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Why Time Flies By As You Get Older 252

Ant notes a piece up on WBUR Boston addressing theories to explain the universal human experience that time seems to pass faster as you get older. Here's the 9-minute audio (MP3). Several explanations are tried out: that brains lay down more information for novel experiences; that the "clock" for nerve impulses in aging brains runs slower; and that each interval of time represents a diminishing fraction of life as we age.

Handset Vendors Plug Micro-USB Charge Ports 363

ketan324 points to a Register story touting an agreement among several phone makers to settle on Micro USB for their phones' charging ports, writing "It's about time for these cellphone manufacturers to wise up and design a universal phone charger. Although many manufacturers have already 'standardized' to a mini-USB interface, there are many more out there who use proprietary adapters. I wonder how Apple will feel about this? Will they finally realize that their oh-so-special adapter is nothing more than a fudged USB interface?" No legislation required.

The Universe As Hologram 532

Several readers sent in news of theoretical work bolstering the proposition that the universe may be a hologram. The story begins at the German experiment GEO600, a laser inteferometer looking for gravity waves. For years, researchers there have been locating and eliminating sources of interference and noise from the experiment (they have not yet seen a gravity wave). For months they have been puzzling over a source of noise they could not explain. Then Craig Hogan, a Fermilab physicist, approached them with a possible answer: that GEO600 may have stumbled upon a fundamental limit where space-time stops behaving like a smooth continuum and instead dissolves into "grains." The "holographic principle" suggests that the universe at small scales would be "blurry," its smallest features far larger than Planck scale, and possibly accessible to current technology such as the GEO600. The holographic principle, if borne out, could help distinguish among competing theories of quantum gravity, but "We think it's at least a year too early to get excited," the lead GEO600 scientist said.

The Secret Lives of Ubuntu and Debian Users 501

jammag points out a look at statistics from the Popularity Contest projects on Debian and Ubuntu. These projects track the download and upgrade habits of their respective distributions' users, revealing — no surprise here — that Ubuntu users are more likely to be newbies than Debian users. The numbers reveal, for instance, that 86 percent of Ubuntu machines use the proprietary NVidia driver, where only a mere sliver of Debian machines do. Likewise, Debian users are far more eclectic in their software choice, less likely to use any default options. The article concludes with a look at the limits of what conclusions can be drawn from statistics like these. "In general, Debian users seem more eclectic in their use of software than Ubuntu users, and less likely to use an application simply because it is included by default. Debian users also seem more likely to be concerned to maintain a free installation than Ubuntu users — a conclusion that is hardly surprising when you consider Debian's reputation for freedom, but is still interesting to see being supported by statistics. ... To what extent last week's figures are typical is uncertain. Very likely, studying the figures over a longer period would produce different results. Possibly, too, those who participate in the Popularity Contests are not typical users of either Ubuntu or Debian. "

Submission + - Chrome browser and Microsoft's website

gksmith writes: I've been using the Chrome browser for a week, with Microsoft's site as my home page. This morning I fired up Chrome and my hard disk started going crazy. If I navigated to other sites, the hard drive continued thrashing, but closing Chrome altogether instantly silenced the hard drive. If I go to www.microsoft.com using IE or Firefox, the hard drive remains idle. I've opened Chrome several times over the last few hours and hard drive thrashing is now predictable. Anyone else see this happening? Anyone know why it would?

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