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Submission + - Black Hole Mass Calculated with Highest Precision

William Robinson writes: Scientists have used the Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) of telescopes in Chile's Atacama Desert to calculate the mass of black hole, at the center of a galaxy called NGC 1332. It is estimated to be 660 million times the mass of our sun. Using ALMA, astronomers have been able to zoom in at the center to get a high-precision view of the swirling gases around the central supermassive black hole. Knowing the distance of the gas cloud from the black hole and using ALMA to clock its speed, a highly precise measurement of the black hole’s mass could be made. The black hole is 73 million light years away from Earth.

Comment Re:Give up the keys (Score 1) 125

Agreed. You hire the admin and hand over the keys. You are probably being asked to be more strategic and that should not include owning superuser. I would encourage a process which does not allow steady state administration using root/administrator. Those should be special cases (even when you owned the privileges). More restores are because a user made an administrative mistake in an over-privileged sessions than because of hardware errors.

Submission + - The Physics of Volcanic Lightning

StartsWithABang writes: As if a volcanic eruption wasn't destructive enough — complete with lava, ash clouds, soot and more — it's often accompanied by volcanic lightning, something seen in at least 150 separate, modern eruptions. But what causes this unique and beautiful phenomenon? We may not know everything about it, but here is what physics does know about what goes on.

Comment Re:Was Microsoft Riight? (Score 1) 716

"Making a good tablet" includes providing a platform and a market for apps, correct? So far, with only a single Honeycomb tablet on the market (with limited distribution), that part of the model has failed. Apple is unique in that they have a market following that is both immediate and sustaining. The rest of the vendors need to be part of a big wave, no one vendor has the legs to stand on their own. If (when?) everyone else finally pulls the trigger on getting their tablets out there, we may finally see a sustainable overall market open up. But if the rest of the Honeycomb vendors don't get off the dime soon, patience will clearly run out.
Image

Gubernatorial Candidate Wants to Sell Speeding Passes for $25 825

If Nevada gubernatorial candidate Eugene "Gino" DiSimone gets his way, $25 will buy you the right to drive up to 90mph for a day. DiSimone estimates his "free limit plan" will raise $1 billion a year for Nevada. From the article: "First, vehicles would have to pass a safety inspection. Then vehicle information would be loaded into a database, and motorists would purchase a transponder. After setting up an account, anyone in a hurry could dial in, and for $25 charged to a credit card, be free to speed for 24 hours."
Earth

Yellowstone Hot Spot Shreds Ancient Pacific Ocean 69

jamie passes along this excerpt from DiscoveryNews: "If you thought the geysers and overblown threat of a supervolcanic eruption in Yellowstone National Park were dramatic, you ain't seen nothing: deep beneath Earth's surface, the hot spot that feeds the park has torn an entire tectonic plate in half. The revelation comes from a new study (abstract) in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that peered into the mantle beneath the Pacific Northwest to see what happens when ancient ocean crust from the Pacific Ocean runs headlong into a churning plume of ultra-hot mantle material."

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