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Submission + - Light Sail propulsion could reach Sirius sooner than Alpha Centauri (arxiv.org)

RockDoctor writes: A recent proposition to launch probes to other star systems driven by lasers which remain in the Solar system has garnered considerable attention. But recently published work suggests that there are unexpected complexities to the system.

One would think that the closest star systems would be the easiest to reach. But unless you are content with a fly-by examination of the star system, with much reduced science returns, you will need to decelerate the probe at the far end, without any infrastructure to assist with the braking.

By combining both light-pressure braking and gravitational slingshots, a team of German, French and Chilean astronomers discover that the brightness of the destination star can significantly increase deceleration, and thus travel time (because higher flight velocities can be used. Sling-shotting around a companion star to lengthen deceleration times can help shed flight velocity to allow capture into a stable orbit.

The 4.37 light year distant binary stars Alpha Centauri A and B could be reached in 75 years from Earth. Covering the 0.24 light year distance to Proxima Centauri depends on arriving at the correct relative orientations of Alpha Centauri A and B in their mutual 80 year orbit for the sling shot to work. Without a companion star, Proxima Centauri can only absorb a final leg velocity of about 1280km/s, so that leg of the trip would take an additional 46 years.

Using the same performance characteristics for the light sail the corresponding duration for an approach to the Sirius system, almost twice as far away (8.58ly), is a mere 68.9 years, making it (and it's white dwarf companion) possibly a more attractive target.

Of course, none of this addresses the question of how to get any data from there to here. Or, indeed, how to manage a project that will last longer than a working lifetime. There are also issues of aiming — the motion of the Alpha Centauri system isn't well-enough known at the moment to achieve the precise manoeuvring needed without course corrections (and so, data transmission from there to here) en route.

Submission + - SPAM: New Moto Mods on the way

kiwix writes: Motorola is working with makers to bring new mods to the modular Moto Z family. After the Transform the smartphone challenge, they have selected a few mods that will receive funding and support, including an e-paper secondary screen and a solar charger.

My personal favorite is the slider keyboard, ideal for writing long emails, or hacking on the go. The projects are also looking for crowdfunding on Indigogo, so support them if you like those ideas!

Engadget reports:

In its continuing bid to stay relevant in a competitive market, Motorola is trying to build up a community of hardware designers for the Moto Z's modular add-ons. Yesterday, the company brought together several winners of regional hackathons to a pitch event in Chicago, hoping to find the best of these innovative, indie creations. The judging panel — which includes execs from Lenovo and Verizon — selected two teams for up to $1 million in investment funding from Lenovo Capital, as well as eventual distribution by Verizon.


Link to Original Source

Submission + - CRTC Ruling: carriers can't use zero-rating (www.cbc.ca)

thisisnotmyrealname writes: CBC Reports:
Internet service providers in Canada should not be able to exempt certain types of content, such as streaming music or video, from counting toward a person's data cap, according to a new ruling by the country's telecommunications regulator.

The move is a win for proponents of a principle known as net neutrality, under which carriers treat all content equally and do not privilege content that benefits them.

"Rather than offering its subscribers selected content at different data usage prices, Internet service providers should be offering more data at lower prices," said Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the CRTC in a statement. "That way, subscribers can choose for themselves what content they want to consume."

Submission + - SPAM: Buried lasers will sense Earth's spin and quakes doing the twist

sciencehabit writes: Under the corn and wheat fields of Fürstenfeldbruck, a village 20 kilometers from Munich, Germany, is a buried inverted pyramid of concrete, steel pipes, and lasers, as deep as a three-story building. Last month, lasers began coursing around the edges of this structure, called Rotational Motions for Seismology (ROMY). By keeping the structure stable and measuring tiny changes in the lasers’ wavelengths, researchers can use ROMY to measure the twists and turns of Earth itself. And by sensing the weak rotations that accompany earthquakes, ROMY could pave the way for portable sensors that could herald a new field of rotational seismology.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: Toyota is testing heavy-duty hydrogen trucks at the Port of Long Beach

randomErr writes: Toyota is powering an 80,000 lbs (36,288kg) Class-8 tractor-trailer combo using a development fuel cell drivetrain from two small Toyota Mirai sedans.Toyota's future-trucking idearesides at California's Port of Long Beach, where 18,630 shipping container units get processed per day. Two years ago, Toyota began secretly testing a hydrogen fuel cell system alternative to the conventional diesel powertrain for heavy Class-8 trucks. Called "Project Portal," this system is intended for drayage (short-haul movements), shuttling shipping containers between Los Angeles and Long Beach ports plus other freight depots.Though other companies have researched either electric or fuel cell heavy-duty trucking—Mercedes placed medium-duty trucks in controlled fleets this year in Europe, for example—none have pulled the fuel cell trigger in the US.

Submission + - FCC Takes First Step Toward Allowing More Broadcast TV Mergers (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In a divided vote today, the Federal Communications Commission took steps that could lead to more consolidation among TV broadcasters, reducing the number of sources of local news. Today’s changes revolve around the media ownership cap — a limit on how many households a TV or radio broadcaster is allowed to reach. The rules are meant to promote diversity of media ownership, giving consumers access to different content and viewpoints. The cap currently prevents a company from reaching no more than 39 percent of US households with broadcast TV. Large broadcasters hate the cap because it prevents them from getting even bigger. And since Trump took office and Ajit Pai was named chairman of the FCC, they’ve been lobbying to have it revised. The FCC’s vote today starts to do that. First, it reinstates a rule known as the “UHF discount,” which lets broadcasters have a bigger reach in areas where they use a certain type of technology. And second, it starts plans to revisit and raise the media ownership cap.

