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Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System 88

Theosis sends word that an astronomer at the University of Rochester and his colleagues have made the surprise discovery that Alcor, one of the brightest stars in the Big Dipper, is actually two stars; and it is apparently gravitationally bound to the four-star Mizar system, making the whole group a sextuplet. This would make the Mizar-Alcor sextuplet the second-nearest such system known. The discovery is especially surprising because Alcor is one of the most studied stars in the sky. The Mizar-Alcor system has been involved in many "firsts" in the history of astronomy: "Benedetto Castelli, Galileo's protege and collaborator, first observed with a telescope that Mizar was not a single star in 1617, and Galileo observed it a week after hearing about this from Castelli, and noted it in his notebooks... Those two stars, called Mizar A and Mizar B, together with Alcor, in 1857 became the first binary stars ever photographed through a telescope. In 1890, Mizar A was discovered to itself be a binary, being the first binary to be discovered using spectroscopy. In 1908, spectroscopy revealed that Mizar B was also a pair of stars, making the group the first-known quintuple star system."

Comment Solution (Score 1) 364

I used a simple solution to the cellphone problem. When I heard about his law change I decided it was time to buy a laptop and use that for texting instead, as a bonus I'm posting on Slashdot right now as I'm driving home from work. Although i must admit navigating my iTunes library while driving can be a bit scary for passengers.

Comment Links (Score 1) 240

Ok here we go, first wikipedia
Then for source
and for windows (or dos) users, the original pc port
and lastest development as at 2008

I've been playing this game for nearly 20 years since my cousin introduced me to it on an old 286, scary thing is it still runs fine today under windows xp. Long live x86 I guess. And I still haven't beaten it...

Submission + - Skype Stole My Credit

Syphtor writes: "Recently found out that after 180 days if I don't use some of my Skype Credit (which I paid for), I lose it. They don't refund it, they keep the money. I've logged my complaints with Skype, and am hopeful of getting it back, but it does raise the question for these kind of 'buy credit' businesses. How long is reasonable for them to keep your credit open? 180 days? I think that's bad, obviously Skype disagrees."

Submission + - RIM offers BlackBerry without the BlackBerry

TheCybernator writes: "RIM offers BlackBerry without the BlackBerry The company plans an app suite that will turn its push e-mail technology into a platform for Windows Mobile 6 devices. ISVs discuss the enterprise options. Less than a week after a network outage crippled BlackBerry users across North America, Research In Motion announced an application pack for Windows Mobile 6 devices that Canadian software developers said will intensify the competition for push e-mail. The Waterloo, Ont.-based firm on Monday said the BlackBerry Application suite will appear as an icon on the screen of the Mobile Windows device and load BlackBerry applications such as e-mail, phone, calendar, address book, tasks, memos, browser, and instant messaging. RIM said users will easily be able toggle between the two platforms, one of which would have a BlackBerry-style interface. The devices will connect via the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) used by corporate clients or the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). Pricing and final shipment dates were not given. RIM did not return requests for interviews at press time."

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