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Submission + - Poor Usability of Slashdot

Spartacus-Austin writes: How about doing a story on the poor usability of Slashdot?

First, if a user has a question who does he/she contact? There is no "Contact Us" on Slashdot.

Second, is it possible to set a view in Slashdot where I do not have to click a hundred times if I want to see every comment in a story? I want to see a "chronological expanded" view. Just show me each comment in full in the order it was entered with multiple pages if there are extensive comments. Doesn't that seem like the simplest and best way to view a discussion?

It seems like the engineers who created Slashdot over engineered the system and totally fracked up the usability in the process.
Space

Submission + - ISS science report released (nasa.gov)

Earthquake Retrofit writes: NASA has released an extensive report on science results from experiments performed on the International Space Station. From the summary:

"One of the most compelling results reported is the confirmation that the ability of common germs to cause disease increases during spaceflight, but that changing the growth environment of the bacteria can control this virulence. The Effect of Spaceflight on Microbial Gene Expression and Virulence experiment identified increased virulence of space-flown Salmonella typhimurium, a leading cause of food poisoning. New research on subsequent station missions will target development of a vaccine for this widespread malady."

I can't tell if this is good news, bad or both.

Also from a quick look at the report (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/389388main_ISS%20Science%20Report_20090030907.pdf), I see that soybeans grow bigger in space with no harmful effect.

Submission + - Chicago lost Olympics due to US passport control?

An anonymous reader writes: Chicago lost its bid for the 2016 Olympics (which went to Rio de Janiero instead), and it's looking very likely that US border procedures were one of the main factors which knocked Chicago out of the race:

Among the toughest questions posed to the Chicago bid team this week in Copenhagen was one that raised the issue of what kind of welcome foreigners would get from airport officials when they arrived in this country to attend the Games. Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, in the question-and-answer session following Chicagoâ(TM)s official presentation, pointed out that entering the United States can be "a rather harrowing experience." ... The exchange underscores what tourism officials here have been saying for years about the sometimes rigorous entry process for foreigners, which they see as a deterrent to tourism.

Microsoft

Submission + - Verizon fails at hiding packet filtering 2

Ribbons Almark writes: Today Verizon Fios customers of the Northeast coast of the United States experienced the most extreme packet filtering ever. Today Verizon tried to filter packets out of incoming data and limited communication between Verizon data and Microsoft data. Sites like Bing, Verizon.net were completely operational. Messenger programs like AIM, SKYPE, ASTRA, and YAHOO Messenger were crippled, while MSN/LIVE Messenger continued to work in full capacitiy. Further more email accounts for Verizon.net, Verizon.com, MSN, Hotmail and Live continued to work will all other email accounts were inaccessible. It can not be confirmed if this the first steps verizon is taking to filter content or if verizon is trying to test out non-net neutral filtering. Only one thing is known that this is only the beginning and the only worse is to come. This has been a report from Celestial Being a consumer advocate company.
The Internet

Submission + - Did they fix THE memory leak.

Pat__ writes: With every new story about Firefox someone starts asking/complaining about the memory leaks and memory consumption.

In the hope of laying this issue to rest once and for all, here is a great detailed post by Stuart Parmenter.

Here's what we've done:
Reduced memory fragmentation , fixed cycles with the cycle collector,
tuned our caches, adjusted how we store image data, hunted down leaks.

Bottom line is, about 400 leak bugs fixed and 60% less memory usage in normal times. Are you happy now?
Space

Submission + - Hubble Finds 12.8 Billion Year Old Galaxy (hubblesite.org)

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) has discovered the 12.8 billion year old galaxy now known as A1689-zD1. Using gravitational lensing of a massive cluster of galaxies called Abell 1689, they were able to find a surprisingly bright young galaxy from only 700 million years after the Big Bang, during the cosmic 'dark ages.'"
Yahoo!

Yahoo To Reject Microsoft Bid 302

Many outlets are echoing a subscribers-only report in the Wall Street Journal that Yahoo's board has decided to reject Microsoft's takeover offer. The NYTimes offers the only other independent reporting so far confirming this claim. The report says that Yahoo will formally reject the offer in a letter on Monday, since they believe it "massively undervalues" the company. Microsoft offered $31 per share, a 62% premium on the stock price at the time, for Yahoo; but the latter believes that no offer below $40 per share is tenable. The AP has some background on Yahoo's options in responding to the bid.

Feed Techdirt: More Evidence Of Why Virtual World Economies Are Risky (techdirt.com)

We've already discussed the inherent dangers of basing a business model on the economics of virtual worlds. While there definitely is quite a bit of trade in virtual goods (often for lots of money), it's mostly based on ideas of artificial scarcity on goods that are effectively infinite. To drive that point home, Josh sent in an interesting story about a lawsuit between two founders of one such virtual world, where part of the complaint was that one of the guys effectively handed over the company to a third guy -- who planned to make money by selling the game world's currency, noting that once he controlled the company, he could just create an "infinite" amount of money in "a few minutes" and sell it at "below market" prices. While this suggests the folks in question had little sense of how basic economics works, it also highlights a pretty serious risk in these virtual worlds. At the same time that we're seeing Ben Bernanke struggling with managing the monetary policy of the US economy, for virtual worlds where there really is no scarcity at all, the temptation to simply flood the market without recognizing the consequences is just too great.

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Portables

Best Laptop for Going Around the World? 479

mitbeaver writes "I'm planning a round-the-world trip. 6+ months in developing countries, including Everest base camps 1 & 2, the deserts of Namibia and lots of places in between. I want to bring something to write (blogs or the Great American Novel) and burn DVD photo backups to mail home. I don't really need much in the way of power, but I do need it to survive the altitude, dust, moisture of tropical locations, and being hauled around non-stop for the better part of a year. I will be carrying my life in my backpack, so every pound counts. It looks like some 'semi-rugged' ultraportables exist, but the truly 'rugged' are all pretty heavy. These are pricey, and the risk of theft is non trivial. A smaller laptop is easier to keep on my person more often, which is safer (in most countries) than leaving it in the hostel/hotel. Still, the rugged guys are 2x the price — almost worth buying a cheap one and planning an on the road replacement purchase. I know we've talked about gadgets to carry around the world before, but any advice would be greatly appreciated." We also discussed laptop travel cases a little more than a year ago.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - More Companies Exploring Virtual Worlds (cio.com)

mgoldberg writes: "Companies are using their own versions of Second Life, virtual worlds where they can immerse employees in settings where they can meet in a 3-D environment online. Organizations, like the I-95 Corridor Coalition, which seeks to improve safety along the interstate highway, train emergency first-responders in simulated situations to practice real-life approaches to car accidents, fires and more, CIO.com reports. The technology has advanced enough to enable pilot projects where users get immersed in a virtual environment; however, businesses must overcome many technical and cultural obstacles before they adopt virtual worlds on a major scale. The story includes a short video clip showing a simulated exercise run by the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Transportation."
Transportation

Submission + - Ford F-150 to have RFID, built in computer (news.com)

mytrip writes: "Bringing new meaning to the term "remote office," Ford Motor on Wednesday announced a set of high-tech features for its F series trucks and E series vans, including the 2009 version of the F-150.

The high-tech elements of the Ford Work Solutions include a broadband-capable in-dash computer; an asset tracking system called Tool Link that has embedded RFID (radio frequency identification) capabilities for logging tools and inventory on the truck; and a telematics and diagnostics system called Crew Chief. These features are expected to be available in new vehicles in the fall. Eventually, Ford says, dealers will be able to install some of the features in existing Ford truck models."

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