The Bad Astronomer writes: "A century ago, astronomers (including Edwin Hubble) discovered the Universe was expanding. Using the same methods — but this time with observations from an orbiting infrared space telescope — a new study confirms this expansion, and nails the rate with higher precision than done before. If you're curious, the expansion rate found was 74.3 +/- 2.1 kilometers per second per megaparsec — almost precisely in line with previous messureents."
snydeq writes: "A desktop OS for tablets and a tablet OS for desktops, Windows 8 is guaranteed to disappoint nearly everyone, writes InfoWorld's Woody Leonard, in an in-depth review of Microsoft's Windows 8. 'Now that Windows 8 has arrived (today for MSDN and TechNet subscribers, and tomorrow for Microsoft Partner Network members and Volume Licensees), the harsh analogies — "Windows Frankenstein," "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde operating system" — may be applied conclusively. While Windows 8 inherits many of the advantages of Windows 7 — the manageability, the security (plus integrated antivirus), and the broad compatibility with existing hardware and software — it takes an axe to usability. The lagging, limited, often hamstrung Metro apps don't help.'"
MrSeb writes: "In the future, ultra-high-density non-volatile storage — such as hard drives — could be grown using magnetic bacteria. This breakthrough, shepherded by researchers from the University of Leeds in the UK and the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, relies on certain strains of bacteria that ingest iron, which is then converted into magnetite (iron (II, III) oxide). These microbes, by following the Earth’s magnetic field, then use this built-in magnet to navigate. To turn this behavior into something that can actually act as magnetic storage, the researchers identified and extracted the protein responsible for converting iron into magnetite — Mms6. A gold substrate is then covered in a checkerboard fashion with chemicals that bind to Mms6, and the substrate is dunked in the protein. The whole caboodle is then washed with an iron solution, turning each of the Mms6 sites into a magnetic bit. For now the researchers have only managed to create magnetic bits that are 20 micrometers wide, which equates to 20,000 nanometers — a wee bit larger than the 10nm magnetic sites found on modern hard drives, but the researchers seem confident that 20nm magnetic sites should be possible."
jones_supa writes: Barton George, director of marketing for Dell's Web vertical reveals information about "Project Sputnik", a laptop tailored for developer needs in web companies. 'We want to find ways to make the developer experience as powerful and simple as possible. And what better way to do that than beginning with a laptop that is both highly mobile and extremely stylish, running the 12.04 LTS release of Ubuntu Linux', George ponders and, gives a quick list of packages that the default installation could include. The machine will base on the XPS13, assessing a couple of its main hardware deficiencies along the way.