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Space

+ - Can We Travel to That Exciting New Exoplanet?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The news last week that exoplanet Gliese 581g may be in the "goldilocks zone" and could therefore hold liquid water and alien life got everyone all excited, with good reason. A potentially habitable planet--and only 20 light years away! But to put things in perspective, here are a couple of estimates on what it would take to travel to Gliese 581g. One scientist puts the travel time at 180,000 years based on current space flight technology, while another explains that it could be quite quick if we build a matter-antimatter drive, and can figure out how to bring along 530 times as much mass in fuel as is contained in the ship and cargo itself."
Link to Original Source

+ - Solar power coming to the White House->

Submitted by crimeandpunishment
crimeandpunishment (1754306) writes "The White House is going greener. Solar panels will be installed by next spring, and will heat water for the first family and provide some electricity. President Obama, who has been a big supporter of renewable energy, has been under pressure to lead by example. It's still unclear how much the project will cost and how much fossil fuel-based electricity it will replace."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ig Nobel prize winner wins real Nobel Prize->

Submitted by Leemeng
Leemeng (970560) writes "Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, both at Manchester University, UK, took this year's Nobel Prize for Physics for their research on graphene. Geim was one of the recipients of 2000 Ig Nobel Prize in physics, which he earned for magnetically levitating frogs. This makes Geim the first person to have won both the Ig Nobel and the Nobel Prizes."
Link to Original Source
Government

Secret Service Runs At "Six Sixes" Availability 248

Posted by timothy
from the only-need-half-as-many dept.
PCM2 writes "ABC News is reporting that the US Secret Service is in dire need of server upgrades. 'Currently, 42 mission-oriented applications run on a 1980s IBM mainframe with a 68 percent performance reliability rating,' says one leaked memo. That finding was the result of an NSA study commissioned by the Secret Service to evaluate the severity of their computer problems. Curiously, upgrades to the Service's computers are being championed by Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who says he's had 'concern for a while' about the issue."
Games

The Murky Origins of Zork's Name 70

Posted by Soulskill
from the murky-enough-for-a-grue dept.
mjn writes "Computational media researcher Nick Montfort traces the murky origins of Zork's name. It's well known that the word was used in MIT hacker jargon around that time, but how did it get there? Candidates are the term 'zorch' from late 1950s DIY electronics slang, the use of the term as a placeholder in some early 1970s textbooks, the typo a QWERTY user would get if he typed 'work' on an AZERTY keyboard, and several uses in obscure sci-fi. No solid answers so far, though, as there are problems with many of the possible explanations that would have made MIT hackers unlikely to have run across them at the right time."

The absent ones are always at fault.

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