Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:More info not linked from the article (Score 5, Insightful) 38

Then there are the guys who distribute phase-coherent millimeter wave LOs for hundreds of meters over fiber optics, and when they can't buy a mixer at Mini-Circuits that does what they want, they grow one from a freakin' crystal. Those guys all seem to end up at NRAO, even though there's no money in radio astronomy and even less glory.

Probably because it's the kind of environment that values damn-good research above all else, be it in RF, astrophysics, astrochemistry or even in IT (where I work). I've gone from job-hopping every 3-18 months at my previous employers to staying at NRAO for 6 years now. And every year at the annual service awards presentation they give out 30 or even 40-year service awards. Sure, there's no money in astronomy and our budget is projected flat for the next what... 5 years or something, but even with that people like it here and stick around.

Proof (IMO) that you can develop and sustain a great R&D culture on a limited budget!

Comment More info not linked from the article (Score 4, Informative) 38

Disclaimer: I work for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (the US partner for ALMA).

There's lots more info on the transporters available on the ALMA web site. The two antenna transporters, named "Otto" and "Lore", have their own page at Each transporter actually has 2 500kW power plants (for redundancy) and cooling them at 5km altitude is a major challenge (actually, the datacenter has the same problem -- there's just not enough air up there to remove the heat).

There's lots more pictures of them carrying antennas there, too.

Finally, a video of the transporter taking the first ALMA antenna to the high site .

Comment Re:Image size? (Score 2, Interesting) 223

Yes :) FITS files are HUGE!

As a sysadmin for an astronomy observatory I find this laughable. FITS was designed to store every last detail about an image (and frequencies for radio astronomy) and it seems WAY overkill to burn that many bits digitizing manuscripts.

But hey, who am I to question the word of the church? :)

Comment My brain added an extra L (Score 1) 423

Which made me wonder why Disney would need an semiconductor manufacturing company? Especially one without a fab.

Yes, that's right - not all slashdotters care about comics. /me defends his geek card against the ensuing calls to surrender it


Submission + - Nokia Updates the N800 With Skype Support (

Novi Nuryani writes: "DeGadget reports,"A new update to the N800 running Internet Tablet OS 2007 Edition has recently been released by Nokia. The newest update includes Flash 9 browser support, Skype client support, 8GB memory card and offers better battery life. Furthermore, Nokia has improved the sensitivity of N800's touch-screen, this means it is much easier for you to work your way around the menu than before. The N800 also supports its own Real Rhapsody player". Feature upgrade is available for download now."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Scientific Savvy? In U.S., Not Much ( 1

Raver32 writes: "When Jon D. Miller looks out across America, which he can almost do from his 18th-floor office at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, he sees a landscape of haves and have-nots — in terms not of money, but of knowledge. Dr. Miller, 63, a political scientist who directs the Center for Biomedical Communications at the medical school, studies how much Americans know about science and what they think about it. His findings are not encouraging. Dr. Miller's data reveal some yawning gaps in basic knowledge. American adults in general do not understand what molecules are (other than that they are really small). Fewer than a third can identify DNA as a key to heredity. Only about 10 percent know what radiation is. One adult American in five thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth, an idea science had abandoned by the 17th century."
The Internet

Submission + - Live Earth Hosts Site at Solar-Powered Data Center (

1sockchuck writes: "The web site for tomorrow's Live Earth concert series is being hosted at a solar-powered data center that uses 120 solar panels to generate DC power. AISO.Net is one of a small number of hosts that use solar power to provide electricity for their data centers (as opposed to buying clean energy credits, a common practice among hosts that market their "green" operations). Even with the current focus on energy efficiency, using solar power for data centers remains a challenge due to issues with cost and capacity."

Slashdot Top Deals

Enzymes are things invented by biologists that explain things which otherwise require harder thinking. -- Jerome Lettvin