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Submission + - Supermassive black hole rocketing out of distant galaxy at 5 million mph

The Bad Astronomer writes: Astronomers have found a supermassive black hole barreling out of its home galaxy at 5 million mph. The 3 billion solar mass behemoth formed from the merger of two slightly smaller black holes after two galaxies collided and themselves merged. The resulting blast of gravitational waves is thought to have been asymmetric, causing a rocket effect which launched the resulting black hole away. It's currently 40,000 light years from the galaxy's core.

Comment Re:Doesn't surprise me (Score 1) 59

That's why I think that a fair amount of money that Kim Dotcom's Megaupload made was legit.

>99% of those people who wanted free stuff wouldn't have paid him. And they might even be running ad blockers. In contrast I can imagine employees of organizations signing up for paid accounts to transfer large files to customers. I used it to transfer large (legit) files. Didn't go for the paid account- the downloaders could wait - wasn't a business thing. If I needed it for business I might have expensed it.

Submission + - ESA wants to take out the trash. The space trash.

The Bad Astronomer writes: The European Space Agency is considering a test mission that will use new technology to help clean up the ever-increasing problem of space debris. The spacecraft, called e.Deorbit, will identify, approach, grapple with, and then dispose of errant space junk by deorbiting it, letting it burn up in Earth's atmosphere. Testing could begin as soon as 2023.

Comment Re:yet more poor design. (Score 1) 113

From a security standpoint you shouldn't be using antivirus software for real-time scanning. These issues have been known for years and keep occurring (
). Antivirus vendors have been screwing up too often - false positives (blacklisting OS files etc), being exploitable (like this), being unstable, using too much resources.

Real time AV scanning should only be used by people who are incompetent enough to screw up their own systems (or let malware do it) more often than a AV company would. If you know what you are doing you wouldn't be using real-time AV scanning. You'd only scan certain stuff using sacrificial machines and more as a precaution and additional layer of defence.

Comment Yawn (Score 1) 74

So when are we going to get this:

I mean it's not like I've been waiting or asking for it for years:

Shared key WPA2 means that anyone who knows the shared key can decrypt other people's traffic if they managed to sniff the 4-way handshake messages:

It's true using WiFi means you still have to trust the entity providing it, but that's the same with a wired network or using an ISP.

To those who say "use VPNs" I'd say:
1) Defense in depth
2) that's a different layer - just because you can workaround a broken layer doesn't mean the broken layer isn't broken. The fact is the layer already has encryption but it has a broken implementation which can be improved.

Comment Even simpler (Score 4, Insightful) 451

Hahaha. It's even simpler than that. Everyone seems to be making the assumption that the cars will be such driving geniuses. That's not going to happen for quite a long while.

0) We all know that stopping in the middle of the highway is dangerous, BUT the way the laws are written in most countries, it's practically always your fault if you drive into the rear of another vehicle especially if it didn't swerve into your path and merely braked suddenly, or worse was stationary for some time.

1) Thus for legal and liability reasons the robot cars will be strictly obeying all convincing posted speed limits (even if they are stupidly slow by some mistake, or by some prankster), and will stick to speeds where they would be able to brake in time to avoid collisions or at least fatal collisions. Whichever is slower.

2) In most danger situations the robot cars will brake and try to come to a stop ASAP all while turning on its hazard lights. Which shouldn't be too difficult at those said speeds.

3) If people die because of tailgating it's the tailgater's fault. Same if the driver behind doesn't stop.

4) There are hardware/software failures then it's some vendors fault.

5) If braking won't avoid the problem even at "tortoise speeds", in most cases fancy moves wouldn't either. In the fringe cases where fancy moves would have helped but braking wouldn't AND it would be the robot car's fault if it braked, the insurance companies would be more than willing to take those bets.

The odds of the car being designed to do fancier moves to save lives are practically zero. If I was designing the car I wouldn't do it - imagine if the car got confused and did some fancy moves to "avoid collision" and killed some little kids. In contrast if it got confused and came to stop ASAP if any little kids are killed it would more likely be someone else's fault.

