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Submission + - One in four cloud providers will be gone by 2015 (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: Cloud adopters face serious risk in the next two years because of the strong possibility that their provider will be acquired or forced out of business, according to Gartner.The research firm is predicting a major consolidation in cloud services and estimates that about 25% of the top 100 IT service providers in the infrastructure space won't be around by 2015. "One in four vendors will be gone for whatever reason — acquisition, bankruptcy," said William Maurer, a Gartner analyst. Most of the time, the changes will come through acquisition. There is pressure on providers to cut costs, but Maurer is advising enterprise users to be gentle with their vendors. "You need to make to make sure that your service providers are successful," said Maurer. "Give them a chance to make a reasonable return on their investments, give them a chance to make some money."

Submission + - Two supermassive black holes about to embrace (earthsky.org)

Taco Cowboy writes: NASA's WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) satellite was looking at a distant galaxy, some 3.8 billion light-years away, and saw something rather unusual.

At first they thought that they saw a galaxy was forming new stars at a furious rate, but upon closer checking, they found that they were seeing two super-massive black holes spiraling closer and closer to each others.

The dance of these black hole duos starts out slowly, with the objects circling each other at a distance of about a few thousand light-years.

As the black holes continue to spiral in toward each other, they get closer, separated by just a few light-years.

Supermassive black holes at the cores of galaxies typically shoot out pencil-straight jets, but, in this case, the jet showed a zigzag pattern. According to the scientists, a second massive black hole could, in essence, be pushing its weight around to change the shape of the other black hole’s jet.

Visible-light spectral data from the Gemini South telescope in Chile showed similar signs of abnormalities, thought to be the result of one black hole causing disk material surrounding the other black hole to clump. Together, these and other signs point to what is probably a fairly close-knit set of circling black holes, though the scientists can’t say for sure how much distance separates them.

For merging black holes, please see http://www.nasa.gov/centers/jpl/news/pulsar20131106.html


Submission + - Why Competing for Tenure is Like Trying to Become a Drug Lord 1

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Scott Jaschik writes in Inside Higher Education that the academic job market is structured in many respects like a drug gang, with an expanding mass of outsiders and a shrinking core of insiders and with income distribution within gangs extremely skewed in favor of those at the top, while the rank-and-file street sellers earned even less than employees in legitimate low-skilled activities. According to Alexandre Afonso, academic systems rely at least to some extent on the existence of a supply of “outsiders” ready to forgo wages and employment security in exchange for the prospect of prestige, freedom and reasonably high salaries that tenured positions entail. "What you have is an increasing number of brilliant PhD graduates arriving every year into the market hoping to secure a permanent position as a professor and enjoying freedom and high salaries, a bit like the rank-and-file drug dealer hoping to become a drug lord," says Afonso. "To achieve that, they are ready to forgo the income and security that they could have in other areas of employment by accepting insecure working conditions in the hope of securing jobs that are not expanding at the same rate." The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported on adjunct lecturers who rely on food stamps to make ends meet. Afonso adds that he is not trying to discourage everyone from pursuing Ph.D.s but that prospective graduate students need to go in with a full awareness of the job market.

Submission + - New Dinosaur 'Siats Meekerorum' Discovered In Utah (ibtimes.com) 1

minty3 writes: Named Siats meekerorum, after the man-eating monster from the Ute tribal legend, the fossil belongs to a species of giant meat eaters known as carcharodontosaurs and is the second one discovered in North America.

“This thing is gigantic,” Lindsay Zanno, a paleontologist at North Carolina State University, who discovered the species, said. “There’s simply nothing even close in this ecosystem to the size of this animal that could’ve been interpreted as an apex predator.”

Comment good economic times = the boredom to create fears (Score 1) 926

Post the Great Depression, the USA has had a pretty good run as far as a high standard of living for its residents. That's true even with the numerous recessions that have occurred over the decades. Everybody in the middle class has two cars, color TV's and big houses. America is the land of plenty.

