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Submission + - Hubble reveals Andromeda's stars, from bulge to disk to halo and beyond

StartsWithABang writes: If you want to know what types of stars are found all throughout a galaxy, looking at our own simply won’t do: too much of it is obscured by the plane and our position within it. But there’s an even more impressive galaxy – Andromeda – just 2.5 million light years away. And thanks to the power of the Hubble Space Telescope, we’ve not only resolved individual stars within it, we’ve resolved over a hundred million of them. But when we look towards the center versus at the outskirts of the disk, or even into the halo, we find something very, very different: older, redder, fainter and less-evolved stars. Even more spectacularly: beyond them, a rich slew of distant galaxies, visible out to distances exceeding a billion light years.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Living on the command line? (

LichtSpektren writes: Last month, Bryan Lunduke of Network World began a public experiment where he tried to live 30 days without using, i.e. using the command line exclusively. He ended up surrendering on day 10 because "attempting to use sites such as Google+, LinkedIn or Facebook—directly from terminal-based web browsers—is a truly painful experience. It can be made to work. Really. It can. But it’s just no fun at all." The series will probably come across as amusingly posh to people that spend most of their day in the terminal, but it is interesting note that Lunduke ends by saying that after the experiment, he now chooses to manage his music, notes, and instant messaging at the command line "because, I swear, it’s just such a nice experience."

I was just curious what things Slashdotters still do on the command line that's now commonplace to do with a GUI, such as watching YouTube videos. Skip the usual ones like vim/emacs, IRC, and just about anything a sysadmin does, since those are still widely done from the terminal and too obvious to mention. Is there anybody that uses Lynx for all web browsing, including this article? Are there any professional video/image/audio producers that do most of their work at the command line? Last year, Microsoft's April Fools' joke was MS-DOS for smartphones; is there anybody that seriously uses a terminal emulator to handle their text messages and calls?

Submission + - NSIS 3.0 Final Released (

An anonymous reader writes: Ever since v2.46 came out in 2009, the development on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS), a scripting language to create Windows installers, seemed to be dormant. Several new versions in the 2.x branch came out throughout the year, paving the way to NSIS 3.0 final, which was released today!

Submission + - Law Enforcement And IT Security Companies Join Forces To Fight Ransomware (

Orome1 writes: Today, the Dutch National Police, Europol, Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab launched the No More Ransom initiative, a new step in the cooperation between law enforcement and the private sector to fight ransomware together. Ransomware is a top threat for EU law enforcement: almost two-thirds of EU Member States are conducting investigations into this form of malware attack. The aim of No More Ransom to provides users with tools that may help them recover their data once it has been locked by criminals. In its initial stage, the portal contains four decryption tools for different types of malware, the latest developed in June 2016 for the Shade variant.

Submission + - A baby planet created one of the moon's largest impact basins (

Eloking writes: Scientists have known for a long time that the Imbrium Basin, one of the largest impact craters on the moon, was the result of an asteroid colliding with our planet's natural satellite. Thanks to a new study led by Brown University professor Pete Schultz, we now know that that asteroid could have been so big, it could be classified as a protoplanet. Previously, computer models estimated the extraterrestrial rock to be around 50 miles in diameter. But according to the results of Schultz's experiments, it's actually around 150 miles across, or (as Space puts it) about the length of New Jersey.

Submission + - "Indian Point' — Documentary On Problem-Plagued Nuclear Plants Is Out (

mdsolar writes: "Indian Point” is a film about the long problem-plagued Indian Point nuclear power plants that are “so, so risky — so close to New York City,” notes its director and producer Ivy Meeropol. “Times Square is 35 miles away.”

The plants constitute a disaster waiting to happen, threatening especially the lives of the 22 million people who live within 50 miles from them. “There is no way to evacuate—what I’ve learned about an evacuation plan is that there is none,” says Meeropol. The plants are “on two earthquake fault lines,” she notes. “And there is a natural gas pipeline right there that an earthquake could rupture.”

Meanwhile, both plants, located in Buchanan, New York along the Hudson River, are now essentially running without licenses. The federal government’s 40-year operating license for Indian Point 2 expired in 2013 and Indian Point 3’s license expired last year. Their owner, Entergy, is seeking to have them run for another 20 years—although nuclear plants were never seen as running for more than 40 years because of radioactivity embrittling metal parts and otherwise causing safety problems. (Indian Point 1 was opened in 1962 and closed in 1974, its emergency core cooling system deemed impossible to fix.)

Submission + - Nvidia GTX 1080: export-controlled munition

Petronius Arbiter writes: My employer's export control lawyer says that the Nvidia GTX 1080 is a controlled munition. The rules say that computers faster than 8TFLOPS are munitions, and the 1080 is 9TFLOPS.

Allowing the wrong people, e.g., Iranians, access to a munition can lead to serious trouble. Presumably this includes the vendors on Amazon and Amazon UK.

The list of controlled "sensitive" technologies is surprisingly broad.

E.g., Xiaoxing Xi , the chairman of the physics dept at Temple U, was arrested last year for sending completely innocent tech, that an ignorant person thought was controlled, to China.

My employer also says that Amazon's EC2 is export controlled, but that's another story.

Submission + - LUX makes most precise dark matter run of all-time, detects nothing

StartsWithABang writes: If you want to find dark matter directly, your best hope is to gather a tremendous number of nucleons for it to interact with, wait an incredibly long period of time, and devise a device surrounding it capable of detecting even a single potential collision while distinguishing it from any background signals. That was the exact idea behind LUX, the Large Underground Xenon detector. After a 20 month run with more than a third of a ton of liquid Xenon inside, the LUX collaboration has released their final results. Not only did they achieve four times the sensitivity they anticipated, but they didn’t detect a single event. This eliminates most models of WIMP dark matter, including from scenarios like supersymmetry and extra dimensions.

