Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


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! ×

Submission + - Former Apple engineer: Everything Apple does involving the Internet is a mess (

zacharye writes: Apple excels when it comes to product design, interface design, marketing and in a number of other areas but when Web services come into play, things go south fast. “Almost anything Apple does which involves the internet is a mess,” wrote former Apple engineer Patrick B. Gibson on his personal blog, pointing to a number of examples to support his claim. Among them are the fact that Apple can’t update its online store without taking it down, the fact that Notes requires an email address to sync, the fact that iTunes and the company’s App Stores are powered by “a mostly dead framework written almost 20 years ago,” and the unmitigated disasters that are MobileMe and Ping. Gibson also jokes that “iMessage for Mac lives in an alternate dimension in which time has no ordered sequence.”...

Submission + - Judge Saves Girl From Suspension For Refusing To Wear RFID Tag

An anonymous reader writes: A district court judge for Bexar County has granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure that Andrea Hernandez, a San Antonio high school student from John Jay High School’s Science and Engineering Academy, can continue her studies pending an upcoming trial. The Northside Independent School District (NISD) in Texas recently informed the sophomore student that she would be suspended for refusing to wear a “Smart” Student ID card embedded with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking chip.

Submission + - WWII code 'may never be cracked' (

AltGrendel writes: "The BBC reports that experts at intelligence agency GCHQ have asked for help in de-coding a message found attached to a pigeon leg, thought to date back to WWII. The dead bird was found in a chimney in Surrey a few weeks ago. But without more information, the code may never be cracked, according to the BBC's security correspondent Gordon Corera"

Submission + - Farmers Told To Buy Insurance If They Don't Want To Get Sued By Corporations (

sevangelh50 writes: Every year for the past 13 years, biotechnology giant Monsanto Company has sued about 11 farmers per year for patent infringement of their genetically modified corn and soybean seeds. Many of these farmers have had to pay a settlement to the corporation even when their fields were accidentally contaminated with GM seeds from a neighboring farm. Monsanto simply outspends the defendants, dedicating $10 million a year and 75 staffers for the sole purpose of investigating and prosecuting farmers. Farmers who have sued Monsanto back have been soundly defeated.

Submission + - Citizen Scientists add high value to research, policy and practice (

Dupple writes: A review of a report regarding the role of over 230 citizen scientists and their value to research, policy and practice is available the BBC science pages.

The authors, from Nerc Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and the Natural History Museum, London, reviewed 234 projects — ranging from small one-off local surveys to large-scale long-term programmes.

The review's authors also produced a guide offering advice on how to get the most out of citizen science projects.

The guide is available here.


Submission + - Blind Patient Reads Words Stimulated Directly Onto the Retina

ScienceGeek.Michael writes: "Neuroprosthetic device uses implant to project visual braille

For the very first time researchers have streamed braille patterns directly into a blind patient’s retina, allowing him to read four-letter words accurately and quickly with an ocular neuroprosthetic device. The device, the Argus II, has been implanted in over 50 patients, many of who can now see color, movement and objects. It uses a small camera mounted on a pair of glasses, a portable processor to translate the signal from the camera into electrical stimulation, and a microchip with electrodes implanted directly on the retina. The study was authored by researchers at Second Sight, the company who developed the device, and has been published in Frontiers in Neuroprosthetics on the 21st of November."

Submission + - Water From Water Vapor With Hydrophilic Beetle-Emulating Coatings (

mbstone writes: The Namib Desert Beetle generates water from water vapor via its shell, which has alternating hydrophilic and hydrophobic bumps which channel water droplets into its mouth. Scientists at MIT developed a self-filling water bottle using this technology, and have announced a contest for the best design of a countertop water-from-air generator.

Comment Whitey on the Moon (Score 1) 315

Whitey on the Moon, by Gil Scott-Heron

A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face and arms began to swell.
(and Whitey's on the moon)
I can't pay no doctor bill.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Ten years from now I'll be payin' still.
(while Whitey's on the moon)
The man jus' upped my rent las' night.
('cause Whitey's on the moon)
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
I wonder why he's uppi' me?
('cause Whitey's on the moon?)
I wuz already payin' 'im fifty a week.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Taxes takin' my whole damn check,
Junkies makin' me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin' up,
An' as if all that shit wuzn't enough:
A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face an' arm began to swell.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Was all that money I made las' year
(for Whitey on the moon?)
How come there ain't no money here?
(Hmm! Whitey's on the moon)
Y'know I jus' 'bout had my fill
(of Whitey on the moon)
I think I'll sen' these doctor bills,
Airmail special
(to Whitey on the moon)

