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Comment: Re:Neat (Score 1) 59

by brindafella (#48534999) Attached to: The Ancestor of Humans Was an "Artist" 500,000 Years Ago
> So, somebody deliberately did this for no practical reason - perhaps just for the joy of doing it? It also seems like a very well controlled scratch ...

Thanks, 'j'. You got the point of this discovery. It jumped out at me in the same way. The report makes the point that the covering of the shell would have probably been green so the marking down into the white shell underneath would have made the scoring stand out. If it had only been one scratch then it would be called an incidental mark, but it went well beyond that to be a deliberate pattern.

+ - The ancestor of humans was an 'artist' 500,000 years ago

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Our ancient ancestor, Homo erectus, around 500,000 years ago, has been shown to make doodles or patterns. So, it seems that we Homo sapiens have come from a thoughtful lineage. The zig-zag markings cut into the covering of a fossil freshwater shell were from a deposit in the main bone layer of Trinil (Java, Indonesia), the place where Homo erectus was discovered by Eugène Dubois in 1891, says Dr Stephen Munro, a palaeoanthropologist with the Australian National University. The team's testing shows the erectus doodling was from 0.54 million years to a minimum of 0.43 million years ago. This pushes back the thoughtful making of marks by hundreds of thousands of years. The thoughtful gathering of shellfish and their nutrients also points to possible explanations for the evolving of bigger brains."

Comment: Business model for 'bulk' -- Pay By Weight (Score 1) 819

by brindafella (#47934335) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room
There is already a 'flying' business model for Pay By Weight -- Samoa Air. The Samoan people tend to be "large framed", so they now pay for their bodies and their baggage, or cargo, by weight. Getting their frames into the seats is then another matter. But, how could they complain?

Comment: Spiral filter, and a Tardis (Score 1) 122

by brindafella (#47934225) Attached to: Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

I notice from the diagram (per the linked story) that I only need to fit a spiral phase plate (no, not a flux capacitor) to my Tardis and it all works automagically...

... via "orbital angular momentum" and "OAM multiplexing".

Frankly, I am still confused as to why it's not (more simply) "circular polarisation" that has been known about since the early days of radio.

+ - Standing rock on Mars.

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "A boulder rolling down a hill normally does not deserve even passing mention. But a boulder on Mars may well generate several academic papers, especially as it landed standing up like a stele, Stonehenge-style. It also left a distintive trail, as seen by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded this view on July 3, 2014."

+ - Stem cell research breakthrough from transparent fish 1

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Australian scientists have accidentally made one of the most significant discoveries in stem cell research, by studying the transparent embryos of Zebrafish (Danio rerio). The fish can be photographed and their development studied over time, and the movies can be played backwards, to track back from key developmental stages to find the stem cell basis for various traits of the fish. This fundamental research started by studying muscles, but the blood stem cell breakthrough was a bonus. They've found out how hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), among the most important stem cells found in blood and bone marrow, is formed. The scientishs are based at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. The research has been published in the Nature medical journal. This discovery could lead to the production of self-renewing stem cells in the lab to treat multiple blood disorders and diseases."

Comment: Re:Legal pemission? THEY GIVE IT! (Score 3, Interesting) 368

by brindafella (#47654967) Attached to: Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

True! "This call may be recorded..." is a bi-directional statement. I love the logic.

Also, if in doubt, as you hear the 'statement', repeat their exact words into the phone.

And, if in further doubt, when a real human comes on the line, ask, "Do you agree?" If the answer is a spluttering 'Yes' then.... or if 'No' then say "Please review your recording of his call, and I'll wait on the line as you do that." And, listen to what happens; It's likely to be hilarious! ;-)

+ - Higgs boson: easy! Now, the underlying reason fr it.

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Physicists at the CERN's Large Hadron Colider (LHC) ATLAS experiment have been looking through the data, and have found enough of the extremely rare "W boson" (proton-proton) collisons that they can now declare their results; They have found why/how the Higgs does its job of imparting mass to other particles. This article tells how it works.

"Only about one in 100 trillion proton-proton collisions would produce one of these events," said Marc-André Pleier, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory who played a leadership role in the analysis of this result for the ATLAS collaboration. "You need to observe many [collisions] to see if the production rate is above or on par with predictions," Pleier said. "We looked through billions of proton-proton collisions produced at the LHC for a signature of these events—decay products that allow us to infer like Sherlock Holmes what happened in the event."

The analysis efforts started two years ago and were carried out in particular by groups from Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of Michigan, and Technische Universität Dresden, Germany."

Comment: Re:depends on definition of "computer" (Score 3, Interesting) 56

by brindafella (#47128715) Attached to: ISEE-3 Satellite Is Back Under Control
> As a young teen I read the manuals for a (defunct) satellite old retired engineer had, funny as electronics hobbyist I could understand it.

:-) I've been there, too. My first computer was an IBM 1130, with 8kB of 'ram'. From what I can tell, here, we have 0kB and all hard-wired to the devices attached to the receivers and transmitters. The satellite just 'talks' via the transmitter and Earth has to listen, or lose the data. That is "how it was" in 1978 (earlier for the finalisation of the design, and the satellite's set-up of the NSA Deep Space Network ground stations).

+ - ISEE-3 satellite is back in control

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "In the last two days, the (Reboot Project for the International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) satellite has commanded ISEE-3 from the Earth, using signals transmitted from the Aricebo Observatory. Signals were also received by cooperating dishes: the 21-meter dish located at Kentucky's Morehead State University Space Science Center; the 20-meter dish antenna in Bochum Observatory, Germany, operated by AMSAT Germany; and, SETI's Allen Telescope Array (ATA), California. ISEE-3 was launched in 1978, and last commanded in 1999 by NASA. On May 15, 2014, the project reached its crowdfunding goal of US$125,000, which will cover the costs of writing the software to communicate with the probe, searching through the NASA archives for the information needed to control the spacecraft, and buying time on the dish antennas. The project then set a "stretch goal" of $150,000, which it also met with a final total of $159,502 raised. The goal is to be able to command the spacecraft to fire its engines to enter an Earth orbit, and then be usable for further space exploration. This satellite does not even have a computer; it is all "hard-wired"."

Comment: Siding Spring -- meaning (Score 3, Informative) 38

by brindafella (#46598691) Attached to: NASA Snaps Shot of Mars-Bound Comet
That name, Siding Spring, comes from the name of Siding Spring Observatory, the most significant optical observatory in Australia, operated by the Australian National University. The mountain is part of the Warrumbungle Range, in the state of New South Wales, near the town Coonabarabran. It is the site of the Anglo-Australian Telescope, among others. Also see Google maps at 31.273038S 149.066804E.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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