cylonlover writes "In mankind's attempts to gain some understanding of this marvelous place in which we live, we have slowly come to accept some principles to help guide our search. One such principle is that the Universe, on a large enough scale, is homogeneous, meaning that one part looks pretty much like another. Recent studies by a group of Australian researchers have established that, on sizes greater than about 250 million light years (Mly), the Universe is indeed statistically homogeneous, thereby reinforcing this cosmological principle."
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First time accepted submitter darkstar019 writes "India is planning to build a computer that is going to be at least 61 times faster than the current fastest super computer, IBM Sequoia. Right now the most powerful supercomputer in India is 58th in the list of top 100 supercomputers. From the article: 'Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal is understood to have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sharing the roadmap to develop "petaflop and exaflop range of supercomputers" at an estimated cost of Rs 4,700 crore over 5 years.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Pictures of a new Chinese stealth fighter prototype started showing up recently on the web. The airplane prototype was photographed at a Shenyang aircraft facility and seems to be a twin-engined lightweight fighter in the F-35 class. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is scheduled to visit China this week in the midst of tension regarding territorial disputes in the region."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Freshly minted Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is promising the company's U.S. employees a new smartphone of their choice. There's just one catch: it can't be a BlackBerry. According to Business Insider, which posted significant portions of Mayer's memo, employees will have a choice of the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE, Nokia Lumia 920, or the upcoming iPhone 5. 'We'd like our employees to have devices similar to our users, so we can think and work as the majority of our users do,' she wrote, adding that Yahoo will shift away from BlackBerry as its corporate device of choice. Somewhere up in Waterloo, at least one Research In Motion executive could be screaming in frustration over this development. Not because Yahoo is a bellwether for corporate smartphone use; its U.S. employees shifting to an iOS, Windows Phone or Android device won't automatically drive other major companies will follow suit. But as a symbol of RIM's current issues, it's difficult to find a better one than a high-profile technology company dumping its collective BlackBerry stock in favor of pretty much any other platform."
mask.of.sanity writes "A security researcher has demonstrated a series of attacks that are capable of disabling touch tone and voice activated phone systems, forcing them to disclose sensitive information. The commands can be keyed in using touchtones or even using the human voice. In one test, a phone system run by an unnamed Indian bank had dumped customer PINs. In another, a buffer overflow was triggered against a back-end database. Other attacks can be used to crash phone systems outright."
TheBoat writes "Apple announced on Monday that iPhone 5 preorders topped 2 million units in the smartphone's first 24 hours of pre-sale availability. That figure doubles Apple's first-day iPhone 4S sales last year, making the iPhone 5 Apple's fastest-selling smartphone ever. 'iPhone 5 pre-orders have shattered the previous record held by iPhone 4S and the customer response to iPhone 5 has been phenomenal,' Apple marketing boss Philip Schiller said."
SchrodingerZ writes "Though solar eclipses are fairly common on Earth (much more in the southern hemisphere), yesterday the Mars Curiosity Rover caught sight of a partial solar eclipse in Gale Crater on the Red planet. The martian moon Phobos took a small bite out of the sun on the 37th day (Sol 37) of the rover's martian mission. The Curiosity Rover was able to take a picture of the rare event through a 'neutral density filter that reduced the sunlight to a thousandth of its natural intensity.' This protects the camera from the intense light rays seen during an eclipse or looking directly at the sun. It is possible a short movie of the event could be compiled from the data in the near future. More solar transits of Mars's moon (including the second moon Deimos) are predicted to happen in the days to come."
Hugh Pickens writes "Oil-field service companies lower radioactive units into wells to let workers identify places to break apart rock for a drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which frees oil and natural gas. Now Bloomberg reports that Halliburton workers have discovered that a lock on the container used to transport one such device has gone missing, along with the unit, after employees drove a truck from a site near Peco to a well south of Odessa and while the loss of radioactive rods occurs from time to time, it has been years since a device with americium-241/beryllium, the material in Halliburton's device, was misplaced in Texas. NRC spokeswoman Maureen Conley says the material would have to be in someone's physical possession for several hours for it to be considered harmful as teams comb the route between the two wellsites searching for the seven-inch tube, which is clearly marked with the words 'DANGER RADIOACTIVE' as well as a radiation warning symbol, "Halliburton strongly cautions members of the public that if they locate this source, they should not touch or handle it, stay a minimum of 25 feet away," and contact local law enforcement or the company's emergency hotline if they find the cylinder, says the company which is also offering a reward for information about the tube's whereabouts."
