By Soulskill from Slashdot's they-grow-up-so-fast deptartment
writes "For the first time ever, astronomers have witnessed the formation of celestial objects... in Saturn's rings. As the Saturnian moon Prometheus dashes through the gas giant's rings, it leaves large formations of ice behind, some as large as 12 kilometers in diameter. When the small moon makes another pass, it is not known whether these giant 'snowballs' remain or get destroyed, but according to Linda Spilker, from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory: 'You can think of Saturn's rings as miniature versions of the disks where planets form. The same physical processes are occurring.'"
The Planetary Society blog has further explanation, as well as pictures and a movie of Prometheus' interaction
with Saturn's rings. The Cassini team has released some fantastic images of the fans
in the F ring, as well as a simulation showing how the ring's particles are affected by the moon's passing
.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's blue-screen-of-literal-death deptartment
ctdownunder passes along this excerpt from a NY Times article about a rig worker's testimony concerning the April 20 accident at the Deepwater Horizon well:
"The emergency alarm on the Deepwater Horizon was not fully activated on the day the oil rig caught fire and exploded, triggering the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a rig worker on Friday told a government panel investigating the accident. ... On Friday, Mr. Williams added several new details about the equipment on the vessel, testifying that another Transocean official turned a critical system for removing dangerous gas from the drilling shack to 'bypass mode.' When he questioned that decision, Mr. Williams said, he was reprimanded. ... Problems existed from the beginning of drilling the well, Mr. Williams said. For months, the computer system had been locking up, producing what the crew deemed the 'blue screen of death.' 'It would just turn blue,' he said. 'You’d have no data coming through.' Replacement hardware had been ordered but not yet installed by the time of the disaster, he said."
The article doesn't mention whether it was specifically a Windows BSOD, or just an error screen that happened to be blue.Read Replies (0)
By kdawson from Slashdot's take-that-olpc deptartment
NotBornYesterday was one of many readers sending in news that the Indian government has announced it is helping to develop a $35 tablet computer running Linux
. "India has unveiled the prototype of a $35 basic touchscreen tablet aimed at students, which it hopes to bring into production by 2011. The government plans to subsidize the tablets so the cost to students could be $20; and eventually, they hope the cost will fall to $10 per unit. India's human resource development minister Kapil Sibal says: 'The motherboard, its chip, the processing, connectivity, all of them cumulatively cost around $35, including memory, display, everything.' Using a memory card instead of a hard drive, and running a Linux OS, the designers have managed to keep the price low, and are now looking for manufacturing partners. The tablet can be used for functions like word processing, Web browsing, and video conferencing. It has a solar power option too, which is important in India's less developed areas, though that add-on costs extra."Read Replies (0)