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+ - First Evidence of Extrasolar Planets Discovered In 1917

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Earth's closest white dwarf is called van Maanen 2 and sits 14 light years from here. It was discovered by the Dutch astronomer Adriaan van Maanen in 1917, but it was initially hard to classify. That's because its spectra contains lots of heavy elements alongside hydrogen and helium, the usual components of a white dwarf photosphere. In recent years, astronomers have discovered many white dwarfs with similar spectra and shown that the heavy elements come from asteroids raining down onto the surface of the stars. It turns out that all these white dwarfs are orbited by a large planet and an asteroid belt. As the planet orbits, it perturbs the rocky belt causing asteroids to collide and spiral in towards their parent star. This process is so common that astronomers now use the heavy element spectra as a marker for the presence of extrasolar planets. And a re-analysis of van Maanen's work shows that, in hindsight, he was the first to discover the tell-tale signature of extrasolar planets almost a century ago."

+ - Broadband boost: testing lab, consortium to foster 1G over copper->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "(Sorry, earlier sub mistakenly said 100G, not 1G, which is correct)

"The emerging standards for boosting last-mile broadband connections took a step forward this week with the establishment of a formal testing lab, plans for interoperability tests and the formation of an industry consortium at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab. could give service providers a cheaper alternative to fiber for connecting to homes and businesses. The news about the 1Gbps technology was revealed at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Programming-Language Innovation Is Dead: Witness the rebirth with... Java?

Submitted by Peter Joh
Peter Joh (3886347) writes "Yes, there’s been a lot of stealing of features between languages (for example, closures), but for the past 15 years, programming-language development now moves in baby steps rather than the man-sized leaps of the days of yore. One ambitious, open-source organization called Project Hierarchy is trying to push things forward with a simple idea: take what we developers work with the most, data, and add it directly into a language (in this case, Java). Hierarchy is not just some JSON ripoff, the Java language has actually been fused with the database (called a NoDB, the successor to NoSQL). They believe it’s the final evolution of the database, and are reaching out to the dev community to donate to their recently launched Kickstarter campaign to help them continue what they started."

+ - High-altitude drones are the future of Internet broadband->

Submitted by mwagner
mwagner (413143) writes "Skynet is coming. But not like in the movie: The future of communications is high-altitude solar-powered drones, flying 13 miles above the ground, running microwave wireless equipment, delivering broadband to the whole planet. This technology will replace satellites, fiber, and copper, and fundamentally change the broadband industry. Call it Skynet, after the antagonist in the Terminator movies. It's coming in about 20 years — the same amount of time between Arthur C. Clarke's predicting the geosynchronous satellite and their reality as a commercial business. "Several important technology milestones need to be reached along the way. The drones that will make up Skynet have a lot more in common with satellites than the flippy-flappy helicopter drone thingies that the popular press is fixated on right now. They’re really effing BIG, for one thing. And, like satellites, they go up, and stay up, pretty much indefinitely. For that to happen, we need two things: lighter, higher-capacity wireless gear; and reliable, hyper-efficient solar tech.""
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Comment: I've Never Understood The Appeal (Score 1) 304

by jdschulteis (#48097723) Attached to: The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

I despise the clicky, springy sound and the activation force is higher than I like.

In college, there were some terminals with Hall-effect keyboards that I liked, wish I could remember the model.

The Amiga 1000 keyboard was pretty good but the action was a little too light.

I'd take a Sun Type 5 over a Model M any day.

Comment: Re:And Java fail again (Score 1) 349

by jdschulteis (#48060963) Attached to: Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

Because only Java attracts bad programmers? Or is it simply observation bias? Certainly Java is not the only language which can give you the OS name.

Probably one bad programmer made the mistake of checking against "Windows 9" and assuming a match meant Windows 95 or 98, published the code, and then a bunch of other bad programmers copied the mistake.

Comment: Re:Surprisingly (Score 1) 142

by jdschulteis (#48043489) Attached to: Boeing Told To Replace Cockpit Screens Affected By Wi-Fi

Where? Common sense dictates not forcing the airlines to replace screens on 1,300 aircraft just because someone can't go without internet for any meaningful amount of time.

Think about how easy it would be for someone with malicious intent to bring aboard a jammer disguised as a legit electronic device. Cockpit electronics need to be hardened against interference regardless.

Comment: Re:Poor comparison... (Score 4, Informative) 59

by jdschulteis (#47911967) Attached to: New Data Center Protects Against Solar Storm and Nuclear EMPs

A "Carrington-level" event nowadays would most likely be much less disruptive, as back then all the early radio and spark gap stuff was well under 50 MHz, which is where almost all of the natural noise winds up in the spectrum. Ever notice, for example you can hear your shaver motor on an AM radio but not an FM one. This is not due to AM vs. FM, (well, it is a little) but mostly due to the fact that AM is about 1 MHz and FM is about 100 MHz, well above the "static line" around 50 MHz.

It would take a much stronger signal than back then to cause the same level of disruption. Not saying that can't happen, but modern radio communications are quite a bit more robust than they were back over 100 years ago.

The concern is not so much about the disruption of radio communications, but the power grid. Our society might not survive a massive, long-term (months or even years) blackout (a huge number of transformers might be destroyed all at once by the induced EMF).

Comment: Re:No, not really (Score 4, Informative) 113

by jdschulteis (#47892347) Attached to: Liquid Sponges Extract Hydrogen From Water

You still need very pure water or you poison the process. Where's that water coming from? How do you collect the gaseous hydrogen? You still need to liquify it and all the emrittlement and cryogenic issues are still there.

Even if hydrogen gas is free, it makes no sense as an energy carrier for cars.

They don't collect the gaseous hydrogen in the electrolyzer; they soak it up with a "liquid sponge" ("a recyclable redox mediator (silicotungstic acid) " according to the article's abstract. In principle at least, hydrogen could be stored and transported in this form (a liquid sponge soaked with hydrogen).; the hydrogen can be catalytically released (wrung out of the liquid sponge) when needed. Whether such a system could be built with a practical size, weight, and cost for use in vehicles is another matter.

Comment: MUMPS (Score 1) 729

MUMPS, where every keyword has a 1-to-3 letter abbreviation, resulting in code like this:

;;19.0;VA FileMan;;Jul 14, 1992
D I 'X1!'X2 S X="" Q
S X=X1 D H S X1=%H,X=X2,X2=%Y+1 D H S X=X1-%H,%Y=%Y+1&X2
K %H,X1,X2 Q
C S X=X1 Q:'X D H S %H=%H+X2 D YMD S:$P(X1,".",2) X=X_"."_$P(X1,".",2)
K X1,X2 Q
S S %=%#60/100+(%#3600\60)/100+(%\3600)/100 Q
H I X S %Y=$E(X,1,3),%M=$E(X,4,5),%D=$E(X,6,7)
S %T=$E(X_0,9,10)*60+$E(X_"000",11,12)*60+$E(X_"00000",13,14)
S %='%M!'%D,%Y=%Y-141,%H=%H+(%Y*365)+(%Y\4)-(%Y>59)+%,%Y=$S(%:-
K %M,%D,% Q
DOW D H S Y=%Y K %H,%Y Q

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid