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+ - What is Auroracoin? Cryptocurrency Passes Litecoin With $1 Billion Valuation->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Often referred to as the silver to bitcoin's gold, litecoin has lost its third-place spot in the cryptocurrency marketshare league table to auroracoin.

Experiencing triple-digit growth over the last two days, Iceland-based auroracoin is as much a political statement as it is a bitcoin alternative."

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+ - Physicists Check Their Privilege With An Antimatter Beam

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Jon Butterworth has an interesting article at The Guardian about the idea of standpoint-independence in physics and the absence of “privileged observers.” The ASACUSA experiment at CERN plans to make a beam of antimatter, and measure the energy levels as the beam travels in a vacuum, away from the magnetic fields and away from any annihilating matter. The purpose of the experiment is to test CPT (Charge/Parity/Time) inversion to determine if the universe would look the same if we simultaneously swapped all matter for antimatter, left for right, and backwards in time for forwards in time. In string theory for example it is possible to violate this principle so the ASACUSA people plan to measure those antihydrogen energy levels very precisely. Any difference would mean a violation of CPT inversion symmetry. Physicist Ofer Lahav has some interesting observations in the article about how difficult it is these days for physicists to develop independent points of view on cosmology. "Having been surrounded by a culture in which communication is seen as generally a good thing, this came as a surprise to me, but it is a very good point," writes Butterworth. "We gain confidence in the correctness of ideas if they are arrived at independently from different points of view." A good example is the independent, almost simultaneous development of quantum electrodynamics by Richard Feynman, Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga. They all three had very different approaches, and Tomonaga in particular was working in wartime Japan, completely cut off from the others. Yet Freeman Dyson was able to prove that the theories each had provided for the quantum behavior of electrons and photons were not only all equally good at describing nature, but were all mathematically equivalent — that is, the same physics, seen from different points of view. Whether we are using thought experiments, antimatter beams, sophisticated instrumentation, or sending spaceships to the outer solar system, Butterworth says the ability for scientists to loosen the constraints of our own point of view is hugely important. "It is also, I think, closely related to the ability to put ourselves into the place of other people in society and to perceive ourselves as seen by them — to check our privilege, if you like. Imperfect and difficult, but a leap away from a childish self-centeredness and into adulthood.""

Comment: Re:Summary named the sattelite wrong... (Score 1) 61

by jasax (#46191185) Attached to: Weird Asteroid Itokawa Has a Dual Personality
Its the type of wood (or of several types of carbon, glass fiber, titanium, etc...) layers used in its assembly that dictate the offensiveness of the blade (in a defensive-offensive scale). The gluing, the thickness and the relative placement of the layers also are important in defining the type of the blade, and in conjunction with the type of the rubbers they set the type of the complete TT racket. There are several thousands of commercial blades and rubbers, so the choice is enormous ;-)

Usually its the top layers in both sides that count more to the offensive-defensive grade. Blades are usually symmetrical (both sides are equal) but there are some models prepared for defense in one side and for attack in the other. The offensive blades have usually harder outer layers that cause a faster rebound of the ball when compared with defensive types.

More details about common types of wood in TT blades are found, for example, in

Comment: Re:Summary named the sattelite wrong... (Score 1) 61

by jasax (#46165995) Attached to: Weird Asteroid Itokawa Has a Dual Personality
From, a bit of culture...

"The Japanese name 'Hayabusa' means a peregrine falcon; a bird that often serves as a metaphor for speed due to its vertical hunting dive. The name was made popular by Japanese professional wrestler Hayabusa, also known as The Masked Falcon."

A bit off-topic, there's also a family of very good offensive table tennis blades from the Xiom brand ( with that name :-) I'm a player and aficionado of TT, so forgive me this hiatus.

+ - AMD Announces Sampling Of Eight-Core ARM 'Seattle' Processor->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "AMD's Andrew Feldman announced today that the company is preparing to sample its new eight-core ARM SoC (codename: Seattle). Feldman gave a keynote presentation at the fifth annual Open Compute Summit. The Open Compute Project (OCP) is Facebook's effort to decentralize and unpack the datacenter, breaking the replication of resources and low volume, high-margin parts that have traditionally been Intel's bread-and-butter. AMD is claiming that the eight ARM cores offer 2-4x the compute performance of the Opteron X1250 — which isn't terribly surprising considering that the X1250 is a four-core chip based on the Jaguar CPU, with a relatively low clock speed of 1.1 — 1.9GHz. We still don't know the target clock speeds for the Seattle cores, but the embedded roadmaps AMD has released show the ARM embedded part actually targeting a higher level of CPU performance (and a higher TDP) than the Jaguar core itself."
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+ - Robot love: Spike Jonze sci-fi 'Her' may be closer to reality than you think->

Submitted by Hallie Siegel
Hallie Siegel (2973169) writes "Mark Stephen Meadows writes: "Her shows what’s happening today through a lens of fiction. We have Siri as a vector pointing in this direction of “cognition-as-a-service.” And to be sure, the technology in Her is probably far, far closer than most movie-goers imagine. The tech is nearing a point where users will attain a suspension-of-disbelief. Today we can semantically analyse words for affect and sentiment. Today we can measure body language, and prosody of voice to build empathic feedback loops with users that process Natural Language. Today, we can talk with software and that software can learn, measure, and talk back. The dark, cold monitor is now monitoring us, as we have built it to do. The technology in Her is just a few years away. It’s a technology that requires the measuring of that spiritual thing called mood. And this week Apple filed an interesting patent to do just that.""
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+ - Essential LaTeX Tools->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "LaTeX is a document preparation system and document markup language for high-quality typesetting. The system was originally developed by Leslie Lamport in the early 1980s. LaTeX is based on Donald E. Knuth's TeX typesetting language. Lamport says that LaTeX “represents a balance between functionality and ease of use”.

The purpose of this article is to identify our favorite open source software that works in conjunction with the LaTeX system. Featured in this article include excellent LaTeX editors, bibliography tools and more."

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+ - Massive Game of Thrones Arrests-> 4

Submitted by rueger
rueger (210566) writes ""Dozens of "Game of Thrones" fans were taken into custody last Sunday morning after a midnight battle reenactment at turned ugly. The trouble began on Saturday when throngs of participants arrived in medieval armor, along with swords, battle shields, ballistas and 6 war horses. It was supposed to be an evening of friendly rivalry between the Keswick and Newmarket “armies” featuring displays of swordsmanship, battleaxe ice-carving and a reenactment of the Battle of the Blackwater.

The actual battle was intended primarily as a photo session, a chance for both armies to show off their costumes and strike fearsome poses for the cameras. Unfortunately, the Keswickians had prepared several 40-gallon barrels of green Jello to be used as “Wildfire”. Several witnesses said that Joffrey Baratheon, a 15-year-old Tim Hortons server from Keswick, escalated the conflict when he ordered his forces to pour the green goo into a replica catapult and launch it at the Newmarket ranks."

(it's considered by many that there something serious wrong with the water supply in Keswick, Ontario)"

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+ - Rare Exoplanet Found in Star Cluster, Orbits Sun's 'Twin'->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "Three new exoplanets have been discovered inside a star cluster, which is a rare find as only a handful of such exoplanets are known to exist. However, one of the three new finds is even more remarkable — it orbits a star that appears to be “an almost perfect solar twin.” The discovery was made by astronomers using the European Southern Observatory’s HARPS exoplanet-hunting instrument attached to the 3.6-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile and was confirmed by other collaborating observatories. The astronomers’ attention was focused on the Messier 67 open star cluster, which is located approximately 2,600 light-years away in the constellation Cancer."
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+ - Regex Golf, XKCD And Peter Norvig ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "A recent xkcd cartoon has started some deep academic thinking. When AI expert Peter Novig gets involved you know the algorithms are going to fly. Code Golf is a reasonably well known sport of trying to code an algorithm in the shortest possible code. Regex Golf is similar, but in general the aim is to create a regular expression that accepts the strings in one list and rejects the strings in a second list. The xkcd cartoon in question revealed that this is but the first step. Programmers like recursion and a regex is a string after all and a regex can process a string so a regex can process a regex and this means you can have meta-regex golf and meta-meta-regex golf.... Yes my friend, it's regexes all the way down!
The hover over text gives a regular expression that matches the last names of the elected US presidents, but not the losers. This started Peter Norvig, the well-known computer scientist, director of research at Google and wearer of brightly colored shirts, thinking about the problem. Is it possible to write a program that would create a regular expression to solve the xkcd problem? The result is an NP hard problem that needs AI like techniques to get an approximate answer.
To find out more read the complete description, including Python code, at Peter Norvig's blog post which ends with the challenge:
"I hope you found this interesting, and perhaps you can find ways to improve my algorithm, or more interesting lists to apply it to. I found it was fun to play with, and I hope this page gives you an idea of how to address problems like this.""

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+ - SpaceShipTwo sets a new altitude record

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo reached an altitude of 71,000 feet, beating out its previous record of 69,000 feet. From the article: 'This time around, Virgin Galactic and Mojave-based Scaled Composites, the plane's builder, tested a new reflective coating on the rocket plane's tail booms. The flight also marked the first tryout for a thruster system that's designed to keep the plane on course when it's above the atmosphere. Virgin Galactic said all of the test objectives were met.'"

+ - Kazakh Professor claims solution of another Millennium Prize Problem->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Kazakh news site reports that Mukhtarbay Otelbaev, Director of the Eurasian Mathematical Institute of the Eurasian National University, found the solution to another Millennium Prize Problems. His paper, which is called “Existence of a strong solution of the Navier-Stokes equations" and is freely available online (in Russian), may present a solution to the fundamental partial differentials equations that describe the flow of incompressible fluids for which, until now, only a subset of specific solutions have been found. So far, only one of the seven Millennium problems was solved — the Poincaré conjecture, by Grigori Perelman in 2003. If Otelbaev solution is proven, not only it might be the first time that the U$1mi offered by the Clay Millennium Prize will find a home (Perelman refused the prize in 2010), but also engineering libraries will soon have to update their Fluid Mechanic books, and Kazakhstan will find a new reason to be remembered by the public (other than mockumentaries)."
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+ - MIT begins offering for pay MOOC in Big Data

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "MIT announced today that it will begin offering for-profit courses on the edX platform, beginning with a course in Big Data. This is the first for-pay course offered on any of the major MOOC platforms. It is run through MIT Professional Education, the arm of MIT that provides professional education and training for science, engineering and technology professionals worldwide. MIT announced that it will be the first of a new line of professional programs called Online X Programs, to be delivered globally using the MIT and Harvard founded open-sourced online education platform, edX."

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234