Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


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 + - Possible Mammoth "Blood" found ( 1

westtxfun writes: "Russian scientists claimed Wednesday they have discovered blood in the carcass of a woolly mammoth, adding that the rare find could boost their chances of cloning the prehistoric animal." As scientists unearthed the recent find, very dark blood flowed out from beneath the mammoth and the muscle tissue was red. This is the best-preserved specimen found so far and they are hopeful they can recover DNA and clone a mammoth.

Submission + - Is our universe a computer simulation? ( 1

vinces99 writes: A decade ago, a British philosopher put forth the notion that the universe we live in might in fact be a computer simulation run by our descendants. While that seems far-fetched, perhaps even incomprehensible, a team of physicists at the University of Washington has come up with a potential test to see if the idea holds water.

The concept that current humanity could possibly be living in a computer simulation comes from a 2003 paper published in Philosophical Quarterly by Nick Bostrom, a philosophy professor at the University of Oxford. In the paper, he argued that at least one of three possibilities is true:
**The human species is likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage.
**Any posthuman civilization is very unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of its evolutionary history.
**We are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.

He also held that “the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation.”

With current limitations and trends in computing, it will be decades before researchers will be able to run even primitive simulations of the universe. But the UW team has suggested tests that can be performed now, or in the near future, that are sensitive to constraints imposed on future simulations by limited resources.


Submission + - Is your network managed by a "Slumlord"? (

UnderAttack writes: "The “Section 8 Bible”, a must read book for aspiring landlords, introduces a simple rule to deal with broken equipment in the apartment: If law does not require it, remove it. Don’t fix it. For example, interior doors are not necessarily required and can be removed. Network security professionals frequently follow similar guidance: If there is no business requirement, disable it. The rule assumes that minimizing features minimizes exposure. The fewer lines of code we run, the less likely are we going to be vulnerable to a bug.

How valid is slumlord network security? Can it really protect a network? Does it do more harm then good?"


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Changing Industries; Landing a video game industry job? 2

bromster writes: "Call it my mid-life crisis or following my dream, I have come to a conclusion that I need to find a career in an industry that I truly love, and what better place than my personal passions; games and animated film. I have an advanced degree from a top ranked school and roughly 7 years of strong experience in business strategy, leadership, planning, operations and technical abilities, but I seem to be hitting a brick wall. Nearly every role, even those that are a perfect match for my skills, state that prior industry experience is desired. Shy of giving up all of my prior career experience and seeking an entry level role, what recommendations can you recommend?"

Submission + - Kindle Fire is sold out forever (

An anonymous reader writes: Amazon has released a rather bizarre bit of news today. The Kindle Fire has completely sold out. You can no longer buy one, and the wording of the press release suggests there won’t be anymore manufactured.

In nine months on sale Amazon claims to have secured 22 percent of tablet sales in the US. With that in mind, Amazon will definitely be selling more Kindle Fires, however, the next one you’ll be able to buy will probably have a “2 at the end of the name. Jeff Bezos said that the Kindle Fire is Amazon’s most successful product launch so far and that there’s “an exciting roadmap ahead.” He also confirmed Amazon will continue to offer hardware, but there’s no detail beyond that.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens next, but there is some ray of hope for potential Kindle Fire customers: Amazon is holding an event next week on September 6. There was speculation that event would be a new Kindle Fire, but this news all but confirms that has to be the case. And if it is, Amazon has to have it available to sell immediately.

Submission + - NASA Launches Twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes (

eldavojohn writes: A press release announced the launch of NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission at 4:05 a.m. EDT this morning. The probes are listed as healthy and ready to begin their 60-day commissioning period before beginning their prime mission to study Earth's electric atmosphere. has images of the launch. The spacecraft will study the Van Allen Radiation Belts and allow us better insight on the Sun's influence on the Earth as well as giving us a more accurate picture of Earth's magnetosphere. The spacecraft's sensitive parts are protected by 0.33 inches (8.5 millimeters) of aluminum and they will follow each other across a highly elliptical orbit almost exactly on the Earth's equatorial plane coming as close as 375 miles (603 km) and reaching as far as 20,000 miles (32187 km) from the surface of Earth to dynamically explore the radiation belts.

Submission + - Forensic Test Can Determine Person's Eye and Hair Color 1

An anonymous reader writes: A forensic test that has been developed to help police nab perpetrators of crimes can predict a suspect's eye color, hair color, and ethnic origin. The test's ability and the science behind it has been outlined in Forensic Science International: Genetics. Developed by Susan Walsh and other researchers from the Netherlands, Greece, and Poland, the test uses phenotypes from DNA to determine a suspect's eye color, hair color, or place of ethnic origin.

Submission + - IT Industry Presidential Poll: 'Not Sure' Beats both Obama and Romney (

CIStud writes: "A new poll conducted of IT industry executives and integrators shows a divided and unsure industry regarding which presidential candidate is better for the Information Technology to prosper. The poll, conducted by JZ Analytics on behalf of CompTIA, shows "Not Sure" winning in four out of five areas. President Obama holds and edge over Mitt Romney in every category, including which person is best for the IT industry in terms of tax policy (remarkably), access to capital, tech exports, education and privacy."

Submission + - Former Xerox PARC researcher: Windows 8 is a cognitive burden (

LiroXIV writes: You know you've messed up big time when someone related to the development of one of the first graphical interfaces for computers thinks you've messed up. Usability expert Raluca Budiu has shared the common conclusion for many about Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8; it's definitely not as user-friendly as past versions.

Submission + - Researchers Demonstrate Backdoor "Hack" Into the Human Brain ( 1

Zothecula writes: Once the preserve of science fiction, brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have advanced to the point where they can even be found in novelty headwear, which only makes an achievement of an international team of scientists more frightening. Using an off-the-shelf Emotiv BCI costing only a few hundred dollars, the team has shown that it's possible to "hack" a human brain and pull things like bank details straight out of your skull.

Submission + - Apple is the only company that can save TV (

zacharye writes: Apple rocked the smartphone industry when it launched the iPhone in 2007 and it built an entirely new market when it released the first truly successful consumer tablet in 2010. Next stop: TV. Rumors surrounding Apple’s imminent entrance into the television industry have been swirling for more than a year, and recent reports suggest Apple may enter the market first with a new version of Apple TV capable of replacing cable companies’ set-top boxes, followed by the launch of an own-brand HDTV. Cable service providers reportedly aren’t yet sold on Apple’s vision but according to Barclays, they would be wise to jump on board as soon as possible...

Submission + - What would your first 24 hours of a "I've got to disappear" plan look like? 1

diacritica writes: "This Ask Slashdot is inspired by à-la-Bourne movies but taking a more realistic approach to the world we live in. You are native to and live in a big city (> 1M pop) in a G8 country of your choosing. T = 0h, you accidentally witness a strange event. T = 1h, you realize you're being followed AND you get the feeling that the police/government might be involved. Context data: you are able to speak one language apart from good English. You are 25 to 45 years old. You are computer savvy. You are engaged/married, you have family living in the same city. 99% of your money is in a bank account. You prefer to go "rationally" paranoid. What would you do in order to feel safe after those 24h? Remember, you didn't commit a crime, but there are plenty of real-world resources invested in catching you."

Submission + - The World of the Online Gamer (

An anonymous reader writes: The internet started life as a small compendium of useless information. It contained a few sites mainly containing gibberish while the average computer user still relied on tools such as Microsoft Encarta to look up information. How times change. In the modern digital age, with high speed wireless internet everywhere, we spend most of our time plugged into one online platform or another, be it Facebook, Google or Twitter. One of the areas that has grown massively with this has been online gaming. From humble beginnings with text based games, the internet has spawned a whole raft of different styles of games ranging from role playing games to poker and shooting games to pool. So how did it come about?

Slashdot Top Deals

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