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Mars

Has the Mars Rover Sniffed Methane? 119 119

First time accepted submitter GrimAndBearIt writes "NASA's Curiosity rover is poised to settle years of debate on the question of atmospheric methane on Mars, which would be a sign of microbial life. With parts per trillion sensitivity, it's not so much a question of whether the rover will be able to smell trace amounts of methane, but rather a question of how much. NASA has announced that Grotzinger's team will discuss atmospheric measurements at a briefing on 2 November. If the rover has detected methane at sufficiently high concentration, or exhibiting temporal variations of the kind that suggests microbial activity, then it will surely motivate a desire to identify and map the sources."

Comment Geez... (Score 4, Informative) 611 611

Are people bad at math or something?

From their FAQ:

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Patents

Samsung Vs. Apple Tit-For-Tat Down Under 313 313

New submitter GumphMaster writes "In the latest edition of the Apple vs. Samsung patent fight, the ABC is reporting that Samsung has filed in Australian and Japanese courts seeking an injunction to halt sales of the iPhone 4S for alleged 3G patent violations. It remains to be seen whether Samsung has any better luck with the retaliatory strike in Australian and Japanese courts than it did with courts in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, I expect that Samsung will fail partly because of overseas precedent, but mostly because their patents are sane, technical and narrow in scope (unlike the patent-a-rectangle nature of the opposition). If this stupidity ever stops, then millions of dollars, euro, or Won that are being spent on lawyers might actually go into the innovation that patents are meant to promote. Who knows where that might lead?"
Bug

Linux Kernel Developer Declares VirtualBox Driver "Crap" 357 357

An anonymous reader writes "Linux kernel developers have decided to mark the VirtualBox kernel driver as tainted crap for the significant number of problems this open-source driver has caused. The VirtualBox kernel driver reportedly causes memory corruption and other problems. With the driver being flagged as tainted crap, bug reports caused by the driver will be taken less seriously."
Space

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

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

Submission + - Solar power coming to the White House->

crimeandpunishment 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

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

Leemeng 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.
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The Internet

Bookmark Synchronizer Xmarks Hangs Up Their Hats 225 225

krulgar writes "On January 10, 2011, Xmarks will be closing their doors. A free service being replaced by free software. It would still be nice to have a single way to keep my bookmarks from my work machine in sync with my home machines and my mobile devices without exerting much effort. Xmarks seemed to be the only ones with that clear vision, maybe the replacement tools can grow into this space, but it's still a little sad to see a useful tool wave goodbye."

In any problem, if you find yourself doing an infinite amount of work, the answer may be obtained by inspection.

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