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The Andromeda Galaxy Just Had a Bright Gamma Ray Event 129

First time accepted submitter SpaceMika (867804) writes "We just saw something bright in the Andromeda Galaxy, and we don't know what it was. A Gamma Ray Burst or an Ultraluminous X-Ray Object, either way it will be the closest of its type we've ever observed at just over 2 million light years away. It's the perfect distance: close enough to observe in unprecedented detail, and far enough to not kill us all."

Comment Re:Endorse James Webb. Do NOT even mention Sptizer (Score 1) 107

It was determined that a single anthrax spore that took to the wind in DC traveled to Baltimore and killed an elederly woman during the attack by that nut-job using weaponized anthrax from one of our defense labs. The stuff is absolutely, stunningly deadly.

And, this, my fellow nerds, is why we are at war with science in this country.

Yes, it is to prevent the next anthrax attack. Because what else could we possibly do to combat terrorist attacks by our very own scientists? Nothing, I say. It is war, or we just surrender. You wouldn't want to surrender, would you? Why, then we'd be no better than the damned French!

Me? I'm going to DARPA to get some funding so we can win this war! The first thing I need is a telescope -- to show the people just how wrong these "astronomers" really are...

Comment Re:Trains? (Score 1) 301

So, essentially we have not only a human operator issue, we have a human/systemic maintenance issue, too? I gotta wonder how that will play out with driver-less cars. "Sorry, I won't start because your tires are bald." Or will we here something along the lines of "I'm sorry, Dave. The brakes have just failed" while driving on the highway. Some of the beaters I see on the road would not qualify as safe. What is this going to do, in the long term, to the ability of poor people to get from point A to point B in a car that only a poor person would be desperate enough to drive?

My bet is that more automation will solve the problem at the expense of the poor by refusing to go anywhere if critical safety equipment is damaged or inoperable.

Comment Trains? (Score 1) 301

Why are there still drivers on trains? (See the latest "L" crash at O'Hare airport in Chicago for examples of "human error".) If a computer can navigate a highway with human drivers, surely it can navigate a very simple rail system like the one operated by the CTA. Why are there humans controlling speed and braking on these things?

Comment Re:Is wormhole a prediction or a writers dream? (Score 4, Funny) 293

Is there any real evidence that a wormhole would actually pass anything to a remote location, or is that just a writers fantasy? Usually travel does not include being disassembled to your constituent parts midway. OK. Call me a doubter!

Evidence? Umm... there is no evidence that wormholes exist at all. But, by definition, if they exist, they would move matter/energy from one point in the universe to another. Otherwise the phenomenon being observed is not a wormhole. The matter that makes up your body is universally fungible as energy. The universe does not care which form you take.

Comment Re:Death throes .. (Score 1) 43

Current blackberry products would surprise you. Android support is basically 100%, minus anything proprietary from google. The features offered on them are similar to what you'd expect from a decent smartphone.

I use current BB products, issued by my company. And they do surprise me. As in "why the hell is my company spending good money on junk like this?!?" Similar to a decent smartphone? Hardly. The ones with real keyboards are glorified feature phones. And those of use that want a decent smartphone will buy one from a decent smartphone vendor.

Comment Re:Only because of children? (Score 1) 35

No, insurance is a problem for any US-based organization. Because we sue.

Exactly. And it is not generally the people or their children that we allow into our makerspaces that we have to be worried about. It is their insurance company that pays for any medical services needed that we worry about.

Comment Re:Dead on Arrival for Geeks (Score 1) 333

I develop amateur radio hardware (shameless plug: http://www.mobilinkd.com/) and iOS devices are so locked down that my products do not work with them. Apple will not permit SPP/RFCOMM Bluetooth connections. All of my customers that use iOS also have an Android device. Many of them will stick with Android devices once they experience the features they have over Apple.

iPads may be experiencing a market decline, but tablets in general are not. Both my wife and I spend a lot of time on our tablets these days. They just happen to be Google Nexus 10s.

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