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Submission + - Android Overtakes Blackberry (comscore.com)

eldavojohn writes: A staggering shift in the US between October of 2010 and January of 2011 (Android up 7.7%, Blackberry down 5.4%) indicates that Android has surpassed Blackberry in smart-phone platform market share. Other research puts it at 35% of worldwide total smart-phone market share. This presents reinforcing evidence for Android's new dominance in the smart-phone world. Is Android's lead over the business savvy Blackberry temporary or has it become a competitor for that market?

Submission + - 'Miraculous' Aeros airship set to fly by 2013 (everythingnew.net)

hasanabbas1987 writes: "Ever felt nostalgic by the word “Zepplin” or do you simply remember an airship burning up in flames and someone shouting of the news “Oh the humanity..”. Well apparently Airships are going to get a second try in 2013. A Ukrainian entrepreneur Igor Pasternak claims to have solved the buoyancy problem which has long prevented the usefulness of airships. What happens is that when the airship uses up its fuel or when its cargo is dropped, it lightens the airship and then you have to vent in very costly helium in order to return it to earth. Without a way to control buoyancy, the take-offs and landings become complicated. Pasternak claims to have settled this issue by compressing the pricey gas so you can conserve it for later use. The Defense Department has given him the contract to provide them with a working demonstration by 2013. Called the Pelican, the airship will fly without any payload at first but if this thing works, we might be looking at a new Era of Airships."

Submission + - Caught in the act: Herschel detects gigantic storm (mpe.mpg.de)

An anonymous reader writes: With observations from the PACS instrument on board the ESA Herschel space observatory, an international team of scientists led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have found gigantic storms of molecular gas gusting in the centres of many galaxies. Some of these massive outflows reach velocities of more than 1000 kilometres per second, i.e. thousands of times faster than in terrestrial hurricanes. The observations show that the more active galaxies contain stronger winds, which can blow away the entire gas reservoir in a galaxy, thereby inhibiting both further star formation and the growth of the central black hole. This finding is the first conclusive evidence for the importance of galactic winds in the evolution of galaxies.

In the distant and therefore younger Universe, many galaxies show much more activity than our Milky Way today. In commonly accepted evolutionary scenarios gas-rich galaxies merge, which triggers increased star formation (“starburst” galaxies) as well as the growth of supermassive black holes at their centres. This increased activity, however, seems to cease fairly suddenly, effectively stalling star formation and further growth of the black hole in as little as a few million years’ time. What processes could be responsible for removing all the raw material powering this activity – around a billion solar masses – in such a (cosmologically) short timespan?
The solution to this riddle could be powerful winds that blow gas outwards from the centre of the galaxy. Powered by newly formed stars, shocks from stellar explosions or by the Black Hole in the galaxy’s centre, these storms would remove all the gas supply from the galaxy thereby halting the same mechanisms that produced them in the first place.
“Outflows are key features in models of galactic formation and evolution, but prior to our work no decisive evidence of their active role in such processes had been gathered,” explains Eckhard Sturm from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE). Sturm led a study of ultra-luminous infrared galaxies with the PACS instrument on board the Herschel space observatory, which revealed massive outflows of molecular gas. Almost all previous observations dealt mainly with neutral and ionised gas, which does not contribute to the formation of stars.
“By detecting outflows in cold molecular gas from which stars are born, we can finally witness their direct impact on star formation,” Sturm adds. “Star formation stalls as the gas supply is blown out of the centres of the galaxies with a rate of up to a thousand solar masses per year.”
However, the observations not only reveal an intermediate stage of galaxy evolution, from disc galaxies with many young stars and a large gas fraction to elliptical galaxies with old stellar populations and little gas. In addition, they can explain another empirical property: The mass of the Black Hole in the centre and the mass of stars in the inner regions of a galaxy seem to correlate. Such a correlation is a natural consequence of the newly found galactic outflows as they remove the common gas reservoir thus inhibiting both star formation and the growth of the Black Hole.
“Herschel's sensitivity enabled us to detect these gigantic galactic storms, and to demonstrate, for the first time, that they may be strong enough to shut down stellar production entirely,” says co-author Albrecht Poglitsch, also from MPE and the Principal Investigator of PACS.
The sample of galaxies observed is still too small to pin down the driving force behind these outflows. The first results seem to indicate that the galaxies fall in two categories: starburst-dominated objects loose material of up to a few hundred solar masses per year which is similar to their star formation rate; with velocities of a few hundred kilometres per second these outflows are probably driven by radiation pressure from starbursts or supernovae explosions. Galaxies dominated by the activity of the black hole in their centre loose material at much higher rates, up to a thousand solar masses per year or more; with velocities around 1000 kilometres per second these outflows are probably powered mostly by radiation pressure from the active galactic nucleus. To confirm these first conclusions and study potential trends in the outflow characteristics, the Herschel-PACS observations will continue to cover a much larger sample of galaxies.

Notes to editors:
PACS has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by MPE (Germany) and including UVIE (Austria); KU Leuven, CSL, IMEC (Belgium); CEA, LAM (France); MPIA (Germany); INAF-IFSI/OAA/OAP/OAT, LENS, SISSA (Italy); IAC (Spain). This development has been supported by the funding agencies BMVIT (Austria), ESA-PRODEX (Belgium), CEA/CNES (France), DLR (Germany), ASI/INAF (Italy), and CICYT/MCYT (Spain).

Image captions:
This illustration shows an Ultra-Luminous InfraRed Galaxy (ULIRG) that exhibits massive outflows of molecular gas. Image: ESA/AOES Medialab

Schematic diagram indicating how outflows of molecular gas can be detected in the spectra of galaxies using ESA's Herschel Space Observatory. The astronomers use a particular spectral line of the hydroxyl molecule (OH), which exhibits a very characteristic shape resulting from a combination of emission by the central black hole and by the gas cloud itself: the emission from the accretion disk around the galactic centre has to pass through the gas clouds along the line of sight, in which OH molecules absorb the light – and since these gas clouds are moving towards us, the absorption lines are blue-shifted. At the same time, all gas clouds emit the OH line, especially those who are not on a direct line of sight to the black hole – and as they are moving away from us, this light is red-shifted. Image: ESA/AOES Medialab

Book Reviews

Submission + - BookReview: Scribus Beginners Guide

JR0cket writes: "Scribus is an open source desktop publishing tool that helps you create professionally laid out documents, from simple documents to full blown magazines, corporate brochures or even books. Desktop publishing tools are not a replacement for word processors, instead they give you the freedom to create uniquely designed documents and help you manage large sets of text and graphic content. Scribus is similar to Adobe InDesign or Quarq Xpress and gives you a wide range of tools to layout content in either print or digital media form. Scribus is pretty easy to get to grips with and has good documentaton on the project website. The Scribus 1.3.5 beginners guide is a really handy guide through the workflow of desktop publishing and helps you clearly understand how to create professional looking results.

The book includes a simple comparison between Scribus and other desktop publsihing tools such as InDesign, Quark Express and Microsoft publisher, setting expectations clearly as to what you can get from Scribus and the kind of interoperability between desktop publishing tools (its a little limited, but the Scribus project is trying and is the most open).

The book begins by covering some theory behind desktop publishing, using the metaphor — What you see is what you mean — to get you thinking about the overal design that would appeal to your audience, whilst also considering the resource and media constraints you have. As with developing software, knowing the needs of your audience is an important factor in the layout of your documents. Knowing the limitations of what you can print out effectively or deliver as other media is an important set of constraints to consider.

An important concept to understand is the "graphic workflow" for desktop publishing. The first chapter therefore covers the use of Inkscape, Gimp and LibreOffice (open office) to create and manage your content (text and images) and then using Scribus to pull that content together in an appealing and productive layout. Also covered is the idea of using Inkscape as a tool for mock-up designs. I see Scribus as kind of the the big brother to Inkscape (review) in that Inkscape works with a single page document, whereas Scribus can manage content across a multiple page document. You can assemble some very intricate documents using Scribus that would take a lot of time and effort to do using Inkscape and word processors such as Libre office and Microsoft office.

Next is the overview of the Scribus workspace, including details of the menus and tool bars for which there are many. This overview is very easy to understand, especially for someone who has little or no experience. The coverage of the text, graphics and page layout options are very detailed and nicey sprinkled with mini-tutorials to help you get to grips with Scribus quickly. The first tutorial guides you through the creation of a simple business card, so you get a nice gentle start whilst still being practical.

Due to the good layout and extensive use of screenshots its easy for an advanced user to skip through to the parts of the workspace you want to learn about.

Once the Scribus workstation is covered, the book goes on to detail how to create your own layouts for desktop publishing using all the features of Scribus. Again you are guided step-by-step through the various options for choosing a document layout and managing the structure of your documents, using frames for importing and managing text and graphics, changing colours and styles, stacking and layers to manage the presentation, distorting shapes using resizing, rotating / scaling frames, alignment and distribution of objects. There are a lot of layout options in Scribus and the book does a good job of introducing each aspect. Again this is done using a step by step tutorial style and the odd pop-quiz that helps you quickly gain confidence with the tool.

There is good coverage of the how Scribus handles advanced colour features. Using shading, gradient fills, pattern fills and transparency of images and the use of layers, its shown how to create eye-catching effects to enhance your documents. Support for CMYK and colour profiles is covered when talking about profiling with the Argyll plugin for Scribus.

As printing documents is full of pitfalls, in part due to the wide range of printing hardware out there, there is a whole chapter on this topic. Scribus has a pre-flight verifier to check the quality of your document output and can give you a lot of information and highlight any errors in PDF generation. Using the print preview you can see examples of colour separation and ink coverage, all very important for print media. There is also some very useful information for book production, marks and bleeds, security for pdf's and all the various standards for pdf documents.

Overall the book gives a complete coverage of all the typical layout techniques you will need for your desktop publishing efforts the book. By the time you reach the end of the book you will know how to produce an Adobe portable document file (pdf) that is suitable for your print or online distribution.

Please note: Scribus has recently moved to a new file format its documents and the book referes to the Scribus version which uses this new file format. Documents created with older versions of Scribus are supported in all newer versions, but document created in 1.3.5 onwards are not backwards compatible. On Debian based system, both the older version of Scribus and newer version Scribus-NG can be run side by side.

The Scribus beginers guide book has a well presented layout with content nicely spaced through the books 348 pages, making it comfortable to read both in book and ebook form. Althought there is plenty of information online, the book is a great way to get started and give you confidence in your approach and use of Scribus, so you can make use of the reference materials online.

There are several books available for Scribus, however the Scribus 1.3.5 beginners guide is the most up to date, covering all the latest features of this evolving tool. This book makes a nice addition to the online reference documentation and the community resources available for Scribus.

About the reviewer

John coaches Lean Agile practices, organises London technical communities and is an OSS advocate. @JR0cket"

Submission + - SPAM: Ever Higher Conversion Rates - How To Get There

westondalton410 writes: I am sure that if you are visiting this web page, you will be interested in overselling. Generating traffic is basically a mechanical process, but turning that into a good conversion rate very often proves to be a real challenge. If you're not quite satisfied with your conversions, then we can help you with some timely suggestions and approaches.

If you are hunting for finest deals and testimonials on this topic, than please go to overselling. There is one particular concern that enters the mind of anyone who is seriously thinking about getting something. You wonder whether or not other customers are happy with the performance of the product. The concept of social proof has existed for many decades and long before the internet came along. Merely adding powerful testimonials can have a dramatically positive effect on your conversion rates. This provides new interested prospects a window into your product's history and gives a clear picture of how it can be helpful to them in the long run. The very best kind of testimonials offer very specific information including supporting data and examples about how your product was helpful. In the United States, it is illegal to display fake or forged testimonials, so do keep that in mind. Actually it's not hard to spot a fake testimonial, and people are very tired of all the deceit and will very likely report your site. You will always need to obtain permission; but try to be able to display first and last names and city/state/country where they live. If you're honest and sincere, then a majority of people will be able to sense that. If you ever receive a video testimonial, then you're lucky because video is extremely hot right now plus people will pay more attention. If it's possible, it's not always, then ask around for people to check out your site and tell you what they think about it. Just ask them how they feel about it in as many ways as possible, and tell them to not worry about hurting your feelings. Some sites have feedback forms directly on their site and welcome anyone to send in comments. Even if this delays your launch for a while, don't worry because ultimately you want your site to have the most conversions. It's all about making adjustments and testing, and it's a never ending process.

Testing is one of the smartest and most valuable endeavors you can ever do in any kind of business and especially online business. There is so much you can test it's ridiculous; things like copy headlines, other aspects of copy, background colors, etc. Once you have achieved what you think is your terminal conversion rate, then give it a little time and then start over. Usually the only reason most people stop testing is because they're getting a little lazy or complacent. You should now very well that the web business environment is highly dynamic, so that's another reason to never let your feet fall asleep.

Make every effort to continue learning about ways to improve your conversion rates because a lot of information exists about it. For far more facts and greatest opinions, please go to overselling.

