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The Perfect Way To Slice a Pizza 282

iamapizza writes "New Scientist reports on the quest of two math boffins for the perfect way to slice a pizza. It's an interesting and in-depth article; 'The problem that bothered them was this. Suppose the harried waiter cuts the pizza off-center, but with all the edge-to-edge cuts crossing at a single point, and with the same angle between adjacent cuts. The off-center cuts mean the slices will not all be the same size, so if two people take turns to take neighboring slices, will they get equal shares by the time they have gone right round the pizza — and if not, who will get more?' This is useful, of course, if you're familiar with the concept of 'sharing' a pizza."
Earth

Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought 451

drewtheman writes "New studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. University of Utah research professor of geophysics Robert Smith led four separate studies that verify a plume of hot and molten rock at least 410 miles deep that rises at an angle from the northwest."
Space

Super-Earths Discovered Orbiting Nearby, Sun-Like Star 242

likuidkewl writes "Two super-earths, 5 and 7.5 times the size of our home, were found to be orbiting 61 Virginis a mere 28 light years away. 'These detections indicate that low-mass planets are quite common around nearby stars. The discovery of potentially habitable nearby worlds may be just a few years away,' said Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UCSC. Among hundreds of our nearest stellar neighbors, 61 Vir stands out as being the most nearly similar to the Sun in terms of age, mass, and other essential properties."
Image

NASA Tests Flying Airbag 118

coondoggie writes "NASA is looking to reduce the deadly impact of helicopter crashes on their pilots and passengers with what the agency calls a high-tech honeycomb airbag known as a deployable energy absorber. So in order to test out its technology NASA dropped a small helicopter from a height of 35 feet to see whether its deployable energy absorber, made up of an expandable honeycomb cushion, could handle the stress. The test crash hit the ground at about 54MPH at a 33 degree angle, what NASA called a relatively severe helicopter crash."
Government

Senator Applauds Pirate Bay Trial, Chides Canada 526

eldavojohn writes "Republican Senator Orrin Hatch spoke Tuesday at the World Copyright Summit in Washington DC and hailed the Pirate Bay guilty verdict as an important victory. He expressed severe disappointment in Canada for showing up on our watch list for piracy next to China and Russia. Senator Hatch also said, 'In fact, one study reports that each year, copyright piracy from motion pictures, sound recordings, business and entertainment software, and video games costs the US economy $58 billion in total output, costs American workers 373,375 jobs and $16.3 billion in earnings, and costs federal, state, and local governments $2.6 billion in tax revenue. During this time of economic turmoil, we must ensure that all copyrighted works, both here and abroad, are protected from online theft and traditional physical piracy. After all, US copyright-based industries continue to be one of America's largest and fastest-growing economic sectors.' GamePolitics notes that for his 2006 campaign, Hatch was rented for $7,000 by the RIAA and also got on his knees for $12,640 from the MPAA."
Earth

Frank Herbert's Moisture Traps May Be a Reality 226

Omomyid writes "In the seminal science fiction book 'Dune,' Frank Herbert envisioned the Fremen collecting water from the air via moisture traps and dew collectors. Science Daily reprints a press release from the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart, where scientists working with colleagues from Logos Innovationen have developed a closed-loop and self-sustaining method, no external power required, for teasing the humidity out of desert air and into potable water."
Handhelds

AvantGo Shutting Down, Changing Markets 36

codebudo writes "AvantGo, the once ubiquitous application for all PDAs, is shutting down its web sync service. Users of the service have just begun to see banners stating, 'Starting June 30, Avantgo will no longer offer mobile web content.' According to parent company Sybase, AvantGo will transition from a mobile web service, to an SMS advertising and content delivery system."
Christmas Cheer

What To Do With 78 USB Drives Next Christmas? 381

ArfBrookwood writes "Every year, I write a Christmas Letter and send it to about 50 people, and every year, it's different. One year it was just the word blah blah blah over and over with keywords, one year I made papercraft wallets with full color cards and money in them, another year I created a Christmas Letter writing contest that instructed the recipients to create our Christmas Letter for us and we awarded prizes to winners, last year, I took a fake retro photo of my family, Inkscaped/GIMPed in a chemistry set and some wall art, printed it onto CD covers, and burned retro Christmas songs onto digital vinyl and sent everyone in the family what looked like a miniature Christmas album. Last week, I came into the possession of 78 2GB USB drives. I have already taken the time to wipe them clean and reflash the memory so they are blank slates." Now, Arf's looking for suggestions for how to best use all these drives; read on for more.

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