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Comment Re:a little brighter (Score 1) 203

Thank you for the "TL;RD" comment. The article is really full of fluff, which is interesting for the layman. The facts you pointed out would have sufficed for me. Lesson learned again: DRTFA.

Out of my head the full moon has apparent magnitude of -13, Venus is about -4.3 at its brightest. So the full moon would makes a better comparison, it would easily be visible during daytime. Nobody would have to be told it's there to notice it.

Comment Re:Mostly done by 1985... (Score 1) 227

No, these are different things.

The "Hawking radiation" is a mechanism, by which a black hole would not be completely black. Hawking proposed that two particles created outside the black hole with opposite velocities (to conserve momentum), one of these particles could escape the black hole if it's velocity was high enough (the other one would be captured). The energy for creating the two particles would be from the black hole itself.

He calculated that the probability of this happening is inverse to the mass of the black hole (don't ask me how), thus leading to a high probability for smaller black holes, in which case tiny (planck-sized) black holes would quickly evaporate. This was the argument put forward to defend the LHC when the black hole argument came up.

What the parent suggested was "foreign" mass (not created by the black hole) falling into the black hole never reaches the black hole. This is what an outside observer would see, because information takes ever more time to reach as you approach the event horizon. This is standard textbook physics.

Comment Re:camera greatness?? I think not... (Score 2) 32

Not impressed by a 1-2 MP camera? Well: it was tested and developed for about 5 years before getting on the rover, which means it didn't get further in the chip development road.

Industry graded cameras are still in the VGA-5 MP range. Check out companies like ISVI, AVT, PointGrey, Basler. Only specialized companies offer sensors like 29MP full frame chips. The grunt work is done in low megapixels.

Comment Attotesla (Score 1) 328

I used superconducting quantum interference devices in university to measure single flux quantums (5E-18T=5aT).
The electronics was off the shelf scientific equipment, but the cryogenics were of some sophistication (to reach 300mK) and the manufacturing of the SQUIDs required high purity aluminum and a controlled level of oxidation (the hardest part). It took about a day to manufacture a simple sample.

Comment Re:Lets just hope (Score 1) 245

In Germany you can't undo a transfer order you placed, neither can the bank. If you were doing business with someone, you call them up and ask them to wire it back to you (you need to inform your account information, too, because these are not visible to the receiving end). This is the case here. The guy should have called the cops right away. Bank transactions leave paper trails.

BTW: I still use throw-away passwords for transactions (Commerzbank). I just don't enter many passwords in a single form that looks a lot like my home banking site. It works fine or am I missing something here?

Comment closed wifi ruling (Score 1) 59

A different ruling in Germany holds owners of open wifis accountable for any illegal action undertaken by its users. You're required to keep intruders off with authentication and encryption (unless you're a cafe or so). Now people could use closed wifis for illegal activities and the courts would have to hold the wifi manufacturer accountable.

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