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


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Submission + - Light-based quantum circuit does basic maths (

Stochastism writes: In yet another small step toward realistic quantum computing Australian researchers have developed a light based 4-qubit quantum computer. It has already calculated the prime roots of fifteen, three and five. Perhaps not quite powerful enough to threaten public key cryptography just yet ;) but apparently successful enough to deserve DARPA funding.

Submission + - Doomsday Vault Begins Deep Freeze

Ponca City, We Love You writes: "Construction is now complete on the Doomsday Vault built 120 meters inside a sandstone mountain on Spitsbergen Island with dual blast-proof doors, motion sensors, two airlocks, and walls of steel-reinforced concrete one meter thick and engineers have begun the two-month process of cooling the vault down to -18 C. Also called the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the vault will house seeds from all known varieties of key food crops to safeguard the world's crops from future disasters, such as nuclear wars, asteroids or dangerous climate change. "The seed vault is the perfect place for keeping seeds safe for centuries," said Cary Fowler, the Trust's executive director. Spitsbergen, about 1120 km from the north pole, was considered ideal due to its lack of tectonic activity and its permafrost to aid preservation. The seed vault will not flood even if Greenland's ice sheet melts, which some estimate would increase sea levels by seven meters. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed 30 million dollars to help developing countries send seeds of "critical" food crops to the vault."

Submission + - Microsoft defeated by Mandriva in Nigerian rumble ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: After trying to bribe a local supplier with a $400,000 marketing contract, Microsoft has apparently lost out in trying to woo Nigeria's government to use Windows over Linux. Microsoft threw the money at the supplier after it chose Mandriva Linux for 17,000 laptops for school children across Nigeria. The supplier took the bait and agreed to wipe Mandriva off the machines, but now Nigeria's government has stepped in to stop the dirty deal.

Submission + - Korea proposes further censoring bulletin boards (

dave_h_in_philly writes: "An article in today's Korea Herald states that 'more than a quarter of Korean lawmakers' have joined a group that calls itself the Sunfull Politics Campaign, whose purpose is to 'root out ill-intended [I]nternet postings.' The group is also pressuring the government to expand the use of Korea's real-name system for bulletin board postings. Furthermore, the group pledges to 'clean up internet culture and educate teenagers from an early age.'"
The Media

Submission + - Subliminal Advertising Being Used on Australian TV (

Ben de Luca writes: "Channel 10 one of the 3 largest free to air commercial broadcasters has been using subliminal advertising through out its programing, mediawatch ( has a transcript of their program describing the advertising here. Subliminal advertising is illegal on Australian TV, but it seems likely that there will be few complaints due to its subliminal nature."

Submission + - Microsoft threatens Halo 3 gamers with LIVE ban ( 7

JamesO writes: "When contacted by Pro-G a Microsoft rep confirmed rumours that gamers who play Halo 3 early will have their LIVE accounts banned. Simply not connecting to the internet doesn't appear to be a solution either. The rep also confirmed that Microsoft is able to ban accounts based on information collected by the console which shows when the game was played. This news is sure to come as a shock to some gamers who have already started playing the final chapter in the blockbuster Halo trilogy.

This appears to suggest that games who play Halo 3 before the official street date will only avoid a ban if they never access Xbox LIVE. Microsoft is preparing an official statement on the Halo 3 banning scandal. We'll give you more on this breaking news story as we get it."

XBox (Games)

Submission + - 33% of Xbox360s returned

phantomfive writes: "Microsoft has finally admitted that 33% of their latest consoles have problems and needed repairs. This has cost them an additional $1.05 billion. We've been speculating on this problem for a while, but it's probably not too bad for the xbox in the long run (except for profits) because 90% of the users still would recommend the 360 to their friends."

Submission + - FFII starts 25k Euro anti-OOXML contest (

christian.einfeldt writes: "Microsoft has spent a good deal of money persuading national and international standards bodies that its OOXML is the truly "neutral" standard for office productivity formats, and has had quite some success in so doing. Now, the Foundation for Free Information Infrasctructure (FFII) is hoping to tap the wisdom of crowds by starting a publicity campaign to counter some of the headway made by Microsoft in this area. Tectonic reporter James Archibald quotes FFII campaigner Benjamin Henrion as saying,

'It's time for activists across the world to stand up, to reach out to their national ISO bodies, and to explain why Microsoft's format is not open, not a standard, and not XML.'
But the FFII is not asking activists to suffer too terribly for their cause, as the winning campaign would earn a 25,000 Euro purse for the most clever campaign."


Submission + - Upcoming Film Based on Arthur C. Clarke Story

SoyChemist writes: The Wired Science blog has production stills and a story about a side project that several Industrial Light and Magic employees have been working on. They are producing the short story Maelstrom II as an independent film. The entire thing was shot in front of a bluescreen so that all of the sets and props will be CGI. The lone actor, Chuck Marra, plays a guy that hitches a ride on an electromagnetically launched freight capsule from the moon to earth. When the nuclear reactor that powers the catapult fails, he is thrown into space, but not far enough to escape lunar gravity — leading to an Apollo 13 style rescue mission. The original story was written by Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Submission + - Gates' Generosity Under Investigation (

vashfish writes: In a fit of irony, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is under investigation by the DoJ for being TOO generous. From the article:

"After the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced plans to donate five billion dollars to help rebuild libraries destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division launched a formal investigation into the Foundation. Thomas O. Barnett, Assistant Attorney General, said in a press release that, 'The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest charity cartel, has overstepped its boundaries and entered into the realm of predatory pricing. How is FEMA supposed to compete with private charities?'"


Submission + - Survey: Windows loses ground with developers (

An anonymous reader writes: InfoWorld is running an article that Linux is gaining share as the number of developers targeting Windows falls 12 percent, according to an Evans Data survey of North American developers. The arrival of Windows Vista likely only kept the numbers from being even worse.

Submission + - Google Sketchup Helping Get College Kids Drunk (

An anonymous reader writes: Found a couple Beer Pong table designs while perusing Google's 3D warehouse. The warehouse allows users to upload their Sketchup-created models to share with others and review.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Gamers Have Friends, Girls Like Grand Theft Auto (

Jeremy Dean writes: "New research dispels the well-worn stereotypes that computer gamers having no social skills and girls avoid violent games like Grand Theft Auto. Results showed children playing violent M-rated games were more likely to play in groups. Friendship groups amongst boys, in particular, were often based around violent computer games. Also, children used games to help manage their emotions. When angry or stressed they liked to use games to get these emotions out."
The Almighty Buck

Underfunded NSA Suffers Brownouts 198

An anonymous reader writes "Almost ten years after the an internal report, and a year after a Baltimore sun story warned that the electrical system at the fort Meade NSA HQ couldn't keep up with the growing electricity demand ... the problem has got worse. The 'NSA has had to resort to partial, rolling brownouts at its computer farms and scheduled power outages and some offices are experiencing significant power disruptions'. NSA director Alexander testified to congress about this problem. It is suggested he wanted to add more than $800 million to the 07 budget. A recent public powerpoint presentation suggested 70% of of all intelligence spending goes to contractors. It also included a graph, without numbers, of this spending. It suggests that US intelligence spending is around $60 billion. An internal survey that showed NSA employees have problems trusting each other."

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