Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Find a local amateur astronomy club (Score 4, Interesting) 234 234

The best place to start is by connecting with other people who share the same passions as you. I've similarly been fascinated by astronomy since I was a young child. A few years ago I rekindled my interest by buying a telescope and joining a club in Pittsburgh. I learned more from a few casual conversations with members than I had in months and months of reading and practicing on my own. Now I practice astrophotography and engage in lots of educational and community outreach events, and I owe just about everything to the club I joined. Best of luck, and clear skies!

Comment Re:Intelligent (Score 1) 138 138

That's certainly an option that will be looked at if they can't revive the probe in time, but it might be tricky. That would just about double the expected mission lifetime. It's tough to say that the mission-critical hardware (batteries, most importantly) will still be serviceable in 18 months. The rapid day/night cycles of earth orbit put a lot of strain on electrical systems from constantly switching power supplies.

Comment Re:Intelligent (Score 5, Informative) 138 138

The location/position of the probe has been known almost from the beginning. It was never that they couldn't find it, the problem was that the booster pack that was supposed to send the probe on to Mars never fired and the probe wasn't responding to the Russian's radio commands. What has changed in the last day is that receivers here on Earth are finally picking up radio signals from the probe itself, indicating that it is still alive and at least theoretically operational. Telemetry hasn't yet been received, but now there is a possibility we can communicate with it and try to diagnose the failures it suffered. As for if it can be recovered, I've not heard a definitive answer on this. One source will say the window has already closed, another says it's open until sometime in December. The window can probably be extended if they have enough fuel to try some exotic gravity assist with the Earth or Moon, but if it hasn't already passed it will soon.

AMD Overclocks New Phenom II X4 To 7 GHz 288 288

CWmike writes "Advanced Micro Devices on Thursday introduced the latest member of its Phenom II X4 family of high-performance quad-core CPUs, which the No. 2 chip maker said it had run as fast as 7 GHz in extreme overclocking tests. Out of the box, the new X4 955 Black Edition, which is aimed at gamers and hobbyists, runs at 3.2 GHz, giving it similar performance to Intel's fastest desktop chips at lower cost, AMD says. The company was able to more than double the CPU's speed during its tests using extreme cooling technology that is not safe at home, said Brent Barry, an AMD product manager. The Web site Ripping.org notes that hobbyists with early access to the X4 955 chip have been able to clock it at up to 6.7 GHz. AMD said the chip was safe with fan cooling at up to 3.8 GHz."
Your Rights Online

AT&T, Comcast To Join RIAA Team 360 360

suraj.sun writes "AT&T and Comcast, two of the nation's largest Internet service providers, are expected to be among a group of ISPs that will cooperate with the music industry in battling illegal file sharing, three sources close to the companies told CNET News. The RIAA said last month that it had enlisted the help of ISPs as part of a new antipiracy campaign. The RIAA has declined to identify which ISPs or how many. It's important to note that none of the half dozen or so ISPs involved has signed agreements. But as it stands, AT&T and Comcast are among the companies that have indicated they wish to participate in what the RIAA calls a 'graduated response program.'"
Role Playing (Games)

Second World of Warcraft Expansion Launched, Conquered 386 386

The much-anticipated second expansion to World of Warcraft, entitled Wrath of the Lich King, launched on Thursday, introducing a new continent, raising the level cap to 80, and bringing a wealth of new items, spells, dungeons, and monsters to the popular MMO. Crowds gathered and lines formed outside stores around the world leading up to the release. Massively has put together a series of articles for players wishing to familiarize themselves with the expansion, and CVG has a piece discussing the basics as well. It didn't take long for the first person to reach level 80; a French player called "Nymh" reached the level cap on his Warlock only 27 hours after the expansion went live. Not to be outdone, a guild named "TwentyFifthNovember" managed to get at least 25 raiders to 80 and then cleared all of the current expansion raid content less than three days after the launch. Fortunately for them, the next three content patches are each expected to contain new, more difficult raids.

Comment Condensed version? (Score 1) 360 360

I've been slowly switching over everyone I can. If someone asks me to fix their virus-and-spyware laden XP machine, I tell them I'm only going to do it if they'll switch to a safer web browser and learn how to run Ad-Aware. At first they're kind of reluctant, but after two or three times of me having to fix their computer (at my leisure) they're usually pretty open to new ideas.

So that book on why Firefox is better than IE sounds terrific, but at 152 pages isn't exactly what I'd call light reading. Does anyone know of any shorter dead-tree books or pamphlets that condense everything down into some nice sound-byte type facts?


"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"