Submission + - South Indian Frog Oozes Molecule That Inexplicably Decimates Flu Viruses (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: From the slimy backs of a South Indian frog comes a new way to blast influenza viruses. A compound in the frog’s mucus—long known to have germ-killing properties—can latch onto flu virus particles and cause them to burst apart, researchers report in Immunity. The peptide is a potent and precise killer, able to demolish a whole class of flu viruses while leaving other viruses and cells unharmed. But scientists don’t know exactly how it pulls off the viral eviscerations. No other antiviral peptide of its ilk seems to work the same way. The study authors, led by researchers at Emory University, note that the peptide appears uniquely nontoxic—something that can’t be said of many other frog-based compounds. Thus, the peptide on its own holds promise of being a potential therapy someday. But simply figuring out how it works could move researchers closer to a vaccine or therapy that could take out all flus, ditching the need for yearly vaccinations for each season’s flavor of flu.

Submission + - Anbox: Android runs natively on Linux via LXC (anbox.io)

downwa writes: Canonical engineer Simon Fels has publicly released an Alpha version of Anbox. Similar to the method employed for Android apps on ChromeOS, Anbox runs an entire Android system (7.1.1 at present) in an LXC container. Developed over the last year and a half, the software promises to seamlessly bring performant Android apps to the Linux desktop.

After installing Anbox (based on Android 7.1.1) and starting Anbox Application Manager, ten apps are available: Calculator, Calendar, Clock, Contacts, Email, Files, Gallery, Music, Settings, and WebView. Apps run in separate resizeable windows. Additional apps (ARM-native binaries are excluded) can be installed via adb.

Installation currently is only supported on a few Linux distributions able to install snaps.

Contributions are welcome on Github.

Comment Re:What about if he donated to the wrong ideology? (Score 4, Insightful) 478

The two are not comparable *in that specific way*.

However, leading your life in your own manner within legal guidelines should be protected, regardless of how you feel personally about those actions.

Vote a certain way, get fired? Are you for real? You're wrong, and you know it.

Submission + - Second Opinion From Doctor Nets Different Diagnosis 88% Of Time, Study Finds (studyfinds.org) 3

schwit1 writes: When it comes to treating a serious illness, two brains are better than one. A new study finds that nearly 9 in 10 people who go for a second opinion after seeing a doctor are likely to leave with a refined or new diagnosis from what they were first told.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic examined 286 patient records of individuals who had decided to consult a second opinion, hoping to determine whether being referred to a second specialist impacted one's likelihood of receiving an accurate diagnosis.

The study, conducted using records of patients referred to the Mayo Clinic's General Internal Medicine Division over a two-year period, ultimately found that when consulting a second opinion, the physician only confirmed the original diagnosis 12 percent of the time.

Among those with updated diagnoses, 66% received a refined or redefined diagnosis, while 21% were diagnosed with something completely different than what their first physician concluded.

Submission + - Hong Kong Government Loses Laptops with all Voter's Data

fatp writes: Hong Kong Free Press reports that the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) has lost laptops with personal data of all 3.7 million voters after the Chief Executive election. The REO said "the personal data was encrypted and there was no evidence that it had been leaked." Only 1,194 people had right to vote in the election.

Submission + - Climate Change Is Altering Global Air Currents (independent.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: One of the scientists who demonstrated conclusively that global warming was an unnatural event with the famous “hockey stick” graph is now warning that giant jetstreams which circle the planet are being altered by climate change. Jetstreams are influenced by the difference in temperatures between the Arctic and the equator. But the Arctic has been warming much faster than tropical climates – the island of Svalbard, for example was 6.5 degrees celsius warmer last year compared to the average between 1961 and 1990. The land has also been warming faster than the sea. Both of those factors were changing the flow of these major air currents to create “extreme meanders” which were helping to cause “extreme weather events”, Professor Michael Mann said. In a paper in the journal Scientific Reports, Professor Mann and other researchers wrote that evidence of the effect of climate change on the jetstreams had “only recently emerged from the background noise of natural variability." They said that projections of the effect on the jetstreams in “state-of-the-art” climate models were “mirrored” in “multiple” actual temperature measurements. The jetstream normally flows reasonably consistently around the planet, but can develop loops extending north and south. The researchers, who studied temperature records going back to 1870 as well as satellite data, said these loops could grow “very large” or even “grind to a halt” rather than moving from west to east. The effect has been most pronounced during the past 40 years, they found.

Submission + - Intel Unveils Optane Memory For Desktop And Notebook PCs (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Intel took the wraps off its Optane Memory devices for client PCs today and the product looks just like current generation 80mm M.2 "gumstick" type solid state drives. However, Intel Optane Memory is based on the company's 3D Xpoint memory technology and is meant to be used as an accelerator for systems with relatively low-speed storage devices, like hard drives. Intel Optane Memory products and associated software are designed to cache the most frequently accessed bits of data on a compatible system, which can significantly increase performance and responsiveness of slower drives. The SSD can be paired to any standard hard drive or SATA drive for that matter, regardless of the capacity. The Optane memory is used as a high-speed repository of the most commonly accessed data blocks (not necessarily complete files). Usage patterns on the hard drive are monitored and the most frequently accessed bits of data are copied from the hard drive to the Optane drive. Because it's is used as a cache, it is not presented to the end-user as a separate volume. The first products in Intel's Optane Memory line-up will be M.2 type NVMe SSDs, with capacities of 16GB and 32GB. Note that Intel Optane Memory will work only on Windows 10 64-bit systems with Intel 7th Gen Kaby Lake-based processors and 200-series chipsets, or newer systems. 16GB and 32GB Intel Optane Memory modules will be available initially through retailers with MSRPs of $44 for the 16GB part and $77 for the 32GB model. There are already over 130 motherboards on the market and systems featuring the technology will be made available soon from all of the major players, including Dell, Lenovo, HP and others.

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