Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Space

Submission + - Recently Discovered Habitable World May Not Exist (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Two weeks ago, U.S.-based astronomers announced the discovery of the first Goldilocks planet circling another star: just the right size and just the right temperature to harbor alien life. But yesterday at an exoplanet meeting in Turin, Italy, Switzerland-based astronomers announced that they could find no trace of the prized planet in their observations of the same planetary system.
Science

Submission + - What Scientists Really Think About Religion 4

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Washington Post has a book review of "Science and Religion: What Scientists Really Think" by Rice University sociologist Elaine Ecklund who did a detailed survey of 1,646 scientists at elite American research universities that reveals that scientists often practice a closeted faith worrying about how their peers would react to learning about their religious views. "After four years of research, at least one thing became clear: Much of what we believe about the faith lives of elite scientists is wrong. The 'insurmountable hostility' between science and religion is a caricature, a thought-cliche, perhaps useful as a satire on groupthink, but hardly representative of reality," writes Ecklund. Unsurprisingly, Ecklund found that 64 percent of scientists are either atheists (34%) or agnostic (30%) but only five of the 275 in-depth interviewees actively oppose religion and even among the third who are atheists, many consider themselves "spiritual" with one describing his spiritual atheism as being rooted in "wonder about the complexity and the majesty of existence," a sentiment many nonscientists — religious or not — would recognize. "According to the scientists I interviewed, the academy seems to have a “strong culture” that suppresses discussion about religion in many areas," says Ecklund. "Yet so few scientists talk openly about issues related to religion that we do not know the true consequences of having such discussions. To remove the perceived stigma, we would need to have more scientists talking openly about issues of religion, where such issues are particularly relevant to their discipline.""
Social Networks

Submission + - Twitter To Add Places & User Streams

adeelarshad82 writes: Twitter has announced at the Chirp conference that its roadmap will include locations and user streams. Twitter will maintain and curate its own database of locations, such as hotels and restaurants, and make the database open to developers. Moreover, the API for user streams, a technical name for real-time data that will be for desktop apps only, will be available to users within the next few days. Through this API developers will be able to take virtually all Twitter data and make it available to desktop apps in real time. Twitter used its first Chirp conference to assuage the fears of some of its developer base, who are worried about whether they will be left out in the cold following the establishment of an "official" BlackBerry app and the acquisition of the Tweetie mobile app. Judging from the announcements at Chirp and a recent post which might indicate death to third party services like TweetDeck, it's safe to say that Twitter wants to push developers to start building services that leverage Twitter instead of just filling holes.
Transportation

Submission + - Students Build 2,487 MPG Hypermiling Supercar (inhabitat.com) 2

MikeChino writes: Students at Laval University recently took home the gold in Shell’s annual Eco-Marathon with a hypermiling supervehicle able to hit 2,487MPG! The team's combustion engine-powered vehicle took home the grand prize in the Prototype category (along with $5,000) but it was far from the only impressive entry — the Purdue University Solar Racing Team clocked in at 4,548 MPG with their Pulsar solar vehicle, and the Cicero North Syracuse High School achieved 780.9 mpg in the fuel cell-powered Clean Green Machine.
Image

Supersizing the "Last Supper" Screenshot-sm 98

gandhi_2 writes "A pair of sibling scholars compared 52 artists' renditions of 'The Last Supper', and found that the size of the meal painted had grown through the years. Over the last millennium they found that entrees had increased by 70%, bread by 23%, and plate size by 65.6%. Their findings were published in the International Journal of Obesity. From the article: 'The apostles depicted during the Middle Ages appear to be the ascetics they are said to have been. But by 1498, when Leonardo da Vinci completed his masterpiece, the party was more lavishly fed. Almost a century later, the Mannerist painter Jacobo Tintoretto piled the food on the apostles' plates still higher.'"
Idle

Submission + - A Drop Of Oil Completes a Maze As Well As a Rat (popsci.com) 1

infodragon writes: Successfully navigating a complex maze is the basic lab test for intelligence. Rats can do it. Cuttlefish can do it. And now, inanimate droplets of oil can do it. By creating a pH gradient, scientists induced the an oil drop to navigate a maze, an advance with important applications in drug delivery, urban planning, and computer modeling.
Technology

