The universe appears to be lopsided, and a new model that aims to explain this anomaly could offer a glimpse of what happened before the birth of it all. The model also intriguingly hints at what might have come before inflation, since it suggests that the universe's lopsidedness may be an aftereffect of a great fluctuation that occurred before inflation began. "It's no longer completely crazy to ask what happened before the Big Bang," Kamionkowski said. "All of that stuff is hidden by a veil, observationally. If our model holds up, we may have a chance to see beyond this veil."
glitch23 writes: Looks like UCLA has done it again. They have found another Mersenne prime number and this time they are eligible for a $100,000 prize from the EFF for finding the first Mersenne prime containing over 10 million digits. A network of 70 computers running Windows was used to find it. The number has already been verified.
glitch23 writes: I received an email this evening from Giganews. It seems they caught wind of TimeWarner dropping usenet access to customers and are offering a discount to TimeWarner users. The email states that a TW customer must have already had a trial subscription to Giganews but not since June 16, 2008. This email even provides the date when usenet will be disabled. It's sad I get the final date from Giganews instead of TimeWarner.
From the email: In case you haven't heard, Time Warner announced that they will no longer be offering free Usenet services for Road Runner subscribers as of June 23, 2008. Giganews is offering Time Warner / Road Runner subscribers a first month discount for reactivating their Giganews membership. Time Warner / Road Runner subscribers who sign up for Giganews® premium Usenet access will receive 50 percent off the first month of Diamond Service and 20 percent off the first month for all other accounts. Eligible members must sign up with a valid Time Warner / Road Runner email address and must not have had an active Giganews account since June 16, 2008. Giganews has setup a special page for TimeWarner subscribers.
glitch23 writes: The long anticipated Next Generation Identification (NGI) contract was awarded today. The announcement comes after many rumors flying around the last couple months about who was going to win it and supposedly who had won it, but those rumors were false. The FBI has a press release and news is starting to spread to other sites such as this one. Google only has a couple pages indexed so far regarding the award. NGI is the next generation beyond the existing IAFIS system which is currently used for matching fingerprints. As the FBI press release states, "The industry of identification systems is moving beyond dependency on a unimodal (e.g., fingerprint) biometric identifier and is beginning to incorporate multimodal biometrics such as iris and facial imaging." NGI is a 10 year (1 base year, 9 option years), $1 billion contract. One of the ill regarded features NGI will bring is RAP-back where companies can subscribe to receive updates on employees' records (for which companies can themselves decide to not have destroyed after the employee is hired on) so when they do something wrong the company is notified by the FBI.