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Comment We are certainly not alone. (Score 1) 745

There's at least 6 billion of "them" and counting...

On a more speculative side, there might be highly developed life forms elsewhere in the universe that we carbon-based blighters wouldn't even recognize as "life" if we stumbled over one of them (and perhaps vice versa).

Comment Anti-matter vs. dark matter (Score 2, Insightful) 113

In my opinion and in contrary to what the original posting suggests, anti-matter should not be viewed as particularly "dark".

E.g., anti-Hydrogen, consisting of an anti-proton and a positron, will readily absorb a quantum of energy (a photon, which happens to be one of the particles that are their own anti-particles) and re-emit a photon again, just like "plain old" hydrogen. Thus, a cloud of anti-hydrogen should be observable as easily (or difficultly) as a cloud of hydrogen, assuming their masses, their viewing distances and all other parameters like temperature, density etc. being equal.

So there should be no difference in observability here, due to the fact that photons are citizens of both realms, of "nornal" matter as well as of anti-matter, and will interact with mass particles of both realms in the same way.

Obviously, "dark matter" looks like a very different beast...

Comment Agreed. Asahi or Stella Artois would look cool. (Score 1) 229

But then, a can of the _original_ Budweiser (i.e., the one from the Czech Republic) would certainly achieve the coolness goal as well.

Including the taste goal. Many of the beers from Belgium or Ireland would do.

Just make sure to avoid those U.S. beverages that pretend to be "beer". Don't drink them, don't use their cans for your projects. ;-)

Comment Calculus. Bertrand Russell. And Einstein himself. (Score 1) 358

First, you might start to enhance your understanding of advanced calculus.

At some early point along the road, get yourself a copy of
The ABC of Relativity, by Bertrand Russell, first ed. in 1925.
(Reading this book will just take the better part of a rainy day, breaks included. Enjoy it.)

Later on, read the Master's own writing:
Relativity. The Special and General Theory, by Albert Einstein, first ed. in 1920

Meanwhile, don't forget to continue your calculus efforts. ;-)

Remember, Einstein had a very pragmatic approach towards mathematics, he just used it.
To understand GR, you won't necessarily have to become more of a mathematician than Einstein wanted to be.

Submission + - Anonymous releases 400 megs of FBI Contractor data (

An anonymous reader writes: Anonymous, as they have claimed they would, finally released 400 megabytes of files, allegedly stolen ManTech, a cyber security firm contracted by the FBI. Anonymous stated, 'The FBI is outsourcing cybersecurity to the tune of nearly $100 million to a Washington-area managed services company. The deal shows a willingness in the federal government to place IT services more and more in the hands of third parties as agencies don't have enough staff on hand to do the job.'

Submission + - Best Off-Road Smart Phone? 5

rueger writes: "I walk dogs for a living on the mountain trails above the North Shore of Vancouver. I rely on my smart phone for emergency contact, and use the GPS pretty constantly if I'm on unfamiliar trails. In general terms I like my Android smart-phone, and have fell in love with the platform. Problem is the cheapy Motorola Charm is a lousy phone with mediocre 3G reception, and GPS that can't always be relied upon unless you reboot regularly. That hasn't been an issue since the battery usually dies after five or six hours of use.

I'm opening a can of worms, but what's a good 3G Android phone with good reception in fringe areas, reliable GPS, and really good battery life? In other words, if you're heading for the woods, what's the tool that you rely on?

PS — don't like Apple products — 3 years with a Powerbook didn't convert me. And a good camera is a big plus."

Submission + - Incompleteness Theorem made complete? (

An anonymous reader writes: Kurt Goedel's first incompleteness theorem states that no set of consistent set of rules can be developed to describe the maths of the natural numbers — an earthquake in the world of mathematics when published in the early 1930s. Goedel himself said that this might be straightened out by a better understanding of infinities — and now, reports the New Scientist, UC Berkeley mathematician Hugh Woodin has proposed a theory that does just that — proving Cantor's continuum hypothesis on the way

Submission + - Hacking a Google Music Player for iOS (

An anonymous reader writes: Thought the folks on Slashdot might be interested in this project I put together. It's the hacky start of a Google Music client for iOS.

It's a rocky start, but it explains how I did it and how the process works.


Submission + - Followup: Anti-global warming story itself flawed ( 1

The Bad Astronomer writes: "As posted earlier on Slashdot, a Forbes Op/Ed claims there is a "gaping hole in global warming" theories, based on a recent paper. However, both the Forbes article and the paper on which it's based are what are seriously flawed. The paper has been excoriated by climate scientists, saying the model used is "unrealistic" and "incorrect", and the author has a track record of using bad models to make incorrect conclusions."

Submission + - ASK: Self-hosted GMail alternatives? 1

linkedlinked writes: "I'm tired of building my sandcastles on Google's beachfront. I've moved off Docs, Plus, and Analytics, so now it's time to host my own email servers. What are the best self-host open-source email solutions available? I'm looking for "the full stack" — including a GMail-competitive web GUI — and don't mind getting my hands dirty to set it up. I leverage "most" of GMail's features, including multi-domain support and fetching from remote POP/IMAP servers. Bonus points: Since I'm a hobbyist, not a sysadmin, and I normally outsource my mail servers, what new security considerations do I need to make in managing these services?"

Submission + - MPEG LA says 12 parties have essential WebM patent ( 2

suraj.sun writes: MPEG LA says 12 parties have essential WebM patents:

The hopes that the VP8 codec at the heart of Google's open source WebM video standard would remain unchallenged in the patent arena are diminishing after the MPEG LA says 12 parties hold patents that its evaluators consider essential to the codec. The disclosure came in a recent interview with MPEG LA says that, in response to their call for essential patents in February, a number of parties submitted patents for evaluation and twelve of those parties' patents have been examined and found to be essential to VP8.

The parties involved are as yet unnamed and MPEG LA told patent analyst Florian Mueller that "confidentiality precludes [MPEG LA] from disclosing the identity of the owners". Mueller thinks it is likely that there is an overlap between the twelve companies and the members of the MPEG LA AVC/H.264 patent pool.


Comment Re:Linux Mint (Score 1) 622

Agreed to everything you said regarding Linux Mint.

Just two notes:

Linux Mint Xfce has been Debian based (as opposed to Ubuntu based) now for a while, just like Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) you mentioned.
All editions of Linux Mint that come with Gnome (the Ubuntu based "main" edition as well as LMDE) still contain Gnome v2.32, not v3.

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