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Mars

Mars Winds Clean Spirit's Solar Panels Again 269

Posted by timothy
from the like-mom-making-the-bed dept.
Titoxd writes "In a blast from the past, NASA reports that Spirit's solar panels have received a much-needed cleaning courtesy of the Red Planet. The report states, 'The cleaning boosts Spirit's daily energy supply by about 30 watt-hours, to about 240 watt-hours from 210 watt-hours. The rover uses about 180 watt-hours per day for basic survival and communications, so this increase roughly doubles the amount of discretionary power for activities such as driving and using instruments.'"
Earth

Black Holes From the LHC Could Last For Minutes 672

Posted by kdawson
from the becoming-greyer dept.
KentuckyFC writes "There is absolutely, positively, definitely no chance of the LHC destroying the planet (or this way either) when it eventually switches on some time later this year. And yet a few niggling doubts are persuading some scientists to run through their figures again. One potential method of destruction is that the LHC will create tiny black holes that could swallow everything in their path, including the planet. Various scientists have said this will not happen because the black holes would decay before they could do any damage. But physicists who have re-run the calculations now say that the mini black holes produced by the LHC could last for seconds, possibly minutes. Of course, the real question is whether they decay faster than they can grow. The new calculations suggest that the decay mechanism should win over and that the catastrophic growth of a black hole from the LHC 'does not seem possible' (abstract). But shouldn't we require better assurance than that?"
Communications

Presidential Inauguration Hardware and Other Challenges 176

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the big-spend-for-one-off dept.
holy_calamity writes "The FBI has released images of some of the kit that will be deployed to safeguard Obama's inauguration, including mine-proof armored trucks like those used in Iraq to protect against IEDs, and a large armored chamber that any bombs will be shoved inside to be transported away and perhaps detonated inside. Interesting, even though the really good stuff is presumably being kept under wraps." Relatedly, necro81 writes "The Inauguration of Barack Obama tomorrow is expected to put considerable stress on the cellphone network around Washington, DC. The expected crowd could top two million people, and many of them are expected to call, text, tweet, photo, and blog their way through the event. In response, the major wireless carriers in the area have spent millions of dollars upgrading their local networks and will bring in extra 'cells on wheels' (COWs) and 'cells on light trucks' (COLTs). They are also requesting that attendees limit their usage during the event, and avoid bandwidth-heavy activities — like uploading photos — until afterward."
Image

The Zen of SOA 219 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Alex Roussekov writes "The book "Zen of SOA" by Tom Termini introduces an original view to the challenging world of SOA. He refers to the Zen philosophy as a "therapeutic device" helping SOA practitioners to get rid of prejudices and opinions in order to apply a clear mind-set based on real-life experiences and the application of technology knowledge. Each chapter of the book is prefaced by Zen Truism that the author suggests to "revisit, reflect on it longer, and see if you are able to establish a truth from the narrative, as well as from your own experiences." In fact, the book is about a SOA Blueprint outlining a methodology for building a successful SOA strategy. The target audience is C-level Executives, IT Managers and Enterprise Architects undertaking or intending to undertake adoption of SOA throughout their organizations. I strongly recommend the book to all SOA practitioners involved in implementation of SOA." Read below for the rest of Alexander's review.

Researchers One Step Closer To Creating Life 292

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the mad-science dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute are potentially one step closer to creating life. In an experiment they recently created enzymes that can replicate and evolve. 'It kind of blew me away,' said team member Tracey Lincoln of the Scripps Research Institute, who is working on her Ph.D. 'What we have is non-living, but we've been able to show that it has some life-like properties, and that was extremely interesting.'"
Image

Restaurant Charges Extra If You Don't Finish Everything 8 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the finish-your-vegetables dept.
At Hayashi Ya Japanese restaurant you can eat all you want for $26.95, but if you don't clean your plate it's 3% more. The manager says he implemented the extra cost two years ago to help with the restaurant's bottom line by reducing waste. This is one restaurant every mother could be proud of.
Math

Wolfram Research Releases Mathematica 7 234

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the just-installing-it-would-make-me-feel-dumber dept.
mblase writes "Wolfram Research has released the seventh version of Mathematica, and it does a lot more than symbolic algebra. New features range from things as simple as cut-and-paste integration with Microsoft Word's Equation Editor to instant 3D models of mathematical objects to the most expensive clone of Photoshop ever. Full suites of genome, chemical, weather, astronomical, financial, and geodesic data (or support for same) is designed to make Mathematica as invaluable for scientific research as it is for mathematics."
Earth

Alternatives to Daylight Saving Time? 755

Posted by timothy
from the even-ben-franklin-made-some-whoppers dept.
Wellington Grey writes "Daylight saving time almost upon us. The arguments about its possible benefits and drawbacks come up twice every year. Does it save energy or lives? Possibly, but it does definitely cause a great deal of inconvenience. My question is this: what do you think would be the best possible system to replace DST with? What is the best way for humans to deal with the inconsistent amount of light over the year and still foster coordination over disparate time zones?"
Education

Voters Swayed By Candidates Who Share Their Looks 266

Posted by samzenpus
from the govern-by-proxy dept.
iandoh writes "Stanford researchers have found that voters are subconsciously swayed by candidates who share their facial features. In three experiments, researchers at the Virtual Human Interaction Lab worked with cheap, easy-to-use computer software to morph pictures of about 600 test subjects with photos of politicians. And they kept coming up with the same results: For the would-be voters who weren't very familiar with the candidates or in perfect lockstep with their positions or political parties, the facial similarity was enough to clinch their votes."
Image

Slashdot's Disagree Mail 202 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the well-here's-your-problem dept.
Slashdot has one of the best discussion systems there is. It's grown and adapted over the years to meet various challenges and suit the needs of our users. A lot of time and effort has gone into it and we are always open to user input to help make it better. Some of our best ideas start as user suggestions and we appreciate the feedback. Of course they can't all be gems and sometimes the suggestions we get are unworkable or just bizarre. Here are a few of my favorite unhelpful, helpful suggestions.

Comment: Re:What makes them think... (Score 1) 293

by kilrogg (#22414460) Attached to: US Group Calls Canada a Top Copyright Violator
"We" did nothing of the sort. It was the Harper government, in yet another example of their ineptitude, simply giving in to American demands for political expediency. The lumber industry and the Canadian public were behind the continued fight at the world trade level

The Lumber industry did support the government. As did the provincial governments that were involved. At least with the agreement we have now, the federal government collects the export tariffs and the money stays in Canada (Although I do wonder why B.C. didn't just increase its "low" stumpage fees and keep in money in B.C).

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