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Submission + - Doctor Who actress Elisabeth Sladen dies (

An anonymous reader writes: Doctor Who star Elisabeth Sladen, who was also in spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures, has died aged 63.

Sladen appeared as Doctor Who assistant Sarah Jane Smith in the BBC television sci-fi series between 1973 and 1976, opposite Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.

The Liverpool-born actress appeared in four series from 2007 of The Sarah Jane Adventures on children's channel CBBC.

Comment Re:um (Score 4, Informative) 379

It's pretty fucking simple this guys... Don't mess it up.

A US court ruling has no power to get anything from the guy as long as he and all his possessions are outside of the US. Before anything happens in Canada a Canadian court needs to look at the case and see if it agrees on the ruling.

From the summary:

A ruling by by a US District Court judge in San Jose, California has now been upheld by the Quebec Superior Court

Comment Re:In our lifetime... (Score 1) 32

With the current (as always exponential) rate of telescope development, we will get to a Google-maps-like resolution or even better.

No need to go that far - all we need is to find a planet, using a somewhat higher resolution method than that in TFA, that has an atmosphere with the right temperature and composition for life, and then see if that atmosphere contains chemicals that do not occur in nature and are the byproduct of basic industrial processes. Essentially, find a planet with air pollution, and you've probably found a planet with intelligent life.


Spectrum of Light Captured From Distant World 32

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Cosmos: "Astronomers have made the first direct capture of a spectrum of light from a planet outside the Solar System and are deciphering its composition. The light was snared from a giant planet that orbits a bright young star called HR 8799 about 130 light-years from Earth, said the European Southern Observatory (ESO). ... The find is important, because hidden within a light spectrum are clues about the relative amounts of different elements in the planet's atmosphere. 'The features observed in the spectrum are not compatible with current theoretical models,' said co-author Wolfgang Brandner. 'We need to take into account a more detailed description of the atmospheric dust clouds, or accept that the atmosphere has a different chemical composition from that previously assumed.' The result represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the universe, said the ESO. Until now, astronomers have been able to get only an indirect light sample from an exoplanet, as worlds beyond our Solar System are called. They do this by measuring the spectrum of a star twice — while an orbiting exoplanet passes near to the front of it, and again while the planet is directly behind it. The planet's spectrum is thus calculated by subtracting one light sample from another."

Comment Re:Cadmium Positives (Score 1) 454

It doesn't fade after a few months exposure to sunlight....The thing that surprised me about this story: cadmium pigment is bloody expensive compared to all the other reds. ($75/tube vs $20/tube) why the hell aren't they using one of the much cheaper, safer reds?

You've answered your own question- From the article:

Much of the increase found by the Michigan-based came in toys with polyvinyl chloride plastic, according to Jeff Gearhart, the group's research director. Both lead and cadmium can be used to fortify PVC against the sun's rays.


Maxis Launches Spore API Contest 35

Today EA Maxis announced the beginning of a development contest for their new Spore API. They're calling on players to submit useful and interesting apps and widgets, and they've provided samples to show the kinds of ideas they're looking for. The samples include an update list for creations by game buddies, a creature dueling app, a creature tournament app, and a variety of viewers.
PC Games (Games)

Left 4 Dead DLC, SDK Announced 66

Today Valve announced plans for Left 4 Dead's first DLC, called The L4D Survival Pack. It will include a new game mode and two campaigns for Versus mode. The new content is coming to both the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game (a PS3 port to the base game still seems unlikely). The press release goes on to say, "In addition, for PC gamers and aspiring developers, the first Left 4 Dead release for the Source Software Development Kit (Source SDK) will allow the creation of custom Left 4 Dead campaigns that will be discoverable via L4D's matchmaking system. The SDK update is also due for release this spring, and is free of charge to all owners of L4D on the PC." The Opposable Thumbs blog also reports on a way to play Left 4 Dead in 3D.

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