smolloy writes "Apparently some users of reCAPTCHA have recently begun seeing photographs appear in their CAPTCHA puzzles — photos that look very much like zoomed in house numbers taken from Google Streetview.
It appears that Google has decided to put the reCAPTCHA system to help clean up Google streetview images, and "according to a Google spokesperson, the system isn’t limited to street addresses, but also involves street names and even traffic signs."
smolloy writes "It would appear that the hotly debated faster-than-light neutrino observation at CERN is the result of a fault in the connection between a GPS unit and a computer. This connection was used to correct for time delays in the neutrino flight, and after fixing the correction the researchers have found that the time discrepancy appears to have vanished." Link to Original Source top
smolloy writes "A recent innovation in televised election debates is a continuous response measure (the “worm”) that allows viewers to track the response of a sample of undecided voters in real-time. A potential danger of presenting such data is that it may prevent people from making independent evaluations. Researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, and the University of Bristol, report an experiment with 150 participants in which they manipulated the worm and superimposed it on a live broadcast of a UK election debate. The majority of viewers were unaware that the worm had been manipulated, and yet the researchers were able to influence their perception of who won the debate, their choice of preferred prime minister, and their voting intentions." Link to Original Source top
smolloy writes "The astonishing rumor that has been circulating since two weeks turned out to be true. The CERN management has decided that either ATLAS or CMS will be taken out of operation as of September 2011. Which of these two detectors will be scrapped is going to be decided next week during a special session of the CERN Council.
CERN Director General Rolf Heuer explains: "This was a very difficult decision to make. However, we are going through difficult times and radical steps could not be avoided. In the current budgetary situation we simply cannot afford running two experiments with identical physics goals and similar detection capabilities."" Link to Original Source top
A Free Electron Laser (FEL) is based on the light that is emitted by accelerated electrons when they are forced to move in a curved path. The beam then interacts with this emitted light in order to excite coherent emission (much like in a regular laser); thus producing a very short, extremely bright, bunch of coherent x ray photons.
The engineering expertise that went into this machine is phenomenal — "This is the most difficult lightsource that has ever been turned on," said LCLS Construction Project Director John Galayda. "It's on the boundary between the impossible and possible, and within two hours of start-up these guys had it right on." — and the benefits to the applied sciences from research using this light can be expected to be enormous — "For some disciplines, this tool will be as important to the future as the microscope has been to the past." said SLAC Director Persis Drell." top
smolloy writes "The BBC is reporting that European MEPs have rejected anti-piracy plans to ban persistent pirates from the internet. The report said that "net bans conflicted with "civil liberties and human rights"."