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Submission + - Corporate FOSS Users seek to tell developers what to do.

jralls writes: OK, maybe the headline is a tiny bit inflammatory. The New York Times broke a story today (paywalled if you look at more than 10 stories a month) about ToDo, "an open group of companies who run open source programs" who are seeking to "committed to working together in order to overcome" the challenges of using FOSS, "including ensuring high-quality and frequent releases, engaging with developer communities, and using and contributing back to other projects effectively". The more militant among us will read that as "It's not enough getting a free ride off of developers building great software, we want to shove our roadmap down their throats and get them to work harder for us — without having to pay for it, of course." That might be a bit harsh, but none of the companies on the page are exactly well known for cooperating with the projects they use, with Google being one of the worst offenders by forking both Linux and WebKit.

Comment Doesn't sound like fusion to me (Score 1) 140

So a proton plus B11 yields one or more s (aka He), and if it's one, the remaining nucleus would be Be, but that likes to be Be10 (which decays by a to B10). That requires a couple of extra neutrons, so seems unlikely. ISTM then that 3 s is more likely; can't get just 2, 'cause what's left is another. Sounds more like fission than fusion. Since the binding energy curve goes the wrong way at small atomic mass (less binding energy is required per unit mass for larger nuclei than for smaller ones), this seems unlikely to ever be a net energy producer.

Submission + - NSA Scandal: Green Dam 2.0? 4

theodp writes: In 2009, The Information Technology Industry Council, whose members included HP, Dell and Microsoft, was among 22 industry groups in North America, Europe and Japan that signed a letter urging the Chinese government to review its proposed Green Dam web-filtering software program. Separately, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in a joint letter to Chinese officials that the Green Dam mandate posed a "possible barrier to trade" that may violate World Trade Organization rules. Four years later, Popular Mechanics' Glenn Derene is warning that the NSA Prism Program could kill U.S. tech companies. 'Companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Google are major exporters of information services,' explains Derene, 'through products such as Gmail, iCloud, Exchange, and Azure. Hundreds of millions of people use these services worldwide, and it has just been revealed to everybody outside the U.S. that our government reserves the right to look into their communications whenever it wants.' But, as in Green Dam, business interests may ultimately trump government interests. Derene concludes, 'I expect the Prism program to fall apart on its own, not because of public outcry but because the companies that participated will now see it as a toxic association that could threaten their status in fast-growing foreign markets. If U.S. intelligence agencies try to compel participation through the courts, I expect companies such as Apple and Google to start putting up a legal fight—not just because Prism is bad public relations, because it's bad for business.'

Submission + - Star power within our grasp (

An anonymous reader writes: I'm wondering if slashdot is interested in covering the 30th Anniversary of the Joint European Torus (JET) which happens this month. If so, please join us for a look behind the scenes at the world’s largest magnetic fusion experiment — come and find out about the amazing achievements fusion has made and the challenges ahead in the quest to bring star power to Earth for cleaner energy.

Our celebration event, 30 years of JET — paving the way to ITER's take off, is at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy near Oxford in the UK on 25th June. The event will be a chance to see the facility with your own eyes and chat with scientists about controlling plasmas ten times hotter than the Sun. It will feature a tour of JET, interactive science demonstrations, and presentations by senior figures from the European Fusion Development Agreement, ITER and the European Commission.

Please let me know if you would like to join us, or register here: .

Best regards

Phil Dooley,
News and Education, Joint European Torus.

Comment Re:Another Slashverisement for HighGear Media? (Score 1) 595

And that article points to another article which cites (without a URL, unfortunately) a NOAA study. The number in that article is a bit different:

"The study was conducted last summer and its findings released in February. Lead researcher Daniel Lack of Noaa's Earth System Research Laboratory at the University of Colorado determined that the 51,000-odd commercial vessels now plying the world's oceans spew almost as much air pollution as half the total number of automobiles on the planet.

"'It was definitely a surprise for me when we pulled those numbers out,' Lack said in an interview. 'These ships are emitting as much [pollution] as 300m cars. It's a hidden giant.'"

So the average is one shiip = 6000 cars. Obviously, some ships will be much worse. But for the article that started this to be right, all of the maritime pollution is down to 6 ships. Seems really unlikely.


2012 Mayan Calendar 'Doomsday' Date Might Be Wrong 144

astroengine writes "A UC Santa Barbara associate professor is disputing the accuracy of the mesoamerican 'Long Count' calendar after highlighting several astronomical flaws in a correlation factor used to synchronize the ancient Mayan calendar with our modern Gregorian calendar. If proven to be correct, Gerardo Aldana may have nudged the infamous December 21, 2012 'End of the World' date out by at least 60 days. Unfortunately, even if the apocalypse is rescheduled, doomsday theorists will unlikely take note."
United Kingdom

Oxford Expands Library With 153 Miles of Shelves 130

Oxford University's Bodleian Library has purchased a huge £26m warehouse to give a proper home to over 6 million books and 1.2 million maps. The Library has been housing the collection in a salt mine, and plans on transferring the manuscripts over the next year. "The BSF will prove a long-awaited solution to the space problem that has long challenged the Bodleian," said its head librarian Dr Sarah Thomas. "We have been running out of space since the 1970s and the situation has become increasingly desperate in the last few years." The 153 miles of new shelf space will only be enough for the next 20 years however because of the library's historic entitlement to a copy of every volume published in the UK.

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