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Submission + - Twitter solves its data formatting challenge (

angry tapir writes: "Eschewing popular choices such as XML, CSV and JSON, Twitter has opted to format the back-end storage of its user and systems data with a relatively unknown format pioneered by Google, called Protocol Buffers. With the company storing 12TB of this data each day for later use, the decision of which format to use was a crucial one. The company is planning for the time when it will have to house "a trillion Tweets"."

Comment Re:Use ALL 14 WIFI channels ! (Score 1) 178

While using directional antennas will help to some extent, keep in mind that your clients will NOT have directional antennas, and will interfere with each other. A larger number of access points with lower power will help to some extent, but with this many people using the service concurrently, you may have a problem, regardless of how you do it. Also, make sure you don't use a single /24 subnet for client addresses if you have more than 500 clients; you'll run out of address space.

Comment Re:Market share (Score 1) 289

Yes, that's basically the appeal. An appeal that only applies to geeks and like minded people, but that's basically the appeal. It's not "mainstream". It's not sleek, not trendy, not fancy or stylish, that's not the angle. If you want to make it stylish and trendy, market it under the aspect of ever increasing vendor lock-in and telcos that want to fetter you with endless contracts, and that this is the last bastion of freedom in telcoland. The amount of people who feel more and more under surveillance is increasing, and maybe a suitable market angle would be to sell the Android as the way to display that you don't want to be part of the surveillance crowd.

Before you answer, yes, I know it's simply marketing and has no real meaning. It's what style and fancyness is for the iPhone: A sales pitch.

Comment Re:God forbid (Score 1) 160

The problem with that line of reasoning is that when your main deterrent is a threat, that threat must never waver. If an enemy doubts your ability to carry out a threat, then the threat loses all credibility. Right now no country is willing to chance it, but if those warheads are just left to sit, then... eventually someone will take the gambit.


Submission + - Sperm-Creation Paper Retracted for Plagiarism

Hugh Pickens writes: "Nature reports that a paper reporting the creation of sperm-like cells from human embryonic stem cells has been retracted by the editor of the journal Stem Cells and Development. The journal's editor-in-chief Graham Parker says he took the radical step because two paragraphs in the introduction of the paper had been plagiarized from a 2007 review published in another journal. The retraction has surprised even critics of the paper, who had complained that the work had been over-hyped. "If there is nothing else behind this, it seems a little harsh," says Harry Moore, co-director of the Centre for Stem Cell Biology at the University of Sheffield, UK. The article reported that sperm precursor cells could be derived from human embryonic stem cells in vitro. These derived cells were able to divide and generate cells with just one set of chromosomes, characteristic of sperm. Although the text of the article modestly refers to these as "sperm-like cells" with "tail-like structures", its title, and the press release which accompanied its publication, refer baldly to human sperm. "That raised hackles," says Moore. "With that claim the authors opened themselves to criticism, some of it unfair, because the paper did not in fact show that sperm had been derived." Experts said Parker was right to retract the paper. "This is clearly scientific misconduct," said Allan Pacey, secretary for the British Fertility Society. "I can understand why people might think, if they were sloppy here, maybe they were sloppy elsewhere.""

Submission + - Ultra-Efficient Organic LEDs (

pdragon04 writes: "An organic light-emitting diode (OLED) developed in Germany has the potential to produce the same quality of white light as incandescent bulbs but with power efficiencies considerably better than even fluorescent lighting ... with both fluorescent and LED lighting, the quality of white light produced has always left something to be desired ... In contrast, OLEDs can be made from a wide range of materials, so achieving good-quality white light is less challenging, says Reineke. It has not been the quality of light that has let OLEDs down but rather their efficiencies. "

Submission + - Sony PS3 Unit Sales Flat Lining and Trending Down (

An anonymous reader writes: The latest numbers from Sony show not only that the company's game division is losing money, but that the trend for PS3 unit sales is flattening and actually turning down through the rest of this year. Sony still loses money on every unit, and software sales aren't enough to push the division into profitability, as Sony projects another loss in games through the coming fiscal year that ends in March 2010. That raises the question of how long Sony can afford to stay in the game console business.

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The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.