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Submission + - Telescope captures a gravitational echo of the Big Bang

bmahersciwriter writes: Detection of the elusive b-wave, announced today (, provides the firmest evidence yet of a round of exponential inflation in the universe in the first fractions of a second following the big bang. Einstein predicted the existence of these gravitational waves nearly a century ago ( but they've been extremely hard to detect. Now, a telescope in Antarctica called BICEP2 ( was able to pick up the signal by watching the cosmic microwave background, often considered the 'afterglow' of the Big Bang. It is considered a Nobel-worthy discovery.

Submission + - Sexism or Not 2

realsilly writes: "I am a Business Systems Analyst. I am often asked to write documentation beyond requirements. These stem from Scope documents to How To guides and beyond. Now I'm fairly organized in taking capturing information, I tend to ask questions to get information correct and I'm fairly knowledgeable with many of the the MS Office tools so I see these as selling features of when I'm trying to look for employment. I am basically a Jack Of All Trades, except, I'm a girl. I recently took a new position a company where I'm a rare female among many male engineers and developers. The few females on my floor are engineers themselves and in a different department. So when I joined there was a department secretary who helped to support our team, but she moved to another building, and suddenly, I'm being asked to take notes in meetings where I have no business being. I'm receiving calls from strangers to check on availability of meeting rooms, I'm being asked to help with presentations that need quick easy to access (imo) information. I've was told in front of several male counterparts during a lunch session, "...since we don't have and Admin, I'm going to pull you to set up xyz...." where xyz is sometimes considered an Admin task.

Now all of these request could be because I'm quick organized and efficient and I'm only 300% booked by comparison to my fellow coworkers who are more booked than I, or some of these requests are what they appear to be, blatant sexism. I'm looking for some feedback from the Slashdot community, of both Women and Men."

Submission + - UK's DEB criticised by webgiants (

DangerFace writes: Major players, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and eBay, have written to Peter Mandelson asking him to remove Clause 17 from the proposed Digital Economy Bill. The consortium believe that if Clause 17, is approved it will give "any future Secretary of State" the ability to amend copyright laws as they see fit. "The law must keep pace with technology, so that the Government can act if new ways of seriously infringing copyright develop in the future," said a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Submission + - SPAM: Racing to reverse engineer the human brain

destinyland writes: Citing competing teams on both sides of the Atlantic, this article describes the race to develop cognitive computing by reverse engineering the brain. While IBM is using the world's fourth-fastest supercomputer, the same supercomputer is also being used by the Blue Brain project at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. (The head of the project notes the difficulty in "recreating the three-dimensional structure of the brain in a 2-D piece of silicon... It's not a brain. It's more of a computer processor that has some of the accelerated parallel computing that the brain has.") Meanwhile IBM still hopes "to noninvasively measure and map the connections between all cortical and sub-cortical locations within the human brain using magnetic resonance diffusion weighted imaging." With rapidly accelerating advances in supercomputer architectures, can a simulated human brain be far off?
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Has Google redefined beta?

netbuzz writes: "Someone finally took the time to do a count of all the Google apps marked "beta." And with fully 45% of its products carrying that familiar tag — including 4-year-old Gmail — Google says there's an explanation: Beta doesn't mean to them what it has long meant to the rest of the tech community. "We believe beta has a different meaning when applied to applications on the Web," says a company spokesman."

Submission + - New Solar Energy Technology

qazsedcft writes: The BBC is reporting:

A new way capturing the energy from the Sun could increase the power generated by solar panels tenfold, a team of American scientists has shown. The new technique involves coating glass with a specific mixture of transparent dyes which redirect light to photovoltaic cells in the frame. The technology, outlined in the journal Science, could be used to convert glass buildings into vast energy plants. The technology could be in production within three years, the team said.

The Military

Submission + - Could nuclear warheads go off like popcorn? (

missb writes: "Reported in this week: Nuclear warheads that are stored closely together — as in a submarine — are in danger of exploding in a chain reaction, according to a newly declassified document. According to the UK Ministry of Defence nuclear-weapons safety manual, warheads have a design flaw that could conceivably cause them to explode one after the other — an effect known as "popcorning". READ THE FULL STORY HERE:"

Submission + - Youngest Planet Discovered

qazsedcft writes: BBC is reporting that Astronomers have discovered what appears to be the youngest planet, being less than 2000 years old. If this proves to be true it could challenge our models of solar system formation.

Submission + - Six degrees of messaging (

Nicola Jones - online news editor for Nature writes: "Nature News reports on a cool paper in the arXiv: yet more evidence showing that we are only six steps removed from almost anyone else on the planet. Workers at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington crunched through a month's worth of global 'instant messaging' conversations using Microsoft Messenger (that was a whopping 255 billion messages sent in the course of 30 billion conversations among 240 million people) and found that the average shortest number of jumps to get from one random user to another was 6.6; spookily close to the infamous six degrees of separation. (Disclaimer: this post has been submitted by the somewhat-biased source of the news editor at Nature News — but I really think this is well up Slashdot's alley...)"

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