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Comment Turn off the audio (Score 3, Interesting) 186

I found the audio to be distracting, whereas the video display gives me positional awareness, and I can look at it when I choose to, not when the box decides to say something. I found I was much more relaxed when I found how to turn off the audio.

So I guess having both at the same time is the real problem.

Comment Re:pffff (Score 1) 137

You'd think that somebody that's light-years ahead when it comes to parallel processing would rule the roost in the Top 500 supercomputer list. I'm sure there's a good explanation, though....just waiting to hear it. :)

To get on the Top 500 list your machine is measured against the LINPACK benchmark. It's not the best benchmark for parallel performance, so in many cases nobody has bothered.


Huge Supernova Baffles Scientists 358

Iddo Genuth writes "Scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and San Diego State University have observed an explosion of a star 50 times larger than the sun. In what they call a 'first observation of its kind' the scientists were able to notice that most of the star's mass collapsed in on itself, resulting in a creation of a large black hole. While exploding stars, or 'supernovae,' aren't unprecedented, this star, which lay about 200 million light years away from earth and was million times brighter than the Sun, has exploded as a supernova at a much earlier date than the one predicted by astronomers."

Comment Interactions in Understanding the Universe (I2U2) (Score 1) 314

I'm working on a science education project called I2U2, which is looking for teachers like you.

The main idea of the project is to give students (and their teachers) direct access to data from major physics experiments, along with access to grid computing resources so that they can do interesting investigations with those data. We have access to data from the CMS test-beam, as well as Monte Carlo data simulating CMS itself. We will have real data from CMS once the LHC turns on. We have access to environmental data from LIGO, the gravitational wave detection experiment (not the gravitational wave data itself, I'm afraid; but there's still cool things you can do with the seismometers and other sensors). And we have an array of several hundred cosmic ray detectors in place in schools across the US (and a few abroad) from Fermilab's QuarkNet project (

All this data can be used for inquiry-driven projects which the students design themselves, with guidance from their teachers and materials we are preparing for the teachers. These 'e-Labs' are not scripted labs (though we do provide a general structure for developing those investigations), they are an opportunity to do real inquiry with real data. And yes, this will include tools to let you track your students' contributions and progress.

We will be doing some teacher workshops this summer, and we need some teachers to be beta testers. If you are interested in that, or in the project in general, check us out at We are not set up for production yet, so please excuse that it's not very polished, but it should be possible to learn a bit more about the project from that site.


Portugal's Vortalgate — No Microsoft, No Bidding 312

An anonymous reader writes "Companies using software other than Microsoft's are unable to bid at many Portuguese public tenders. This is due to the use of Silverlight 2.0 technology by the company, Vortal, contracted to build the e-procurement portal. This situation has triggered a complaint to the European Commission by the Portuguese Open Source Business Association; the case is unofficially known in Portugal as 'Vortalgate.'"
The Internet

Quebec ISP To Terminate Subscribers Over Copyright 290

An anonymous reader writes "Quebecor, which owns Quebec's biggest ISP, has thrown in with Hollywood interests by arguing for the 'graduated response' approach that would kick off subscribers based on three allegations of infringement. The company told Canada's telecom regulator that net neutrality rules are not needed since content blocking has social benefits, including the potential for a three-strikes-and-you're-out policy."

Hubble Repair Mission At Risk 224

MollyB writes "According to Wired, the recent collision of satellites may put the Atlantis shuttle mission to repair Hubble in the 'unacceptable risk' status: 'The spectacular collision between two satellites on Feb. 10 could make the shuttle mission to fix the Hubble Space Telescope too risky to attempt. Before the collision, space junk problems had already upped the Hubble mission's risk of a "catastrophic impact" beyond NASA's usual limits, Nature's Geoff Brumfiel reported today, and now the problem will be worse. Mark Matney, an orbital debris specialist at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas told the publication that even before the collision, the risk of an impact was 1 in 185, which was "uncomfortably close to unacceptable levels" and the satellite collision "is only going to add on to that."'"

Comment Re:How do you give odds for that? (Score 1) 397

Also, what are the odds the particle doesn't exist AND they find it?

Actually, that's what I expect to happen.

In the Standard Model the Higgs is a fundamental particle. And it is a scalar particle (spin 0). There are no other fundamental particles in Nature that have spin-0, and there are good reasons to expect that they cannot exist. So what I think will happen is they will find something which behaves much like the Higgs in the Standard Model. But it turns out it's not fundamental. Only that part of the discovery comes later.

So I'd say the best odds are that the Higgs of the Standard Model does not exist, yet they find something that behaves almost exactly like it


Why Do We Name Servers the Way We Do? 1397

jfruhlinger writes "If you use a Unix machine, it probably has a funny name. And if you work in an environment where there are multiple Unix machines, they probably have funny names that are variations on a theme. No, you're not the only one! This article explores the phenomenon, showing that even the CIA uses a whimsical server naming scheme." What are some of your best (worst?) naming schemes?

Submission + - nonresponsive script

Grand Facade writes: Why, of most all of the pages I browse regularly, is Slashdot so slow to build the page? And what is the script that fails/stalls/becomes nonresponsive on a good number of Slash pages? Firefox/Sea Monkey Mac or Windows?

Comment Re:Dangers of EHR (Score 3, Insightful) 182

The danger of an Electronic Health Record is that it may perpetuate mistakes which of course do happen and any mistakes can carry on and lead to more problems.

It cuts both ways. With electronic records some cross-checks are possible, such as checking prescribed drugs for interactions, or perhaps even checking that the symtoms and/or treatment really match the diagnosis.

The Internet

NZ File-Sharers, Remixers Guilty Upon Accusation 449

An anonymous reader writes "Next month, New Zealand is scheduled to implement Section 92 of the Copyright Amendment Act. The controversial act provides 'Guilt Upon Accusation,' which means that if a file-sharer is simply accused of copyright infringement he/she will be punished with summary Internet disconnection. Unlike most laws, this one has no appeal process and no punishment for false accusation, because they were removed after public consultation. The ISPs are up in arms and now artists are taking a stand for fair copyright."

Mars Phoenix Lander's Ovens Were Destined To Fail 77

RobertB-DC writes "The Phoenix mission to Mars' frigid polar regions was going to be tricky from the start, with only a few weeks to perform as much science as possible. Success depended on everything working right. But one of the mission's most frustrating glitches — the stuck doors on the TEGA ovens — could have been prevented with basic quality control on Earth. Nature is reporting that bad brackets were replaced by the manufacturer ... with identically bad brackets. The Planetary Society blog sums it up succinctly: 'Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch.'"

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