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Fine-Structure Constant Maybe Not So Constant 105

Kilrah_il writes "The fine-structure constant, a coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction, has been measured lately by scientists from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and has been found to change slightly in light sent from quasars in galaxies as far back as 12 billion years ago. Although the results look promising, caution is advised: 'This would be sensational if it were real, but I'm still not completely convinced that it's not simply systematic errors' in the data, comments cosmologist Max Tegmark of MIT. Craig Hogan of the University of Chicago and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., acknowledges that 'it's a competent team and a thorough analysis.' But because the work has such profound implications for physics and requires such a high level of precision measurements, 'it needs more proof before we'll believe it.'"

California's Santa Clara County Bans Happy Meal Toys 756

WrongSizeGlass writes "The L.A. Times is reporting that Santa Clara County officials have voted to ban toys and other promotions that restaurants offer with high-calorie children's meals. 'This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's love of toys' to sell high-calorie, unhealthful food, said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure. 'This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes.' Supervisor Donald Gage, who voted against the measure, said, 'If you can't control a 3-year-old child for a toy, God save you when they get to be teenagers.' The vote was 3 - 2 in favor of the ban."

Comment Celebrate a decade of Slashdot! (Score -1) 636


Hey Slashboteers! Are you finishing university? *STILL* unemployed after the dot com layoffs? Desperately trying to get a LAMP cluster to perform better than an IBM Model 55 running Vista? Well, have we got the answer for you! Chief Executive Officer Rob Malda and SS Officer Michael Sims invite you to join them at the Black River Public School in Holland, Michigan from the 1st November 2007 for the "/. 10th Anniversary Slashbot Camp." Three full days of pony rides, Linux coding and male bonding. Special Appearances by NAMBLA Grand Wizard Katz with his partner Wai Tu Yung.

Activities include:

  • Bouncy 'CowboyNeal' Castle - Pick a cheek and jump, bitch!
  • Salami Slam - Jon Katz's unusual variation of naked leapfrog.
  • Creative Writing - Roland Piquepaille's short course on CTRL-C and CTRL-V.
  • Anime Association - Sit around with CmdrTaco and watch Anime with no subtitles or dubbing and pretend to know what's going on. Free Juice.
  • Advanced Kernel Hacking - Workshop on changing kprintf() messages and then re-compiling to make it look like you're l337. Hosted by Alan Cox.
  • Stealing Code for the Lulz - Presented by Jiri Slaby and the SFLC.
  • Masters of Perl - Jamie shows you how NOT to code by demonstrating the latest version of CSS Slashcode.
  • Delusional Paranoia 101 - How to quote 1984 and Franklin for your YRO posts.
  • The Great Penguin Push - Instructional piece on cramming penguin plush toys into tight spaces.
  • DivX for the C64 - Featuring our guest speaker "Junis".

Tickets are US$125 each, and the event lasts for three days. For more information, or to book a place, contact CmdrTaco

Terms & Conditions:
Spaces are limited to how many people we can lock in a basement. Camp is open to males aged between 12 and 19. No soap is allowed on the premises. CmdrTaco's Jubei cabinet is not to be used as a simulated coffin for sex games without his involvement. KDawson's 5w Creative speakers must not be turned up to eleven.

Portables (Apple)

Submission + - Apple hiring more iPhone engineers

Geo Kentraci writes: Apple is putting out a call for engineers to join its ranks in an effort to beef up its iPhone as it seeks to push its iPhone out the door by June. Beyond its hunt for computer geeks and hipster iPod project managers, Apple is listing jobs for a number of software and hardware engineers, as well as quality control testers, for its recently debuted iPhone. The company is looking to add 33 positions to its iPhone ranks, ranging from electronic engineers to an engineering project manager for its camera feature to a telephony embedded software engineer to develop more middleware features to add to its library.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Pirate Bay and Sealand negotiating

Kawahee writes: "Coming off previous /. coverage of The Pirate Bay's intentions to purchase Sealand following it being put up for sale, The Pirate Bay has revealed on it's website www.buysealand.com that it has entered into negotiations with Sealand. From the post:
The Government of Sealand has initiated negotiation. Tomorrow, the ACFI and Government of Sealand will sit down in the SMTP chambers of the Internets to discuss the future of the micronation.
— We welcome the request and hopefully we can settle on a price. But knowing how hard non-kopimistic people can be to negotiate with, we will go with Plan B if they're not willing to meet our demands, press officer of ACFI says.
BuySealand.com is also now sporting a donation meter, and as of the 15th of January it stands at USD $13,714."
Data Storage

Submission + - Good-bye Blu-ray? Leading Porn House Picks HD DVD

An anonymous reader writes: Many attribute the demise of Betamax to the fact that VHS had more porn titles. Will the same occur with Blu-ray? One of the most highly regarded adult video producers, Digital Playground, just switched loyalties from Blu-ray to HD DVD. Now, practically the whole genre is subscribing to the format. Does this spell the end for Blu-ray?

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