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Submission + - Astronomers Observe Supermassive Blackhole Ejected by Gravitational Waves (nasa.gov)

An anonymous reader writes: From NASA:
"Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves.

Though there have been several other suspected, similarly booted black holes elsewhere, none has been confirmed so far. Astronomers think this object, detected by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, is a very strong case. Weighing more than 1 billion suns, the rogue black hole is the most massive black hole ever detected to have been kicked out of its central home.
Researchers estimate that it took the equivalent energy of 100 million supernovas exploding simultaneously to jettison the black hole. The most plausible explanation for this propulsive energy is that the monster object was given a kick by gravitational waves unleashed by the merger of two hefty black holes at the center of the host galaxy."
The findings of the study will be published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics on March 30th.

Submission + - SPAM: Modified Gravity vies with Planet9 to explain Solar system structure- and fails.

RockDoctor writes: One of the serious contenders to the majority opinion Matter/ Dark Matter/ Dark Energy hypothesis for explaining the structure of the universe is the "MOdified Newtonian Dynamics" or MOND hypothesis in which the gravity field strength decreases not according to a 1/(radius^2) factor, but according to some other function of (radius), which would then explain the movements ("Dynamics") of galaxy-scale structures — the original evidence for postulating the existence of Dark Matter. This hypothesis dates back to 1983 — before the observations that prompt the Dark Energy hypothesis — and has been championed mainly (but not only) by physicist Mordehai Milgrom. While it is definitely not "mainstream" physics, it is certainly a respectable hypothesis.

One way to look for MOND effects is to look closely at the outer Solar system, where distances are larger than can be examined on Earth, but things are close enough for small effects to be measurable from Earth. And in a new paper published on Arxiv, people have done just that. The known "Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects" ("ETNO"s — closest separation from Sol outside Neptune's orbit ; furthest separation 150 ~ 1500 AU) are closely clustered in direction — the evidence that Batygin, Brown, Sheppard and Trujillo have used in the last five years as evidence for a ninth planet in the Solar system. (No, Pluto is not a planet. Unless you want it to be about 10th or 11th in a 100+ planetary system.) It was possible that the MOND hypothesis might explain the orientation of the ETNOs, so the idea has been examined in detail (paper) — and found it less than 1% likely to explain the observations.

MOND remains an attractive type of hypothesis to explain the observational evidence of the universe's structure without postulating major changes in our understanding of physics. But again, it has failed at the test of new data types. Which still leaves physics with no viable alternative to the Matter / Dark Matter/ Dark Energy hypothesis.

Link to Original Source

Comment NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! (Score 1) 264

That's actually a feature I tend to use quite often, especially when researching something - when I finally find the page that (best) tells me what I want to know, I can get rid of all the others that led me there. What exactly is the horrible horrible overhead that the maintainers have to put up with to keep these features in the main branch?

Meanwhile, another thing that drives me crazy is that Chrome will close a window with 19 active tabs without a single complaint. At least Firefox will ASK if you want to close a window with multiple tabs. But in Chrome, a single brainfart/mouso will cost you bigly.

Submission + - Critical Cisco Flaw Found Buried in Vault 7 Documents

Trailrunner7 writes: Hundreds of models of Cisco switches are vulnerable to a remote-code execution bug in the company’s IOS software that can be exploited with a simple Telnet command. The vulnerability was uncovered by company researchers in the CIA hacking tool dump known as Vault 7.

The bug is a critical one and an attacker who is able to exploit it would be able to get complete control of a target device. The flaw lies in the Cluster Management Protocol (CMP) that’s used in IOS, and Cisco said it’s caused by the incorrect processing of CMP-specific Telnet options, as well as accepting and processing these commands from any Telnet connection.

“An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending malformed CMP-specific Telnet options while establishing a Telnet session with an affected Cisco device configured to accept Telnet connections. An exploit could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code and obtain full control of the device or cause a reload of the affected device,” the Cisco advisory says.

Submission + - SPAM: Camada: mafia charges stayed after using Stingray

Pig Hogger writes: Canadian prosecutors have decided to stay charges against 36 mafiosi, after defence laywers challenged evidence obtained through the use of Stingray devices. (Stingray are highly secretive and controversial devices mimic a legitimate cell phone tower in order to intercept communications from nearby cell phones).
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Call For Engineers To Act On Climate Change (phys.org)

dryriver writes: Phys.org reports: "Discussion around limiting climate change primarily focuses on whether the best results can be gained by individuals changing how they act, or governments introducing new legislation. Now though, University of Leeds academics Dr Rob Lawlor and Dr Helen Morley from the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre suggest engineering professionals could also play a pivotal role, and could provide a co-ordinated response helping to mitigate climate change. Writing in the journal Science and Engineering Ethics, they say engineering professional institutions could take a stand in tackling climate change by developing a declaration imposing restrictions and requirements on members. "A strong and coordinated action by the engineering profession could itself make a significant difference in how we respond to climate change," they said. Quoting 2014 research by Richard Heede from the Climate Accountability Institute, they say nearly two-thirds of historic carbon dioxide and methane emissions could be attributed to crude oil and natural gas producers, coal extractors, and cement producers. These are industries typically enabled by the engineering profession. They argue that the profession could take a more active role and have a positive impact in reducing the level of damaging emissions by proposing environmental restrictions or encouraging engineers to think how the resources and processes they use could be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Submission + - The Rocket Science Of Designing Future Jet Engines (bbc.com)

dryriver writes: The BBC has a very insightful article detailing the current and future challenges of designing efficient jet engines. An excerpt: "Jet engine design will face changes in the future. One new potential science, which several companies and research institutions are currently studying, is called the Rotating Detonation Engine. Essentially, this works by creating a series of small detonations and using the supersonic wave that a detonation generates to keep combustion going continuously. Theoretically, if the system works, it would require significantly less fuel to get the engine moving and keep it moving. And even with less fuel the engine would also theoretically produce significantly more energy. “The trick of the engine is containing [the detonation], making it stable, and having it operate at conditions you want,” says Dean. “Will it operate well, will it be durable, can it have low emissions, and what fuel can I burn with such an engine? We’re in the middle of the science phase.”"

Submission + - Zen and the Art of CPU Design (pcper.com)

JoshMST writes: This in-depth editorial covers the history of the major AMD releases over the past 20+ years and comparing them to what Zen is expected to encounter when it is released this week. It goes from pre-K5 processors, how AMD got into the CPU world, and the releases that not only matched Intel's products but also exceeded them at times.

Submission + - Can you bounce a water balloon off of a bed of nails?

Geoffrey.landis writes: Strangely, "can you bounce a water balloon off of a bed of nails?" had, up until now, not been on my list of important questions to keep me up at night thinking about. But students at Roskilde University in Denmark looked at exactly that question, and the somewhat more important question of exactly how the bounce is different, and how it is a model for bounding a droplet off of a nanostructured hydrophobic surface.
Their work is published in the European Journal of Physics
Alternate link: "can you bounce a water balloon off of a bed of nails?"

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