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Comments

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Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

mbone WTF? (232 comments)

I don't think he understands how security works.

yesterday
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Snowden Queries Putin On Live TV Regarding Russian Internet Surveillance

mbone Ask Vlad Anything (388 comments)

When did Slashdot become infested with NSA apologists?

Putin does this show annually. I am sure that the callers are vetted, but the questions tend to be wide-ranging, and don't really seem scripted to me. (I liked the one about buying Alaska back.) After all, it's a 4 hour show.

Now, as for Snowden, I see this as positive. State security is not talked about that much in Russia, and he brought it up. While Putin said pretty much what Obama might have said in 2010 (in other words, it's fair to doubt whether he was being truthful), it gets it out in the open, and all in all I think that is a good thing.

2 days ago
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Snowden Queries Putin On Live TV Regarding Russian Internet Surveillance

mbone Re:Old proverb (388 comments)

The man this is supposed to be from is denying it, and also denying he ever claimed the title it gives him. See this, from Kiev Jewish.

2 days ago
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Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space

mbone Re:Iapetus (51 comments)

Yeah, me too. It could be ambiguous, but you kinda have to work at it.

3 days ago
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Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space

mbone Re:Simple answer? (51 comments)

Saturn's ring material falling onto the Iapetus. This "mountain range" is technically an equatorial ridge, but as anyone who's seen an hour glass it's not hard to imagine (-- disclaimer) the same thing is happening on the moon of a planet with it's own ring system.

No. In that theory, the satellites interior to Iapetus, i.e., Mimas, Enceladas,Tethys, Dione, Rhea and (maybe) Titan would all have similar equatorial ridges, which they do not.

3 days ago
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Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space

mbone Re:medium.com (51 comments)

Just read the original paper.

(Yes, I know it was one of the links in the OP, but...)

3 days ago
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Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space

mbone Like 1999 KW4 (51 comments)

You mean, like the asteroid 1999 KW4 ? I'd say that the source of the Iapetus ridge has been pretty obvious since the Science papers on that body.

3 days ago
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Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

mbone Annex? (312 comments)

Russia has no plans to annex the Moon. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty makes this legally impossible, and common sense shows that it could never (or, at least, not for a good long while) be enforced.

5 days ago
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How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

mbone Re:Does digital subscriptions count? (240 comments)

I don't think it's stupid, per se, to spend money on aps. I just don't like reading things on a tiny screen, using a tiny keyboard, or paying additional money for something you can almost always get better on a full fledged web browser.

about a week ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

mbone Does Michael Bloomberg know how to code? (578 comments)

Does Michael Bloomberg know how to code? In fact, does he actually know how to do anything, or does he have people for that?

about a week ago
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P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe

mbone Re:Say what? (199 comments)

The basic equations for fluid dynamics are the Navier-Stokes equation.

So, I fully grok your argument, but I am wondering about one thing.

Is the Navier-Stokes equation REALLY the basic equation for fluid dynamics? .

No, of course not, there is a lower level of particle interactions. You can't really usefully compute them either.

about two weeks ago
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How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

mbone Re:Their poor offspring (392 comments)

This is true of any parent who has ever emigrated anywhere (i.e., basically everyone's ancestors).

SInce the same is also true of any parent who didn't emigrate but stayed put (everyone else's ancestors), I myself don't see this as a real moral Dilemma

about two weeks ago
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How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

mbone Re:So. Let us imagine. (392 comments)

I am a man. I am a volunteer to go on such a mission, as part of the first generation. I will necessarily have to breed, in order to do my part for overall mission success. Does this mean I may have to fuck a woman I find ugly, dumb, boring, vulgar or otherwise unattractive ?

General "Buck" Turgidson: Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn't that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?

Dr. Strangelove: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious... service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.

about two weeks ago
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How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

mbone Re:People need to start with the scale (392 comments)

Didn't know inertia came into play in the empty vacuum of space.

No need to be a cock about it.

