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Science

Two Snowflakes May Be Alike After All 180

An anonymous reader writes "LiveScience is reporting that it may be possible for two snowflakes to be alike after all. For anyone who studies probability, this seems reasonable, given that the article mentions that 10^24 snowflakes fall in any given year. The article contains links to fascinating snowflake pictures. From the article: 'A typical snow crystal weighs roughly one millionth of a gram. This means a cubic foot of snow can contain roughly one billion crystals ... "It is probably safe to say that the possible number of snow crystal shapes exceeds the estimated number of atoms in the known universe," Nelson said. Still, while "no two snowflakes are alike" might hold true for larger snowflakes, Nelson figures it might ring false for smaller crystals that sometimes fall before they have a chance to fully develop. "How likely is it that two snowflakes are alike? Very likely if we define alike to mean that we would have trouble distinguishing them under a microscope and if we include the crystals that hardly develop beyond the prism stage--that is, the smallest snow crystals," Nelson said.'"
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Xbox 360 Tilt Controller - Wii60?

An anonymous reader writes: http://www.adamthole.com/?cat=4 This is a link to a mod for an Xbox 360 controller. This mod uses the tilt of the Xbox 360 controller for the left analog stick input. It is based on the same technology as the Nintendo Wii. Site contains video, pictures of construction and some technical details.
Space

Submission + - NASA educator-astronaut Barbara Morgan to fly STS-

WaltonNews writes: "Barbara Radding Morgan is scheduled to fly on STS-118 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station on June 2007. A member of NASA's Teacher-in-Space program in 1985, Morgan has remained active in the U.S. space program. In January 1998, she was selected as the first NASA Educator Astronaut. For the complete story: http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/8802/1066/."
Software

Journal Journal: Why "C:\Program Files\" ?!? 2

I've always installed software to the default location authored by the vendor, usually somewhere under "c:\Program Files\". Most installation software vendors (InstallShield, Wise, etc.) tout that location as an "industry standard best practice" for installing software on Windows systems and point to Microsoft's Application Development Guidelines. Now I'm working on the next release of some software that has been installed to a folder on the root of the hard drive for 25 years (that's not a ty
Software

Submission + - Kaspersky offered through The LuvComputers

TheDavinator writes: "Hi there, my name is Davin Ogden, known to some as "The Davinator", and I own and operate "LuvComputers" PC Repair and Factory Direct Sales in the beautiful city of Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada. Let me tell you a little about myself. Predominantly throughout my adult life I was a professional musician playing drums in various bands for near 14 years. Throughout our travels we had the pleasure of opening for such bands as April Wine, Nazareth, had beers with Jimmy Rankin of The Rankin Family, and I even had the chance to dance with Beverly Mahood in a Calgary, AB club once. It was a lot of fun for a long time but as with many things, sometimes, it must come to an end. So after struggling with that business for so many years and with age catching up, becoming a daddy to a beautiful little girl, " Hi there, Jade!", and trying to settle down etc., I decided that it was due time to make a change. With that I decided to go to college and get some training in the only other thing that I knew I loved besides music, computers! Well to make the long story short, after 3.5 years of college, I came out of it with several certifications for the IT industry. With honors to I might add. I had to throw that in! And THEY, said I couldn't do it. I'm living proof that even us stereotyped musicians, can do something else, other than party and play music if we put our minds to it!! Originally when I was planning a website for my business, it was going to be a place where my much appreciated local customers could come and see the pc repair services in which I was offering, view my credentials, my pricing, any upcoming specials and so forth. Then as I was working on the website one day, it came to me, "Wait a minute here Dav," I says to myself, "Why not make the website a place where, not only my local pc repair service be offered, Kimberley, BC, but also a place where practically anybody, with any sort of computer related need, could come and find what they might be looking for, "All in One" place." Whether it be PC repair services, computers, laptop computers, computer accessories, pc repair information, pc articles, you name it. Hence, the website was born!! So please, have a look around at the different pages in the site. I will be updating and adding awesome new features all the time, so please come back often, and hopefully we'll be able to provide you with something related to computers, that you need. I'd like to sincerely thank you for allowing me to introduce myself, and to the website as well, Godbless!!, Godspeed! Carpe diem!!"
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - How Steve Jobs blew his iPhone keynote

jcatcw writes: Mike Elgan at Computerworld lists six reasons that Jobs blew his keynote at Macworld: 1) raised iPhone expectations too high; 2) raised Wall Street expectations too high; 3) gave competitors a head start; 4) undermined Apple TV hype; 5) put iPod sales at risk; 6) wrecked Cisco talks.
Music

Submission + - XM Must Face the Music in Court

stress_weenie writes: Reuters reports: "A federal court has denied XM's motion to dismiss the recording industry's copyright infringement lawsuit against XM, according to court documents. The case, originally filed May 2006 in New York federal court, alleged that XM's portable Inno device — which can store music — infringes on copyrights and transforms a passive radio experience into the equivalent of a digital download service like iTunes."
Space

