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The Sun Unleashes Coronal Mass Ejection At Earth 220

astroengine writes "Yesterday morning, at 08:55 UT, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory detected a C3-class flare erupt inside a sunspot cluster. 100,000 kilometers away, deep within the solar atmosphere (the corona), an extended magnetic field filled with cool plasma forming a dark ribbon across the face of the sun (a feature known as a 'filament') erupted at the exact same time. It seems very likely that both eruptions were connected after a powerful shock wave produced by the flare destabilized the filament, causing the eruption. A second solar observatory, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, then spotted a huge coronal mass ejection blast into space, straight in the direction of Earth. Solar physicists have calculated that this magnetic bubble filled with energetic particles should hit Earth on August 3, so look out for some intense aurorae — a solar storm is coming."

Intel Considers Hardware Acceleration For Google's WebM Format 139

CWmike writes "Intel is considering hardware-based acceleration for Google's new WebM video file format in its Atom-based TV chips if the format gains popularity, an Intel executive said on Thursday. Announced last Wednesday at Google I/O, WebM files will include video streams compressed with the open-source VP8 video codec, which was acquired by Google when it bought On2 Technologies in February. 'Just like we did with other codecs like MPEG2, H.264 and VC1, if VP8 establishes itself in the Smart TV space, we will add it to our [hardware] decoders,' said Wilfred Martis, a general manager at Intel's Digital Home Group."

Websites That Don't Need to Be Made Anymore 161

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but there is a finite number of social networking or selling websites that the world needs. Here is a collection of the eight kinds of websites that absolutely don't need to be made anymore. I'd add dating sites and anybody who uses pop-up ads myself, but I think that would eliminate half the Web.

Supermassive Black Hole Is Thrown Out of Galaxy 167

DarkKnightRadick writes "An undergrad student at the University of Utrecht, Marianne Heida, has found evidence of a supermassive black hole being tossed out of its galaxy. According to the article, the black hole — which has a mass equivalent to one billion suns — is possibly the culmination of two galaxies merging (or colliding, depending on how you like to look at it) and their black holes merging, creating one supermassive beast. The black hole was found using the Chandra Source Catalog (from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory). The direction of the expulsion is also possibly indicative of the direction of rotation of the two black holes as they circled each other before merging."

Comcast Awarded the Golden Poo Award 286

ISoldat53 writes "The Consumerist has awarded Comcast the Golden Poo award for the worst company in America. From the article: 'After four rounds of bloody battle against some of the most publicly reviled businesses in America, Comcast can now run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and hold its hands high in victory — it has bested everyone else to earn the title of Worst Company In America for 2010.'"

Android 2.1 Finally Makes It To Droid 132

MrSmith0011000100110 writes "The lovely people over at AndroidCentral have broken the announcement that Android 2.1 is finally coming to the Motorola Droid, with actual proof on Verizon's Droid support page (PDF). I don't know about my Droid brethren, but I'm pretty excited to see the new series of Android ROMs for the Droid phone that are based on a stock Android 2.1. As most of us know, the existing 2.1 ROMs can be buggy as hell and either running vanilla 2.1 or a custom ROM; but this phone is still a tinkerer's best friend."

Edward Tufte Appointed To Help Track and Explain Stimulus Funds 186

President Obama recently announced several appointments to the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel, including data visualization expert Edward Tufte, author of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. The purpose of the panel is to advise the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, whose aim is "To promote accountability by coordinating and conducting oversight of Recovery funds to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse and to foster transparency on Recovery spending by providing the public with accurate, user-friendly information." Tufte said on his website, "I'm doing this because I like accountability and transparency, and I believe in public service. And it is the complete opposite of everything else I do. Maybe I'll learn something. The practical consequence is that I will probably go to Washington several days each month, in addition to whatever homework and phone meetings are necessary."

Comment The API sucks (Score 2, Informative) 745

The honest truth is, the Android API sucks. You're given the worst of both worlds -- doing simple things (like storing simple application settings) is tedious and awkward -- but neither are the tools powerful enough to do anything interesting.

As a developer, I found the whole experience of building apps for Android extremely disappointing. The potential is there, and it shines through in (for example) the Eclipse-based IDE tools, but the API itself absolutely sucks. Why is there no built in abstraction layer for persisting data? I have to manually create SQL databases and write SQL queries just to retrieve a simple application setting? Seriously??


Submission + - Pirates protected in Sweden (

mno writes: The Swedish Chambers Court (Kammarrätten) has ordered Antipiratbyrån, the Swedish version of MPA, to stop collecting IP-address of file sharers. Basically, the Swedish privacy law states that companies cannot collect personal information without your consent or proof of business relation. Since an IP-address can be used to uniquely identify a person, it is now considered as personal information. This is the second time that Antipiratbyrån lost this case. Most likely they will appeal to the highest instance, but it's uncertain if that appeal will be granted. The implications of this ruling is that the hunt for Swedish file sharers is effectively stopped. Since the Swedish privacy law is based on EU law, the whole of Europe was just granted a shimmer of hope for similar rulings. The article is in Swedish.

Submission + - Monkey Business and Freakonomics

marct22 writes: Stephen J Dubner, co-writer of "Freakonomics" said there will be a second Freakonomics book. One of the items that will be covered is Capuchin monkeys' use of washers as money, buying sweets, budgeting for favored treats over lesser treats. He mentioned that one of the experiments had similar outcomes as a study of day traders. And lastly, he watched capuchin prostitution! read more at ey+business/2100-1026-6177655.html?part=dht&tag=nl .e433

SCO Chairman Fights to Ban Open Wireless Networks 343

cachedout writes "SCO's Ralph Yarro had the floor yesterday at the Utah Technology Commission meeting in front of Utah lawmakers. Yarro proposed that free wireless sites and subscribers should be held responsible should any porn be delivered to minors because hotspots are apparently where kids go to watch porn all day long. Yarro told lawmakers that open wireless access points should be made a crime because we have an Internet out of control."

Feed Why Some Aphids Can't Stand The Heat (

For pea aphids, the ability to go forth and multiply can depend on a single gene, according to new research. The gene isn't even in the insect -- it's in the tiny symbiotic bacteria housed inside special cells inside the aphid. It's the first time a mutation in a symbiont has been shown to have a significant impact on host ecology.

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