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"Tube Map" Created For the Milky Way 142

astroengine writes "Assuming you had an interstellar spaceship, how would you navigate around the galaxy? For starters, you'd probably need a map. But there's billions of stars out there — how complex would that map need to be? Actually, Samuel Arbesman, a research fellow from Harvard, has come up with a fun solution. He created the 'Milky Way Transit Authority (MWTA),' a simple transit system in the style of the iconic London Underground 'Tube Map.' (Travel Tip: Don't spend too much time loitering around the station at Carina, there's some demolition work underway.)"
Linux Business

Submission + - ODSL:Desktop Linux 2006:The Year in Review

derrida writes: "The OSDL's Desktop Linux Working Group has published its first year-end report [www.desktoplinux.com]on the state of the overall desktop Linux ecosystem. The report provides insight into the year's key accomplishments in terms of functionality, standards, applications, distributions, market penetration, and more. Of great interest is the Market Growth part. Copying from there: "Most observers believe that much of the growth will take place outside of the United States.""

Submission + - NASA Commemorates Space Shuttle Tragedies

eldavojohn writes: "Space.com is covering NASA's commemoration of the Apollo 1 crew & the last shuttle crews of both the Challenger and Columbia orbiters. The Apollo 1 crew was lost forty years ago today to a fire while testing their spacecraft on a launch pad. From the article, "While the nearly two decades separating NASA's three space disasters allowed room for the agency to grow complacent, the relatively short time between the 2003 loss of Columbia and the end of the shuttle program could avoid a repeat of such behavior.""

Submission + - The Amazon Uncertainty Principle

elstaqub writes: Amazon.com apparently has books that are both in-stock and out-of-stock at the same time, and ships them in a way that ships in both the past and future. Apparently they have some very clever quantum mechanics working in their order processing department.

In early January I ordered a book called "Groovy In Action" from them, which they claim is "In Stock". But after I ordered, I noted that the delivery estimate slipped to March 21-23, 2007.

I figured that it just really wasn't in stock — it was a small glitch of some kind in their huge system. But when I tried to cancel the order on the web, its status was "Shipping Soon — We are preparing these items for shipment and this portion of your order cannot be canceled or changed."

Well, I've heard of slow shipping, but I figured that NOBODY could be that slow. So I sent them a note asking what was going on.

Here's what I got back:

Unfortunately, I can't cancel your order for the item "Groovy in Action" because it's already in the shipping process.

I have researched your order and see that it has entered the shipping process . We were able to ship your package in advance of the date estimated on our web site. Your actual ship date is March 18, 2007. We have prepared in advance to ship your order, so we expect your order will arrive within March 21, 2007 — March 23, 2007 or you will get before.

I have researched your order and note that it has been shipped via USPS. There is no tracking number available for this service.
So, they aren't shipping for two months, but they won't let me cancel the order. Aren't there laws against this kind of thing?

Submission + - Fit for a Nerd?

SocialWorm writes: "With a love of computers, it's easy to develop a sedentary lifestyle. I've been trying to think of ways to combat this lately, and been considering different activities that would be a good complement for coding most of the day. So far, I've come up with bowling and archery as possibly free-time activities, as they both involve looking further away and stretching the hands and wrist in a not-typing sort of way. Does anyone else have a good idea for activities that are good for people who spend on lot of time with computers?"

Journal Journal: NASA to Britain: Join Us

NASA chief, Michael Griffin, challenged Britain to rekindle its adventurous spirit by joining NASA in its quest to explore the Moon and Mars. Griffin likened NASA's current mission to the maritime exploits of British pioneering explorers, Francis Drake and Captain Cook.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Top Penguinista Talks Turkey

An anonymous reader writes: The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and Free Standard Group (FSG) merged on Jan. 21, creating the Linux Foundation, a single entity aiming to take responsibility for Linux standardization, promotion, and protection. LinuxDevices.com wasted no time interviewing Jim Zemlin, the new mega-organization's executive director. The interview reveals Foundation plans to integrate OSDL specifications like Desktop Linux and Carrier Grade Linux with the Linux Standards Base, among other tantalizing hints of things to come in the world of Linux.
The Gimp

Submission + - Using The GIMP (or Photoshop) to Improve my Photos

Nom du Keyboard writes: Is it possible to use The GIMP (or Photoshop) to improve my digital photos? I have a mid-range 7.1MP Olympus camera capable of shooting in Raw mode. When I inspected a section of clear blue sky on a bright, sunny day (which I've long believed to be relatively good reference of uniform color and brightness) I was surprised (disappointed, since I expect digital perfection) at the variance in adjacent pixels. It's also a quick way to identify any bad pixels. Surprisingly, actual photos from this camera look pretty good despite this variance so far. Moving on from that point it led me to wonder that, if you shot a uniform white surface, perhaps blurred as much as possible to avoid any imperfections in the surface itself, could a correction (adjustment) layer be created in GIMP or Photoshop exactly tuned to your camera that fixed the variations in your CCD sensor and improved the image quality in the process. Any thoughts?

Submission + - Song Sung Blue? Web site names that tune

coondoggie writes: "How many times have you had a song stuck in your head but couldn't figure out what it was (or why it got suck there in the first place?) Well, a new social networking site announced today promises to solve that problem — in under 10 seconds in some cases. Melodis, a search and sound recognition technology company, announced midomi.com, a site where you can sing, whistle or hum a tune into your computer microphone and it'll spit back the song title and artist. http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1081 4"

Submission + - ISS Communique with Alvin

fourNineteen writes: Marine biologist Tim Shank, diving in the Alvin submersible, will compare notes on life, science, and exploration with astronaut Sunita "Suni" Williams as she orbits on the International Space Station. You can be a part of that conversation: Students, educators, and science lovers can submit questions for Tim and Suni to answer on the air. Visit the "Ask a question" page at Woods Hole Pretty cool stuff — the feed will be archived on NASATV and replayed throughout the day. Windows Media: http://www.nasa.gov/55644main_NASATV_Windows.asx

Submission + - Remembering Apollo 1

wiredog writes: On January 27, 1967, (forty years ago tomorrow) Apollo 1's crew — Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee — was killed when their capsule, which had a pure oxygen atmosphere, caught fire during testing. Articles from Wikipedia and Nasa.

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