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Science

New Particle Collider Is One Foot Long 161

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-not-the-size-of-the-collider-it's-the-speed-of-the-particles dept.
Jason Koebler writes The CERN particle collider is 17 miles long. China just announced a supercollider that is supposed to be roughly 49 miles long. The United States' new particle collider is just under 12 inches long. What the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's new collider lacks in size, it makes up for by using plasma to accelerate particles more than 500 times faster than traditional methods. In a recent test published in Nature, Michael Litos and his team were able to accelerate bunches of electrons to near the speed of light within the tiny chamber."

Comment: 40 year old engine. (Score 5, Informative) 443

by Bo'Bob'O (#48257245) Attached to: Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

The summery isn't quite correct. The engines aren't based on an engine from the 60s. These -are- the engines built by the soviets in the 1970s. These things are 40 years old.

The RD-180s used by the Atlas-V are built new, despite their relationship to the abandoned Energia/Buran. The NK-33s that are used by the Antares sat for decades in a Russian warehouse.

Space

"Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-so-fast dept.
An anonymous reader writes Scientists have shown that the swirl pattern touted as evidence of primordial gravitational waves — ripples in space and time dating to the universe's explosive birth — could instead all come from magnetically aligned dust. A new analysis of data from the Planck space telescope has concluded that the tiny silicate and carbonate particles spewed into interstellar space by dying stars could account for as much as 100 percent of the signal detected by the BICEP2 telescope and announced to great fanfare this spring. The Planck analysis is "relatively definitive in that we can't exclude that the entirety of our signal is from dust," said Brian Keating, an astrophysicist at the University of California, San Diego, and a member of the BICEP2 collaboration.

Comment: Six Missoins Each (Score 4, Informative) 188

It was clarified later that both companies would fly six missions each (not counting the test mission).

I don't know if the director misspoke or was misunderstood, but she said later in the conference call they have the same requirements for the number of missions.

Comment: Re:Successful troll is successful (Score 1) 200

by Bo'Bob'O (#47921795) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Indeed. Now that I am writing from the future (IE, after 5pm after this was actually announced). Both Boeing and SpaceX were awarded the exact same contract: certification, a test flight, and then six missions to the space station.

The only difference is that Boeing charged $1.6B more for the same service. Make of that what you will, but I can't say I can blame NASA -too- much for not wanting to put all their eggs in one basket.

Software

Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using? 471

Posted by Soulskill
from the an-app-that-gives-it-infinite-battery-life dept.
An anonymous reader writes: It's official: the smartwatch wars have begun. Apple's announcement of the Apple Watch added a contender to the race already shaping up between the Pebble watch, the Moto 360, and others. Personally, my doubts about wanting one were put to rest when I learned of the health-related features. Smartwatches will be able to track your movements and pulse rate, calculate how many calories you burn, and coach you continuously to improve your fitness.

If you have one or plan on buying one, what apps or functions do you see yourself getting the most use from? If you're still skeptical, what would it take? (If an app developer sees your requirements here on Slashdot, your wish might come true.)
Science

Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science? 203

Posted by samzenpus
from the doing-things-differently dept.
nerdyalien writes with this story that explores the impact of reduced science funding on innovation in science. "There’s a current problem in biomedical research,” says American biochemist Robert Lefkowitz, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. “The emphasis is on doing things which are not risky. To have a grant proposal funded, you have to propose something and then present what is called preliminary data, which is basically evidence that you’ve already done what you’re proposing to do. If there’s any risk involved, then your proposal won’t be funded. So the entire system tends to encourage not particularly creative research, relatively descriptive and incremental changes which are incremental advances which you are certain to make but not change things very much."...There is no more important time for science to leverage its most creative minds in attempting to solve our global challenges. Although there have been massive increases in funding over the last few decades, the ideas and researchers that have been rewarded by the current peer-review system have tended to be safer, incremental, and established. If we want science to be its most innovative, it's not about finding brilliant, passionate creative scientists; it's about supporting the ones we already have.

Comment: Re:This is the Congressinal Rocket not NASA. (Score 3, Informative) 211

by Bo'Bob'O (#47796045) Attached to: Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

And in it's place we got the commercial cargo and commercial crew programs, which have been highly successful so far. So much so that NASA is now looking to duplicate the process in other endeavors: http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1407/27marstelecom/#.VANoxEi0b0c

Meanwhile the Orion capsule, which was the part of the constellation project that actually put humans on top of those rockets to get them into space, was kept. It's still over budget, under speced and years off from putting anyone in space.

PC Games (Games)

This 'SimCity 4' Region With 107 Million People Took Eight Months of Planning 103

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-big-or-go-home dept.
Jason Koebler writes: Peter Richie spent eight months planning and building a megacity in vanilla SimCity 4, and the end result is mind-boggling: 107.7 million people living in one massive, sprawling region (video). "Traffic is a nightmare, both above ground and under," Richie said. "The massive amount of subway lines and subway stations are still congested during all times of the day in all neighborhoods of each and every mega-city in the region. The roadways are clogged at all times, but people still persist in trying to use them."

Comment: People acutaly LIKE the open floor plans? (Score 4, Insightful) 160

by Bo'Bob'O (#47679823) Attached to: The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA

I work in an office that is packed in with three people constantly talking on the phone, with other people or just otherwise doing their business. I find it incredibly distracting. Sure I can put headphones on and try and blot it out, but depending on my mental state or particular task, music can be distracting too. Be it Metal or Minimalism music isn't always the answer to getting the best mental state for your work. Also having the music cranked means I can't hear the phone when I'm getting a call. I can't even imagine working in a larger room packed with dozens more people.

I'd love to be in a properly lit and laid out office or cubical.

Comment: Re:Alabama (Score 1) 393

by Bo'Bob'O (#47657833) Attached to: 3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Which just shows how short-sighted this is. With the logistics of launchers and launch services off of NASA's plate, NASA should be more busy then ever looking to go back to it's main business: pushing the bleeding edge of space, science and aeronautics. Something that that center will no doubt play a large part of. Certainly a lot more then just buying all the hard stuff from Russia.

I think it's still just as likely this is really just about protecting the interests of big contractors who find large profits to be made in building disposable, multimillion dollar rockets. Will SpaceX deliver everything it's promising? I don't know. I think it's fair to not just to put all our eggs in that basket just yet, but the government money that has been spent on SpaceX seems to have been a good deal so far. They seem to have a real vision of moving forward and I think that's a risk worth investing in.

Bitcoin

Inside BitFury's 20 Megawatt Bitcoin Mine 195

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the fools-and-their-megawatts dept.
1sockchuck (826398) writes Bitcoin hardware vendor BitFury has opened a 20-megawatt data center to expand its cloud mining operations. The hashing center in the Republic of Georgia is filled with long rows of racks packed with specialized Bitcoin mining rigs powered by ASICs. It's the latest example of the Bitcoin industry's development of high-density, low-budget mining facilities optimized for rapid changes in hardware and economics. It also illustrates how ASIC makers are now expanding their focus from retail sales to their in-house operations as Bitcoin mining becomes industrialized.

Comment: Marketing (Score 4, Insightful) 161

by Bo'Bob'O (#47554253) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

The fact is that the experiment they Facebook conducted was mild to what other corporations do every day under the umbrella of "marketing".

They use control groups and try every trick they can to manipulate your mood, feelings, impressions of their products. They carefully script interactions to take advantage of your feelings and social norms. Also take the recent example in the past few weeks of the scripts that Verizon's 'account retention' departments use to try and wedge people into keeping their account longer. Those weren't just thrown together, those were made with careful research and years of experiments on customers and focus groups.

The only difference with what Facebook did and the rest do is that they shared their results with everyone. Was Facebook Unethical manipulating people the way they did? I think so, and I'm only less interested in the service after that scandal, but what they got them in trouble was sharing it with the rest of the world in a way that might have also done some honest good. Now they will learn from their mistakes, keep it to themselves, and use that research purely to manipulate people for higher profit and no one will say a thing.

Man will never fly. Space travel is merely a dream. All aspirin is alike.

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