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Space

+ - Scientists discover nearby 'diamond planet'-> 1

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "Scientists at Yale University have discovered a nearby super-Earth that is a “diamond planet” — a planet that has a mantle made of graphite and diamond. The planet, called 55 Cancri e, is just 40 light years from Earth and orbits the binary star 55 Cancri, which is located in the constellation of Cancer. When the planet was first observed last year, it was originally thought to be a water planet, similar to Earth, but new information has allowed the scientists to infer that the planet is much more likely to be a diamond planet. The Yale scientists estimate that as much as one third of 55 Cancri e’s mass is made up of diamond — the same as three Earth masses, or roughly 18×1024kg. This is a few trillion times more diamond than has ever been mined on Earth. The identification of just a single diamond-rich planet is massive news. In recent years we have identified hundreds of rocky, Earth-like planets — and until now, we had assumed they had similar make-ups. It is now fairly safe to assume that there are millions of diamond planets in the universe."
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Cloud

+ - Facebook is toast and cloud computing is dead, Forrester CEO says-> 1

Submitted by Qedward
Qedward (2499046) writes "Apple and Google will dominate the emerging digital economy while Facebook is history, claimed George Colony, CEO of Forrester, in the opening key note of the analyst group’s European forum in Paris.

"I think Facebook is toast," he said. The company is in major trouble around mobile engagement and the app internet.”

Colony’s provocative predictions came at the conclusion of a session where he challenged IT leaders to ‘disrupt or be disrupted’ and pushed Forrester’s theme that Chief Information Officers and the departments they manage need to transform themselves to focus on business technology.

Colony insisted that the old PC model is dead and more controversially that the Cloud Computing model was also dead because it “doesn’t leverage power in your pocket”."

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Comment: Re:His Master's Voice (Score 1) 1015

by Jedi Alec (#31981598) Attached to: Don't Talk To Aliens, Warns Stephen Hawking

They might be "Idiocracy" incarnate. All the smart ones have been bred out of existence leaving behind a race of imbeciles and a whole fleet of shiny, long-lasting, intergalactic ships with crazy-powerful death rays.

Wouldn't that be fun if it turned up on our doorstep?

Possibly one of the more fortunate scenario's really...get them hooked on reality TV, introduce them to our local flavors of narcotics and trade one or more of their ships for whatever shiny takes their fancy.

Heck, we just spent 8 years dealing with a superpower of 300 million souls under the leadership of an imbecile, a couple of ships ought to be a piece of cake.

Comment: Re:Translation (Score 1) 193

by Hellahulla (#31981582) Attached to: Russian Hacker Selling 1.5M Facebook Accounts
My bank gives me my username and a short password, which I change somewhat often. Along with a nice little card with numbers on it that they ask for whenever I log in. They used to go sequentially, but now they choose a number at random. All in all I don't really like it that much, but it's better than a single password and name for everything.

Comment: Re:The reality is... (Score 5, Informative) 544

by yacc143 (#31981552) Attached to: Review of HTC Desire As Alternative To iPhone

Simple, for power users at least these that travel abroad (and most do at least for a couple of weeks per year), the first thing is how easy it's to change SIMs.

In most (at least European) countries you can get something at least vaguely acceptable (especially for data access) as a prepaid SIM. Data roaming on the other hand is practically never acceptable for usage on smartphone.

For this let's compare the iPhone with the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1.

First difference, the T-Mobile G1 is available as HTC Dream without lock. OTOH, most people in both cases will probably have gotten the simlocked version.

1.) unlocking experience on the iPhone: 2 days wasted trying to get a jail break going. 3rd day included a visit to a seedy 3rd party phone shop that advertised jailbreaking iPhones. Always in danger of undoing it all via iTunes that persistently tries to offer an upgrade for the phone.

2.) checked that the G1 is really simlocked, bought a 20 unlock code online, used it with my SIM of choice the same afternoon in the office.

Actually, both events happened some months ago, but I cannot remember the details of item 2 (as if the G1 was really locked), while item 1 makes me shudder. (Actually it's as bad that the iPhone got a non-smartphone assigned to cover wheneever the iPhone decides to go dead). OTOH, the G1 unlock did happen when the phone was very recent on the market, while the iPhone 3G jailbreak happened when the 3GS has been longer on the market than the G1 mentioned. And I'm still unclear how jailbreakable the 3GS are.

Next important item on a frequent travelers (that's what I admit is not exactly critical to the majority, but it's an important item about who controls the device that I own) is sharing Internet access. Obviously, a smartphone cannot manage to fill completely an UMTS uplink, so there is no drawback in sharing it's connectivity.

1.) the iPhone started to work as a tether after some months, basically after a couple of upgrades and the jailbreak. It offers USB Windows-only (perhaps Mac too?) tethering and standard PAN Bluetooth networking.

2.) the G1 offers TCP forwarding tethering via USB and after rooting, it offers a standard NAT-ing Linux kernel based router via Bluetooth or WLAN. The USB based tethering I was capable to use easily enough on day 1 to establish a full VPN (albeit TCP based) connection from my laptop. In practice the standard PAN Bluetooth networking is nicest for me personally, but everyone has probably his own favorite.

So I do not think that the iPhone rules the "total experience dept", as it's a total fail on two important items (one of general interest, even if they do not know, but they will when they go on their next holiday), so it's not even in the running for a phone here. (Ah, I learned yesterday why my wife got the iPhone 3G last year, "it was the cheapest colorful toy for our daughter that we could get back then easily and quickly", and "yeah that Motorola Droid looks cool")

Comment: Re:It's great (Score 4, Interesting) 544

by Facegarden (#31981518) Attached to: Review of HTC Desire As Alternative To iPhone

Just RTFA.

>Many functions require a press of the menu button to bring up a list of
>options, whereas on the iPhone there would be a button on the screen.
>This extra step makes the Desire feel a little cumbersome.

The thing is, on the Desire you have a widget for almost everything, so you don't even need to open the application. It's just there. You just need to navigate to the correct home screen.

I just wanted to add to that:
The menu button feels different from the iPhone when you're first switching, but I love it now. When i pick up an iPhone, *it* always feels more cumbersome to use. "Menu" is a very intuitive concept, and I like that more than having to keep every possible function onscreen on the iPhone, which is itself cumbersome. Or, many iPhone apps end up implementing a "Menu" icon onscreen, but those will all be in a different place based on the UI design. On Android, "Menu" is always in the same place, and since its always there, UI designers don't feel like they have to put icons everywhere for things, they can just use "Menu" without worrying about making a cumbersome UI. I think its better personally. But as I said, it feels awkward coming from iPhone OS... but that goes away.

Also not cumbersome? A Back button.
-Taylor

Comment: Re:Security through obscurity? (Score 1) 1015

by Eraesr (#31981496) Attached to: Don't Talk To Aliens, Warns Stephen Hawking
An alien will be found in the Nevada desert near some sort of cinder cone which turns out to be a crashed space ship. He'll say "I'm sorry, but there is bad news". Then aliens will drop a piece of neutronium and a piece of antineutronium in the Earth's core, which will eventually destroy the earth. In the meantime, other aliens will collect people through the use of mind control and mechanic spiders so they can leave earth right before it's destruction in a spaceship, stuffed with DNA sample of all life on Earth. These people will continue to live on a terraformed Mars. Really, I read all about it!

Comment: Re:The reality is... (Score 5, Insightful) 544

by Xest (#31981430) Attached to: Review of HTC Desire As Alternative To iPhone

The problem is, no one's actually demonstrated why the iPhone is better either.

Does it have better screen resolution? no. Does it have a better camera? no. Does it have better processor/ram/storagE? no. Is it more open so that you can do more with it? no. Is it smaller, lighter, sturdier? no. Does it have better battery life? no. Is it more practical in allowing you to carry multiple batteries? no.

But of course, you look at the other things- does it look nicer physically, does the software feel nicer, and some people will say yes, others will say no.

So here's the fundamental problem in this discussion- the only areas where the iPhone can be said to be better than most other high end handsets that compete with it are entirely subjective. That doesn't mean you're wrong, but it doesn't mean the GP is wrong either- both of you like the other phone, you don't have to justify it and neither does he. It's simple fact that the iPhone doesn't win on things like those points listed above, and how exactly can he justify the other things? if Android works better for him, then it just does- just as most iPhone fans will tell you that the iPhone just works for them, but that doesn't mean it works for everyone. I for example can't stand any of these new touch screen phones for texting on any platform, be it an Android handset without physical keypad, or the iPhone, when the majority of use I get out of my phone is texting, they're both a massive step backwards. In fact, even full keyboards on phones are a hindrance to me because they're too small to type properly- I can text far faster with Nokia's predictive text on a standard numeric pad than any other phone, because that's just what I've been used to for over a decade.

We all use our phones in different ways, and we all get a different experience as a result. Some of us think differently, not everyone appreciates the UI features that others love. When the iPhone can only stand up to the other handsets based on subjective things there's really little that can be said in terms of proving your point, because you really can't prove something that's so subjective. The GP merely seemed to be making a counter point to this effect in response to the initial post because after all, just because one person says the iPhone is better, it doesn't mean it is for everyone.

Comment: Re:But a step is being missed (Score 1) 146

by CodeBuster (#31980656) Attached to: Bridging the Digital Divide In Uganda, By Freight
Your points about the need for development of the local economy are well taken. However, one must be cautious not to take the other extreme, as for example the North Koreans, that every good or service must be produced locally first and be completely self sufficient to the exclusion of all imports. There is a balance to be struck with local production and economic development and free trade in goods and services. The major problem in Africa, as others have mentioned, has always been poor, underfunded, or completely lacking government agencies combined with inadequate legal protections and corrupt elites who consistently short circuit opportunities for average people to engage in legitimate business; favoring instead their family and cronies. If the Europeans or the Americans or any other western nation attempts to call public attention to these conditions, the African countries band together to accuse us of colonial imperialism and interference in their sovereign affairs. The best that we can do is to make the clear economic, legal and moral case for everyone, including the people of Africa, to see and then let them make changes on their own. These changes must be done by the Africans themselves and not imposed by outside forces, however well intentioned, otherwise nothing will change.
Books

Puzzle In xkcd Book Finally Cracked 90

Posted by kdawson
from the be-there-or-be-somewhere-else dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After a little over five months of pondering, xkcd fans have cracked a puzzle hidden inside Randall Munroe's recent book xkcd: volume 0. Here is the start of the thread on the xkcd forums; and here is the post revealing the final message (a latitude and longitude plus a date and time)."
NASA

+ - SPAM: NASA and space station alliance on shaky ground

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "Even as the latest shift of astronauts arrived at the International Space Station, NASA challenges with the orbital outpost on the ground are threatening its future. Those challenges include the pending retirement of the space shuttle but also the way NASA and the ISS are managed. A report issued this week by the Government Accountability Office said NASA faces several significant issues that may impede efforts to maximize utilization of all ISS research facilities.
[spam URL stripped]"

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