Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Submission + - Linus Torvalds on insults: Respect should be earned ( 1

sfcrazy writes: During DebConf 2014 an attendee asked Linus about his ‘insults’ mentioning one of the episodes involving Kay Sievers of systemd where Linus said, “Who the f*ck does idiotic things like that? How did they noty die as babies, considering that they were likely too stupid to find a tit to suck on?” Unlike commercial companies where a boss can fire an employee for messing things up, Linus doesn’t have that luxury. It’s an open source project; he can’t fire people. One of the ways Linus can express his frustration when some top developer breaks something is through harsh words on mailing lists, which he says is kind of hyperbole and joke. Linus also said that he is abrasive and he likes arguements.

The attendee then said he was not talking about Linus being abrasive but about respecting orthers.

There was a loud applause. Linus said, “I don’t respect people unless I think they deserve the respect. There are people who think that respect is something that should be given, and I happen to be one of the people who is perfectly happy saying no respect should be earned. And without being earned, you don’t get it. It’s really that simple.”

Submission + - Physicist Peter Higgs: No University Would Employ Me Today (

An anonymous reader writes: Peter Higgs, the physicist who laid the groundwork for the discovery of the Higgs boson, and winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics, says he doubts any university would give him a job today. Higgs says universities wouldn't consider him productive enough; though the papers he published were important and of high quality, he didn't have the volume necessary for serious consideration in today's competitive employment environment. 'He doubts a similar breakthrough could be achieved in today's academic culture, because of the expectations on academics to collaborate and keep churning out papers. He said: "It's difficult to imagine how I would ever have enough peace and quiet in the present sort of climate to do what I did in 1964." Speaking to the Guardian en route to Stockholm to receive the 2013 Nobel prize for science, Higgs, 84, said he would almost certainly have been sacked had he not been nominated for the Nobel in 1980.' His comments highlight the absurdity of the current system for finding researchers in academia. How many researchers of Higgs' caliber have been turned down for similar reasons?

Submission + - US Issues 30-Year Eagle-Killing Permits To Wind Industry

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Lindsay Abrams reports at Salon that in an attempt to encourage the growth of wind power, the Obama administration has announced that it is offering wind farms 30 years of leeway to kill and harm bald and golden eagles. The new regulations, which were requested by the wind industry, will provide companies that seek a permit with legal protection, preventing them from having to pay penalties for eagle deaths. An investigation by the Associated Press earlier this year documented the illegal killing of eagles around wind farms, the Obama administration's reluctance to prosecute such cases and its willingness to help keep the scope of the eagle deaths secret. President Obama has championed the pollution-free energy, nearly doubling America's wind power in his first term as a way to tackle global warming. Scientists say wind farms in 10 states have killed at least 85 eagles since 1997, with most deaths occurring between 2008 and 2012, as the industry was greatly expanding. Most deaths — 79 — were golden eagles that struck wind turbines. However the scientists said their figure is likely to be "substantially" underestimated, since companies report eagle deaths voluntarily and only a fraction of those included in their total were discovered during searches for dead birds by wind-energy companies. The National Audubon Society said it would challenge the decision. ”Instead of balancing the need for conservation and renewable energy, Interior wrote the wind industry a blank check,” says Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold. "It’s outrageous that the government is sanctioning the killing of America’s symbol, the Bald Eagle."

Submission + - US Now Produces More Oil and Gas Than Russia and Saudi Arabia

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Claudia Assis writes that the US will end 2013 as the world’s largest producer of petroleum and natural gas, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia with the Energy Information Administration estimating that combined US petroleum and gas production this year will hit 50 quadrillion British thermal units, or 25 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, outproducing Russia by 5 quadrillion Btu. Most of the new oil was coming from the western states. Oil production in Texas has more than doubled since 2010. In North Dakota, it has tripled, and Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah have also shown steep rises in oil production over the same three years, according to EIA data. Tapping shale rock for oil and gas has fueled the US boom, while Russia has struggled to keep up its output. "This is a remarkable turn of events," says Adam Sieminski, head of the US Energy Information Administration. "This is a new era of thinking about market conditions, and opportunities created by these conditions, that you wouldn't in a million years have dreamed about." But even optimists in the US concede that the shale boom's longevity could hinge on commodity prices, government regulations and public support, the last of which could be problematic. A poll last month by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that opposition to increased use of fracking rose to 49% from 38% in the previous six months. "It is not a supply question anymore," says Ken Hersh. "It is about demand and the cost of production. Those are the two drivers."

Submission + - Author Tom Clancy dies at age 66 (

An anonymous reader writes: Many of us knew his this man by his thrilling tales from such novels as "The Hunt for Red October", "Net Force" and many more before his modern claim to fame through his video game series. Now at the age of 66 Tom Clancy has passed away.

Submission + - Valve Announces Family Sharing on Steam, Can Include Friends (

Deathspawner writes: Valve has today announced its next attempt at a console-killer with “Family Sharing”, a feature that will allow you to share your Steam library with family, and close friends. This almost seems too good to be true, and while there are caveats, this is going to be huge, and Valve knows it. As Techgage notes, with it you can share nearly your entire Steam library with family or friends, allowing them to earn their own achievements, and have their own saved games. Given the mammoth collection of games available on Steam, the fact that this feature is becoming a reality is almost as interesting as the feature itself.

Submission + - SSD Failure Temporarily Halts Linux 3.12 Kernel Work 1

jones_supa writes: The sudden death of a solid-state drive in Linus Torvalds' main workstation has led to the work on the 3.12 Linux Kernel to be temporarily suspended. Torvalds has not been able to recover anything from the drive. Subsystem maintainers who have outstanding pull requests may need to re-submit their requests in the coming days. If the SSD isn't recoverable he will finish out the Linux 3.12 merge window from a laptop.

Submission + - Everything About Java 8 (

reygahnci writes: I found a comprehensive summary of the developer-facing changes coming in Java 8 including: improvements to interfaces, functional interfaces, lambdas, functions, streams, parallels, date/time improvements, and more. The article includes example code with realistic examples of use as well as explaining the reasoning behind some of the choices made by the developers who are working on Java 8.

Submission + - North Korea Halts Internet Access After One Month (

redletterdave writes: "After just one month online, North Korea has pulled the plug on its only 3G data network, which was previously made available for tourists to access the Internet starting on Feb. 22. The North Korean government did not explain why its 3G network has been shut off, but given the raised level of international interest in the country’s activities (the country is facing UN sanctions after its third nuclear test last month) and how it severed its final communication line with South Korea on Wednesday, the government likely had a change of heart about its loosening communication restrictions. That said, as with most things in North Korea, we may never know the real answer."

Submission + - New Brain Implant Transmits Wirelessly to Computer (

kkleiner writes: "Scientists at Brown University have made a brain implant that can record and transmit brain signals to a computer wirelessly. Free from onerous connections and wires, the technology could foster the development of a new generation of more flexible robotics to help amputees, spinal cord injury victims, or people with crippling neurological disorders. Referred to the researchers affectionately as the “can,” the titanium-enclosed device measures 2.2 inches (56 mm) long, 1.65 inches (42 mm) wide, and 0.35 inches (9 mm) thick. That’s pretty small considering it contains an array of 100 electrodes, a lithium ion battery, and custom-designed ultralow-power integrated circuits, radio and infrared wireless transmitters, and a copper coil for recharging."

Submission + - Another Way Carriers Screw Customers: Premium SMS "Errors" (

An anonymous reader writes: No one likes their carrier. And with behaviour like this it's not surprising. TechCrunch catches T-Mobile taking money from a new pay-as-you-go customer after signing her up to its own premium horoscope text message service — and taking money before she's even put the SIM in the phone.

Submission + - Linux Game Tome shutting down for good (

An anonymous reader writes: It won't be a surprise to anyone who has visited the site in the last years, but now it's official — The Linux Game Tome is shutting down.

Submission + - Blizzard announces Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft "Card Game" (

UgLyPuNk writes: Blizzard has revealed its "something new" at PAX East 2013: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft — a "charming collectible strategy game set in the Warcraft universe."We've been working on a little something, different from our other games, and we're pleased to invite you to be the first to see it. It's not a sequel, expansion or that rumored next-gen MMO, but it's something we're excited for you to get your hands on."

Submission + - Dying Veteran blasts Cheney, Bush in 'Last Letter'

jenningsthecat writes: In a public letter, Iraq war veteran Tomas Young lambastes former US Vice President Dick Cheney and former US president George W. Bush for sending "hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage". Mr. Young further accuses Bush and Cheney of "egregious war crimes" and of "cowardice and selfishness".

Mr. Young, who joined the Army two days after 9/11, was critically wounded in 2004, five days into his first tour of duty in Iraq. He then suffered Anoxic Brain Injury in 2008 as a complication of his earlier injuries. After almost ten years of what sounds like a living hell, Mr. Young is now receiving hospice care in his home while he starves himself to death.

You can read an interview with Tomas Young here

Slashdot Top Deals

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire