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Space

Black Hole Emits a 1,000-Light-Year-Wide Gas Bubble 145

Posted by Soulskill
from the reminds-me-of-a-buddy-of-mine dept.
PhrostyMcByte writes "12 million light-years away, in the outer spiral of galaxy NGC 7793, a bubble of hot gas approximately 1,000 light-years in diameter can be found shooting out of a black hole — one of the most powerful jets of energy ever seen. (Abstract available at Nature.) The bubble has been growing for approximately 200,000 years, and is expanding at around 1,000,000 kilometers per hour."
Businesses

eBay Denies New Design Is Broken, Blames Users 362

Posted by kdawson
from the just-test-the-darn-thing dept.
krick-zero writes "eBay recently rolled out a new page design. Many eBay sellers are reporting issues with missing description text, resulting in lost sales. Buyers are reporting the same intermittent issue, on multiple platforms, with multiple browsers. After complaining to eBay customer service, one user got this response: 'I have reviewed several of your listings using my computer and had several of my coworkers view your listings as well and we are seeing the complete listings. Many times when buyers are not able to see the whole description or just bits and pieces it is due to browser issues they are having. A lot of times if they simply clear out their cache and cookies or change browsers (i.e. change from Internet explorer to Firefox or vice versa) they no longer have this problem.'"
Privacy

+ - What Does DHS Know About You?->

Submitted by
Sherri Davidoff
Sherri Davidoff writes "Here's a real copy of an American citizen's DHS Travel Record retrieved from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's Automated Targeting System (ATS). This was obtained through a FOIA/Privacy Act request... The document reveals that the DHS is storing the reader's:
  • Credit card number and expiration
  • IP address used to make web travel reservations
  • Hotel information and itinerary
  • Full airline itinerary, including flight numbers and seat numbers
  • Phone numbers, incl. business, home & cell
  • Every frequent flyer and hotel number associated with the subject, even ones not used for the specific reservation
"

Link to Original Source
Sony

+ - Copyright troubles for Sony.-> 1

Submitted by ljaszcza
ljaszcza (741803) writes "Daily Tech brings us a story about Sony. It seems that the Mexican Police raided Sony's offices and seized over 6000 music CDs after a protest from the artist, Alejandro Fernandez. It seems that Fernandez signed a seven album deal with Sony Music then left for Universal. During the time with Sony, he recorded other songs that did not make it into the agreed upon seven albums, Sony Music took it upon themselves to collect that material and release it as a eight album. Fernandez disagrees claiming that he fulfilled the contract with Sony and residual material is his. Hmm. Using precedent from the Jammie Thomas infringement and distribution case, we have $80,000/song. Sony vs. Joel Tenenbaum was $22,500/song. So, as a commenter points out 6397 CDs at an average of 8 songs/CD is 51176 infringing, songs, with (IMHO) intent to distribute. The damages to Fernandez should be $1,151,460,000 using the Tenenbaum precedent or $4,094,080,000 using the Thomas precedent. Seems very straight-forward to me. Any comments on what Sony is likely to face? Other than a slap on the wrist from our RIAA controlled judiciary and Justice dept.? Here is another link: http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i418c5bc24c7b68c55ff2356aef63ae05"
Link to Original Source
Space

+ - Earth's Evil Twin->

Submitted by
Riding with Robots
Riding with Robots writes "For the past two years, Europe's Venus Express orbiter has been studying Earth's planetary neighbor up close. Today, mission scientists have released a new collection of findings and amazing images. They include evidence of lightning and other results that flesh out a portrait of a planet that is in many ways like ours, and in many ways hellishly different, such as surface temperatures over 400C and air pressure a hundred times that on Earth."
Link to Original Source
Biotech

+ - Alcohol and tobacco more dangerous than ecstasy

Submitted by GBC
GBC (981160) writes "The Lancet [lancet.com — free registration required] has published an article about a rational system for drug classification in the UK.

The article claims that "In the UK, the total burden of drug misuse, in terms of health, social, and crime-related costs, has been estimated to be between £10 billion and £16 billion per year."

It proposes that drugs should be classified by the amount of harm they do, rather than "A", "B", and "C" divisions in the UK Misuse of Drugs Act. The three main factors that determine the harm associated with any drug of potential abuse are: physical harm to the individual user caused by the drug; tendency of the drug to induce dependence and addiction; and effect of drug use on families, communities, and society. Each of these factors is further broken down into three sections.

Based on assessments from independent experts and specialist addiction psychiatrists, drugs were then ranked according to these nine parameters. Alcohol and tobacco are considered alongside other drugs in the rankings.

Of the twenty substances examined, alcohol was ranked fifth most harmful (behind heroin, cocaine, barbiturates and street methodone) and tobacco came in ninth (behind ketamine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine).

4-MTA, LSD and Ecstasy (all considered "Class A" drugs under the Act) all ranked lower than alcohol and tobacco. From the article: "Overall there was a surprisingly poor correlation between drugs' class according to the Misuse of Drugs Act and harm score."

As someone who supports an end to the "War on Drugs", it would be nice if this article leads to a more rational examination of drug policy both here in the UK and abroad; I am not holding my breath though."
Windows

Journal: Concurrently Running Firewalls 2

Journal by ph4cr
I'm the Security Manager for one element of a multi faceted organization. That said, some of the dimmer lights around the table want to run both Windows firewall (XP) and another third party vendor's solution at the same time. I've come out against this as I think it's stupid and potentially problematic. I've had both yes and no responses from MS on this issue. Can the Slashdot user community provide reasons pro/con for this solution?
Google

+ - New Tools Appearing Based off of Long Tail Concept

Submitted by
miklevin
miklevin writes "If you haven't heard of the term "the long tail" over the past year, you've had your head in the sand. The long tail concept is now spawning tools to help webmasters improve sites. http://www.hittail.com/ reveals in real-time the least utilized, most promising keywords hidden in the long tail of your natural search results, which are then presented to you as suggestions that when acted on can boost the natural search results of your site. Your only job is to create original content from those suggestions. It's that simple."
Businesses

+ - Second Life's Open Source Fairy Tale

Submitted by darthcamaro
darthcamaro (735685) writes "Apparently things are going really well for the open source version of the Second Life viewer. So well that there are not multiple builds for different Linux distros and a new open source plug-in architecture is being developed. From the article:
"What has happened is the fairy tale version of what people hope to have happen when they make proprietary code open source," Rob Lanphier, Linden Lab's director of open source development said. "Which is people download; start adding features. It's crazy cool all the things that are happening right now.""
Power

+ - Take your spare room off-grid

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "So, you want to go off-grid? Or maybe you want to find out what it's like before taking the plunge? How about taking one room of your house off grid? It's a less expensive way of learning the technology, before committing yourself.

We suggest starting with a bedroom. Look around your bedroom and see what devices you have that run on electric. As I look around my room, I see one table lamp, two floor lamps, wall lamp, digital TV, Stereo, satellite box, portable dvd player, vcr, and XBox. I also have a battery powered clock, powered by rechargeables, so I'll add the battery charger to our list. There is also a curling iron, hair dryer, and ceiling fan with lights, but we will leave those items off our list for now.

The first thing I need to do, is plug these devices in, one at a time, to my Kill-A-Watt ($30 or £16.20), to determine individual loads and daily run times. This will determine the battery capacity, and size and number of Photovoltaic (PV) panels necessary to support these loads.

Lets assume I need 100 watts to power any devices used simultaneously, and I use that load 6 hours a day. I would then need 100 x 6, or 600 watt-hours (wh's) per day to power that equipment. I would only need a 100 watt inverter, but there is little price difference between that and a 300, so I'll upgrade this item to a 300 watt inverter ($40 or £21.60).

I decide I want to have 1 days worth of power in a battery bank, in case of no sun, so I convert those watt hours into amp-hours (ah's) by dividing by 12, the voltage of my battery pack. 600 / 12 = 50 ah's. I do not want to discharge my battery pack more than 50%, to ensure long life, so I want a 100 ah pack. One deep cycle type 27 battery from Walmart is 115ah and cost $55 (£29.70).

To keep that battery charged, I need to be able to put 600 wh's per day back into the pack. My area of the world gets on average 2.5 sun hours daily, so 600 / 2.5 = 240 watts of PV. A 240 watt array (2 * 120w panels) ($480 or £259.50 each panel) would need a 30 amp (240 / 12 + 50%) charge controller ($180 or £97.30) to keep the array from overcharging the battery.

So there you have it, for less than $1300 (£702.70), you have taken one room off grid, and eliminated $0.09 / day (600wh's x $0.15 kWh) of grid electric, giving you a 40 year payback ($1300 / $0.09 = 14444 days / 365 = 39.6 years). And if electricity prices rise faster than inflation, which they will, the payback is much faster. In fact you get the double benefit of having made one room Kyoto-compliant, AND saving money."
Microsoft

+ - Zune Executive to leave Microsoft

Submitted by
HairyNevus
HairyNevus writes "Senior Microsoft executive Bryan Lee is quitting the company according to ZDNet. Bryan Lee oversaw the Zune's production and development and is now leaving to pursue "personal interests". J. Allard is slated to take over the Zune development. Maybe he'll fix some of the many glitches the Zune software currently has?"
Windows

+ - "Clean Install" Vista w/upgrade DVDs

Submitted by
AlHunt
AlHunt writes "Daltytech.com is reporting a workaround to do a fresh install of Vista from your Upgrade DVD, based on an internal document from Microsoft. From TFA:

Just when everyone thought that all hope was lost when it comes to performing a clean install with a Windows Vista Upgrade DVD, a gleam of light can now be seen at the end of the tunnel. A new workaround proposed by Paul Thurrott (via Microsoft internal documents) has been confirmed to work by DailyTech.
According to the article, Microsoft's requirement is that Vista be installed over a pre-existing XP installation, invalidating the old XP license in the process."
Privacy

+ - New York teen sues RIAA

Submitted by
Awod
Awod writes "Robert Santangelo and his lawyer, Jordan Glass, have raised 32 defences against the music industry's charges. Santangelo and his lawyer demanded a trial by jury and are filing a counterclaim for allegedly damaging the boy's reputation, distracting him from school and costing him legal fees.Santangelo also claims that the record companies, which have filed more than 18,000 piracy lawsuits in federal courts, "have engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy to defraud the courts of the United States.".

Santangelo's mother was also sued in 2005. However, The RIAA dropped its case against her in December but sued Robert and his sister Michelle instead. Michelle has been ordered to pay $30,750 in a default judgment because she did not respond to the lawsuit."

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