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Submission + - String theory put to the test

secretsather writes: " eory-of-everything-put-to-the-test/

String theory is arguably the most popular theory in theoretical physics; that is, it cannot be proven. The idea, is everything you see around you is made up of tiny strands of energy that vibrate at different frequencies. Until now, experimental verification has not been possible; but researchers at the University of California, Carnegie Mellon University, and The University of Texas are planning a definitive test with the future launch of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland that could disprove the current theory.

Similar to the well known U.S. particle collider at Fermi Lab, the Large Hadron Collider, scheduled for November 2007, is expected to be the largest, and highest energy particle accelerator in existence; it will use liquid helium cooled superconducting magnets to produce electric fields that will propel particles to near light speeds in a 16.7 mile circular tunnel. They then introduce a new particle into the accelerator, which collides with the existing ones, scattering many other mysterious subatomic particles about.

It is with this accelerator, that will allow researchers to begin observing the scattering of W bosons, an elementary particle that is one of the four fundamental interactions of nature and required in the proposed testing of the current string theory. I use "current" because string theory is just that, a theory; and it is constantly changing as more information becomes available.

"Our work shows that, in principle, string theory can be tested in a non-trivial way," said Ira Rothstein, co-author of the paper and professor of physics at Carnegie Mellon.

"The beauty of our test is the simplicity of its assumptions," said Benjamin Grinstein, a professor of physics at the University of California "The canonical forms of string theory include three mathematical assumptions — Lorentz invariance, analyticity and unitarity. Our test sets bounds on these assumptions."

Grinstein also noted that if their test does not substantiate what the theory predicts, one of the key mathematical assumptions about the current string theory would be incorrect."

Submission + - Isn't standard email outdated?

An anonymous reader writes: Telnet was replaced by SSH for obvious reasons. Why hasn't standard email been replaced? There are more problems associated with standard email than there were with using services like Telnet, yet we managed to sweepingly switch out Telnet for SSH. Why not dump standard email for a better messaging implementation? We could cure SPAM and privacy issues in one fell swoop.

Submission + - Pornographers Could Play Kingmaker in HD DVD Wars

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes: "The adult-entertainment industry could play a big role in deciding whether Blu-ray or HD DVD wins the battle of the high-definition DVD formats, the Wall Street Journal reports. From the article: 'Replicators — the companies that stamp out DVDs — lie at the heart of the matter. Setting up shop to manufacture HD DVDs, which run on very similar production lines to regular DVDs, is easy and inexpensive. Blu-ray requires significant investments in new equipment, and the individual discs in that format cost more to make. Because manufacturing adult-entertainment DVDs isn't as lucrative overall as stamping out titles for mainstream studios, the specialty companies that replicate for adult-entertainment companies don't always have the same resources to gear up for Blu-ray.'"

Submission + - Swedish bill to sniff internet traffic presented

swehack writes: "The Swedish defense minister today presented a bill(Swedish) to let FRA(National Defence Radio Establishment) listen to all internet and radio traffic sent over Swedish borders. Internet service providers will be forced to allow access to their border points where FRA will be allowed to filter for certain search patterns. The search patterns the FRA will filter traffic for will be decided by the FRA. The swedish minister of defense, Mikael Odenberg, noted that the bill only applies to outsie threats, information transferred between two swedes will not be used."

Feed CIA Gets in Your Face(book) (

Want a job in intelligence, recruiting secret sources and working undercover in exotic overseas locations? Head over to the CIA's Facebook page. By Chaddus Bruce.


Submission + - Dynamic Filesystem For Spotlight Searching

An anonymous reader writes: Hot on the heels of Amit Singh's release of MacFUSE some days ago, now Google software engineer Greg Miller has coded up a nifty MacFUSE filesystem called SpotlightFS in his spare time. In SpotlightFS if you try to go into a folder or "ls" it in the Terminal, you see links to actual files and folders which are the result of dynamic Spotlight query! You doubleclick on these links and they open up nicely. Not only that the filesystem picks up Apple's "saved search" (smart folders) and shows them as real folders too. You can do cool things like creating a new folder called "pdf" (or some advanced query) and you will see inside all pdf query results from Spotlight. The projec's wiki has more details. And when you eject SpotlightFS these folders don't go away so I can have my favorite searches neatly arranged in a filesystem. SpotlightFS is up for download at the project web site.

