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Mysterious Feature Appears and Disappears In a Sea On Titan 55

Posted by Soulskill
from the interplanetary-game-of-battleship dept.
schwit1 writes: Cassini images taken in 2007, 2013, and 2014 of one of Titan's largest hydrocarbon seas find that a mysterious feature there keeps appearing and disappearing. Quoting: "The mysterious feature, which appears bright in radar images against the dark background of the liquid sea, was first spotted during Cassini's July 2013 Titan flyby. Previous observations showed no sign of bright features in that part of Ligeia Mare. Scientists were perplexed to find the feature had vanished when they looked again, over several months, with low-resolution radar and Cassini's infrared imager. This led some team members to suggest it might have been a transient feature. But during Cassini's flyby on August 21, 2014, the feature was again visible, and its appearance had changed during the 11 months since it was last seen.

Scientists on the radar team are confident that the feature is not an artifact, or flaw, in their data, which would have been one of the simplest explanations. They also do not see evidence that its appearance results from evaporation in the sea, as the overall shoreline of Ligeia Mare has not changed noticeably. The team has suggested the feature could be surface waves, rising bubbles, floating solids, solids suspended just below the surface, or perhaps something more exotic." That the seasons are slowly changing on Titan is probably contributing to the transient nature of this feature.

Comment: Re:There is no more Photoshop. (Score 2) 182

by tverbeek (#48027829) Attached to: Adobe Photoshop Is Coming To Linux, Through Chromebooks

Half correct. Adobe's Creative Cloud software is subscription software, but it is not web-based. The "cloud" bit in the name is just buzzword bingo; the apps are installed and run locally as Windows/OS X executable binaries, just as they always have, with check-ins to confirm that you've paid your protection money this month.

Of course the subscription aspect is reason enough for many people to walk way from Adobe (as I have). I know many illustrators have turned to the Manga Studio for comics production, or the GIMP if they can accept its limitations (e.g. lacking CMYK support). Some people can likewise get by with Free software such as Inkscape or Scribus to replace Illustrator and InDesign, respectively. Serif (which currently has graphics apps for Windows) is undertaking development of a full-featured commercial Creative Suite replacement for OS X, and their Illustrator-substitute Affinity Designer (first piece of the puzzle) is nearly ready for release.

Comment: independent support (Score 2) 129

by tverbeek (#47905425) Attached to: Chrome For Mac Drops 32-bit Build

Why would there be any question that Chromium could still be compiled for 32-bit CPUs? It it's open-source, it can be. The only question is whether anyone cares enough to do it.

The Firefox devs walked away from PPC processors some time ago, but there's enough interest in that platform that an independent fork of its code has been maintained.

Comment: Re:Scientific Consensus (Score 2, Insightful) 770

by tverbeek (#47852815) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

No, mathematics and logic are about provability. Real-world phenomena can't be proven; they can only be shown to have worked a certain way every time we've observed them so far. (I've dropped this rock 100,000 times, and every time it has fallen ... but I can't prove that it will next time.) If you want absolute proof you need to stick to theoretical phenomena. Or chuck it all and just believe something with absolute faith because it's written in an old book, like the other people who are afraid of their "truths" being subject to challenge.

Comment: "soft" science (Score 2) 770

by tverbeek (#47852727) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

The notion that climate science or economics can't repeat experiments is not entirely fair. While it's true that we can't conduct isolated double-blind experiments under identical conditions, we can conduct tests under analogous conditions to determine whether a given model is accurate or not, which is the real goal of such science. Given enough instances in which the accumulation of carbon compounds in the atmosphere leads to an overall increase in temperatures, or in which an increase in government spending or low-end wages stimulates economic activity in a market economy, we can make the inference of a correlation, and start looking for a mechanism of a causal connection.

Biotech

Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-you-modify-it-so-it-doesn't-taste-like-coffee dept.
nbauman sends word that researchers have completed a project to sequence the genome of Coffea canephora, a species of plant responsible for roughly 30% of the world's coffee production. In the course of their genetic mapping, the researchers "pinpointed genetic attributes that could help in the development of new coffee varieties better able to endure drought, disease and pests, with the added benefit of enhancing flavor and caffeine levels." They also discovered a broad range of genes that contribute to the production of flavor-related compounds and caffeine. Plant genomist Victor Albert said, "For any agricultural plant, having a genome is a prerequisite for any sort of high technology breeding or molecular modification. Without a genome, we couldn't do any real advanced research on coffee that would allow us to improve it — not in this day and age."

Comment: N/A (Score 1) 231

by tverbeek (#47825209) Attached to: Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

We didn't have technology yet when I were a wee lad. I didn't even put my hands on a computer (terminal) until my junior year in high school. There was POTS, but I've never liked telephones. Electric typewriters, but no real fun to be had with those. Xerography, but at 10 cents each, who had that kind of money?

Cellphones

Why Phone Stores Should Stockpile Replacements 253

Posted by Soulskill
from the easier-than-having-mcdonalds-stock-replacements dept.
Bennett Haselton writes: I would be in favor of a regulation requiring cell phone stores to have replacement phones on hand, for any phone model covered by a customer's insurance policy. Then customers who have insurance protection on their phones could get the damaged phones replaced instantly, and the replacement phones that are normally mailed out by overnight mail to customers under their protection plan, could instead be mailed to the stores to replace the one they just gave out to the customer. Read on for the rest of Bennett's thoughts

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