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Space

The Night Sky In 800 Million Pixels 120

An anonymous reader recommends a project carried out recently by Serge Brunier and Frédéric Tapissier. Brunier traveled to the top of a volcano in the Canary Islands and to the Chilean desert to capture 1,200 images — each one a 6-minute exposure — of the night sky. The photos were taken between August 2008 and February 2009 and required more than 30 full nights under the stars. Tapissier then processed the images together into a single zoomable, 800-megapixel, 360-degree image of the sky in which the Earth is embedded. "It is the sky that everyone can relate to that I wanted to show — it's constellations... whose names have nourished all childhoods, it's myths and stories of gods, titans, and heroes shared by all civilisations since Homo became sapiens. The image was therefore made as man sees it, with a regular digital camera." The image is the first of three portraits produced by the European Southern Observatory's GigaGalaxy Zoom project.
Social Networks

Facebook Scrabble Rip-off Capitalizes on Mattel's Lethargy 216

mlimber writes "The Facebook app Scrabulous was written by two Scrabble-loving brothers in India, has over 700,000 users, brings in about $25,000 per month in advertising revenue, and is in flagrant violation of copyright law. The corporate owners of Scrabble, Hasbro and Mattel, have threatened legal action against the creators and have made deals with Electronic Arts and RealNetworks to release official online versions of the game. But according to an NYTimes article, 'Scrabulous has already brought Scrabble a newfound virtual popularity that none of the game companies could have anticipated,' and according to one consultant to the entertainment industry, 'If you're Hasbro or Mattel, it isn't in your interest to shut this down.' Hasbro's partner RealNetworks is 'working closely' with the piratical brothers, but Mattel says that 'settling with the [brothers] would set a bad precedent' for other board games going online."

PHP Optimized for Windows Server 2008 182

Stony Stevenson writes "It used to be that popular PHP applications would run more poorly on Windows Server than on a Linux or Unix servers, for which PHP had been optimized. Specialist in the PHP language Zend Technologies now says that's no longer the case. The Zend Core commercially supported form of PHP has been certified by Microsoft as ready to run 'with performance and stability' on Windows Server 2008, said Andi Gutmans, co-founder and CTO of Zend. Previously, PHP 'didn't run as well as it should on Windows,' said Gutmans, despite the fact that 75% to 80% of PHP users were developing on Windows workstations."

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