First time accepted submitter nastav writes "Now that I'm eagerly awaiting the delivery of my new shiny iPhone 5, I'm faced with a dilemma — SquareTrade, Applecare Plus, or some other insurance option? I have used SquareTrade in the past for my iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 (I skipped iPhone 4S). It provided Accidental Damage Handling (ADH) for the iPhone before Apple introduced its own version of ADH. I've had the opportunity to file claims with SquareTrade multiple times, and they handled it quickly and professionally each time. Now that there is a product from Apple itself, I'm not sure which one to get. They are priced similarly (~$100 for a two-year plan, $50 deductible for each ADH incident) Apple limits the number of ADH claims to two, whereas SquareTrade (AFAIK) limits the number of claims to the 'value of the product,' which translates to approx. 600 USD in coverage (or about 4 ADH claims). I've tried reading many comparison articles on the internet without definitive answers. I'm hoping that the tech-savvy folks on Slashdot would help out with a discussion on pros and cons of each, and perhaps add other options into the mix."
hypnosec writes "Google has blocked the anti-Islamic video, which was posted on YouTube, in Indonesia as well as India. YouTube has already denied a complete removal of the clip 'Innocence of Muslims' that mocks Islam and Prophet Mohammed. The video has led to protests and violence across the Arab world. The foreign ministry spokesperson of Indonesia and India have confirmed that Google has blocked access to the video. Indonesia has also asked RIM to filter the video on its smartphones."
MarkWhittington writes "A recent story in The Atlantic reminds us that the Apollo program, so fondly remembered in the 21st Century, was opposed by a great many people while it was ongoing, on the theory that the money spent going to the moon would have been better spent on poverty programs. The problem with this view was that spending for Lyndon Johnson's Great Society dwarfed the Apollo program, that the programs in the Great Society largely failed to address poverty and other social ills, and that the Apollo program actually had a stimulative effect on the economy that fostered economic growth and created jobs by driving the development of technology,"
littlekorea writes "A new study has urged CIOs to consider open source over proprietary software or public cloud services when replacing legacy gear. But the study's author, Professor Jim Norton, warns that open source won't be a cure-all for some companies. From the article: ' Open source software, Norton said, provides enterprise IT with easier access to innovation via a "great global self-re-enforcing community of shared resources, ideas and development." That same community provides a faster response to changes in customer preferences communicated on social networks or via business analytics, and faster resolution of common system problems.'"
Endeavour will be the second of NASA's space shuttles to leave the Kennedy Space Center. The ship will piggyback on top of a specially modified 747 and head to a Los Angeles museum this week. From the article: "Endeavour's lifespan was relatively short by shuttle standards - 25 missions over 20 years, totaling 299 days in space. But those flights ran the gamut of orbital odysseys, including the sheer moxie of its May 1992 debut when three astronauts made an impromptu and unprecedented spacewalk to rescue a stranded Intelsat communications satellite."
EGSonikku writes "The iPhone 5 has been benchmarked using the GeekBench tool. According to the results, Apple's claim of 2x higher performance over the iPhone 4S seems accurate. The results show the iPhone 5's A6 CPU is dual core and clocked at 1.2GHz, and is paired with 1GB of RAM. Despite the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a quad core CPU at 1.4GHz, and twice as much RAM, it seems the iPhone 5 is faster than the S3, or any other Android handset." Meanwhile, Samsung has launched a marketing campaign that compares some of the hardware specs and features between the new iPhone 5 and the GS3.
DevotedSkeptic writes in with a story about the lack of usable microwave technology to come from 50 years of military research. "For some Pentagon officials, the demonstration in October 2007 must have seemed like a dream come true — an opportunity to blast reporters with a beam of energy that causes searing pain. The event in Quantico, Virginia, was to be a rare public showing for the US Air Force's Active Denial System: a prototype non-lethal crowd-control weapon that emits a beam of microwaves at 95 gigahertz. Radiation at that frequency penetrates less than half a millimetre into the skin, so the beam was supposed to deliver an intense burning sensation to anyone in its path, forcing them to move away, but without, in theory, causing permanent damage. However, the day of the test was cold and rainy. The water droplets in the air did what moisture always does: they absorbed the microwaves. And when some of the reporters volunteered to expose themselves to the attenuated beam, they found that on such a raw day, the warmth was very pleasant. The story is much the same in other areas of HPM weapons development, which began as an East–West technology race nearly 50 years ago. In the United States, where spending on electromagnetic weapons is down from cold-war levels, but remains at some US$47 million per year, progress is elusive. 'There's lots of smoke and mirrors,' says Peter Zimmerman, an emeritus nuclear physicist at King's College London and former chief scientist of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in Washington DC. Although future research may yield scientific progress, he adds, 'I cannot see they will build a useful, deployable weapon.'"