Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Interior lighting will be a problem... (Score 1) 488

As anyone who has spent night hours in a room will lots of windows will tell you, lighting the interior of an all-transparent plane is going to be difficult. This is because most interior lighting is indirect and diffuse. Recessed ceiling fixtures light the floor, up-lights light the ceiling, and wall-washers keep the walls bright. Current planes are mostly lit by indirect ceiling lights and wall washers. Only the reading lights provide direct illumination - which is very inefficient, and straining on the eyes. If walls and ceiling are transparent, indirect lighting of this sort of lighting becomes impossible. In the absence of opaque, light reflective walls [or shades of some kind], the photons just stream out of the room [plane] after only one chance of striking something needing illumination. This is why many establishments with large window walls close shades at sunset -- so that the shades reflect light back into the room.

And while in a terrestrial environment this might only be an efficiency / comfort issue, in a plane it is a safety issue. Efficient and effective lighting will be key when flight staff need to take action in the event of a cabin emergency.



Submission + - Darius McCollum, Subway Fanatic, Strikes Again (

spidey3 writes: Darius McCollum, transit fanatic, has stricken again. This time, he has stolen a Trailways bus from a maintenance depot in Hoboken, NJ, and driven it to JFK airport and other parts of Queens. This is Darius' 27th arrest for incidents related to his obsession with public transportation — which notably include one at age 15 in which he took the controls a E train on the subway, driving it from 34th Street to World Trade Center, passing 6 stops, and a spree around 1990 in which he stole and drove transit buses 13 separate times. While many portray Darius, who has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, as dangerous, there also are many who say that should be just be given a job at the MTA, a la Frank Abagnale at the FBI...

Submission + - Student Shocks Own Nipples, Sues Teacher (

An anonymous reader writes: The Associated Press reports that a New Hampshire high school student who connected electrodes to his nipples that were plugged into the wall, severely shocking him, is suing the teacher, the school district, and the city because the teacher failed to warn him not to do so. Student Kyle Dubois attached a wire to his nipples, cooperated with another student to attach a second wire to the other nipple, and a third student plugged them in. A classmate captured the event on cell phone video ( Kyle and his parents claim that he didn't know it was dangerous and the teacher's failure to warn him resulted in permanent brain damage. If I was the teacher's attorney, I would be tempted to argue that there is strong evidence the brain damage was present before the incident took place.

Submission + - Killed by Code: medical device source code (

foregather writes: The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC has released some independent research on the safety of software close to our hearts, that inside of implantable medical devices like ,a href="">pacemakers and insulin pumps. It turns out that nobody is minding the store at the regulatory level and patients and doctors are blocked from examining the source code keeping them alive. From the article:

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for evaluating the risks of new devices and monitoring the safety and efficacy of those currently on market. However, the agency is unlikely to scrutinize the software operating on devices during any phase of the regulatory process unless a model that has already been surgically implanted repeatedly malfunctions or is recalled."


"Despite the crucial importance of these devices and the absence of comprehensive federal oversight, medical device software is considered the exclusive property of its manufacturers, meaning neither patients nor their doctors are permitted to access their IMD’s source code or test its security."

The SFLC concludes that transparency going forward is the only way to prevent people from being "Killed by code". Would you want windows mobile regulating your blood pressure?


Submission + - Driverless EVs Begin 8,000 Mile Trip (

An anonymous reader writes: Are driverless cars the next big thing in transportation? A group of Italian engineers are getting ready to send two driverless electric vehicles on an 8,000 mile journey from Italy to China, where they will pass through everything from mountain roads to city traffic — with a little help from four laser scanners and seven video cameras.

Submission + - The Core of Neptune, Here on Earth (

sciencehabit writes: To figure out what's happening to the water inside the extremely high temperature and high pressure cores of Neptune and other outer solar systems planets, an international team of researchers plans to create similar conditions here on Earth. First, they'll seal water into a compressor made of tantalum or tungsten. Then, they'll fire beams of heavy ions such as uranium at the container until the water within is sweltering under temperatures thousands of degrees Kelvin and pressures of several million atmospheres. These extremes may reveal two phases of water not commonly found on Earth: plasma, a high-energy state in the sun where the electrons aren't tied to any atom in particular and move about freely; and the superionic phase, an elusive state where the oxygen atoms form a solid crystal lattice and the hydrogen ions zip around and through it. A computer simulation published today in New Journal of Physics shows that the experiment could work. But it's going to cost more than $1 billion and require 16 countries to foot the bill.

Submission + - Black box invetor dies (

An anonymous reader writes: CNN has a short story about the inventor of the black box used in all modern commercial aircraft. Australian David Warren was 85.

Submission + - "horrendous flaw" found in popular forum software (

katarn writes: A simple hack to vBulletin software allows even unskilled people easy access the main administrator username and password. Internet Brands, owner of vBulletin software, has released a fix, but many sites remain vulnerable. Many notable firms use vBulletin software, and this bug could be used to compromise the email addresses and other personal information of thousands of people.

Submission + - World’s First Molten Salt Solar Plant Opens ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Sicily has just announced the opening of the world’s first concentrated solar power (CSP) facility that uses molten salt as a heat collection medium. Since molten salt is able to reach very high temperatures (over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit) and can hold more heat than the synthetic oil used in other CSP plants, the plant is able to continue to produce electricity long after the sun has gone down. The Archimede plant has a capacity of 5 megawatts with a field of 30,000 square meters of mirrors and more than 3 miles of heat collecting piping for the molten salt. The cost for this initial plant was around 60 million Euros.

Slashdot Top Deals

"There are some good people in it, but the orchestra as a whole is equivalent to a gang bent on destruction." -- John Cage, composer