Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Submission + - No, you can't use Wi-Fi to power your phone. Do the math! (

richi writes: Did you see the headlines squawking about how Wi-Fi will charge your smartphone in the future?

Bunkum, I say. Each time the story gets repeated, it loses a little more veracity. So I aimed my Computerworld curation cannon at this.

Researchers have improved the ability to capture power from radio waves. By tweaking some standard Wi-Fi hardware, they've increased the amount of power that can be leeched from unused transmissions. It could help power IoT sensors.

But wait — don't believe everything you read on the interwebs, kids. Predictably, some science-illiterate journalists and bloggers are saying it can actually charge your smartphone. Sadly, the researchers only achieved power levels of a few microWatts — that's about 100,000 times too small to run your phone, let alone charge it.

Submission + - As Ebola death toll rises, scientists work on nanotech cure

rlinke writes: Scientists at Northeastern University are using nanotechnology to find an effective treatment for the Ebola virus, which has killed more than 1,200 people and sickened even more.

What makes finding a vaccine or cure such a formidable job is that the virus mutates so quickly. How do you pin down and treat something that is continually changing?

Thomas Webster, professor and chairman of bioengineering and chemical engineering at Northeastern, may have an answer to that — nanotechnology.

Submission + - Vision-correcting display nixes your need for eyeglasses

rlinke writes: What would it be like if you didn't need your eyeglasses to clearly see your laptop screen or a text message on your smartphone?

Scientists at the University of California Berkeley are working on computer screens that would adjust their images to accommodate individual user's visual needs. Think of it as a display that wears the glasses so users don't have to.

Submission + - Cisco's Internet of Things chief resigns (

alphadogg writes: Cisco Systems' point man on the Internet of Things (IoT) has resigned just as industries start to explore how millions of sensors and devices can be connected over networks. Cisco confirmed on Thursday that Guido Jouret, who was vice president and general manager of the company's Internet of Things Group, has left to "pursue a new opportunity." Rob Soderbery, senior vice president of Cisco's Enterprise Networking Group, which oversees the IoT division, will now oversee it directly, Cisco said. Cisco recently announced it was earmarking an additional $150 million over the next few years to invest in startups, including in the IoT space.

Submission + - The rise, fall, and rehabilitation of Internet Explorer (

mattydread23 writes: Why did Microsoft miss so many opportunities with the web? Why did IE drop the ball, what made Microsoft wake up to the potential of the Web — and will IE be able to stay modern in the world of living standards that never stop changing? Veteran Microsoft writer Mary Branscombe has penned the definitive history of Internet Explorer, from its genesis in the early 1990s all the way up to IE11 today. It's a long read, but fascinating for anybody interested in the future of the web and the standards that drive it.

Submission + - Ad tracking: Is anything being done? ( 1

bsk_cw writes: The W3C's Tracking Protection Working Group has been trying to come up with a way to make targeted ads acceptable to users and useful to advertisers — and so far, hasn't gotten very far. Computerworld's Robert Mitchell has interviewed people on all sides of the issue — consumer privacy advocates, vendors of ad-blocking tools, advertisers and website publishers — to try to unravel the issues and see if any solution is possible at all.

Submission + - Reversible USB Cables That Will Make Life Easier: First Pictures (

concertina226 writes: The USB Implementers Forum, which oversees the Universal Serial Bus specification, announced plans to develop a new USB standard in December to replace the current microUSB standard, almost universally used to power smartphones and tablets today.

"The specification is anticipated to be completed in July 2014. We could see products with the new cable by end of year," the USB IF told CNET at the Intel Develop Forum conference in Shenzhen, China.

The new Type-C cables will run on the USB 3.1 standard, which supports 10Gbps transfer rates, although the USB prong itself will measure 8.3mm x 2.5 mm, which is slightly smaller than the common USB cable ports in PCs but slightly larger than the microUSB cables used to connect mobile phones.

Submission + - National Lab Working to Mix Metals and Polymers for 3D Printing (

Lucas123 writes: Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab are trying to expand 3D printing to include mixed materials at the same time, such as polymers and metals. With those advances, a company could build, for example, body armor for soldiers that are stronger and lighter. If their work pans out, they’ll create materials that have properties that simply don’t exist today.

Submission + - Ad blockers: A solution or a problem? (

bsk_cw writes: It's individual rights vs. the capitalistic system: What do you do about advertising on sites? A lot of users dislike advertising (much of which isn't only an annoyance, but actively slows down their systems) and are offended by tracking software (which pulls and uses private data). So they use ad blockers and other applications. However, if you talk to the site publishers — especially the smaller sites who don't have large corporate entities behind them — ad blockers could, if more widely used, mean a disastrous loss of revenue. When offered an alternative — paying a fee for an ad-free site — publishers say that most users prefer to surf free of charge, but without either ads or fees, how are they supposed to support their content? Computerworld's Rob Mitchell talks to site publishers and the creators of ad blocking applications, and tries to unravel the issue.

Submission + - Cisco: 1 Million Worker Shortage In IT Security (

chicksdaddy writes: Cisco released its annual security report this morning and the news isn't good. Hidden amid the standard bad news (100% of 30 Fortune 500 companies were found to host malware on their network) is a particularly biting piece of bad news: a dire shortage of trained cyber security experts.

Cisco estimates that there is already global shortage of up to one million more cyber security experts in 2014. As the security demands on companies increase, that shortage is set to become even more acute, according to Levi Gundert of Cisco's Threat Research and Analysis Center. Expertise in areas like security architecture, incident response and threat intelligence are already in demand and where organizations are going to feel the pinch of the skills shortage, he said.

Submission + - Scientists glue sensors to 5,000 bees in a bid to better understand them (

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists at the University of Tasmania working with CSIRO have decided to go use the latest sensor technology to help them better understand the behavior of thousands of bees.

An RFID sensor measuring 2.5mm2 has been attached with glue to the back of around 5,000 honey bees in Hobart, Tasmania. In order for that to work, shaving the area of the bee where the sensor would sit was necessary in some cases. Thankfully the bee was asleep during the process, and the sensor is small and light enough that they likely won’t notice it is there.

With the sensors attached, checkpoints can be setup around the area where the bees travel and pollinate in order to create a three-dimensional map of their movements.

Slashdot Top Deals

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!