Submission + - Video calling Android VPhone expected within weeks

adeelarshad82 writes: The Verizon-powered, video-calling, Android 2.0 VPhone may be rolling out within weeks according to what the phone's creator Chad Sayers told PCMag. The VPhone was first seen around last November. The phone is being processed through Verizon's Open Development Initiative, which is the carrier's effort to get devices onto their network that they won't have to service or support. According to the company's president, the VPhone will have its own, non-Verizon-branded affordable service plans aswell. Moreover, company's video compression technology lets the phones use relatively little bandwidth, so they won't be network hogs.
Music

ASCAP Seeks Licensing Fees For Guitar Hero Arcade 146

Self Bias Resistor writes "According to a post on the Arcade-Museum forums, ASCAP is demanding an annual $800 licensing fee from at least one operator of a Guitar Hero Arcade machine, citing ASCAP licensing regulations regarding jukeboxes. An ASCAP representative allegedly told the operator that she viewed the Guitar Hero machine as a jukebox of sorts. The operator told ASCAP to contact Raw Thrills, the company that sells the arcade units. The case is ongoing and GamePolitics is currently seeking clarification of the story from ASCAP."
Bug

Are Complex Games Doomed To Have Buggy Releases? 362

An anonymous reader points out a recent article at Gamesradar discussing the frequency of major bugs and technical issues in freshly-released video games. While such issues are often fixed with updates, questions remain about the legality and ethics of rushing a game to launch. Quoting: "As angry as you may be about getting a buggy title, would you want the law to get involved? Meglena Kuneva, EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner, is putting forward legislation that would legally oblige digital game distributors to give refunds for games, putting games in the same category in consumer law as household appliances. ... This call to arms has been praised by tech expert Andy Tanenbaum, author of books like Operating Systems: Design and Implementation. 'I think the idea that commercial software be judged by the same standards as other commercial products is not so crazy,' he says. 'Cars, TVs, and telephones are all expected to work, and they are full of software. Why not standalone software? I think such legislation would put software makers under pressure to first make sure their software works, then worry about more bells and whistles.'"
Space

Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System 88

Theosis sends word that an astronomer at the University of Rochester and his colleagues have made the surprise discovery that Alcor, one of the brightest stars in the Big Dipper, is actually two stars; and it is apparently gravitationally bound to the four-star Mizar system, making the whole group a sextuplet. This would make the Mizar-Alcor sextuplet the second-nearest such system known. The discovery is especially surprising because Alcor is one of the most studied stars in the sky. The Mizar-Alcor system has been involved in many "firsts" in the history of astronomy: "Benedetto Castelli, Galileo's protege and collaborator, first observed with a telescope that Mizar was not a single star in 1617, and Galileo observed it a week after hearing about this from Castelli, and noted it in his notebooks... Those two stars, called Mizar A and Mizar B, together with Alcor, in 1857 became the first binary stars ever photographed through a telescope. In 1890, Mizar A was discovered to itself be a binary, being the first binary to be discovered using spectroscopy. In 1908, spectroscopy revealed that Mizar B was also a pair of stars, making the group the first-known quintuple star system."
Image

NASA Tests Flying Airbag Screenshot-sm 118

coondoggie writes "NASA is looking to reduce the deadly impact of helicopter crashes on their pilots and passengers with what the agency calls a high-tech honeycomb airbag known as a deployable energy absorber. So in order to test out its technology NASA dropped a small helicopter from a height of 35 feet to see whether its deployable energy absorber, made up of an expandable honeycomb cushion, could handle the stress. The test crash hit the ground at about 54MPH at a 33 degree angle, what NASA called a relatively severe helicopter crash."
Censorship

Sharp Rise In Jailing of Online Journalists; Iran May Just Kill Them 233

bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists has published their annual census of journalists in prison. Of the 136 reporters in prison around the world on December 1, 'At least 68 bloggers, Web-based reporters, and online editors are imprisoned, constituting half of all journalists now in jail.' Print was next with 51 cases. Also, 'Freelancers now make up nearly 45 percent of all journalists jailed worldwide, a dramatic recent increase that reflects the evolution of the global news business.' China, Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, and Burma were the top 5 jailers of journalists." rmdstudio writes, too, with word that after the last few days' protest there, largely organized online, the government of Iran is considering the death penalty for bloggers and webmasters whose reports offend it.

Slashdot Top Deals

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759

Working...