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Submission + - Fermilab prepares for a future of muons (

ananyo writes: At Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, protons were always the primary particles, coursing through the circular tracks of the the Tevatron, which until 2009 was the highest energy collider in the world. But there's a new particle making the rounds at the Batavia, Illinois campus: the muon, a heavy but short-lived cousin of the electron — interesting both for its usefulness in testing the Standard Model, as well as potentially being used someday in a powerful colliderLink text.
On 19 September, the lab announced that the US Energy Department (DOE) had granted the $40 million experiment “mission need” approval, a first step towards eventual funding. Last month, a second muon experiment, called Mu2e and priced at $200 million, received a second stage blessing from the DOE.
The g-2 experiment will focus on an anomaly in the spin rate of a muon within a magnetic field, which some theorists believe is evidence that supersymmetry could resolve problems in the Standard Model. Meanwhile, the Mu2e experiment, which aims to begin taking data in 2019, will sift through many trillions of muons to see if any happen to spontaneously morph into their cousins, the electron — something that is almost entirely forbidden under the Standard Model.


Submission + - Rover fuel came from Russian nuke factory (

gbrumfiel writes: The Curiosity rover will soon start rolling, and when it does, it will be running on gas from a Russian weapon's plant. Slate has the story of how the plutonium-238 that powers the rover came from Mayak, a Sovit-era bomb factory. Mayak made the fuel through reprocessing, a chemical process used to make nuclear warheads that also polluted the surrounding environment. After the cold war ended, the Russians sold the spare pu-238 to NASA, which put some of it into Curiosity. Now, the Russian supply is running low and Nasa hopes to restart pu-238 production on US soil (They're planning on making less of a mess this time).

Submission + - Belching black hole proves a biggie (

epaell writes: A team of astronomers from France, Australia, the UK and the USA have used the CSIRO's Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) to confirm the existence of the first known "middleweight" black hole. The black hole, known as HLX-1 (or Hyper-Luminous X-ray source 1) lies in a galaxy about 300 million light-years away. Up until recently, evidence has only been found for "stellar mass" black holes (3 to 30 times the mass of the Sun) and supermassive black holes (millions to billions times the mass of the sun) typically found at the centre of galaxies. The results from the radio observations suggest the black hole has a mass of 20,000 to 90,000 times the mass of the Sun (in between the 3 to 30 solar mass stellar black holes and the million to billion solar mass supermassive black holes found in the centres of galaxies). The results have been published in Science Express. HLX-1 has recently also been observed with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The ATCA appeared previously on Slashdot in a compressed time video.

Submission + - NASA's Twin GRAIL Probes Complete Primary Mission Ahead of Schedule (

Zothecula writes: After entering orbit around the Moon at the start of the year, NASA’s twin GRAIL (Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory) probes, Ebb and Flow, have completed their primary mission to study the Moon’s interior structure ahead of schedule. Operating around the clock since March 8, NASA says the spacecraft have provided unprecedented detail about the interior structure and evolution of the Moon and the data they have gathered will provide insights into how Earth and its rocky neighbors in the inner solar system developed.

Submission + - IT staff, engineers among top 10 toughest jobs to fill in US ( 3

coondoggie writes: "Forty-nine percent of US companies are having a hard time filling what workforce management firm ManpowerGroup calls mission-critical positions within their organizations with IT staff, engineers and "skilled trades" among the toughest spots to fill. The group surveyed some 1,300 employers and noted that US companies are struggling to find talent, despite continued high unemployment, over their global counterparts, where 34% of employers worldwide are having difficulty filling positions."

Submission + - LTE integrated quad-core CPUs on the horizon (

An anonymous reader writes: Around the world, astute watchers of the smartphone market have noticed that despite “quad-core” CPUs rapidly becoming the norm, there is a noticeable absence of quad-core 4G phones. At the moment there are no handsets on the market that combine the highest CPU speeds with the highest network speeds. “Flagship” quad core phones like the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S3 all have dual core versions for their 4G options. As this article explains, battery life issues are partly to blame. One of the big issues comes from the fact that there are no quad-core processors with integrated LTE chips — something that would vastly improve battery life. Both Qualcomm and Nvidia make LTE radios and quad-core processors, but the two haven’t been paired on the die as of yet, although this is being worked on.

Submission + - Nikon D800 v Canon's new EOS 5D Mark III (

UnknowingFool writes: Canon today unveiled their next generation of professional DSLR, the EOS 5D Mark III. The base specifications are full frame 22MP, up to ISO 102400, 6 fps photo speed, 1080p video at 24/25/30 fps. This model is designed to compete against Nikon's D800 ($3000 body) unveiled in January. Starting at $3500 for the body, these are not meant for your average shutterbug.

Submission + - Any Exoplanet Possible in a 'Compulsive' Universe ( 1

astroengine writes: ""Exoplanet discoveries have shown us that if it isn't forbidden by the laws of thermodynamics and Newtonian physics, then it is compulsive," said Virginia Trimble of the University of California at Irvine during the American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin, Texas, last week. It appears that if you can imagine it, without breaking any laws of physics, then any kind of alien world is possible. Does this go for alien life too? "We will ultimately reach that summit with the eventual discovery that life is a condition of the universe," hypothesizes Discovery News' Ray Villard. "In other words, that self-replicating matter is nature's favorite form of self-expression.""

Submission + - Constitutionality of RIAA Damages Challenged (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, defendant has filed a motion for new trial, attacking, among other things, the constitutionality of the jury's $675,000 award as being violative of due process. In his 32-page brief (PDF), Tenenbaum argues that the award exceeded constitutional due process standards, both under the Court's 1919 decision in St. Louis Railway v. Williams, as well as under its more recent authorities State Farm v. Campbell and BMW v. Gore. Defendant also argues that the Court's application of fair use doctrine was incorrect, that statutory damages should not be imposed against music consumers, and that the Court erred in a key evidentiary ruling.

Submission + - Microsoft China Borrows from Plurk (

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft China recently released it's Juku service in asia which they are touting as a local innovation. In reality, the site appears to be a blatant copy Plurk, a micro-blogging site that has become very popular in asia.

Submission + - Microsoft China rips off

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft China has ripped off Asia’s biggest microblogging site Microsoft China has copied most of the design and ~80% of the client code base. This is ironic considering Microsoft has often been leading the charge on fighting for stronger IP laws and combating software piracy in China.

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Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.