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


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Submission + - "An Internal Brain Drain" ( 1

walterbyrd writes: Dr. Norman Matloff of the University of California-Davis computer science department, argues that US citizens are avoiding "Science Technology Engineering Math" (STEM) careers, because US citizens see those fields as being ruined by massive offshoring, and inshoring.

Submission + - Facebook Acquires Feature Phone App Maker Snaptu ( 4

Krystalo writes: Facebook has agreed to acquire Snaptu, an Israeli startup that makes Java-based feature phone apps, for an estimated $70 million. The acquisition, for which neither company would reveal financial details, is expected to close within a few weeks.

Earlier this year, Facebook worked with the mobile development firm to build a feature phone app that is accessible free of data charges in various overseas markets. The company says the Facebook for Feature Phones app currently works on more than 2,500 devices.


Submission + - Making Java Fun with Mirah - Ruby Syntax For Java (

An anonymous reader writes: Java is performant, widely adopted and eminently portable, however, its syntax is largely inherited from C++ along with some of it's esoteric unfriendliness. Mirah aims to place a friendly face on Java through the implementation of a syntax who's primary concern is developer friendliness, think ruby/python/groovy, and route of least surprise. The result is a truly cogent alternative syntax delivering readability, expressiveness and some compelling new language features.

Submission + - RMS on header files and derivative works (

tomhudson writes: "In this email from 2003, Richard Stallman says

"I've talked with our lawyer about one specific issue that you raised: that of using simple material from header files.

Someone recently made the claim that including a header file always makes a derivative work.

That's not the FSF's view. Our view is that just using structure definitions, typedefs, enumeration constants, macros with simple bodies, etc., is NOT enough to make a derivative work. It would take a substantial amount of code (coming from inline functions or macros with substantial bodies) to do that.

This should help end the recent FUD about the Android "clean headers"."


Submission + - Citation map shows top science cities (

mikejuk writes: Which cities around the world produce not just the most but the best scientific papers? Using a database and Google Maps the answer is obvious.A paper in Physics arXiv describes how two researchers combined citation data with Google maps to create a plot showing how important cities around the world were in terms of their contribution to physics, chemistry or psychology.

Submission + - Microsoft Open-Sources U-Prove Secure ID Framework (

WheezyJoe writes: "ArsTechnica posts that Microsoft has released an SDK for U-Prove under its Open Specification Promise. The U-Prove system allows the creation of secure ID tokens, incorporating whatever information is needed for a given transaction — but no more — along with cryptographic protection to ensure that it can't be forged, reused, traced back to the user, or linked to other tokens.

FTFA: "In a world with U-Prove, many existing identity management problems would go away. If my credit card company and online music service both supported U-Prove, I could create a token that allowed a single limited electronic money transfer from my card to the music company, without disclosing my name, address, or date of birth, and without that token being usable to make further purchases."
The release as Open Source is apparently to encourage the adoption of the technology, which would require new software at both vendors and end-users."

Data Storage

Intel Developers Demo USB 3.0 Throughput On Linux 231

Sarah Sharp writes "Intel's Open Source Technology Center is working on USB 3.0 support for Linux. USB 3.0 has wire speeds of 5Gbps and promises to be 10 times faster than USB 2.0. A recent video demo shows speeds that are 3.5 times faster than USB 2.0. The USB 3.0 drivers will be submitted to the mainline kernel when the eXtensible host controller interface (xHCI) specification reaches a 1.0 release."

Australia Says No to Internet Censorship 209

Brenton Fletcher writes "A nationwide protest rally against the internet censorship filter proposed by the Australian Labor Government was held today. Over 9,000 people were slated to attend. I was fortunate enough to go to the rally on the steps of Parliament House in Adelaide, South Australia. I heard speeches from the Digital Liberty Coalition, the Green Left Weekly, and other concerned members of the public." Reader mask.of.sanity adds a link to ComputerWorld's photo-heavy coverage of the gatherings.

