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Most Extreme Gamma-Ray Blast Yet Detected 128

Matt_dk sends in a quote from a story at NASA: "The first gamma-ray burst to be seen in high-resolution from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is one for the record books. The blast had the greatest total energy, the fastest motions and the highest-energy initial emissions ever seen. ... Gamma-ray bursts are the universe's most luminous explosions. Astronomers believe most occur when exotic massive stars run out of nuclear fuel. As a star's core collapses into a black hole, jets of material — powered by processes not yet fully understood — blast outward at nearly the speed of light. The jets bore all the way through the collapsing star and continue into space, where they interact with gas previously shed by the star and generate bright afterglows that fade with time. ...Fermi team members calculated that the blast exceeded the power of approximately 9,000 ordinary supernovae, if the energy was emitted equally in all directions."

US Dept. of Defense Creates Its Own Sourceforge 131

mjasay writes "The US Department of Defense, which has been flirting with open source for years as a way to improve software quality and cut costs, has finally burst the dam on Defense-related open-source adoption with, an open-source code repository based on Sourceforge. Though it currently only holds three projects and is limited to DoD personnel for security reasons, all code is publicly viewable and will almost certainly lead to other agencies participating on the site or creating their own. Open source has clearly come a long way. Years ago studies declared open source a security risk. Now, one of the most security-conscious organizations on the planet is looking to open source to provide better security than proprietary alternatives."
Role Playing (Games)

Otherland MMO Announced 142

Eurogamer breaks news that German games publisher DTP Entertainment will be making an MMORPG based on Tad Williams' Otherland series of books. As anyone who has read the books will know, this could be an interesting new spin on virtual worlds. Quoting: "For want of a better soundbite, let's call it the first cyberpunk MMO: a virtual world about virtual worlds, in which your avatar is an avatar, the NPCs play NPCs, and you explore a multiverse in which you might be in realistic historical surroundings one minute, and cartoon fantasy ones the next. Everything changes, even your own appearance, and nothing is even pretending to be real. ... You start the game as one of those consciousnesses in a place called the Land of the Lost, a nightmare scenario which you're trying to escape. You'll run, be killed, and reborn in a 'baby' state as a simple, low-rent sim (though we suspect the game won't be using that term, for obvious reasons) - a blank, featureless avatar that can be male, female or even neither."

Comment Re:The most secure phone ever! (Score 1) 165

I'm definitely impressed you were still able to make calls, but I remain unconvinced that capacity is no longer a concern. There was a report on Slashdot during the recent wildfires near San Diego about how cell networks were overloaded and the best way for people to communicate was via the internet.

Yes, people often forget about cordless phones requiring power. That's why one should make sure to at least have a wired phone for backup even if it means putting one with the other emergency supplies.

Also, your usage of the flashlight feature on your phone makes a lot more sense now and I agree it was pretty handy.

I went by that area only a couple weeks later, and you could still see the damage. It was very fortunate that no lives were lost.

As far as our power outage, I found it somewhat surprising. Houses on the next block on either side and across the street had power, but we and our neighbors did not. My memory is that we lost power either Thursday morning or maybe Wednesday night and we did not get it back until Saturday morning. More important than lights, computer, and internet, without power to operate the furnace, though it is gas, it became freezing cold.

I would be extremely surprised if you knew me. Bars aren't really my scene; in fact, I lend credence to several Slashdot memes. It was the fact you were from Springfield that prompted me to reply though; I am usually content just to lurk. After replying to your post last night, I must have read at least three or four highly rated comments from you in other threads.


Submission + - Australian coverage of all ADSL2+ providers (

Anonymous Coward writes: " reveals the locations and coverage of all ADSL2+ providers in Australia. The site plots all exchange locations onto Google Maps, allowing for approximate wire-length estimations (Google Maps calculates "as the crow flies" figures but estimates what that would be in "as the road runs" terms). You just need to type in your address and phone number, and the site figures out what exchange you're on and who services your exchange."

Submission + - 16 billion pixel image of Last supper online (

xiashunkai writes: "the original size of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece "last supper" is about 4.6m * 8.8m, painted on a n stone wall covered with resin and pitch. Now it is digitalized by technology experts to a huge image with 160 billion pixel. think about the surface area of our earth, it is about 510 million square kilometers, in spite of oceans, the land is about 149 million square kilometers, with 100m resolution remote sensing image fully covered earth land , the pixel numbers of there imagery will be in the same magnitude order of the digitalized painting."

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