Yes, it does. The presence or absence of a vacuum has nothing to do with inertia.

about two weeks ago
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How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

mbone Re:How many Earthworms? (392 comments)

I think terraforming is different, or at least terraforming of something close by. If we terraform Venus (say) and it needs more nematodes, well, Earth is not far away. If you are 30 light years away and your ecosystem crashes, you better have a plan B that doesn't involve getting stuff from Earth.

about two weeks ago
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How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

mbone How many Earthworms? (392 comments)

To me, the question is not really how many people, but how many earthworms, and in general plants, bugs, birds, animals, etc.? At present, we really have no idea what is needed, nor in how much variation within each species, but I suspect the real answer will always be "more that we think."

about two weeks ago
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P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe

mbone Re:NP vs. P doesn't exist in the real Universe (199 comments)

Well, if the universe can do it then a simulation must exists that can do it, it's just a question of efficiency.

Not true for chaotic systems, which are incredibly common in nature. The coffee and cream in your cup can be simulated, but not computed, and the situation is much, much, worse for (say) a Hurricane, or the Great Red Spot, or a Galaxy.

I do agree with you about the limitations of predictive models...

about two weeks ago
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P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe

mbone Re:NP vs. P doesn't exist in the real Universe (199 comments)

And that is basically my response to the AI proponents who say "a computer can calculate anything a brain can think."

about two weeks ago
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P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe

mbone Say what? (199 comments)

I have not had time to read the article, but the summary is either incoherent or wrong.

Here is an analog to illustrate why :

The basic equations for fluid dynamics are the Navier-Stokes equation. But the new idea is that this requires an additional assumption — that an efficient algorithm exists to solve the equation for complex macroscopic systems. But is this true?

In the case of the Navier-Stokes equation, almost certainly not. In fact, it is generally not even clear if solutions even exist, or if they are non-singular.

If this is right, then complex fluid motions cannot exist, which explains why we do not (and cannot) observe them in the real world. Voila!"

So, I guess we can cancel this years hurricane season.

In other words, there are many things in nature that are computationally hard, and yet happen any way. Using computational hardness as a reason why a physical theory cannot be right does not, to put it mildly, agree with past experience.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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A Lunar Space Elevator in our (near) Future?

mbone mbone writes  |  about a month and a half ago

mbone (558574) writes "After the IAA sponsored a study on the terrestrial space elevator which concluded that it should be possible to build one, in 30 years or so, if that pesky unobtanium for the tether material can be actually invented in that time, now is the time for some press on the Lunar Space Elevator, which has the advantage that existing tether materials (such as Zylon) are strong enough to support it.

A Lunar Space Elevator would be the biggest structure ever made in much the same way as the Great Wall of China is bigger than a kiddie sandbox. The current prototype design (scaled for a deployment in a single SLS launch) would involve 270,000+ km of tether material, stretching from Sinus Medii, past the Lagrange point, deep into cis-lunar space. With all of that string, the prototype payload mass is only 128 kg, but you have to start somewhere, and it could be (and, if it works, would be) built up over time.

The goal is to open the Moon up to mining. Let the games begin!"

Link to Original Source
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Server Sky - internet and computation in orbit

mbone mbone writes  |  about 10 months ago

mbone (558574) writes "Even if SpaceX and other companies can drastically lower the cost of going to orbit, what are we going to do once we get there? Since the 1970's, NASA has been searching for commercial applications for space, such as making crystals or medicines in zero-gravity, but, except for communications and navigation, space as yet barely figures into commerce, largely because it is expensive to send materials there, and expensive to send finished products back. Now there is Server Sky, which is trying to build on the realization that information is the cheapest product to send to and from space, and that "traditional data centers consume almost 3% of US electrical power, and this fraction is growing rapidly. Server arrays in orbit can grow to virtually unlimited computation power, communicate with the whole world, pay for themselves with electricity savings, and greatly reduce pollution and resource usage in the biosphere." What do slashdotters (who tend to be interested in computation) think? Is there money to be made in putting the cloud above the clouds?"
Link to Original Source
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Violation of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

mbone mbone writes  |  about a year and a half ago

mbone (558574) writes "A very interesting paper has just hit the streets (or, at least, Physics Review Letters) about the Heisenberg uncertainty relationship as it was originally formulated about measurements. They find that they can exceed the uncertainty limit in measurements (although the uncertainty limit in quantum states is still followed, so the foundations of quantum mechanics still appear to be sound.) This is really an attack on quantum entanglement (the correlations imposed between two related particles), and so may have immediate applications in cracking quantum cryptography systems. It may also be easier to read quantum communications without being detected than people originally thought."
Link to Original Source
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US Government loses confidence in ICANN

