guises writes: By making a giant Petri dish out of bands of increasingly antibiotic-laced agar, a couple of microbiologists have created a means to watch bacterial evolution as it happens: colonies introduced to the dish expand to fill the areas in which they can survive and then mutate and spread into the areas in which they couldn't. It takes only eleven days for the bacteria to evolve sufficient resistance to survive in an area with a thousand times the concentration of antibiotic that would have killed the original colonies. And it makes a pretty neat video.
guises writes: Ever since mouse wheels were introduced the middle mouse button has been sidelined to an inadequate click-wheel function, or in some cases ditched altogether. This has never sat well with me, a proper middle button is invaluable for pasting, games, and navigation. More than that, my hand categorically rejects two button mice — the dangling ring finger causes me genuine physical discomfort. I have begged Logitech on multiple occasions to make just one, among their many screwy specialty mice, to replace the Mouseman which I loved so dearly. I thought for a moment that I had been answered with the g600, only to find that they had put the right mouse button in the middle.
So my question to Slashdot is: where does a person turn for a three button mouse these days? I've only foundtwo, both ergonomic and priced accordingly. I use the Contour and like the shape and wheel position, but would love to find something wireless and with a higher DPI sensor.
guises writes: For posterity, and our amusement, How-To Geek downloaded and installed (with default settings) all of the top ten list of Windows apps from Download.com and let them fight each other for control. One was an anti-virus program, it... did its best.
guises writes: The oldest known orca has recently been spotted off western Canada at an age of 103. A female nicknamed "granny," photos exist of her from the 1930s, where she can be identified by her distinctive saddle patch. The news has prompted calls for another evaluation of marine mammals in captivity — orcas in captivity usually don’t live beyond their 20s.
guises writes: A recent story discussing the cover of Byte Magazine reminded me of just how much we've lost with the death of print media. The Internet isn't what took down Byte, but a lot of other really excellent publications have fallen by the wayside as a result of the shift away from the printed page. We're not quite there yet though, there seem to still be some holdouts, so I'm asking Slashdot: what magazines (or zines, or your newsletter) are still hanging around that are worth subscribing too while I still have the chance?
guises writes: Lavabit, originally envisioned as a privacy-conscious alternative to Gmail, has shuttered. Ladar Levison, the company owner, offers this explanation:
I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on--the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise.
guises writes: Canonical has launched an indiegogo campaign for the Ubuntu Edge — a proposed high-end smartphone that would dual-boot Ubuntu and Android by default. The campaign has a lofty goal of $32 million, which they hope to raise in only thirty days. An ambitious goal, given that the highest-funded campaign ever on Kickstarter, the Pebble watch, raised only $10.2 million in thirty eight days. Never the less, the project certainly has it's appeal and those who get in early (today only) can get the phone for as little as $600.
guises writes: Al Franken has started a petition for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Online petitions are perhaps of dubious efficacy, but hopefully one started by a sitting senator will have a little more impact.
guises writes: Wasteland 2, a Kickstarter project which has already met it's primary funding goal, has added Linux to the list of platforms which will be supported if funding reaches the $1.5 million mark. Currently, they're less than $50,000 from that secondary goal. For those unfamiliar, Wasteland was an acclaimed post-apocalyptic CRPG released in 1988. Fallout was the spiritual successor to Wasteland, being made by the same people who did not have the rights to the Wasteland name.