More Articles:

Grow Your Site's Conversion Rate and Get More Profits
Conversion Rates — Are You Killing Yours Without Knowing It?
3 Effective Tips to Increase Your Website's Conversion Rate
3 Effective Tips to Increase Your Website's Conversion Rate

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Make more money than Zuckerberg == fired (blogspot.com)

Dryanta writes: "I made a Fortune 50 company at least 18 billion dollars, and got fired for it. I optimized their application implementation and got the best customer kudos email ever sent to a F5 support rep, and trying to advise management that these results are simple with the right approach resulted in termination. I am disclosing the emails Assange style and wanted the /. crew to be the first to rip it apart."

Submission + - Netbeans 7 without JUnit, legally speaking (blogspot.com)

JR0cket writes: "Trying out the latest Netbeans 7 beta 2 release, you quickly see the gentle influence of the Oracle lawyers have had on the Netbeans development team. JUnit testing framework is no longer distributed with Netbeans 7 onwards.

All is not lost though as the first time you run Netbeans 7 you are immediately prompted as to whether you want to install the JUnit testing framework into Netbeans, via the Netbeans plugin for JUnit. As JUnit is pretty much standard for all Java development these days, it seems a strange thing to ask, but when legal concerns get in the way of common sense I guess these things happen. You can still install the Netbeans plug-in later on if you choose not to do it straight away, or if you are not connected to the Internet and therefore cannot connect to the Netbeans "app store" for plugins.

As has been previously reported by NetBeans Platform Architect Jaroslav Tulach, Oracle lawyers are concerned by the overly constrictive conditions of the Common Public Licence used by JUnit and have caused a hold-up on the Netbeans 7 release. This CPL license could be interpreted to mean that if Oracle ever sues a contributor to JUnit for patent infringement, then all patent licenses granted to Oracle by that contributor could be revoked. So the license certainly seems restrictive if you are in the litigation business.

According to Kent Beck, if the CPL license is a big enough problem to get lawyers involved, then its an important enough reason to buy a commercial licence. Unless Oracle wants to pay for a commercial license, pay to get JUnit re-licensed or forget about suing anyone contributing to JUnit, then I guess the Netbeans team will have to keep their work-around.

At least it seems that Netbeans 7 is back on track now and fingers crossed that Oracle decides it will not sue anyone who contributes to JUnit."


Submission + - Physicists Build Bigger 'Bottles' of Antimatter (sciencedaily.com) 1

intellitech writes: Once regarded as the stuff of science fiction, antimatter — the mirror image of the ordinary matter in our observable universe — is now the focus of laboratory studies around the world. While physicists routinely produce antimatter with radioisotopes and particle colliders, cooling these antiparticles and containing them for any length of time is another story. Clifford Surko, a professor of physics at UC San Diego, who is constructing what he hopes will be the world's largest antimatter container, said physicists have recently developed new methods to make special states of antimatter in which they can create large clouds of antiparticles, compress them and make specially tailored beams for a variety of uses.

Submission + - Shocking Images Show Gulf Bottom Still Dead (dailymail.co.uk)

intellitech writes: The Daily Mail is reporting that much of the oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. At a science conference in Washington today, Joye, a professor at the University of Georgia aired early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site. She went to places she had visited in the summer and expected the oil and residue from oil-munching microbes would be gone by then. It wasn't. New images from her submarine dives reveal a startling absence of life on the bottom of the Gulf.

Submission + - Nvidia & laptop manufacturers ignore Linux use (nvidia.com)

nocleverhandle writes: "NVidias's Optimus technology does not work well with an OS other then Windows7 — and it is becoming pervasive.

As the forum poster says, that is understandable. Linux (X.org) may have something in the future, but in the meantime Linux users trying to buy a high-end laptop face an ugly situation having to pay for and power a Nvidia graphics processor, but getting low-end graphics from the built-in Intel graphics processor."

Submission + - Developing world: send Kindles not PCs (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: "PC Pro's Stuart Turton has a fascinating blog on how the local children reacted to the Amazon Kindle on a recent visit to the Nagpur region of India. "About 20 kids stood in a big group, just watching me: big eyes, curious expressions, ridiculously cute and all intent on the Kindle," he writes.

"Just turning the page caused them to drag their friends over, and there’s no reality where changing the font size of your book should make you cooler than a Jimmy Hendrix guitar solo. That was just the warm-up act though, it was the text-to-speech feature that pretty much made me the best friend of the entire village."

"A charity could do a lot worse than to load a few up with dictionaries, school books and novels and send them to some remote schools in developing nations," he observes."

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