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Space

Submission + - Universe running out of time (telegraph.co.uk)

RenHoek writes: With heat death, the big crunch and quite a few other nasty ways in which the universe could see its demise, we can now add "running out of time" to the list. A team of scientists came up with a new theory that would solve the problem of the elusive dark energy that seems to be accelerating the expansion of the universe. They figure that the universe is not speeding up but we are, in relation to the outer regions of space, slowing down. Tests with the upcoming Large Hadron Collider will give more insight if we're going to end up frozen in time.
Microsoft

Microsoft 'Stealth Update' Proving Problematic 257

DaMan writes "According to the site WindowsSecrets, the stealth Update that Microsoft released back in August isn't quite as harmless as the company claims. The site's research has shown that when users try to do a repair to XP subsequent to the update, bad things happen. 'After using the repair option from an XP CD-ROM, Windows Update now downloads and installs the new 7.0.600.381 executable files. Some WU executables aren't registered with the operating system, preventing Windows Update from working as intended. This, in turn, prevents Microsoft's 80 latest patches from installing -- even if the patches successfully downloaded to the PC.' ZDNet's Hardware 2.0 has independently confirmed that this update adversely affects repaired XP installations: 'This issue highlights why it is vitally important that Microsoft doesn't release undocumented updates on the sly. Even the best tested update can have unpleasant side-effects, but if patches are documented properly and released in such a way that users (especially IT professionals) know they exist, it offers a necessary starting point for troubleshooting.'"
The Matrix

Submission + - FedEx uses Half Life style virtual earth (neowin.net)

Technical Writing Geek writes: "Federal Express has launched their new drop box locater service using Virtual Earth. Search for the nearest drop boxes and you'll get a resulting list of locations. Near the top of the result list is a "View Area Map" link which opens up a div containing a Virtual Earth map plotting each of the drop box locations and a legend. You can also check or uncheck different types of results such as "FedEx Staffed," "Self-Service," and "FedEx Authorized Ship Center." You can then update the results for the list and the map. Each location on the map contains a popup with the location name and address.

http://www.neowin.net/index.php?act=view&id=42816"

Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft loses EU appeal

rcasha2 writes: Microsoft has lost its appeal against the EU fine of almost 500m / $700m. Microsoft could still appeal again at the European Court of Justice. More important than the fine, however, is the confirmation of the ruling that Microsoft must share with competitors information needed for interoperability. This ruling could have an effect on such products as Samba, email clients etc.
The Internet

Submission + - How to clear my name? 3

VoiceofDoom writes: A while ago I parted company with a client over their refusal to pay for the IT support service that I had been providing for them. I wrote them off as a bad debt and asked that they remove my name and details from all their IT systems, since I no longer wanted to have anything to do with them, and wasn't interested in their marketing emails.

A quick check of Google for my name recently, revealed that the company has falsified a testimonial from me, glowing with praise for their services. Now my name and email address are plastered all over their site, and they have ignored repeated requests from me that they remove both my personal details and the fake testimonial.

As they haven't infringed on trademarks or copyright, I am not really sure what recourse is available to me to get this personal info and made-up testimonial removed from their website. Can any law-savvy Slashdotters help? FYI — both I and the offending company are UK-based.
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Doctor Who goes on hiatus for a year (bbc.co.uk)

BigBadBus writes: "Looks like Dr.Who fans will have to go without their hero in 2009 after the BBC revealed the Time Lord will take a gap year. Might be a good idea considering the unpopular choice of Catherine Tate as the new companion. However, to please die-hard Whovians, there will be three specials in 2009."
Music

Submission + - Apple to introduce new Ipod on wednesday (timesonline.co.uk)

UnHolier than ever writes: ""Apple is expected to unveil a revamp of its iPod line on Wednesday with the launch of a long-expected full or wide-screen, with touch control, version of the digital music player that is designed to bolster the group's reach in video. European journalists have been summoned by the California-based company to attend a briefing at the BBC's headquarters in London. The assembled reporters are to view a live broadcast of a presentation given by Steve Jobs, the Apple chief executive. ""
Windows

