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

Science

CERN's Higgs Boson Discovery Passes Peer Review Publication Hurdle 73

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-step-closer dept.
MrSeb writes "CERN's announcement on July 4 — that experiments performed by the Large Hadron Collider had discovered a particle that was consistent with the Higgs boson — has passed a key step towards becoming ratified science: Its findings have been published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Letters B, effectively becoming science in the process. Before we actually know what the new particle is, CERN, the LHC, and the CMS and ATLAS teams must perform additional tests. The LHC had been scheduled to shut down for upgrades, but following the July announcement it has instead been smashing protons together nonstop, to produce more data for CMS and ATLAS to analyze. By December, it is hoped that both teams will have a much better idea of the properties of the new particle, and whether it is actually the Higgs boson."
Businesses

One Company's Week-Long Interview Process 362

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-more-thing dept.
jfruh writes "What's the longest tech interview you've had to sit through — two hours? Eight? Ruby on Rails devs who want to work for Hashrocket need to travel to Florida and do pair-programming on real projects for a week before they can be hired. The upside is that you'll be put up in a beachfront condo for the week with your significant other; the downside is that you'll be doing real work for a week for little or no pay and no guarantee of a job slot."
Announcements

Want to Change the Slashdot Logo? For 1 Day in October, You Can 128

Posted by timothy
from the small-canvas-for-big-ideas dept.
The Slashdot logo has been around for a long time now; the truth is, we're rather fond of it, and have only rarely introduced substantial changes. But for the month of October, as a way of celebrating the site's 15 years of delivering News for Nerds, we invite you to help us temporarily change it. If you have an idea of what the Slashdot logo should look like for one day in October, this is your chance to see it on the page. Starting September 15th, we'll be accepting entries, and sending limited edition anniversary T-shirts to the artists we pick to show off on the page throughout the month. (And a Nexus 7 tablet to the artist who ranks best in show.) Click through for information on what we're looking for, how to enter, and the long list of rules that the legal department has provided for your reading pleasure; we look forward to seeing and sharing your ideas.
The Military

Following FEMA's Zombie Preparedness Plan Could Land You On Terrorist List 527

Posted by samzenpus
from the fund-and-games dept.
colinneagle writes "As if warning a zombie apocalypse is imminent, FEMA hosted a webinar for its Citizen Corps encouraging emergency planners 'to use the threat of zombies — the flesh-hungry, walking dead — to encourage citizens to prepare for disasters.' The problem is many of those recommendations would have you do things that would flag you as a possible terrorist according to The DOJ's controversial 'Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities' guidelines. From the article: 'Don't be silly by thinking you must actually break the law before cops deem you a potential threat and report you. Paying with cash comes under numerous "you might be a terrorist if" lists. Whatever you do, stocking up on non-perishable food as the feds advise should not include buying "meals ready to eat" since that, too, is potentially suspicious and means you might be a terrorist. "Suspicious activity" at military surplus stores includes making "bulk purchases" of "weatherproofed ammunition or match containers and meals ready to eat, as does suspicious purchasing of "night vision devices include night flashlights and gas masks."'"
Google

90 Percent of Eligible Kansas City Neighborhoods Sign Up For Google Fiber 241

Posted by samzenpus
from the greased-lightning dept.
puddingebola writes in with a story about how popular Google Fiber is in Kansas City. "The company wrote in a blog post yesterday that at least 180 out of 202 'fiberhoods' have already qualified for the super-high-speed Internet service. Google says that it's still processing verification requests, and should be able to hand over the final list later this week. Since bringing fiber to homes can be expensive, Google is charging each home that hopes to hook up to the service a one-time $300 construction fee."
Portables

Bill Moggridge, GRiD Compass Designer, Dies 29

Posted by samzenpus
from the fare-thee-well dept.
judgecorp writes "Bill Moggridge, the British-born designer of the first laptop computer has died aged 69. The GRiD Compass was a computing landmark, designed to meet a US government request for a briefcase-sized computer, and first sold for $8000 in 1982. The GRiD compass was used widely, and taken into orbit on the Space Shuttle. It embodied industrial design principles and paved the way for subsequent laptops and devices. Moggridge's company ID Two, later IDEO, also designed the Palm V."
Space

Space Vs. Poverty Debate In India 315

Posted by samzenpus
from the will-launch-for-food dept.
MarkWhittington writes "Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was obliged recently to defend his country's space program, which involves the spending of billions of rupees when India still has a large number of people living in abject poverty. The debate raging in India parallels a similar one that has simmered in the United States for decades."
Education

The Problems With Online Math Classes 285

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-your-learnings dept.
dcollins writes "As a college instructor specializing in statistics, I felt compelled to survey one of the massive-enrollment online education courses that are all the rage these days. This summer, it seemed a perfect opportunity when Udacity unveiled Introduction to Statistics by founder Sebastian Thrun (of Google autonomous car fame). Having taken the entire course through to the final exam, my overall assessment is: It's amazingly, shockingly awful. Some nights I got seriously depressed at the notion that this might be standard fare for college lectures encountered by many students during their academic careers. I've tried to pick out the Top 10 problems with the course structure and address them in detail."
Idle

QR Codes For Memorials 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the last-message dept.
mikejuk writes "Companies in America, Denmark and the UK are adding QR codes to gravestones that can be used to view online memorials via smartphones. The idea is that these living headstones can include photographs, videos and memories of the dead person from family and friends. Genealogists and historians have always found graveyards a useful resource. If the QR idea takes hold memorials will be able to tell much more to future generations."
Google

Germany's Former First Lady Sues Google 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the search-and-sue dept.
quax writes "Bettina Wulff faces an uphill battle for her reputation. Her husband had to resign as Germany's president due to corruption allegations and has many detractors. Apparently some of them started a character assassination campaign against his wife. At least that is, if you trust serious journalists who looked into the matter and stated that it is made up. Unfortunately though for Bettina Wulff, the rumors took off on the Internet. Now whenever you enter her name Google suggest the additional search terms 'prostitute' and 'escort.' Google refuses to alter its search index."
Google

Google Reinvents Micropayments — As Surveywall 107

Posted by timothy
from the press-1-to-continue dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Frédéric Filloux writes that eighteen months ago — under non disclosure — Google showed publishers a new transaction system for inexpensive products such as newspaper articles. It works like this: to gain access to a web site, the user is asked to participate to a short consumer research session: a single question or a set of images leading to a quick choice. It can be anything: pure market research for a packaging or product feature, surveying a specific behavior, evaluating a service, intention, expectation, you name it. Google's size puts it in a unique position to probe millions of people in a short period of time and the more Google gains in reliability, accuracy, and granularity (i.e. ability to probe a segment of blue collar-pet owners in Michigan or urbanite coffee-drinkers in London), the bigger it gets and the better it performs cutting market research costs 90% compared to traditional surveys. Companies will pay $150 for 1500 responses drawn from the general U.S. internet population. But what's in it for users? A young audience will be more inclined to accept such a surveywall because they always resist any form of payment for digital information, regardless of quality, usefulness, or relevance. Free is the norm. Or its illusion. This way users make micropayments, but with attention and data instead of cash. 'Young people have already demonstrated their willingness to give up their privacy in exchange for free services such as Facebook — they have yet to realize they paid the hard price,' writes Filloux. 'Economically, having one survey popping up from time to time — for instance when the user reconnects to a site — makes sense. Viewed from a spreadsheet, it could yield more money than the cheap ads currently in use.'"
Crime

Majority of Mobile Malware Now Reliant On Toll Fraud 39

Posted by timothy
from the reverse-the-charges-operator dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Spyware is no longer the primary concern with unwanted software on mobile devices. According to mobile security firm Lookout, most mobile malware performs 'toll fraud' — billing victims using premium SMS services. The problem is very geographically-dependent, worst in areas with weak SMS regulation, particularly China, Ukraine, and Russia, where users are 10,000 times more likely to have malware on their phones than users in Japan, for example. Other risks include mobile ads surreptitiously uploading personal data, as well as apps that download other malware without users knowing. The full report is available."
Networking

100GbE To Slash the Cost of Producing Live Television 180

Posted by timothy
from the ever-smoother-tubes dept.
New submitter danversj writes "I'm a Television Outside Broadcast Engineer who wants to use more IT and Computer Science-based approaches to make my job easier. Today, live-produced TV is still largely a circuit-switched system. But technologies such as 100 Gigabit Ethernet and Audio Video Bridging hold the promise of removing kilometres of cable and thousands of connectors from a typical broadcast TV installation. 100GbE is still horrendously expensive today — but broadcast TV gear has always been horrendously expensive. 100GbE only needs to come down in price just a bit — i.e. by following the same price curve as for 10GbE or 1GbE — before it becomes the cheaper way to distribute multiple uncompressed 1080p signals around a television facility. This paper was written for and presented at the SMPTE Australia conference in 2011. It was subsequently published in Content and Technology magazine in February 2012. C&T uses issuu.com to publish online so the paper has been re-published on my company's website to make it more technically accessible (not Flash-based)."
Government

How Spyware Reaches Oppressive Governments 109

Posted by timothy
from the appointment-and-business-card dept.
New submitter blando writes "Between February and March of 2011, at the height of Egypt's tumultuous revolution, protesters stormed the offices of their feared State Security Investigations Service in Alexandria and Sixth of October city, on the edge of Cairo. It was there, amongst evidence of detentions, torture and surveillance at SSIS's headquarters, that information first came to light regarding a sales pitch by UK-based Gamma Group to Egypt's security agency for their FinFisher spyware."
Businesses

Valve Reveals Gaming Headset, Teases Big Picture 151

Posted by timothy
from the this-one-goes-on-your-head dept.
dotarray writes with a bit from Player Attack: "Gaming is big business, says Valve, as the developer takes the time to show off its brand new gaming headset and TV-based Big Picture. Rather than inviting the games media masses who have been clamouring for any details on the Seattle company's 'wearable computing' initiative, Gabe Newell and his team instead went right to the top, with an in-depth interview published in The New York Times." The New York Times article on which this report is based is worth reading, too: Valve's corporate non-structure sounds hard to believe. It seems Valve is also looking for hardware designers.

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