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+ - Most Ancient, 'Impossible' Alien Worlds Discovered-> 1

Submitted by
astroengine writes: "Two exoplanets have been discovered by scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy orbiting the star HIP 11952. But according to conventional thinking, these worlds shouldn't exist. You see, HIP 11952 is a "metal-poor" star and planetary formation is hindered around stars with low metallicity. This isn't the only thing; as metal-poor stars were the first stars to form when the Universe was very young, these two worlds also formed around the same time. They are therefore the most ancient exoplanets discovered to date having lived through 13 billion years of cosmic evolution."
Link to Original Source

+ - Google to Hold Back 'Honeycomb' From Phones

Submitted by adeelarshad82
adeelarshad82 writes: Andy Rubin, vice-president for engineering at Google and head of its Android group, informed that Google will hold back its Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" to smaller phone manufacturers for undisclosed period of time. He said that Honeycomb was designed for tablets, not phones, and that it had more work to do before Honeycomb was released in an open-source format. Since OEMs like HTC or Motorola already have the code, it puts smaller phone manufacturers at a disadvantage plus carriers like Cricket Wireless, and its plans to carry forthcoming seven-inch Anydata tablet that will run on Honeycomb, up in the air.

Comment: Re:Domination (Score 3, Informative) 198

by Cookie3 (#35464032) Attached to: China Switching To Home-Grown Chips For Supercomputers

The Japanese elite *may* have outlived the European/American elite but I'm gonna [citation needed] you on that one... The Japanese common man, however, certainly did NOT live longer or better than his Western counterpart.

I refer you to "Standard of Living in Japan Before Industrialization: From what Level did Japan Begin? A Comment" by Yasukichi Yasuba in The Journal of Economic History Vol. 46, No. 1 (Mar., 1986), pp. 217-224.

Yasuba takes to task the notion that life for the commoner in Japan was better than that in the West. While economic development HAD been ongoing throughout the Tokugawa shogunate, and circumstances had improved for the Japanese laborer, the reality of the situation is that farmers here and farmers there both were treated very poorly. He also points out, specifically, the flaw in Hanley's research (which estimated life expectancy to be around 40 years in Japan) specifically used a source which excluded year 0 deaths, and then substituted Western infant mortality rates in its place. At the time, Japan would be much closer to India than the West. By using data which matches temple records more closely, Yasuba suggests that the actual life expectancy of the time was around 35, which (again) puts it below the West.

Comment: Re:Ban drive thru restaurants while you're at it (Score 1) 509

by tjansen (#34697390) Attached to: Paris To Test Banning SUVs In the City
Actually many newer european cars have a start-stop-automatic (as soon as your car stops, the engine turns off; if you press the gas-pedal it turns on automatically), so there does not have to be any idling. IIRC this is not popular in the US because its savings would not be included in the official MPG ratings, but some manufacturer (can't remember which) is going to introduce it in the US soon.

Comment: Re:Given how much oil it takes to make plastic.... (Score 2) 223

by tjansen (#34572054) Attached to: JBI's Plastic To Oil Gets Operating Permit

Hmm.. but in that case, the bottle would be made of less valuable components. Which would mean that the demand for the components required for a plastic bottle is lower than the demand for the other components, and thus plastic bottle are merely a by-product. So I wonder, would reducing the number of plastic bottle have any impact on the general oil consumption?

After all, even if there wouldn't be any plastic bottles anymore, the oil would still be needed because of the other components.

Comment: Re:Given how much oil it takes to make plastic.... (Score 2) 223

by tjansen (#34571788) Attached to: JBI's Plastic To Oil Gets Operating Permit

"So your average plastic water bottle requires about 1/4 a litre of refined oil products to be produced."

I have no idea of plastic production, but it looks wrong to me: if oil costs about $40 per barrel (159l), 1/4 litre is about $0.05. I can't imaging a plastic bottle costing that much - I can buy a bottle of water in a supermarket for not much more than 5 cent. Am I missing something?

Comment: Re:Hyperbole or stupidity (Score 5, Insightful) 571

by Cookie3 (#32756656) Attached to: Mom Arrested After Son Makes Dry Ice "Bombs"

Back in 1999, a teacher at my High School was injured because a kid thought a dry ice bomb in a trash can would be a "funny" prank. I don't know how much dry ice was placed in the soda bottles -- I suspect they were 2L bottles -- but he put several bottles of dry ice in different trash cans around the school:


It's not mentioned in the article, but the teacher did suffer lacerations on his face -- an inch or two to either side, and he might have actually been blinded.

I don't see how you can not call it a bomb. It's a device that explodes. Improperly placed (or designed), and it can hurt innocent bystanders. Putting dry ice and water in a sealed bottle can *ONLY* result in an explosion. What else would you call it?

+ - Panasonic 'Home Batteries' Power Houses for a Week->

Submitted by tjansen
tjansen writes: Panasonic has announced plans to create 'home batteries'. They are lithium-ion batteries large enough to power a house for a week, making energy sources such as solar and wind power more feasible. Also, you can buy energy when it is cheapest, and don't need to worry about power outages anymore.
Link to Original Source

Comment: The real story... (Score 1) 91

by Cookie3 (#30459588) Attached to: Herschel's First Science Results, Eagle Nebula

The real story is the massive STFC spending cuts that impact their group. Those spending cuts were announced the same day, and are being blogged about by the same folks:


20% cuts here, 15% cuts there, and soon enough you won't have enough money to fund anything at all.

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson