cylonlover writes "An international team of scientists has created a handheld, battery powered device that has been shown to effectively rid skin of bacteria in an instant by blasting it with plasma. The plasma flashlight, which shouldn't be confused with a plasma torch that will damage much more than bacteria if used on the skin, could provide a convenient way for paramedics and military personnel to deal with harmful bacteria in the field. The self-contained device is powered by a 12 V battery and doesn't require any external gas feed or handling system. The plume of plasma it generates is between 20-23C (68-73.4F), so it won't damage the skin. It is also fitted with resistors to stop it heating up and becoming too hot to touch. Its creators say it can also be easily manufactured at a cost of less than US$100 per unit."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
jfruh writes "The Slashdot readership is probably split pretty evenly into two groups. There are those for whom full-on Internet access has been available for their entire computer-using lives, and then there are those who wanted to use the Net from home before 1991, and who therefore had to use a BBS or an online service. Here's a tour of some of these services, including Prodigy, Compuserve, and of course AOL. This should be a nostalgic trip for the oldsters among us, and a history lesson for Gen Y readers."
suraj.sun writes "Christopher Dodd, the former Connecticut senator who now leads the MPAA, hasn't given up on his dream of censoring the Internet. In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, he said that Hollywood and the technology industry 'need to come to an understanding' about new copyright legislation. Dodd said that there were 'conversations going on now,' about SOPA-style legislation, but that he was 'not going to go into more detail because obviously if I do, it becomes counterproductive.' Asked whether the White House's decision to oppose SOPA had created tensions with Hollywood, Dodd insisted that he was 'not going to revisit the events of last winter,' but said he hoped the president would use his 'good relationships' with both Hollywood and the technology industry to broker a deal."
redletterdave writes "While the movie and music industries would have you think that torrents are a threat to their business, thousands of independent artists heartily disagree. That's why more than 5,000 musicians, actors, writers, filmmakers and artists have signed up to be promoted by The Pirate Bay, the world's largest torrent site. Earlier this year, following the seizures of many popular file-sharing domains like MegaUpload, The Pirate Bay introduced a new promotion platform for artists called 'The Promo Bay,' which let independent artists reach tens of millions of people by offering favorable advertising spots on the The Pirate Bay's homepage. The response to The Pirate Bay's promotion platform has been overwhelming: the company announced on Thursday that it has already received more than 5,000 applications, and has managed to be a quality platform for driving significant interest to independent artists."
An anonymous reader writes "American scientists and engineers are researching a new generation of UAV's that would be nuclear-powered. Why do this? They would have the capacity to stay over a target area for months and only be limited by the ordinance they could drop on a potential foe. They would be similar to a nuclear attack submarine but not limited to the amount of food on-board. The article notes: 'The blueprints for the new drones, which have been developed by Sandia National Laboratories – the U.S. government's principal nuclear research and development agency – and defense contractor Northrop Grumman, were designed to increase flying time "from days to months" while making more power available for operating equipment, according to a project summary published by Sandia,' the paper reported."
An anonymous reader writes "U.S. consumers will be making a multimillion dollar donation to an Australian government agency in the near future, whether they like it or not. After the resolution of a recent lawsuit, practically every wireless-enabled device sold in the U.S. will now involve a payment to an Australian research organization called the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or CSIRO, which hired U.S. patent lawyers who told a very lucrative tale in an East Texas courtroom, that they had '[invented] the concept of wireless LAN ... [and] when the IEEE adopted the 802.11a standard in 1999 — and the more widely-used 802.11g standard years later — the group was choosing CSIRO technology. Now CSIRO had come to court to get the payments it deserved.'"
mdsolar writes "Kenichi Ohmae, an MIT-trained nuclear engineer also widely regarded as Japan's top management guru, is dean of Business Breakthrough University. In the CSM he writes: 'Fukushima's most important lesson is this: Probability theory (that disaster is unlikely) failed us. If you have made assumptions, you are not prepared. Nuclear power plants should have multiple, reliable ways to cool reactors. Any nuclear plant that doesn't heed this lesson is inviting disaster.'"
