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 + - Peak Water, Peak Oil... Now, Peak Soil?

Freshly Exhumed writes: Add another global crisis to the list, courtesy of the recently completed SCS2013 Conference in Reykjavík, Iceland: 'Each year, 12 million hectares of land, where 20 million tonnes of grain could have been grown, are lost to land degradation. In the past 40 years, 30 percent of the planet’s arable (food-producing) land has become unproductive due to erosion', according to a new paper released May 30 by the World Resources Institute.' Hard to have a sense of humus about that.

Submission + - Java madness: Is Oracle neglecting customers it picked up from Sun? ( 5

tsamsoniw writes: "Mere days after Oracle rolled out a fix for the latest Java zero-day vulnerabilities, an admin for an Underweb hacker forum put code for a purportedly new Java exploit up for sale for $5,000. Though unconfirmed, it's certainly plausible that the latest Java patch didn't do the job, based on an analysis by the OpenJDK community. Maybe it's high time for Oracle to fix Java to better protect both its enterprise customers and the millions of home users it picked up when it acquired Sun."

Submission + - Programming for kids; Father-son bonding

SteveDorries writes: My 6 year old son has recently become very interested in programming, or as he calls it "Telling the computer what to do".
I've decided to use a basic variant to teach him procedural programming since it's simple and easy to grasp, but I'm having a difficult time thinking of fun projects to do with him. Does anyone have any favorite listings from old yellowed back issues of computer magazines that we could play with?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: A More Accessible Alternative to

An anonymous reader writes: I have an account at from my postdoc years. The problem with is that it's closely tied to the establishment, with an endorsement system heavily favoring institutional career researchers. What I am looking for is an eprint repository that is accessible to the general public — for both authors and readers, has an authoritative timestamp, and is likely to stay around for the foreseeable future. Perhaps a cross between and Wikipedia, or maybe a GitHub clone but for research pagers. Any such beast in existence, or should somebody start one?

No LMGTFY please. I am aware of what's available out there, but want real-world experiences and opinions from the Slashdot community. Background: I am an independent researcher with a Ph.D in theoretical physics, although my research interests cover a variety of disciplines. I plan to publish my work in recent years as public-domain eprints, completely bypassing traditional academic channels, with one caveat: I want to receive full credit where it's due, otherwise a simple blog would have sufficed.
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Firm Bashes Microsoft For Talking Up Mac Malware (

CWmike writes: "A Mac security firm today criticized Microsoft for warning Mac users of new malware, saying that the threat simply wasn't worth mentioning. Late Monday, the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC), the group that researches malware and crafts signatures for the company's antivirus products, alerted users of a new Mac 'backdoor,' dubbed 'Backdoor:MacOS X/Olyx.A,' in an archived file that also contained a Windows backdoor called 'Wolyx.A.' But Intego, a French antivirus company that focuses exclusively on the Mac, took exception to Ferrer's blog post. 'They're making it out like this is something serious, but it's not in the wild at all and not being installed,' said Peter James, a spokesman for Intego. 'This is no big deal.' He continued: 'It's kind of interesting that Microsoft took a month [to mention Olyx] after it started circulating. Maybe this is a sign that they're going to be analyzing more Mac malware in the future.'"

Submission + - Visualization of Hacker Attack (

An anonymous reader writes: Ever wondered what it looks like when a hacker attacks a computer and tries to break into someone's account? Now Ben Reardon of Dataviz Australia has created a stunning visualisation that shows a single attack on a voice-over-IP (VOIP) server, similar to those used for Skype.

Submission + - Xerox PARC Turns 40: The Legacy Continues (

CWmike writes: For 40 years, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center has been a place of technological creativity and bold ideas (see timeline and photo gallery), writes Todd Weiss. The inventions it has spawned, from Ethernet networking to laser printing and the graphical user interface, have led to myriad technologies that allow us to use computers in ways that we take for granted today. When it opened on July 1, 1970, PARC was set up as a division of Xerox Corp. The idea was to invest in PARC as a springboard for developing new technologies and fresh concepts that would lead to future products. 'Conducting research at PARC four decades ago was like magic," says Dr. Robert S. Bauer, who worked at PARC from 1970 to 2001. 'In an era of political and social upheaval, we came to work every day with a passion to free technology from the grip of the military-industrial complex and bring computation to the people.' Indeed, the company's 'technology first' culture has sometimes brought it under fire. PARC has often been criticized for its past failures to capitalize on some of its greatest inventions, allowing other companies to cash in on its ideas. (Today, PARC has a team working to protect its intellectual property.) Nevertheless, its reputation as a technology innovator is impeccable. On its 40th anniversary, PARC researchers provide a behind-the-scenes peek into the company's culture and projects, past and present.