Submission + - Vista SP1 beta announced (zdnet.com)

starrsoft writes: "After almost a year of hemming and hawing over how and when to acknowledge publicly its plans for Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1, Microsoft finally released on August 29 its officially-approved schedule and feature set for the awaited update. Vista SP1 will go to about 10,000 to 15,000 selected beta testers by mid-September, officials said. The SP1 beta build will be made available to these testers for download form the Microsoft Connect site. A broader public beta of SP1 is likely around the time Microsoft delivers a release-candidate test build of the service pack, officials said, while declining to provide a timeframe for that build. The final "gold" release of SP1 is now slated for some time in Q1 2008."
Power

Submission + - Solar power headed for 45% annual growth (usatoday.com) 1

mdsolar writes: "USA Today is running a pretty good article on solar power that gives an overview of the current state of the industry. Highlight include production costs of $1.19/Watt for First Solar, 40% annual cost reductions over the last five years, revenues expected to triple in three years, and it predicts 2014 as the year when solar photovoltaic power plants become cheaper than other forms of generation."
Portables

Submission + - Acer to Acquire Gateway

cigarky writes: Acer Inc. plans to acquire U.S. computer maker Gateway Inc. for $710 million in a deal that will push the Taiwanese company past China's Lenovo Group as the world's third largest vendor of personal computers.
Software

Submission + - Skype blames Microsoft Patch Tuesday for Outage (skype.com)

brajesh writes: "Skype has blamed its outage over the last week on Microsoft's Patch Tuesday. FTA — "The abnormally high number of restarts affected Skype's network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact." Previsously, it was speculated that Skype outage may have been caused by a Russian hack attempt. Further FTA- "The issue has now been identified explicitly within Skype. We can confirm categorically that no malicious activities were attributed or that our users' security was not, at any point, at risk." Butterfly effect?"
Input Devices

Submission + - Gene for left-handedness is found

Klaidas writes: "The BBC report that scientists have discovered the first gene which appears to increase the odds of being left-handed.. The Oxford University-led team believe carrying the gene may also slightly raise the risk of developing psychotic mental illness such as schizophrenia. The gene, LRRTM1, appears to play a key role in controlling which parts of the brain take control of specific functions, such as speech and emotion. Lead researcher Dr Clyde Francks, from Oxford University's Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, said the next step would be to probe the impact on the development of the brain further. He said: "We hope this study's findings will help us understand the development of asymmetry in the brain.
Australian research published last year found left-handed people can think quicker when carrying out tasks such as playing computer games or playing sport, and French researchers concluded that being left-handed could be an advantage in hand-to-hand combat. However, being left-handed has also been linked to a greater risk of some diseases, and to having an accident."
Biotech

Submission + - The Human Mutation

eldavojohn writes: "Scientists in China have announced their findings of the gene that makes us human. The article explains that prior work has shown that humans have a longer form of a protein (type II neuropsin) located in the prefrontal cortex of the brain than the Great Apes species which diverged from us 5 million years ago. From the article, 'Gene sequencing revealed a mutation specific to humans that triggers a change in the splicing pattern of the neuropsin gene, creating a new splicing site and a longer protein. Introducing this mutation into chimpanzee DNA resulted in the creation of type II neuropsin. "Hence, the human-specific mutation is not only necessary but also sufficient in creating the novel splice form," the authors state.' The team is urging further analysis of the extra 45 amino acids in type II neuropsin form since they believe that chain may cause protein structural and functional changes. Your imagination could run wild with the potential of introducing this genetic mutation to other animals but it should be noted that the research didn't necessarily link anything with this protein, simply identify it as a very distinct difference between us & our cousins in the animal kingdom."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Geeks Make Better Lovers

An anonymous reader writes: Before going to bed, I decided to hit some more websites and then this Wired article hit me back. It seems I already have some more solutions from the infinite space of answers about why my partners start to undress when I start talking about technology. Quoting: "Geeks have seen all the porn you can imagine and then some, priming them to be open to your sexual peccadilloes. They are not only less likely to be shocked by your exotic requests — they might not even realize that other people think your turn-ons are exotic."

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