Submission + - Need PC and Mac backup solution

SSRSSR writes: "I'm responsible for the maintenance and backup of a small (~8) mixed network of Mac OS-X machines and Windows XP SP2 machines. I also have a server machine running Suse Linux that is used as the central file server and backup storage machine. I'm having a hard time coming up with a reasonable solution for the weekly backups of all the "real" data on the machines (not the OS), that doesn't take a lot of time to maintain. I want to have an on-site backup of the machines, plus the ability to copy the backups to a notebook for off-site backup. I'm currently using Windows Backup for the XP machines, but don't have a solution for the Mac machines.
I'd appreciate any suggestions on the easiest way to perform and maintain backups on this mixed system. Homegrown, Freeware, FOSS, and/or commercial software solutions are all options. I also have a FTP server available, if there is a way to remote copy the files.
Thanks for your suggestions!"

Does Sprawl Make Us Fat? 659

Ant writes "A Science News article talks about the relationship between city design and health. New cross-disciplinary research is exploring whether urban sprawl makes us soft, or whether people who don't like to exercise move to the sprawling suburbs, or some combination of both." From the article: "So far, the dozen strong studies that have probed the relationships among the urban environment, people's activity, and obesity have all agreed, says Ewing. 'Sprawling places have heavier people... There is evidence of an association between the built environment and obesity.' ... However, University of Toronto economist Matthew Turner charges that 'a lot of people out there don't like urban sprawl, and those people are trying to hijack the obesity epidemic to further the smart-growth agenda [and] change how cities look.' ... 'We're the only ones that have tried to distinguish between causation and sorting... and we find that it's sorting,' [says Turner]. 'The available facts do not support the conclusion that sprawling neighborhoods cause weight gain.'"
United States

Submission + - Anyone but a Bush or Clinton

Chris writes: "With the entrance of Hillary Clinton into the race, there has been much discussion about political legacy and partisan politics. James Burkee, a history professor in Wisconsin and founder of Americans for Responsibility in Washington, wrote an intriguing OP/ED piece in the LA Times on Monday entitled Anyone but a Bush or Clinton. From the editorial: "Recent polls suggest that a significant body of Americans, perhaps 40%, will not vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstances — so it is unlikely that she could enter the Oval Office with a strong electoral mandate. The ironic upshot is that such a Hillary Clinton presidency — weakened by low approval and beset by partisan sniping — would mirror George W. Bush's presidency." If Hillary "wins and serves two terms, by 2017 the United States will have been governed by either a Bush or a Clinton for 28 years." Is the U.S. finally ready for a bipartisan shift in Washington and actual honest dialogue from both sides of the aisle?"
The Courts

US Attorney General Questions Habeas Corpus 1151

spiedrazer writes "In yet another attempt to create legitimacy for the Bush Administration's many questionable legal practices, US attorney General Alberto Gonzales actually had the audacity to argue before a Congressional committee that the US Constitution doesn't explicitly bestow habeas corpus rights on US citizens. In his view it merely says when the so-called Great Writ can be suspended, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the rights are granted. The Attorney General was being questioned by Sen. Arlen Specter at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Jan. 18. THe MSM are not covering this story but Colbert is (click on the fourth video down, 'Exact Words')." From the Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel commentary: "While Gonzales's statement has a measure of quibbling precision to it, his logic is troubling because it would suggest that many other fundamental rights that Americans hold dear (such as free speech, freedom of religion, and the right to assemble peacefully) also don't exist because the Constitution often spells out those rights in the negative. It boggles the mind the lengths this administration will go to to systematically erode the rights and privileges we have all counted on and held up as the granite pillars of our society since our nation was founded."
United States

Submission + - India to overtake United States by 2050

aimlesswanderer666 writes: "Productivity growth will help India sustain over 8% growth until 2020 and become the second largest economy in the world, ahead of the US, by 2050, Goldman Sachs has said scaling up estimates of the country's prospects in its October 2003 research paper widely known as the BRICs report.."

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