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Journal Journal: Second Test Launch of SpaceX Falcon 1

The second test launch of the SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket took place today at 6:10 pm PST. After successfully having completed launch, first stage separation (2m 51s), second stage ignition (2m 55s), fairing separation (3m 16s), and reaching an altitude of 300 km, the vehicle was seen entering what is referred to as roll oscillations (4m 30s). Shortly thereafter, telemetry was lost. The second stage is assum

Submission + - Buying a car? Your thumbprint is required.

khendron writes: "Buying a new car? This blog describes how you will be treated at a particular car dealership in California. after filling in all the paperwork, you are handed a slip of paper and told to mark your right thumbprint in a box. The paper says clearly that it's a request, for your protection, and to prevent your identity theft. When you politely decline, the dealership refuses to sell you the car.

How exactly this protects the buyer is not made clear by the dealership. Their implication was that if you refuse to supply your thumbprint then you must be hiding something."

Journal Journal: Mathematicians Map E8

Mathematicians have mapped the inner workings of one of the most complicated structures ever studied: the object known as the exceptional Lie group E8. This achievement is significant both as an advance in basic knowledge and because of the many connections between E8 and other areas, including string theory and geometry. The magnitude of the calculation is staggering: the answer, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan. Mathematicians are known for their solitar

Submission + - Happy Stephen Colbert Day

Taramoor writes: "Happy Stephen Colbert Day from Oshawa Ontario! It's officially Stephen Colbert Day today in Oshawa, Ontario, rejoice and praise him today! Visit him on"

Submission + - SpaceX Demonstration Flight 2 Slated for Launch

Racalac writes: Space Exploration Technologies Corporation is scheduled to launch its Falcon-1 launch vehicle from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands today at 7pm Eastern Time (2300 UTC). This is the commercial space launch company's second demonstration flight; the first flight ended with loss of the vehicle and payload. There is a webcast (Windows Media Stream) of the launch beginning at T-1 hour.

Submission + - Traffic flow now on Google Maps

JohnAGonzalez writes: A recent look at Google Maps shows that they have added a new traffic feature. Click on the Traffic button in the upper right-hand corner of the map window while viewing your local metropolitan area and the major roads will be overlaid with colored outlines that show the traffic flow for that particular roadway.

Submission + - Mercedes new car slippery like a fish

davidwr writes: Inspired by the tropical boxfish, Mercedes's new concept car the Bionic gets great fuel economy using a normal turbodiesel engine. "With a Cd [drag coefficient] of just 0.19, the four-seat Bionic is significantly more slippery than today's most aerodynamic production vehicle, Honda's two-seat Insight (Cd 0.25)." The 1.9L turbodiesel delivers up to 84mpg at 56mph and 70mpg overall. Don't look for this on the new-car lots, but other fish-shaped cars may be headed your way in the next few years.

Submission + - super cheap solar power within a few years?

tora201 writes: The Daily Telegraph has an article explaining that we should be able to expect super cheap solar power within a decade, as a new super thin polymer foil 200 times lighter than normal glass-based solar material comes on line. From the article: Within five years, solar power will be cheap enough to compete with carbon-generated electricity, even in Britain, Scandinavia or upper Siberia. In a decade, the cost may have fallen so dramatically that solar cells could undercut oil, gas, coal and nuclear power by up to half. Technology is leaping ahead of a stale political debate about fossil fuels. ( money/2007/02/19/ccview19.xml)
Puzzle Games (Games)

Submission + - Old islamic tile patterns show modern math insight

arbitraryaardvark writes: "Reuters reports Medieval Muslims made mega math marvel.
Tile patterns on middle eastern mosques display a kind of quasicrystalline effect that was unknown in the west until rediscovered by Penrose in the 1970s.
"Quasicrystalline patterns comprise a set of interlocking units whose pattern never repeats, even when extended infinitely in all directions, and possess a special form of symmetry."
It isn't known if the mosque designers understood the math behind the patterns.
page 2 of story."

Submission + - The Ten Most Frequently-Guessed Passwords

darkreadingman writes: "IT people often create their own security problems by choosing administrative passwords that are easily hacked. Here's a list of hackers' ten most frequently-guessed passwords, along with some suggestions on better ways to create and maintain strong passwords. 988&WT.svl=news1_1"

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