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Space

No Naked Black Holes 317

Posted by kdawson
from the also-no-hair dept.
Science News reports on a paper to be published in Physical Review Letters in which an international team of researchers describes their computer simulation of the most violent collision imaginable: two black holes colliding head-on at nearly light-speed. Even in this extreme scenario, Roger Penrose's weak cosmic censorship hypothesis seems to hold — the resulting black hole (after the gravitational waves have died down) retains its event horizon. "Mathematically, 'naked' singularities, or those without event horizons, can exist, but physicists wouldn't know what to make of them. All known mechanisms for the formation of singularities also create an event horizon, and Penrose conjectured that there must be some physical principle — a 'cosmic censor' — that forbids singularity nakedness ..."
Education

IU's Choice of Search Engine ChaCha "Explained" 94

Posted by kdawson
from the how-many-speechwriters-does-it-take dept.
theodp sends a follow-up to the discussion here a couple of months back about Indiana University librarians and students being forced to use the 'human-powered' ChaCha search engine because IU's President and one of its Trustees were business buddies of ChaCha CEO (and IU alum) Scott Jones. Don't be ridiculous, insisted indignant IU officials. It was ChaCha's ability to fill in gaps in a speech he was writing in 2007 that convinced IU's CIO that the University had to do a deal with ChaCha. What a coincidence, notes Valleywag. The need to fill in gaps in a speech he was writing back in 2005 is what convinced ChaCha CEO Jones that he had to create ChaCha in the first place. Way to anticipate what your customers need before they do.

GNU Coughs Up Emacs 22 After Six Year Wait 500

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hopefully-worth-waiting-for dept.
lisah writes "After keeping users waiting for nearly six years, Emacs 22 has been released and includes a bunch of updates and some new modes as well. In addition to support for GTK+ and a graphical interface to the GNU Debugger, 'this release includes build support for Linux on AMD64, S/390, and Tensilica Xtensa machines, FreeBSD/Alpha, Cygwin, Mac OS X, and Mac OS 9 with Carbon support. The Leim package is now part of GNU Emacs, so users will be able to get input support for Chinese, Tibetan, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, and other languages without downloading a separate package. New translations of the Emacs tutorial are also available in Brasilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, simplified and traditional Chinese, Italian, French, and Russian.'"
Microsoft

DRAM Makers Suffer Due to Lackluster Vista Adoption 395

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the betting-on-the-wrong-horse dept.
quixote9 writes "We've heard conflicting estimates of how widely adopted Vista has been. Now comes some hard data. DRAM makers ramped up to meet the huge expected demand for more memory needed by Vista. Except the demand hasn't materialized. Now they're suffering. Alternatively, maybe everyone's cleverly hacked their Ultimate Aero Glass Vista to fit on their old PCs."
Microsoft

Microsoft Details FOSS Patent Breaches 576

Posted by Zonk
from the just-a-little-bit-dangerous dept.
CptRevelation writes "Microsoft has released more detailed information on the patents supposedly in breach by the open-source community. Despite their accusations of infringement, they state they would rather do licensing deals instead of any legal action. 'Open-source programs step on 235 Microsoft patents, the company said. Free Linux software violates 42 patents. Graphical user interfaces, the way menus and windows look on the screen, breach 65. E-mail programs step on 15, and other programs touch 68 other patents, the company said. The patent figures were first reported by Fortune magazine. Microsoft also said Open Office, an open-source program supported in part by Sun Microsystems Inc., infringes on 45 patents. Sun declined to comment on the allegation.'"
Space

+ - Stephen Hawking Flies Weightless

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "Free of his wheelchair and tethered only to heart rate and blood pressure monitors, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking on Thursday fulfilled a dream of floating weightless on a zero-gravity jet, a step he hopes leads to further space adventures.

The 65-year-old was the first person with a disability to experience the flight by Zero Gravity Corp., which has flown about 2,700 people out of Florida since late 2004 and began offering the flights in Las Vegas this week.

"As you can imagine, I'm very excited," Hawking told reporters before the flight. "I have been wheelchair bound for almost four decades. The chance to float free in zero-g will be wonderful."

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/04/26/ap365909 6.html"

iRobot Scooba Exposed 67

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the always-a-few-extra-parts-left-over dept.
ticketmaster41 writes "Informit is running an article that takes a look at what's inside a Scooba. As the write up indicates, adding water to a robotic cleaner not only means more parts, but also more fail safes to frustrate the end user. The site also has posted an interview with Helen Greiner, one of the founders of iRobot."

Linspire Announces Freespire Distribution 223

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the let's-muddy-the-waters-a-bit dept.
LinuxScribe writes "Is the world ready for another community Linux distro a là Fedora and openSUSE? We're about to find out, as Linspire used the Desktop Linux Summit to announce a community-driven version of Linspire, to be called Freespire. But here's the twist, Freespire will come in two flavors: a completely open source version and a version that includes all of the fully-licensed proprietary apps, drivers, and codecs in Linspire."

The European Grand Challenge 61

Posted by Zonk
from the good-luck-eurobots dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A European version of the DARPA Grand Challenge is being held in Germany next month. Instead of a race through the desert, the EU challenge is split into three events. Urban, non-urban, and landmine detection will be the 'courses', with multiple winners in each event. Interestingly Sebastian Thrun, winner of last year's Challenge, has been forbidden from taking part despite being a European citizen." From the article: "The trials will take place in and around Hammelburg, a mockup of a town used by the German military for training exercises. In the non-urban course the robots will have to contend with a one-kilometer route containing ditches, barbed wire fences, cattle guards, fires, narrow underpasses, and inclines of up to 40 degrees. The urban and landmine 500-meter trials will require the robots to negotiate doorways, stairs, partially collapsed buildings, and poor visibility from smoke or partial lighting. Along the way, they will also have to search for designated objects and report their findings back to base."

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