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Proposed Telescope Focuses Light Without Mirror Or Lens 165

A team of scientists from Observatoire Midi Pyrénées in Toulouse, France have been working with an unusual technique for focusing light. It takes advantage of diffraction - the bending of waves when they encounter an obstacle in their path - to focus light as it passes through a foil sheet with precise holes in it. The scientists suggest that an orbital 30-meter imager could resolve planets the size of Earth within 30 light-years. In addition, the foil is much lighter than traditional materials, and thus easier to transport. "A Fresnel imager with a sheet of a given size has vision just as sharp as a traditional telescope with a mirror of the same size, though it collects just 10% or so of the light. It can also observe in the ultraviolet and infrared, in addition to visible light. The imager can take very detailed images with high contrast, which is great for 'being able to see a very faint object in the close vicinity of a bright one.'"

DNA Link Found Between Frozen Aboriginal Man and 17 Living People 128

The Globe and Mail is reporting that scientists claim to have found a DNA link between the frozen remains of an aboriginal man and 17 living people. "While the work on the human DNA project has opened new doors and work will continue on establishing a fuller family tree, Long Ago Person Found's descendants said they finally have the opportunity to give their ancestor a proper burial. Because his lineage had never been established, no memorial potlatch could be held. Of the 17 people linked through DNA, 15 self-identify with the Wolf Clan, meaning the young man was most likely Wolf as well."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Native Win32 on OSX? 3

Coders working on Wine for Mac have found that the Mac loader has gained its own undocumented ability to load and understand Windows Portable Executable (PE) files

Submission + - ESA Selects Next Generation Space Missions (

davecl writes: "The European Space Agency has announced the results of its Cosmic Visions 2015-2025 call for proposals. Fifty space science missions for the next decade were proposed, with just seven selected. They range from X-ray and far-infrared observatories to planet finders and a near-earth asteroid sample return mission. These seven, together with the LISA gravitational wave observatory, will go ahead for further study in the next few years, and then two will be chosen for launch in 2015-2017."

Submission + - Water Requirements of a Hydrogen Economy ( 2

eldavojohn writes: "Hydrogen, the power source of the future? Some people seem to think so. So a study has been done to determine the impact on our water consumption this would incur. From the article, 'While the hydrogen economy is expected to be in full swing around 2050 (according to a 2004 report by the National Research Council [NRC]), a transitional hydrogen economy would occur in about 30 years, in 2037. At that time, the NRC predicts an annual production of 60 billion kg of hydrogen. Webber's analysis estimates that this amount of hydrogen would use about 19-69 trillion gallons of water annually as a feedstock for electrolytic production and as a coolant for thermoelectric power. That's 52-189 billion gallons per day, a 27-97% increase from the 195 billion gallons per day (72 trillion gallons annually) used today by the thermoelectric power sector to generate about 90% of the electricity in the US.'"

Submission + - OSI Approves Two Microsoft Shared-Source Licenses (

narramissic writes: "The Microsoft Public License (MPL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (MRL), two of Microsoft's so-called 'shared source' licenses, have been approved by the board of the Open Source Initiative (OSI). The two take their place as viable OSI licenses for distributing open-source code alongside more widely used community licenses such as the GNU General Public License and the Mozilla Public License.

Of the OSI board's decision, Red Hat Inc. executive Michael Tiemann, who also serves as president of the OSI, said that although Microsoft has not historically been open-source friendly, in the end the licenses spoke for themselves. 'They do have two licenses that went through the community process and did sustain the open-source definition,' he said."


"All Quiet Alert" Issued For the Sun 463

radioweather writes "The phrase sounds like an oxymoron, and maybe it is, but the sun is extremely quiet right now, so much in fact that the Solar Influences Data Center in Belgium issued an unusual 'All quiet alert' on October 5th. Since then the sunspot number has remained at zero — solar cycle 24 has not yet started. There are signs that the sun's activity is slowing. The solar wind has been decreasing in speed, and this is yet another indicator of a slowing in the sun's magnetic dynamo. There is talk of an extended solar minimum occurring. There are a number of theories and a couple of dozen predictions about the intensity solar cycle 24 which has yet to start. One paper by Penn & Livingstonin in 2006 concludes: 'If [trends] continue to decrease at the current rate then the number of sunspots in the next solar cycle (cycle 24) would be reduced by roughly half, and there would be very few sunspots visible on the disk during cycle 25.' We'll know more in about six months what the sun decides to do for cycle 24."

Submission + - Building RESTful services for your Web application

An anonymous reader writes: Get a hands-on, guided tour of Project Zero's innovations to create, assemble, and deploy powerful Web applications. In this article you will learn about Project Zero's architecture, which includes a scripting run time for Groovy and PHP, and how to build RESTful services to facilitate Web 2.0 development.

Submission + - Analyst reports 50,000 'Gphones' shipping out (

crossb0nez writes: "A UBS analyst has confirmed that Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC will ship about 50,000 cell phones running on a mobile operating system made by the Mountain View, Calif.-based search giant by the end of this year.
Last week a Wall Street analyst reported that Google's shares would crack $700 with plans to make its own phone. Most, however, suspect that Google (GOOG) is making a mobile operating system that could work on any mobile device.
This isn't the first time that HTC has been mentioned as a possible manufacturer of the Google phone, but none have nailed concrete details. Should the HTC/Google partnership turn out to be true, consumers can expect their Gphones sometime in 2008.
The article also mentions development uses for starters — "These initial phones are not going to be for sale," Benjamin Schachter, one of the analysts who worked on the report, said in a phone call earlier today. "These are going to be available for developers only to understand how the software works." if only that Steve guy in 'the other white building' in California was so thoughtful of his company's consumers..."


Submission + - The countdown to Leopard is official

sureshgn writes: There's a countdown timer on the Apple site saying 9 days and change till the Leopard release — so looks like they're going to just squeak in under the bar for an October release

Submission + - BBC iPlayer Mac and linux 'friendly' by 2008 (

Chris_Keene writes: "The Guardian reports that the BBC plan to make their iplayer available on the Mac and Linux by 2008 using Adobe Flash. The article also mentions plans for a Facebook application, and a deal with The Cloud allowing access to iplayer content (and via their wifi networks in coffee shops and airports without having to pay a wifi connection or subscription charge.

From the article: "In a link-up with Adobe, the BBC will use the company's Flash-based video system to make the iPlayer service available to be streamed by Mac and Linux users by the end of the year.""

Linux Business

Submission + - BBC quietly announces Linux/Mac iPlayer 1

Keir Thomas writes: "When the BBC released its new iPlayer watch-on-demand service, there were many complaints about the fact it was Windows-only — the equivalent of current BBC broadcasts only being watchable on, say, a Sony television. The good news is that the BBC has announced a Flash-based player for Linux and Mac due by the end of the year (the announcement is buried half way down the page). The bad news is that it will probably only offer streaming, and not the ability to download programmes, like the Windows client. Quote: "It comes down to cost per person and reach at the end of the day". Sounds to me like discrimination on grounds of a user's operating system preference."

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg