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Submission + - Tiny Pebbles Built the Gas Giant Behemoths->

astroengine writes: Scientists have long puzzled over how gas planets like Jupiter and Saturn got to be so big. Current theories suggest the cores of these behemoths are comprised of mini-planets, some 62- to 620 miles in diameter, which collided and gradually merged together over time. But computer simulations show this process is more likely to produce hundreds of Earth-sized worlds. Instead, a new study suggests "slow pebble accretion" is a more likely process.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Could the best Windows 10 laptop be a Mac?

dkatana writes: Now that Windows 10 is finally out there many people are looking for the best laptop with the power to make the new OS shine.

The sweet spot appears to be in $900-$1500 machines from Dell, Asus and HP. But Apple, the company that has been fighting Windows for ever, has other options for Windows 10: the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

According to InformationWeek there are many reasons to consider purchasing a MacBook as the next Windows machine, including design, reliability, performance, battery life, display quality and better keyboard.

Also MacBooks have a higher resell value, retaining up to 50% of their price after five years.

Submission + - Matt Damon Farms on Mars; Could He Really Survive? (See New Trailer!)->

Kredacter writes: Matt Damon plants the seeds of his own survival in a new trailer for his upcoming science fiction movie “The Martian.” He turns to farming the red planet after he’s stranded in a storm, but could he really survive long enough to reap his first harvest? Damon plays astronaut Mark Watney in the Ridley Scott film.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Japanese engineer develops "WalkCar", world's first 'car in a bag'

rtoz writes: A Japanese engineer has developed a portable transporter small enough to be carried in a backpack that he says is the world's first 'car in a bag'.

Twenty-six-year-old Kuniako Saito and his team at Cocoa Motors recently unveiled the lithium battery-powered "WalkCar" transporter, which is the size of a laptop and resembles a skateboard more than a car.

According to the Reuters report, the slender WalkCar is made from aluminum and weighs between two and three kilograms , depending on whether it is an indoor or outdoor version.

The developer Saito expects to see many other uses for his transporter, as he says it has enough power to help people push wheelchairs with ease. The lightweight aluminum board is stronger than it looks, and can take loads of up to 120kg .

It reaches top speeds of 10 kilometers per hour, for distances of up to 12 kilometers after three hours of charging.
Its developer says it's also extremely simple to ride. Once the rider stands on it the WalkCar starts automatically, while simply stepping off stops the vehicle. To change direction, the user just shifts their weight.
Best of all, there is no need to find a parking space, because it fits into a small bag when not in use.
Saito says customers will be able to reserve their own WalkCars from autumn 2015 on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter. The futuristic skateboard will have a price-tag of around $800. Shipping is expected to begin by spring 2016.
Data Storage

ZFS Hits an Important Milestone, Version 0.6.1 Released 99

sfcrazy writes "ZFS on Linux has reached what Brian Behlendorf calls an important milestone with the official 0.6.1 release. Version 0.6.1 not only brings the usual bug fixes but also introduces a new property called 'snapdev.' Brian explains, 'The snapdev property was introduced to control the visibility of zvol snapshot devices and may be set to either visible or hidden. When set to hidden, which is the default, zvol snapshot devices will not be created under /dev/. To gain access to these devices the property must be set to visible. This behavior is analogous to the existing snapdir property.'"
Science

The Fruit Fly Drosophila Gets a New Name 136

G3ckoG33k writes "The name of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster will change to Sophophora melangaster. The reason is that scientists have by now discovered some 2,000 species of the genus and it is becoming unmanageably large. Unfortunately, the 'type species' (the reference point of the genus), Drosophila funebris, is rather unrelated to the D. melanogaster, and ends up in a distant part of the relationship tree. However, geneticists have, according to Google Scholar, more than 300,000 scientific articles describing innumerable aspects of the species, and will have to learn the new name as well as remember the old. As expected, the name change has created an emotional (and practical) stir all over media. While name changes are frequent in science, as they describe new knowledge about relationships between species, these changes rarely hit economically relevant species, and when they do, people get upset."
Earth

Endangered Species Condoms 61

The Center for Biological Diversity wants to help put a polar bear in your pants with their endangered species condom campaign. They hope that giving away 100,000 free Endangered Species Condoms across the country will highlight how unsustainable human population growth is driving species to extinction, and instill the sexual prowess of the coquí guajón rock frog, nature's most passionate lover, in the condom users. From the article: "To help people understand the impact of overpopulation on other species, and to give them a chance to take action in their own lives, the Center is distributing free packets of Endangered Species Condoms depicting six separate species: the polar bear, snail darter, spotted owl, American burying beetle, jaguar, and coquí guajón rock frog."
Image

