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+ - The star that exploded at the dawn of time->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "To probe the dawn of time, astronomers usually peer far away; but now they've made a notable discovery close to home. An ancient star a mere thousand light-years from Earth bears chemical elements that may have been forged by the death of a star that was both extremely massive and one of the first to arise after the big bang. If confirmed, the finding means that some of the universe’s first stars were so massive they died in exceptionally violent explosions that altered the growth of early galaxies."
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Comment: Re:A better idea - customized plate with SSN (Score 1) 142

Don't forget that your insurance company would really like to get their spy dongle onto your ODB II port, too. So this HUD is really the third usage for the ODB II port, the first of course being the diagnostics that it was designed for. How soon before we have ODB-splitters?

I'm sure your insurance company would like their spy dongle to be the only thing plugged into your ODB II port while driving, especially if the only other available driving-time plugin was a HUD/distraction. But what if other more sensible plugins became available, even safety improving ones, say a breathalyzer lockout...

Comment: Re:is it me or is it 30 years too late? (Score 1) 144

I certainly believe that there are new things under the sun. I just don't believe that there are as many of them as our trendsetting media would like us to think. Come to think of it, I'll bet that the truly new things under the sun are seldom well covered. I guess Sturgeon's Law applies.

+ - Google's Baseline Study for defining Healthy Human.

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "Google’s research division "Google X" has started another moonshot project named as "Baselne Study".

The baseline study project will collect anonymous genetic and molecular information from 175 people and later thousands more to create the complete picture of what a healthy human being should be.

The baseline study will help researchers detect killers such as heart disease and cancer far earlier, pushing medicine more toward prevention rather than the treatment of illness.

According to Google, the information from Baseline will be anonymous and its use will be limited to medical and health purposes. Data won't be shared with insurance companies."

+ - Potentially Immortal Single Cell Life form Eats, Breathes, Electrons ->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "University of Southern California, Los Angeles researchers are studying forms of bacteria, found on the sea bed, which can feed directly on electrons from electric current. Unlike any other living thing on Earth, electric bacteria use energy in its purest form – naked electricity in the shape of electrons harvested from rocks and metals. NewScientist reports on cells which make ATP, a molecule that acts as an energy storage unit for almost all living things. This life form needs no sugar or protein, it can consume electrons, from electricity, directly.

"To grow these bacteria, the team collects sediment from the seabed, brings it back to the lab, and inserts electrodes into it. First they measure the natural voltage across the sediment, before applying a slightly different one. A slightly higher voltage offers an excess of electrons; a slightly lower voltage means the electrode will readily accept electrons from anything willing to pass them off. Bugs in the sediments can either "eat" electrons from the higher voltage, or "breathe" electrons on to the lower-voltage electrode, generating a current. That current is picked up by the researchers as a signal of the type of life they have captured.""

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Comment: Re:And the dirfference is? (Score 1) 226

by dpilot (#47486973) Attached to: X.Org Server 1.16 Brings XWayland, GLAMOR, Systemd Integration

There's the snarky answer, and what I suspect is the real answer.

First, systemd and everything associated with is just so kewl and shiny that's it's a privilege to even use any of it, which makes it all the more amazing that they're actually welcoming us to do so, instead of making us fight for a place in line.

Second, X11 goes way back before anyone was really concerned with security. I suspect from a core competence point of view, the X11 coders are far more comfortable and far more engaged with the graphical display code than the input side. I get the impression that a lot of effort was spent in properly cleaning and separating the root-requiring functionality. I know I've read of KMS and DRI work for years now. It's been a long road, and I believe it may have only been in the past year that the display side has gotten to the point where they could think about going rootless.

I also suspect that the input device part is not their core competence - they'd like events coming in from "elsewhere" and get back to their graphics work. So along comes systemd, saying, "We'll handle the gnarly details of console access and security for you," and X said OK, if only in the spirit of modularity and going back to their graphics work. (Graphics work includes processing the inputs, not just drawing outputs - I think they'd just like the inputs to be clean and handed to them.)

Comment: Re:How many? Hard to say (Score 1) 272

by dpilot (#47484077) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

I've also found that sadly enough, there are plenty of people around a big company who are really good at appearing essential, while really doing nothing themselves and in fact are very good at creating work for others. Unfortunately they also tend to get retained through job cuts, because they appear so essential.

Though I work in a big company we generally manged to have a small, well-focused team. That makes it a good place to work, as long as you can keep your head down, have fun, and not see the chaos and decay around you.

Comment: Re:X, systemd, and priveleges? (Score 2) 226

by dpilot (#47476243) Attached to: X.Org Server 1.16 Brings XWayland, GLAMOR, Systemd Integration

Are you able to explain more?

My impression is that there were 2 issues with non-root X - mode setup and input device management. KMS and DRI2/DRI3 take care of the former, and I'm under the impression that systemd-logind takes care of the latter. But ultimately these are all just kernel interfaces - if systemd-logind has a root-helper and makes a series of kernel calls to manage the input devices, then that same job could be done by some other piece of software.

Again, do you understand the base mechanism at work here?

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.