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Submission + - Plasma Flow Linked to Spotless Sun

An anonymous reader writes: NASA explained the mystery behind the decreased solar activity during the Sun's 11-year cycle, linking it to the changing speeds of plasma inside the Sun. The new computer model study suggests the Sun's plasma rivers speed up and slow down like a malfunctioning conveyor belt. The scientists identified that variations in a hot plasma flow in the sun's interior is the likely reason behind the lack of sunspots and a weak magnetic field at the sun's poles.

Submission + - Air Force to blast second super-secret spaceship (

coondoggie writes: "The US Air Force will launch a second secretive spaceship, the X-37B, tomorrow if the weather holds and all systems are go.

The first X-37B, known as Orbital Test Vehicle 1, launched April 22 last year and stayed in space conducting experiments for some 220 days. The Air Force stated. The ship fired its orbital maneuver engine in low-earth orbit to perform an autonomous reentry before landing, the Air Force stated."


Submission + - Dolly the Sheep Alive and Well (

SpeZek writes: Dolly the sheep has been reborn. Four clones have been made by the scientist behind the original research. The quads, which have been nicknamed ‘the Dollies’, are exact genetic copies of their predecessor, who was put down seven years ago.
The latest experiments were partly carried out to check if improvements to the technique cut the risk of problems in and out of the womb.
Named after country and western singer Dolly Parton, Dolly was created from a cell taken from a mammary gland. The rest of the sample of tissue has lain in a freezer since, until it was defrosted to make the Dollies.


Submission + - The Starry Sky Just Got Starrier (

An anonymous reader writes: Astronomers have surveyed eight elliptical galaxies, and found that we've vastly underestimated the number of dim red dwarf stars in these giant galaxies. When they used the new number of red dwarfs in their calculations, they tripled the total number of known stars in the universe. Says Discover magazine: "And you thought nothing good ever happens on Wednesdays."

Comment Re:Send them a bill (Score 1) 437

The only problem here is that most large companies won't actually pay an invoice to an entity (company) that isn't somehow a "registered vendor" or whatever label they decide to stick on the "account". And don't think it will be a slam dunk for small claims either, the court would likely side with company in the fact that you can't just go invoicing a company because you feel like they owe you money (even if you do). Normally an invoice is related to some form of contract (verbal, written, whatever) and without that, well, good luck.

If you are lucky, they will send you back the requisite paper work to become a registered vendor. More likely they will ignore the invoice.


Outlook Plug-In Keeps Tone of Your Email In Check 119

Meshach writes "A new plug-in for Outlook will warn you if an email you are about to send is 'too emotional.' Basically the plug-in scans the email for emotions such as elation, humiliation, excitement and fear. A user can set how much emotion they want to allow in their messages and if exceeded the threshold a warning will pop up."

Submission + - Android 2.2 Bests iOS 4 in JavaScript performance ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Ars Technica pitted an iPhone 4 against a Froyo-enabled Nexus One and the results are overwhelmingly in Android 2.2's favor. For the test Ars ran both devices through both the SunSpider and V8 benchmarks. Android outperformed iOS 4 in both instances, several times over.

Submission + - U.S. Cyber Command Encrypts Logo (

GovTechGuy writes: The logo for the new military unit in charge of protecting cyberspace apparently includes a coded inscription, the meaning of which remains unclear. The code as it appears on the inner gold ring of the logo (pictured above): 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a

A U.S. Cyber Command Source told Wired's Danger Room blog the characters have a specific meaning that is spelled out in military documents.

“It is not just random numbers and does ‘decode’ to something specific," the source said. "I believe it is specifically detailed in the official heraldry for the unit symbol.”

If you can figure out the meaning, drop some knowledge on us.

Submission + - DISCOVERY: New Type of Light Matter Interaction (

Elliot Chang writes: Researchers at the University of Maryland have taken a huge step forward toward significantly enhancing energy efficiency and conversion. Using a unique hybrid nanostructure they have discovered a previously unknown type of light matter interaction and displayed the first full quantum control of qubit spin (we had trouble understanding exactly what that meant too – read on for more info) inside tiny particle nanostructures. The advancement pushes them one step closer to a real quantum computer and already has them on the road to developing super efficient photovoltaic cells.

Submission + - PhysX API mired by poor optimization, x87 code (

EconolineCrush writes: Nvidia has long pushed its PhysX game physics middleware as a prime candidate for GPU acceleration. However, it seems that the company may have also taken steps to ensure that PhysX performs poorly when run on a modern CPU. Despite the fact that physics calculations lend themselves to parallel processing, games tend to implement PhysX with a single thread. PhysX also relies largely on x87 code rather than SSE instructions. The latter should run faster and make life easier for developers, and Nvidia has taken advantage of similar instructions with its console-specific PhysX implementations. But not on the PC, which smells like a willful attempt to hinder PhysX performance on anything but an Nvidia GPU.

Submission + - Bluetooth 4.0 Core Specification Adopted

Goyuix writes: The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) today announced the formal adoption of Bluetooth Core Specification Version 4.0, with the hallmark feature, low energy technology. Bluetooth low energy technology opens entirely new markets for devices requiring low cost and low power wireless connectivity. Features include Ultra-low peak, average and idle mode power consumption, ability to run for years on standard coin-cell batteries and enhanced range. The last update to the spec, 3.0, happened less than a year ago in December 2009 which primarily added a high-speed mode among other enhacements.

Submission + - Hands-on with Pixel Qi screens in full sunlight (

griffjon writes: "Side-by-side comparison of the OLPC's screen and an Acer with the new Pixel Qi screen installed, both of course sharing Mary Lou Jepsen's screen technology:

"The XO's dual mode screen still rules in terms of pixel resolution at 1200 x 900 vs. the Acer's 1024 x 600. It was amazing to see Windows 7, Amazon Kindle software, the New York Times web site and a QuickTime video in direct sunlight. Shades of gray and some color tints are visible. Besides the XOs and e-ink based Kindle ereaders, no other color screen device I own can be seen as clearly in sunlight. Not even the famed iPad. In the video, you can see that at a certain angle where line of sight and sun are aligned, the new Pixel Qi screen glows as if backlit!""


Submission + - Universe now 1.4 hellameters across (

paiute writes: "When Austin Sendek was growing up in Northern California, he was never allowed to use the regional slang term "hella."

Now the 20-year-old physics major at UC Davis uses "hella" often — and he's trying to get scientists from Boise to Beijing to do the same. Sendek, who was forced to use "hecka" as a child, has petitioned an international scientific body to make "hella" the name for the hitherto nameless, unimaginably huge, seldom-cited quantity of 10 to the 27th power — or 1 followed by 27 zeros."

Google, as one might anticipate, has embraced this whimsical unit and has incorporated it into the Google calculator:

"Now users can find out, with a little finagling, that our $13-trillion national debt, when expressed in hella-dollars, is a pleasingly tiny 1.3 times 10 to the minus 14th."

Slashdotters in the greater Boston area are readying their petition to the Consultative Committee on Units to make "wickedpissa" the new name for 10 to the 28th power.

Comment Too bad many consumer mainboards don't support ECC (Score 1) 277

Some of the nicer boards will tolerate ECC memory being inserted, but won't actually do any meaningful error correction (like scrubbing) - but a disturbingly large number of consumer boards (BIOS limitation perhaps?) don't actually do ANYTHING with ECC memory, and the really cheap ones won't even boot with it present. I used to have the same mindset of purchasing only ECC RAM for the same reason - but the unfortunate truth is that hardware support for it just isn't there without spending $$$ on a decent board too.

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