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Science

Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All 269

Posted by Soulskill
from the act-now-while-supplies-last dept.
cremeglace writes with this excerpt from ScienceNOW: "You've heard the controversy. Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up the Earth — physicists say that's impossible — and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole." That said, they estimate the required energy for creating a black hole this way to be roughly "a quintillion times higher than the LHC's maximum"; though if one of the theories requiring compact extra dimensions is true, the energy could be lower.
Image

Tower Switch-Off Embarrasses Electrosensitives 292

Posted by samzenpus
from the radiation-placebo dept.
Sockatume writes "Residents in Craigavon, South Africa complained of '[h]eadaches, nausea, tinnitus, dry burning itchy skins, gastric imbalances and totally disrupted sleep patterns' after an iBurst communications tower was put up in a local park. Symptoms subsided when the residents left the area, often to stay with family and thus evade their suffering. At a public meeting with the afflicted locals, the tower's owners pledged to switch off the mast immediately to assess whether it was responsible for their ailments. One problem: the mast had already been switched off for six weeks. Lawyers representing the locals say their case against iBurst will continue on other grounds."
Media

Lack of Manpower May Kill VLC For Mac 398

Posted by timothy
from the vlc-generally-rocks dept.
plasmacutter writes "The Video Lan dev team has recently come forward with a notice that the number of active developers for the project's MacOS X releases has dropped to zero, prompting a halt in the release schedule. There is now a disturbing possibility that support for Mac will be dropped as of 1.1.0. As the most versatile and user-friendly solution for bridging the video compatibility gap between OS X and windows, this will be a terrible loss for the Mac community. There is still hope, however, if the right volunteers come forward."
PC Games (Games)

Does Professional Gaming Have a Future? 116

Posted by Soulskill
from the fatal-one-thank-you dept.
mr_sifter writes "Three years ago, celebrity gamers such as Fatal1ty were bagging millions in prizes, and TV channels were queuing up to broadcast games on TV. Professional gaming looked set for the big time. It never happened, and in the current economic crisis, sponsors and media organizations are cutting costs, resulting in the closure of many pro gaming competitions (as we recently discussed) and a down-scaling in prize money. This feature looks at whether pro gaming can bounce back, and whether it will always be a PC sport, or if pro gaming on consoles is the future."
The Internet

The Net — Democratic Panacea Or Autocratic Tool? 204

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-tubular-googocracy dept.
Alex writes "On April 6, 10,000 protesters organized in Moldova against the nation's Communist leadership by utilizing new media like Twitter and Facebook, demonstrating the ever-increasing potential of the Internet as a democratic and liberating tool. But in the current Boston Review, Evgeny Morozov critiques the view that the internet will inevitably democratize autocratic regimes like China, Russia and Iran. He argues that the Net's democratic effects are not inherent, and that autocratic regimes have been successful in controlling electronic media to disseminate their ideology. Will the net ultimately spread American democracy, or just American entertainment?"

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