Wireless Invention Jams Teen Drivers' Cell Calls Screenshot-sm 232

alphadogg writes "University of Utah researchers have invented technology that could come to be embraced by teenagers with the same enthusiasm they have for curfews and ID checks. And like those things, it could save their lives. Key2SafeDriving technology uses RFID or Bluetooth wireless capabilities to issue signals from car keys to cell phones to prevent drivers from talking on their phones or texting while driving. A company called Accendo LC of Kaysville, Utah has licensed the technology and is working to build it into commercial devices that could be on the market next year. The company is sorting out how to bring the technology to market, but one possibility is that it would be made available through cell phone service companies and could also be tied in with insurance companies, which might offer discounts for users."

Welsh to Make Drunk-Friendly Streets Screenshot-sm 1

Scientists in Wales have run out of things to study so they are designing streets to be more "drunk friendly" in the hopes of reducing conflicts and violence. After going to the streets of Cardiff, breathalyzing locals and studying their behavior, it was discovered a quarter of the people encountered were so drunk they were staggering. Feeding this info into their computer model, they came to a staggering conclusion that drunk people trip over things. The researchers plan to investigate how moving street obstacles or increasing pedestrianization might ease congestion around nightspots. Study leader Simon Moore, from the University of Cardiff, said "Drunks become irritants because they slow people's progress towards their goal. They may then become targets of violence." The solution to this problem is obviously alleys full of bean bags and blankets.
The Internet

Dial-Up Users "Don't Want Broadband" 593

Barence writes "The majority of dial-up Internet users say they don't want to upgrade their connection to broadband, according to a new study in the US. The Pew Internet & American Life research found that 62% of dial-up users had no interest in upgrading to a high-speed connection." (CNN is carrying the AP's story on the study, too.)

Submission + - Your RSS is very slow to update (

Your RSS is very slow to update writes: "Your RSS feed needs to update for more often than it does. Often the latest story in the feed is hours old. This is not an issue with my RSS reader of choice, I've checked with different RSS readers. For example right nowthe latest story in the RSS feed is this one: the latest story on Slashdot is this one: Theses stories were posted more than seven hours apart yet the RSS feed has only updated once in all that time."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Good games for babies and toddlers?

CastrTroy writes: "I have a 16 month old girl, and another baby one on the way soon. I've been looking for some good keyboard bashing games for her to play. She shows a lot of interest in the computer, since we spend lots of time on the computer. I've been able to find a lot of flash games, and I have some old windows 3.1/95 software which works quite well, but most of them have the problem that my daughter eventually finds a way to escape the game and start affecting the rest of the computer. Are there any games, that block out all keys so that she can just bash the keyboard, and we don't have to keep pulling her away from the keyboard every 30 seconds while we get her back into the game. The usual culprits are the windows key, alt+tab, Windows+L, alt+F4 and many of the other key combinations that will kick her out of the game. Something free would be nice, but we're planning on having 3 kids, so I'd be willing to pay for a game if there was any that actually provided what I was looking for. I'm not so worried about her messing up the computer, but the problem is more that once you leave the game, things get a lot less interesting, and hitting all the keys stops doing interesting stuff, and she tends to get frustrated when we keep pulling her away to get back in the game."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Support For Small Professional Offices Using FOSS

ir0b0t writes: "I have a small office and recently finished replacing all the code in my office with FOSS. It took over 5 years, and my brother had to help me a lot. He actually did everything, and I tried to stay out of his way and learn as much as I could. Here is what I'm running now: * Ubuntu 7.04 * Samba * Drupal * OpenOffice * egroupware * backuppc * Firefox * Thunderbird * Gnucash Now I need technical support occasionally because the discussions on the forums are often over my head, and my brother may disown me if I keep relying on him for help. What options are available for FOSS technical support in the smaller cities, especially for a small law or accounting office?"

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