zacharye writes with this snippet from BGR: "Nearly a dozen suspects have been arrested and charged with crimes related to the theft and sale of AMOLED display technology under development at Samsung. Yonhap News Agency on Thursday reported that 11 suspects either currently or formerly employed by Samsung Mobile Display have been arrested. One 46-year-old researcher at Samsung is believed to have accepted a payment of nearly $170,000 from an unnamed 'local rival firm' in exchange for trade secrets pertaining to proprietary Samsung technology used in the company's AMOLED panels..."
pigrabbitbear writes "The recent web pornography ban in Egypt has raised questions about the evils of censorship (and porn) and the changing tide of popular attitude of Egyptians. It perhaps reflects the emerging influence of more conservative Muslim elements in government, a shift. Apparently the same ban was passed 3 years ago but was not enforced because their filtering system was not effective. But porn bans are nothing new. Other countries with strict censorship laws like China and Saudi Arabia have successfully implemented bans that restrict pornography along with anything else they deem inappropriate for public viewing. In 2010 the UK discussed a ban that would require users to specifically request access to pornographic material from their internet service providers. And porn-banning rhetoric has even stomped through the U.S. news media over the last few months, thanks to GOP also-ran Rick Santorum claiming President Obama is failing to enforce pornography laws. (There have also been some awesomely ridiculous pornography PSAs.)"
Orome1 writes "Industry and government efforts have dealt a significant blow to spam, according to a Commtouch report that is compiled based on an analysis of more than 10 billion transactions handled on a daily basis. The sustained decrease in spam over the last year can be attributed to many factors, including: Botnet takedowns, increased prosecution of spammers and the source industries such as fake pharmaceuticals and replicas. However, spam is still four times the level of legitimate email and cybercriminals are increasing their revenues from other avenues, such as banking fraud malware."
First time accepted submitter rodrix79 writes "Hi all. I am trying to move from Windows to Linux (Ubuntu, but maybe to Mint). The problem is I telecommute full time and I am having a hard time trying to find the right tools to keep communication flowing with my clients (which are mostly on Windows / Mac). Any good recommendations from Linux telecommuters?"
You complained; we heard you. We're making some adjustments to our ongoing experiment with video on Slashdot, and are trying to get it right. Some of the videos just haven't gelled, to put it lightly, and we know it. We're feeling out just what kinds of videos make sense here: it's a steep learning curve. So far, though, besides a few videos that nearly everyone hated, we've also seen some wacky, impressive, fun technology, and we're going to keep bringing more of it, but in what we intend to be smarter doses, here on the Slashdot home page. (A larger selection will be available on tv.slashdot.org.) We're also planning to start finding and documenting some creative means of destruction for naughty hardware; suggestions welcome. We have also heard you when it comes to improving the core Slashdot site experience and fixing bugs on site. We're working on these items, too. As always, suggestions are welcome, too, for other things worth getting on camera or publishing on Slashdot.
An anonymous reader writes "Following up on the 2009 story about the first graphics game written for a 16-Bit Home PC, I thought Slashdot readers might be interested in seeing the game in question running in their browsers. The original hardware has been emulated and loaded with the original machine code transcribed from PDF scans. Some brief background here."
Lucas123 writes "Major tech vendors are funding patent trolls, companies that derive the bulk of their income, if not all of it, from licensing huge libraries of patents they hold as well as by suing companies that use their patents without permission, according to an investigation by Computerworld. Tech companies — including Apple and Micron — have railed against patent 'nuisance' lawsuits, only to fund or otherwise support some of the patent trolls. Because of patent trolls, more politely called mass patent aggregators, patent litigation has in part increased by more than 230% over the past 20 years. 'Most of the major tech companies are backing a troll in some way, probably financially,' says Thomas Ewing, an attorney who has authored reports on what he calls 'patent privateering.'"
donniebaseball23 writes "Video game publisher Electronic Arts has not only had to defend itself against 'worst company in America' labels, but GamesIndustry International has revealed that EA's been receiving thousands of letters protesting the inclusion of same-sex relationship content in games like Mass Effect and Star Wars: The Old Republic. The campaign against EA appears to be led by Florida Family Association and the Family Research Council. The letters threaten to boycott purchase of EA games if the company won't remove the LGBT content, and many allege that EA was pressured by LGBT activists to include the content, which they say is forcing LGBT themes on children playing the games. 'This isn't about protecting children, it's about political harassment,' said Jeff Brown, VP of corporate communications."