows environment on a USB thumb drive. Called 'Windows To Go,' the feature seems aimed at enterprises that want to equip employees with 'complete managed Windows images' that they can use to turn a PC into a doppelganger of a secured in-house machine. It's not known whether individuals will be able to use Windows To Go for the same purpose. It's also unclear whether Windows to Go comes with a price tag: One report, based on a briefing with reporters at BUILD on Monday, said that the feature will cost about $50 per seat. Microsoft declined to provide more information about the feature, other then to refer to its a two-and-a-half-hour demonstration of some of the operating system's key components and changes that left many questions about Windows 8 unanswered, analysts said."

Submission + - Apache Fixes Range Header Flaw--Again (

Trailrunner7 writes: Two weeks after releasing a fix for the range-header denial-of-service flaw that was much-discussed on security forums and mailing lists, the Apache Software Foundation has pushed out another version of its popular Web server that includes a further fix for the same flaw.

Apache 2.2.21 has a patch for the CVE-2011-3192 vulnerability that the group previously fixed in late August with the release of version 2.2.20. The vulnerability is an old one that recently resurfaced after a researcher published an advisory on a modified version of the bug and also released a tool capable of exploiting the vulnerability.


Submission + - Scientific studies fail confirmation at 50%. (

An anonymous reader writes: In a recent (non-reviewed) analysis of 67 individual pharmaceutical studies carried out at Bayer, results matched the original academic research in only 14 cases. A whopping 43 cases proved to be "highly inconsistent" according to Khusru Asahullah, Head of Target Discovery at Bayer.

Although this should not be considered to be a universal indictment of the scientific method (drug interaction studies are particularly fickle and conclusion-swapping corrections should expected in the scientific process), the very high failure rate may indicate substantial lack of rigor in the modern scientific community.

Open Source

Submission + - A Covenant for Open Source Contributors (

itwbennett writes: "Bruce Perens may have a solution to the thorny problem of how open source developers can work with commercial entities and still keep some control over their code. Perens wrote up his idea for covenant between commercial entities and open source contributors earlier this week as a white paper on the HPCC site. 'It's a lot of backstory to digest,' says blogger Brian Proffitt. But basically what Perens came up with is this: 'If a company wants to take code proprietary, they would have to wait three years from the date of the last community contribution, or else remove any contributed code made in the prior three-year period. If the company can't do this, or fails to support the project, the code is to be donated to a non-profit under a permissive license,' says Proffitt."

Submission + - A First Look At Windows 8 Server (

jfruhlinger writes: "The PC/tablet version of Windows 8 has garnered a lot of attention, but there are big changes in store for Microsoft's server OS too. Highlights include a server dashboard with a Metro-style interface, extensive use of Powershell, and a new version of Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization product that, when it comes to its competition, will "kill them all.""

Submission + - NASA announces deep-space ship design (

Toe, The writes: "Today NASA announced its imaginatively named Space Launch System or SLS: 'The Space Launch System, or SLS, will be designed to carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, as well as important cargo, equipment and science experiments to Earth's orbit and destinations beyond. Additionally, the SLS will serve as a back up for commercial and international partner transportation services to the International Space Station.' News stories abound, some focusing on the Saturn V-like heavy lifter, some on the elements borrowed from the Space Shuttle."

Submission + - Site builder shootout: Drupal v Joomla v WordPress (

bsk_cw writes: There are boatloads of content management systems (CMSs) for serious site creators, but the most common for websites today are three open-source tools: Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. Actually, to call them "tools" is an understatement — these are full-fledged platforms, with tens of thousands of add-on tools created by very active developer communities. Brian Proffitt built a website with each, and reports on what he found.

Submission + - Moore's Law of Processing Power Is Superseded (

pbahra writes: "In 1965, Intel founder Gordon E. Moore predicted computer processing power, measured in terms of the number of transistors which could be placed on a chip, would double roughly every 18 months. But, particularly with the growth in the number of portable computing devices, “Moore’s law” has become increasingly irrelevant. What matters now is power consumption, whether it is cutting the cost of giant data centers or making sure the battery in your laptop, cellphone or tablet lasts all day. Surprisingly, perhaps, the Technology Review published by MIT reports that researchers have found that energy efficiency also doubles roughly every 18 months, an effect it dubs “Koomey’s law” after the leader of the project, Jonathan Koomey, consulting professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University."

Submission + - BSOD gets a new look in Windows 8 (

netbuzz writes: "For one thing, the new Blue Screen of Death in Windows 8 feels your pain, at least in an emoticon sort of way. It’s also “much more friendly and less scary,” according to one reviewer. Of course, it’s eventual popularity will likely be tied to the infrequency with which it appears."

Submission + - App Inventor Reborn at MIT (

An anonymous reader writes: MIT announced the launch of the new Center for Mobile Learning, with a first activity being to take over and refine App Inventor for Android. The center will be led by App Inventor mastermind Hal Abelson, Mitch Resnick of Lego Mindstorms and Scratch fame, and Eric Klopfer, the director of teacher education at MIT and an expert in games and simulation. Here'(TM)s an excerpt from the announcement:

"Dr. Maggie Johnson, Google’s Director of Education and University Relations, sees the Media Lab initiative as the ideal next step for App Inventor. “Google incubated App Inventor to the point where it gained critical mass. MIT’s involvement will both amplify the impact of App Inventor and enrich the research around it,” said Johnson. “It is a perfect example of how industry and academia can work together effectively."

This news boomerangs the negativity surrounding Google’s discontinuation announcement last week. To the many teachers whose curriculums have been energized by App inventor, and to the thousands of newly empowered app builders: Rejoice! The fun has just begun!


Submission + - A Linux Kernel More Stable Than -stable (

jfruhlinger writes: ""-stable" is the term for the current Linux release most suitable for general use; but as Linux moves into more and more niches, there's a need for a kernel more stable than -stable, which is updated fairly regularly. Both enterprise and embedded systems in particular need a longer horizon of kernel stability, which prompted Greg Kroah-Hartman, then at SUSE, to establish a -longterm kernel, which will remain stable for up to two years. Now there are moves to get this schedule formalized — moves that are a good sign of Linux's long-term health."

Submission + - Twitter-Based Hedge Fund is Making Money (

thebchuckster writes: Derwent Capital apparently finished its first month of trading in the fund at the end of July, beating the S&P 500, which fell 2.2 percent in July.

Basing the strategy on research published by the University of Manchester and Indiana University in October, the fund operates on the premise that the number of emotional words used on Twitter can be used to predict daily movement in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.


Submission + - Stanford free Machine Learning class (

An anonymous reader writes: Stanford's popular machine learning class will be offered online this fall quarter, free for anyone to take. Many people have watched the instructor's Andrew Ng's lectures on YouTube, but now you can actually register for and take the entire class. According to the Stanford article, an Introduction to Databases class and an Introduction to AI class (previously covered) will also be online.

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