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Space

Supermassive Black Hole Is Thrown Out of Galaxy 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the moving-to-better-quarters dept.
DarkKnightRadick writes "An undergrad student at the University of Utrecht, Marianne Heida, has found evidence of a supermassive black hole being tossed out of its galaxy. According to the article, the black hole — which has a mass equivalent to one billion suns — is possibly the culmination of two galaxies merging (or colliding, depending on how you like to look at it) and their black holes merging, creating one supermassive beast. The black hole was found using the Chandra Source Catalog (from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory). The direction of the expulsion is also possibly indicative of the direction of rotation of the two black holes as they circled each other before merging."
Earth

Cooling the Planet With a Bubble Bath 219

Posted by Soulskill
from the rubber-ducky-optional dept.
cremeglace writes "A Harvard University physicist has come up with a new way to cool parts of the planet: pump vast swarms of tiny bubbles into the sea to increase its reflectivity and lower water temperatures. 'Since water covers most of the earth, don't dim the sun,' says the scientist, Russell Seitz, speaking from an international meeting on geoengineering research. 'Brighten the water.' From ScienceNOW: 'Computer simulations show that tiny bubbles could have a profound cooling effect. Using a model that simulates how light, water, and air interact, Seitz found that microbubbles could double the reflectivity of water at a concentration of only one part per million by volume. When Seitz plugged that data into a climate model, he found that the microbubble strategy could cool the planet by up to 3C. He has submitted a paper on the concept he calls “Bright Water" to the journal Climatic Change.'"
Hardware Hacking

Home-Built Turing Machine 123

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'll-order-a-dozen dept.
stronghawk writes "The creator of the Nickel-O-Matic is back at it and has now built a Turing Machine from a Parallax Propeller chip-based controller, motors, a dry-erase marker and a non-infinite supply of shiny 35mm leader film. From his FAQ: 'While thinking about Turing machines I found that no one had ever actually built one, at least not one that looked like Turing's original concept (if someone does know of one, please let me know). There have been a few other physical Turing machines like the Logo of Doom, but none were immediately recognizable as Turing machines. As I am always looking for a new challenge, I set out to build what you see here.'"
Handhelds

Apple Removes Wi-Fi Finders From App Store 461

Posted by timothy
from the you've-been-very-very-naughty dept.
jasonbrown writes "Apple on Thursday began removing another category of apps from its iPhone App Store. This time, it's not porn, it's Wi-Fi. Apple removed several Wi-Fi apps commonly referred to as stumblers, or apps that seek out available Wi-Fi networks near your location. According to a story on Cult of Mac, apps removed by Apple include WiFi-Where, WiFiFoFum, and yFy Network Finder."
Space

Herschel Spectroscopy of Future Supernova 21

Posted by Soulskill
from the that's-a-big-star dept.
davecl writes "ESA's Herschel Space Telescope has released its first spectroscopic results. These include observations of VYCMa, a star 50 times as massive as the sun and soon to become a supernova, as well as a nearby galaxy, more distant colliding starburst galaxies and a comet in our own solar system. The spectra show more lines than have ever been seen in these objects in the far-infrared and will allow astronomers to work out the detailed chemistry and physics behind star and planet formation as well as the last stages of stellar evolution before VYCMa's eventual collapse into a supernova. More coverage is available at the Herschel Mission Blog, which I run."

Comment: FUD from boing, that's all. (Score 0) 911

by Jump (#28263367) Attached to: Computers Key To Air France Crash

You don't know if your pilot today is battle proven, don't you? Having the option to take control from the computer, however, should be possible. I can't believe airbus isn't doing this. The news claims, the autopilot was turned off - so this means human control, no? I'm rather more concerned about having no backup radar on board. It seems strange, that only one radar is there, while a second radar could be in a less exposed position (being less useful for that reason, but for backup purposes).

It seems somebody is spreading FUD against airbus, and that's something which doesn't surprise me at all.

Comment: Re:Doesn't seem that scary (Score 1) 242

by Jump (#27259979) Attached to: Intel CPU Privilege Escalation Exploit

What if it writes itself in the firmware when you shutdown the computer just before rebooting, and loads itself back into the SMM during boot?
Maybe even restoring the original firmware? To work around space limitations, the SMM code could hide another rootkit hiding on the disk and download a new copy if the system has been wiped.

Math

Major Advances In Knot Theory 230

Posted by kdawson
from the if-it's-not-theory-then-it-must-be-practice dept.
An anonymous reader sends us to Science News, which is running a survey of recent strides in finding an answer to the age-old question: How many ways are there to tie your shoelaces? "Mathematicians have been puzzling over that question for a century or two, and the main thing they've discovered is that the question is really, really hard. In the last decade, though, they've developed some powerful new tools inspired by physics that have pried a few answers from the universe's clutches. Even more exciting is that the new tools seem to be the tip of a much larger theory that mathematicians are just beginning to uncover. That larger mathematical theory, if it exists, may help crack some of the hardest mathematical questions there are, questions about the mathematical structure of the three- and four-dimensional space where we live. ... Revealing the full ... superstructure may be the work of a generation."

Comment: Re:One arm, OK. But TWO??!!! (Score 1) 124

by Jump (#23648327) Attached to: Spitzer's 5-Gigapixel Milky Way
Not seeing all 4 arms in infrared light is not new. In fact this has been known for a long time and it just means that those stellar arms are not density waves in the stellar disk. However, they are seen in the distribution of molecular clouds. Basically this means that the Milky Way has two overlapping spiral pattern: a stronger 2-armed mode which is in stars and gas, and another 4-armed mode which is only seen in gas. The 4-arm mode is weaker (as expected from theory) and extends over a smaller radius range. So not all studies will find 4 arms. In the optical, that is seen by eye from the distance, our Galaxy would look 4-armed, because those weaker arms are still hosts of star formation. But in infrared, many galaxies look different, because in this waveband we see mostly the older stellar population.

Unix

The Birth of vi 459

Posted by Zonk
from the please-keep-emacs-trolling-to-a-minimum dept.
lanc writes "Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun, tells the story of how he wrote the vi editor. The article at The Register delves into his motives, who instigated the project, and some of the quirks of leaving a 'gift to mankind'. From the piece: '9600 baud is faster than you can read. 1200 baud is way slower. So the editor was optimized so that you could edit and feel productive when it was painting slower than you could think. Now that computers are so much faster than you can think, nobody understands this anymore. The people doing Emacs were sitting in labs at MIT with what were essentially fibre-channel links to the host, in contemporary terms. They were working on a PDP-10, which was a huge machine by comparison, with infinitely fast screens. So they could have funny commands with the screen shimmering and all that, and meanwhile, I'm sitting at home in sort of World War II surplus housing at Berkeley with a modem and a terminal that can just barely get the cursor off the bottom line.'"
Security

+ - Fingerprinting the World's Mail Servers

Submitted by
ttul
ttul writes "This O'Reilly SysAdmin Article describes some work done by mod_perl author Stas Bekman and his colleagues at anti-spam software company MailChannels to fingerprint the world's publicly visible email servers. Interesting results from the survey? Open source options like Sendmail and Postfix are still firmly in the lead after all these years, but commercial services like Postini are catching up fast. The article goes into some detail on how email servers can be fingerprinted despite attempts by sysadmins to cloak their identity."
Power

+ - Offshore Wind Farms are set to battle bad storms

Submitted by
abramsv
abramsv writes "New floating wind farms are located off Denmark's West coast in the North Sea, which is considered to be one of the roughest stretches of water in the world — 8 to 10 meter waves are expected at the site... Based on data determining that average wind speeds at sea are higher than on land, the modern offshore wind farms promise to be exceptionally energy efficient — but it still remains to be seen whether or not these long-bladed Goliaths will survive the harshest of North Sea storms."
Power

+ - High altitude wind farms?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Why plant a rotor on the ground to generate electricity in fickle, turbulent surface winds? Here is a possible green-friendly solution that is far above any other in reality as well as in concept:

From the site: "Here we are with very high gasoline prices, now starting to pay real attention to global warming, and seriously considering nuclear fission, with all its dangers from both accident and terrorist attack, as the best potential solution. And yet the energy we need is only a few miles above us in tremendous quantity, it is clean, non global warming energy, potentially more economical than nuclear, and we are ignoring it."

A flying wind farm might just be the way to go to lower our reliance such energy producing staples as fossil fuels and their immediate pollution, the admittedly intermittent production from solar or ground-level winds, and the long-term storage concerns of nuclear waste."
Space

How a Pulsar Gets Its Spin 63

Posted by Zonk
from the how-the-pulsar-got-its-spin-back dept.
brian0918 writes "Until now, the assumption has been that the rapid spin of a pulsar comes from the spin of the original star. The problem was that this only explained the fastest observed pulsars. Now, researchers at Oak Ridge have shown that the spin of a pulsar is determined by the shock wave created when the star's massive iron core collapses. From the article: 'That shock wave is inherently unstable, and eventually becomes cigar-shaped instead of spherical. The instability creates two rotating flows — one in one direction directly below the shock wave and another, inner flow, that travels in the opposite direction and spins up the core. The asymmetrical flows establish a 'sloshing' motion that accounts for the pulsars' observed spin velocities from once every 15 to 300 milliseconds.'"
Red Hat Software

+ - No more Fedora Core, Extras

Submitted by
netbuzz
netbuzz writes ""It's time to bite the bullet," says Red Hat engineer and Fedora Project board member Bill Nottingham. "Starting with Fedora 7, there is no more Core, and no more Extras;
there is only Fedora. One single repository, built in the community
on open source tools, assembled into whatever spins the Fedora community
desires." There are 28 new features being targeted for the release, which can be seen at http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/7/Features.

Finally, Nottingham says of Fedora 7: "Name TBD, but probably not 'Bride of Zod'."

http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2 007-January/msg00091.html"

If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as if he had lost his senses. When he looks down, paraphrase the question back at him.

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