I think all this economic prosperity has given Americans the luxury to sit around and dream up things to be afraid of. The populace isn't concerned with thoughts of their next meal or hyperinflation. Instead they deal with their boredom by manufacturing fears. Some of these topics are legitimately worth being concerned about (though likely not to the degree we've obsessed over them as a nation). Others were simply paranoia:

1950's = Communists
1960's = hippies
1970's = industrial toxins in environment give us cancer
1980's = Communists again under Regan
1990's = crack epidemic / drug wars
2000's = terrorists

Submission + - Good Luck Finding A Data Scientist (wallstreetandtech.com)

CowboyRobot writes: If you are in the market for a data scientist, chances are the search will be long, difficult and costly. The term 'big data' is definitely overused, but there is no doubt that business and technology leaders are banking that big data will help provide analytics for a variety of needs in the very near future, including regulatory reporting, client targeting, trading strategies, portfolio management and more. "Finding big data talent is difficult, retaining it is nearly impossible," said Dr. Usama Fayyad, chairman of Oasis500, and former CDO at Yahoo! "And the role of data scientist is impossible to fill, especially outside of the US." Unfortunately, universities are not yet up to the task of producing large numbers of data scientists. Only a few schools have degrees that focus on the data sciences. For instance, Stanford offers online courses for data mining and statistics. The University of California at Berkeley offers a Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS), but the program is only starting up in January 2014. It will take most students about a year to complete the MIDS course, but keep in mind that many enrollees will likely have full-time jobs and will only take the courses part time, lengthening the time until they graduate.

Submission + - Mac OS 10.9 -- Infinity times your spam (fastmail.fm)

An anonymous reader writes: Email service FastMail.fm has an blog post about an interesting bug they're dealing with related to the new Mail.app in Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks. After finding a user who had 71 messages in his Junk Mail folder that were somehow responsible for over a million entries in the index file, they decided to investigate. 'This morning I checked again, there were nearly a million messages again, so I enabled telemetry on the account ... [Mail.app] copying all the email from the Junk Folder back into the Junk Folder again!. This is legal IMAP, so our server proceeds to create a new copy of each message in the folder. It then expunges the old copies of the messages, but it’s happening so often that the current UID on that folder is up to over 3 million. It was just over 2 million a few days ago when I first emailed the user to alert them to the situation, so it’s grown by another million since. The only way I can think this escaped QA was that they used a server which (like gmail) automatically suppresses duplicates for all their testing, because this is a massively bad problem.' The actual emails added up to about 2MB of actual disk usage, but the bug generated an additional 2GB of data on top of that.

Submission + - Syndicated columnist Richard Cohen: Edward Snowden is loyal to American Values (washingtonpost.com)

McGruber writes: Back in June, American syndicated columnist Richard Cohen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Cohen_%28columnist%29) wrote that he thought Edward Snowden was no real whistleblower. Instead, Cohen wrote that Snowden was “ridiculously cinematic”, “narcissistic” and will "go down as a cross-dressing Little Red Riding Hood." (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-cohen-nsa-is-doing-what-google-does/2013/06/10/fe969612-d1f7-11e2-8cbe-1bcbee06f8f8_story.html)

Now, Cohen writes (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-cohen-edward-snowden-is-no-traitor/2013/10/21/f9d2ae5a-3a74-11e3-a94f-b58017bfee6c_story.html)
that "my mouth is agape at the sheer size of these data-gathering programs — a cascade of news stories that leads me to conclude that this very column was known to the National Security Agency before it was known to my editors."

Cohen also acknowledges that he wrote “No one lied about the various programs” Snowden disclosed. But then we found out that James Clapper did. The director of national intelligence was asked at a Senate hearing in March if “the story that we have millions or hundreds of millions of dossiers on people is completely false” and he replied that it was. Actually, it was his answer that was “completely false.”

"As time has proved, my judgments were just plain wrong. Whatever Snowden is, he is curiously modest and has bent over backward to ensure that the information he has divulged has done as little damage as possible. As a “traitor,” he lacks the requisite intent and menace."

Cohen concludes: " He may have been technically disloyal to America but not, after some reflection, to American values."

Comment Re:$7M is a big data center? (Score 1) 92

It sounds more like "We're a government agency with funds to spend. What can we waste it on ?"

I think the money is likely to go into to some contractor's pocket who is friends with the politically connected. I can't see the value to society in any of their expenditures (other than as an example of what not to do).

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