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Submission + - How to see a black hole's event horizon

StartsWithABang writes: One of the great discoveries of the past few decades was that of a supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way. No longer was it mere conjecture or unverified theory; observations in the X-ray, infrared, radio, and of stars orbiting a central, non-luminous point all indicate the presence of a 4 million solar mass black hole at a location known as Sagittarius A*. At a distance of 26,000 light years, an object as small as this black hole’s event horizon — even at 23 million km in diameter — would be unresolvable to a telescope the size of an entire country. But thanks to the very clever technique of very long baseline interferometry, the proposed Event Horizon Telescope has the capabilities, for the first time, of imaging a black hole’s event horizon directly.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 4, Insightful) 161

One thing I never see published is the details about the flights. Certainly if the pilot is near an airport, especially during landing and takeoff, then obviously the perps are engaging in malicious behavior.

However, my math says that the major airports reported in the article received 778 of the 5,352 reported incidents in 2015. I live in a residential area that is quite some distance from any airport. A substantial number of aircraft violate the 1000 foot above ground level FAA minimum for residential neighborhoods. I have tried, many times, to call someone, somewhere, who might give a shit about this very annoying violation and there isn't anyone who will do anything (including just returning a phone call), short of my hiring a PI and a lawyer.

Most disturbing is the helicopters flying what I estimate to be within 200 feet of my house. Although it is a very sturdily built house, the whole thing shakes when the helicopters pass by. Also incredibly annoying is the dip-shit in his WWII fighter plane practicing his tricks, and sometimes just diving and climbing endlessly.

If I were a lesser person, since I cannot appeal to any authority that will take any action, whatsoever, I might choose to take a more violent approach than just thinking of them as total assholes.

Only slightly less assholes are the clueless journos who report the stories. Usually it comes from the establishment wannabes at Ars Technica, where critical thinking flies out the window, though this time it's USA Today, and the story is always the same: Report the huge number of incidents, then mention the slim minority that occur right next to an airport. It sure would be nice to see someone actually analyze this data to give people a better understanding of what might be driving this behavior, as I wouldn't be surprised if just asking pilots to follow the law might result in some unsubstantial quantity of these incidents going away. Of course the real problem with this is that it reveal that pilots are also aggressors, so it isn't in that industry's interests to pursue such ends.

Submission + - Value of university degree continues to decline

BarbaraHudson writes: Following up from an earlier report from Statistics Canada (pdf), the Parliamentary Budget Officer warns that an increasing number of university graduates are overqualified for their jobs.

Last year, 40 per cent of university graduates aged 25-34 were overqualified for their job. Five years ago, that percentage was only 36 per cent. In 1991, it hit a low of 32 per cent, or less than one out of every three university graduates.

The problem is bigger than that, because those young workers spent money, time, and resources to get those qualifications.

If you have a university degree in one of the following:

  • business, management and public administration
  • social and behavioural sciences and law
  • humanities.

you are much more likely to end up in a job that isn't commensurate with your education. All that debt and no pay-off.

Comment It's a niche product. (Score 2, Insightful) 200

The dedicated ebook reader is for people who - you guessed it - read books, so the economies of scale and marketing opportunities will always be smaller. My prediction (hope, really) is that in the next few years someone will have a Kickstarter ebook reader that makes the Kindle ebook reader look like a child's toy. Personally, I don't like touchscreen devices that require reflected light, as I tend to pay too much attention to the smudges, so I haven't been interested in upgrading from my ancient, but 'works fine, lasts long time' Kindle 3.

Comment Re:Rotten Tomatoes I've suspected of Payola (Score 1) 184

Did you see Atlas Shrugged? Part I of that train wreck masquerading as a film production also got 11% from Rotten Tomatoes, which, in comparison, After Earth is a masterpiece. At the other end, I don't feel that Ender's Game deserved 60% (just coincidentally the lowest possible score to be 'fresh'), and not because it "didn't follow the book," (or maybe it did, it's been over 25 years since I read that book) but simply because it was not a very good flick. I do understand the Tomatometer rating as I have been using Rotten Tomatoes since around the time the site was launched, which is why I feel I have observed in certain instances some kind of breakdown in their algorithm, or whatever.

Comment Re:Rotten Tomatoes I've suspected of Payola (Score 1) 184

Rotten Tomatoes has a rating that is only from "critics" and a rating that is only from "audience." However, I feel there are other factors that go into these scores. The film After Earth has a Rotten Tomatoes critic rating of 11%. While the film probably did not warrant a 'fresh' rating (>=60%), 11% seems punitive, in my opinion. I wonder if the film critics had some kind of beef with the cast or crew and took it out on them in the reviews, as there are plenty of similarly poor 'Sci-Fi' genre films scoring in the 40-55% range, which seems more reasonable, but I would have expected at least better than 30%.

Submission + - What Congress' new email-privacy bill means for your inbox

erier2003 writes: The Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act has a simple and vital purpose: making it harder for the government to get your email, instant messages, and Facebook chats. It amends a decades-old law to require government agencies to get a warrant to access the contents of any email or other electronic record—no matter how old those communications are. Sen. Mike Lee, one of the bill's cosponsors, told the Daily Dot why it matters.

Submission + - 5-year worth of security report released ( 1

Taco Cowboy writes: A FIVE-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE STUDY into the security landscape has found that incidents and attacks are growing in number and sophistication

The document, McAfee Labs Report Reviews Five Years of Hardware and Software Threat Evolution (PDF) is a wide-ranging look at the threat network out there, and a look back over some of the more infamous assaults on industry. The hack on T.J. Maxx gets a very early mention

there were 9.4 million security incidents in 2010, and 42.8 million in 2014, and that a "perfect storm" is coming because of a combination of human beings, greed, malware, espionage, wearables, the cloud and the internet
Connected devices, for example, have shot up in use over the period, from five billion in 2010 to 16.3 billion now. The use of wearables has tripled in just two years to 146 million, while the Internet of Things has gone from 800 million devices in 2010 to 1.5 billion today

At first, these threats were a concern mostly for governments, financial institutions and security vendors, but they are now a major concern for enterprises and consumers, as they can significantly impact the value of businesses and can cause major headaches in our personal lives

The report also takes in the past three months, which is what these quarterly reports usually do. McAfee found that ransomware is growing at a rapid pace, increasing by 50 percent against the previous quarter and 127 percent against the same quarter last year

Mobile malware attacks have increased by 17 percent against Q1, but infections have fallen by one percent. Spam is also falling, but other flavours of attack are not. McAfee found that there are 6.7 million attempts made to lure people to bad URLs, and 19.2 million infected files slung around, every single bloody hour

Submission + - DNA from Neandertal relative may shake up human family tree (

sciencehabit writes: In a remarkable technical feat, researchers have sequenced DNA from fossils in Spain that are about 300,000 to 400,000 years old and have found an ancestor—or close relative—of Neandertals. The nuclear DNA, which is the oldest ever sequenced from a member of the human family, may push back may the date for the origins of the distinct ancestors of Neandertals and modern humans.

Submission + - First Library to Support Anonymous Internet Browsing Stops After DHS Email (

An anonymous reader writes: First Library to Support Anonymous Internet Browsing Effort (Tor) Stops After DHS Email

"A library in a small New Hampshire town started to help Internet users around the world surf anonymously using Tor. Until the Department of Homeland Security raised a red flag."

"For the love of phlegm...a stupid wall of death rays. How tacky can ya get?" - Post Brothers comics