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The "no cost" contract between the US Department of Commerce and ICANN over hosting the Internet Assigned Names and Number Authority (IANA) was supposed to be re-let this March. Now, it has been withdrawn, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) says that "we are cancelling this RFP because we received no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community." This is a pretty stunning vote of no confidence in ICANN by the US Government, on the eve of the 43rd ICANN meeting in Costa Rica. Speculation is that this is related to the attempts of the ITU-T to take over Internet governance, but it also could be over the new Global top level domains. I am sure we will be hearing a lot more about this in the weeks to come."
Link to Original Source
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Why did the Government cancel the IANA RFP?

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Friday afternoon (a classic time to bury bad news), the Department of Commerce put out a laconic cancelation of the zero dollar RFP for IANA, the Internet Assigned Names and Numbers Authority : AMENDMENT 0003 — Request for Proposal (RFP) SA1301-12-RP-IANA is hereby cancelled. The Department of Commerce intends to reissue the RFP at a future date, date to be determined (TBD). This contract may be for zero dollars, but it is a crucial one for the Internet, as it ties IANA, and thus ICANN, the global root for DNS, and such matters as the new global top level domains, to the US Government. Anyone have any idea what is up?"
Link to Original Source
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That's it for IPv4 - it had a good run

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The last regular Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) address assignment, a /8, has been handed out, by IANA to APNIC, which will trigger the final distribution of IPv4 space to all of the Registries. So, February 1, 2011, marks the end of business as usual for IPv4. The future holds (hopefully) the wholesale adoption of IPv6 and (probably) a market in IPv4 address space."
Link to Original Source
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Wikileaks looses its DNS

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The DNS provider for wikileaks.org, EveryDNS, has booted it off and the site is no longer reachable by name. EveryDNS say on their main web site EveryDNS.net provided domain name system (DNS) services to the wikileaks.org domain name until 10PM EST, December 2, 2010, when such services were terminated. As with other users of the EveryDNS.net network, this service was provided for free. The termination of services was effected pursuant to, and in accordance with, the EveryDNS.net Acceptable Use Policy. I guess that being DOSed is not part of the AUP. http://www.wikileaks.info/ has a list of mirror sites, some of which no longer work, due to wikileak's loss of Amazon.com EC2 hosting."
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Domain Seizures no Hoax

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Despite some suspicion, including on slashdot, the seizure of the file linking site rapgodfathers.com and various torrent sites are apparently real, as Eric Holder is having a press conference and has issued a press release touting the seizure of sites "engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted works."

Among other things, this shows that the DOJ is using both Google Analytics and Piwik Open Source Web Analytics, as there is analytic javascript for both in the index.html on the banned sites. And, based on look at the jpeg used, at least some of the ICE use Macs, as the take-down jpeg was prepared with Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Macintosh on 2010:11:18 09:37:21"

Link to Original Source
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Customs and TSA Raid RapGodFathers Hosting Site

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The Torrentfreak site is reporting that DHS and ICE (i.e., Customs) agents arrived at a Dallas datacenter Tuesday with orders to take down the 146,500 member RapGodFathers site (RGF). Equipment was seized, and they report that their domain name is being blocked and is likely to be taken as well. The RGF admins say that the site has no content itself, just links to other sites, and that they always respect DMCA takedown notices. RGF reports on their twitter account (@rapgodfather) that they are looking for "for more offshore hosting to support RapGodFathers."

If the facts are as reported, there are a number of troubling issues about this, not the least of which is why US Customs troubles itself with link-sharing sites in Dallas, far from any US borders."

Link to Original Source
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Robots in space

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The crew for this Wednesday's Space Shuttle launch includes a robot bound for the ISS — Robonaut 2, or R2, "the first dexterous humanoid robot in space." For now, it will be deployed on a fixed pedestal inside the station, but the plans include giving it mobility (not that hard in micro-gravity) and taking it outside to help with space walks. Now, the New York Times has an article about "Project M," sending a humanoid robot to the Moon — which at least has its own NASA promotional video.

Is our form really the best there is for space exploration ? Should our robotic explorers look like us, or like the Mars Rovers ?"

Link to Original Source
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Hands on Airport Searches

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "As it happens I was talking to a TSA person socially today and they brought up their new "aggressive" policy for pat down searches. Now I see it has made the Boston Herald. It will be done for any secondary screening, or if you opt out of the X-ray machines.

They are supposed to feel under a woman's breast and under a man's genitals, and also to feel the separation in a woman's genitals, and likewise into one's bottom. They are apparently not very happy about having to do this, but have been trained on the new technique and will be given performance review demerits if they don't perform properly. (Maybe the TSA will send ringers through security to evaluate performance, I didn't think to ask.)

I have to wonder if it is to convince people to go through the backscatter X-rays now that it is becoming widely known that you can opt out of that. I have a feeling that this will cause a major push-back from the traveling public."

Link to Original Source
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20 meter tsunami in New York after asteroid hit

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "According to an article in LiveScience, an 200 meter diameter asteroid impact in the Atlantic 2300 years ago may have caused a 20 m (60ft) high tsunami to hit what's now NYC. They have found 30 cm of disturbed sediments in the NYC area with shocked minerals, which is generally regarded as conclusive evidence for a meteor impact. They go on to speculate that 'One possible reason why Indian tribes only moved into the area relatively recently is that the people who were once there were all wiped out'. Of course, it would not be a pretty picture if this were repeated in the same area today."
Link to Original Source
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In Court ? Be careful what you post on Facebook.

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Going to Court ? Seeking damages for injuries ? Be careful what you post on Facebook (and, presumably, elsewhere). ! In the first case of its kind (analyzed in the Courtroom strategy blog, a Suffolk County NY Judge allowed a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit to obtain access to the Facebook profile of the plaintiff suing them, saying "Plaintiff has no legitimate reasonable expectation of privacy." You have been warned. I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice, but I would expect this to become common."
Link to Original Source
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Facebook has issues, goes down for some users

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Apparently Facebook is having issues, and is intermittently and maybe regionally down. The Wall Street Journal DIgits blogs says that they are having “an issue with a third-party network provider." but it may be more than that. From Northern Virginia, it is possible to pingFacebook servers, but the server throws a "500 Internal Server Error" if you try and conect via http."
Link to Original Source
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Google is testing Airborne Camera Drones

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "According to the German language site WirtschaftsWoche (an English version is available from the IBTimes) Google has purchased a German "Microdrone" for evaluation. These devices can take off, fly a mission and land automatically using GPS, and can carry night vision cameras or even "see through walls" Far IR cameras. Of course, the maker of these drone assures us that they cannot be a "Big Brother der Lufte" because that is "verboten."

Is it just me, or is Google entering into dangerous airspace here ? It seems like the ruckus from a backyard-after-dark addition to Street View could make the legal tussles Google has already encountered with the driving vans seem minor by comparison."

Link to Original Source
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NIAC is Back !

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Do you have an idea on how to do space travel right ? Think it could pass peer review ? Well, the NIAC (NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program) is back ! In a two day "Industry Forum," the new NASA Chief Technologist, Bobby Braun, described an ambitious new program of NASA initiatives to encourage new thinking and new ideas, including funding for "Game Changing Technologies, and the new NIAC. These new initiatives are explicitly modeled on DARPA, and are an attempt to "push the reset button" on an increasingly hide-bound bureaucracy. I attended the forum, and the reaction from non-NASA participants I talked to was overwhelmingly positive. They also announced 3 new Centennial Challenges. The Centennial Challenges are an X-Prize like program with a total of $ 5 million in new awards, for a successful nanosatellite launch system, an solar-powered electric vehicle capable of night-time operations, and a sample-return robot capable of autonomously retrieving geological samples.

