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Comment Peaceful tendencies are underestimated (Score 1) 637

Partly because we can see spectacular violence (9/11, for example) on TV, we tend to overestimate the violence of our times.

When Rome conquered Gaul, roughly one-sixth to one-third of the population was killed, about the same number enslaved, and the rest spared. And this sort of thing was the norm rather than the exception. Today that would be like 50-100 million people in the US being killed, another 50-100 million enslaved, and the rest spared. Despite WW1 and WW2, the 20th century really was the least violent in human history, and weird as it seems, we really are headed towards world peace!

Steven Pinker has more on this here [].


Submission + - Google says "cougars" are "nonfamily-safe" (

jalfrock writes: Older man looking for a younger woman? Google loves you. Older woman looking for a younger man? Google says you're "nonfamily safe." Google welcomes ads from, a site for older men., owned by the same company, is a site for older women. Google refuses to take their ads; its objection is apparently not just to the ads but to the "concept as a whole."

Submission + - Google Chrome Incognito Tracks Visited Sites (

wiplash writes: Google Chrome appears to store at least some information related to, and including, the sites that you have visited when browsing in Incognito mode. Lewis Thompson outlines a set of steps you can follow to confirm whether you are affected. He has apparently reported this to Google, but no response has yet been received.

Submission + - SPAM: Microsoft counters Gmail with Hotmail overhaul

alphadogg writes: Microsoft is trying to counter Google by overhauling Windows Live Hotmail with new online editing capabilities for Office documents, and more than two dozen other enhancements for business and home users.

Microsoft's refresh of Hotmail is being announced Tuesday, less than a week after the release of Microsoft Office 2010.

"The moment you receive an Office document as an attachment in Hotmail — Word, Excel or PowerPoint — you can open and view the attachment online in any popular browser, on PC or Mac and even if Office is not installed," Microsoft said in its latest announcement. "This results from the seamless integration between Hotmail, SkyDrive [Microsoft's free online storage service] and the Office Web Apps, so you can send, receive and work on a document with others."

New Hotmail features announced this week will be incorporated into the service over the next few months, Microsoft said.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Trademark attack on Open Source project

jfbilodeau writes: I've been contributing and releasing open-source projects for a number of years now, and managed to stay (mostly) clear of conflict. One of my projects BSOD(roid) have been available on the Android Market for nearly a year. Last night, I've received a email asking me to rename my product because it infringes on the trademark ROID. This trademark has been filled nearly six month after my project was on the market. The two projects are completely unrelated and do not compete. Renaming the project is not the issue here. Responding to mindless corporate bullying is. I'm curious to know if this happened to other slashdotter and what suggestions you may have.

Comment Standardize? (Score 4, Interesting) 451

Will it eventually be possible to have a social-networking standard so that anyone can run their own server, just as with email? In that case it wouldn't matter if one friend uses facebook, another myspace, a third linkedin; they would all adhere to the same standard and so which particular social-networking service you use would become irrelevant.

PS: I apologize for being lazy but I haven't thought about this at all, so there could easily be some glaring reason why it can't possibly work.

Comment University calculator policies (Score 1) 724

Keep in mind that some schools won't allow fancy calculators in some of their math classes. I'm a grad student at Ohio State, and our standard calculus sequence bans calculators with advanced algebraic capabilities.

If you want to see a sample calculator policy you can find one here.

(Yes, if you have 10,000 students passing through the math department every year, you need a department-wide "calculator policy" :-).)

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