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Space

Are the World's Religions Ready For ET? 314

Posted by Soulskill
from the Alf-as-messiah dept.
Science_afficionado writes: At the current rate of discovery, astronomers will have identified more than a million exoplanets by the year 2045. That means, if life is at all common in the Milky Way, astronomers could soon detect it. Realization that the nature of the debate about life on other worlds is about to fundamentally change, lead Vanderbilt astronomer David Weintraub to begin thinking seriously about how people will react to such a discovery. He realized that people's reactions will be heavily influenced by their religious beliefs, so he decided to find out what theologians and leaders from the world's major religions have to say about the matter. The result is a book titled Religions and Extraterrestrial Life, published by Springer this month. He discovered that from Baptists to Buddhists, from Catholics to Mormons, from Islam to the Anglican Communion, religious views on alien life differ widely.
HP

HP Introduces Sub-$100 Windows Tablet 173

Posted by timothy
from the race-to-bottom dept.
jfruh writes While Windows-based tablets haven't exactly set the world on fire, Microsoft hasn't given up on them, and its hardware partners haven't either. HP has announced a series of Windows tablets, with the 7-inch low-end model, the Stream 7, priced at $99. The Stream brand is also being used for low-priced laptops intended to compete with Chromebooks (which HP also sells). All are running Intel chips and full Windows, not Windows RT.
Australia

Man Walks Past Security Screening Staring At iPad, Causing Airport Evacuation 210

Posted by samzenpus
from the paying-attention dept.
First time accepted submitter chentiangemalc writes While Australia is on "high alert" for terror threats a man walked past a Sydney Airport security screening while engrossed in his iPad and delayed flights for an hour. From the article: "This event was captured on CCTV and unnerved officials so much that they evacuated passengers. As the Sydney Morning Herald reported, the man found himself (or, perhaps, didn't) going into the terminal through an exit passage that clearly was convenient for him, but less convenient for the hordes of passengers who not only had to be removed from Terminal 3, but also re-screened. A spokeswoman for Qantas told the Morning Herald: 'The man disembarked a flight and left. It appears he wasn't paying attention, was looking at his iPad, forgot something and walked back past (the security area).'"
Microsoft

Microsoft Revives Its Hardware Conference 47

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-by-popular-demand dept.
jfruh writes Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, or WinHEC, was an annual staple of the '90s and '00s: every year, execs from Redmond would tell OEMs what to expect when it came to Windows servers and PCs. The conference was wrapped with software into Build in 2009, but now it's being revived to deal with not just computers but also the tablets and cell phone Microsoft has found itself in the business of selling and even making. It's also being moved from the U.S. to China, as an acknowledgment of where the heart of the tech hardware business is now.
Handhelds

Court Rules Nokia Must Pay Damages To Buyers of Faulty Phones In Mexico 25

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-the-people dept.
An anonymous reader writes Nokia must pay damages to consumers in Mexico who reported malfunctioning handsets, following a court ruling for a trial that has lasted four years. The case was brought to court by Mexican watchdog Profeco in 2010, before the Finnish manufacturer was acquired by Microsoft – that deal was only completed earlier this year. Profeco added that the court has ordered Nokia to either replace the faulty handsets and/or reimburse their cost. On top of that, Nokia must also pay compensation totaling at least 20 percent of the damages resulting from malfunctioning. Customers that had been affected by faulty Nokia equipment would be able to seek damages even if they had not yet presented complaints.
Google

Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices 404

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-rules dept.
schwit1 writes Google is looking to exert more pressure on device OEMs that wish to continue using the Android mobile operating system. Among the new requirements for many partners: increasing the number of Google apps that must be pre-installed on the device to as many as 20, placing more Google apps on the home screen or in a prominent icon folder and making Google Search more prominent. Earlier this year, Google laid its vision to reduce fragmentation by forcing OEMs to ship new devices with more recent version of Android. Those OEMs that choose not to comply lose access to Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps like Gmail, Google Play, and YouTube.
Math

Statistician Creates Mathematical Model To Predict the Future of Game of Thrones 123

Posted by samzenpus
from the math-is-coming dept.
KentuckyFC writes One way of predicting the future is to study data about events in the past and build a statistical model that generates the same pattern of data. Statisticians can then use the model to generate data about the future. Now one statistician has taken this art to new heights by predicting the content of the soon-to-be published novels in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R R Martin. The existing five novels are the basis of the hit TV series Game of Thrones. Each chapter in the existing books is told from the point of view of one of the characters. So far, 24 characters have starred in this way. The statistical approach uses the distribution of characters in chapters in the first five books to predict the distribution in the forthcoming novels. The results suggest that several characters will not appear at all and also throw light on whether one important character is dead or not, following an ambiguous story line in the existing novels. However, the model also serves to highlight the shortcomings of purely statistical approaches. For example, it does not "know" that characters who have already been killed off are unlikely to appear in future chapters. Neither does it allow for new characters that might appear. Nevertheless, this statistical approach to literature could introduce the process of mathematical modelling to more people than any textbook.

Comment: Re:$8.283 billion taxes in 2011 Re:Finally (Score 2) 120

by Tough Love (#48020447) Attached to: Apple Faces Large Penalties In EU Tax Probe

If this ruling sticks then a major adjustment in AAPL's price is coming down the tracks. Should be good for roughly a 15-20% drop. At 16, AAPL's p/e is looking a little pricey in any case. Other tech perps are no doubt peering anxiously over their shoulders but AAPL is the standout bad actor.

Comment: Re:Apple = cash cow for scumbags (Score 1) 301

by Tough Love (#48016419) Attached to: Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

Or maybe Apple should engineer their products better.

It would seem that Apple astromodders running rampant. And why not? It is worth $billions to Apple to spin this issue away. Why not shed a little ethics to achieve such a worthy goal?

The pattern is pretty much all the same. The paid astromodders show up a day or two after the article, to protect Apple's shiny reputation from any tarnish by truth.

Comment: Re:It is not, so no... (Score 1) 301

by Tough Love (#48015035) Attached to: Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

But don't you think it's kind of crappy that the iPhone 6 is so flimsy, especially for the price?

If it were flimsy, perhaps , but in reality it's not - some Android phones are worse, and if you pick one up you can tell "flimsy" does not describe it at all.

But you can bend the iPhone 6+ in half with your fingers. I call that flimsy.

Comment: Re:Android phones bent long before the iPhone 6 (Score 1) 301

by Tough Love (#48012803) Attached to: Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

Android phones bend too...

Apple bills its latest product as a premium phone and brags endlessly about the supposed build quality, apparently justify the high price tag. But the truth is, Apple's latest product is a questionably engineered flimsy thing that costs just $200 to make. Not premium at all. Nothing to distinguish it from the competition, quite the contrary. Apple is now engaged in a desperate dance to hide that rather obvious fact from joe idiot apple consumer.

Hey Apple astromod, what is not accurate about that? I would say the odour of desperation is getting pretty thick.

Comment: Re:I still don't get this. (Score 1) 301

by Tough Love (#48012693) Attached to: Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

Practically everybody puts their phone in a case. Which makes wonder: why is phone thinness such a huge issue?

Apple especially acts like the thinness of the phone is one of, if not *the* most important feature. But once you put the phone in a case, then shaving 2mm off the thickness means nothing.

Perhaps. By making the iPhone 2 mm thicker Apple could have avoided bendgate and also the embarrassing situation where the camera sticks out so the phone can't lie flat. But Jobs is dead, so...

A holding company is a thing where you hand an accomplice the goods while the policeman searches you.

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