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Censorship

UK ISP Disconnecting Filesharers 106

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-torrent-for-you dept.
bs0d3 writes "A small VPN service, Koppla, has had its service terminated by its host, Santrex Hosting Solutions. Despite actively advertising their services to be oriented toward file-sharing including torrents and XDCC, even going so far as to put 'Seedbox Hosting | An Effective Solution' in the title of their contact page, the UK based Santrex will independently act to terminate users who are thought to be distributing content that they don't own the copyright to. This is regardless of whether the infringement is done by a third party, as is the case with a VPN service such as Koppla."
Handhelds

Next Apple iPhone To Have a 4 Inch Display? 330

Posted by samzenpus
from the more-screen dept.
dkd903 writes "According to reports from Macotakara, Hitachi Displays Ltd and Sony Mobile Display Corporation has started shipping the screens for the iPad 3 and a 4-inch LCD screen for an unnamed iOS device. It would be fairly safe to assume that the 4-inch display will be for the next iPhone – the iPhone 5."
The Almighty Buck

Restaurants Plan DNA-Certified Seafood Program 174

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-what-you-pay-for dept.
Restaurants across the globe will soon use DNA technology to reassure customers that they are getting what they pay for. In recent years getting "counterfeit" seafood has become a big problem. In 2007 several people became seriously ill from eating illegally imported pufferfish that had been mislabeled as monkfish. From the article: "David Schindel, a Smithsonian Institution paleontologist and executive secretary of the Washington-based Consortium for the Barcode of Life, said he has started discussions with the restaurant industry and seafood suppliers about utilizing the technology as a means of certifying the authenticity of delicacies. 'When they sell something that's really expensive, they want the consumer to believe that they're getting what they're paying for,' Schindel told The Associated Press."
Science

Huge Tesla Coils Will Recreate Natural Lightning 199

Posted by samzenpus
from the warm-up-the-lightning-cannon dept.
jjp9999 writes "In order to study the nature of lighting, the team at Lightning on Demand (LOD) plans to build two, ten-story-tall Tesla coils—the largest ever—that will blast arcs of lightning hundreds of feet in length. LOD founder Greg Leyh said the project aims to reveal details on the initiation process of natural lightning, an area that remains a mystery, since smaller generated arcs have more trouble breaking through the air. It is believed that 'laboratory-scale electric arcs start to gain lightning-like abilities once they grow past about 200ft in length,' according to the LOD website, and so the team hopes to build Tesla coils large enough to do this. According to Leyh, 'Understanding how lightning forms [and grows] is the first step towards being able to control where lightning strikes or being able to suppress it completely in certain areas.'"
Canada

The Problem With Carbon-Cutting Programs 219

Posted by samzenpus
from the selling-warm dept.
Med-trump writes "Alberta's $60 million carbon-cutting program is failing, according to the latest report from the Canadian province's auditor-general, Merwan Saher. A news article in Nature adds: 'the province, despite earlier warnings, has not improved its regulatory structure — and calls the emissions estimates and the offsets themselves into question.'"
Media

Good Disk Library Solutions? 371

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-order dept.
First time submitter fikx writes "How do Slashdotters manage large collections of disks? I'm hoping for a way to manage a large collection of movies that would give me menu type access to the content, and the only consumer device left seems to be the Sony disk changer, which is discontinued. I would have thought that handling disks would have been a solved problem and on sale in many forms, but I guess not. Have Slashdotters found or built solutions? Or has this problem gone the way of the typewriter?"
Hardware

Can Maintenance Make Data Centers Less Reliable? 185

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-it-isn't-broken dept.
miller60 writes "Is preventive maintenance on data center equipment not really that preventive after all? With human error cited as a leading cause of downtime, a vigorous maintenance schedule can actually make a data center less reliable, according to some industry experts.'The most common threat to reliability is excessive maintenance,' said Steve Fairfax of 'science risk' consultant MTechnology. 'We get the perception that lots of testing improves component reliability. It does not.' In some cases, poorly documented maintenance can lead to conflicts with automated systems, he warned. Other speakers at the recent 7x24 Exchange conference urged data center operators to focus on understanding their own facilities, and then evaluating which maintenance programs are essential, including offerings from equipment vendors."
China

China Probes US Renewable Energy Policy 240

Posted by samzenpus
from the good-for-the-goose-good-for-the-gander dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes "China's Commerce Ministry on Friday announced an investigation into U.S. government policy and subsidy support for renewable energy, after a U.S. decision earlier this month to probe sales of Chinese-made solar panels in the United States. 'The Ministry of Commerce has decided to initiate a trade barrier investigation into policy support and subsidies for the U.S. renewable energy sector,' a statement on the ministry's website (www.mofcom.gov.cn) said. The announcement said Chinese companies argued that the U.S. policies 'constitute a trade barrier against the export of Chinese renewable energy products to the United States.'"
Robotics

Harvard Licenses Technology For Tiny Swarming Robot 38

Posted by samzenpus
from the own-the-swarm dept.
Zothecula writes "Do you think that you'll never be able to afford a robot of your own that isn't a toy? Well, if you can get Swiss robot-maker K-Team Corporation to sell you one, chances are you can easily afford a Kilobot — perhaps even a whole bunch of them. Designed and first built by Harvard University's Self-Organizing Systems Research Group, the three-legged robots aren't much larger than the 3.4-volt button cell batteries that power them, and move by vibrating across smooth, flat surfaces. They were created to study robotic swarming behavior, with the intention that tens, hundreds or even thousands of them could be used simultaneously in one experiment. Harvard has just announced that it has licensed the Kilobot technology to K-Team, which will commercially manufacture the robots so that other groups and institutions can purchase them for their own research."
AT&T

