sudden.zero writes: A star 5,000 light-years from Earth is the closest thing to a perfect sphere that has ever been observed in nature, a new study reports.
Stars, planets and other round celestial bodies bulge slightly at their equators due to centrifugal force. Generally speaking, the faster these objects spin, the greater the force, and the larger the bulge.
For example, the sun rotates once every 27 days, and an imaginary line drawn through its center at the equator is about 12 miles (20 kilometers) longer than a similar line drawn from pole to pole. The equatorial diameter of Earth, which completes a rotation every 24 hours, is 26 miles (42 km) longer than the polar diameter, even though Earth is much smaller than the sun. [Solar Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Sun?]
But the distant star, known as Kepler 11145123, has Earth, the sun and every other object that's ever been measured beat in terms of roundness, study team members said.
sudden.zero writes: "Two teenagers exploring a nearly dry creek bed in late January stumbled across what looked like a turtle shell sticking out of muddy water. A little digging with a stick revealed something shocking: the top half of a human skull. And a human tooth. At first, North Kansas City police feared they had a homicide on their hands. Especially since the skull had a hole that looked suspiciously right-sized for a bullet.
“It was all hands on deck,” recalled police Maj. Steve Beamer. “We started ramping up, thinking we may be working a serious investigation.”
The youths dug up a mystery, for sure. But not one for which modern-day authorities can claim jurisdiction."
sudden.zero writes: If you buy one of those nifty Linux preloaded notebooks from the likes of Dell, Asus, or Lenovo, the default web browser will always be Firefox. So you use that web browser to fill the application for a credit card at Citibank, and finally receive it. But when you start using that credit card and want to check you card usage on-line, the system won't work when accessed with Linux. That's exactly what has got Linux users furious at the banking giant. full story
sudden.zero writes: "Movie characters from the Terminator to the Bionic Woman use bionic eyes to zoom in on far-off scenes, have useful facts pop into their field of view, or create virtual crosshairs. Off the screen, virtual displays have been proposed for more practical purposes — visual aids to help vision-impaired people, holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go.
The device to make this happen may be familiar. Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights."
sudden.zero writes: "After spending years apart, Sun Microsystems and Intel have agreed to team up.
In an announcement just a day before it's due to release it latest quarterly results, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz told an audience in San Francisco on Jan. 22 that his company would produce new Xeon-based x86 servers and workstation by later in 2007.
In turn, Intel announced that it would now support Sun's Solaris operating system and would encourage ISVs (independent software providers) to support Solaris on Xeon platforms, thus giving Sun access to a much broader audience. The agreement also means that Intel will also support open-source communities from Sun, including OpenSolaris, open Java and NetBeans.
While the benefits to a collaborative effort between Sun and Intel are obvious, the agreement is also seen as a blow to Advanced Micro Devices, which had been an exclusive provider of x86 server processors — Opteron — to Sun for the past several years. The agreement now also places Sun on the same playing field as other top x86 server providers such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Dell, which offer both AMD and Intel processors in their respective server products.
This makes the deal between Intel and Sun a win-win deal for both companies, said Gordon Haff, an analyst with Illuminata, in Nashua, N.H.
see the full story here"