Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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! ×

Submission + - Important Ruling for the Anti-Malware Industry (net-security.org)

ABC writes: Zango sued Kaspersky Lab to force the Company to reclassify Zango's programs as nonthreatening and to prevent Kaspersky Labs's security software from blocking Zango's potentially undesirable programs. In the important ruling for the anti-malware industry, Judge Coughenour of the Western District of Washington threw out Zango's lawsuit on the grounds that Kaspersky was immune from liability under the Communications Decency Act.

In Tests Opteron Shows Efficiency Edge Over Intel, Again 98

Ted Samson writes "In their latest round of energy-efficiency tests between AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon, independent testing firm Neal Nelson and Associates find AMD still holds an edge, but it's certainly not cut-and-dried. Nelson put similarly equipped servers through another gauntlet of tests, swapping in different amounts of memory and varying transaction loads. In the end, he found that the more memory he installed on the servers, the better the Opteron performed compared to the Xeon. Additionally, at maximum throughput, the Intel system fared better, power-efficiency-wise, by 5.0 to 5.5 percent for calculation intensive workloads. For disk I/O intensive workloads, AMD delivered better power efficiency by 18.4 to 18.6 percent. And in idle states — that is, when servers were waiting for their next work load — AMD consistently creamed Intel."

Submission + - NBC wanted $5 per TV show, more restrictive DRM 1

Slaine writes: More information has come to light about why Apple and NBC aren't seeing eye-to-eye on selling TV shows through iTunes (previous /.). NBC wants far more restrictive DRM, and demanded $4.99 pricing for TV shows, more than doubling the price. Apple has retaliated by refusing to sell NBC's new fall shows, even though they have a contract through the end of the year. Something tells me NBC will be regretting this decision once the new season of shows starts.

SCO Wants Summary Ruling, Wants To Appeal Unix Ownership Decision 111

An anonymous reader writes "SCO is asking the court to enter a final judgment on the Unix ownership issues so that it can seek an immediate appeal. The logic for this, according to Groklaw Editor Pamela Jones, is that SCO would rather appeal right away so it can try all its claims at IBM, should it successfully appeal the judge's order. 'Otherwise, SCO has to wait until Novell goes through trial to a verdict and then appeal, and while it is in the appeal process, IBM would go forward in its now much smaller version, based on the August 10th ruling ... The trial starts, though, in less than a month and it will last less than a week, so none of this makes any sense if you look at a calendar. I think, therefore, it must be about FUD, so it sounds like SCO is on the move again.' The text of the request is available online. "
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - How to make submarines invisible to sonar

holy_calamity writes: Chinese researchers have figured out how to make objects invisible to sound. All you need is a "a periodic array of rubber-coated gold spheres along with spheres of water containing air bubbles, all embedded within an epoxy resin." Acoustic metamaterials are the sound-wave version of the much-hyped 'invisibility cloak' [slashdot.org], and are probably already on the US Navy's shopping list.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Bug crashes Japanese communications (asahi.com)

tam writes: "But in this case it's a literal bug.

The bug is a big black cicada that's been bringing down Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. in the last few months by laying eggs in the company's fiber optic cables instead of the insect's usual nests in dead trees. Thousands of customers have complained to communications giant NTT about service interruptions. The company reports that most have been due to cicada damage in cables between main lines and people's homes.

Technology to the rescue of technology. NTT now says it will sell cables coated with polyurethane that resembles living tree bark. This cicada species is expected to avoid the new cables because it does not lay its eggs in living trees.

There are about 3,000 cicada species around the world. Many appear every year to punctuate summer evenings with their earsplitting love songs. But some, the periodical cicadas, lead long bizarre lives, most spent underground. They emerge only after 13 or 17 years, mate, lay eggs, and die within a few weeks. A big noisy brood emerged on time in the East in 2004. This year, it's the Midwest's turn:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/chi-070521c icadas-photogallery,0,7173661.photogallery
Here's a Japanese cicada site (English version):

One of the many puzzles about periodical cicadas is why their life cycles are prime numbers. There are several theories, and I wrote about them (and other cicada questions) in Scientific American.
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000EACE 8-6623-10A9-A47783414B7F0000&sc=I100322

Oh, and it's pronounced sick-AID-ah."


Submission + - Russia plans own moon base (www.cbc.ca)

Socguy writes: "After being rebuffed by NASA, Russia now plans to build it's own moon base by as early as 2027.

Russia plans to send a manned mission to the moon by 2025 and establish a permanent base shortly thereafter, the head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos said Friday.

"According to our estimates, we will be ready for a manned flight to the moon in 2025," Roskosmos chief Anatoly Perminov told state news agency RIA Novosti. A station that could be inhabited could be built there between 2027 and 2032, he said.

