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! ×

Low Quality Alloy Cause of Shuttle Main Tank Issue 118

BJ_Covert_Action writes "NASA engineers have finally discovered the root cause of the cracks that have been found on space shuttle Discovery's main external tank. The main tank, one of the 'Super Lightweight Tank' models developed by Lockheed-Martin, employs an aluminum-lithium alloy developed by Lockheed-Martin specifically for this application. The new alloy is used in various structural stringers throughout the SLWT design. Unfortunately, the batch of this alloy used in the tank that is currently mated with the Discovery shuttle appears to be of low quality. The alloy used in the stringers has a 'mottled' appearance, compared to the nominal appearance typically used in the main tank stringers (see picture in article). This appearance is indicative of a fracture threshold that is significantly lower than typical. NASA has determined, through testing, that this low grade alloy has only 65% of the fracture strength of the nominal alloy typically used. NASA engineers have devised a potential fix to the problem that they are currently testing to ensure the repair will cause no unintended consequences. NASA plans to have the Discovery shuttle ready to launch again by February 24th, 2011."

Lizard Previously Unknown To Science Found On Vietnam Menu 133

eldavojohn writes "A lizard long served on the menu in the Mekong Delta has recently caught the attention of scientists when it was noted that all animals in the species appeared identical as well as female. The species appears to be a hybrid of two other species (like a mule or liger). But the curious thing is that this hybrid isn't sterile — it reproduces asexually. The species, known for some time in Vietnam, has now officially been named Leiolepis ngovantrii."

Comment Re:No suprise here (Score 1) 186

One amendment... News Corp doing business with North Korea is a-ok. They would roast any other company doing so.

Think about how Fox News would treat a company that has significant ownership by a Muslim stockholder with that stockholder donating to the group building the Cordoba Center (the one Fox News called the "gound-zero mosque"), and deals with North Korea. My guess is that their description would hint at terrorism. If you have not guessed what corporation might fit this description, that's right, News Corp.

Comment Re:Apple (Score 1) 668

Perhaps, but there has not been major press on every news network about the secret android prototype as the next version of the Droid. Compare that with the press circus around the apple prototype. I have not seen android news pushing much beyond tech press.

The new iPhone rumors began in January, and culminating in the massive leak last month. I think this had a big impact on sales. Since Apple does not do constant incremental upgrade like other manufacturers, I think it more likely to be subject issues of waiting and pent-up demand. And, unlike with many Apple products and update cycles, the general public is pretty well informed on the new iPhone to come.

As you said, every day you read that is a slightly faster/better android phone, so some people might wait, but if upgrades are constant, it would argue for less seasonality. You buy when you need that new phone. That is not the case with the iPhone, there are big surges with the new models, which come yearly. That is seasonal adjustment that needs to be modeled into the time-series.

Mississippi Makes Caller ID Spoofing Illegal 258

marklyon writes "HB 872, recently signed into law by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, makes Caller ID spoofing illegal. The law covers alterations to the caller's name, telephone number, or name and telephone number that is shown to a recipient of a call or otherwise presented to the network. The law applies to PSTN, wireless and VoIP calls. Penalties for each violation can be up to $1,000 and one year in jail. Blocking of caller identification information is still permitted."

Comment The problem with fair use (Score 3, Insightful) 187

The summary says, "...used in an unarguably fair-use manner," but the problem is that there are no definitions of fair use that can't be argued. There are guidelines, but the only way to determine that a use is fair is to argue it in a court and prevail. Sure there may be uses that are so clear cut that a reasonable person would agree that the use is fair, and prior case law helps guide decisions, but try asking a lawyer to confirm your use to be fair use, and you'll rarely get a clear answer.

I'm not saying this is not a case of fair use, but in having a system where the one way to be certain is to go to trial is going to lead to conservative behavior in users of content.

Comment Re:Depends (Score 1) 449

It is only flattering if you acknowledge the one you imitate. It is not only the honorable thing to do, but in scholarship a necessity. It avoids sloppiness of thinking and provides linkages to the origins of the original thought. For example I hight doubt the author of the quote "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" was a Zen Master as the person who wrote it, Charles Caleb Colton, was a 17th century English Cleric (Wikipedia).

While I do believe there are original thoughts, unlike Jim Jarmusch, I do believe that knowledge in our civilization advances by our building on the works of others in all aspects of the life, science and art. There needs to be reasonable respect for IP (the incentive to create for some but still less than life+70 yrs), and even more reasonable terms of use (the incentive to make things even better). Still, when things enter the public domain, I see no less of an obligation to attribute the content to the original source.

Much of the standing on the shoulders of giants we do may be way of inspiration, which can be hard to attribute, but it does sound like this is the case for the author in cited. She is an unrepentant plagiarist, and deserves scorn heaped upon her.

Slashdot Top Deals

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin