Friday, November 20, 2009

Dark Energy, Life Searches Make Strange Bedfellows

Posted by timothy on Friday November 20, @02:36AM
from the what-would-the-kids-look-like? dept.
eldavojohn writes"Both the EU and US are using a strategy to merge what used to be two separate searches: the search for exoplanets that may harbor life and the search for dark energy. In an effort to develop 'robust, low-risk missions that maximize the scientific return,' the article analyzes how, without any changes, a space-based dark energy telescope could also check for microlensing events indicating an exoplanet."

EA Shuts Down Pandemic Studios, Cuts 200 Jobs

Posted by Soulskill on Friday November 20, @12:01AM
from the say-goodnight-folks dept.
lbalbalba writes"Electronic Arts is shutting down its Westwood-based game developer Pandemic Studios just two years after acquiring it, putting nearly 200 people out of work. 'The struggling video game publisher informed employees Tuesday morning that it was closing the studio as part of a recently announced plan to eliminate 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its global workforce. Pandemic has about 220 employees, but an EA spokesman said that a core team, estimated by two people close to the studio to be about 25, will be integrated into the publisher's other Los Angeles studio, in Playa Vista.' An ex-developer for Pandemic attributed the studio's struggles to poor decisions from the management."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pig out More at Thanksgiving and You May Shop Less

ScienceDaily (Nov. 19, 2009) — Forthcoming research from two University of Utah marketing professors suggests how eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and mashed potatoes makes consumers less likely to buy on impulse, which might affect the outcome of their shopping on Black Friday, historically one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year.

Bomb-Proof Wallpaper Developed

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday November 19, @01:31AM
from the radiation-shielding-curtains dept.
MikeChino writes"Working in partnership with the US Army Corp of Engineers, Berry Plastics has rolled out a new breed of bomb-proof wallpaper. Dubbed the X-Flex Blast Protection System, the wallpaper is so effective that a single layer can keep a wrecking ball from smashing through a brick wall, and a double layer can stop blunt objects (i.e. a flying 2×4) from knocking down drywall. According to its designers, covering an entire room takes less than an hour."

Tracking the World's Great Unsolved Math Mysteries

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday November 18, @07:06PM
from the another-piece-of-pi dept.
coondoggie writes"Some math problems are as old as the wind, experts say, and many remain truly unsolved. But a new open source-based site from the American Institute of Mathematics looks to help track work done and solve long-standing and difficult math problems. The Institute, along with the National Science Foundation, has opened the AIM Problem Lists site to offer an organized and annotated collection of unsolved problems, and previously unsolved problems, in a specialized area of mathematics research. The problem list provides a snapshot of the current state of research in a particular research area, letting experts track new developments, and newcomers gain a perspective on the subject."

Smart Grid Could Pose Threat To Privacy

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday November 18, @08:26PM
from the lets-take-a-look dept.
Presto Vivace writes"Brian Krebs of the Washington Post reports on a study jointly released Tuesday by the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner and the Future of Privacy Forum. It seems that in the process of collecting all that feedback about energy use, utility companies will inevitably collect a great deal of information about us. From the article: 'Instead of measuring energy use at the end of each billing period, smart meters will provide this information at much shorter intervals, the report notes. Even if electricity use is not recorded minute by minute, or at the appliance level, information may be gleaned from ongoing monitoring of electricity consumption such as the approximate number of occupants, when they are present, as well as when they are awake or asleep. For many, this will resonate as a "sanctity of the home" issue, where such intimate details of daily life should not be accessible.'"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Public School Teachers Selling Lesson Plans Online

Posted by kdawson on Monday November 16, @01:46AM
from the pin-money dept.
theodp writes"Thousands of teachers are using websites like Teachers Pay Teachers and We Are Teachers to cash in on a commodity they used to give away, selling lesson plans online for exercises as simple as M&M sorting and as sophisticated as Shakespeare. While some of this extra money is going to buy books and classroom supplies, the new teacher-entrepreneurs are also spending it on dinners out, mortgage payments, credit card bills, vacation travel and even home renovation, raising questions over who owns material developed for public school classrooms."