By timothy from Slashdot's 96-is-a-good-run department
First time accepted submitter angelofdarkness writes "Jack Vance died Sunday evening. He was 96. Thank you for the stories and adventures and for influencing the game i still play after all these years.
From the article: 'A science fiction Grand Master, Vance is probably best remembered for his four Dying Earth novels, which take place in a far-future Earth where the sun has dimmed and magic has been reestablished as a dominant force. They feature a brilliant picaresque adventure tone, including the unforgettable thief Cugel the Clever, and they were also celebrated in a recent anthology Songs of the Dying Earth, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. These books contain Vance's characteristic ironic, lightly humorous style, which has influenced generations of science fiction writers."
Reader paai points to the official Jack Vance website
, and this 2009 profile in the New York Times
.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ruining-it-for-everyone department
An anonymous reader writes "After having first decided against forcing a suspect to decrypt a number of hard drives that were believed to be his and to contain child pornography, a U.S. judge has changed his mind and has now ordered the suspect to provide law enforcement agents heading the investigation with a decrypted version of the contents of his encrypted data storage system, or the passwords needed to decrypt forensic copies of those storage devices. Jeffrey Feldman, a software developer at Rockwell Automation, has still not been charged with any crime, and the prosecution initially couldn't prove conclusively that the encrypted hard drives contained child pornography or were actually Feldman's, which led U.S. Magistrate Judge William Callahan to decide that forcing him to decrypt them would violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. But new evidence has made the judge reverse his first decision (PDF): the FBI has continued to try to crack the encryption on the discs, and has recently managed to decrypt and access one of the suspect's hard drives... The storage device was found to contain 'an intricate electronic folder structure comprised of approximately 6,712 folders and subfolders,' approximately 707,307 files (among them numerous files which constitute child pornography), detailed personal financial records and documents belonging to the suspect, as well as dozens of his personal photographs."Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department
stoolpigeon writes "How would humanity fare in a universe filled with other sentient races and the technology for all of them to interact? If human history is any indication there would be conflict. That conflict would be between many groups that saw themselves as people and the rest as monsters. What that universe and those interactions would look like is a key theme in John Scalzi's Old Man's War series. The latest offering, The Human Division continues to dig deeply into a wide range of questions about what makes someone a person and how people treat one another at their best and worst."
Keep reading for the rest of stoolpigeon's review. The Human Division
author John Scalzi
publisher Tor Books
summary Following the events of The Last Colony, John Scalzi tells the story of the fight to maintain the unity of the human raceRead Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's linux-mint-16-unlikely-to-be-called-'newton-john' department
By Soulskill from Slashdot's wooly-mammoth-vampires-very-excited department
westtxfun writes"'Russian scientists claimed Wednesday they have discovered blood in the carcass of a woolly mammoth, adding that the rare find could boost their chances of cloning the prehistoric animal.' As scientists unearthed the recent find, very dark blood flowed out from beneath the mammoth, and the muscle tissue was red. This is the best-preserved specimen found so far and they are hopeful they can recover DNA and clone a mammoth. Semyon Grigoriev, one of the researchers, said, 'The approximate age of this animal is about 10,000 years old. It has been preserved thanks to the special conditions, due to the fact that it did not defrost and then freeze again. We suppose that the mammoth fell into water or got bogged down in a swamp, could not free herself and died. Due to this fact the lower part of the body, including the lower jaw, and tongue tissue, was preserved very well. The upper torso and two legs, which were in the soil, were gnawed by prehistoric and modern predators and almost did not survive.'"Read Replies (0)