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".
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".
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.
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.
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."
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
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.
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.’"
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.
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.
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.