from the because-they-can dept.
CrustyFace writes "Cybernit reports that the Starter Edition version of Windows 7 will only allow the user to run 3 applications at once. Targeted at notebooks, this doesn't seem like such a bad limitation, however it is a bold move from Microsoft, and it will be interesting to see how the operating system sells."
Geoffrey.landis writes: "New Scientist magazine retracted a story stating that scientists analyzing MER rover images found evidence of "puddles" of standing water at the Opportunity rover site in Meridiani crater on Mars.
The researchers quoted by the magazine were apparently unfamiliar with MER rover images, and were unaware that the "puddles" they reported were sloped at an angle of nearly 30 degrees. New Scientist had not gotten comments on the story from scientists on the MER mission before publishing because calls from the reporter "were not immediately returned" over the weekend.
New Scientist reports: "In the end, it was savvy readers who first pointed the error out to us over the weekend, sending in panoramic images pinpointing the location of the purported puddles. Though it seemed clear from those images that the terrain was sloped, I found it hard to believe that the researchers themselves could have missed such an obvious — and crucial — detail. But apparently they had, analysing just the smaller images without understanding the larger context of their surroundings — missing the forest for the trees. "I want to retract the claim in the paper that the smooth area we discussed was "standing liquid water"', Levin acknowledged on Tuesday."
Earlier Slashdot story"
statemachine writes: An aging weather satellite crucial to accurate predictions on the intensity and path of hurricanes could fail at any moment and plans to launch a replacement have been pushed back seven years to 2016. Last year, forecasts were off an average of 111 miles two days in advance, a figure that has been cut in half over the past 15 years. But experts said that could grow 10 percent to 122 miles if the satellite is lost, causing the "cone of error" well known to coastal residents to expand. QuikScat, launched in 1999 and designed to last two to three years, provides key data on wind speed and direction over the ocean. Weather aircraft and buoys can also obtain similar measurements near a storm, but they do not provide a constant flow of data as QuikScat does. Now the satellite is limping along on a backup transmitter and has other problems. A European satellite called ASCAT is available, but it does not give scientists as clear a picture as QuikScat because the distance between the readings it takes is larger. A NASA and Department of Defense satellite called WINDSAT also measures wind speed and direction, but it too is beyond its expected lifespan, and scientists have had trouble using it to observe tropical weather systems. Even if money were immediately available, a replacement satellite is estimated to take at least four years and cost approximately $400 million to build.