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+ - Comcast tells government that its data caps aren't actually "data caps"-> 1

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Customers must pay more if they exceed limits—but it’s not a cap, Comcast says.

For the past couple of years, Comcast has been trying to convince journalists and the general public that it doesn’t impose any “data caps” on its Internet service.

That’s despite the fact that Comcast in some cities enforces limits on the amount of data customers can use and issues financial penalties for using more than the allotment. Comcast has said this type of billing will probably roll out to its entire national footprint within five years, perhaps alongside a pricier option to buy unlimited data.

“There isn't a cap anymore. We're out of the cap business,” Executive Vice President David Cohen said in May 2012 after dropping a policy that could cut off people's service after they use 250GB in a month. Comcast's then-new approach was touted to "effectively offer unlimited usage of our services because customers will have the ability to buy as much data as they want.""

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+ - Exomoon Detection Technique Greatly Expands List of Potential Habitable Systems

Submitted by Luminary Crush
Luminary Crush (109477) writes "Most of the detected exoplanets thus far have been gas giants which aren't great candidates for life as we know it. However, many of those planets are in fact in the star's habitable zone and could have moons with conditions more favorable. Until now, methods to detect the moons of such gas giants have been elusive, but researchers at the University of Texas, Arlington have discovered a way to detect the interaction of a moon's ionosphere with the parent gas giant from studies of Jupiter's moon Io. The search for 'Pandora' has begun."

+ - The Stars Beyond

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "You've no doubt heard of dark matter halos around galaxies: vast, extended, spherical collection of mass that reach for hundreds of thousands of light-years beyond what we typically think of as a spiral or elliptical galaxy. But did you know that galaxies contain vast, extended stellar halos as well? Moreover, they look nothing like you'd expect! They're not spherical or even ellipsoidal, but highly irregular, and have an awful lot to teach us about how galaxies came to be the way they are today."

+ - The Brilliance of Scientific Assumption

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "If you’ve ever heard someone dismiss evolution, the Big Bang or climate change as “just a theory” and wanted to pull your hair out, you’re not alone. In science, after all, theories are the most powerful ideas we have to explain the mechanism behind the most intricate observable phenomena in the Universe. But it’s where our theories fail, or at the fringes, where observations-or-experiments might disagree with the best theoretical predictions, that progress is made. This tantalizing border between the known-and-understood and the next undiscovered frontier are something we only cross by challenging our most cherished assumptions. Here are some of our most sacred fundamental assumptions, and how we're probing them for the next great leap forward!"

+ - Astrology is not a science->

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "It's a beautiful idea, the notion that the Earth isn't simply affected by the Sun and the Moon, but by the locations and positions of our planet relative to the others in our Solar System and to the stars as well. But there are many beautiful ideas that don't describe reality; those fall squarely into the category of pseudoscience. So what's the deal with astrology? How does it stand up to scientific scrutiny, and can we truly say that it's wrong, or only that there's not yet an observed significance to it?"
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+ - The first particle physics evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model?

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "It’s the holy grail of modern particle physics: discovering the first smoking-gun, direct evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model. Sure, there are unanswered questions and unsolved puzzles, ranging from dark matter to the hierarchy problem to the strong-CP problem, but there’s no experimental result clubbing us over the head that can’t be explained with standard particle physics. That is, the physics of the Standard Model in the framework of quantum field theory. Or is there? Take a look at the evidence from the muon’s magnetic moment, and see what might be the future of physics!"

+ - The independent lines of evidence that make dark matter all but unavoidable

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "When you hear about dark matter, you very likely put it up there with string theory in the pantheon of "well, that's a nice idea, now call me when you find it" style of scientific ideas. After all, direct detection of dark matter has proved elusive, despite many arduous experiments designed specifically to find it. Yet we continue to look, convinced that it exists. Why? Because of several compelling, independent lines of evidence that all point towards dark matter's existence. Here are the top five, and take note, modified gravity fans, that your best "theories" can only explain one out of the five!"

