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Comments

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Astronomers Investigating Unknown Object That Hit the Earth In 773 AD

It doesn't come easy Comet? (84 comments)

Yet another possibility is that a comet may have hit the Earth, dumping the extra carbon-14 in the atmosphere. But astronomers have ruled that out on the basis that a comet carrying enough carbon-14 must have been over 100 km in diameter and would surely have left other evidence such as an impact crater.

Not to mention completely obliterating all higher forms of life on the planet, you know, like astronomers...

about 2 months ago
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Chinese Search Giant Baidu Launches International Sites

It doesn't come easy Good news (38 comments)

Google needs competition. That being said, tried all three sites with the same results: "The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading". Damn you, Slashdot effect...

about 3 months ago
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Edward Snowden Says NSA Engages In Industrial Espionage

It doesn't come easy Re:Even friends and allies do it among each other (212 comments)

One has to wonder how much of the world's technological advances was (is?) actually dependent on IP theft? I can imagine a great deal during the cold war for sure. What about now?

about 3 months ago
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You Might Rent Features & Options On Cars In the Future

It doesn't come easy Subscriptions... (437 comments)

...always prove to be more expensive than an outright purchase. In addition, why include something you don't use and then have to pay the gas to lug it around? No thanks.

about 3 months ago
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Senator Dianne Feinstein: NSA Metadata Program Here To Stay

It doesn't come easy Assume the worst... (510 comments)

...and take the control out of their hands.

It's obvious that no one in power can be trusted to NOT collect as much as they can collect. It doesn't matter whether that is a government or a business. There is only one REAL solution. Encrypt everything. And since one cannot trust proprietary solutions to NOT include a back door into the encryption scheme, the only solution is to use open source software AND for such software to be routinely audited by knowledgeable people. And for all of us to be vigilant concerning other ways to circumvent the encryption.

It seems to me that this is a declaration of an arms race between those in power and the average user. But of course, hasn't it always been that way?

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Misdirected Email?

It doesn't come easy Re:Name? (388 comments)

Heh. Obviously some email names would be inappropriate for certain situations. That's why I have no less than 400 separate email addresses. It also makes it harder for various TLA groups to positively connect one email to another...not that I'm paranoid or anything...

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Misdirected Email?

It doesn't come easy Re:No problems (388 comments)

Hmmm. It is actually interesting. Email addresses are unique to the world. No one else can create the same value @ domain unless the domain gets sold to another entity (which has not happened to @gmail.com as far as I know). If you have an email address assigned to you from a reputable source, anyone else who sets up an account with that email is already doing something wrong.

I wonder what the legal implications of this is...

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Misdirected Email?

It doesn't come easy Name? (388 comments)

Sorry, no one in their right mind would use their real name as their email address.

about 3 months ago
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AT&T Introduces "Sponsored Data" Allowing Services to Bypass 4G Data Caps

It doesn't come easy What happened to "networks are overloaded"? (229 comments)

So, the original reason for data caps were that a few unscrupulous users were hogging all of the bandwidth and making everyone else suffer through a poor network experience...

I guess either that wasn't the real reason or AT&T doesn't mind if you have a poor network experience as long as they get more money...

about 3 months ago
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Chimpanzee "Personhood" Lawsuits Fail In New York Courts

It doesn't come easy Human soceity not ready for this (370 comments)

Human society is not ready to grant intelligent animals sentient or human status. It sounds like an enlightened idea, but our laws and societal norms cannot accommodate granting these rights without significant and fundamental change.

Take any law that governs the interaction between two humans and apply that to a human verses say a dolphin and you immediately run into serious and unworkable situations. Imagine having to grant a dolphin the right to confront their accuser in a court of law. Really? What about applying laws concerning manslaughter or murder or accidental death? What about representation in government?

Yes, I know the New York case was not about all of these things, but once the door is open you can never close it. Just look at the legal ruling that corporations are legal persons to understand what I mean.

about 4 months ago
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RF Safe-Stop Shuts Down Car Engines With Radio Pulse

It doesn't come easy What an incredibly dangerous device (549 comments)

Basically, this device is causing the car's computer(s) to crash. So, during low speed tests, in a wide open area, the car slowly glides to a stop??? I wonder what might happen if this were applied on a narrow highway, with lots of other vehicles on the road, at highway speeds? And what will happens when this device is used by the disgruntled (postal) worker, or some teens (not picking on teens, I used to be one myself) out for a mischievous time?

What if occasionally the computer's crash in a less expected way -- say for a moment the computer thinks you're trying to "park" (using your computer controlled parking assistant) while traveling at 60 miles per hour?

There are so many things wrong with this that it boggles the mind.

about 4 months ago
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Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio?

It doesn't come easy What "pay" are we talking about? (1216 comments)

Do you mean the paycheck received on a weekly basis? Do we count stock options or awards? Dividends from preferred stock not available to the average worker? Annual bonuses? Perks (such as the use of a company paid private plane)? Corporate "gifts" of all sorts?

Steve Jobs famously worked at Apple for a one dollar annual salary. However, does anyone here really think that he only made a dollar per year?

The idea has merit, but it is a foregone conclusion that people in power will figure out how to work around the "ratio".

about 5 months ago
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4K Ultra HD Likely To Repeat the Failure of 3D Television

It doesn't come easy Absolutely agree (559 comments)

There is way too must current content that is still not transmitted in 1080p. Buying a new (expensive) TV just to display most shows in standard resolution makes no sense at all. Yes, I know live broadcasts are usually in high def, but one can only watch so must sports on TV. To be fair, I think it is actually a legacy problem. There is so much good legacy content recorded in standard definition that it is tough for new content to compete, at least from a percentage perspective. Best excuse for a good movie or TV series remake that I have heard...

about 6 months ago
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Black Holes Grow By Eating Quantum Foam

It doesn't come easy Re:Con CERN (164 comments)

Actually, it kind of fits if you bring all of the intelligent guesswork together. I read somewhere that the tiny tiny tiny black holes (possibly) created by the LHC would evaporate (due to Hawking Radiation) at an exponentially accelerating rate -- the more mass they lost the faster they would loose more, ending in a quantum sized obliterating explosion. If true, and if this new idea is correct as well, that would imply that there is a perfect point where the mass evaporation from Hawking Radiation would *just* equal the mass accumulation from consuming quantum foam. If the black hole mass starts out greater than this point then the black hole grows, less and it shrinks. Someone ought to be able to calculate (roughly?) the magical amount of mass needed to produce a pseudo-stable black hole...

about 7 months ago
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Is It Time to Replace Your First HDTV? (Video)

It doesn't come easy Short answer: No (418 comments)

Long answer. Most of my TV channels, even the HD channels, still show well over 50% of only SD quality shows. There is no compelling reason to update perfectly good hardware if it will be years before the content will take advantage of it. It may be a chicken and egg thing, but at this point it looks to me that the smart thing to do would be to wait a hardware generation or two before spending any more money on TVs.

about 7 months ago
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Device Security: How Border Searches Are Really Used

It doesn't come easy Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (223 comments)

Definitely shocking, and likely unconstitutional. According to the ACLU, about 197 million (or nearly 2/3rds) of the US population live within 100 miles of the US border. It is highly unlikely that the newly proclaimed 100 mile wide "constitution free zone" would hold up in court if it essentially permanently suspends constitutionally guaranteed rights to 2/3rds of the population. Not even the US Government can get away with that (at least, not yet).

about 7 months ago
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How Did My Stratosphere Ever Get Shipped?

It doesn't come easy Re:Market has fixed the problem (238 comments)

Sorry, the problem with the declaration The free market has fixed this problem is that it only fixed it AFTER I spent my $500 on a really crappy phone...

about 8 months ago
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Perspectives On the Latest IBM Layoffs

It doesn't come easy Re:It's not the layoffs (135 comments)

Please, I'm not being critical of your post. But I am very definitely saying that IBM's methods of moving those jobs overseas is entirely immoral. It is big business at its worst. IBM, like many mega corporations (Apple, Microsoft, Google, to name a few), lie through their teeth when it comes to stating the reasons they do what they do that affects many thousands of US jobs. The so called immigration bill passed just yesterday illustrates the problem most vividly. A quote from Yahoo news: "But Corley insisted that the tech industry never had agreed to the restrictions in the original bill and was only trying to ensure the H-1B program would be workable for an industry that's good for American workers and the U.S. economy." Seriously??? The H-1B program is a cheap training program which not only displaces US jobs overseas but also keeps countries like India poor in favor of more profits for US corporations now. If companies like IBM were required to follow all US laws in those outsourced countries -- something I believe they should be required to do -- it would help raise the standard of living in those countries that US corporations are currently exploiting because of cheap labor and eventually help them reach parity with the US and other Western economies, making outsourcing far less appealing, and consequently improve ALL local economies. But as long as corporations can take advantage of poor economies, business practices like these will continue.

about 10 months ago
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Perspectives On the Latest IBM Layoffs

It doesn't come easy Re:It's not the layoffs (135 comments)

Actually, there is a significant moral problem here.

Point 1, IBM is taking money promised to their employees (401k contributions) and using it to fund the company’s cost of executing the layoffs.
Point 2, in many cases IBM is laying off the US employee and keeping an H1B employee, which is probably illegal.
Point 3, IBM is telling their soon-to-be-laid-off employee that they have 30 or so days to find a new job in IBM, else they will be laid off, yet managers in IBM cannot hire the soon-to-be-laid-off employee, another lie.
Point 4, in many cases employees (primarily US contractors) are given zero warning, literally no advanced notice of being out of a job, making it very tough on some individuals to support their families.
Point 5, IBM is routinely lying to their customers about their SLA performance and the effect the layoffs will have on the SLA, with IBM’s own customers literally being the victims in this situation.

I could go on. Read through all of the comments on the job cuts site.

I have worked for mega-corporations most of my 40 years + career. In truth, this is just business as usual for companies like IBM. All I can say to the younger population is: Never trust a big corporation. You should always be ready to move to another job. Keep your resume up-to-date and skills current. Then keep current with your job market situation. When the company you work for starts talking about mergers and acquisitions, or cost cutting and downsizing, or new ideas for keeping competitive, be ready.

about 10 months ago
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Supreme Court Decides Your Silence May Be Used Against You

It doesn't come easy Re:Protect your rights or lose them (662 comments)

...rights given to their citizens...

I agree with your statements and sentiment, but here's the real problem...the United States Federal Government (and state governments) do NOT give rights to the citizens. In the US it is the other way around. The US citizens, through the Constitution, gives LIMITED rights to the government. Granted, the issue here is interpretation of the Constitution. But if we continue to let the government make self serving decisions and thereby continue to weaken the Constitution without doing anything about it then shame on us.

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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Big Bang or Big Bounce?

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

It doesn't come easy (695416) writes "Could we be getting closer to testable predictions concerning the state of our Universe at its birth? According to New Scientist, possibly. A relatively new application of the theory of Loop Quantum Gravity, called Loop Quantum Cosmology (or LQC), has been successful in modeling the well known (or at least widely accepted) condition of the Universe well after the point at which Inflation would have ended while at the same time does not require the Big Bang's singularity. The scientists which developed the computer model also expect to come up with "robust predictions" (unlike everyone's favorite string theory) in the next two years."
Link to Original Source
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Simple gadget to boost fuel economy?

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

It doesn't come easy (695416) writes "Do we finally have a honest-to-goodness simple addon gismo that will significantly boost fuel ecomomy? From the article: Researchers at Temple University in Pennsylvania have developed a small electrorheological device that, when inserted into the fuel line near the fuel injector, can improve fuel economy. In tests results reported in a study scheduled for the 19 November issue of the journal Energy & Fuels, they show an 18.8% increase in fuel mileage in a Mercedes-Benz diesel sedan in highway driving."

Journals

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Sony stealth disables DRM restrictions?

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago In what has to be one of the most ironic twists so far in the Sony DRM debacle, a blogger named Nicholas Colyer discovered that by adding the $sys$ to the front of his CD burning software he can now copy as many CD's as he wants. No mention of any real details about the programs involved (apologies to all you hackers out there). One has to wonder, though, just how many other software restrictions can be bypassed by this useful feature? If the stealth function of the original rootkit turns out to be good for lots of other fun things, this could be a real situation for Sony. Nothing forces you to run the stealth removing patch, and I would bet that Sony didn't include an automatic update feature (in which case they would not be able to automatically disable the stealth feature from afar). Might they have to resort to cooperating with Microsoft to add a patch to the regular Windows update process?

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Lithium-Ion battery with unprecedented performance

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago A press release from A123Systems announces a new lithium-ion battery technology that delivers unprecedented performance (according to them). The technology is suppose to deliver 10 times the cycle life and 5 times the power over conventional lithium technology, and only require 5 minutes to recharge to 90% capacity. And this is not a theoretical announcement -- the first batteries are now in production and being delivered to the Black & Decker Corporation, who will be utilizing them in a new line of DEWALT branded power tools. The company is also working with the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a major undertaking to develop battery materials for future use in hybrid electric vehicles. Assuming 5 times power means 5 times range (may not be the case but hey let's dream a little, ok?), an all electric car that only had a 70 mile range would be able to go more than 300 miles between charges and only take 5 minutes to recharge at the station. Might this make fuel cell cars (and hybrids) obsolete before they even get started? On a side note, there have been other promises of breakthroughs for lithium based batteries before...wonder if there is a patent lawsuit in the making? This press release is also mentioned over at Green Car Congress.

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NASA has a plan for asteroid deflection

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago The Register is reporting that NASA has started developing a contingency plan to deflect a quarter-mile wide asteroid if indeed it looks to threaten the Earth in 2029. The asteroid formerly known as 2004MN4 has now been named 99942 Apophis. The space agency says that if the asteroid still appears to be threatening Earth by 2013, it will start work on a mission to visit Apophis with a probe in 2019. This would be followed by an attempt to deflect the asteroid some time between 2024 and 2028. NASA's plans to deflect the asteroid were first publicly revealed by the B612 Foundation.

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Mazda's New Smart Idling Stop System

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago Now this is really thinking outside the box...Mazda is displaying a new form of an idle-stop system for direct-injection spark-ignition engines that uses combustion and the reverse operation of the engine as a restart trigger rather than an electric motor. To summarize: The Smart Idling Stop System shuts off the engine when you come to a stop. When you want to go again, the system injects fuel into the cylinder in the compression phase but not yet at the top of the compression cycle (in a four cylinder 4 stroke engine, one cylinder is always in the compression phase). Then the fuel is ignited to force the compressing piston back down in the opposite direction. This causes compression in a different cylinder which then has fuel injected and ignited, which in turn forces the engine to turn back in the normal direction and provides enough power to kick start the engine back to life. In order for everything to work, the Smart Idling Stop System forces the engine to stop in a position that is optimal for the next restart attempt. Mazda claims that the Smart Idling Stop System is more energy-efficient than an electric motor restart, and also restarts the engine more quickly and quietly than a conventional idle-stop system.

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The Ultimate Flex-Fuel and Flex-Combustion Engine

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago Two California inventors have designed and patented the ultimate flex-fuel and flex-combustion engine: an engine that can adapt in real-time to a variety of petroleum-, bio- or gaseous-fuels using the appropriate combustion mode, including spark-ignition, compression-ignition or HCCI variants. The design eliminates the last mechanical constraint for a totally electronically controlled engine, namely the cam shaft, and allows each cylinder to be independently fine tuned in real time for a wide range of power options. Possibilities range from boosting compression for more power to using air compression only (no fuel) for braking to even storing the compressed air for extra power later on. Now all they have to do is get someone with lots of money interested in developing it further.

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ALERT: YOU may be guilty of copyright infringement

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago This has to be the funniest thing (at least to my dry sense of humor) I've run across in a while -- and I'm not even sure these guys aren't serious. A company(?) called Magnus-Opus warns "You may be inadvertently performing one of the Magnus-Opus melody series each time you use your telecommunications device (telephone, mobile telephone, modem and other internet devices)". Fortunately, they provide a web site that lets you test any number against their database of copyrighted melodies. If you are found to infringe, they helpfully point you to their licensing page. Licenses range from "single performance" for 5 cents (per performance) to lifetime "full performance rights" costing up to $10,000. And if you don't wish to buy a license, they have a FAQ that details how you can get rid of the offending telecommunications device. Originally brought to you by an anonymous reader on Spencer Katt.

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It pays to conserve energy in 2006

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago As reported by MSNBC, you could collect as much as $7,400 or more in tax credits if you spend a lot of money on energy saving stuff starting in 2006 and going through 2010, courtesy of the energy bill signed into law by Pres. Bush in August of this year. Here's how the credits work: Buy or lease a hybrid gas-electric vehicle and qualify for a tax credit of up to $3,400. Install solar power in your home and get up to a $4,000 tax credit. Make your home more energy efficient and get credits ranging from $50 to $500. The bill has some (IMHO) odd provisions, however. For example, [hybrid] credits are capped at 60,000 vehicles per carmaker and then start tapering off rather drastically, [and that means] they could phase out fairly quickly for companies with the best-selling hybrids. To put that into perspective, consider that Toyota is projected to sell 60,000 hybrids by the middle of 2006. Bottom line, if you're planning to buy a Prius next year, better do it before the end of May if you want to get the full tax credit...

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Website seeks sex toy testers

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago What some may consider the perfect job, LoveHoney is seeking people to join The Orgasm Army and become testers for the products they sell. You only need to be 18 years or older, of sound mind and body (I think the body part is the more important requirement), and agree to their terms and conditions. No mention as to how (or if) they let you choose a partner when appropriate.

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Sales of Full-Size SUVs Crater in September

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago GreenCarCongress reports that combined sales of full-size SUVs dropped 43.5% in September from the year before. GM and Ford, the most dependent on SUV sales, were the hardest hit, with drops of 42.5% and 54.5% respectively. Interestingly, two SUVs sold more in September: The recently discontinued Ford Excursion and the Hummer H1. Of course, anyone who buys an H1 never worried about gas milage before -- why start now?

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What Is Web 2.0

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago Over at O'Reilly.net, Tim O'Reilly has written a rather longish article on the concept of "Web 2.0", first defined (according to Tim) during a conference brainstorming session between O'Reilly and MediaLive International sometime back in 2003. Web 2.0 centers around the concept of the Web as Platform (recent Slashdot articles about the Web as Platform). Google, of course, is the poster child for Web as Platform, being described as "an enabler or middleman between the user and his or her online experience." Other characteristics of Web 2.0 include Harnessing Collective Intelligence (example Wikipedia), Data is the Next Intel Inside (example Amazon.com's highly successful user rating system), End of the Software Release Cycle (example, Google's perpetual updates to its web indices), Lightweight Programming Models (example RSS), Software Above the Level of a Single Device (i.e. the service is accessible from a variety of devices, example accessing real time traffic updates), and Rich User Experiences (example Google Maps). A very interesting read concerning the direction the Internet is moving.

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Robotic Greenhouses

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago Here's a predicament that happens all too often in our short term profit driven economy...tens of thousands of empty storage containers, manufactured in Asia and shipped to the US full of product, now lie stacked in towers alongside I-95 in New Jersey. The problem? They are too cheap to be shipped back to Asia but too expensive here in the US to recycle. Of course, one man's garbage is another man's business opportunity. According to Wired News, Lior Hessel of OrganiTech believes those containers would make ideal miniature robotic farms. The idea is to use OrganiTech's robotic greenhouse system to convert the containers into miniature farms that grow food close to where it is consumed, thereby saving most of the transportation cost. OrganiTech's system is entirely free of pesticides (the greenhouses keep positive air pressure inside the structure, so few if any insects can fly in) and are grown hydroponically (without soil) so nutrients, fertilizers and water requirements are one-third to one-fifth the needs of soil-grown lettuce (lettuce is used as an example for cost comparison in the article). In addition to food produced for consumption, OrganiTech is also in talks with several pharmaceutical companies to create custom "plant factories" for genetically engineered crops that produce medically useful compounds. And best of all, with the farms being entirely automated, the cost of labor would consist of a single computer technician's salary. Is there a robotic greenhouse in your future?

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Sun's role in global warming may be underestimated

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago An announcement on EurekAlert says that at least 10 to 30 percent of global warming measured during the past two decades may be due to increased solar output rather than factors such as increased heat-absorbing carbon dioxide gas released by various human activities. This has been claimed before. This is not to say that greenhouse gasses are off the hook, but it means that climate change models need to be adjusted accordingly. I would say another piece of evidence for increased solar output may have been found by the Mars Orbiter, where surveys show for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near Mars' south pole have shrunk from the previous year's size, suggesting a climate change in progress (the Mars Orbiter report was also featured in this Slashdot submission).

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Smaller Cars Enjoy New Chic

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago The Washington Post has an article on the increased interest in fuel efficient cars after the recent hurricanes in the US and their affect on gas prices. It seems Toyota and Honda are struggling to keep up with demand, while GM and Ford have seen a serious drop in sales of large SUV's. Is this the start of a lasting change in the US market or is it just a knee-jerk reaction? What's the next car you plan to purchase?

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Universe evolution favors 3 and 7 dimensions

It doesn't come easy It doesn't come easy writes  |  more than 8 years ago In case anyone was wondering why we live in a universe with 3 infinitely long directional dimensions, Andreas Karch (University of Washington assistant professor of physics) and his collaborator, Lisa Randall (of Harvard) says it's because the natural evolution of universes (or more specifically the branes described in M-Theory) favor the eventual formation of a universe where you end up with either 3 or 7 infinite physical directions (the remaining dimensions shrink to a minuscule size). Other numbers of physical dimensions are possible, just not favored. An interesting note, the good professor implies that our universe actually contains many regions with different numbers of spatial dimensions at the same time; we just happen to live in a region that ended up with 3 spatial dimensions.

The announcement also implies that our universe is infinitely large and has big bangs happening inside it somewhere all the time. On the other hand, it has also been theorized that two branes colliding might have created what we call the universe.

Karch and Randall detail their work in the October edition of Physical Review Letters, published by the American Physical Society.

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