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Space

Giant Ribbon Discovered At Edge of Solar System 251

Posted by kdawson
from the gift-wrapped dept.
beadwindow writes "NASA's IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer) spacecraft has made the first all-sky maps of the heliosphere and the results have taken researchers by surprise. The maps are bisected by a bright, winding ribbon of unknown origin: 'This is a shocking new result,' says IBEX principal investigator Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute. 'We had no idea this ribbon existed — or what has created it. Our previous ideas about the outer heliosphere are going to have to be revised.' Another NASA scientist notes, '"This ribbon winds between the two Voyager spacecraft and was not observed by either of them.'"
Bug

Microsoft Plans Largest-Ever Patch Tuesday 341

Posted by timothy
from the 24-hours-but-bigger-minutes dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft said it will deliver its largest-ever number of security updates on Tuesday to fix 13 flaws in every version of Windows, as well as Internet Explorer (IE), Office, SQL Server, important developer tools and Forefront Security client software. Among the updates will be the first for the final, or release to manufacturing, code of Windows 7, Microsoft's newest operating system. The 13 updates slated for next week, eight of them pegged 'critical,' beat the previous record of 12 updates shipped in February 2007 and again in October 2008." Update Reader Kurt Seifried writes to correct the math a bit, pointing to Microsoft's Advance Notification page for the release, which says that rather than 13 flaws, this Patch Tuesday involves "13 bulletins (eight critical and five important), addressing 34 vulnerabilities ... Most of these updates require a restart so please factor that into your deployment planning."
The Internet

Malcolm Gladwell Challenges the Idea of "Free" 206

Posted by kdawson
from the crying-out-from-a-world-of-hurt dept.
An anonymous reader brings us another bump on the bumpy road of Chris Anderson's new book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price, which we discussed a week ago. Now the Times (UK) is reporting on a dustup between Anderson and Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. Recently Gladwell reviewed, or rather deconstructed, Anderson's book in the New Yorker. Anderson has responded with a blog post that addresses some, but by no means all, of Gladwell's criticisms, and The Times is inclined to award the match to Gladwell on points. Although their reviewer didn't notice that Gladwell, in setting up the idea of "Free" as a straw man, omitted a critical half of Stewart Brand's seminal quote.
Windows

Windows 7 To Be "Thoroughly" Tested For Antitrust Compliance 364

Posted by timothy
from the you-will-comply-citizen dept.
CWmike writes "Technical advisers to the antitrust regulators who monitor Microsoft's compliance with the 2002 antitrust settlement will test Windows 7 'more thoroughly' than earlier versions of the operating system were tested, according to a new status report filed with the federal judge watching over the company. Microsoft is also facing renewed scrutiny from the EU, which two weeks ago filed preliminary charges against the company over bundling IE with Windows, and said more recently that Microsoft 'shields' IE from competition."

Comment: Re:Are you watching metered TV? (Score 2, Funny) 589

by Surlyboi (#23637681) Attached to: Time Warner Cable Tries Metering Internet Use

Good question, why doesn't Comcast add up all the time in the commercials I watch and subtract that percentage of time from my bill as well?


Is your TV metered? No? That's why. You don't get charged if you exceed your "TV allowance" as there is no "TV allowance".

I think GP's question is perfectly legitimate.
You mean, "there is no TV allowance...yet".

Space

Hubble Survey Finds Half of the Missing Matter 189

Posted by kdawson
from the hiding-in-plain-sight dept.
esocid sends along the news that scientists believe they have found about half the missing matter in the universe. The matter we can see is only about 1/8 of the total baryonic matter believed to exist (and only 1/200 the mass-energy of the visible universe). This missing matter is not to be confused with "dark matter," which is thought to be non-baryonic. The missing stuff has been found in the intergalactic medium that extends essentially throughout all of space, from just outside our galaxy to the most distant regions of space. "'We think we are seeing the strands of a web-like structure that forms the backbone of the universe,' Mike Shull of the University of Colorado explained. 'What we are confirming in detail is that intergalactic space, which intuitively might seem to be empty, is in fact the reservoir for most of the normal, baryonic matter in the universe.'"
Space

