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Comment: Re:Good/BAd news for science. (Score 1) 90

by omems (#48555857) Attached to: Berkeley Lab Builds World Record Tabletop-Size Particle Accelerator
To be fair, the LHC is working with much higher energies. Wiki:
"... two opposing particle beams of either protons at up to 4 teraelectronvolts (4 TeV or 0.64 microjoules), or lead nuclei at an energy of 574 TeV (92.0 J) per nucleus (2.76 TeV per nucleon),[4][5] with energies to be roughly doubled to around 7 TeV (14 TeV collision energy) —more than seven times any predecessor collider—by around 2015."

How Astronomers Will Take the "Image of the Century": a Black Hole 129

Posted by samzenpus
from the use-your-flash dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news that scientists may be close to getting the first image of a black hole. "Researchers studying the universe are ramping up to take the image of the century — the first ever image of a supermassive black hole. While the evidence for the existence of black holes is compelling, Scientists will continue to argue the contrary until physical, observational evidence is provided. Now, a dedicated team of astrophysicists armed with a global fleet of powerful telescopes is out to change that. If they succeed, they will snap the first ever picture of the monstrously massive black hole thought to live at the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. This ambitious project, called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), is incredibly tricky, but recent advances in their research are encouraging the team to push forward, now. The reason EHT needs to be so complex is because black holes, by nature, do not emit light and are, therefore, invisible. In fact, black holes survive by gobbling up light and any other matter — nearby dust, gas, and stars — that fall into their powerful clutches. The EHT team is going to zoom in on a miniscule spot on the sky toward the center of the Milky Way where they believe to be the event horizon of a supermassive black hole weighing in at 4 million times more massive than our sun. We can still see the material, however, right before it falls into eternal darkness. The EHT team is going to try and glimpse this ring of radiation that outlines the event horizon. Experts call this outline the "shadow" of a black hole, and it's this shadow that the EHT team is ultimately after to prove the existence of black holes."

Comment: Re:How secure is that connection string? (Score 1) 124

It's also my understanding that with the newest version, you can specify trusted clients with which to sync, so not just anyone can connect.
Although, now that I think about it, I'm not sure that couldn't be spoofed if you knew a little bit about the other person.

Comment: Re:Why do I still read these comments (Score 1) 173

by omems (#48207745) Attached to: Google Announces Inbox, a New Take On Email Organization
But email has been working for us for _(many)_ years. What do we need (or want) email to do that it doesn't already?
Bundles? I already successfully, with minimal effort, manage personal, business and sales-related emails. I don't need an algorithm to do that less well than I already do.
Highlights? Ok, maybe. I have a decent working memory, but maybe finding and scrolling down to the email from Delta and then tapping it open is too much for some people. Not me.
If the Assists bot is as "good" as google maps's, no fucking way do I want it trying to find me a phone number or tell me business hours. I already have emails to myself (don't worry, I save them as drafts; they aren't sent) and google calendars (and OMG I hear some people actually use post-it notes!). What functional difference does the snooze/reminders service offer? I'm very good at ignoring an email until such time as it needs my attention.

In other words, this is a solution (maybe) to a problem that doesn't exist for many of us. There may be some people who have a thousand emails a day and they can't manage it. I'm not convinced this is will solve their problems, but for the rest of us, it's just a non-event. Moreover, it's not because I'm opposed to innovation, but many earlier efforts that were hailed as game changers or amazing advances in AI and big data (or bloody political Change) turned out to be little more than marketing hype and hyperbole.

The current solution works, and until something can demonstrably improve upon that solution, it will be met with the doubt and incredulity it deserves.

Comment: Re:Meh, anything Apple does is considered "cool". (Score 1) 277

by omems (#47973921) Attached to: Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6
It's not just Apple that gets this sort of response, it's any company that people have an irrational attachment to.
People forget these are companies whose sole purpose is to make money and that will say anything to make that money. Of course they will change their minds and blaze forward with unnatural determination. To appear indecisive or even acknowledge a change is an admission of non-optimal corporate irresponsibility that no business (or politician, but I repeat myself) can afford to make.
I don't know why it's news or why it's unexpected at this point.

Comment: Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (Score 1) 115

by omems (#47929483) Attached to: Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home
My HVAC had to be manually switched from heating mode to cooling mode, but otherwise, the whole point of a thermostat is to keep the temp the same.
Of course, I say this from a city that's currently 69 F, but since the office AC is running I have a space heater going. Talk about a waste of energy.

Comment: Re:... all in the name of "Allah" (Score 4, Informative) 246

by omems (#47835705) Attached to: Egypt's Oldest Pyramid Is Being Destroyed By Its Own Restoration Team
I visited Cairo and Giza in the spring of 2013 and can confirm there were almost no tourists. There are, however, men with machine guns guarding the pyramids and sphynx, as well as the main museum, in addition to metal detectors and visual inspections upon entering these places (though you could enter from the desert and avoid them in the case of Giza). The violence I witnessed wasn't random acts of terror, but civil/political unrest before Morsi got the boot.

Money, including tourism dollars, is very much a motivating factor for the parties involved. I don't have a comprehensive knowledge of the politics, but the locals I talked to reviled Morsi precisely because of his lack of money (and his allegiances). Most visibly, infrastructure and the jobs created in its construction and maintenance, that Mubarak had, was sorely missed.

Comment: Re:Dont mess with my coffee!!!! (Score 3) 167

by omems (#47834563) Attached to: Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification
Assuming you're talking about the Vendômois study, that paper was retracted by the journal.

The line of rats used are prone to tumors even with normal food. Combine that with a small sample size and one cannot say whether it was the food or their normal bad genes that caused the tumors.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but to my knowledge there are no well-designed studies that actually demonstrate a causal link between eating GMO foods and disease.

Comment: Re:This is robusta coffee they're talking about (Score 2) 167

by omems (#47834355) Attached to: Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification
Good catch.
They go on to, "present a draft genome of the diploid Coffea canephora, one of the two founder species of the tetraploid crop Coffea arabica." Which is to say, in the course of evolving, the genome was duplicated. Then, with a redundant set of genes, there was greater opportunity for mutations to either inactivate one copy, or have novel functions arise--like new flavonoids and alkaloids. Compared with most animal species, plants as a whole are particularly amenable to genome duplications, for reasons I don't know.

"If you don't want your dog to have bad breath, do what I do: Pour a little Lavoris in the toilet." -- Comedian Jay Leno