Quantus347 writes "I am trying to convince a number of people to give Linux a chance, arguing that it has come a long way on the road of consumer usability. Can you, oh Wise Ones of Slashdot, recommend a Lunix setup that will be as similar as possible to a Windows environment (Windows 7 or XP). These people hate and fear change, and so will latch onto nearly any noticeable differences, so I'm thinking in terms of both front end functionality and the look of the interface. It would also be very important for them to have to go to the command line as little as possible during daily use (meaning as close to never as can be managed)." top
Quantus347 writes "The New York Times (2/6, A18, Robertson) examines the "phenomenon that has come to be called the Guy earthquake swarm," in the "town of 563 about an hour north of Little Rock." People there "have had to learn to live with earthquakes," although the exact cause not clear, but some point to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that began after "gas companies arrived, part of a sort of rush in Arkansas to drill for gas in a geological formation called the Fayetteville shale." The Times says seismic events in the area predate the gas companies' activity, but "since the early fall, there have been thousands, none of them very large." Residents "described a boom followed by a quick, alarming shift, a sensation one man compared to watching the camera dive off a cliff in an Imax movie. Some say they have felt dozens, others only four or five, and still others say they have only heard them." The Times points out that "researchers with the Arkansas Geological Survey say that while there is no discernible link between earthquakes and gas production, there is 'strong temporal and spatial' evidence for a relationship between these quakes and the injection wells."
And here I though California was the place that was so "Fracked" it was going to destroy itself in an earthquake." Link to Original Source top
Quantus347 writes "Popular Science (1/25, Nosowitz) reports, "In 2000, Tal Golesworthy, a British engineer, was told that he suffers from Marfan syndrome, a disorder of the connective tissue that often causes rupturing of the aorta." Rather than accept the two treatment options he was offered, "he constructed his own implant that does the job better than the existing solution--and became the first patient to try it." His solution was rooted in the fact that "nobody had thought to use more modern technologies, namely combining MRI tests with computer-aided design tools and new rapid prototyping techniques." Since Golesworthy's successful procedure, "23 others have taken the plunge." Golesworthy said he "wants a greater collaboration amongst the medical community and engineers, who could see solutions the doctors and biologists can't."" Link to Original Source top
Quantus347 writes "I'm starting a new venture, and I'm using subcontractors for some of the programming, which is nothing too revolutionary and a part of a larger service. What steps do I need to take to protect myself from the various legal pitfalls I read about so much. Is a signed contract between us enough? Would I be better off specifying its release under one of the various Licenses? Should I just kill the programmers afterward and tie up the loose ends mafia-style? What can I do to keep today's contract work from becoming tomorrow's competitor? Or worse, plaintiff?" top
Quantus347 writes "Antimatter research took a significant step forward when scientists for the first time created and briefly corralled anti-hydrogen. The experiment could help scientists probe why the universe has less antimatter than prevailing theories suggest it should. For more than 20 years, physicists have been looking for ways to create and study antihydrogen as a way to gain insights into processes that allowed the universe to evolve from a hot, roiling soup of subatomic particles shortly after the Big Bang some 13.6 billion years ago into the cooler collection of planets, stars, and galaxies astronomers observe today." Link to Original Source top
Mirror Neurons give Clues to the Nature of Empathy
Quantus347 writes "Research into Mirror Neurons has given new insight into the brain, leading some to predict that "mirror neurons would do for psychology what DNA did for biology" "With knowledge of these neurons, you have the basis for understanding a host of very enigmatic aspects of the human mind: imitation learning, intentionality, "mind reading," empathy — even the evolution of language. Anytime you watch someone else doing something (or even starting to do something), the corresponding mirror neuron might fire in your brain, thereby allowing you to "read" and understand another's intentions, and thus to develop a sophisticated "theory of other minds. Mirror neurons may also help explain the emergence of language, a problem that has puzzled scholars since the time of Charles Darwin."" Link to Original Source top
Quantus347 writes "Its a trick many of us are used to seeing in theme park shows, but now Dolphins in the wild are learning to walk on water. A pair of out of town dolphins brought the trick to the Port River in Adelaide, Australia, where Dr Mike Bossley has spent 24 years studying the local dolphin population. First one, and now half a dozen dolphins, including several calves, can be seen practicing this strange skill daily, with varying degrees of success. What makes this such a strange occurrence is that the trick is purely for fun, and has no application for food gathering. This makes it a rare example of Cultural Transmission. "Only a few species are known to create their own culture — defined as the sharing or transmitting of specific novel behaviors or traditions between a community of animals."" Link to Original Source top
Quantus347 writes "While the frontiers of physics continue to advance, the core of the discipline is remarkably stable. From the mechanics sorted out by Newton to the electricity described by Ampere, the principles taught to students in classical physics classes have changed precious little in more than 100 years. Thus, it was with no small amount of skepticism last spring when physics professor Stephen Reynolds listened to his student, David Babson, explain how something didn’t quite ring true in a text used in Reynolds’ electricity and magnetism class for junior physics majors.Babson’s issues weren’t about some arcane wrinkle in a calculation. He was concerned with the most basic of principles: conservation of momentum in a problem involving electric and magnetic fields. Although the text used in the course solved a particular problem three separate ways, Babson found one of the ways to be inconsistent.
It has been known for a century that charges and their associated fields can separately have momentum, but the total net momentum of a system at rest must be zero. The momentum in the fields is balanced by a peculiar relativistic effect called hidden momentum that was discovered long after Einstein’s formulation of the theory of relativity in 1905. Babson convinced Reynolds that the fundamental issue of determining the momentum associated with fields was mistreated in at least one of the means used in Griffiths’ example describing the principle.
Quantus347 writes "A Japanese project is gaining support that will build a Solar Power Generator in space, which will transmit is energy to earth wirelessly via microwaves. The first station will generate 1 gigawatt, enough to power 294,000 average Tokyo homes. It will cost about $21 billion, mostly due to the cost of launching the materials into space in the first place. A small test generator is planned for 2015 to test the power beaming technology, while the fully operational station is hoped to be operational by the 2030's." top
Quantus347 writes "In an effort to curb morning-after regrets, Gmail engineer Jon Perlow has created an add-on called Mail Goggles, designed to halt drunken emails. When activated, all emails during specified hours will require the sender to answer basic math quizzes in a window of several seconds. Failure will put the message on hold. Both the active hours and the difficulty of the questions are adjustable from the Gmail Settings."