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Planck Mission Releases Images of Galactic Dust 40

davecl writes "The Planck satellite has released its first new science images, showing the large scale filamentary structure of cold dust in our own galaxy. This release coincides with the completion of its first survey of the entire sky a couple of weeks ago. There's lots more work to be done, and more observations to be made, before results are ready on the Big Bang, but these images demonstrate Planck's performance and capability. More information is available on the Planck mission blog (which I maintain)."

Is Microsoft About To Declare Patent War On Linux? 204

Glyn Moody writes "Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, has just published a piece called 'Apple v. HTC: A Step Along the Path of Addressing IP Rights in Smartphones.' In it, he notes that today's smartphones are all about the 'software stack,' not the 'radio stack,' and that 'as the IP situation settles in this space and licensing takes off, we will see the patent royalties applicable to the smartphone software stack settle at a level that reflects the increasing importance software has as a portion of the overall value of the device. In the interim, though, we should expect continued activity.' That 'activity' obviously means lawsuits against those producing those software stacks, and Gutierrez seems to be hinting strongly that Microsoft intends to join in. So where does that leave all the Linux-based stacks such as the increasingly-popular Android? Is this just a clever way for Microsoft to start a patent war on Linux without appearing to do so?"

The Perfect Way To Slice a Pizza 282

iamapizza writes "New Scientist reports on the quest of two math boffins for the perfect way to slice a pizza. It's an interesting and in-depth article; 'The problem that bothered them was this. Suppose the harried waiter cuts the pizza off-center, but with all the edge-to-edge cuts crossing at a single point, and with the same angle between adjacent cuts. The off-center cuts mean the slices will not all be the same size, so if two people take turns to take neighboring slices, will they get equal shares by the time they have gone right round the pizza — and if not, who will get more?' This is useful, of course, if you're familiar with the concept of 'sharing' a pizza."

Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought 451

drewtheman writes "New studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. University of Utah research professor of geophysics Robert Smith led four separate studies that verify a plume of hot and molten rock at least 410 miles deep that rises at an angle from the northwest."

Google Unveils URL Shortening Service 242

eldavojohn writes "The Sultan of Search is unveiling a new service (currently only available for Google Toolbar and Feedburner) that will tackle a very old problem usually solved by or tinyurl — URL shortening. Now, we've heard cries for sanity to prevent potential issues (like what if had shut down and broken millions of links?) but with one of the goliaths of the industry jumping in the ring it looks like URL shortening is here to stay. And a quick note for people who enjoy privacy, explicitly states: 'Please note that Google may choose to publicly display aggregate and non-personally identifiable statistics about particular shortened links, such as the number of end user clicks.' You didn't think Google was going to sit back and let harvest juicy data on 2.1 billion links that were clicked in November without trying to corner some of that action to make their ad suggestions more accurate, did you?" Google's shortening service is called
First Person Shooters (Games)

Infinity Ward Fights Against Modern Warfare 2 Cheaters 203

Faithbleed writes "IW's Robert Bowling reports on his twitter account that Infinity Ward is giving 2,500 Modern Warfare 2 cheaters the boot. The news comes as the war between IW and MW2's fans rages over the decision to go with IWnet hosting instead of dedicated servers. Unhappy players were quick to come up with hacks that would allow their own servers and various other changes." Despite the dedicated-server complaints, Modern Warfare 2 has sold ridiculously well.

Comment Free Phone (So Far) (Score 2, Interesting) 206

I setup my GC account a year or more ago. It's pretty slick for the most part. I have GC forward my incoming calls to my free Gizmo ( SIP soft phone or SIP desk phone depending on whether I'm on the road or at my home office. For my friends I also have it ring my cellphone/homephone.

I was also able to have GC import my Outlook address book (before they removed the feature) so all my contacts are already loaded.

The nice part is that ALL calls are in-bound to me (so far) so I essentially pay nothing (if sent to a phone other than my cellphone). If I need to make a call I can make it through my GC Address Book. There are even some free apps floating around that let you quickly dial your contacts or a phone number without having to log into the GC website.

I'm happy that Google is *finally* doing something with the technology. I'm willing to give Google Voice a shot once my account gets the upgrade.

Submission + - Copy Error Messages To Clipboard (

Anonymous Coward writes: "What's the first thing you do when you see a baffling error message in Windows? If you are anything like me you'll pick out the keywords and look it up on Google. That's fine when it's something simple but all too often error messages are long-winded and contain lots of gibberish, which are a pain to type into the search box The temptation, is to try and copy and paste the message, but you will find that this doesn't work as you can't highlight the words in an error box, but there is another way."

Submission + - Gov't workers putting U.S. data at risk

MsManhattan writes: Federal employees who work unofficially from home at night and on weekends are putting U.S. government data — including information about private citizens — at risk, a new study by the Telework Exchange suggests. They often take home government files and work on unsecured PCs, the study found. Among the findings: 58% of government employees work from home without authorization; of those, 54% take files home from the office; only 75% have anti-virus software installed and only 60% use encryption. Even more alarming, the study found that despite the publicity surrounding last year's loss of a Veterans Administration laptop that contained the personal information of 26.5 million military veterans and family members (the laptop was later recovered), 13% of government agencies still do not put encryption software on new laptops issued to employees and fewer than half the agencies have provided security training to employees in the aftermath.

Submission + - National Hockey League Embraces TV Placeshifting (

Egadfly writes: "The increasingly popular placeshifting of TV programming naturally roils corporate controversy, among other things because it enables sports fans to view locally blacked-out games over the Internet. Now, in a blow for info-freedom, the National Hockey League (NHL) has actively supported placeshifting by signing an agreement with SlingBox-maker Sling Media which allows the company's "Clip+Sling" technology to share both live and recorded NHL programming over the Internet. Significantly, this happen only days after Major League Baseball (MLB) launched a public denunciation of placeshifting: accusing SlingBox owners of violating the law by sending television content over the Internet and accusing Sling Media itself of violating contracts with cable and satellite TV companies."
United States

Submission + - Antigua wants compensation for US gambling law

Red Flayer writes: "Following yesterday's WTO formal adoption of the ruling that the US Law to restrict offshore online gambling is illegal:

The tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda seeks compensation from the U.S. over its illegal restrictions on Internet gambling sites based overseas and on Tuesday asked other countries to join in as it targets Washington over its failure to comply with global trade rules.

Antigua, the smallest country to successfully litigate a case in the World Trade Organization's 12-year-history, also threatened to target American trademarks, copyrights and telecommunications companies after the WTO on Tuesday formally adopted a landmark decision reached in March that the United States' restrictions on online gambling were illegal.
>See the article from November on this topic for previous discussion."

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