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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 72 declined, 25 accepted (97 total, 25.77% accepted)

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Submission + - Groundbreaking Paper on arXiv derives Gravity from Holographic Principle (

vikingpower writes: Dutch prodigy and Amsterdam University Professor Erik Verlinde published a paper on arXiv, yesterday November 7, titled "Emergent Gravity and the Dark Universe". In the paper, Verlinde derives gravity from the so-called Holographic Principle, which — simply put — states that gravity emerges from the interplay between and entropy re-arrangement of sub-atomic "strings" that live in a negatively curved space-time. At that level, "...spacetime and gravity are emergent from an underlying microscopic description in which they have no a priori meaning" . Most importantly, Verlinde's paper has as a consequence that Dark Matter, nemesis of many an astronomer, is nothing more than an illusion. Verlinde, who was awarded the Dutch national Spinoza science prize in the recent past, already completed the tour de force of deriving Newtonian gravity from the same principles in a 2010 paper, also on arXiv. We are probably looking at Nobel-prize material here, as Verlinde is acknowledged by his peers to "go one better than Einstein's General Theory of Relativity".

Submission + - NASA demonstrates HiRyRS-X: a Game-Changing Camera (

vikingpower writes: When a rocket takes off, one sees an inferno of glowing gases streaming out of the engines: a source of unimaginably bright light, for looking at which you need at least sunglasses. No camera is adapted for a detailed recording of how the gases exactly behave. Until now. NASA developed the so-called High Dynamic Range Stereo-X-camera (HiDyRS-X), to better than ever before image what happens in and around a rocket engine during launch. And the result is a spectacular video feed. The HiDyRS-X project began as part of NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate’s Early Career Initiative (ECI), designed to give young engineers the opportunity to lead projects and develop hardware alongside leading innovators in industry. Howard Conyers, a structural dynamist at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, was awarded an ECI grant in 2015. And he developed HiDyRS-X as part of NASA's Game Changing Development program, set up to investigate technologies "that have the potential to revolutionize future space missions".

Submission + - ESA's ExoMars successfuly lifts off from Baikonur (

vikingpower writes: The European Space Agency's second mission to Mars, Exomars, was successfully launched from the Baikonur launch pad today. Exomars will search for traces of life, either past or present, on the Red Planet, and is the precursor to a more full-fledged mission to Mars in 2018, comprising a rover. It consists of an orbiter and of Schiaparelli, a lander built by European industry and scheduled to land in October this year. Both missions are cooperations between ESA and RosKosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency. If one of them met their ultimate goal: proving there is or was life on Mars, the excitement here on Earth would be unimaginable.

Submission + - Email inventor Ray Tomlinson dies at 74 (

vikingpower writes: ARPAnet pioneer and networking legend Ray Tomlinson, who is best known for his contributions in developing email standards, has died, as reported by TechRepublic..
Tomlinson is supposed to have told a colleague, shortly after showing him his invention: "Don't tell anyone! This isn't what we're supposed to be working on.", according to Sasha Cavender quoting Tomlinson in a Forbes article titled "Legends". May Ray rest in peace in /dev/null.

Submission + - NASA, NOAA Analyses Reveal Record-Shattering Global Warm Temperatures in 2015 2

vikingpower writes: Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much.

The British Met office also reports on the same phenomenon, even forecasting that global temperatures are very soon going to reach the one-degree-celsius marker.

According to Stephen Belcher, Director of the Met Office Hadley Centre, ""We've had similar natural events in the past, yet this is the first time we're set to reach the 1 C marker and it's clear that it is human influence driving our modern climate into uncharted territory."

Submission + - Untangling the Tale of Ada Lovelace (

vikingpower writes: Ada Lovelace was born 200 years ago this month. To some she is a great hero in the history of computing; to others an overestimated minor figure. [Stephen Wolfram has] been curious for a long time what the real story is. And in preparation for her bicentennial, [Stephen Wolfram] decided to try to solve what for [him] has always been the “mystery of Ada.”Stephen Wolfram is at it again. This time, on Medium he publishes his personal investigation of Ada Lovelace's life, her correspondence with Babbage and the fate of both the Difference and the Analytical Engines. His rendition is larded with what some may perceive as self-aggrandizing remarks, but still worthwhile to read. One may disagree with his mention of the ADA programming language as ill-fated. One may simply not like Stephen Wolfram. But he has not a bad hand at writing.

Submission + - Poll Idea

vikingpower writes: Title: This Poll is Superfluous and Might as well be Abolished
1) Agree, nobody knows what this poll is about
2) Don't agree, through this poll we can indirectly choose another poll
3) This poll may be somewhat invisible, but deals with Important Stuff
4) It is your Democratic Duty to vote for this Poll

Submission + - How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again ( 1

vikingpower writes: For us developers, 2015 got kick-started, mentally, by a Linus Torvald rant about parallel computing being a bunch of crock. Although Linus' rants are deservedly famous for the political incorrectness and ( often ) for their insight, it may be that Linus has overseen Gustafson's Law, which states that parallelization becomes more efficient with larger problem sizes viz. with larger data sets. Back in 2012, the High Scalability blog already ran a post pointing towards new ways to think about parallel computing, especially the ideas of David Ungar, who thinks in the direction of lock-less computing of intermediary, possibly faulty results that are updated often. At the end of this year, we may be thinking differently about parallel server-side computing than we do today.

Submission + - Aeron - or: How to Take Distributed Logging to Extreme Perfs (

vikingpower writes: After having been a contributor to the LMAX Disruptor, an extremely fast RingBuffer pattern, Martin Thompson is at it again,together with two other guys from the London High-Performance Computing scene. This time with an open-source library named Aeron, after a Celtic god. Aeron does message-passing over ( mostly ) UDP, that is: on level 4 of the OSI stack, and does it extremely well. Aeron is written in pure Java 8, and exploits that version's newly introduced lambda expressions. The ideas at the core of Aeron and of the somewhat older Disruptor pattern hail from Mechanical Sympathy, a way of designing and coding aiming to exploit the multiple caches of modern processors as much as possible. Mechanical Sympathy on Google Groups shows, by the questions and comments alone, what extreme perfs can be reached on COTS hardware, in pure Java.

Disclaimer: the author of this submission is in no way a direct stakeholder in Aeron or LMAX, just an interested user.

Submission + - West Antarctica Ice Shelf Collapse has Begun, Irreversible and Unstoppable Now (

vikingpower writes: Two new papers, of which one in Geophysical Research Letters and the other in Science come with rather conclusive evidence that the retreat of all West Antarctica glaciers is going faster than thought until now. The Guardian has an article on it. Eric Rignot, one of the NASA researchers who participated to the paper in Geophysical Research Letters, is quoted: "‘A large sector of the western Antarctic ice sheet has gone into a state of irreversible retreat. It has passed the point of no return. This retreat will have major consequences for sea level rise worldwide.’". Ian Joughin, principal author of the Science paper, is rather pessimistic about what is happening here: "‘The thinning we are seeing is not just some temporary trend. It is really the beginning of a larger scale collapse that is likely to play out over a two to 10-century range.’"

A very graphical and short simulation film on youtube, titled "Runaway Glaciers in West Antartica", explains what is going on.

The investigated glaciers play a major role in pinning the much larger and much thicker West Antarctic ice shelf down to where it is now. If this ice shelf melts, we'll be in deeper trouble. For this to happen, the already-cited Joughin put the most likely timeframe at between 200 and 500 years, according to the Guardian.

Submission + - Dutch Railways set to facilitate suicide, Re-use of Old Locomotives (

vikingpower writes: The Dutch Railways ( NS ), national & state railway provider of a country already (ill-)famed for its liberal-mindedness, have come up with an audacious plan to facilitate suicide. The initiative, under the moniker "Terminal:Rail", will be signposted on all major stations, where a track #13 will be reserved for the new initiative. Railway spokesman Duisenbuik was quoted as saying: "Terminal:Rail will re-commission older locomotives, as those are heavier and sport more sharp-angled parts, which comes in handy under such circumstances".

Submission + - Suicide Bomb Trainer in Iraq Accidentally Blows Up His Class ( 4

vikingpower writes: If there were such a thing, it would probably be rule No. 1 in the teaching manual for instructors of aspiring suicide bombers: Don’t give lessons with live explosives.

In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said.

Al Qaeda had already disavowedd the group, although it is not known whether this was due "lack of terrorist professionality".

Submission + - Heat Waves in Australia are Getting More Frequent - and Hotter (

vikingpower writes: In a landmark report on bushfires and climate change, the Australian Climate Council concludes that heat waves in Australia, as driven by climate change, are becoming more frequent — and that they get hotter. "It is crucial that communities, emergency services, health services and other authorities prepare for the increasing severity and frequency of extreme fire conditions.", says the Council in the report. Sarah Perkins, one of the report's co-authors, was interviewed by The Guardian Australia. "“While we can’t blame climate change for any one event, we can certainly see its fingerprint. This is another link in the chain.” Perkins said her latest work had analysed heatwave trends up to 2013. She said the trend “just gets worse – it’s a bit scary really”." Already back in 2009, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization signaled that a Southeast Australian heatwave was the hottest in 100 years.

Submission + - Increasing Number of Books Banned in the USA (

vikingpower writes: Isabel Allende's The House of The Spirits. Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man.

What do all these titles have in common with each other ? Exactly, they are banned somewhere, on some school, in the USA. . Yes, in 2013. A project named The Kids' Right to Read ( by the National Coalition Against Censorship ) investigated three times the average number of incidents, adding to an overall rise in cases for the entire year, according to KRRP coordinator Acacia O'Connor. To date, KRRP has confronted 49 incidents in 29 states this year, a 53% increase in activity from 2012. During the second half of 2013, the project battled 31 new incidents, compared to only 14 in the same period last year.

"It has been a sprint since the beginning of the school year," O'Connor said. "We would settle one issue and wake up the next morning to find out another book was on the chopping block."

The NCAC also offers a Book Censorship Toolkit on its website. If such a toolkit is needed at all, does this indicate that intellectual freedom and free speech are ( slowly ) eroding in the USA ?

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