By samzenpus from Slashdot's wait-until-they-drive department
An anonymous reader writes "When it comes to abandoned snail shells that hermit crabs expropriate as mobile homes, size matters, for room to grow, room for eggs, and protection from predators. UC Berkeley evolutionary biologist Mark Laidre found that terrestrial hermit crabs on the Pacific shore of Costa Rica congregate in aggressive swap meets where one crab is forced from a relatively large shell, whereupon the rest trade up (one loser and multiple winners, pretty good odds). The loser gets the smallest shell, which means likely doom. Laidre and his colleagues note that most hermit crabs live in the ocean, where there are usually enough abandoned shells to go around so most can live, well, hermit-like lives without much interaction with fellow crabs. Not so on land, at least in Costa Rica."Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's homeward-bound department
An Anonymous Coward send word that the SpaceX Dragon capsule is heading home
from the International Space Station. From the article: "The unmanned Dragon space capsule set off from the International Space Station Sunday for the cargo-laden return trip to Earth after successfully delivering its first commercial payload, NASA said.
Using a robotic arm, an astronaut aboard the floating laboratory detached and released the capsule at 1329 GMT after an 18-day mission to resupply the space station, the first ever by a privately-owned company, SpaceX.
The next step will be to bring the capsule out of orbit by intermittently firing its onboard engines to slow its speed.
It is then supposed to parachute into the Pacific Ocean off the California coast at 1920 GMT."Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's don't-forget-the-robot department
An anonymous reader writes "What would you do to 'go geek' if you had a major remodel on your hands? My wife and I are re-modeling my in-law's 3000 sq foot single-level house, and we're both very wired, tech-savvy individuals. We will both have offices, as well as TVs in the bedroom and dining room. My question to the community is: What would you do if you had 10-20,000 to spend for this kind of remodel project? What kind of hardware/firmware would you install? I'd love to have a digital 'command center' to run an LCD wall-calendar for the family, and be able to play my PS3 from anywhere in the house (ie, if everyone wants to watch Netflix while I'm in the middle of some Borderlands). What else have geeks done/planned to do? This is a test run for a much, much nicer house down the road, so don't be overly afraid of cost concerns for really great ideas. We will be taking most of the house down to studs, so don't factor demolition into costs. For culinary-minded geeks, I'd love any ideas you have to surprise my wife with cool kitchen gadgets or designs."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's or-one-kilo-library-of-congress department
An anonymous reader writes "Last night, the Internet Archive threw a party; hundreds of Internet Archive supporters, volunteers, and staff celebrated that the site had passed the 10,000,000,000,000,000 byte mark for archiving the Internet. As the non-profit digital library, known for its Wayback Machine service, points out, the organization has thus now saved 10 petabytes of cultural material."
The announcement coincided with the release of an 80-terabyte dataset for researchers
and, for the first time, the complete literature of a people: the Balinese
.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's get-'em-good department
sends this quote from an article at MIT's Technology Review:"In the event that a giant asteroid is headed toward Earth, you’d better hope that it’s blindingly white. A pale asteroid would reflect sunlight — and over time, this bouncing of photons off its surface could create enough of a force to push the asteroid off its course. How might one encourage such a deflection? The answer, according to an MIT graduate student: with a volley or two of space-launched paintballs. Sung Wook Paek, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, says if timed just right, pellets full of paint powder, launched in two rounds from a spacecraft at relatively close distance, would cover the front and back of an asteroid, more than doubling its reflectivity, or albedo. The initial force from the pellets would bump an asteroid off course; over time, the sun’s photons would deflect the asteroid even more."Read Replies (0)