The NewsDemon Blog
December 12th, 2011
If confirmed next week, this will be the biggest news in the history of physics since the birth of the Theory of Relativity: USENET newsgroups report that CERN scientists may have already found evidence of the existence of the elusive Higgs boson. THE FORCE, Luke!
Newsgroups cite that a respected scientist from the Cern particle physics laboratory has reported that he expects to see “the first glimpse” of the Higgs boson next week.
That would be tomorrow, when two Large Hadron Collider teams would reveal the results of their research, highlighting ten candidates that show evidence of Higgs. Those ten candidates were found from the remains of about 350 trillion collisions using the ATLAS and CMS detectors.
What’s the Higgs boson?
According to most physicists, there’s a Higgs field that is everywhere. The elusive Higgs particle would be the carrier of that field, interacting with all the other particles, “sort of the way a Jedi knight in Star Wars is the carrier of the “force”, as National Geographic eloquently put it when the Large Hadron Collider was being built. Or like Obi Wan said, “the Force surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”
Why is it important?
The Higgs boson is a pivotal part of the standard model of particle physics but nobody has ever found evidence of its existence. It’s one of the main reasons of why the Large Hadron Collider was built. Other than time travel and opening portals to alternate dimensions, that is.
The discovery of this particle is fundamental to our understanding of how the Universe works. So important that—according to the former theoretical physics lead at CERN, John Ellis—”we’ve been living with Higgs theory now for almost 50 years… it’s become our Holy Grail.” Ellis said the excitement among all scientist at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland is very high. That may not sound impressive, given that Switzerland is the most boring country on Earth after Belgium, but if they call it the God Particle, you know it has to be important.
When would we get a photo of the God particle?
Not yet. Tomorrow’s data will not be confirmed until they are able to produce repeated evidence in future experiments. Scientists expect this to happen around next summer.
As Sergio Bertolucci—director of research at CERN—puts it: “It’s too early to say…I think we may get indications that are not consistent with its non-existence [but] we are on a good path to the discovery.”
October 25th, 2011
Windows XP officially turned 10 years old on USENET newsgroups on Tuesday. Microsoft introduced the software back in 2001, following development under the code name Whistler. It featured numerous enhancements compared to its most immediate predecessor, Windows 2000. XP introduced a streamlined, task-based user interface that allowed advanced users like USENET newsgroup subscribers to more quickly find their go-to applications and files through the Start Menu or lockable Taskbar.
Windows XP didn’t boast exciting new features or radical changes, but it was nonetheless a pivotal moment in Microsoft’s history. It was Microsoft‘s first mass-market operating system in the Windows NT family. It was also Microsoft’s first consumer operating system that offered true protected memory, preemptive multitasking, multiprocessor support, and multiuser security.
When it launched, Windows XP was brilliant. It looked cool and modern compared to Windows 95, 98 and – yikes! – Windows Me, and it introduced a whole bunch of important improvements.
Windows Explorer was overhauled, the system was made much more reliable, driver support was massively improved, ClearType improved legibility for incoming LCD displays, the networking was beefed up, security was tightened, the graphics system was improved… upgrading to XP especially for USENET newsgroup subscribers was a big deal.
By 2006, XP had reached a milestone of 400 million active copies, according to an IDC analyst. The successor Windows Vista was launched in January of 2006, but enthusiasts as well as the notebook segment held on to XP and widely rejected Vista. Microsoft announced the discontinuance of Windows XP several times, but delayed the end of retail sales until June 30, 2008. OEM distribution of XP ended on October 22, 2010. Extended support for XP users is still available until April 8, 2014.
Even if it is a decade old, Windows XP is far from being dead. Industry discussion groups on USENET suggests that Windows XP lost its OS market share leadership position to Windows 7 this month. Windows 7 has 40.41 percent of the market, while XP has fallen to 38.51 percent. This is still far more than Vista ever reached; Vista peaked at 23.60 percent in October of 2009. The new and revised Windows 8 is due out sometime early next year.
September 16th, 2011
Google wonders, ‘how expansive is the world wide web?‘ They’re giving a $1 million grant to a group to answer just that question.
Founded by Tim Berners-Lee, who actually created the Internet and first announced it on USENET newsgroups, the World Wide Web Foundation is the recipient of the grant which will involve a compiling the World Wide Web Index. This will be a ‘multi-dimensional measure of the Web and its impact on people and nations’.
The group’s study will be revealed as a series of annual reports and will hopefully help improve the impact that the web has on the human race. This could help to settle theories regarding the web’s influence around the world, and may help answer the question of whether a nation’s investment in internet infrastructure really helps grow the gross domestic product (GDP) of that nation.
The study is expected to be a useful resource as policy makers and investors analyze the web’s impact, which will allow them to make better decisions and form more effective strategies for investment and growth. It’s expected that the first edition of the World Wide Web Index will be released early next year.
Meanwhile, regardless of how many pages are currently on the internet, Nielsen has found that time spent on social media and blogs accounts for about a quarter of the time Americans spend on the web. The results revealed that in May of 2011, Americans spent over 53 billion minutes on Facebook, which accounted for more time than any other website.
If you’re beginning to conjure up images of teenagers sitting in front of their computer at all waking hours, hold on just a minute. The Nielsen report indicates that about 40 percent of social media users access such content using their mobile phones, and internet users who are over 55 years old are the group ‘driving the growth of social networking through the Mobile Internet.’
So as Google looks at how large and far-reaching the internet really is, Nielsen reveals that Americans are spending a good deal of their time using the world wide web connecting with others on social media. The findings of the World Wide Web Foundation will be interesting as we learn of the impact social media has had on American society.
Meanwhile, Usenet continues to be a useful tool for connecting with others across the globe. Usenet actually preceded the internet and for a while was the chief way that people connected with others and shared ideas and new projects. Despite its age, however, Usenet continues to be a popular means of sharing new technology projects and unveiling innovative new services and products.
NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is a premium service that provides access to Usenet at connection speeds as fast as your internet speed allows. It features high retention rates, numerous connections, and other premium features.
January 27th, 2011
Verified from posts on USENET newsgroups, innovative musician and producer will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas will be bringing his creative talents to Intel Corp. where he will take on his new role of “Director of Creative Innovation” .
Will.i.am, whose real name is William James Adams Jr, is not joining the company as a full-time employee but he will be helping Intel “develop the next generation of smartphones and tablets, according to entermainment and technology newsgroups.
The Grammy Award-winning musician will be assisting with the development of devices including laptops, smart phones and tablets, Intel announced Tuesday at their internal sales and marketing conference.
What he’s got to offer to giant Intel is anyone’s guess, but their Vice President seems to think it’s a shrewd move.
Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, hopes to gain the attention of younger generations by incorporating both entertainment and technology, according to Deborah Conrad, the company’s head of marketing.
Deboran Conrad said: “We’re thrilled to tap into the limitless creativity Will.I.Am brings to the table. He’s not only a brilliant artist and producer, but also an innovator pushing the bounds of technology professionally and personally.
The company statement announcing the relationship said it will tie in “with Intel’s “compute continuum” vision, in which more and more devices will compute and connect to the Internet, and the company’s “visual life” initiative that explores how visual experiences such as photos, videos and movies are redefining the relationship consumers have with laptops, smart phones, tablets and other devices.”
“Nearly everything I do involves processors and computers, and when I see an Intel chip I think of all the creative minds involved that help to amplify my own creativity,” Will said in a statement. “Teaming up with the scientists, researchers and computer programmers at Intel to collaborate and co-develop new ways to communicate, create, inform and entertain is going to be amazing.”
January 3rd, 2011
Watch out, West Coast Newsgroupers, because a new California law prohibiting online impersonations officially went into effect this weekend. Violators of a new California law will face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a year in jail.
To summarize the bill, which was passed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, classifies electronic impersonation as a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1k, and jail time of up to a year; in addition to the right of the impersonatee to sue the impersonator. It offers no provisions for anyone who is pretending to be someone on the internet for comedic effect. Basically the state has created a new crime, and a new section is being added to the penal code. To be inacted you have to have the intent to harm, intimidate, threaten, or defraud another person.
The text of the bill says it is now against the law in California to “falsely impersonate another in either his or her private or official capacity, as specified. Existing law also makes it a crime to knowingly access and, without permission, alter, damage, delete, destroy, or otherwise use any data, computer, computer system, or computer network in order to devise or execute any scheme or artifice to defraud, deceive, or extort, or wrongfully control or obtain money, property, or data. For a violation thereof, in addition to specified criminal penalties, existing law authorizes an aggrieved party to bring a civil action against the violator, as specified.”
While the law doesn’t explicitly address free speech concerns, it does specify that perpetrators must demonstrate a clear intent to harm, intimidate, or defraud the individual being impersonated — or, for that matter, anyone else.
How the law will play out is, of course, something only the courts and time will decide. For the time being, it would be better to be safe, rather than sorry. Be yourself online.
December 10th, 2010
Google has finally given some attention to Google Groups and has given it a bit of a facelift.
Google Groups is Google’s version of USENET newsgroups which offers users a small selection of newsgroups to access. The all-text newsgroups service of Google Groups hadn’t had much attention as of late, with growing concerns from users on whether if Google had forgotten about the service which was rarely maintained.
Google has set to change that with a few adjustments that have been made to the service.
As one enhancement, Google has made it easier to search for and browse both groups and individual postings by entering a topic in a single search bar. Once users find a group they want to follow, they can now add it to a list of favorites easily accessible on the left side of the window. As a result, the overall interface has a cleaner and more streamlined look and feel.
New keyboard shortcuts offer a way to quickly cycle through the different forum threads and topics. To find a list of all the new shortcuts, users can press ? on their keyboard. Also, tapping into a new toolbar of icons, users can more easily format text and add hyperlinks and images.
Google Groups is no substitute for complete USENET access. By comparison, Google Groups only offers a variety of 25,000 text newsgroups (or less) – many of which are inactive, whereas a service such as NewsDemon.com Newsgroups offers more along the lines of 107,000+ only active newsgroups.
Additionally, Google Groups only carries a selection of text newsgroups, where as premium Usenet provider NewsDemon.com Newsgroups offers binary newsgroups as well with over 700 day retention.
The redesigned Google Groups will roll out as an option over the next week, giving users the opportunity to preview the new look and features. Google is also promising other enhancements, including better spam control, forum moderators, and improved search.
August 30th, 2010
An asteroid or a comet may be on their way to destroy Earth. In seconds the cataclysmic explosion could devour our entire planet.
Luckily, a group of unsung heroes is on the case to find out if and when such an occurrence can happen here on our planet. No, it’s not Superman, Wonder Woman or any other member of the Super Friends.
The “Hall of Justice” that harbor these heroes are not hovering above the earth in a space station. Rather, these less than selomly heard from group of researchers, scientists and others share a small space at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).
Here, they monitor, research and determine if the leads and information they receive from other astronomers and other researchers pose a threat to our planet.
Having to calculate a great many variables, this research team lead by Timothy B. Spahr (director of the Minor Planet Center) are the call center for suspicious objects found throughout the Universe.
It’s reported that this team has taken the task for years now to compile and evaluate whether such an occurrence is even possible on a variety of space related newsgroups.
Credited on newsgroups from such reports such as the Juno asteroid and as well as a solar system, they use the information gathered to definitively determine what these objects may be and how they can affect us.
No other country in the world has a group with as many resources or size to this matter as the one found at the CfA. They’re seen as the authority throughout the world that can determine whether or not our existence is in immediate peril from runaway space objects flinging towards us.
As of now, the CfA has marked us as safe from all that they’ve found for now. But their job is not done. Many objects speeding close to the speed of light are not always seen dashing across the vastness of our universe. These objects have the possibility of coming around through our galaxy at any moment.
It’s the job of these superheroes, alongside other gastronomists and scientists, to keep looking up and looking out before it’s lights out for us.
July 9th, 2010
Is it time to shut the Internet and Usenet down? Prince thinks so. Explaining why he’s giving his new album away free to readers of the Daily Mirror this weekend, Prince tells the paper that the web, on which some prominent media corporations have bet the farm, is now obsolete.
“The internet’s completely over,” he explained. “I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won’t pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can’t get it.
He added: “The internet’s like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.”
Of all people to respond, Mr. G or Kenny G, says that if the Internet is dead, “then I must be dead too, ’cause I use it all the time,” adding with a laugh, “Maybe I’ve got a sixth sense, and I can only see dead people. I don’t know.” Unlike Prince, Kenny G said the Internet is vital to promoting his work.
Prince was an early adopter of internet-release platforms, making a number of records available through his music club subscription service, which was shut down in 2006 after five years. Since then, Prince has been a fierce opponent of content sharing, even threatening to sue a woman who put up a YouTube video of her baby dancing to one of his songs in 2007.
He’s surely fighting a lone battle against the internet, shutting his own website down and threatening to sue every legal an illegal download service out of existence. The singer-songwriter will give away his new album 20Ten with copies of The Mirror and Daily Record on July 10. The album will not be available to download.
April 21st, 2010
Upward trending since the beginning of Usenet, text based messaging has now eclipsed even the phone itself as to become the most frequent form of communication among US teenagers. Even more surprising is that girls send more than twice as many messages as boys, according to a new study.
The study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and the University of Michigan released Tuesday found that the average adolescent sends or receives 50 or more messages a day, or 1,500 texts per month, and one in three send more than 100 texts a day, or more than 3,000 texts a month. Much to the dismay of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, daily text messaging among American teens has shot up in the past 18 months, from 38% of teen’s texting friends daily in February of 2008 to 54% of teens texting daily in September 2009. Texting has gotten so prolific; there are even competitions now to see who can text the fastest: the LG Mobile Worldcup. This should not come as a big surprise if you simply look at the amount of communication on many throughout history on Usenet newsgroups.
However, although 71 percent of parents with teenagers aged 12 to 17 years old say they know how to and do text, kids still perceive their elders as being out of the texting loop.
Although some of the popularity of texting can be chalked up to generational trends, teens interviewed in the Pew study also cited practical and economic reasons for their enthusiasm. With some of the same initial draws to subscribing to and sharing on newsgroups, texting is quieter and easier than a phone call for brief messages, and many teenagers are on cellphone plans that limit minutes for calls but that allows unlimited texts.
January 11th, 2010
It’s 2010 and it’s already been a long hard week for many people in Las Vegas this week, as over 100,000 people flocked to the city for the Consumer Electronics Show that ended this past Sunday. Many reports on the positive upswing for this yearly convention as registration top 120,000. Multiple newsgroups have been getting posted with a ton of updates from the weekend CES 2010 event. Here are the top CES discussions going on:
Televisions – From the Toshiba Cell TV, Skype HD TV and others from Samsung, Phillips and Toshiba, the biggest winners in this class were those who brought out the 3D TV Sets. With the cost of manufacturing them coming down – and Avatar coming out on DVD in a few months – expect reasonably priced 3D LED TV sets coming soon. How do they look? If you like how 3D movies look in the theatre, you might like these.
Toys – Top toys from this year’s CES according to hobby newsgroups had mini helicopters with built in cameras that can be controlled with your iPhone like the Parrot AR Drone Quadricopter to the IceTouch Mp3 player with the first ever transparent OLED Touchscreen. Microsoft newsgroups report that at CES it looks as though that the XBox 360 upgrade Natal may indeed be out by the holidays this year which could be a big blow to the Nintendo Wii – who stood silent this year.
eBook Readers and Tablets – The Amazon Kindle might have but the eBook market on the map, but certainly isn’t the only contender. With dedicated eBook newsgroups, the Entourage Edge and Plastic Logi Que ProReader have been the most discussed of the 23 companies that displayed e-readers at this year’s show – and none showed them last year.
Phones - Since the world of mobile connectivity is exploding, smartphones by the plenty should be no surprise. Motorola, Samsung, HTC and more displayed their new offerings. No longer for just making phone calls, most of these phones – equipped with apps, can very well almost replace laptops completely. Mobile computing is getting easier. Most interesting? According to mobile newsgroups: Google Nexus
Connectivity was once again the over-arching theme during the 2010 CES and the focus of several technology executives’ speeches. With all the gadgets mentioned above and including new offerings in Ford vehicles, the theme has been about integrating these devices together.
Much like the way Usenet ties in all these themed newsgroups, these technologies are being modeled to communicate and interact with each other. With the way that these toys appear now, it seems as though the home PC may be the mother to all these components.
Closing CES, a new possibility of shaking around in your living room with 3D game characters swarming and closing in on you while you bluetooth your friend for backup seems more of possibility this year. Unanimously, newsgroups rejoice.
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