Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


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! ×

Concrete That Purifies the Air 88

fergus07 writes "Although much of the focus of pollution from automobiles centers on carbon emissions, there are other airborne nasties spewing from the tailpipes of fossil fuel-powered vehicles. These include nitrogen oxides (NOx). In the form of nitrogen dioxide it reacts with chemicals produced by sunlight to form nitric acid – a major constituent of acid rain – and also reacts with sunlight, leading to the formation of ozone and smog. Everyone is exposed to small amounts of nitrogen oxides in ambient air, but exposure to higher amounts, in areas of heavy traffic for example, can damage respiratory airways. Testing has shown that surfacing roads with air purifying concrete could make a big contribution to local air purity by reducing the concentration of nitrogen oxides by 25 to 45 percent."

Comment Greenspun's Tenth Rule (Score 5, Funny) 232

it allows you to get strings back from commands and use them as the text of the script as if you had typed it directly. I think this was a new idea that I, at least, had not seen in scripting languages, except perhaps LISP,

Greenspun's Tenth Rule: "Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of Common Lisp"

Comment Re: (Score 2, Interesting) 294

So Javascript is becoming what Java should have been, the run-anywhere language, if only Java hadn't been such a superficially ugly language and goddam slow - the browser is the equivalent of the JRE.

If all JRE's (browsers) are alike in syntax, semantics, security and libraries then the faster one will become the shell of choice to run these cloudy, ajaxy apps. And we'll partying like it's 1980 with browser-and-cloud architectures replacing greenscreen-and-mainframe.

It's a shame that, like you said, javascript is superficially pretty but deeply broken (namespaces? proper, native OO? etc.)

Comment Shame, but we've been living good for a long time (Score 1) 1

(I managed to attract a flame when I commented on the New Zealand filter at El Reg - so let's see how I do here :-)

Basically, through superior techy knowledge, most of us have been able to access any information we like, of any kind, on the Internet. We've been able to access stuff that, under other circumstances, would be illegal in our own country.

For example, the UK, like many other countries, has a film classification board that determines "for the public good" what can be shown in cinemas, licensed sex shops, or not at all. With our technical know-how we've been able to punch a hole in the UK's Customs border controls and, now that the government is getting more tech savvy, this hole is slowly being closed... There exist articles of content that, by UK law, would be illegal to import or own if it was rendered in some kind of physical media (books, photos, film etc.). There's no reason to expect a government would allow it to be imported via the Internet for ever...

Shame, we're no longer going to be able to moderate our own behaviour and viewing pleasure.

But, and this is the BIG POINT, ranting on about how "the Internet wants to be free!!!!" is misguided for (at least) two reasons:

1. it never was. It's a redundant network that had the nice feature of being hard to shut down or block off

2. the key issue is WHY are these things illegal in the first place! Write to your MP and get something done (yeah, I know, good luck with that when we're arguing against a "protect the children" mantra, but armchair activism really doesn't cut it).

Of course there's also the question of how good the IWF are at interpreting the law.

Submission + - EU: MS Must Offer Competitors' Browsers: Now What? (

Glyn Moody writes: "So the European Commission is going to require Microsoft to offer competitors' browsers with Windows. But having the option to install Firefox, say, is useless unless people know what it is. The implication is that we need some kind of campaign to ensure that people understand the choices they will have. How can open source best exploit this latest EU decision?"

Submission + - UK Gov: IWF list should cover 100% of UK broadband ( 1

wild_quinine writes: The UK government stated in 2006 that they wished to see 100% of UK consumer broadband ISP's connections covered by blocking, which includes images of child abuse. 95% of ISPs have complied, but children's charities are calling for firmer action by the government as the last 5% cite costs and concerns over the effectiveness of the system. According to Home Office Minister Alan Campbell, "The government is currently looking at ways to progress the final 5%." With a lack of transparency in the IWF list, firm government involvement, and blocking which only 'includes' (but may not be limted to) images of child abuse, it looks like the writing is on the wall for unfiltered, uncensored internet connections in the UK.

Comment Re:Ok then... (Score 5, Funny) 244

Everything is somewhat vulnerable, and a determined intruder with infinite resource will almost always find a way in.

The point is facial recognition alone is so vulnerable! All you need is a cameraphone and a photo printer - and you can't revoke your face as your password either. At least with fingerprints you can get hacked nearly 10 times (on average) before it becomes a problem.

Comment Already have it #2 (Score 2, Informative) 690

We already have gated communities on the web: they're the "web2.0" sites like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo etc.

1. You have to give up some identification when you enter/join (even if it's quite weak: ie. usually you're verified email address)

2. You have to introduce yourself (or be introduced as in LinkedIn) before you can send anyone a message.

3. All you communications are through a central server that verifies the identity of both endpoints and records all communication (possibly for ever!).

And, yes, it's been seen that people happily give up a whole heap of private info to be part of these clubs...

It would be interesting to find out what the ratio is between email and social-site IM'ing these days.

Slashdot Top Deals

Mathematicians practice absolute freedom. -- Henry Adams