AT&T Customer Phone Hacking Tied To Terrorists 39

Posted by samzenpus
from the phoning-the-bad-guys dept.
theodp writes "Have you ever hacked into AT&T customer accounts and diverted money to terrorism-financing groups? You will. In 2003, the NY Times reported that AT&T contended U.S. victims of a Philippines-based telephone hacking swindle were responsible for long-distance calls fraudulently made through their voice mail systems. At the time, the city of East Palo Alto was slapped with a $30,000 long-distance phone bill that resulted from voice-mail hacking. Fast forward to 2011, and the NY Times is reporting that a Philippines-based group hacked into the accounts of AT&T business customers in the U.S. and diverted money to an organization that financed terrorist attacks across Asia. But it's not quite deja-vu-all-over-again. While it'd make a better story if AT&T contended customers were responsible for the charges and any ensuing terrorism, AT&T reimbursed the victims of the hacking this time around."
It's funny.  Laugh.

The Science of Humor 344

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-put-a-dollar-in-a-change-machine-and-nothing-changed dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The sense of humor is a ubiquitous human trait, yet rare or non-existent in the rest of the animal kingdom. But why do humans have a sense of humor in the first place? Cognitive scientist (and former programmer) Matthew Hurley says humor (or mirth, in research-speak) is intimately linked to thinking and is a critical task in human cognition because a sense of humor keeps our brains alert for the gaps between our quick-fire assumptions and reality. 'We think the pleasure of humor, the emotion of mirth, is the brain's reward for discovering its mistaken inferences,' says Hurley, co-author of Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind. With humor, the brain doesn't just discover a false inference — it almost simultaneously recovers and corrects itself. For example, read the gag that's been voted the funniest joke in the world by American men. So why is this joke funny? Because it is misleading, containing a small, faulty assumption that opens the door to a costly mistake. Humor is 'when you catch yourself in an error, like looking for the glasses that happen to be on the top of your head. You've made an assumption about the state of the world, and you're behaving based on that assumption, but that assumption doesn't hold at all, and you get a little chuckle.'"
Networking

London Wires Up For 2012 Olympic Games 79

Posted by Soulskill
from the yeah-but-do-you-have-thousands-of-drummers dept.
alphadogg writes "While London's massive Olympic park is still very much a frenetic construction site, IT engineers are fine-tuning the equipment that will be used to transmit scores, let athletes send e-mail, and broadcast high-definition video of the Games. The Olympic Games are set to kick off on July 27 next year and will be followed by the Paralympic Games. Test athletic events are already under way, which are being used to evaluate the resiliency of high-speed data networks costing millions of pounds. Acer has a large role in the 2012 Olympics and will provide much of the IT hardware, including 11,500 desktops running Windows 7; 1,100 laptops; 900 servers, and other parts including SAN storage systems, touchscreen monitors and standard monitors."
Security

Hacker Tries To Land IT Job At Marriott Via Extortion 218

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-have-not-thought-this-through dept.
wiredmikey writes "A tough global economy has certainly created challenges for many people looking for jobs, but one Hungarian man took things to another level in an effort to gain employment at hotel giant Marriott International. On Wednesday, the 26-year-old man pleaded guilty to charges that he hacked into Marriott computer systems and threatened to reveal confidential company information if Marriott didn't offer him a job. Assuming his efforts were working, with the possibility of a new job with Marriott in his sights, the hacker arrived at Washington Dulles Airport on Jan. 17, 2011, using an airline ticket purchased by Marriott for him. He thought he would be attending a job interview with Marriott personnel. Unbeknown to him, he was actually being 'interviewed' by a Secret Service agent posing as a Marriott employee."
Government

California Going Ahead With Bullet Train 709

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-an-actual-bullet dept.
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from the NY Times: "[California state leaders] have rallied around a plan to build a 520-mile high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco, cutting the trip from a six-hour drive to a train ride of two hours and 38 minutes. And they are doing it in the face of what might seem like insurmountable political and fiscal obstacles. The pro-train constituency has not been derailed by a state report this month that found the cost of the bullet train tripling to $98 billion for a project that would not be finished until 2033, by news that Republicans in Congress are close to eliminating federal high-speed rail financing this year, by opposition from California farmers and landowners upset about tracks tearing through their communities or by questions about how much the state or private businesses will be able to contribute."
GNOME

Linux Mint 12 Released Today 396

Posted by Soulskill
from the fresh-tux dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Linux Mint 12 was released today. It includes the new 'MGSE' (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions), a desktop layer on top of Gnome 3 that makes it possible for you to use Gnome 3 in a traditional way. MGSE's Gnome-2-Like experience includes features such as the bottom panel, the application menu, the window list, a task-centric desktop and visible system tray icons. MGSE is a 180-degree turn from the desktop experience the Gnome Team is developing with Gnome-Shell. At the heart of the Gnome-Shell is a feature called 'the Overview': 'The Shell is designed in order to minimize distraction and interruption and to enable users to focus on the task at hand. A persistent window list or dock would interfere with this goal, serving as a constant temptation to switch focus. The separation of window switching functionality into the overview means that an effective solution to switching is provided when it is desired by the user, but that it is hidden from view when it is not necessary.' The popularity of Mint 12 with MGSE may be an excellent barometer as to whether users prefer a task-centric or application-centric desktop."

The study of non-linear physics is like the study of non-elephant biology.

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