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Submission + - Russians close to "reaching Mars" (

Dthief writes:

The all-male crew of three Russians, a Chinese, a Frenchman and an Italian-Colombian has been inside windowless capsules at a Moscow research center since June. Their mission aims to help real space crews in the future cope with the confinement and stress of interplanetary travel. The six men are due to "land" on Mars on Feb. 12 and spend two days researching the planet. They then begin the months-long return flight to Earth, expected to be the most challenging part of the mission. In an effort to reproduce the conditions of space travel, with exception of weightlessness, the crew has living quarters the size of a bus connected with several other modules for experiments and exercise. A separate built-in imitator of the Red Planet's surface is attached for the mock landing.

Have they learned anything from this?


Submission + - Help a Discerning Nerd Chose an MP3 Player 2

An anonymous reader writes: My Slashdotting brethren I find myself with a few extra dollars and am in the market for a new MP3 player. I readily admit that I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m turning to the collective wisdom for some insight. Sound quality is probably the major concern but otherwise I’m flexible on other features (as far as I can see everyone is making models with FM Radio now). I’ve stuck with Creative products up till now but the latest models seem a step backwards (slow response times and screen tearing make the cost unjustifiable) and I’d go in a different direction if so advised. The IPod Touch looked interesting, all those apps don’t you knows, but I’ve heard bad things about the sound fidelity and that has me worried. Any suggestions?

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If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.