First Habitable Earth Like Planet Outside Solar System Discovered

Well, before we start running around wondering what this means about life outside Earth and how it will affect science and religion as we know it today, let’s just keep our cool and see if the mainstream media and scientific journals pick it up and run with it as a legitimate inhabitable planet.

The article states that the European Southern Observatory has found an ‘Earth-like’ planet about 50% larger than ours circling the star ‘Gliese 581′ about 20 light years away. And due to it’s proximity to the star it’s at the right distance versus radiation exposure to likely contain H2O.

And H2O might mean life. Life means rethinking our place in the universe and watching some of societies most cherished assumptions now up for debate. (I can only hope! :grin: )

Here’s the story, found it on reddit.com.

Science

What Is That??

As the turn of events have it, noone was able to correctly guess the “What Is That?” picture from last week.  So, without any pause, I reveal to you it was a HEATSINK.  (insert bells and whistles here.)  Bah! We’ll just have to try again :)

So this is the new submission.  I’m looking for lots of guesses here folks.  Please feel free to flood the comments section of this post with your answers!  As usual, I’ll post the name of the first correct answer in next weeks WIT post.

What Is That?

Now the games afoot!

Entertainment, What Is That?

Wakka, Wakka, Wakka

Microsoft is kickin’ it old school and will be hosting a Pac-Man world championship.

Players from around the world will be competing over the next month to be among the finalists invited to NY City June 5 to play, not on the old arcade machines but on the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Network.

The winner gets:

  • Free Quiznos sub sandwiches for 26 years (huh?) 
  • 100,000 MS Points to d/l content from Xbox Live (cool)
  • one of a kind Pac-Man embossed Xbox 360 (cool)

InformationWeek has the story. Go there to learn how to sign up.

Games

VMware Player 2 Beta – Signup

I received a solicitation in my inbox just a minute ago from VMware for beta testers of ‘Player 2′. I’ve copied a portion of the mail below, I like the fact it has USB 2.0 support and Vista as a guest as well.

If you’re interested, go to the VMware Player Beta Program page, click the ‘download’ link, complete a form and you’re ready to party.

I have to give some props to VMware Player, I’m using it to host Ubuntu on my home Vista box and yesterday upgraded Ubuntu from 6.10 to 7.04 Feisty Dawn Fawn, it was actually a pleasant experience!

As an existing VMware Player software user, VMware is happy to announce that Player 2.0 Release Candidate is now available.

Included are several new and exciting features, such as:

  • Experimental support for 2-way Virtual SMP assigns more than a single CPU to a virtual machine.
  • Share data seamlessly between the virtual machine and host computer.
  • Windows Vista support as a host and guest OS.
  • Support for USB 2.0 devices allow you to use high speed performance peripherals within your virtual machine like MP3 Players.
  • Appliance view allows you to start a virtual appliance and review brief description and other relevant information provided by the appliance author.
  • New Home Page allows you to open existing virtual appliances or browse any of the 425 virtual appliances in the VMware Virtual Appliance Marketplace.
  • Broad host and guest OS support includes over 60 supported 32- and 64-bit guest OSs.

Questions or comments? Please visit the Discussion forum.

Computers

Math For Programmers

Steve Yeggie’s blog article on the math skills required for programmers leads into analysis of the math subjects presented in grade school through college for the average student and which may be considered superfluous or redundant.

It also includes some tips and tricks to buff up your skills, here’s a snippet:

I think the best way to start learning math is to spend 15 to 30 minutes a day surfing in Wikipedia. It’s filled with articles about thousands of little branches of mathematics. You start with pretty much any article that seems interesting (e.g. String theory, say, or the Fourier transform, or Tensors, anything that strikes your fancy.) Start reading. If there’s something you don’t understand, click the link and read about it. Do this recursively until you get bored or tired.

Computers