While Russia will be refurbishing existing spacecraft, the U.S. is taking a different approach after the space station is finished and plans to scrap the space shuttle program in favour of a new kind of spaceship to be called Orion.

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/08/31/scie nce-russia-moon.html"

The Media

Games Had Nothing To Do With V. Tech Shooting 99

GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that an inquiry into the Virginia Tech shooting in April of this year has revealed no connection whatsoever to videogames. The shooter's lack of interest in violent gaming was widely reported among game news sites at that time in the year, despite the exploration of the idea on cable television news. The official report, filed with the governor of the state, lays that 'motive' to rest. From the article: "The report, which includes a mental health history of the shooter, Seung Hui Cho, notes that during his childhood he had 'played videogames like Sonic the Hedgehog,' yet 'none of the videogames were war games or had violent themes.' This flies in the face of statements made on Fox TV news by Jack Thompson in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, which laid the blame for the incident firmly at the door of videogames."

Australian ISPs Reject Calls To Police Their Users 86

jon_cooper writes "After recent setbacks in the RIAA's lawsuits, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has decided to try a different approach in Australia - they want ISPs to do their dirty work for them. Australian ISPs, though, have soundly rejected calls from AFACT to slow down or terminate user accounts that AFACT has determined are being used to distribute copyrighted works. Telstra (one of the larger ISPs in question) had this to say: 'We do not believe it is up to the ISPs to be judge, jury and executioner in relation to the issue when the content owners have any number of legal avenues to pursue infringements.'"
United States

Submission + - Abaondoned Mine chosen for Deep Underground Lab

lukej writes: The abandoned Homestake Gold Mine has been chosen as the prefered site for a NSF deep underground laboratory. Google News has plenty of AP coverage, and the local paper has a nice 3d graphic. While the NSF rounds up funding for large astrophysics and biology experiments, the announcement has released millions of dollars in funding for preparatory work. One of the first tasks will be pumping out 3000 feet of water to access the 8000 foot level.

Submission + - John Knoll on CGI, Tron and 25 years of change (computerworld.com)

kgagne writes: "July 9th marked the 25th anniversary of the theatrical release of the Disney movie Tron. To commemorate the event, Computerworld.com has an interview with John Knoll, ILM's visual effects supervisor for the Star Wars prequels and the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, on Tron's pioneering techniques and impact on the industry:

"It was something new and different, and there were a lot of things that were really cool about it: the imagery, the design. Given the lack of sophistication of some of the tools they had to work with, there was a very clever design done to work within the capabilities. The Light Cycles, the Tanks, and the Recognizers were very clever designs. They're super-minimal, but just they're really nice, distinctive, and there were really great art direction choices made about color and camera angles. [Tron] opened everyone's eyes to something they should be watching because it had a lot of potential."


Submission + - Secretly monopolizing the CPU without being root

An anonymous reader writes: This year's Usenix security symposium includes a paper that implements a "cheat" utility, which allows any non-privileged user to run his/her program, e.g., like so

cheat 99% program

thereby insuring that the programs would get 99% of the CPU cycles, regardless of the presence of any other applications in the system, and in some cases (like Linux), in a way that keeps the program invisible from CPU monitoring tools (like 'top'). The utility exclusively uses standard interfaces and can be trivially implemented by any beginner non-privileged programmer. Recent efforts to improve the support for multimedia applications make systems more susceptible to the attack. All prevalent operating systems but Mac OS X are vulnerable, though by this kerneltrap story, it appears that the new CFS Linux scheduler attempts to address the problem that were raised by the paper.
The Internet

Vertical Search Engines and Copyright 62

An anonymous reader writes "I am a big fan of Oodle, the online classifieds aggregator. I was disheartened when Craigslist announced that they would block Oodle from their site in late 2005 (old link), as I find their service very handy. I came across this page at the site of an aggregator of freelance job openings that summarizes the arguments around the legality of meta search engines and mashup-like sites and I found myself wondering if Oodle could have avoided the ban. There is an interesting argument there that seems to undermine copyright claims of user-generated content compilations. Are mashups legal? How does this affect sites like Digg or YouTube?"

Submission + - New Mars rover of NASA to analyze underground (nasa.gov)

KeepQuiet writes: NASA is about to launch a new rover,Phoenix, to Mars. Being "an initiative for smaller, lower-cost, competed spacecraft", Phoenix will continue the search for water on Mars. It is planned to land on the icy northern pole of Mars. The rover will use its robotic arm and dig into the layers of water ice. The samples will be analyzed by the 'portable laboratory' on the rover.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!" -- Buckaroo Banzai