samazon writes "Online retail shop Etsy announced a living-expenses grant program for women interested in attending the free Hacker School 3-month programming course. The program is hosted in various New York locations (NYU and Spotify have both hosted sessions) and not only is Etsy offering $5,000 grants to ten women who are accepted into the program, they're also hosting the summer course, and have offered enough space to double the class size to 40 students."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin, was charged with second-degree murder. He faces up to life in prison if convicted in the shooting. From the article: "Special prosecutor Angela Corey announced the charges but would not discuss how she arrived at them or disclose other details of her investigation, saying: 'That's why we try cases in court.' Second-degree murder is typically brought in cases when there is a fight or other confrontation that results in death and but does [not] involve a premeditated plan to kill. Corey would not disclose Zimmerman's whereabouts for his safety but said that he will be in court within 24 hours."
wiredmikey writes "HP has warned of a security vulnerability associated with its ProCurve 5400 zl switches that contain compact flash cards that the company says may be infected with malware. The company warned that using one of the infected compact flash cards in a computer could result in the system being compromised. According to HP, the potential threat exists on HP 5400 zl series switches purchased after April 30, 2011 with certain serial numbers listed in the security advisory. This issue once again brings attention to the security of the electronics supply chain, which has been a hot topic as of late."
stoolpigeon writes "It is a well known fact that the United States has an obesity problem. There are numerous causes that ultimately lead to an imbalance in the ratio between the number of calories taken in to the number of calories burned. The size of the American diet industry is another good indicator of how widespread the problem has become. Clay Johnson believes that the issues the U.S. has with food have become mirrored in how we consume information." Read below for the rest of stoolpigeon's review.
Lendrick writes "OpenGameArt.org, the Free Software Foundation, and the Creative Commons are teaming up to bring the Liberated Pixel Cup, a free-as-in-freedom game making contest starting on June 1st and going through July 31st. The contest will be divided into two phases: the first phase will be about adding on to a consistent set of art commissioned specially for the contest, and the second phase, starting on July 1st, will be about building games using the provided art."
MrKevvy writes "The Tennessee 'Teaching the Controversy' bill was passed into law today. 'A law to allow public school teachers to challenge the scientific consensus on issues like climate change and evolution will soon take effect in Tennessee. State governor Bill Haslam allowed the bill — passed by the state House and Senate — to become law without signing it, saying he did not believe the legislation "changes the scientific standards that are taught in our schools."'" The governor adds: "However, I also don’t believe that it accomplishes anything that isn’t already acceptable in our schools."
redletterdave writes "Not 24 hours after Sony announced it would slash about 10,000 jobs by the end of the year, the Japanese electronics maker announced on Tuesday that it has again doubled its annual net loss to a record $6.4 billion. The new annual estimate is Sony's fourth revision of its original forecast. The company had already more than doubled its loss forecast for fiscal 2011 on April 5 to $2.9 billion, blaming floods in Thailand, poor foreign exchange rates, and a failed partnership with Samsung... Kazuo Hirai, the company's new president and CEO hired 10 days ago, will take 'painful steps' to revive Sony, and will unveil a 'revival strategy' at a Thursday press briefing."
gbrumfiel writes "The Square Kilometre Array will be the world's most powerful telescope, assuming the nations involved can agree on where to build it. A scientific panel recently backed South Africa over Australia to host the project, but neither side has conceded defeat. Rather than splitting the partners, project leaders are now thinking about splitting the telescope between the two countries. There's little scientific advantage, but the thinking is that a split telescope would be better than no telescope."
OverTheGeicoE writes "Jonathan Corbett, creator of the video showing that TSA's body scanners can't see metal objects on our sides, has a new video out. This time he's interviewing an experienced TSA screener identified only as 'Jennifer,' and her allegations point to 'fatal flaws' in TSA and its procedures. Worse, TSA's screeners are well aware of these flaws. According to Jennifer, body scanners frequently fail to detect objects on passengers, and this flaw is well known to the screeners on the job. People with visible items in their pockets can pass through scanners without detection, even when the items are simulated weapons or explosives. Jennifer also alleges that training for screeners is severely lacking. Screeners are directed to operate body scanners, even the X-ray scanners, without any training whatsoever. The manual of standard operating procedures often can't be found at the checkpoints, let alone read. Jennifer was so alarmed by what she experienced that she wrote her congressional representative to complain. She was ultimately fired as a result, effective yesterday."
