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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms 397

mi (197448) writes You heard the scare-mongering, you heard the governors and mayors closing public transit and declaring driving on public roads a crime. But it turned out to have been a mistake. Boston may have been hit somewhat, but further South — NYC and Philadelphia — the snowfall was rather underwhelming. Promised "2-3 feet" of snow, NYC got only a few inches. Is this an example of "better safe than sorry," or is government's overreach justified by questionable weather models exceeding the threshold of an honest mistake?

Space Is Just a Little Bit Closer Than Expected 130

SpuriousLogic points out a BBC story which begins "The upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere are much lower than expected, a US Air Force satellite has found. Currently, the ionosphere — a layer of charged particles that envelopes the planet — is at an altitude of about 420km, some 200km lower than expected. The behaviour of the ionosphere is important because disturbances in its structure can upset satellite communications and radar."

Tracking Near-Earth Meteors With a 1.1 Petabyte Database 72

Lucas123 writes "The latest and most ambitious attempt to detect 'near-Earth objects' (NEOs) is the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS. When it's fully operational several years from now, it will have four telescopes, each with a 1.4-gigapixel camera. The system is expected to be able to track virtually all NEOs larger than 300 meters in diameter as well as many smaller ones. Rather than turning to an expensive supercomputer equipped with hundreds or thousands of processors, Pan-STARRS will use a cluster of 50 PC servers connected to 1.1 petabytes of disk storage via fast Infiniband networking gear."

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes