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Space

Life Could Have Evolved 15 Million Years After the Big Bang, Says Cosmologist 312

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the star-trek-explained dept.
KentuckyFC writes "Goldilocks zones are regions around stars that are 'just right' for liquid water and for the chemistry of life as we know it. Now one cosmologist points out that the universe must have been through a Goldilocks epoch, a period in which warm, watery conditions could have existed on almost any planet in the entire cosmos. The key phenomenon here is the cosmic background radiation, the afterglow of the Big Bang which was blazing hot when it first formed. But as the universe expanded, the wavelength of this radiation increased, lowering its energy. Today, it is an icy 3 Kelvin. But somewhere along the way, it must have been between 273 and 300 Kelvin, just right to keep water in liquid form. According to the new calculations, this Goldilocks epoch would have occurred when the universe was about 15 million years old and would have lasted for several million years. And since the first stars had a lifespan of only 3 million years or so, that allows plenty of time for the heavy elements to have formed which are necessary for planet formation and the chemistry of life. Indeed, if live did evolve a this time, it would have predated life on Earth by about 10 billion years."
Robotics

Emotional Attachment To Robots Could Affect Battlefield Outcome 194

Posted by Soulskill
from the finally-a-use-for-the-uncanny-valley dept.
vinces99 writes "It's becoming more common to have robots sub for humans to do dirty or sometimes dangerous work. But researchers are finding that, in some cases, people have started to treat robots like pets, friends or even as an extension of themselves. That raises a question: If a soldier attaches human or animal-like characteristics to a field robot, can it affect how they use the robot? What if they 'care' too much about the robot to send it into a dangerous situation? Julie Carpenter, who just received a doctorate in education from the University of Washington, wanted to find out. She interviewed Explosive Ordnance Disposal military personnel – highly trained soldiers who use robots to disarm explosives – about how they feel about the robots they work with every day. What she found is that troops' relationships with robots continue to evolve as the technology changes. Soldiers told her that attachment to their robots didn't affect their performance, yet acknowledged they felt a range of emotions such as frustration, anger and even sadness when their field robot was destroyed. That makes Carpenter wonder whether outcomes on the battlefield could potentially be compromised by human-robot attachment, or the feeling of self-extension into the robot described by some operators."

Comment: Re:HAHAHAHAHAHA (Score 5, Informative) 505

by DAldredge (#43199275) Attached to: Microsoft To Abandon Windows Phone?
No you deserve -42 for believing a /. headline about Microsoft. The article says the following at the bottom, "On the other hand the OS support date is reset with any never version of the OS, so a Windows Phone 8.5 or 9 update in November 2013 would bring along its own 18 month of security updates. Microsoft has already promised all current Windows Phone 8 handsets will receive the next major version of the operating system."

Comment: The editors can't read. (Score 2, Informative) 505

by DAldredge (#43199251) Attached to: Microsoft To Abandon Windows Phone?
On the other hand the OS support date is reset with any never version of the OS, so a Windows Phone 8.5 or 9 update in November 2013 would bring along its own 18 month of security updates. Microsoft has already promised all current Windows Phone 8 handsets will receive the next major version of the operating system.
Software

H&R Block Software Glitch To Delay 600,000 U.S. Tax Refunds 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the government-happy-to-keep-your-money-a-while-longer dept.
mrquagmire sends this quote from a Reuters report: "Tax refunds for about 600,000 taxpayers claiming an education credit will be delayed, the Internal Revenue Service said on Wednesday, citing a software glitch at some tax-preparation companies, including industry leader H&R Block Inc. Refunds may be delayed four to six weeks from mid-February, likely not showing up until late March, the IRS said. ... On Tuesday, a Wal-Mart Stores Inc executive said shoppers had cashed about $2.7 billion in tax refund checks at its U.S. stores so far this year. At this point last year, that amount was about $4 billion. The IRS delayed the start of the tax filing season by eight days, to January 30, due to the enactment of tax law changes made to resolve the "fiscal cliff."
Businesses

How Videogames Help Fund the Arms Industry 410

Posted by timothy
from the bidding-for-bad-guy-guns-seems-lucrative-too dept.
FhnuZoag writes "Eurogamer has an expose of the shady world of games developers licensing guns. From the article: '"We must be paid a royalty fee — either a one-time payment or a percentage of sales, all negotiable. Typically, a licensee pays between 5 per cent to 10 per cent retail price for the agreement. [...] We want to know explicitly how the rifle is to be used, ensuring that we are shown in a positive light... Such as the 'good guys' using the rifle," says [Barett Rifles'] Vaughn.'"

Philogyny recapitulates erogeny; erogeny recapitulates philogyny.

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