Submission + - New Gravitational Theory - Elegantly Simple

Richard Mueller writes: "I believe this guy has stumbled upon something that will shake the physics world. His papers are currently being reviewed by physicists, who so far are necessarily skeptical. But the (relative) simplicity of the theory, coupled with his derivation of quark energy with it, is astounding. See his paper at http://base.google.com/base/a/7110682459597836712. Also see his other supplemental papers there. He was on the local Mankato MN news show yesterday. See it here, but ignore typos in transcript: http://www.keyc.com/article/view/114511/
Can any Slashdotters help dispel or expand?"
United States

Submission + - Want safest spot for a data center? Pickin's slim

netbuzz writes: "Combine heat maps for hurricane, tornado and earthquake threat levels and you find there are precious few places in the U.S. where you can expect to avoid all three. And we aren't talking about major tourist destinations either. As for the places where the combined risks are highest, let's just say you don't want to be a CIO in South Carolina unless you've got your disaster-recovery plan up to date.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1058 0"
Software

Submission + - Microsoft Vista Family Pack

Vinit writes: "Microsoft has announced a new plan according to which if you buy the Windows Vista Ultimate Edition, you can buy two more licenses of Vista Home Premium for only $50 each. The buy-one-get-two-at-reduced-price offer is available only in America and Canada from the January 30 launch until June 30. The software giant is following Apple's successful OS X "Family Pack" scheme which allows you to legally installed OS X on up to 5 Macs for US $199 — only $70 more than the US $129 cost for a single OS X license. But in Microsoft's case, you can only install Vista on two more PCs besides your main computer. The company also lets you to upgrade your Vista (in case you run Vista lower than the 'Ultimate' version) by paying some bucks, so you don't have to buy a new box or re-install your computer systems. Don't be very happy with the "upgrading" scheme because if you want to upgrade from Vista Home Premium to Vista Ultimate on your two additional PCs, then you have to pay $159 — for each computer. According to a report at CNET, Bill Mannion, a director in the Windows Marketing Group, said that: "It's targeted at what we term the 'super-engaged customers' [that have more than one PC]. This is a focused program designed to encourage these super-engaged customers to upgrade multiple PCs in the household." http://www.pclaunches.com/software/microsoft_vista _family_pack.php"
Programming

Submission + - 53 CSS-Techniques You Couldn't Live Without

Sushi writes: CSS is important. And it is being used more and more often. Cascading Style Sheets offer a strict separation between layout, or design of the page, and the information, presented on the page. Thus the design of pages can be easily changed, just replacing a css-file with another one. Over the last few years web-developers have developed many useful techniques, which can save you a lot of time — of course, if you are able to find them in time. The article 53 CSS-Techniques You Couldn't Live Without lists essential techniques, which make the life of web-developers easier. Thanks to all developers who contributed to accessible and usable css-based design over the last few years. We really appreciate it.
Books

Submission + - "The Diamond Age" becoming a mini-series o

duffetta writes: According to The SciFi Channel George Clooney and others are working on developing several shows and pilots to be aired by the network. Clooney is working on a mini-series of Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age.

From the release:

"When a prominent member of society concludes that the futuristic civilization in which he lives is stifling creativity, he commissions an interactive book for his daughter that serves as a guide through a surreal alternate world. Stephenson will adapt his novel for the miniseries, the first time the Hugo and Nebula award winner has written for TV."

I wonder how they are going to do the "Drummer" scenes without an R or NC17 rating?
Slashdot.org

Submission + - US Government Deals Serious Blow to Online Poker

walnutmon writes: In late 2006 the Safe Port Act was passed, this included a piggy-backed law that made moving money to and from online gambling sites illegal. However, some sites including Pokerstars, Bodog, and other online poker rooms continued to operate using intermediary funding sources such as FirePay and Neteller.

Today a very serious blow has bean dealt to online poker players.

After the arrests of two top officials from Neteller.com, they are no longer processing payments from Americans to any gambling sites. This made up a whopping 64% of neteller.com's business. Neteller was a convenient way to get around the sneaky law, and now online poker players will have very little to turn to. From the article:

"This is the first piece of news that will really hurt the likes of Pokerstars and Full Tilt," said analyst Tejinder Randhawa at Evolution Securities.

"If you look at the gambling chat rooms, you'll see NETeller was one of the main payment methods," he added.

According to gambling portal Gambling911.com, Full Tilt Poker depended on NETeller for 75 percent of transactions, and the world's biggest site, Pokerstars, used NETeller for around 60 percent of wagers.
There are many players who play online for the fun of the game; however, there are also many who have played online poker professionally to make a steady income. Sell your poker books, and look to a more American way of making a living. The safety of our ports depends on it.

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