By timothy from Slashdot's can-we-call-them-dirac's-revenge? department
An anonymous reader writes "Nearly 85 years after pioneering theoretical physicist Paul Dirac predicted the possibility of their existence, an international collaboration led by Amherst College Physics Professor David S. Hall '91 and Aalto University (Finland) Academy Research Fellow Mikko Möttönen has created, identified and photographed synthetic magnetic monopoles in Hall's laboratory on the Amherst campus. The groundbreaking accomplishment paves the way for the detection of the particles in nature, which would be a revolutionary development comparable to the discovery of the electron."
That's quite a step beyond detecting monopoles
is online, but the full paper is paywalled.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's snowball's-chance department
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Kim Severson reports at the NYT that by keeping schools and government offices open, and by not requiring tractor-trailers to use chains or stay out of the city's core, metropolitan Atlanta gambled and lost. "We don't want to be accused of crying wolf," said Gov. Nathan Deal, who pointed out that the storm had been forecast to just brush the south side of the city. If the city had been closed and the storm had been as light as some forecasters had told him it was going to be, he said, money would have been lost, and people would have complained. Tuesday's snowfall, that brought only 2-3 inches of snow to most of the Atlanta metro area, and the hundreds of thousands of motorists who flooded the metropolitan area's roadways as the storm moved in — created travel nightmares for commuters, truckers, students and their families. Some commuters were stuck in their vehicles up to 18 hours after they first hit the roads. Others abandoned their cars in or beside the road. Hundreds of students spent the night at school. Some surrounding cities, including Hiram, Woodstock, Sandy Springs and Acworth, opened emergency shelters for stranded motorists. "It's an easy joke made by Northerners," wrote Joe Sterling and Sarah Aarthun. "A dusting of snow shuts down an entire city and hapless drivers white-knuckle their way through a handful of flurries." Further North streets are salted well in advance of a coming storm but Atlanta doesn't have the capacity for that kind of treatment. "We simply have never purchased the amount of equipment necessary," said meteorologist Chad Myers adding Atlanta had plenty of warning. "Why would you in a city that gets one snow event every three years? Why would you buy 500 snowplows and salt trucks and have them sit around for 1,000 days, waiting for the next event?""Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's long-term-data-storage department
vinces99 writes "A substantial fraction of the Neanderthal genome persists in modern human populations. A new analysis (abstract) of 665 people from Europe and East Asia shows that more than 20 percent of the Neanderthal genome survives in the DNA of this contemporary group, whose genetic information is part of the 1,000 Genomes Project."
Another study published today (abstract
) finds that Neanderthal genes are present in some parts of our genome that we've found to be important
. Some of the genes influence fertility skin pigment, and others actually increase our susceptibility to diseases like diabetes and lupus. The researchers are now taking these known genetic markers and seeing if they correlate with any other health conditions.Read Replies (0)
By Roblimo from Slashdot's free-often-gives-you-the-best-value department
This video is a conversation between Slashdot's Timothy Lord and informal OpenStreetMap
spokesman Serge Wroclawski. Serge stresses the point that OpenStreetMap isn't a mapping application, but consists of the data behind mapping applications; that there are many apps that use OpenStreetMap data; and that you are free to use OpenStreetMap as the data engine behind a map-based application. You are also welcome, even encouraged, to contribute
, and you may want to check out the OpenStreetMap Foundation
, which is "an international not-for-profit organization supporting, but not controlling, the OpenStreetMap Project." Now comes the question: Do you really want Google or MapQuest or another commercial (or government) entity to know where you are and where you're going? With OpenStreetMap you can download maps of your area, country or even the whole world and keep your travels confidential. You can also help create accurate maps of the areas you know best, including points of interest chosen by actual users like you, not because they paid to have their names on a commercially-produced map. A last thought: In addition to watching Serge in the video, you might want to read an article Serge wrote for The Guardian
about the need for OpenStreetMap. The 195+ comments attached to the article are interesting, too.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's good-riddance department
mikejuk writes "Google and Opera split from WebKit to create Blink, their own HTML rendering engine, and everyone was worried about the effect on standards. Now we have the first big example of a split in the form of CSS Regions support. Essentially Regions are used to provide the web equivalent of text flow, a concept very familiar to anyone who has used a desktop publishing program. The basic idea is that you define containers for a text stream which is then flowed from one container to another to provide a complex multicolumn layout. The W3C standard for Regions has mostly been created by Adobe — a long time DTP company. Now the Blink team has proposed removing Regions support to save 10,000 lines of code in 350,000 in the name of efficiency. If Google does remove the Regions code, which looks highly likely, this would leave Safari and IE 10/11 as the only two major browsers to support Regions. Both Apple and Microsoft have an interest in ensuring that their hardware can be used to create high quality magazine style layouts — Google and Opera aren't so concerned. I thought standards were there to implement not argue with."
Although mikejuk thinks this is a bad thing
, a lot of people think CSS Regions are awful
. Mozilla has never intended to implement them, instead offering the CSS Fragmentation
proposal as an alternative. One major flaw of CSS Regions is its reliance upon markup that is used solely for layout, violating the separation of content and style that CSS is intended
to enforce.Read Replies (0)