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


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 + - SpaceX gets greenlighted for rendezvous with the ISS (

sneakyimp writes: "Much weeping and gnashing of teeth has accompanied the retirement of the the space shuttle and it has been a bit sad seeing discovery take its last flight over DC. But SpaceX, brainchild of Elon Musk, appears to be supplying a silver lining this week as their Dragon capsule, riding atop a Falcon rocket has been greenlighted for a rendezvous with the ISS on April 30. Skeptical? SpaceX, a private enterprise, is the first entity that is not a sovereign government to launch a capsule into space and retrieve it on earth. While the mission to the ISS is admittedly not a sure shot, Elon Musk has a few fighting words about their ability to compete with Russia and China on a cost basis."

Submission + - Discovery completes her final flight (

ajclements writes: After departing early this morning from NASA's Shuttle Landing Facility and making a series of passes over the space coast and Washington DC, Discovery has landed at Dulles International Airport. On April 19th she will be unloaded from the shuttle carrier aircraft and brought to her final home at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center.

Submission + - SOPA stalls in House Judiciary Committee (

An anonymous reader writes: From the Article:
The House of Representative's Judiciary Committee stalled today for their vote of the SOPA bill. This stall comes with a lot of discussion and debate about potential amendments to the bill itself. SOPA is one of the more controversial bills going through congress right now(Along with the NDAA bill). There was no final vote on the bill today, as there had been expected. Several Representatives have voiced many concerns about the bill, and gives hope that the bill will be killed in the committee. However, there are still Representatives in support of the bill. Those Representatives pointed out that if DNS was targeted, infringing websites would still be accessible, but only through the IP address.


Submission + - Driverless car: Google awarded US patent for techn (

An anonymous reader writes: "A US patent for self-driving cars has been awarded to Google.

The intellectual rights relate to a method to switch a vehicle from a human-controlled mode into the state where it takes charge of the wheel.

It explains how the car would know when to take control, where it is located and which direction to drive in.

The search firm suggests the technology could be used to offer tours of tourist locations or to send faulty models to repair shops.

The application for Transitioning a Mixed-mode Vehicle to Autonomous Mode was applied for in May, but had been hidden from public view until this week.

The document describes using two sets of sensors. The first identifies a "landing strip" when the vehicle stops. This then triggers the second set which receives data informing the machine where it is positioned and where it should go.

"The landing strip allows a human driving the vehicle to know acceptable parking places for the vehicle," the patent filing says.

"Additionally, the landing strip may indicate to the vehicle that it is parked in a region where it may transition into autonomous mode.""


Submission + - How Often Does Your Car Really Need an Oil Change?

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The LA Times reports that quick-lube companies have done such a good job convincing consumers that they need to change the oil in their cars every 3,000 miles that drivers are wasting millions of gallons of oil annually because they have their vehicles serviced too often as improvement in oils, friction proofing and car engines have lengthened the oil-change interval, typically 7,500 miles to 10,000 miles for most vehicles. "Our survey data found that nearly half of California drivers are still changing their oil at 3,000 miles or even sooner," says Mark Oldfield, a spokesman for the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery, which has launched a website,, where drivers can look up the suggested motor-oil change interval number for their vehicles. Ford Motor Co. recommends oil changes for most of its new vehicles at 10,000 miles, although some still require the service at 7,500 miles. "Our new generation of engines have tighter internal tolerances, which reduces the amount of carbon and other products from combustion that gets into the oil," says Richard Truett, a Ford spokesman. Both Honda and Acura are equipped with a maintenance minder system that recommends oil changes and other services based on a number of vehicle-usage factors, including mileage and climate and other manufacturers have similar systems that alert drivers to the need for an oil change. "The idea is to prevent either over- or under-maintaining a car by following a set schedule," says Chris Martin, a Honda spokesman. "Now, there is no guesswork.""

Submission + - Hubble pic of a 30 octillion ton baby's tantrum ( 2

The Bad Astronomer writes: "In what is one of the most staggeringly beautiful Hubble pictures ever taken, a newly-born massive star is blasting four separate jets of material into its surrounding cocoon, carving out cavities in the material over two light years long. But only three of the jets appear to have matter still inside them, and the central star is off-center. This may be a gorgeous picture, but the science behind it is equally as compelling."

Comment What a shame (Score 1) 757

I have a bottle of his product sitting not 20 feet from me. Serves as a backup on all of my camping trips should my primary water purification method fail, or if the water is just too dirty to use a filter. The first time I used the stuff was a decade ago when I visited Philmont with my scout troop, where a pair of bottles is given to every contingent for safety.

Comment I don't particularilly like Apple's stance, but (Score 1) 414

Amazon saying a legal reservation on a idea is too generic is kind of like the pot calling the kettle black. I seem to remember that Amazon patented everything they came up with for a long period, and most of that was so obvious no one else would have considered patenting it. UserFriendly covered that a long time ago.

Slashdot Top Deals

Refreshed by a brief blackout, I got to my feet and went next door. -- Martin Amis, _Money_