astroengine writes "Life is good in the Solar System. We have Jupiter to thank for that. However, if the gas giant's orbit were a little more elliptical, there's every chance that Earth would become rather uncomfortable very quickly. Researchers looking at the zoo of exoplanets orbiting distant stars have simulated several scenarios of differing exoplanet orbits and find that many don't resemble our cozy Solar System. In fact, weird exoplanet orbits may be the deciding factor as to whether extraterrestrial life can form or not."
itwbennett writes "At the O'Reilly Gov 2.0 Expo, being held this week in Washington, DC, Tim Berners-Lee compared the concept of linked open data to a bag of Utz Kettle Classics Crunchy Potato chips: 'The outside of the bag contains different sets of information, each using a different vocabulary and coming from a different source, Berners-Lee explained. The front of the package displays the name of the brand and the company's own marketing claim that the chips are crunchy. The back of the package has nutritional information, such as calories and vitamins, defined by terms generated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Finally, there is a Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code on the bottom of the package, which is not understood by humans at all but rather is recognized by scanning machines globally as the moniker for the item. In other words, this single package of information actually is a collection of data and attributes that have been developed by multiple parties, not just Utz.'"
D1gital_Prob3 tips news that Activision's recently-released shooter, Wolfenstein, is being recalled in Germany due to the appearance of swastikas in the game. Such symbols are banned in Germany, and the German version of the game went through heavy editing to remove them. Apparently, they missed some. Activision said, "Although it is not a conspicuous element in the normal game ... we have decided to take this game immediately from the German market." Reader eldavojohn points out a review that has screenshot comparisons between the two versions of the game.
I fully agree. I'm the admin on a similar sized cluster (although our interconnects are much faster) that sees only about 50% utilization by the University. The rest of the time is lent out to other Universities without such a resource or need a place to run unfunded projects. I'd be amazed that such a resource would ever be allowed to be "played" on. Our up time is critical since many jobs take weeks sometimes months to run. Every effort is made to make the system rock solid and divide up the resources fairly.
aeoneal writes: According to Science Daily, mass spectrometry is no longer limited to what can be taken to the lab. Purdue researchers have created a handy 20 lb. device that combines mass spectrometry with DESI (desorption electrospray ionization), allowing chemical composition to be determined outside of a vacuum chamber. Purdue suggests this could be useful for everything from detecting explosive substances or cancer to predicting disease. Researcher R. Graham Cooks says, "We like to compare it to the tricorder because it is truly a hand-held instrument that yields information about the precise chemical composition of samples in a matter of minutes without harming the samples."