+ - Why didn't the Universe become a black hole? 5

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "With some 10^90 particles in the observable Universe, even stretched across 92 billion light-years today, the Universe is precariously close to recollapsing. How, then, is it possible that back in the early stages after the Big Bang, when all this matter-and-energy was concentrated within a region of space no bigger than our current Solar System, the Universe didn't collapse down to a black hole? Not only do we have the explanation, but we learn that even if the Universe did recollapse, we wouldn't get a black hole at all!"

+ - The Milky Way's Most Recent Supernova That Nobody Saw

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "The last two naked-eye supernovae changed the world: Tycho Brahe's supernova of 1572 and Kepler's of 1604 literally ushered in the modern age of astronomy, and yet despite the fact that supernovae occur about once-per-century in galaxies, we've never seen another Milky Way supernova since. But surprisingly, they've still been happening! It's only the fact that we're in the plane of the galaxy, whose dust blocks the visible light from such a large fraction of our neighboring stars, that's prevented us from seeing them. But we can look beyond visible light now, and have discovered at least two more recent ones since, including one that happened as recently as the 1860s!"

+ - How the Universe grew up... and stopped.

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "There once was a time when there were no stars, no galaxies, and no groups or clusters. These all formed, so at some point, the Universe was able to build these structures where there were none before. But today, everything that isn’t already gravitationally bound to itself never will be. How did we go from a perfectly uniform Universe to an almost perfectly uniform one, to one with stars, galaxies, and clusters, to one that won't result in any new gravitationally-bound structures anymore? The physics of gravitational growth (and its end); a fascinating story."

+ - The Smallest Possible Scale in the Universe

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "It's a question that goes back as far as inquiry about the physical world itself: is there a smallest, fundamental scale in the Universe? Yes, it's true that quantum theory tells us there's a limit to the resolution that we can measure (thanks, Heisenberg), but does that necessarily imply that there's a fundamental limit inherent to space (or physics) itself? Not necessarily, argues a new book from Amit Hagar, although both options are possibilities. Theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder has a great take on it, exploring both sides and taking us right up to the edge of what is known."

+ - Floridian, (and Southern) governmental regulations are unfriendly to solar power->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Few places in the country are so warm and bright as Mary Wilkerson's property on the beach near St. Petersburg, Fla., a city once noted in the Guinness Book of World Records for a 768-day stretch of sunny days.

But while Florida advertises itself as the Sunshine State, power company executives and regulators have worked successfully to keep most Floridians from using that sunshine to generate their own power.

Wilkerson discovered the paradox when she set out to harness sunlight into electricity for the vintage cottages she rents out at Indian Rocks Beach. She would have had an easier time installing solar panels, she found, if she had put the homes on a flatbed and transported them to chilly Massachusetts.

While the precise rules vary from state to state, one explanation is the same: opposition from utilities grown nervous by the rapid encroachment of solar firms on their business."

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+ - Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy cast doubt on the Big Bang?

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "Back in the 1960s, after the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background, the Big Bang reigned supreme as the only game in town. But back then, we also assumed that what we consider as "normal matter" — i.e., protons, neutrons and electrons — was, along with photons and neutrinos, the only stuff that made up the Universe. But the last 50 years have shown us that dark matter and dark energy actually make up 95% of the energy composition of our cosmos. Given that, is there any wiggle room to possibly invalidate the Big Bang?"

+ - The meteors you've waited all year for

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "It's finally here! Sure, we witnessed the birth of a new meteor shower earlier this year, but it was a flop. Many other showers have come-and-gone like they do every year, but none of them have given us a significant number of meteors-per-hour. But even with a near-full Moon out, it's finally time for the Perseids, the most reliable meteor shower year-after-year. Here's where to find them, where they come from and a whole lot more, including some surprising facts about where they don't come from: cometary tails!"

+ - Why the 'NASA tested Space Drive' is Bad Science

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "Just over a century ago, N rays were detected by over a hundred researchers and discussed in some three hundred publications, yet there were serious experimental flaws and experimenter biases that were exposed over time. Fast forward to last week, and NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive is front page news. But a quick analysis shows that it isn't theorists who'll need to struggle to explain this phenomenon, but rather the shoddy experimentalists who are making the exact same 'bad science' mistakes all over again."

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A black panther is really a leopard that has a solid black coat rather then a spotted one.