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Submission + - New International Undergraduate-Level Physics Comp (uphysicsc.com)

RobertFisher writes: A new international undergraduate-level physics competition sponsored by the American Physical Society and the American Astronomical Society has been announced. Over the November 5th weekend, teams of three students will delve into a conceptually-rich an open-ended problem, with open access to books, journals, computer programs they've written, and the internet. The top 30% of all written reports will be recognized as either gold, silver, or bronze winners. This will be a ton of fun for any student interested in physics. Computer scientists have long had the ACSL contest, and mathematicians the Putnam competition. Why should they have all the fun?

Submission + - TheSpaceGame.org: Design your route to Jupiter (thespacegame.org) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Advanced Concepts Team of the European Space Agency(ESA) is celebrating the World Space Week (4-10 October 2010) with the release of 'The Space Game', an online game for interplanetary trajectory design.

The Space Game (http://www.thespacegame.org/) is an online crowdsourcing experiment where you are given as the role of a mission designer to seek for the best path to travel through space. The interactive game, coded in HTML5, challenges the players to devise fuel-efficient trajectories to various bodies of the Solar System via a user-friendly interface. The aim of the experiment is get people from all ages and backgrounds to come up with better strategies that can help improving the effectiveness of the current computer algorithms.

As part of the events organized world wide for the space week, the first problem of the game is to reach Jupiter with the lowest cost of propellant. The best scores by 10 October will be displayed on the Advanced Concepts Team website and the three best designs will also receive some ESA prizes.

Submission + - Best School for Video Game Programming Degree? (gamecareerguide.com)

Proudrooster writes: Fellow Slashdotters. I have transitioned to teaching and my students have asked me what is the best path to take to work in the video game programming industry. Which would be of more benefit, pursing a Computer Science Degree or taking an accelerated program like those at FullSail? I have a CS degree and suspect that the CS degree would be of more benefit in the long run, but I would like anyone in the industry to share their wisdom and experience with my students trying to follow in your footsteps. If you could recommend some programs in your replies it would be appreciated.

Submission + - What's different about programming for the Cloud?

Esther Schindler writes: "Whatever you think about cloud computing — whether it's the same-old-same-old or a revolution — there's certainly some wheat among the chaff. If you're going to expend any energy writing software for the cloud (SaaS, IaaS, or RandomLetterAsAService) it make sense to understand how it's different from "regular" web development. Programming for Cloud Computing: What's Different goes into some detail about the technical issues. Some are sort-of-obvious, such as designing for scalability; others, such as architectural concerns... not so much.

One theme that came up repeatedly that developers should expect to learn more about cloud computing platforms, virtualization, infrastructure operating environment, and other knowledge traditionally left to network specialists. A lot more. In fact, it may be spawning a new category of developer: DevOp. ""The lines between developers, deployers, and IT people is blurred, and roles and knowledge are shared between all roles," says Guy Naor, Morphlabs, in the article."

Submission + - Brilliant Pics of Bizarre Sea Critters (discovermagazine.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Today, scientists have announced the completion of the first ever Census of Marine Life. The colossal 10-year effort involved 2,700 researchers from 80 countries. To mark the occasion, Discover's blog 80beats has a photo gallery of some of the most marvelously strange sea creatures photographed in the course of the census. The blog post also explains some of the census's most important findings, including the dramatic decline of many commercially important large marine animals, and troubling new evidence of a decline in the phytoplankton that serves as the base of the marine food chain.

Submission + - Nobel Prize Shares by Country since 1901 (idsia.ch)

An anonymous reader writes: This week the Nobel Prizes are being announced. Since 1956, the US has led the total Nobel Prize Count (by citizenship at the moment of the award), taking over from Germany, according to a study by AI researcher Jürgen Schmidhuber which takes into account that most prizes are split among several laureates. The US has been particularly successful in the peace category, which it has led since 1929. France kept dominating literature. In the sciences (physics, chemistry, medicine), Germany was ahead for two thirds of the century, or three quarters of the century if one measures by country of origin. Since 1984, however, all sciences have been led by the US, at least by citizenship. Switzerland is still ahead in the per capita rankings (ignoring mini-nations with a single Nobel Prize winner). There has been a laureate inflation: the average Nobel Prize fraction per laureate has been shrinking steadily. The study focuses on the difference between birth-based and citizen-based rankings, reflecting brain drain and gain. See http://www.idsia.ch/~juergen/nobelshare.html and arXiv paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1009.2634 and ScienceNews Blog http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/63944/title/Swedish_academy_awards
Lord of the Rings

Submission + - MGM and Warner Near on Deal for 'Hobbit' Films - N (nytimes.com)

CmdrTaco writes: "Jamie found an NYT story that says "After months of negotiation and delay, Warner Brothers and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer are on the verge of an agreement that would allow the director Peter Jackson to begin shooting a two-part version of J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" early next year.""

Submission + - Boy of 15 fitted with robotic heart (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: What do you do when a 15-year-old boy is close to death and ineligible for a heart transplant? If you’re Dr Antonio Amodeo you turn to an artificial solution and transplant a robotic heart giving the boy another 20-25 years of life.

The Italian boy in question suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy which rapidly degenerates the muscles and eventually leads to death. Having such a disease renders the boy ineligible for a heart transplant meaning almost certain death without an alternative solution.

Dr Amodeo found such an alternative in the form of a 90 gram fully-robotic heart that took 10 hours to fit inside the boy’s left ventricle. It is a permanent solution offering as much as 25 years of life and is powered by a battery worn as a belt and connected to behind his left ear.

Submission + - New CCTV site in UK pays people to watch

pyrosine writes: Have you ever felt like being paid for watching live CCTV footage?
The BBC are reporting CCTV site, "Internet Eyes" is doing exactly that. Offering up to £1000 to people who report suspicious activity, the scheme seems an easy way to make money.
Not everyone is pleased with the scheme though, the Information Commissioner's Office is worried it will lead to voyeurism or misuse, but what difference does it make when you can find said webcams with a simple google search?

US Lab Models Galaxy Cluster Merger 89

astroengine writes "The scales are mind-boggling and the physics is cutting edge, so how do you go about simulating the collision of two galactic clusters? Using some of the most powerful computers in the world, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, the Flash Center at the University of Chicago and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have done just that."

Anti-Piracy Lawyers Caught Pirating Each Other 131

An anonymous reader writes "We would like to think that the lawyers that are prosecuting alleged copyright infringers are practicing what they preach, but it looks like one of the most high profile firms involved in such cases are just as guilty of stealing others' work as those who are downloading illegal media."

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