Comment Way I see it? You're amoral and ignorant. (Score 0, Troll) 280

IBM sold the Nazis the tabulating machines as well as customizing the field inputs and tabulation outputs of the punch cards used for recording Jews/Gypsies/homosexuals/dissidents expelled as well as those sent and processed through the concentration camps. The president of the entire company demanded that verbal instructions to his German managers be the rule, to avoid a paper trail. IBM was the sole servicer of machines at all the concentration camp, for FSM's sake. Of course they knew exactly what they were selling. And they sold yet more equipment, customized punch cards and services to Nazi Germany after we were at war with them via their Geneva office which is, at the very least, treason. Do blame the maker for the use of the tool if the tool was customized for mass killings. Don't listen to people with no comprehension of moral responsibility or professional (not to mention general human) ethics. Don't open your digital pie hole if you don't actually know what you're talking about.

Russia To Save Its ISS Modules 280

jamax writes "According to the BBC, 'Russia is making plans to detach and fly away its parts of the International Space Station when the time comes to de-orbit the rest of the outpost. ... To facilitate the plan, RKK Energia, the country's main ISS contractor, has already started developing a special node module for the Russian segment, which will double as the cornerstone of the future station. ... Unlike many Nasa and European space officials, Russian engineers are confident that even after two decades in orbit, their modules would be in good enough shape to form the basis of a new space station. "We flew on Mir for 15 years and accumulated colossal experience in extending the service life (of such a vehicle)," said a senior Russian official at RKK Energia...' Is Russia the last country where engineers are not (yet) forced by corporations to intentionally produce designs that fail two days after warranty expires? There used to be a lot of equipment manufactured by various countries (Germany is the first one that comes to mind) that lasted virtually forever — old cars or weapons systems, but one rarely sees anything of the sort these days."

Richard Stallman Warns About Non-Free Web Apps 747

An anonymous reader writes "Richard Stallman has published an article which warns about the 'Javascript trap' posed by non-free AJAX-based applications. The article calls for a mechanism which would enable browsers to identify freely-licensed Javascript applications and run modified version thereof. 'It is possible to release a Javascript program as free software,' Stallman writes. 'But even if the program's source is available, there is no easy way to run your modified version instead of the original ... The effect is comparable to tivoization, although not quite so hard to overcome.'"
The Internet

New Zealand Halts Internet Copyright Law Changes 216

phobonetik writes "The New Zealand Prime Minister announced his Government will throw out the controversial Section 92A of the Copyright Amendment (New Technologies) Act and start again. The proposed law changes contained 'guilty upon accusation, without appeal' clauses and heavy compliance costs to ISPs and businesses. The changes were hours away from being signed but a series of online protests, a petition on Government grounds, as well as public rebuttal by a large ISP and by Google contributed to the Government changing course and respecting the wishes of the IT industry."

Researchers Demo BIOS Attack That Survives Disk Wipes 396

suraj.sun writes "A pair of Argentinian researchers have found a way to perform a BIOS level malware attack capable of surviving even a hard-disk wipe. Alfredo Ortega and Anibal Sacco from Core Security Technologies — used the stage at last week's CanSecWest conference to demonstrate methods (PDF) for infecting the BIOS with persistent code that will survive reboots and re-flashing attempts. The technique includes patching the BIOS with a small bit of code that gave them complete control of the machine. The demo ran smoothly on a Windows machine, a PC running OpenBSD and another running VMware Player."

World's Cheapest Car Goes On Sale In India 571

Frankie70 writes "The Tata Nano — the car that caught the world's imagination as the cheapest ever — will finally be rolled out commercially on Monday in Mumbai in a mega event organised by Tata Motors. Ben Oliver, contributing editor, Car Magazine, London test drove the car in December, 08. These were his first impressions. This was his verdict: 'CAR's first ride in the Tata Nano felt far more significant and exciting than a first drive in a Ferrari or Lamborghini, because this car's importance is immeasurably greater. It won't compete on dynamics or quality with European or Japanese city cars, but it doesn't have to. What Tata has achieved at an unprecedented price is astonishing, although we'd guess it will cost Indian consumers closer to £1700 when it finally goes on sale, six months late, in March 2009.'"

Slashdot Top Deals

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce