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+ - What came first, black holes or galaxies?

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "It was one of the most hotly contested questions for decades: we first expected and then found supermassive black holes at the centers of practically all large galaxies. But how did they get there? In particular, you could imagine it happening either way: either there was this top-down scenario, where large-scale structures formed first and fragmented into galaxies, forming black holes at their centers afterwards, or a bottom-up scenario, where small-scale structures dominate at the beginning, and larger ones only form later from the merger of these earlier, little ones. As it turns out, both of these play a role in our Universe, but as far as the question of what came first, black holes or galaxies, only one answer is right."

+ - Hacking Internet Connected Light Bulbs->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We've been calling it for years — connect everything in your house to the internet, and people will find a way to attack it. This post provides a technical walkthrough of how internet-connected lighting systems are vulnerable to outside attacks. Quoting: "With the Contiki installed Raven network interface we were in a position to monitor and inject network traffic into the LIFX mesh network. The protocol observed appeared to be, in the most part, unencrypted. This allowed us to easily dissect the protocol, craft messages to control the light bulbs and replay arbitrary packet payloads. ... Monitoring packets captured from the mesh network whilst adding new bulbs, we were able to identify the specific packets in which the WiFi network credentials were shared among the bulbs. The on-boarding process consists of the master bulb broadcasting for new bulbs on the network. A new bulb responds to the master and then requests the WiFi details to be transferred. The master bulb then broadcasts the WiFi details, encrypted, across the mesh network. The new bulb is then added to the list of available bulbs in the LIFX smart phone application.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Lie Like a Lady: The Profoundly Weird, Gender-Specific Roots of the Turing Test->

Submitted by malachiorion
malachiorion (1205130) writes "Alan Turing never wrote about the Turing Test, that legendary measure of machine intelligence that was supposedly passed last weekend. He proposed something much stranger—a contest between men and machines, to see who was better at pretending to be a woman. The details of the Imitation Game aren't secret, or even hard to find, and yet no one seems to reference it. Here's my analysis for Popular Science about why they should, in part because it's so odd, but also because it might be a better test for "machines that think" than the chatbot-infested, seemingly useless Turing Test."
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+ - Why does light stretch as the Universe expands?

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "On the one hand, galaxies are definitely redshifted, and they're redshifted more severely the farther they are; that's been indisputable since Hubble's data from the 1920s. But spacetime's expansion — the idea that photons get redshfited because expanding space stretches their wavelength — is just one possibility. Sure, it's the possibility predicted by General Relativity, but a fast-moving, receding galaxy could cause a redshift, too. How do we know what the cause is? Here's how."

+ - Radioactivity Cleanup at Hanford, 25 Years On

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington was supposed to be entering its final stages by now. The reality is far from that. The cleanup was to be managed under the 'Tri-Party Agreement', signed on May 15, 1989, which was supposed to facilitate cooperation between the agencies involved. Today, underfunded and overwhelmed by technical problems, the effort is decades behind schedule. Adding to the frustrations for stakeholders and watchdogs is a bureaucratic slipperiness on the part of the Federal Department of Energy. As one watchdog put it, 'We are constantly frustrated by how easily the Department of Energy slips out of agreements in the Tri-Party Agreement.'"

Comment: Re:I, for one, do welcome that test (Score 1) 86

by polymath69 (#46442829) Attached to: New Blood Test Offers Early Warning for Alzheimer's Onset

You see the ethical dilemma? I don't see one in either TFA, only a question of whether a person would wish to have this information. So long as the person in question is the patient or his doctor, there's no ethical question at hand, merely a personal decision. Could you kindly explain the dilemma to my obviously symptomatic brain? And type slowly.

Damn beta? Damn this version, I hit "options" and my comment was wiped out. Bastages.

Comment: Re:How is this a suicide? (Score 2, Interesting) 363

by polymath69 (#46310759) Attached to: UAE Clerics' Fatwa Forbids Muslims From Traveling To Mars

It is flimsy as an argument, especially as there's a better argument to be made.

Suppose the colonization succeeds, but only supplies can be sent, with no return trips? Due to lack of refueling capabilities on Mars this is a reasonable assumption for the next many years. Now imagine "many" is large enough that children may be born, live, and die on Mars before return trips become possible.

Now how is such a child, able-bodied, supposed to complete the pillar of Islam that is the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca? Since this would be impossible the Mars-born would be spiritually incomplete or something. Since this scenario can be reasonably presupposed, a fatwa which reasoned along these lines might be ... less silly.

+ - Something Hit Earth in 773 AD But Nobody Knows What->

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "In November 2012, a group of Japanese scientists discovered that the concentration of carbon-14 in Japanese cedar trees suddenly rose between 774 AD and 775 AD. Others have since found similar evidence and narrowed the date to 773 AD. Astronomers think this stuff must have come from space so now the quest is on to find the extraterrestrial culprit. Carbon-14 is continually generated in the atmosphere by cosmic rays hitting nitrogen atoms. But because carbon-14 is radioactive, it naturally decays back into nitrogen with a half-life of about 5700 years. This constant process of production and decay leaves the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere relatively constant at about one part in a trillion will be carbon-14. One possible reason for the increase is that the Sun belched a superflare our way, engulfing the planet in huge cloud of high energy protons. Recent calculations suggest this could happen once every 3000 years and so seems unlikely. Another possibility is a nearby supernova, which bathed the entire Solar System in additional cosmic rays. However, astronomers cannot see any likely candidates nearby and there are no historical observations of a supernova from that time. Yet another possibility is that a comet may have hit the Earth, dumping the extra carbon-14 in the atmosphere. But astronomers have ruled that out on the basis that a comet carrying enough carbon-14 must have been over 100 km in diameter and would surely have left other evidence such as an impact crater. So for the moment, astronomers are stumped."
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+ - Adapting Monopoly to demonstrate Modern Monetary Theory-> 2

Submitted by buswolley
buswolley (591500) writes "Are we really too poor to put America back to work making and building the things we need to maintain a prosperous nation? -Mitch Green

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) posits that America is not too poor, and now proponents of the theory have adapted the rules of the classic board game of Monopoly to demonstrate their case
  http://neweconomicperspectives...

For those that would like a background a great starter is Warren Mosler's "Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economy Policy" at http://moslereconomics.com/wp-..."

Link to Original Source

+ - Glow-In-The-Dark Civil War Soldiers Explained->

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "Some of the Shiloh soldiers sat in the mud for two rainy days and nights waiting for the medics to get around to them. As dusk fell the first night, some of them noticed something very strange: their wounds were glowing, casting a faint light into the darkness of the battlefield. Even stranger, when the troops were eventually moved to field hospitals, those whose wounds glowed had a better survival rate and had their wounds heal more quickly and cleanly than their unilluminated brothers-in-arms. The seemingly protective effect of the mysterious light earned it the nickname “Angel’s Glow.” Today we know that it was a bacteria now known as P. luminescens."
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Comment: Re:Team Viewer (Score 0) 165

by polymath69 (#45853525) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best App For Android For Remote Access To Mac Or PC?

Yea, I loved how my parents did everything out in the open; made it a heck of a lot easier to work around all those restrictions since I knew what they were.

(This actually isn't true - my parents were smart enough to know better)

"I was hit on the head by a meteorite once, so everyone should always wear hard-hats. By the way, I wasn't actually ever hit on the head by a meteorite."

TL;DR What??

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn

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