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Nick Altmann
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Script to download all the images (e.g. for using as dekstop wallpaper) from the Google Earth View extension for Chrome.
pretty-earth - Scripts to download beautiful images from google earth
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NASA posts an image of Saturn's moon Mimas/The Death Star on May the 4th #starwars
The great eye of Saturn's moon Mimas, a 130-kilometer-wide (80-mile) impact crater called Herschel, stares out from the battered moon. Several individual ringlets within the F ring are resolved here, and the small moon Atlas is also seen faintly outside the main rings.
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+eric chow dangit stole my line.
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Great rebuttal by +Rachel Whetstone​ to the +Wall Street Journal​ reports on Google and the FTC.

I read the Wall Street Journal because they occasionally get a scoop on something new from Google. I really have to hold my nose to tolerate the negative slant they put on everything they write about Google. 
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Any easy explanation for why an Einstein cross is 4 points and not, 3, 5, 8, etc.?

An Einstein ring makes sense to me, but I don't see where 4 distinct points come from.
Astronomers now use massive galaxies and clusters of galaxies as magnifying lenses to study the early universe, but until now had never observed the brief flash of a supernova. UC Berkeley postdoc Patrick Kelly found such a supernova in images taken last year by the Hubble Space Telescope, split into a rare Einstein Cross.
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Here is a far-from-easy explanation:  http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/14056/how-does-gravitational-lensing-account-for-einsteins-cross

My best quick attempt at simplifying it (I'm not certain this is correct, though) is something like this:

The lensing galaxy creates an asymmetric warp in space around it.  If you imagine warping a flat disc, the simplest (and therefore most likely) thing you can do creates two "high points" and two "low points" (if you try to do one, i think that's not a warp, that's just a rotation -- no curvature and therefore no lensing).  And then I think we get images at the extrema of the warps, places where the warped space is locally "perpendicular" to us (second derivative zero) -- therefore four images.

(Actually, the link makes a big deal that there should be five images, but the fifth is directly behind the lensing object and is therefore obscured.)

This explanation still seems to me to have some holes, and one day I will try to get a real GR specialist to tell me if I'm close.
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I think we can all agree that +Google Hangouts for desktop is pretty awful:
- No native app
- Extension widget doesn't minimize
- Can't have multiple windows open

Pidgin is a great alternative, but doesn't seem to work for non @gmail.com accounts. :-(

This shutdown is about equally as bad as Google Reader.
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Google recently announced the Chromebit. This brings the number of Google devices you can attached to your TV to 6:
Android TV
Chromebit
Chromebox
Chromecast
Google TV
Nexus Player
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Great new Chrome extension from Google. Speeds up page load and improves privacy by proxying some of your traffic through Google.
Reduces data usage by using Google servers to optimize pages you visit.
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If Microsoft's new Spartan browser really wants to be innovative, it would adopt a layout that maximizes vertical space by moving interface Chrome away from the top (and bottom) of the screen.
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Leave human space exploration to red bull and egomaniac billionaires. This stuff impresses me more. 
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Nicholas, Garth