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Kepler Discovers First Earth-Sized Exoplanets 179

ananyo writes "NASA's Kepler telescope has reached one of its major mission milestones: finding an Earth-sized planet outside the Solar System. What's more, it has done it twice in the same star system. Whizzing around the star Kepler-20, about 290 parsecs (946 light-years) from Earth, is not only an Earth-sized planet, but also something just a touch smaller — a Venus."

Upcoming Changes To 'Ask Slashdot' 230

We're pleased to announce that changes are coming to the Ask Slashdot section. Ask Slashdot is a place to get your technical questions answered, show off your big brain by helping others, debate products and practices, and occasionally talk directly to companies about their offerings. Over the years, we've posted more than 7700 questions, on everything from workplace relations to home networking to evading censorship from unfriendly regimes. Starting tomorrow, you'll see that some Ask Slashdot questions have their own sponsors; the sponsors don't pick the questions, but experts from each sponsor will stick around for the discussion. Next up: we're making it easier for you to submit questions. Our goal is to make Ask Slashdot your "go-to" place for answers to your pressing nerd questions. So please post your questions, put on your answering hats, and come along for the ride.

Windows 8 Secure Boot Defeated 205

jhigh writes "An Austrian security researcher is scheduled to release the first 'bootkit' for Windows 8 at the upcoming MalCon in Mumbai. This exploit loads in the MBR and stays memory resident until Windows loads, resulting in root access to the system. This allegedly defeats the new secure boot features in Windows 8's bootloader."

Working On Man Made Lightning 67

New submitter PerlJedi writes "There is a very cool write up on the Make blog about an effort to build the world's largest tesla coils. Quoting: '"Somehow lightning can generate huge discharges with only about a fifth of the voltage per foot that lab discharges require," Leyh explains. "The part that especially fascinates me is that this mysterious ability kicks in around 200' in length, which is right at the edge of what we can produce with a practical machine." Leyh wants to see if humans can replicate this voltage economy effect, and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the building of two 10-story Tesla Coil towers (obviously superseding his current coil-size world record).'"

Comment Question (Score 1) 388

Can the defendant discharge the judgement in a bankruptcy? Why couldn't the argument be made that the judgement violates the constitution for excessive punishment if he can't? (i.e. if he makes the average salary for a white male at 45K, that would be like confiscating his wages for 22 years as he uses after tax money to pay the judgement).

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