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


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Portables (Apple)

Next-Gen JavaScript Interpreter Speeds Up WebKit 193

JavaScript is everywhere these days. Now WebKit, the framework behind (among others) Safari and Safari Mobile, as well as the yet-unreleased Android, is getting a new JavaScript engine called Squirrelfish, which the developers claim provides massive speedups over the previous one. The current iteration of the engine is "just the beginning," they claim; in the near future, six planned optimizations should bring even greater speed. With JavaScript surviving as a Web-page mainstay despite many early gripes, and now integral to some low-powered mobile devices, this may mean many fewer wasted seconds in the world.

Submission + - GPLv3 Video Editor project looking for volunteers (

Rick Garcia writes: "After months of searching for a decent cross-platform Video Editor project (and finding none), I decided to make my own. So I just opened a project for a GPL'ed cross-platform video editor called "Saya-VE" (recursive acronym for "Saya-VE Ain't Yet Another Video Editor"). The project is being developed on C++ and wxWidgets, and aims to be feature-rich, extensible, easily installable (both on Windows and Linux) and user-friendly. The project doesn't have an official webpage, but I've got a blog with a couple of screenshots (it's just started so don't expect more than an open dialog and a main menu). Volunteers are welcome to join the project. Experience with wxWidgets preferred."

Submission + - 25 Excellent Ajax Techniques and Examples (

chandan kumar writes: "Ajax allows for rich-internet applications that mimic the responsiveness and complex user interfaces typically associated with desktop applications. Moving applications to the web browser opens many possibilities, including the ability to save user data, connecting with other users for collaboration and sharing, and making deployment and using the application easier since web browsers are standard-issue with most computers regardless of operating system. If you're interested in expanding your understanding of Ajax techniques and practices, check out these 25 hand-picked Ajax articles and tutorials that outline various methods and concepts involved in the development of Ajax-based applications. Though most are geared for budding and intermediate developers, veterans might find a trick or two they haven't encountered before. Check them out"
Data Storage

Submission + - Researchers Explore Quantum Dot-Based NVRAM (

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "Researchers in Germany are trying to turn self-assembled arrays of quantum dots into non-volatile storage. So far, they've managed access times of 10ns and refresh rates as low as 0.7Hz, which would make it superior to current RAM. Also, unlike flash memory, there's no silicon dioxide layer to wear out and limit the number of write cycles. They still have challenges, though, in increasing the data density and figuring out how to mass produce these arrays."

Encrypted Torrents Growing Fast In the UK 432

angryphase writes "The British Phonographic Institute (the UK's RIAA) has noticed a significant increase in the amount of encrypted torrents — from 4% of torrent traffic a year ago to 40% today. Whether it follows a trend for hiding suspicious activities or an increased awareness of personal privacy is up for (weak) debate. Either way, this change of attitude is catching the eye of ISPs, music industry officials, and enforcement agencies. Matt Phillips, spokesman for the UK record industry trade association explains, 'Our internet investigations team, internet service providers and the police are well aware of encryption technology: it's been around for a long time and is commonplace in other areas of internet crime. It should come as no surprise that if people think they can hide illegal activity they will attempt to.'"

Submission + - The future of BitTorrent (

javipas writes: "The people behind the popular BitTorrent tracker is working on a new version of the BitTorrent protocol that could become the successor to the current one, maintained by BitTorrent Inc. The company founded by Bram Cohen — original author of this protocol — now has decided to close the source for several new features in the BitTorrent protocol, and this "gives them too much power and influence". The new file format would be called .p2p, and would maintain backwards compatibility with current .torrent files."

Submission + - Sorry Ninjas, Pressure Points are Phony

An anonymous reader writes: Weeks after the news that it doesn't matter where you stick acupuncture needles, Wired Science has challenged the timeless ninja skill of pressure point fighting. When martial artists show off their fancy skills, they usually work with compliant subjects. During pressure point demonstrations, they build up to the finale of knocking people out with mind waves and gentle slaps after several hours of conditioning. The underlying principle at work during a pressure point lesson is the power of suggestion rather than causing an overload to the nervous system or using a jedi mind trick. Faith healers do the same thing. Even Borat played along.