If you are a human driver/cyclist/motorcyclist you better not tailgate such cars.

Look at the Google car accident history, most of the accidents were due to other drivers. Perhaps I'm wrong but my guess is it's because of "tailgating". Those drivers might still believe the AI car was doing it wrong but the law wouldn't be on their side.

Comment Re:Mobile Responsive Page = Fine (Score 1) 278

Actually what those webpages would want is your location, and they don't need GPS for that.

Have you ever seen a browser prompt asking you for permission to share your location? If you allow it, the browser will figure it out (often with the help of Google if it's Firefox/Chrome) and then send the location to the page.

In many populated areas all is needed is WiFi to get 50m accuracy of your location. If there's no WiFi, a guess will be made, sometimes the guess isn't far off, sometimes it is.

Check out an implementation here:
(allow the share location request if you are brave and willing to test it out). For best results use a laptop with WiFi enabled.

From internal testing, WiFi location can be quite accurate AND more importantly it often can work where GPS doesn't - e.g. inside a mall. Google presumably populates and updates their DB with the help of android phones (that have stuck to the default of "high accuracy") and their streetview vehicles.

Microsoft probably is doing a similar thing but they don't have quite as many phones out there.

Comment Re:Intelligence is genetic and heritable, news at (Score 1) 125

Intelligence is definitely genetic and heritable, but many of those genes might not solely be for raw intelligence.

After all to do OK in many education systems (e.g. complete the course) you often have to be able to sit down for hours without causing problems for yourself or to others around you. And you often have to be able to handle authority well even if that authority is wrong ;). You might also have to be able to handle "traditional teaching" methods - e.g. learn from someone who drones on for most of an hour or more. And last but not least you might need to be able to delay gratification.

I'm pretty sure many of you know people who completed schooling and yet would do worse than a crow in solving some puzzles:

What I find interesting is a crow has a brain the size of a walnut and seems more intelligent that animals with much larger brains. Brains cost a fair bit more to keep around than just fat, so why do many animals have much bigger brains despite being stupider and not having longer lifespans? Redundancy?

Comment Re:Nice, but... (Score 1) 54

Huh but that Fairphone also has a fused display right? What's the difference between that and the LG's fused display stuff?

Fairphone 2:

The LCD and cover glass are fused, simplifying removal, but significantly increasing the cost of replacement.


The fused display assembly will need to be replaced if the LCD or glass breaks, increasing costs.

So either the Fairphone should be downgraded to a 9/10 or the LG should be upgraded to a 9/10.

Submission + - Jupiter takes another one for the team: Video of comet/asteroid impact

The Bad Astronomer writes: Two amateur astronomers 2000 km apart confirm that on March 17, 2016, a comet or asteroid impacted Jupiter. The flash of light lasted for about one second, and marked the demise of a chunk of interplanetary debris likely a few tens of meters across. This is the sixth confirmed time such an impact on Jupiter has been seen (counting the fragmented comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 as one event).

Submission + - Astronomers find half the missing mass of the Universe

The Bad Astronomer writes: Astronomers made a cosmic twofer. Fast Radio Bursts are mysterious, rapid blasts of radio energy seen randomly on the sky. A quick response allowed astronomers to determine the location and distance to one seen in 2015: An elliptical galaxy six billion light years away, meaning these are huge explosions possibly related to gamma-ray bursts. The observations also revealed material between Earth and this galaxy, identifying half the "missing" baryons predicted by standard models of cosmology.

Submission + - Small asteroid burns up over Atlantic Ocean

The Bad Astronomer writes: On Feb. 6, an asteroid roughly 6 meters across burned up over the Atlantic Ocean, exploding like a 10 kiloton bomb. Although this was the largest event since the Chelyabinsk superbolide in 2013 (which injured 1000+ people), there were no witnesses. It happened 1000 km off the coast of Brazil, and was reported by the military, though it's unclear how they detected it.

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