brindafella writes "Look out, Stonehenge, here come the Wurdi Youang rocks in the Australian state of Victoria. The semi-circle of stones has been examined by an astrophysicist from Australia's premier research group, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), who says this arrangement of rocks is a carefully aligned solar observatory that may be 10,000 years old. It would have been created by local Aborigines, the Wathaurong people, who have occupied the area for some 25,000 years."
RedEaredSlider writes "The Daily, the digital publication designed specifically for Apple's iPad, is now available on the App Store. The publication's launch came during a press event at New York's Guggenheim Museum. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and Apple Vice President of Internet Services Eddy Cue were joined by The Daily's Editor-in-Chief Jesse Angelo. The Daily, which copies the look and feel of a newspaper or magazine, is aimed at embracing the multimedia capabilities of Apple's iPad. Rupert Murdoch said that The Daily offers 'unthinkable innovations' to the world of publishing."
Vectormatic noted the rumor floating around that the most recent PS3 patch has a backdoor, and "Sony can now remotely execute code on the PS3 as soon as you connect. This can do whatever Sony wants it to do, such as verifying system files or searching for homebrew. Sony can change the code and add new detection methods without any firmware updates."
Variety reported last week that Atari secured the rights to a Ghostbusters video game from Activision Blizzard, intending to publish something next year to coincide with the first movie's 25th anniversary. "The Ghostbusters game, which features all four actors from the original movie and a new script by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, is a follow-up to Ghostbusters II." Now, Eurogamer confirms that the game is indeed in development for the PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 and DS.
Ars Technica reports on a recent study by Ipsos MediaCT which evaluated gamers with respect to a large variety of social parameters. Among their findings: "55 percent of gamers polled were married, 48 percent have kids, and new gamers — those who have started playing videogames in the past two years — are 32 years old on average." Also, "In terms of hard dollars, the average gaming household income ($79,000) is notably higher than that of nongaming households ($54,000), but the value of the gamer as a marketing target can be seen in a variety of ways. 39 percent of gamers said that friends and family rely upon them to stay up-to-date about the latest technology." The press release for the study is available at IGN.
ruphus13 writes "As mentioned earlier, there was a kernel bug in the alpha/beta version of the Linux kernel (up to 2.6.27 rc7), which was corrupting (and rendering useless) the EEPROM/NVM of adapters. Thankfully, a patch is now out that prevents writing to the EEPROM once the driver is loaded, and this follows a patch released by Intel earlier in the week. From the article: 'The Intel team is currently working on narrowing down the details of how and why these chipsets were affected. They also plan on releasing patches shortly to restore the EEPROM on any adapters that have been affected, via saved images using ethtool -e or from identical systems.' This is good news as we move towards a production release!"
There is an old Japanese proverb that goes, "Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher." This week's mail is all about teaching. Whether it is about the seriousness of psychic ability, a short history of trolls or explaining how much free time and malice your dad's attorney has, these people just want to impart information. If what they sent me is any indication, they had a lot of sick days. Click on the link below to become enlightened.
Ant writes "Popular Mechanics reports if the looming Discovery mission or any other between now and the spacecraft's retirement loses control, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is prepared to ditch it in the Atlantic ocean — or blow it up. The article also shows complete no-fly-zone maps and a photograph of the switch."
modemac writes "Sacramento, California Assemblyman Charles Calderon wants to expand a 75-year-old sales tax on 'tangible personal property' to include music downloads from iTunes and other music-download sites. The tax would specifically apply to music downloads, but the estimate used in this article for revenue generated by 'Net downloading also "includes pornography downloads." The measure, AB 1956, will be considered on Monday, April 14th."
StarEmperor writes "A team of Canadian and German scientists have fabricated a room-temperature superconductor, using a highly compressed silicon-hydrogen compound. According to the article,"The researchers claim that the new material could sidestep the cooling requirement, thereby enabling superconducting wires that work at room temperature.""
NMajik writes "Although BattleBots has been largely removed from the public eye since episodes stopped airing years ago, a new deal has recently been struck with ESPN to return combat robots to the living room. Episodes will be broadcast as a series on ESPNU and ESPN2 after filmed at the competition in June 2008. This is the first notable progress towards televised combat robotics in years."
djasbestos writes "NASA is planning to smash a spacecraft into the Moon in order to look for hydrogen deposits in the poles. More notably, it will impact with significantly greater force (100x, per the article) than previous Moon collisions, such as by the Lunar Prospector and Smart-1 probes. Admiral Ackbar was unreachable for comment as to the exact location and size of the Moon's thermal exhaust port."
Peter writes to tell us about a research group at the University of Sydney in Australia, who in the middle of some calculation wanted to check the numbers everybody uses for the thickness of our galaxy at the core. Using data available freely on the Internet and analyzing it in a spreadsheet, they discovered in a matter of hours that the Milky Way is 12,000 light years thick, vs. the 6,000 that had been the consensus number for some time.
ChromaticDragon writes "Astronomers have crunched some numbers on a galaxy to discover that its rotation can be fully explained by the gravity of the observable matter — in effect, this galaxy seems to lack dark matter. This shouldn't come as a total surprise given that one of the stronger observations of Dark Matter was the Bullet Cluster where supposedly a good deal of Dark Matter and good old fashion regular matter had separated."