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Submission + - New Theoretical Clock Transcends Both Time and Space ( 1

SchrodingerZ writes: "Scientists at Berkeley Labsin California have theorized a new idea for a clock that can remain ticking even after the death of our universe. The idea is to create a four dimensional crystalline structure that is unaffected by third dimensional havoc. It would work by having the ‘electric field of [an] ion trap holds charged particles in place and Coulomb repulsion causes them to spontaneously form a spatial ring crystal. Under the application of a weak static magnetic field, this ring-shaped ion crystal will begin a rotation that will never stop,’ says Berkeley faculty Xiang Zhang. ‘The persistent rotation of trapped ions produces temporal order, leading to the formation of a space-time crystal at the lowest quantum energy state.’ It is considered to be 4-dimesional because ‘a spatial ring of trapped ions in persistent rotation will periodically reproduce itself in time, forming a temporal analog of an ordinary spatial crystal. With a periodic structure in both space and time, the result is a space-time crystal’. Because this space-time ‘crystal’ would already be at the lowest quantum state possible, theorists believe the structure could continue on after the rest of the universe fades and destroys itself ( thermodynamic equilibrium). Though the idea is mathematically sound (proven by nobel prize winner Frank Wilczek), constuction and manipulation is still only theoretical."

Submission + - What to do after giving money to a scam store? 1

hubbajub writes: Here's the dilemma. I'm not naive but sometimes I do like to take risks. There: I said it! A couple of weeks ago, I was looking for a good deal on a Nokia N900. Google suggested I check out, which I did. And that was my mistake. That site had the best deal on a N900 on the web, as far as I could tell. The deal wasn't too much too good to be true. The fact that they only accept bank wire transfers should have been enough of a warning. But I searched the web for a store review and there was none, either good or bad. After some deliberation I decided to take a risk and ended up sending them $380 to their Bank Of America account. At the beginning everything was looking fine. I got confirmation emails etc. and then even a USPS tracking number. And that was the end of it... the device was never shipped. I emailed them. No response. In the meantime, other people fell for it as well with the exact same sequence of events (see "Comment" here).

Now the question is what is there to do? The $380 are not going to kill me but it's a principle thing. I knew I was taking a risk... But it does bother me that they might get away with scams like that. I know that pointing sites like that out, will likely only result in temporary disruption for them. So what else? Would Bank of America's fraud department be of help? Any other legal means? I am asking the (almost) all-knowing Slashdot community...

Submission + - PETA offers $1M XPrize for Meat! 1

An anonymous reader writes: The New York TImes is reporting:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to pay a million dollars for fake meat — even if it has caused a "near civil war" within the organization.

The organization said it would announce plans on Monday for a $1 million prize to the "first person to come up with a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices by 2012."

Submission + - DARPA Bootstrapped Learning (

JoeTechie writes: "DARPA has another challenge. Saw it in WIRED, but it is quite old already. First response was January 2007.
Build an electronic student that can learn anything with no new programming.
More than your old Machine Learning program that gets better at one thing your new system should be able to learn new tricks with no interventions by you. (So the military can teach it that killing is good?)

Bootstrapped Learning Description -04/BLDescription.pdf

Bootstrapped Learning Proposer Information Pamphlet -04/BLPIPfinal.pdf"


Submission + - YouTube for Science? (

Shipud writes: The National Science Foundation, Public Library of Science and the San Diego Supercomputing Center have partnered to set up what can best be described as a "YouTube for scientists", SciVee". Scientists can upload their research papers, accompanied by a video where they describe the work in the form of a short lecture, accompanied by a presentation. The formulaic, technical style of scientific writing, the heavy jargonization and the need for careful elaboration often renders reading papers a laborious effort. SciVee's creators hope that that the appeal of a video or audio explanation of paper will make it easier for others to more quickly grasp the concepts of a paper and make it more digestible both to colleagues and to the general public.

Submission + - The first quark supernova ( 2

KentuckyFC writes: "The largest supernova ever recorded ain't what it seems. Astronomers watched this thing explode in real time last year and were amazed to see it release 100 times more energy than any other supernova. Now astrophysicists think the only way to account for all the energy is if the star were made entirely of quarks. That's cool because quark stars were proposed by Ed Witten at Princeton over 20 years ago."

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