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Comment Amazing experimental achievement in physics (Score 1) 361

LIGO measures differential distortions in the length of two 4 km arms. It needs to be able to distinguish changes in length at the level of one part in 10^21 to be able to detect these gravity waves. For comparison, it is able to measure a difference of distance between say here and the nearest star system 4 light years away to within the width of a human hair!!!

Submission + - Giant Telescope Project Stalled By Hawaiian Natives (

Fudge Factor 3000 writes: Hawaiian Supreme Court throws out construction permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope project, which is going to be one of the largest ground-based, 1.5 billion dollar telescope. A vocal minority of Hawaiians for religious reasons has vehemently contested and protested the construction of the telescope at Maunakea. Now, they have been successful in contesting the construction permit. The status of the project is now unknown.

Submission + - Apple's Tim Cook is gay. Seriously, he is. (

rodrigoandrade writes: What seems at first to be the pinnacle of Apple fanboy trolling is actually true. Tim Cook has publicly come out of the closet. "Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

Submission + - Samsung Galaxy S4 Allegedly Explodes and Burns Down Apartment

Fudge Factor 3000 writes: It appears the batteries in the latest smartphones pack a powerful punch. A Hong Kong man alleges that his brand new Galaxy S4 exploded into flames as he was playing a quick game of Love Machine. He promptly threw it onto his couch and ran out of the house. The ensuing fire engulfed the entire apartment and destroyed everything. Full details of the incident can be found here: Pictures of the damage can be found at this (Chinese) site:

Could this have been caused by cheap 3rd party chargers that may have also caused the death of an iPhone user,, discussed last week?

Submission + - Star of Apple Retail experience, Ron Johnson, fired as CEO of JC Penney

Fudge Factor 3000 writes: Ron Johnson was famous for coming up with Apple Store retail experience that a lot of people have grown to love. They became hip hangout joints where people could try out Apple products and learn about using them. These stores also generate the greatest revenue per square foot of any retail space out there. He was hired by JC Penny to turn around the beleaguered company in 2011 as CEO after being scooped from Apple. However, it appears he has failed miserably in his task of attracting the young hip crowd while at the same time alienating the base that frequently shopped at JCP. He failed spectacularly at JCP for all the same reasons he succeeded at Apple. Time lists the 5 reasons for his ouster in this article: It is a really interesting read about what not to do.

It appears the SVP of Retail position remains open at Apple. Will he return?

Submission + - FTC Probes Android And Google Search (

bonch writes: The FTC is investigating claims that Google prevented Android smartphone vendors from using competing services (covered previously), whether Google preferentially places its own services above others on the search results page, and whether Google scraped content from competitors for use in its own services. FTC lawyers are also asking how Android may be helping Google maintain its massive web search lead. Google denies all allegations and blames jealous rivals for the growing number of probes. The European Commission's own antitrust probe is ongoing.

Submission + - Which company is the largest? ( 2

Fudge Factor 3000 writes: Apple and Exxon are fighting it out to be the company with the largest market cap. Yesterday, Apple pulled ahead. It is hard to believe a tech company can beat out an oil giant, but is the market cap really the measure of the size/influence of a company? It is certainly the simplest metric to consider. Ars is running an excellent article on how to measure the size of a company. They discuss different metrics such as cash balance, revenue, number of employees, etc. It is a great read. So is Exxon or Apple the biggest company? You decide.

Submission + - Global Warming Effect On Polar Bears Questioned (

bonch writes: A report on drowning polar bears that galvanized environmentalists in 2006 and led to the bears' classification as an endangered species is under federal investigation due to questions about the math as well as the bears' cause of death. Biologist Jeffrey Gleason, a contributor to the report, told investigators that the four bear corpses, observed from an altitude of 1,500 feet during flights, were never recovered and that they likely died in a sudden windstorm rather than from drowning. Lead researcher Charles Monnett, who was placed on administrative leave on July 18, told investigators that nobody came forward with contradictory data. Said Monnett: “Well, that’s not scientific misconduct anyway. If anything, it’s sloppy.”

Submission + - WebOS chief: Don't fret over TouchPad reviews (

Fudge Factor 3000 writes: HP released their much trumpeted enterprise tablet, TouchPad, last week. This device was also the first to showcase WebOS in a tablet. The tablet received some harsh reviews with some stating that the OS showed potential. Most of the criticisms surrounded the sluggish software and the lack of apps. As reported by CNET, WebOS chief, Jon Rubenstein, rallies his troops by comparing the WebOS's debut to that of Mac OS X, which had significant teething pains. However, it is not entirely clear if the comparison is appropriate since WebOS has existed since 2009, and OS X had the ability to run most classic OS 9 apps during the transition period. Nevertheless, one can certainly argue that the situation is similar in spirit.

Submission + - Are Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player legal? (

Fudge Factor 3000 writes: Earlier this year both Google and Amazon introduced cloud music storage where users could upload their music and listen to them wherever they had an internet connection. The music industry, however, was up in arms because they believed that Google and Amazon had to pay additional licensing fees for their music storage services. Tim B. Lee at Ars has written an excellent write-up on the legal issues surrounding these services. His ultimate conclusion is that Google and Amazon would probably withstand any legal assaults, but that still remains a tough call.

Submission + - Mystery of the Missing Honeycomb Apps (

Fudge Factor 3000 writes: PC World's Brent Rose investigates the reason behind the dearth of Honeycomb apps even though the OS was released in February with the release of the Xoom. One would have expected an explosion of Android tablet apps like that seen with the iPad but the Honeycomb-optimized apps remain in the low hundreds. The answer, it turns out, is not that simple. The main contributing factors appear to be the low demand for Honeycomb tablets and the difficulty in discovering Honeycomb-optimized apps in the Market. Hopefully, this will be rectified in the near future.

Submission + - Using crowdsourcing to identify Vancouver rioters (

Fudge Factor 3000 writes: The Canucks' loss of the final game of the Stanley Cup resulted in complete mayhem in downtown Vancouver. Everything from upturned cars set alight to looting was common place. Unfortunately most of the perpetrators were able to maintain their anonymity by disappearing into the crowds. Fortunately, due to the digital age bystanders took several pictures and videos of the carnage. Now websites (in both Facebook and have been set up to use crowdsourcing to identify the hooligans.

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