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Follow Up On Solar Neutrinos and Radioactive Decay 183

An anonymous reader writes "A few days ago, Slashdot carried a story that was making the rounds: a team of physicists claimed to have detected a strange variation in radioactive decay rates, which they attributed to the mysterious influence of solar neutrinos. The findings attracted immediate attention because they seemed to upend two tenets of physics: that radioactive decay is constant, and that neutrinos very, very rarely interact with matter (trillions of the particles are zinging through your body right now). So Discover Magazine's news blog 80beats followed up on the initial burst of news and interviewed several physicists who work on neutrinos. They are decidedly skeptical."
Hardware Hacking

TI Calculator DRM Defeated 234

josath writes "Texas Instruments' flagship calculator, the Nspire, was hacked to allow user-written programs earlier this year. Earlier this month, TI released an update to the OS that runs on the calculator, providing no new features, but only blocking the previous hack. Now, just a few weeks later, Nleash has been released, which defeats this protection. The battle rages on as users fight for the right to run their own software on their own hardware."

Who Is Downloading the Torrented Facebook Files? 142

eldavojohn writes "Gizmodo's got an interesting scoop on a list of IPs acquired from Peer Block revealing who is downloading the Facebook user data torrented this week: Apple, the Church of Scientology, Disney, Intel, IBM and several major government contractors just to name a few. The article notes that this doesn't mean it's sanctioned by these companies or even known to be happening, but the IP addresses of requests coming to one of the users' machines match to lists of IP blocks for each company."

Pacific Trash Vortex To Become Habitable Island? Screenshot-sm 323

thefickler writes "The Pacific Ocean trash dump is twice the size of Texas, or the size of Spain combined with France. The Pacific Vortex, as it is sometimes called, is made up of four million tons of plastic. Now, there's a proposal to turn this dump into 'Recycled Island.' The Netherlands Architecture Fund has provided the grant money for the project, and the WHIM architecture firm is conducting the research and design of Recycled Island. One of the three major aims of the project is to clean up the floating trash by recycling it on site. Two, the project would create new land for sustainable habitation complete with its own food sources and energy sources. Lastly, Recycled Island is to be a seaworthy island. While at the moment the project is still more or less a pipe dream, it's great that someone is trying to work out what to do with one of humanity's most bizarre environmental slip-ups."

SpaceX Conducts First On-Pad Test-Fire of Falcon 9 109

FleaPlus writes "On Saturday, SpaceX successfully conducted a launch dress rehearsal and on-pad test firing of their completed Falcon 9 rocket, with the 15-story tall rocket held down to prevent launch (videos). SpaceX is one of several likely competitors (ranging from the upstart Blue Origin to the more experienced Boeing) in NASA's new plans for commercial crew transportation to low-Earth orbit. SpaceX has been cleared by Cape Canaveral for the Falcon 9's first orbital launch next month, carrying a test model of the company's Dragon cargo/crew capsule, although CEO/CTO Elon Musk has cautioned that they're still in the equivalent of 'beta testing' for the first few flights."

The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.