Submission + - IBM Seeking 'Patent-Protection-Racket' Patent 2

theodp writes: "Wikipedia defines a protection racket as an extortion scheme whereby a powerful non-governmental organization coerces businesses to pay protection money which allegedly serves to purchase the organization's 'protection' services against various external threats. Compare this to IBM's just-published patent application for 'Extracting Value from a Portfolio of Assets', which describes a process by which 'very large corporations' impress upon smaller businesses that paying for 'the protection of a large defensive patent portfolio' would be 'a prudent business decision' for them to make, 'just like purchasing a fire insurance policy.' Sounds like Fat Tony's been to Law School, eh? Time for IBM to put-their-money-where-their-patent-reform-mouth-is and deep-six this business method patent claim!"
Media (Apple)

Submission + - 13-Year-Old Provides GUI Jailbreak for iPod Touch

y0shidono writes: The Boy Genius Report has a quick little blerb on the "iJailBreak":

It was only a matter of time before we had a full scale iPod Touch Jailbreak, and thankfully the day of reckoning is upon us. iJailBreak is a slick little GUI that frees the overbearing shackles of Apple's lockdown, and opens the platform up to a multitude of third party applications. The real rub here, though, is that iJailBreak was apparently written by a 13-year old kid by the name of AriX. Crazy, right? We're quite certain that Apple will do their best to shut this down much like they've done with the iPhone Jailbreak process in the past, but for anyone with an iPod Touch running the most current firmware version, today is your lucky day.

Submission + - Man nearly arrested for using iPhone during flight ( 2

hostguy2004 writes: "Saw this on TGDaily Man nearly arrested for using iPhone during flight. Legally the flight attendant has the right order passengers to do anything. Technically, if the iPhone is switched to "aircraft mode" then it is no different than a PDA, CD Player etc. As a pilot, I know that the biggest danger of a cellphone in an aircraft is disruption to the towers on the ground, due larger than intended signal coverage. The recent Airbus aircraft (A320 and newer) use optical cables for connectivity between aircraft subsystems."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Keep your friend close and your enemies closer. (

An anonymous reader writes: Enemybook is a Facebook app that allows you to manage your enemies as well as your friends. With Enemybook you can add people as Facebook enemies, specify why they are your enemies, notify your enemies, see who lists you as an enemy, and even become friends with the enemies of your enemies. Ever wanted to "enemy" somebody instead of friend them? Finally you can. This app remedies the one-sided perspective of Facebook.

Submission + - CmdrTaco Interviewed on Wired

lbmouse writes: He whose moniker is a bad business lunch restaurant name has an interview on wired concerning Slashdot's Decennial anniversary.

Submission + - Good Science or Playing God?

penguin_dance writes: The UK is apparently having rethink on human hybrid experiments.

If approved by regulators, "the move opens the door to experiments involving every known kind of human-animal hybrid. These could include both 'cytoplasmic' embryos, which are 99.9% human, and 'true hybrids' carrying both human and animal genes." Previous calls for an outright ban on all human-animal embryos outraged scientists, according to the article. Scientist believe, "work on human-animal hybrid embryos will greatly speed up progress in stem cell research." It claims there will be a provision for regulation of the research to incorporate any "unforeseen developments."

Let the Island of Dr. Moreau comparisons begin!

Submission + - OpenBSD and Linux code sharing issue resolved

An anonymous reader writes: According to an undeadly article: "All the copyright holders of the Linux ath5k-driver code, derived from ar5k, have been contacted and have agreed to license their changes under the ISC license, thus allowing improvements to be re-incorporated into OpenBSD." So, after much drama, much of it documented on Slashdot, it looks like OpenBSD will be able to benefit from Linux-specific changes to its Atheros code after all.

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