Submission + - Mozilla Updates Firefox to Appease Farmville Users (

CWmike writes: Just three days after adding plug-in crash protection to Firefox, Mozilla rushed out another release because people playing Farmville on Facebook complained that their browser was shutting down the game. Although complaints about Firefox's quick killing of hung plug-ins were not limited to Farmville, that game was the squeaky wheel that got the update grease. 'A lot of people play Farmville. To ignore those people for any length of time could have a significant effect on Firefox's share of browser users,' said Firefox user Jeff Rivett on Bugzilla Sunday. 'The problem already existed, but the perceived impact suddenly changed, giving it a much higher priority.'

Submission + - Goatse makes patriotic case for exposing iPad risk (

tsamsoniw writes: Hacker group Goatse Security is claiming it was doing its patriotic duty in publicizing a vulnerability in AT&T's Web site that exposed iPad users' email addresses. In a blog post, Goatse Security member Escher Auernheimer argues that the iPad is an unsafe platform because Apple has failed to patch a hole in Safari that affects the device — one that was reported in March. Auernheimer argues that as a result, hundreds if not thousands of exploits are now out that could be used to infiltrate iPads. In the name of protecting the iPads belonging high-profile military leaders, politicians, and CEOs from the Russians and Chinese, he says the group has no choice but to expose the vulnerabilities to get AT&T and Apple to fix them fast. Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating the leaks.

Submission + - Microsoft: Never Meant To Knock Cryptome Offline (

CWmike writes: Microsoft withdrew on Thursday its demand that yank the 'Microsoft Global Criminal Spy Guide' document from the site, and said it had never intended for the whistleblower's domain to be knocked off the Web. 'In this case, we did not ask that this site be taken down, only that Microsoft copyrighted content be removed,' said a Microsoft spokeswoman. 'We are requesting to have the site restored and are no longer seeking the document's removal.' The document, a 17-page guide to law enforcement on how to obtain information about users of Microsoft's online services, including its Windows Live Hotmail, the Xbox Live gaming network and its Windows Live SkyDrive storage service, was published by John Young, who runs, on Feb. 20. Earlier this week, Microsoft demanded that Young remove the document from his site, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. When Young refused, his Internet provider shut down the site, and Network Solutions, the registrar of Young's domain, put a 'legal lock' on the domain name. The last prevented him from transferring the URL to another ISP. Computerworld blogger Preston Gralla dug into the document today in his 'Leaked Microsoft intelligence document: Here's what Microsoft will reveal to police about you' post.

Submission + - Skydiver to Break Sound Barrier During Freefall 4

Hugh Pickens writes: "Over fifty years ago American Joe Kittinger made history by leaping from a balloon at 102,800 ft and although many have sought to repeat the feat all have failed. Now BBC reports that Austrian extreme sportsman Felix Baumgartner will try to break the long-standing record for the highest ever parachute jump, skydiving from a balloon sent to at least 120,000 ft and it is likely that in his long freefall of more than five minutes, he will exceed the speed of sound about 35 seconds into his descent — the first person to do so without the aid of a machine. "No-one really knows what that will be like," says Baumgartner. Although challenges in the endeavour include coping with freezing temperatures and ultra-thin air, a key objective for Baumgartner will be to try to maintain a good attitude during the descent and prevent his body from going into a spin and blacking out. "The fact is you have a lot of different airflows coming around your body; and some parts of your body are in supersonic flow and some parts are in transonic flow. What kind of reaction that creates, I can't tell you," adds Baumgartner."

Submission + - FAQ: How the IE ballot screen works (

CWmike writes: After an 11-month legal face-off, Microsoft and European antitrust officials signed off yesterday on the ballot screen concept that will give Windows users a chance to download rivals' browsers. But now that the battle's over and the ink has dried, it's time to look closely. Some FAQ examples: What's Microsoft promised? How will it work? How many browsers will be on the ballot? Who decides which browsers? Who will see it? Gregg Keizer delved into the agreement to provide the answers.

Slashdot Top Deals

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer