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Submission + - Tinfoil Hats Amplify Signals (

Sebastopol writes: Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities. We speculate that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason.

Submission + - Dr. J.T. Kirk. Shatner Accepts D.Litt Degree (

theshowmecanuck writes: William Shatner was granted a Doctor of Letters Degree at his alma mater, McGill University in Montreal. One of the more interesting parts of his speech involved his high school principal's car which was set on fire. An other interesting tidbit is that he doesn't really like the idea of going into space himself. An interesting short read on what made and continues to make one of our favourite former 'star ship captains' tick.

Submission + - Apple: We 'must have' comprehensive location data

An anonymous reader writes: Apple's iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, and iPad models are also keeping track of consumers whereabouts. Mac computers running Snow Leopard and even Windows computers running Safari 5 are being watched. But the question is why? "To provide the high quality products and services that its customers demand, Apple must have access to the comprehensive location-based information," Apple says.

Submission + - Obama v. Obama on Microsoft TV Watching Patent?

theodp writes: 'No country has more successful companies or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs,' boasted a proud President Obama in his State of the Union address. So, as Microsoft looks for yet another patent on 'Encouraging Viewers to Watch Television Programs', they can expect to have the President's full support, right? Not so fast. Through her Let's Move initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama has fingered television viewing as a culprit in childhood obesity, and has even made a government-supplied TV viewing time log template available to encourage families to cut back. Any advice for the Patent Examiner handling this one?

Submission + - MS Removes HTTPS from Hotmail for Troubled Nations (

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has removed HTTPS from Hotmail for many US-embargoed or otherwise troubled countries. The current list of countries for which they no longer enable HTTPS is known to include Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Congo, Myanmar, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Journalists and others whose lives may be in danger due oppressive net monitoring in those countries may wish to use HTTPS everywhere and are also encouraged to migrate to non-Microsoft email providers, like Yahoo and Google.
The Courts

Journal Journal: Stupid Former Boss Trix [illegal lottery] 2

Talk about being dumber than a bag of potato chips showing up at a student kegger ...

He wants to create a group buying site, so he figured that he would generate some publicity by talking a bunch of businesses into donating products for a charity fundraiser on behalf of two university student groups. So, he's been running a lottery for them, complete with prizes, etc.

Submission + - Copyright jackal Righthaven sues young blogger (

uswgo writes: Being a citizen journalist is getting really scary, with copyright trolls lurking in the dark.

One of the worst is the wrongly named Righthaven, run by online jackal Steve Gibson.

“I’ve been a political journalist and blogger for over a year”, says Brian Hill (right) from Mayodan, North Carolina, in an email.

Brian 20, is one of Gibson’s latest victims.

He runs USWGO Alternative News. a non-profit site “where I write my own articles and mirror others articles with links to the source (Sometimes include pictures) to educate people that certain political agendas are going on but that got me sued this time”, he says.

He carried a Denver Post picture of a Transportation Security Administration guy groping — and we do mean groping — a passenger.

Submission + - UnXis Group Acquires SCO (

Evil-G writes: In an email, SCO yesterday (Friday) informed its partners that UnXis Inc. was chosen as the successful bidder for SCO's Unix software business on 26 January. The slightly convoluted phrasing is probably due to SCO's current reorganisation under Chapter 11. On 16 February, the transaction is to be submitted for approval to the bankruptcy court where SCO's case is pending. There is a press release on the SCO website.
Open Source

Submission + - Why Microsoft is Being Nicer to Open Source (

itwbennett writes: Is open source's growth in emerging markets what is driving Microsoft to say 'we love open source' with an attempt at a straight face? 'The emerging markets (like the BRIC nations) are a huge potential market for Microsoft,' says Brian Proffitt. 'And I believe Redmond is wisely not taking the FUD route on open source software in those markets. Why? Because open source already has some strong roots in the BRIC nations (heck, in Brazil, open source is the whole darn tree), and any attack on open source would be seen as a foreign company attacking local software projects. If Microsoft attacked open source publicly in this environment, a lot of potential customers and developers in those countries could react in a protectionist manner and start giving Microsoft the stink-eye.'

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