In many ways, NIAC is the most interesting of the new initiatives, as it is specifically intended to deal with blue-sky, just this side of science fiction ideas with a 10+ year development horizon. Selected ideas will get $ 100K for the first year, and can ramp up after that (up to and including flights into space). Space elevators, nuclear propulsion, truly autonomous robots, even things like the search for alien life in the deep biosphere, could be funded if they seem interesting and pass review. (The previous NIAC provided the first serious funding for the space elevator, for example.) Jay Falker, the Program Manager, made it clear that they were not looking for just proposals from established names and big companies, but would welcome participation from all (although only US citizens or companies can get funding). So, there you go slashdotters ! If you have an idea, the technical savvy to back it up, and can wait for the announcement of opportunity (thought to be around October 1), then you have a chance at getting NASA funding to back it up."

Link to Original Source
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Hayabusa returns particles from asteroid

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Slashdot readers may remember the long odyssey of the Japanese Hayabusa spacecraft — and the recent Slashdot article entitled "No Samples On Japan's Hayabusa Asteroid Probe."

Well, the BBC now has a story, "Hayabusa capsule particles may be from asteroid." Apparently JAXA (the Japanese Space Agency) has opened the sample container returned to Earth by Hayabusa, and has released "images of tiny dust particles inside the container."

You will note that I titled this story carefully — Hayabusa has now returned particles from the asteroid. Whether they are asteroid particles or pieces of dust brought all the way from Earth remains to be seen, but they were certainly returned from the asteroid — a remarkable technical feat. This announcement, I think, gives considerable hope that these particles are from the near-Earth asteroid, Itokawa, as the Japanese have been very careful in trying to avoid contamination. Even a tiny speck of dust would be very revealing about the asteroid's constitution and possibly its history as well. Kudos to JAXA for a job well done."

Link to Original Source
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Federal Authorities Shut Down 7 Movie Sharing Webs

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "There is an article in NJ Today on a announcement by the United States Attorney and Homeland Security about the seizure of the domain names of seven sites: TVSHACK.NET, MOVIES-LINKS.TV, FILESPUMP.COM, NOW-MOVIES.COM, PLANETMOVIEZ.COM, THEPIRATECITY.ORG, and ZML.COM, for violations of federal criminal copyright infringement laws. The announcement said that these high volume web sites offered copies of movies such as “The Karate Kid,” “Toy Story 3 and “Sex and The City 2.” ZML.COM, is a “cyberlocker,” the latest target for the MPAA's ire.

Search warrants were also executed on the servers involved with these sites.

So, was this an out and out criminal enterprise, or a bunch of hobbyists ? Or something in between ? I bet the slashdot audience knows."

Link to Original Source
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Jupiter is missing a belt

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Jupiter just went through Superior Conjunction (i.e., went behind the Sun as seen from the Earth), so it has been out of view for a while. Now that has returned, it is different — the South Equatorial Belt (SEB) is missing. The SEB has about 10 times the surface area of the Earth, so this is not a small change. Here are a series of photos of Jupiter's new look. The Jupiter Red Spot typically inhabits the southern border of the SEB, but it doesn't seem to be affected by the change. It's a pity that this happened at Superior Conjunction, and that there is no satellite in Jupiter orbit, so details of the change are largely missing.

The SEB has previously gone missing in 1973 and 1990. Since no one really knows what makes the Jovian belts, no one knows why they disappear either. If the belts are really just material from deeper layers coming to the surface, it is possible that the convection has stopped for some reason, or that high altitude clouds have covered it over."

Link to Original Source
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How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Music

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Ever wonder how Jimi Hendrix would cover Lady Gaga? Whether you do or not, you may be about to find out. Eliot Van Buskirk describes North Carolina's Zenph Sound Innovations, which takes existing recordings of musicians (deceased, for now) and models their "musical personalities," to create new recordings, apparently to critical acclaim.

The company has raised $10.7-million Intersouth Partners to pursue their business plan, and hopes to branch out into, among other things, software that would let musicians jam with virtual versions of famous musicians.

This work unites music with the very similar trend going on in the movies — Tron 2.0, for example, will clone the young Jeff Bridges. If this goes on, will the major labels and studios actually need musicians and actors ? In 100 years, will no one make money playing guitar, because, after all, who could compete with Hendrix and Clapton and Jeff Beck ?"

Link to Original Source

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