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Submission + - Saturn May Have Given Birth to a Baby Moon (

astroengine writes: NASA’s Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft has imaged something peculiar on the outermost edge of the gas giant’s A-ring. A bright knot, or arc, has been spotted 20 percent brighter than the surrounding ring material and astronomers are interpreting it as a gravitational disturbance caused by a tiny moon. “We have not seen anything like this before,” said Carl Murray of Queen Mary University of London. “We may be looking at the act of birth, where this object is just leaving the rings and heading off to be a moon in its own right.”

Submission + - The story behind the wallpaper [Windows XP] we'll never forget (

An anonymous reader writes: Recently Microsoft has killed off Windows XP. In order to commemorate the death of the glorious operating system, Microsoft catches up with the original photographer of the iconic default Windows XP wallpaper.

Comment Re:intellagence gathering.. (Score 2) 292

a lot of top secret projects are not so until they go from research to production. sounds stupid but I know of a few, the people working on them do not know they are for a DoD customer. But if you really look at what they are doing.. While the US does have policy not allowing foreign nationals to work on SCI projects.. TS, no problem. just have to have a clean nose. Let alone secret or unclass but sensitive.

Comment Re:still some issues for china's progress (Score 2, Interesting) 292

I've been noticing this reliance on rote memorization in everything I've done that comes from Asia. E.g., if you read a Chess book, you will be given examples with explanations and a lot of text. If you read a Go book (a game from China), you will be given absolutely no explanation of any kind, and you are expected to pick up the concepts yourself from being presented with a large amount of examples that aren't explained - the concepts aren't even named. These books literally have no text in them, just images of Go boards. This is the wax-on-wax-off philosophy at work - do not question why you are being set a task, simply do it and trust that your better's have a good reason for having you do it. I saw a documentary where Chinese people were expected to learn English by repeating given sentences over and over until they could do so extremely quickly. Then they had to keep at it until they could say them backwards!

Comment Re:What rights? (Score 3, Insightful) 307

Yes,but the counter-charges are criminal and civil: assault with a deadly weapon, breaking and entering, hacking laws, etc.

Consider that these are private citizens. They have as much right to break down my door with guns and break into my machines without permission as I do to arm myself like Neo, walk into Microsoft, and attempt the same thing.

Comment Every time I read of these audits... (Score 1) 307

I see a trend in that the BSA or whichever witch-hunter is mining information on existing licensees, looking for differences in numbers of seats for OS, office suite, email users, etc... So, for the business that wishes to avoid this nonsense, it appears that pirating every single piece of proprietary software they use would be safer than trying to license some, most, or even all of it without some kind of bulletproof guaranteed software accounting and desktop lockdowns in place. Obviously, full-on use of free software would beat that, but I'm just noticing that the people getting "busted" seem to always be those who made some purchases.

Comment Re:Summary wrong (Score 3, Informative) 191

I never said that smaller length scales couldn't exist, just that they could not effectively be distinguished through measurement according to our current knowledge of physics. The restriction may be sidestepped if gravity acts in a different manner at such extremely small length scales than it does it larger scales. A smaller value for G would effectively decrease the size of the plank scale as an example. However, at the current time, physics as we know it does not allow for measurements to be made that are of greater precision.

Comment Not surprising. (Score 2, Interesting) 97

My previous notebook was an Acer Travelmate 4403 or something, AMD Turion 1.8ghz, etc; but the HDD would IDLE at 56 degrees C and peak at 62 or so, this thing made my palms sweat - the drive ran cool outside the notebook, putting in a new HDD did the same - there was almost no breathing room. This thing made my palms sweat, Acer refused to fix/replace it on the basis that this was "acceptable" Even a letter I acquired from Seagate explaining the drive was running way out of their thermal guidelines didn't convince Acer that this was a potential risk.

I sold it for cheap and got me a Thinkpad T61 a few years ago - never looked back.

Comment Re:Summary wrong (Score 1) 191

A measurement cannot have such great precision that the inaccuracy in the measurement is shorter than the plank length.

That is not known to be the case. Got a reference for that?
It's also something entirely different from suggesting that space is discretized in Planck-length units, which is certainly not the case. In fact, it's a fundamental postulate of QM that the wave function is smooth and continuous (and hence, so is the location-probability distribution). If it wasn't continuous, then you'd end up with undefined momentum.

Comment Re:You newbs, MJ is not a scam... (Score 1) 243

I would think that the number of people who have a cell phone with no contract, but have broadband and a computer on 24/7, is vanishingly small.

I've got a prepaid cell phone (I use maybe 20 minutes airtime per month, it's mostly for when I'm out on jobs or actually want someone to be able to reach me when I'm not home, then I forward the landline to it). At least one computer on my LAN is always on (and is connected by DSL through an ISP whose TOS doesn't object to my servers so long as I don't do anything stupid). My total connectivity (cell, landline, DSL, ISP) is about US$95/month.

But in general, you're probably not too far off.

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