Hugh Pickens writes "For more than a century, it has been accepted that about 620,000 Americans died in the the bloodiest, most devastating conflict in American history. But now, BBC reports that historian J. David Hacker has used sophisticated statistical software to determine the war's death toll and found that civil war dead may have been undercounted by as many as 130,000. Hacker began by taking digitized samples from the decennial census counts taken from 1850-1880. Using statistical package SPSS, Hacker counted the number of native-born white men of military age in 1860 and determined how many of that group were still alive in 1870 and compared that survival rate with the survival rates of the men of the same ages from 1850-1860, and from 1870-1880 — the 10-year census periods before and after the Civil War. The calculations yielded the number of 'excess' deaths of military-age men between 1860-1870 — the number who died in the war or in the five subsequent years from causes related to the war. Hacker's findings, published in the December 2011 issue of Civil War History, have been endorsed by some of the leading historians of the conflict. 'The difference between the two estimates is large enough to change the way we look at the war,' writes Hacker. 'The war touched more lives and communities more deeply than we thought, and thus shaped the course of the ensuing decades of American history in ways we have not yet fully grasped. True, the war was terrible in either case. But just how terrible, and just how extensive its consequences, can only be known when we have a better count of the Civil War dead.'"
skywiseguy writes "I have only used Kickstarter to back a single project so far, but one of the backers of that project pointed us to a project promising video capable glasses which was once one of the top 10 highest funded projects in Kickstarter history. After reading through the comments, it is obvious that the project has not met its expected deadline of 'Winter 2011,' but the project team rarely gives any updates with concrete information. All emails sent to them by backers get a form letter in reply, they routinely delete negative comments from their Facebook page, and apparently very soon after the project was funded, they posted pictures of themselves on a tropical beach with the tagline, 'We are not on a beach in Thailand.' Their early promotions were featured on Engadget and other tech sites but since the project was funded they've rarely, if ever, communicated in more than a form letter. So at what point can a project like this be considered to have failed? And if you had backed a project with this kind of lack of communication from the project team, what would you consider to be the best course of action? Disclaimer: I have not backed this project, but I am very interested in funding Kickstarter projects and I do not want to get caught sending money to a less than reputable project. According to the above project's backers, Kickstarter claims to have no mechanism for refunding money to backers of failed projects and no way to hold the project team accountable to their backers. This does not seem like a healthy environment for someone who is averse to giving their money to scam artists."
angry tapir writes "Slashdot recently discussed some of the problems with the One Laptop Per Child program in Peru, where, in general, teachers did not make creative use of the technology by just regarding the laptops as an end in themselves. In Australia, the local OLPC organization is attempting to address similar issues by creating an educational framework around the laptops that involves training students how to teach others about the technology and even conduct hardware repairs on the XOs. Some of the early results at XO-equipped schools, which in Australia are generally in remote and disadvantaged schools, have been impressive."
cylonlover writes "While games like Batman: Arkham City and Gears of War are certainly entertaining, virtually beating up thugs and fighting subterranean creatures doesn't exactly translate into real world skills. However, a new agreement with teaching software developer Virtual Heroes could see Epic's Unreal Engine platform used to create more practical experiences and train medical staff and law enforcement officers to handle high-stress situations. By using Epic's Unreal Engine 3, some United States government agencies like the FBI and U.S. Army are hoping to give their employees tools for virtually practicing their skills in a more realistic environment and better prepare them to save lives."
MatthewVD writes "New Zealand electric racecar developer Greenstage is close to finishing an open source project called 'Tumanako,' which would allow owners of electric cars and motorcycles to tweak the code in their vehicles. Electric vehicle gearheads grouse about proprietary code that keeps current, torque and speed within very conservative limits. 'In racing, you need the system to push all those parameters to the limits. You only need the system to survive until just past the finish line,' says Bill Dube, the owner of the record-setting KillaCycle. Open source code could also be used to build any type of electric vehicle, from cars and submarines to motor-launched aerial gliders, from scratch. It's like Linux for your Chevy Volt."