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Submission + - Hubble spots source of short GRB (

symbolset writes: Researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope have imaged some evidence that the merger of neutron stars is responsible for producing a short-duration gamma ray burst. On June 3rd the Swift gamma-ray burst (GRB) mission detected GRB 130603B, a burst lasting only one tenth of a second nearly 4 billion lightyears away. Imaging with Hubble they located a small red dot which, over the course of the following two weeks dimmed. Cites an article in yesterday's special online edition of Nature.

Submission + - Kenneth Appel Remembered For Four Color Theorem (

mikejuk writes: Kenneth Appel (1932-2013) together with Wolfgang Haken, proved the four color theorem and broke new ground in using a computer to complete the proof. For the first time a computer played a major role in proving a major mathematical theorem.This was not a proof that was liked by all mathematicians. The use of the computer resulted in a proof that could not be checked by an unaided human. It was a huge shock for many mathematicians at the time to have to move over and allow a computer to take part in mathematics. There was a feeling at the time, and perhaps there still is, that the proof was a temporary matter and soon a real mathematician would step up and provide a "real" proof. Even today many mathematicians have their reservations about the proof and there have been attempts to simplify it, but so far they all involve computers. Mathematicians are still searching for something that would look more like an elementary proof.
Appel and Haken's proof may be the most controversial in mathematics but it also put the computer into pure mathematics.
Kenneth Appel died on April 19, 2013 at the age of 80.

Submission + - Firefox with NoScript Defeats Wikipedia Blackout (

EmagGeek writes: "So, just for kicks this morning, I loaded Wikipedia to see what the blackout looked like. I saw that the content loaded before a black cover page was added, making it obvious they were just using a script to cover the content after it loaded. So, I enabled NoScript for Wikipedia and voila! I can now see English Wikipedia during the blackout."

Submission + - iPhones found secretly tracking users' locations (

EmagGeek writes: "Apple devices appear to be tracking their owners' locations and storing data about people's whereabouts without their knowledge, according to a report posted Wednesday on a site called iPhone Tracker.

The unauthorized surveillance started in June 2010, when the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system was released, according to two researchers who say they discovered a hidden tracking file and posted it out of concern for users.

Apple has not responded to the allegations."

Open Source

Submission + - Free software wins court battle ( 1

courteaudotbiz writes: In a court battle initiated more than 2 years ago, free software activists "Savoir Faire Linux" (Litterally "Linux know-how") won for the right to submit offers when the government of the province of Quebec, Canada (original french version), goes in public requests for submissions to replace its desktop operating systems and office suites, opening future replacement of MS Windows and MS Office in favor of Linux and Open Office, or any other operating system and office productivity suite. In his judgement, the magistrate said that the government acted illegally when it discarded the proposal of "Savoir Faire Linux" for replacing Windows XP with a Linux distribution.
Data Storage

Opera Plans Containerized Data Center In Iceland 35

1sockchuck writes "Iceland's supply of renewable power has gained a high-profile international data center customer. Web browser developer Opera Software was announced today as the first customer of the Thor Data Center, which will house Opera's servers in data center containers that can use fresh air cooling, rather than chillers (a strategy also used by Google). The Thor Data Center is located in Hafnarfjorour, to the west of Iceland's ash-spewing volcano. Iceland's data center operators insist their location represents no operational risk from volcanic activity."

Submission + - Adobe folds on Flash, embraces HTML5 1

Macgrrl writes: Reported in The Age newspaper today, Kevin Lynch, Adobe Chief Technology Officer, has announced that Adobe will be endorsing Apple's preferred HTML5 video format.

While Adobe will continue to work on Flash, they look forward to embracing the exiciting new possibilities offered by HTML5 and consequently the gateway onto the iPhone/iPad ecosystem.

Submission + - The Most Advanced Robotic Quadruped on Earth (

EmagGeek writes: "BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog's legs are articulated like an animal's, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight.

This thing looks truly amazing. I can think of a number of uses for a robot such as this, including search and rescue, hostile package delivery, and more. Let the SkyNet tags fly!"

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Man Sues Time Warner For Having To Rent Cable Box ( 1

EmagGeek writes: "Matthey Meeds, a real-estate agent, was so irritated about having to pay the monthly rental fee that on Tuesday he filed an antitrust suit against Time Warner Cable and its 84 percent owner, Time Warner Inc. The suit alleges that, by linking the provision of premium cable services to rental of the cable box, the companies have established illegal tying arrangements.

"Time Warner's improper tying and bundling harms competition," Meeds' lawsuit states. "Since the class can only rent the cable box directly from Time Warner, manufacturers of cable boxes are foreclosed from renting and/or selling cable boxes directly to members of the class at a lower cost."

I pay Comcast over $25/mo for my two DVRs. I'd love to just be able to buy them or build my own. I can't wait to see how this unfolds."


Submission + - Superconducting Power Grid Launches in New York (

EmagGeek writes: "There is an article in IEEE about a new superconducting power grid that was energized in April in New York State. The lines operate at 138kV and are cooled to 65-75K to maintain superconductivity. These lines are run underground and can carry 150 times more electricity than copper lines of the same cross section (the article didn't say if they meant current or energy). The project is funded with taxpayer dollars through the Department of Energy."

Long computations which yield zero are probably all for naught.