Submission + - Resolving IP address ranges conflicts in a corporate merger

SwingMonkey writes: Hoping the Slashdot audience may be able to offer some insight on this topic.

Caveat: I'm not a Network Engineer per se, but have spent some time playing in the networking space.

Currently I'm involved in a corporate merger. Both entities use extensive private IP address spaces internally, in the A, B and C class ranges, and the consolidated IP Routing table on each side runs into the thousands (expressed as a list of CIDRs) including inherited/aggregated collections of networks i.e. a /8 is further broken into a set of /16 which might be further divided into /23's or /24's. Inevitably there are entire network ranges that are in use on both sides, or overlap to some degree.

I've encountered this before, but never to this degree. Previously it has generally been a mostly manual effort to resolve the conflicts, but the size of the data sets in this case are somewhat daunting.

I've been looking for a data analysis tool, or visualization approach that would simply reviewing the data set, and develop a model of the conflicted spaces, but haven't been able to find much — hence turning to this forum (in desperation ;)


Submission + - Passionage about Science? Apply for the Passion in Science Awards (

writes: What does it mean to have passion in science?

For Alia Qatarneh, it's creating catchy hip-hop tracks to teach complex biology concepts to high school students. For Lori Baker, it's using forensic analysis to identify and return the remains of undocumented immigrants along the US-Mexico border to help bring closure to respective families.

Alia and Lori are scientists that are using their skills beyond the lab bench to positively change the community around them. As a result, they received the "Passion in Science Awards" held by New England BIolabs (NEB), which recognizes the "unsung heroes" within the scientific community working to solve many of today's challenges.

NEB is now calling for entries for their 2016 "Passion in Science Awards". Scientists are encouraged to nominate themselves or a colleague for one of four award categories:

-Scientific Mentorship and Advocacy
-Humanitarian Duty
-Environmental Stewardship
-Arts and Creativity

Awardees will receive a $1,000 travel grant to a scientific conference or a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice. The awardees will be invited to travel to NEB's campus (at the company's expense), to participate in an awards dinner, roundtable discussions, and seminars with fellow scientists and keynote speakers who share similar passions.

Applications may be submitted at The deadline for applications is July 31, 2016. Winners will be announced August 22-24 and notified via email.

Submission + - World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016 Released (

mdsolar writes: The year 2016, marking the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe and the 5th year since the Fukushima disaster started unfolding, strangely might go down in history as the period when the notion of risk of nuclear power plants turned into the perception of nuclear power plants at risk. Indeed, an increasing number of reactors is threatened by premature closure due to the unfavorable economic environment. Increasing operating and backfitting costs of aging power plants, decreasing bulk market prices and aggressive competitors.
The development started out in the U.S., when in May 2013 Kewaunee was shut down although its operator, Dominion, had upgraded the plant and in February 2011 had obtained an operating license renewal valid until 2033. Two reactors at San Onofre followed, when replacement steam generators turned out faulty. Then Vermont Yankee shut down at the end of 2014. Early shutdown decisions have also hit Pilgrim and Fitzpatrick, likely to close before the end of 2017 and 2019. Utility Exelon, largest nuclear operator in the U.S., has announced June 2, 2016 that it was retiring its Clinton (1065 MW) and Quad Cities (2 x 940 MW) nuclear facilities in 2017 as they have been losing money for several years.
Only days later, PG&E in California announced that they would close the two Diablo Canyon units by 2025, replacing the capacity by energy efficiency and renewables, making the sixth largest economy in the world (having overtaken France in 2016) nuclear-free. Still in the same month of June 2016, the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Board voted unanimously to shut down the Fort Calhoun reactor by the end of the year—in the words on one board member, “simply an economic decision”. Nuclear Energy Institute President Marv Fertel stated in May 2016 that “if things don’t change, we have somewhere between 10 and 20 plants at risk”.

Submission + - A Debate Over the Physics of Time (

An anonymous reader writes: Einstein once described his friend Michele Besso as “the best sounding board in Europe” for scientific ideas. They attended university together in Zurich; later they were colleagues at the patent office in Bern. When Besso died in the spring of 1955, Einstein — knowing that his own time was also running out — wrote a now-famous letter to Besso’s family. “Now he has departed this strange world a little ahead of me,” Einstein wrote of his friend’s passing. “That signifies nothing. For us believing physicists, the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

Einstein’s statement was not merely an attempt at consolation. Many physicists argue that Einstein’s position is implied by the two pillars of modern physics: Einstein’s masterpiece, the general theory of relativity, and the Standard Model of particle physics. The laws that underlie these theories are time-symmetric — that is, the physics they describe is the same, regardless of whether the variable called “time” increases or decreases. Moreover, they say nothing at all about the point we call “now” — a special moment (or so it appears) for us, but seemingly undefined when we talk about the universe at large. The resulting timeless cosmos is sometimes called a “block universe” — a static block of space-time in which any flow of time, or passage through it, must presumably be a mental construct or other illusion.

Submission + - Windows 10 on air-gapped networks?

roger_that writes: We have been looking at the Windows 10 upgrade for our networks, and have not found any information about what happens to Windows 10's attempts to "phone home", when the computer is not attached to the Internet. Do files build up on the hard drive, like the WER (Windows Error Reporting) files of Windows Server 2003/2008? Does the error reporting continuously grab CPU cycles, attempting to send reports that can never go anywhere? Is there anything I need to be aware of/change before I move to Win10? We will be turning off as much of the "phoning home" software as we can (think Cortana), but what happens with the stuff we can't turn off?

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Time is an illusion perpetrated by the manufacturers of space.