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Comment Was the gun legally obtained? (Score 4, Insightful) 2987

I see a lot of posts in here about banning guns. They are far more controlled where I live (Canada), but rest assured shootings that happen in Canada are always with black-market guns. It's not the people who legally purchase and register firearms doing these things, it's those who obtain them illegally.

You may argue that making guns harder to get, like here, reduces this kind of thing. That may be correct. But no matter what, people can get anything, and they will, if sufficiently demented, do something bad.

What's the answer to that?

NASA

Submission + - Cassini and MESSENGER to be Shutdown? (nasaspaceflight.com) 1

iONiUM writes: "There's been a lot of rumours today (including twitter) that Cassini and MESSENGER projects will be shutdown due to the new budget, even though they are still functional. Since they are still operating, maybe someone else can start communicating with them, to at least continue to get data? Maybe even a private company could buy the rights?"
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft may have some Windows Phone 8 momentum after all (networkworld.com)

colinneagle writes: Now armed with a phone that isn't immediately obsolete, Windows Phone 8 is picking up a little steam. It won't displace Android or Apple anytime soon, but at least the figures are headed in the right direction.

Sales of the Nokia Lumia 920 are better than expected, according to a financial analyst, and have caused him to raise his predictions for WP8 sales drastically for 2013. Ilkka Rauvola, an analyst with Danske Bank, sent a note to clients in late November predicting 36 million Windows Phone 8 smartphones will be sold in 2013, up from an earlier estimate of 23 million devices.

At the annual shareholder meeting in Seattle last week, CEO Steve Ballmer said that WP8 was selling at four times the rate of WP7 phones during the same period last year. Numbers from Gartner don't quite back that up, but they do definitely point to an upside. In Q3 of 2011, Microsoft sold 1.7 million WP7 devices. In Q3 of 2012, it sold 4 million.

Of course, context is everything. Nokia still sold more Symbian phones (4.4 million) and RIM sold twice as many phones despite being in a death spiral. Still, it helps. Every little bit helps. Nokia went from one carrier (AT&T) to three (Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile). Now what they need is positive momentum, as opposed to being the last phone standing after Android and Apple kill off the competition.

Comment I own a Surface (Score 1, Interesting) 526

Through my work, I get almost every tablet/thingy that comes out. I got the Surface RT the day it came out because of this, and have been using it since as my replacement for my Nexus 7, eee Netbook (ubuntu), and in tandem with iPad mini.

I see all this shit on Slashdot about how much W8 sucks, and it's true, for desktop. If you took the "desktop" mode of W8, and put JUST THAT on desktop with a start menu, then it's solid (just a win7 upgrade). If you take W8 Metro (or whatever it's called now) and use JUST THAT, it's about 80% of what you want on a tablet. I say 80% because the gestures, while powerful, are really unintuitive.

As it is, I have to say, as someone who actually USES the Surface, it's a nice device, and Metro is actually rather pleasant to look at (yes, there's no apps for it). In addition, the gestures are nice, if you learn them. And, in addition to all of that, having a "desktop" mode on the tablet (the keyboard includes a trackpad) is also nice, although it feels disconnected. I think Microsoft hasn't gotten it perfect, but I think they are on the right track.

As a side note, I don't know why there's so many pro MS articles on Slashdot lately..

NASA

Submission + - Frozen water found on Mercury (gizmodo.com)

Zibodiz writes: NASA has confirmed a surprising, counterintuitive discovery. The inferno known as Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, has water. Frozen water. Three news research papers based on data obtained by the Messenger spacecraft show undeniable evidence—"clear results" as the project's director calls them.

It's not just a little bit of water. It's huge amounts. Enough to cover the capital of the United States.

Mars

Submission + - Mars Curiosity Found Nothing After All? (nasa.gov) 1

iONiUM writes: "In Slashdot's / NASA's original post, it was implied that Curiosity had found something interesting: "Grotzinger says they recently put a soil sample in SAM, and the analysis shows something remarkable. "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good," he says.". However, during NASA's live AGU12 conference, NASA has now said "the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics", and "Rumors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect.". Is this another NASA flop?"
Medicine

Submission + - A Blood Test That Screens for Cancer (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: People usually find out that they have cancer after developing symptoms or through a screening test such as a mammogram—signs that may appear only after the cancer has grown or spread so much that it can't be cured. But what if you could find out from a simple, highly accurate blood test that you had an incipient tumor? By sequencing the abnormal DNA that a tumor releases into a person's bloodstream, researchers are now one step closer to a universal cancer test. Although the technique is now only sensitive enough to detect advanced cancers, that may be a matter of money: As sequencing costs decrease, the developers of the method say, the test could eventually pick up early tumors as well.

Submission + - Global Warming On Pace for 4C: World Bank Worried (washingtonpost.com)

iONiUM writes: "From the article: "Over the years at the U.N. climate talks, the goal has been to keep future global warming below 2C. But as those talks have faltered, emissions have kept rising, and that 2C goal is now looking increasingly out of reach. Lately, the conversation has shifted toward how to deal with 3C of warming. Or 4C. Or potentially more."
Overall it seems that poorer, less developed nations will be largely impacted negatively, while some countries (like Canada and Russia) will actually experience benefits. Where does that leave the rest of the 1st world countries?"

Comment Re:Facebook Chat killed it (Score 4, Interesting) 213

Uh.. I guess I'm nobody then. And so is my list of about 15 people I chat everyday on it with.

I like Windows Live Messenger.. it's simply, it doesn't suck like Skype, and it doesn't require Facebook. I use gTalk sometimes too, but that seems to be an Android user thing; people with iPhones rarely use gTalk, even when logged into GMail. As it is, this really pisses me off, because I really like Windows Live Messenger. It's going to be a real mess for me to find one way to talk to all these people after it goes away..

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