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Submission + - A Naked Black Hole Is Screaming Through the Universe (gizmodo.com)

PongoX11 writes: "Millions of years ago, B3 1715+425 was just an ordinary supermassive black hole. It had a comfortable life, of devouring stars and belching deadly x-rays, at the center of its distant galaxy. Now, starless and alone, it’s screaming through space at 2,000 kilometers per second..."

Submission + - Microsoft to unify PC and Xbox One Platforms

Serzen writes: According to The Guardian, Microsoft is planning to end fixed console hardware for the Xbox as a move towards Unified Windows Applications. From the article:

Microsoft is planning to unify its PC and Xbox One gaming platforms into one ecosystem running Universal Windows Applications (UWAs), the head of the company’s Xbox division Phil Spencer has announced. It also looks likely that the Xbox One will become more PC-like with backwards compatible hardware upgrades in the future.
What this could mean is that the Xbox One becomes more like a PC, with Microsoft releasing updated versions at regular intervals with more powerful processors and graphics hardware. In theory, because games will be written as UWAs, older titles will remain compatible with the new machines.

Comment Re:It is obvious that support most be provided... (Score 1) 125

Largely off topic, but I've had my Windows Phone for about a year, and love it. Originally, Mrs Serzen wanted the WP for the camera, and when we upgrade I always get the same make as her, since I have to support it; they've turned out to be great devices overall. Her phone survived 3 days in a snow drift in subzero temps with only a charge and hard reset needed because the touchscreen was unresponsive. I also love that OS updates are pushed by MS, not by my carrier.

Submission + - Snowden Reportedly in Talks to Return to YS to Face Trial 1

HughPickens.com writes: The Globe and Mail reports that Edward Snowden's Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena says the fugitive former US spy agency contractor who leaked details of the government’s mass surveillance programs was working with American and German lawyers to return home. “I won’t keep it secret that he wants to return back home. And we are doing everything possible now to solve this issue. There is a group of U.S. lawyers, there is also a group of German lawyers and I’m dealing with it on the Russian side.” Kucherena added that Snowden is ready to return to the States, but on the condition that he is given a guarantee of a legal and impartial trial. The lawyer said Snowden had so far only received a guarantee from the US Attorney General that he will not face the death penalty. Kucherena says that Snowden is able to travel outside Russia since he has a three-year Russian residency permit, but "I suspect that as soon as he leaves Russia, he will be taken to the US embassy."

Submission + - Physicists gear up to catch a gravitational wave (sciencemag.org) 1

sciencehabit writes: A patch of woodland just north of Livingston, Louisiana, population 1893, isn’t the first place you’d go looking for a breakthrough in physics. Yet it is here that physicists may fulfill perhaps the most spectacular prediction of Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, or general relativity. Structures here house the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), an ultrasensitive instrument that may soon detect ripples in space and time set off when neutron stars or black holes merge. Einstein himself predicted the existence of such gravitational waves nearly a century ago. But only now is the quest to detect them coming to a culmination. Physicists are finishing a $205 million rebuild of the detectors, known as Advanced LIGO, which should make them 10 times more sensitive and, they say, virtually ensure a detection.

Comment Re:That is okay (Score 3, Interesting) 301

37.5 hours here, full-time, full benefits (medical, dental, life, vision, hearing, retirement match of 9%), extraordinary paid time away (medical, personal, vacation). I have the option to flex my hours to meet my own schedule instead of work's. But I work in higher education, so I know it's not the norm.

I know, 37.5 might as well be 40, but a lot of places in the area consider 37.5 to be full-time. Just pointing out that the 40-hour week is starting to be scaled back.

Comment Re:If true. If. (Score 2) 200

You don't give up your 4th Amendment rights just by getting behind the wheel. If you're driving erratically, the officer has probable cause to stop you and verify your sobriety. The officer is also able to shine his flashlight through your window and see if you have anything illegal *in plain sight*. He is not, however, allowed to search your trunk, make you pick your sweater up off the seat next to you, or otherwise SEARCH your car. And, if you are found to be driving while impaired, you still HAVE A TRIAL. You have the right to call into question the methods the officer in question used. If he violated your rights, and you are able to articulate and demonstrate it, your offense is null and void. If HE screwed up, you get a walk. And even if it's a small town, and the cop is the judge's brother (oh, hey, look, another reason the case should be tossed), you have the right to appeal. I know, I know, reasoned discourse is no match for vitriol, but it's early in the day and my hopes haven't been utterly eroded yet.

Comment Re:Fuck seaworld (Score 2) 194

The water in these tanks is not only filtered, but runs through protein skimmers and usually UV sterilization, too. The amount of feces (and urine) the animals are drinking or otherwise absorbing is small. Nitrates are A Bad Thing to most marine life.

Submission + - Experience with Free To Air

Dishwasha writes: Just a few days ago I incidentally discovered a little known secret called free-to-air. Amazingly enough even in the depths of /., there appears to have been no postings or discussions about it. Just like over-the-air programming, there is free programming available via various satellite systems that only requires a one-time cost of getting a dish and receiver. Both Amazon and Ebay appear to have a plethora of hardware out there. I personally settled on the Geosatpro MicroHD system with a 90cm 26lbs light-weight dish (queue lots of comments about my describing 26 lbs as being light-weight) and I should be receiving that in just a few days.

I'm curious, who else is using satellite FTA on /.? What are your setups? Has anyone hacked on any of the DVR/PVR devices available? Besides greater access to international programming, what are your channel experiences?

Comment Re:so what? (Score 1) 812

Quite the opposite happened to me: We were crossing at the Thousand Islands Bridge to do some sight-seeing on the Canadian side and were detained for 2 hours while the Canadians tore the back seat out of the car, pulled the spare tire, grilled us about our criminal records (none), demanded to know about any sealed juvenile records (we told them to ask the Attorney General if they wanted to know about that). When we finally got our car back, we were escorted to it by armed guards wearing bullet-proof vests, to find that nothing had been put back the way it belonged.

When we returned to the US side, the agent asked us to pop the trunk, didn't even look in it, but shut it for us and said to have a nice day.

All of our paperwork was in order--the only reason we can come up with is that I'm brown-skinned and have a beard. Except that my ancestry is English, Irish and Native American.

Submission + - An App so You'll Never Forget - Smart.fm (technologyreview.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A language-learning application that's already big in Japan is coming to the U.S. in the form of a new iPhone app. Smart.fm, based in Tokyo, says that the adaptive-learning algorithms behind its software can help users memorize all kinds of information. Those algorithms determine how often to present a piece of information to the user and in what context.

Unlike other memory applications, Smart.fm takes a social approach, letting users share their lists and add comments to other lists. And in the future, Lewis says, there will be more ways to pull information into the system. The company is working on integrating with Freebase, a site that collects user-generated databases.

Submission + - Anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss dies

An anonymous reader writes: One of the most influential intellectuals of the XX century just passed away at the age of 100. He revolutionised anthropology by introducing the structural approach pioneered by linguistics into his field, analysing belief systems and social interactions as complexly interrelated entities.

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