Cassini Finds Evidence For Ocean Inside Titan 79

Posted by Soulskill
from the so-that's-where-it-was-hiding dept.
Riding with Robots writes "NASA reports that by using data from the Cassini probe's radar, scientists established the locations of 50 unique landmarks on the surface of Saturn's planet-size moon Titan. They then searched for these same lakes, canyons and mountains in the data after subsequent Titan flybys. They found that the features had shifted from their expected positions by up to 30 kilometers. NASA says a systematic displacement of surface features would be difficult to explain unless the moon's icy crust was decoupled from its core by an internal ocean, making it easier for the crust to move. If confirmed, this discovery would add to the growing list of moons in the solar system that are icy on the outside and warm and liquid inside, providing potential habitats. We've previously discussed Titan's hydrocarbon lakes and potential cryovolcano."
Space

DARPA Fractionated Spacecraft Program Starts 59

Posted by Zonk
from the better-them-than-us dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Start buying Cold War nuclear shelters and piling up the canned food, because Boeing Advanced Systems has started System F6: 'DARPA's Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying Spacecraft United by Information Exchange space technology program.' In other words: multiple, networked specialized spacecraft swarms that are intelligent enough to perform a single coordinated task together, like analyzing the crops or deciding to destroy humanity, Skynet-style. Actually, it could completely change satellites for the better, according to some experts."
Patents

Akamai Wins Lawsuit to Protect Obvious Patent 173

Posted by Zonk
from the keeping-things-locked-down dept.
brandaman writes "Akamai, the largest content delivery network (CDN) with about 70% market share, recently won its lawsuit against the against second largest CDN - Limelight Networks. The suit asserted that Limelight was infringing on Akamai's patent which, upon examination, seems to be somewhat on the obvious side. 'In accordance with the invention, however, a base HTML document portion of a Web page is served from the Content Provider's site while one or more embedded objects for the page are served from the hosting servers, preferably, those hosting servers near the client machine. By serving the base HTML document from the Content Provider's site, the Content Provider maintains control over the content.' Limelight is obviously not pleased, and this is not the first lawsuit Akamai has won regarding its patents."
Star Wars Prequels

Animated Film Set To Kick Off Star Wars TV Show 270

Posted by Zonk
from the could-be-worse-i-guess dept.
Sasseen writes "George Lucas has announced that the animated Star Wars television show, which we've discussed previously, will be kicking off with a feature-length theatre release. Lucas felt that, 'there were a lot more 'Star Wars' stories left to tell. I was eager to start telling some of them through animation and, at the same time, push the animation forward.' A fully animated film will be released in theaters on August 15 with a TV series of more than 30 episodes planned to follow on Cartoon Network and TNT. Also of note from the article, 'A new character named Ahsoka, Anakin's padawan, will be the first female Jedi to be a character of focus'."
Biotech

Three Parents Contribute to Experimental Human Embryo 136

Posted by Zonk
from the welcome-to-transhuman-space dept.
gihan_ripper writes "It sounds like the storyline from a cheesy film, but a human embryo has been created using the genetic material from one man and two women. A team from Newcastle University, England, developed the technique in the hope that it could be used to prevent diseases caused by faulty mitochondria. Their experiment started with two ingredients: first, a left over (and 'severely abnormal') embryo from an IVF treatment; second, a donor egg from another woman. The donor egg has all but the mitochondrial DNA removed, then a nucleus from the embryo is inserted into the egg. Effectively, this results in a mitochondria transplant. 'While any baby born through this method would have genetic elements from three people, the nuclear DNA that influences appearance and other characteristics would not come from the woman providing the donor egg. However, the team only have permission to carry out the lab experiments and as yet this would not be allowed to be offered as a treatment.'"
Space

Speculation On the Doomed Satellite 229

Posted by kdawson
from the nro-doa dept.
scim writes "Intelligent speculation has led one knowledgeable observer to believe the satellite recently announced to have failed is a radar satellite named USA 193. According to an earlier story on the satellite: 'The experimental L-21 classified satellite, built for the National Reconnaissance Office at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, was launched successfully on Dec. 14 [2006] but has been out of touch since reaching its low-earth orbit.'" The ArmsControlWonk story leads off with what purports to be a photo from the ground of USA 193.
Space

Defunct Spy Satellite Falling From Orbit 312

Posted by kdawson
from the cue-the-chicken-little-jokes dept.
dnormant, among other readers, sent us word that a US spy satellite has lost power and propulsion and could hit the Earth in late February or March. Government officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret. None of the coverage speculates on how big the satellite is, but Wikipedia claims that US spy satellites in the KH-11 class, launched up to the mid-90s, are about the size of the Hubble — which is 13 meters long and weighs over 11,000 kg. "The satellite, which no longer can be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down... A senior government official said that lawmakers and other nations are being kept apprised of the situation."

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