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Submission + - 10 Awesome facts about the Big Bang Theory (not the show)

An anonymous reader writes: There are few scientific idea more revered or more important than the Big Bang. For the vast majority of human history, we had nothing but wonder, stories, ideas and myths about where our Universe came from and how it got to be the way it is today. Thanks to the Big Bang — and in particular, to the tremendous scientific achievements of the 20th century — we now have bonafide scientific answers. But the Big Bang isn’t necessarily what most people think it is, and there are quite a few surprises encoded in our best understanding of the Universe as it is today. Here are the top 10 facts about the Big Bang.
Image

Archaeologists Find 2,400-Year-Old Soup Screenshot-sm 108

Chinese archaeologists have discovered a sealed bronze pot containing what they believe is a batch of 2,400-year-old bone soup. The pot was dug up near the ancient capital of Xian. Liu Daiyun of the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archeology says, "It's the first discovery of bone soup in Chinese archaeological history. The discovery will play an important role in studying the eating habits and culture of the Warring States Period (475-221BC)." No word on if the archaeologists also found the accompanying ancient crackers.
Crime

Cybergang Compromises Every ATM In Russian City 74

Orome1 writes "A group of fraudsters has been arrested in Yakutsk and Moscow for allegedly compromising all the ATMs in the city of Yakutsk — population: around 210,000 — in the Republic of Yakutia in the Russian Federation. Three of the men formed the actual criminal group, and the fourth — a Moscow-based malware developer — was 'subcontracted' by them and received 100,000 rubles (some $3200) to develop a custom ATM virus with which they would infect the devices."
Encryption

HDCP Encryption/Decryption Code Released 225

rtj writes "We have released an open-source (BSD licensed) implementation of the HDCP encryption/decryption algorithms. The code includes the block cipher, stream cipher, and hashing algorithms necessary to perform an HDCP handshake and to encrypt or decrypt video. The code passes the test vectors provided in the HDCP specification and can encrypt video at a rate of about 180 640x480 frames/second on a 2.33GHz Intel Xeon CPU. This isn't quite fast enough to decrypt 1080p content in real-time on a single core, but decryption can be parallelized across multiple cores. There are also many opportunities for further optimisation, such as using SSE instructions. We are releasing the code in hopes that others will further optimize it and use it in their HDCP-related projects."
Canada

First Human-Powered Ornithopter 250

spasm writes "A University of Toronto engineering graduate student has made and successfully flown a human-powered flapping-wing aircraft. From the article: 'Todd Reichert, a PhD candidate at the university's Institute of Aerospace Studies, piloted the wing-flapping aircraft, sustaining both altitude and airspeed for 19.3 seconds and covering a distance of 145 metres at an average speed of 25.6 kilometres per hour.'"

Submission + - Open-source car to race around the world (itnews.com.au)

schliz writes: As competitors from Switzerland, Spain, and South Korea gear up for an 80-day, zero emission Zero Race around the world, the Australian Team Trev has revealed plans to turn its 'open source' vehicle design into a kit car for environmentally friendly city driving. Ideally, the two-seater, 350kg electric car would use 70Wh per kilometre and could be "powered entirely from domestic photovoltaic panels", engineers say.
Math

7 of the Best Free Linux Calculators 289

An anonymous reader writes "One of the basic utilities supplied with any operating system is a desktop calculator. These are often simple utilities that are perfectly adequate for basic use. They typically include trigonometric functions, logarithms, factorials, parentheses and a memory function. However, the calculators featured in this article are significantly more sophisticated with the ability to process difficult mathematical functions, to plot graphs in 2D and 3D, and much more. Occasionally, the calculator tool provided with an operating system did not engender any confidence. The classic example being the calculator shipped with Windows 3.1 which could not even reliably subtract two numbers. Rest assured, the calculators listed below are of precision quality."
Linux

MSI Will Launch iPad Alternative 756

itwbennett writes "Underwhelmed by the iPad? Don't give up on tablets just yet, says blogger Peter Smith. MSI has a tablet coming in the second half of 2010 that measures up on price and size and addresses a lot of the iPad's most noted shortcomings. 'The iPad runs iPhone OS while the MSI runs Android,' writes Smith. 'That means the MSI will multitask of course, and Flash support in Android should be a given by launch time (though that isn't certain). It has a camera. It's running on an Nvidia Tegra2 chip which Ars Technica suggests puts it on par with the iPad's A4 as far as computing horsepower. And of course Android doesn't live in a walled garden.'" The post notes that the MSI device does not support multitouch in its built-in apps. Still, would an Android-powered iPad-alike tempt you?

Update: 01/29 17:58 GMT by KD : Dave Altavilla suggests Hot Hardware's coverage of Asus's recently announced tablet, also based on the Tegra2 chip.
Technology

Using EMP To Punch Holes In Steel 165

angrytuna writes "The Economist is running a story about a group of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology in Chemnitz, Germany, who've found a way to use an EMP device to shape and punch holes through steel. The process enjoys advantages over both lasers, which take more time to bore the hole (0.2 vs. 1.4 seconds), and by metal presses, which can leave burrs that must be removed by hand."

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