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+ - Rumors of Higgs boson discovery at LHC->

Submitted by Magnifico
Magnifico (30966) writes "LiveScience is reporting that scientists are abuzz over a controversial rumor that the 'God particle' has been detected by a particle-detection experiment at LHC at CERN.

The Higgs boson "rumor is based on what appears to be a leaked internal note from physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 17-mile-long particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland. It's not entirely clear at this point if the memo is authentic... The buzz started when an anonymous commenter recently posted an abstract of the note on Columbia University mathematician Peter Woit's blog, Not Even Wrong."

This could be a flat-out hoax or a statistical anomaly or... confirmation of the particle that bestows mass on all the other particles."

Link to Original Source
Patents

Amazon Patents Bad Gift Protection 210

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-more-fruitcake dept.
theodp writes "Thanks to the inventors at Amazon.com, you needn't fear Aunt Martha any longer. On Tuesday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos received a patent for a bad gift defense system that intercepts gifts you don't want and instead sends you something that you actually do want. For example, Amazon explains that its 'System and Method for Converting Gifts' would allow you to set up a rule like 'Convert all gifts from Aunt Mildred,' which would automatically convert any online gift orders from your well-meaning-but-tasteless Auntie into a gift certificate. Other examples of how the system might be used: You could convert bad gifts to something off your wish list; block specific products ('Not another XYZ comic strip calendar'); or ensure that any clothing gifts match your exact size ('Check clothes sizes first')."
The Internet

Woman's Nude Pics End Up Online After Call To Tech Support 197

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-was-your-service-today? dept.
Tara Fitzgerald couldn't find the nude pictures she planned on sending to her boyfriend, but instead of just taking more, she decided to see if a Dell tech support call could fix her problem. Apparently the tech support guy found them. Unfortunately, he then put them up on a site called "bitchtara."
Image

Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi 428

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-you-never-wondered-why-I-drink-only-distilled-water-or-rain-water-and-only-pure-grain-alcohol dept.
Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"
Earth

Minnesota Introduces World's First Carbon Tariff 303

Posted by timothy
from the hey-cut-that-crap-out dept.
hollywoodb writes "The first carbon tax to reduce the greenhouse gases from imports comes not between two nations, but between two states. Minnesota has passed a measure to stop carbon at its border with North Dakota. To encourage the switch to clean, renewable energy, Minnesota plans to add a carbon fee of between $4 and $34 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions to the cost of coal-fired electricity, to begin in 2012 ... Minnesota has been generally pushing for cleaner power within its borders, but the utility companies that operate in MN have, over the past decades, sited a lot of coal power plants on the relatively cheap and open land of North Dakota, which is preparing a legal battle against Minnesota over the tariff."
Google

"Necessary Complexity" in Online Games 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the unnecessary-simplicity dept.
Massively is running a story about Google's short-lived virtual environment, Lively. The article examines why Lively shut down so quickly, and how its simplicity and its attempts at user-friendliness did more harm than good. Quoting: "The idea here is that any interactive system has a certain amount of complexity, usually involving the number and type of tasks which can be performed. Obviously, it is detrimental if the interaction interface is more complicated than it needs to be. That just makes things harder. What's a little less obvious is that reducing the complexity of the interaction interface too far makes things harder as well. Either it makes it hard to perform the tasks, or it reduces the number of tasks which can be performed. ... ideally the interaction interface needs to be of an order of complexity that is coupled to the order of complexity of the number and type of possible tasks. If it rises above that or falls below that, performing tasks becomes harder. Performing tasks with an oversimplified interaction-interface is like trying to make coffee with one hand tied behind your back. Overcomplicating it is like trying to instruct five people to build a shed, when none of you have any language in common."
Government

+ - Army Buys Macs to beef up security

Submitted by agent_blue
agent_blue (413772) writes "The Army is integrating macs into their IT network to thwart hack attempts. the Mac platform, they argue Mac are more secure because there are less attacks against macs than there is against windows based systems. Story Here"
Security

+ - Researchers Intervene in Vulnerability Auction

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Last week, Slashdot carried a discussion about Internet startup WabiSabiLabi that was launching an eBay style auction site for software vulnerabilities. According to a Washington Post story, some in the research community have worked out two of the five vulnerabilities currently for sale in the auction. From the story: "Zampariolo confirmed that one of the vulnerabilities publicly reported by researchers indeed was the exact same as a flaw being auctioned on the site — a bug in an add-on component of an open source e-mail application called "SquirrelMail" — and that it had since been patched by the vendor. However, he said the site is preparing to start an auction on a new flaw found in the newest, patched version of SquirrelMail. The company is touting both incidents as an example of how their service will serve to make software users safer in the long run.""

Polymer physicists are into chains.

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