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Comment Better source than Forbes - PBS (Phil Plait) (Score 5, Informative) 94

Phil Plait's excellent series of PBS shorts explains all this in a better fashion (I think), and he doesn't spam himself all over slashdot, so is more deserving of our time :) Galaxies part 1 is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... Part 2 is linked from there. :)

Comment Re:I think they neglect the issue of sublimation. (Score 3, Interesting) 63

UV doesn't cause sublimation - it's the fact that the atmospheric pressure is so low that the water undergoes phase transition to the gaseous form pretty much immediately - it's at this point that the high levels of UV disassociate the water vapour into its constituent atoms. The water that has been found recently on Mars is able to survive as water due to the presence of perchlorates in the water which increase its tolerance to low temperatures and pressures. It stand to reason that any ice made from this perchlorate-contaminated water would also be able to survive longer, but without reading the paper (I know, I know) I'm not sure if the authors were aware of this.

Comment I feel better for knowing they are out there (Score 2) 166

A surprisingly large part of me feels good that those amazing spacecraft are so far away, nearing the depths of interstellar space and will continue on for as near as makes no difference to forever. An even larger part of me regrets that I won't be around to see the day when they make contact with another civilisation.

Submission + - Teacher reprimanded over resistor colour code (bbc.co.uk)

donkeyb writes: A teacher in the UK has been reprimanded for using a sexist and racist mnemonic to teach the resistor colour code. I thing any EE or EEE grad student here knows exactly what mnemonic was used — does anyone think he has been infairly treated?

Comment Interesting One... (Score 1) 855

One night a few of us were sitting round a friend's house (a highly paid IT professional) listening to some music being played out from his PC. I noticed that notepad kept opening and strange words were appearing, then lots of windows would open and the machine would go mental. Cue my friend; "someone's fucking hacking me!", he opens Notepad and starts typing "Leave the fuck alone, I know who you are" etc etc, while we laugh at his rage. Later that night I discovered that the Speach recognition had been turned on and the Mic was picking up the music and our background chatter. It was interesting to see how Windows interpreted inane chatter and minimal techno...

Submission + - What is going on with the Tags

donkeyb writes: What is going on with the Tags? I try to add a Tag and nothing happens, but there are some tags here that have blatently just been added once, yet they get shown? What the heck?

Submission + - Intel in the GHz game again: Skulltrail hits 5 GHz

An anonymous reader writes: Intel's Skulltrail dual-socket enthusiast platform has been making the rounds on the web for half a year or so, but we haven't seen many details yet. TG Daily got a close look at an almost complete prototype, which surely sounds almost like a production ready version, judging from the article. Everything that TG Daily describes sounds like Skulltrail PCs will be very limited in availability and insanely expensive: A taste: Intel said it has developed "special" Xeon processors with desktop processor attributes just for Skulltrail. These chips are currently running at a stable 5 GHz. Time to start playing the lottery.

Comment Well done Slashdot (Score 1) 609

I just wanted to say that this I reckon that this is one of the best answered "Ask Slashdot" questions in ages. It could have descended into a "don't drop out in the first place..." argument but instead it appears that many people here have either been there and done that, or have a "There but for the grace of God go I..." mentality. Great work guys.

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