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Submission + - Small World Discovered Far Beyond Pluto (

astroengine writes: After a decade of searching, astronomers have found a second dwarf-like planet far beyond Pluto and its Kuiper Belt cousins, a presumed no-man’s land that may turn out to be anything but. How Sedna, which was discovered in 2003, and its newly found neighbor, designated 2012 VP 2113 by the Minor Planet Center, came to settle in orbits so far from the sun is a mystery. Sedna comes no closer than about 76 times as far from the sun as Earth, or 76 astronomical units. The most distant leg of its 11,400-year orbit is about 1,000 astronomical units. Newly found VP 2113’s closest approach to the sun is about 80 astronomical units and its greatest distance is 452 astronomical units. The small world is roughly 280 miles (450 kilometers) wide, less than half the estimated diameter of Sedna.

Submission + - Planets could orbit singularities in black holes (

wisebabo writes: Here's a far out (far in?) idea. There may be stable orbits INSIDE black holes which would allow planets (either formed there or brought in) to exist. Not only that, but the singularity at the center may also emit radiation creating a "sun".

Now it would take a pretty advanced civilization to be able to 1) survive the gravitational tides (although this may not be a problem for some really big black holes) 2) cross the event horizon "where the radial dimension becomes time like not space like" (?) 3) survive the intense energy field from photons trapped in the same orbit and 4) deal with the causality violations (?!) present there. So I guess we've got a ways to go.

On the other hand once you've managed to do all that, you've got a great hiding spot (as the Heechee used in the "Gateway" sci-fi books). Except, just how do you get out again? I know there was a short story by Greg Egan where he describes a trip into a black hole where the nanotech explorer manages to get out (but the physics was beyond me.)

I once read that the entire universe could be thought of as a black hole. This article actually makes me doubt that as the physics seems to be very different. And there don't seem to be any "causality violations" here (unfortunately!).

Hey editors- If you didn't know already (or didn't do this on purpose) it is impossible to stories with long comments using an iPad, the scroll bars do not appear. Also, how do you make tags comprised of compound words (like "black hole")?

Submission + - Pac-Man's Ghost Behavior Algorithms ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: A very interesting description of the algorithms behind the ghosts in Pac-Man. I had no idea about most of this information, but that's probably because it's difficult to study the ghosts when I die every 30 seconds.

Submission + - BitTorrent Based DNS To Counter US Domain Seizures (

jarong writes: The domain seizures by the United States authorities in recent days and upcoming legislation that could make similar takeovers even easier in the future, have inspired a group of enthusiasts to come up with a new, decentralized and BitTorrent-powered DNS system. This system will exchange DNS information through peer-to-peer transfers and will work with a new .p2p domain extension.

Submission + - Graphene Can be Made With Table Sugar (

Zothecula writes: There’s no doubt that the discovery of graphene is one sweet breakthrough. The remarkable material offers everything from faster, cooler electronics and cheaper lithium-ion batteries to faster DNA sequencing and single-atom transistors. Researchers at Rice University have made graphene even sweeter by developing a way to make pristine sheets of the one-atom-thick form of carbon from plain table sugar and other carbon-based substances. In another plus, the one-step process takes place at temperatures low enough to make the wonder material easy to manufacture.

Submission + - $2000 Bounty For Open Source MS Kinect Drivers (

dkd903 writes: Adafruit Industries, an open source hardware developer, has announced an X prize style $2000 bounty to the whoever can first develop open source drivers for Kinetic.

Kinetic, previously known as Project Natal, is a motion sensing technology developed by Microsoft primarily for gaming. It is already available for the Xbox 360 already. It is also expected to be available for PC later (possible with Windows 8).


Submission + - Pay or else, News Site Threatens ( 5

WED Fan writes: "An Up State NY news blog says users who read beyond a single page of an article must pay up or they will be tracked down:

A subscription is required at North Country Gazette. We allow only one free read per visitor. We are currently gathering IPs and computer info on persistent intruders who refuse to buy subscription and are engaging in a theft of services. We have engaged an attorney who will be doing a bulk subpoena demand on each ISP involved, particularly Verizon Droids, Frontier and Road Runner, and will then pursue individual legal actions.

They don't have a pay wall. If you go beyond page 1, you owe them.

So, is this like going into a grocery store and eating the food and the manager hauling you up to the check out to pay for what you ate? Or, is it like picking up a discarded paper on the ferry and the guy at the news stand demanding that you pay him?"


Submission + - You have taste receptors in your lungs ( 1

timothy writes: Says the article: "It sounds like the plot of a Troma flick, but yes, your lungs contain taste receptors. When these receptors encounter bitter compounds, they open up your airways — this discovery could radically improve the treatment of lung conditions like asthma." I wonder if this is why some people can handle spicy foods, and others can't ...

Submission + - Scary USB marketing device 8

snookerhog writes: My boss just came back from a trade show and passed me one of these USB marketing devices. I assumed that it was just a micro flash drive that had some web links or PDFs on it so I stuck it in my computer. After a brief delay and quick driver install, my Run window (Windows 7) opened on its own and typed in a URL to the advertising company's website. This little device is not a storage media, but a crafty little keyboard emulator.

this tech is new to me and it seems pretty scary, especially since I am logged in to my computer with admin rights. Anyone else played with one of these?

Submission + - Textfyre Brings Text Adventures to Mobile Devices (

ChicagoDave writes: Textfyre, a start-up software publisher in Chicago, is building a platform to deliver interactive fiction (text adventures) to all mobile devices, including the Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad/iPhone, Android, and more. They have a Kickstarter campaign looking to help pay for programming and other expenses. If you want to play new text based games similar Zork on your Kindle or iPad designed with a native user interface, pitch in and help. Current backers include Infocom alum Brian Moriarty as well as noted IF author Andrew Plotkin, Sarah Morayati, and Aaron Reed.

Submission + - Xmarks may not be dead after all

gatorfan writes: Xmarks announced it is shutting down in January of next year, that was reported a couple of days ago. Well since the out cry of people willing to pay for the service was so profound, they have since posted a pledge that users can sign if they are willing to pay for the service.

I was wondering if this would be something you guys would like to do an update to the post from earlier this week to get the word out. The post I am referring to,

Thanks for your consideration.

Devoted Xmarks user

Submission + - Barcode of Life

JamJam writes: Using barcodes assigned to unique DNA identifiers, scientists are working on a handheld scanner that would allow you to identify any plant or bug that you come across. Acting similar to a StarTrek Tricoder the handheld device would display the name of the species, its origin and an encyclopedic description of any living thing you touch with it. According to Barcode of Life Data Systems close to 80,000 species have already been assigned DNA barcodes with 500,000 to be added within the next 5 years.

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