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Submission + - UI wants to make me vomit 3

Stonefish writes: The new Slashdot UI is so bad that I have removed the shortcut from my browser's toolbar. Thanks for the fish...... goodbye

Submission + - A Mysterious Flash From a Faraway Galaxy (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: It was a spark in the night. A flash of X-rays from a galaxy hovering nearly invisibly on the edge of infinity.

Astronomers say they do not know what caused it.

The orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, was in the midst of a 75-day survey of a patch of sky known as the Chandra Deep Field-South, when it recorded the burst from a formerly quiescent spot in the cosmos.

For a few brief hours on Oct 1, 2014, the X-rays were a thousand times brighter than all the light from its home galaxy, a dwarf unremarkable speck almost 11 billion light years from here, in the constellation Fornax. Then whatever had gone bump in the night was over and the X-rays died.

The event as observed does not fit any known phenomena, according to Franz Bauer, an astronomer at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, and lead author of a report to be published in Science.

The most likely explanation, Dr. Bauer said in the paper and in an interview, is that the X-rays are the afterglow from a gamma ray burst seen sideways. These are caused by the collapse of a massive star into a black hole or the collision of a pair of the dense stellar remnants called neutron stars, and squirt gamma rays but only in one direction. If Earth is out of the beam then all astronomers will see is an “orphan afterglow.”

Submission + - Exercise is good but it won't help you lose weight, say doctors (theguardian.com)

schwit1 writes: Being dangerously overweight is all down to bad diet rather than a lack of exercise, according to a trio of doctors who have reopened the debate about whether food, sedentary lifestyles or both are responsible for the obesity epidemic.

In an article for a leading health journal the authors – who include British cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, an outspoken critic of the food industry – accuse food and drink firms such as Coca-Cola of having wrongly emphasised how physical activity and sport can help prevent people becoming very overweight.

The truth, they say, is that while physical activity is useful in reducing the risk of developing heart disease, dementia and other conditions, it “does not promote weight loss”.

Submission + - New theory eliminates need for dark energy (ras.org.uk)

schwit1 writes: A new theory now shows that dark energy, the apparent acceleration of the universe’s expansion rate on large scales, does not need to exist in order to explain the data that astronomers have obtained.

In the new work, the researchers, led by Phd student Gábor Rácz of Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, question the existence of dark energy and suggest an alternative explanation. They argue that conventional models of cosmology (the study of the origin and evolution of the universe), rely on approximations that ignore its structure, and where matter is assumed to have a uniform density. “Einstein’s equations of general relativity that describe the expansion of the universe are so complex mathematically, that for a hundred years no solutions accounting for the effect of cosmic structures have been found. We know from very precise supernova observations that the universe is accelerating, but at the same time we rely on coarse approximations to Einstein’s equations which may introduce serious side-effects, such as the need for dark energy, in the models designed to fit the observational data.” explains Dr László Dobos, co-author of the paper, also at Eötvös Loránd University.

In practice, normal and dark matter appear to fill the universe with a foam-like structure, where galaxies are located on the thin walls between bubbles, and are grouped into superclusters. The insides of the bubbles are in contrast almost empty of both kinds of matter. Using a computer simulation to model the effect of gravity on the distribution of millions of particles of dark matter, the scientists reconstructed the evolution of the universe, including the early clumping of matter, and the formation of large scale structure.

Unlike conventional simulations with a smoothly expanding universe, taking the structure into account led to a model where different regions of the cosmos expand at different rate. The average expansion rate though is consistent with present observations, which suggest an overall acceleration.

In other words, the uneven structure of the universe has never been considered in previous models, and once included in the equations the need for dark energy disappears.

Comment Pointless for TVs, great for monitors. (Score 5, Interesting) 179

I've had one curved TV, and it was very nice when my head was in the sweet spot at the center of curvature, but anywhere else, meh. Monitors are another thing: I've got one of the 34" Samsung monitors, whose curvature is set for a good reading distance, and it's an awesome experience. I now find extended periods with flat monitors to be awful.

Comment Re: 35? (Score 1) 376

I'm north of 60 too. Very well paid. I still get in the hacking zone frequently. I work on cool new stuff all the time. Learning has been lifelong. Took a couple of turns as a manager and didn't like it. I keep getting asked to be a manager, I mostly say no. Age discrimination is very real, but in talking with friends it's clearly worse in management. I'm totally happy with having stuck with what I love.

Comment Call me a heretic, but... (Score 1) 209

I've been involved in 5 of these ERP conversion efforts. The ones that failed used big expensive commercial products and giant teams of consultants. Hugely expensive. Kinda limping along. Both of the successes were outfits that decided to just build what they needed inhouse, skipping consultants and giant ERP packages.

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