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Google

Microsoft Behind Google Complaints To EC 346

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the calling-the-whambulance dept.
justice4all writes to share that some of the recent complaints to the European Commission about Google have apparently been coming from Microsoft. "A lawyer for Microsoft confirmed that the software giant told the US Department of Justice and the European Commission how Google’s business practices may be harming publishers, advertisers and competition in search and online advertising. [...] 'Google’s algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google. These and other network effects make it hard for competing search engines to catch up. Microsoft’s well-received Bing search engine is addressing this challenge by offering innovations in areas that are less dependent on volume. But Bing needs to gain volume too, in order to increase the relevance of search results for less common search terms.'"
Space

Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System 88

Posted by kdawson
from the toil-and-trouble dept.
Theosis sends word that an astronomer at the University of Rochester and his colleagues have made the surprise discovery that Alcor, one of the brightest stars in the Big Dipper, is actually two stars; and it is apparently gravitationally bound to the four-star Mizar system, making the whole group a sextuplet. This would make the Mizar-Alcor sextuplet the second-nearest such system known. The discovery is especially surprising because Alcor is one of the most studied stars in the sky. The Mizar-Alcor system has been involved in many "firsts" in the history of astronomy: "Benedetto Castelli, Galileo's protege and collaborator, first observed with a telescope that Mizar was not a single star in 1617, and Galileo observed it a week after hearing about this from Castelli, and noted it in his notebooks... Those two stars, called Mizar A and Mizar B, together with Alcor, in 1857 became the first binary stars ever photographed through a telescope. In 1890, Mizar A was discovered to itself be a binary, being the first binary to be discovered using spectroscopy. In 1908, spectroscopy revealed that Mizar B was also a pair of stars, making the group the first-known quintuple star system."

Comment: Henri Poincare: La Valeur de la Science (Score 1) 451

by Mike-the-Mikado (#27837159) Attached to: Classic Books of Science?
This book (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Value_of_Science) published in 1905 provides a fascinating insight into the state of physics just prior to the breakthroughs of relativity and quantum mechanics. A few chapters appear dated, but most is well-worth reading. It appears to be freely available in French (and relatively easy reading). I have not seen any free translations into English.
Education

350,000 Linux (Virtual) Desktops Land In Brazil 109

Posted by timothy
from the rip-helio-gracie dept.
xufem writes "Millions of Brazilian schoolchildren will soon be 'brought up right' running Linux on over 350,000 seats each using PC sharing hardware and software from Userful and KDE. This is world's largest virtual desktop deployment and probably also the world's largest Linux deployment, and seems to have been selected over OLPC by Brazil. Definitely a moment to celebrate — and just in time for Brazilian Carnival which starts tomorrow!"

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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