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Only 8% of the Universe's Habitable Worlds Have Formed So Far

Slashdot - Wed, 21/10/2015 - 11:38pm
sciencehabit writes: According to a new study, 92% of Earth-like planets haven't been born yet. Science reports: "Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers estimated the rates of past star and planet formation in the universe, which is now about 13.8 billion years old. They then combined that information with data from previous surveys that estimated the amounts of hydrogen and helium left over from the big bang that still haven't collapsed to form stars. At the time our solar system formed about 4.6 billion years ago, only about 39% of the hydrogen and helium in our galaxy had collapsed into clouds that then evolved into stars, they say. That means that the remaining 61% is available to form future solar systems that may include Earth-like planets in their habitable zones, the researchers report online today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. In the universe as a whole, the researchers suggest, only 8% of its original starmaking gases was locked up in stars by Earth's first birthday. The rest will, over the remaining trillions of years of the universe's lifetime, coalesce into stars whose solar systems will contain a myriad of Earth-like planets."

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Wine-Staging 1.7.53 Has Experimental Fix For Steam, Other Additions

Phoronix - Wed, 21/10/2015 - 11:28pm
Following last week's release of Wine 1.7.53 as the newest bi-weekly development release, Wine-Staging 1.7.53 is available for the more ambitious users needing to run their Windows programs on Linux...

Google Wants Online Ad Improvement Within Months, Not Years

Slashdot - Wed, 21/10/2015 - 10:56pm
An anonymous reader writes: Speaking at the Wall Street Journal's WSJD Live Conference, Google's senior vice president of adverts and commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy has said (paywalled) that advertisers need to address the shortcomings of online ads within 'months'. "This is essential to our survival" said Ramaswamy. "We're talking about getting this in a time frame of months rather than years. We need to get going on this." Ramaswamy was referring to recent commitment from the advertising industry to halt the rise of adblocking services by addressing common reader annoyances such as autoplay video, overly complex and slow-loading content, and excessive tracking.

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Got an Apple Mac, iThing? Update it right now – there's a shedload of security holes fixed

El Reg - Wed, 21/10/2015 - 10:27pm
OS X, iOS, watchOS, iTunes for Windows all get bug fixes

Apple has posted security updates and feature improvements for its desktop, mobile, and developer gear.…

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book Reviews

Slashdot - Wed, 21/10/2015 - 10:13pm
An anonymous reader writes: Anandtech posted reviews of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the Microsoft Surface Book today. They write: "After launching Surface Pro 3 with Haswell in 2014, Microsoft — like so many manufacturers — opted to skip the short-lived Broadwell generation of Intel CPUs in favor of making the larger jump to Skylake. Skylake brings with it notable increases in both CPU and GPU performance, particularly in the mobile space thanks to a series of optimizations and the use of Intel's leading 14nm manufacturing node," about the Pro 4 and with regards to the Book, "The basis of the Surface Book is that it is designed to be used as a laptop most of the time, but the display can be removed as a Clipboard for use with the pen. The Surface Book is certainly not the first device to do this, but it does some things in new ways that are pretty interesting."

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'Get a VPN to defeat metadata retention' is good advice. Sometimes

El Reg - Wed, 21/10/2015 - 10:02pm
Test shows tethering to VPN-on-smartphone is no magic data-erasing rainbow

With the kind-of-launch of the Australian government's telecommunications data retention regime, there's been a plethora of advice everywhere – from “lad mags” to the tech press to political parties – with one theme: “get a virtual private network” (VPN).…

ICANN CEO, internet community heads clash in accountability row

El Reg - Wed, 21/10/2015 - 9:58pm
Blowup over efforts to limit DNS overlord's power during crucial talks

The CEO of ICANN got his facts wrong during high-level talks on limiting the power of the domain-name overseer, it is claimed.…

FBI, US g-men tried to snatch DNA results from blood-testing biz. What a time to be alive

El Reg - Wed, 21/10/2015 - 9:43pm
23andMe reveals four law enforcement requests

+Comment  Not content with snooping on your emails, whereabouts and telephone calls, it appears the Feds now want your DNA results.…

Dell looks to become 'enterprise solutions powerhouse' with raft of products and services

L'Inq - Wed, 21/10/2015 - 7:39pm

Outlines a number of changes to help businesses make their IT strategies "future ready"