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New Class of "Hypervelocity Stars" Discovered Escaping the Galaxy 150

Science_afficionado writes "Astronomers have discovered a surprising new class of 'hypervelocity stars' that are moving at more than a million miles per hour, fast enough to escape the gravitational grasp of the Milky Way galaxy. The 20 hyper stars are about the same size as the sun and, other than their extreme speed, have the same composition as the stars in the galactic disk. The big surprise is that they don't seem to come from the galaxy's center. The generally accepted mechanism for producing hypervelocity stars relies on the extreme gravitational field of the supermassive black hole that resides in the galaxy's core."

Comment Why the Sex Education option is there (Score 1) 227

The blocking system is a menu of categories you can check or uncheck. Unless they're really stupid, the Sex Education category is there so you can block the Porn category but still leave the Sex Education option unblocked so your teenagers can find that (either because you care about their education or because you want to avoid uncomfortable conversations with your kids, take your pick :-) Even if they ARE irresponsible prudes, the Sex Education category is at least there so they can SAY they're giving you the option of leaving it on.

And yeah, there ought to be an option for blocking crazy right-wing political parties, like the Tories and Labour and on some days also the LibDems.


Police Pull Over More Drivers For DNA Tests 562

schwit1 sends this news from the Washington Times: "Pennsylvania police this week were pulling people to the side of the road, quizzing them on their driving habits, and asking if they'd like to provide a cheek swap or a blood sample — the latest in a federally contracted operation that's touted as making roads safer. The same operation took place last month at a community in Texas. Then, drivers were randomly told to pull off the road into a parking lot, where white-coated researchers asked if they'd like to provide DNA samples for a project that determines what percentage of drivers are operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol at given times. With uniformed police in the background, the researchers also offered the motorists money — up to $50 or so — for the blood or saliva samples."

Comment Re:My experiences with Android 4.0 (Score 1) 210

Because my $DAYJOB calendar has a lot of proprietary information in it. Since it's Outlook, that often includes documents attached in calendar appointments, but even without that, meeting announcements about "lets talk about how to fix the $FOO problem with $NEXT_PROJECT" aren't something we'd trust to an internet-based cloud service without specific contracts in place.

Comment My experiences with Android 4.0 (Score 1) 210

I've got a Coby 10" tablet running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (i.e. really vanilla, with no manufacturer's software value added.) It'll run Google Play Store apps just fine.

The main thing it's missing is a program to sync the calendar with MS Outlook or at least accept iCal events; it really really wants you to sync its calendar app with Google Calendar, and I'm not going to sync my $DAYJOB calendar with Google. The free Play Store apps to do this haven't been very reliable, and $30 is more than I want to gamble for a commercial program that may not be any better.

Comment Will Aerobee do a Milk Steamer as well? (Score 1) 76

I'm guessing the answer is probably no, because it's not something that's easy to do in plastic, and in a hotel room you can get by with heating the milk in a microwave, while there are other devices out there for stove tops or camping stoves. But I'd love to see one if there's a practical way to do it.

Comment Re:The Physics of the Aerobie (Score 1) 76

I met Adler a few years ago at a design thing at Stanford. I forget if it was after I'd bought my Aeropress. The press isn't the same as a high-pressure espresso machine, but it's pretty good, and really convenient.

Aerobie's dog frisbees seemed like they'd be fun also, if you've got an appropriate dog. (I've got cats; flying catnip mice are only interesting to the cats if they're throwing them around themselves.)


Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Could Actually Be Group From Europe 186

An anonymous reader writes "Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto could be a group from Europe which has a strong footing in the financial sector. From the article: 'Josh Zerlan, the Chief Operating Officer of Butterfly Labs and a person familiar with the Bitcoin network, has said it is highly likely that Nakamoto could be a group of people working the financial sector. Speaking to IBTimes UK on the sidelines of a Global Bitcoin Conference in Bangalore, India, Zerlan said: "One of the prevailing theories, I think has credibility, is that it was some group of people from financial sector that created this. They released it and stepped back and let it go. So, Satoshi Nakamoto is a group of people, I think, is a reasonable possibility."'"

Comment Ubuntu Install CD will fix your mom's PC (Score 1) 408

OK, I haven't actually taken this approach with either my parents or my wife's mom :-) My parents bought a Mac back in ~1987, and continued to upgrade Macs occasionally. My mom's Mac is currently secured by the fact that it's a Mac, and she only uses dial-up internet because that's good enough for email and she doesn't see well enough to use the web unless she really needs to. (And my siblings all grumble about not having decent internet access when we visit, but she really doesn't want to bother upgrading, even though she did finally get cable TV when the digital transition broke her ability to receive the PBS station she likes via broadcast.)

We got my wife's mom a generic Windows PC when she retired, with AOL. It let her chat with her friends, keep up on the celebrity news, and generally stay connected to the world when she was getting less mobile. "Computer security" for her system meant occasionally formatting the disk, reinstalling Windows from scratch, reinstalling a new free AOL coaster, and having her log in to AOL, because she kept everything she cared about in the cloud rather than on her PC.

Comment $5 LED bulbs vs. "Cheap" incandescents (Score 2) 1146

Yes, you could buy a pack of 10 incandescent bulbs for less up-front money than an LED that will outlast all of them, though my wife just bought some LED bulbs for $5 (I think they're 40-watt equivalent), and I've bought 60-watt equivalent bulbs for $10. But you can't run the bulbs for all that long without the cost of electricity making up for the lower purchase price, and for the guy in Wisconsin who considers the waste heat to be a feature, remember that that's only true half the year, and if you're in Wisconsin, you've probably got a heating system that's much more efficient than the electric heat I have here in California.

Comment Of course it was a race - to one-up Sputnik (Score 1) 230

The first space race was about satellites, and the US lost; the reason for the moon was partly because it was a sufficiently big project to make up for having lost the first round. The real technical driver on both sides was ICBMs, but a lot of ego got dragged along as well.

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