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 + - In the virtual world, seeing is being (

cremeglace writes: In the virtual world, seeing is no longer just believing—it's being. In a new study, volunteers donned virtual reality goggles that put them in the body of a teenage girl in a virtual living room. The girl's mother stroked her on the shoulder while researchers simultaneously stroked the volunteers. Then, suddenly, the virtual mother slapped the girl—and the volunteers "felt" it. Their heart rates rapidly decelerated, a normal, initial response to a threat, even though there was no slap to their real faces. This is a sign that the subjects had begun to "own" their virtual body. The effect was much more powerful if the volunteers had a first-person perspective.

Submission + - MS Office still trumps Google Apps (

lordguha writes: For all the noise about — and from — Google giving Microsoft a run for its money in the office/productivity market, the reality is rather different. According to a survey by Forrester research 81% of enterprises are running Microsoft Office and only 4% using Google Apps. Google execs have also admitted that only a few large enterprises globally have moved to Google Docs.

Submission + - US Air Force to suffer from PS3 update ( 1

tlhIngan writes: "The US Air Force, having purchased PS3s for supercomputing research is now the latest victim of Sony's Non-April-Fools Prank.

It turns out that while their PS3s don't need the firmware update, it will be impossible to replace PS3s that fail. As PS3s with the OtherOS feature are no longer produced since the Slim was introduced, replacements will have to come from the existing stock of used PS3s. However, as most gamers have probably updated their PS3s, that used stock is no longer suitable for the USAF's research. In addition, smaller educational clusters using PS3s also have the same fate — unable to replace machines that die in their clusters.

(Personal note: My PS3 does have the OtherOS feature — seeing as all my PS3 games are single player only, I don't need the Playstation Network. So USAF — I'm willing to trade...)"

The Internet

Submission + - SPAM: UK Gov't: Web Sites Should Screen User Content

narramissic writes: "In a report released Thursday, the House of Commons' Culture Media and Sport Committee (PDF) recommended that Web sites screen user content before it is posted. The committee rejected Google's claims that with 10 hours of video posted on every minute it was not possible to pre-screen content. 'We found the arguments put forward by Google/YouTube against their staff undertaking any kind of proactive screening to be unconvincing,' the report said. 'Major providers such as MySpace have not been deterred from reviewing material posted on their sites.' Indeed, MySpace reported that it reviewed 'each image and video that is uploaded to the MySpace server.'"
Link to Original Source
The Media

Submission + - Esquire to launch E-Ink Magazine Cover (

MrMacman2u writes: "Apparently, Esquire is going to celebrate it's 75th anniversary with a special "bang" that will definitely get not only the general public's attention, but also hackers.

Their newsstand Anniversary Edition issue, due in October, will feature a 3mm thick cover sporting not one, but TWO large greyscale E-Ink displays providing an animated cover with changing headlines and on the back, an advertisement for the Ford Flex SUV.

That's right, two e-ink covers in a single unit that Esquire's deputy editor Peter Griffin states "We look forward to seeing what people do it".

So, how much is this going to cost us aspiring geeks/hackers? According to Mr. Griffin, "Just a few bucks". More information can be gleaned from the article

Anyone making plans for using these in ways the OEM did not originally intend?"

Social Networks

Submission + - Facebook poaches Mozilla engineering chief (

schliz writes: Facebook has added further seasoned management talent with the hiring of Mozilla's vice president of engineering Mike Schroepfer. Schroepfer joins the social networking site as director of engineering responsible for front-end and platform development, reporting directly to founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

Submission + - Judge says early termination fees likely illegal. (

Mikejetli writes: A judge in the Alameda County Superior Court has ruled in favor of the plaintiffs of a multimillion dollar suit against Sprint alledging that the early termination fees violate California's Unfair business practices law. Judge Bonnie Sabraw has ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered Sprint to pay 18.3 million to customer who sued over the fees and credit 54.8 million to those charged who were charged the fee but did not pay.

Submission + - Unidentified Flying Threats (

mlimber writes: The New York Times has an interesting op-ed on UFOs and national security. To wit, the author who is the former UFO investigator for the British Ministry of Defense, says, 'A healthy skepticism about extraterrestrial space travelers leads people to disregard U.F.O. sightings without a moment's thought. But in the United States, this translates into overdependence on radar data and indifference to all kinds of unidentified aircraft — a weakness that could be exploited by terrorists or anyone seeking to engage in espionage against the United States.... Britain and France, in contrast, continue to investigate U.F.O. sightings, because of concerns that some sightings might be attributable to foreign military aircraft breaching their airspace, or to foreign space-based systems of interest to the intelligence community.'
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - SplashTop "Instant-On Linux" Gets Hacked (

Michael writes: "Last year a small start-up company had launched SplashTop on ASUS motherboards, which is a lightweight Linux distribution embedded into a flash chip on the motherboard and allows a Linux desktop to be booted in under ten seconds that comes complete with a Firefox web browser, Skype, and Pidgin instant messaging. With the success of embedding Linux onto their motherboards, ASUS has announced they'd be bringing SplashTop onto all of their motherboard products. Now some members of the Phoronix Forums have managed to hack this instant-on Linux distribution. They've been able to inject new Linux applications, run a terminal within the SplashTop environment, run SplashTop off a USB stick, and best of all it can run on any motherboard, just not those from ASUS."

Submission + - IBM Tool Catches Code Mistakes as It's Written (

CWmike writes: "IBM's Rational Software unit has unveiled a development tool that can scan and check code as it's written. Drawing parallels to Microsoft Word's grammar checker, IBM says Rational Software Analyzer automatically scans the new code up to 700 times before an application is complete. Dave Locke, director of product marketing at Rational gave this example: If a programmer is writing an application written for English speakers, it will need changes if it also needs to support Hebrew-speaking users, and this tool helps catch errors. "We unfortunately see a lot of defects in code," says Locke. "You really want to be able to minimize those defects. The earlier you do it in the life cycle, the less expensive it becomes.""

Submission + - Lasers need lenses no more (

An anonymous reader writes: Communications lasers no longer need lenses! Instead they can add a plasmonic collimator. The new technique etches grooves directly into the semiconductor laser's internal mirror, then uses constructive interference to eliminate the need for the bulky optical lenses that usually focus the light from semiconductor lasers.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Foxconn linux issues blown out of proportion (

dlgeek writes: An analysis by Linux ACPI hacker and Ubuntu developer Matthew Garrett of the Foxconn ACPI tables that were the subject of controversy the other day reveals that "there's no evidence whatsoever that the BIOS is deliberately targeting Linux." and that "[he] can't find any way in which the code Foxconn are shipping is worse than any other typical vendor. This entire controversy is entirely unjustified."

Slashdot Top Deals

"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_