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Microsoft

Journal Journal: Xbox Live: The Christmas Zombie 1

Xbox Live is not working, as mentioned 36 hours ago in an Xbox team blog. Even if you can get logged in, multiplayer matchmaking doesn't find enough players for games. For a while Zune Marketplace was also affected. At present Zune status claims "Up and running" while Xbox Live status continues to say "Users may experience intermittent issues logging onto Xbox Live. Our engineers are continuing to investigate and are working to resolve this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience." This has been been going on for days. Do other game servers fail in more friendly ways, such as by allowing anonymous unrated gameplay?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Opus, when it isn't so. 495

Berkeley Breathed notes: "Note to Opus readers: The Opus strips for August 26 and September 2 have been withheld from publication by a large number of client newspapers across the country, including Opus' host paper The Washington Post. The strips may be viewed in a large format on their respective dates at Salon.com."
NASA

Journal Journal: NASA fixes proprietary Y2K climate bug; 1934 warmest in USA 3

NASA's GISS climate group fixed their calculations and now 1934 was the warmest year in the USA. This graph shows the new data, from this page. Steve McIntyre found and explained GISS' error, despite GISS refusing to make available their software.

Two air conditioners in Minnesota were moved near a temperature sensor. But something didn't look right about the data. (When the NOAA's NCDC learned of examination of its network, it briefly removed information from the Internet.) McIntyre, a statistician, found that NASA does not make available the computer code and corrections used to "correct" its data. He had to reverse-engineer their calculations and found a year 2000 bug. GISS fixed their data and thanked McIntyre. It has been separately noted that 1934 was also warm in northern Europe too.

How significant are such "corrections"? To the 0.1C measured temperature increase, the NOAA adds 0.5C of adjustments.

Space

Journal Journal: Rocketeers Find Large Impact Crater In Nevada 29

While participating in amateur rocket launches in Black Rock Desert (Burning Man site), Ian Kluft KO6YQ noticed rocks with some oddities. Through the Internet he learned the characteristics of impact craters, then found some clues in photographs and Google Maps. Examining the area he got samples of rock with impact patterns in them and other evidence. Previous geological puzzles in the region are well explained as impact structures. Volunteers are finding peculiarities in satellite imagery of the area. He presents his evidence on a web page "Submitted for Study: Discovery of Possible Impact Crater at Nevada's Black Rock Desert". This is a preliminary six week effort which tries to bring the site to the attention of geologists. Confirmation will take some time and more elaborate tools than his group has.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Minnesota requires 25% renewable energy

Governor Pawlenty of Minnesota has signed a bill which requires a significant amount of energy from renewable sources. "The bill signed by the Governor requires energy companies to provide 25 percent of power from renewable sources by 2025. Xcel Energy, which supplies approximately half of the electricity in the state, is required to provide 30 percent from renewable sources by 2020."

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