Disputed Island Disappears Into Sea 460

RawJoe writes "India and Bangladesh have argued for almost 30 years over control of a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have ended the argument for them: the island's gone. From the article: 'New Moore Island, in the Sunderbans, has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, he said. "What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Hazra.'"
Data Storage

Need Help Salvaging Data From an Old Xenix System 325

Milo_Mindbender writes "I've recently gotten ahold of an old Altos 586 Xenix system (a late '80s Microsoft flavor of Unix) that has one of the first multi-user BBS systems in the US on it, and I want to salvage the historical BBS posts off it. I'm wondering if anyone remembers what format Xenix used on the 10MB (yes MB) IDE hard drive and if it can still be read on a modern Linux system. This system is quite old, has no removable media or ethernet and just barely works. The only other way to get data off is a slow serial port. I've got a controller that should work with the disk, but don't want to tear this old machine apart without some hope that it will work. Anyone know?"
Government

Bill To Ban All Salt In Restaurant Cooking 794

lord_rotorooter writes "Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced a bill that would ruin restaurant food and baked goods as we know them. The measure (if passed) would ban the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of food for all restaurants or bakeries. While the use of too much salt can contribute to health problems, the complete banning of salt would have negative impacts on food chemistry. Not only does salt enhance flavor, it controls bacteria, slows yeast activity and strengthens dough by tightening gluten. Salt also inhibits the growth of microbes that spoil cheese."

Comment Re:Am I alone or (Score 1) 424

I'm going to tackle your discernment of "evil" and see if I can pinpoint it, because I had exactly the same feeling. Please forgive the distasteful imagery in the following, but I think you'll see what I'm trying to do.

It would seem as if the ultimate, unspoken ideal of the individual who wrote such stuff is the packaging of human meat "on the foot" as "efficiently" as possible, meaning maximum density with minimum overhead (i.e. energy and resource consumption, carbon production, etc). Clearly this is what it must be, once *the well-being and happiness* of those who live in such packing-house conditions (or lack thereof, rather) is not the primary consideration. It's almost as if humans are spoken of as a commodity, rather like chickens or other, perhaps herded, animals.

A point to ponder: why it is often the case that the same ones who won't eat meat or eggs from anything but free-range chickens because of the unspeakable cruelty of the non-free-range producers ( full disclosure -- I agree with that assessment -- it is cruelty ) think that this kind of thinking is OK for human beings, s long as it makes "Gaia" happy? You very likely would agree with me that such thinking is upside-down. I will not go into that now.

It is well and good to ponder over how 20+ billion individuals are supposed to share this planet, and indeed it is prudent to do so. But if these ideas are permitted to take root at the center of this pondering, the result can only be beyond horror, with the same old result -- the ones doing the 'central planning' somehow never seem to share the fate of those subjected to their plans. This simply cannot be permitted to happen. Such ideas must be refuted with vigor everywhere they crop up. Once a human being is seen as mere meat, Stalinist-Russia.Nazi-Germany.Maoist.China 2.0 is the inevitable result.

Historically the motivations for this are so that the very, very few can live the way they want. Consider comment http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1565742&cid=31304366. I think that captures it, and I believe that's what you're sensing.

Your assessment is correct. Perhaps I should limit that to saying only that I agree. It is evil.

Grace and peace

Earth

Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic 807

DJRumpy writes "The Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists — that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic — are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It (in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we're grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg's work is 'a mirage,' writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. '[I]t is a house of cards. Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature' of Lomborg's work."
Data Storage

"Limited Edition" SSD Has Fastest Storage Speed 122

Vigile writes "The idea of having a 'Limited Edition' solid state drive might seem counter-intuitive, but regardless of the naming, the new OCZ Vertex LE is based on the new Sandforce SSD controller that promises significant increases in performance, along with improved ability to detect and correct errors in the data stored in flash. While the initial Sandforce drive was called the 'Vertex 2 Pro' and included a super-capacitor for data integrity, the Vertex LE drops that feature to improve cost efficiency. In PC Perspectives's performance tests, the drive was able to best the Intel X25-M line in file creation and copying duties, had minimal fragmentation or slow-down effects, and was very competitive in IOs per second as well. It seems that current SSD manufacturers are all targeting Intel and the new Sandforce controller is likely the first to be up to the challenge."
Idle

Directed Energy Weapon Downs Mosquitos 428

wisebabo writes "Nathan Myhrvol demonstrated at TED a laser, built from parts scrounged from eBay, capable of shooting down not one but 50 to 100 mosquitos a second. The system is 'so precise that it can specify the species, and even the gender, of the mosquito being targeted.' Currently, for the sake of efficiency, it leaves the males alone because only females are bloodsuckers. Best of all the system could cost as little as $50. Maybe that's too expensive for use in preventing malaria in Africa but I'd buy one in a second!" We ran a story about this last year. It looks like the company has added a bit more polish, and burning mosquito footage to their marketing.

"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman

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