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Netflix Creates Qwikster For DVD Only Business 481 481

Frankie70 writes "Netflix CEO Reed Hastings just dropped a bombshell. In the wake of a rapid decline in Netflix's stock price last week, Hastings is taking a bold step by separating the DVD and video streaming services. The DVD-by-mail service will now be called Qwikster, and the streaming service will maintain the Netflix brand."

Which Grad Students Are the Most Miserable? 332 332

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Jessica Palmer has an interesting post about the miseries of STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] graduate students and makes the case that of all grad programs, those in biology are particularly miserable. One basic problem stems from too many biology Ph.D.s and not enough funding, leading to an immensely cutthroat environment that is psychologically damaging to boot. But the main problem is that most of the skills you learn in biology, especially biomedical sciences are only useful in the biomedical sciences and that most grad students don't learn enough 'generalist' skills, such as high level math or serious programming skills, to have other career alternatives if academia doesn't work out. 'A decade ago, sequencing was a Ph.D. activity, or at least, an activity supervised very closely by a Ph.D.,' writes Mike the Mad Biologist."

Low Quality Alloy Cause of Shuttle Main Tank Issue 118 118

BJ_Covert_Action writes "NASA engineers have finally discovered the root cause of the cracks that have been found on space shuttle Discovery's main external tank. The main tank, one of the 'Super Lightweight Tank' models developed by Lockheed-Martin, employs an aluminum-lithium alloy developed by Lockheed-Martin specifically for this application. The new alloy is used in various structural stringers throughout the SLWT design. Unfortunately, the batch of this alloy used in the tank that is currently mated with the Discovery shuttle appears to be of low quality. The alloy used in the stringers has a 'mottled' appearance, compared to the nominal appearance typically used in the main tank stringers (see picture in article). This appearance is indicative of a fracture threshold that is significantly lower than typical. NASA has determined, through testing, that this low grade alloy has only 65% of the fracture strength of the nominal alloy typically used. NASA engineers have devised a potential fix to the problem that they are currently testing to ensure the repair will cause no unintended consequences. NASA plans to have the Discovery shuttle ready to launch again by February 24th, 2011."

'Hulu For Magazines' Relies On Users' Data 41 41

Toe, The writes "In an interesting twist on the free/closed mobile platform debate, Apple's closed platform appears to be at least nominally on the free side when it comes to magazine distribution. Magazines have always relied on the demographics of their subscribers to sell ad space to companies who would want to reach that demographic. This apparently has been a sticking point between publishers and Apple, because the latter is unwilling to allow its tools to expose the vast wealth of data that can be tapped from a modern mobile device connected to a purchasing account. For that reason, the so-called 'Hulu for Magazines,' Next Issue Media, will only be available on Android. Still unanswered: do people even want digital magazines?"

Lizard Previously Unknown To Science Found On Vietnam Menu 133 133

eldavojohn writes "A lizard long served on the menu in the Mekong Delta has recently caught the attention of scientists when it was noted that all animals in the species appeared identical as well as female. The species appears to be a hybrid of two other species (like a mule or liger). But the curious thing is that this hybrid isn't sterile — it reproduces asexually. The species, known for some time in Vietnam, has now officially been named Leiolepis ngovantrii."

Comment Re:No suprise here (Score 1) 186 186

One amendment... News Corp doing business with North Korea is a-ok. They would roast any other company doing so.

Think about how Fox News would treat a company that has significant ownership by a Muslim stockholder with that stockholder donating to the group building the Cordoba Center (the one Fox News called the "gound-zero mosque"), and deals with North Korea. My guess is that their description would hint at terrorism. If you have not guessed what corporation might fit this description, that's right, News Corp.

Comment Re:Apple (Score 1) 668 668

Perhaps, but there has not been major press on every news network about the secret android prototype as the next version of the Droid. Compare that with the press circus around the apple prototype. I have not seen android news pushing much beyond tech press.

The new iPhone rumors began in January, and culminating in the massive leak last month. I think this had a big impact on sales. Since Apple does not do constant incremental upgrade like other manufacturers, I think it more likely to be subject issues of waiting and pent-up demand. And, unlike with many Apple products and update cycles, the general public is pretty well informed on the new iPhone to come.

As you said, every day you read that is a slightly faster/better android phone, so some people might wait, but if upgrades are constant, it would argue for less seasonality. You buy when you need that new phone. That is not the case with the iPhone, there are big surges with the new models, which come yearly. That is seasonal adjustment that needs to be modeled into the time-series.

Mississippi Makes Caller ID Spoofing Illegal 258 258

marklyon writes "HB 872, recently signed into law by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, makes Caller ID spoofing illegal. The law covers alterations to the caller's name, telephone number, or name and telephone number that is shown to a recipient of a call or otherwise presented to the network. The law applies to PSTN, wireless and VoIP calls. Penalties for each violation can be up to $1,000 and one year in jail. Blocking of caller identification information is still permitted."

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay