The Science & Technology Thread

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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby PanteraCanes » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:46 am

Corsair wrote:Image


But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.


(I know its late, but my middle school english teacher had us memorize and recite the entire soliloquy and not just that snippet, along with other similar soliloquies and excerpts from famous works so it is sadly stuck in my head)
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:34 am

Anyone planning to use the latest Firefox browser? If so, please report what you think of it here.

Firefox Quantum challenges Chrome in browser speed
A beta version lets you test whether Mozilla's newly named web browser, replete with changes built over more than a year, is a match for Google.

The speed boost and new features coming to the next version of Firefox are dramatic enough that Mozilla has given it a brand-new name: Firefox Quantum.

The idea, of course, is that the upcoming version 57 is a quantum leap over predecessors -- or, in the words of Mozilla CEO Chris Beard, a "big bang." Company executives acknowledged they let Firefox languish, but now Mozilla is fighting back against the dominance of Google Chrome.

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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby deltbucs » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:48 am

Buc2 wrote:Anyone planning to use the latest Firefox browser? If so, please report what you think of it here.

Firefox Quantum challenges Chrome in browser speed
A beta version lets you test whether Mozilla's newly named web browser, replete with changes built over more than a year, is a match for Google.

The speed boost and new features coming to the next version of Firefox are dramatic enough that Mozilla has given it a brand-new name: Firefox Quantum.

The idea, of course, is that the upcoming version 57 is a quantum leap over predecessors -- or, in the words of Mozilla CEO Chris Beard, a "big bang." Company executives acknowledged they let Firefox languish, but now Mozilla is fighting back against the dominance of Google Chrome.

More...

Interesting. I actually finally quit using Firefox completely a couple years ago because it kept leaking memory.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:58 pm

A discussion about the future of AI?

CAMERON: One of the scientists we just met with recently, she said: "I used to be really, really optimistic, but now I'm just scared." Her position on it is probably that we can't control this. It has more to do with human nature. Putin recently said that the nation that perfects AI will dominate or conquer the world. So that pretty much sets the stage for "We wouldn't have done it, but now those guys are doing it, so now we have to do it and beat them to the punch." So now everybody's got the justification to essentially weaponize AI. I think you can draw your own conclusions from that.


Nope! A discussion with James Cameron & Tim Miller about taking the Terminator franchise back and bringing it into the 21st Century.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/featur ... ry-1043027

MILLER: When it happens, I don't think AI's agenda will be to kill us. That seems like a goal that's beneath whatever enlightened being that they're going to become because they can evolve in a day what we've done in millions of years. And I don't think that they have the built-in deficits that we have, because we're still dealing with the same kind of urges that made us climb down from the trees and kill everybody else. I choose to believe that they'll be better than us.

CAMERON: At the very least, they will reflect our best and worst nature because we make them and we program them. But it's going to take a lot of money. So who's got the money to do it and the will to do it? It could be business, so the Googles and the other big tech companies. And if you're doing it for business, you're doing it to improve your market share or whatever your business goals are. So you're essentially taking a machine smarter than a human and teaching it greed. Or it's for defense, in which case you're taking a machine smarter than a human and teaching it to kill. Neither one of those has a good outcome in my mind.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:47 pm

Long article, so I'm not going to post it all here. You can click on the link if you'd like to read all of it.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/everythi ... 27321.html

Everything SpaceX revealed about its updated plan to reach Mars by 2022

At the 2017 International Astronautical Congress in Australia, SpaceX founder Elon Musk laid out some exciting changes to his vision for helping make humans an interplanetary species, with a presence on Mars and potentially beyond.

"The future is vastly more exciting and interesting if we're a space-faring species than if we're not," Musk said as he took the stage. "It's about believing in the future and thinking the future will be better than the past."

This plan will obviously be very expensive, and Musk led with that since it was a considerable criticism of what wasn't addressed in his last talk at IAC last year. Musk said that he believes SpaceX has figured out how to pay for it now, and much of his talk was given over to what SpaceX intends to do to achieve cost efficiencies, and potentially open up new revenue streams to fund Mars missions.

One big part of the plan is to essentially render all current SpaceX vehicles redundant by focusing in the so-called BFR rocket. This will be scaled down from its initial huge concept design, and will instead be one booster and ship that replaces Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon, with capabilities both in terms of servicing the International Space Station and SpaceX's current Earth orbital satellite customers, as well as reaching Mars and helping establish a moon base.

Musk also detailed progress on some of the more concrete aspects of the plan it showed off last year.It showed a stress test of its large cryo fuel tank, which you can see above. The explosion came only after the tank endured beyond the limits of SpaceX's anticipated field conditions.

SpaceX also showed off the company's rocket engine tests, noting that the longest continuous burn test for the so-called Raptor engine is 100 seconds, but that 40 seconds will be typical for Mars landing requirements.

Regarding the propulsive landing required for landing on Mars, Musk noted that SpaceX has been perfecting that with Falcon 9 - "That's what they've been doing across 16 successful landings in a row," he said.. "And that's really without any redundancy. The Falcon 9 lands on a single engine, he added and when you have high reliability with single engine, then you can land with either of two engines (which the BFR will have), and you probably can achieve landing reliability on par with most commercial airlines.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:53 pm

It looks like a new Space Race is well underway. Things are going to get very interesting over the next few years.

Lockheed Martin unveils Mars space station and surface lander
The company claims its spacecraft will venture to the Red Planet in the next decade.

Image

Elon Musk wasn't the only one dishing new details on a mission to Mars at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia. Lockheed Martin, which too plans to send humans to the Red Planet in the next decade, also dropped a bunch of new info about its ambitious project. The defense and aerospace company is currently building the command module for NASA's Orion spacecraft. The vessel will eventually make the trip to Mars carrying four astronauts, but it won't be alone. The shuttle will be attached to Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp (MBC) orbiting mission. And, on Thursday, the company laid out the design of the larger spacecraft, designated to carry crew, supplies, and scientific equipment. Along with a sleek Mars lander concept capable of carrying astronauts to the planet's surface from orbit.

Elon Musk wasn't the only one dishing new details on a mission to Mars at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia. Lockheed Martin, which too plans to send humans to the Red Planet in the next decade, also dropped a bunch of new info about its ambitious project. The defense and aerospace company is currently building the command module for NASA's Orion spacecraft. The vessel will eventually make the trip to Mars carrying four astronauts, but it won't be alone. The shuttle will be attached to Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp (MBC) orbiting mission. And, on Thursday, the company laid out the design of the larger spacecraft, designated to carry crew, supplies, and scientific equipment. Along with a sleek Mars lander concept capable of carrying astronauts to the planet's surface from orbit.

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The company claims the initial crewed expeditions to the planet's surface will be "relatively short-duration, science-focused missions." In order to make the trip from MBC down to Mars, up to four astronauts will be able to hop into the company's reusable Mars Base Cape lander. The shuttle will use supersonic retropropulsion (the same approach used by SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket boosters) in order to make the journey. Lockheed Martin claims that each surface mission could last up to two weeks without the need to return to the orbiting spacecraft for refueling.

MBC will be dependent on NASA's recently-announced Deep Space Gateway at the moon. The orbiting space station will serve as a pitstop for astronauts on longer journeys. Whilst there, they'll be able to tinker with (and get accustomed to) the MBC spacecraft before deploying to Mars. Lockheed Martin was one of six companies chosen by NASA to create a Mars habitat design as part of its NextSTEP program.


SpaceX unveils Mars city plan, will fly two cargo missions by 2022
The company hopes to colonize Mars by 2024.

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SpaceX hopes to land at least two cargo missions to Mars a mere five years from now. The aerospace company's chief, Elon Musk, discussed its plans at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Australia. He talked about how SpaceX intends to use the BFR, the massive rocket it's developing, to fly Martian settlers to their new home and to take people anywhere on Earth in under an hour. In addition to landing two cargo missions on the red planet by 2022, it hopes to be able to confirm sources of water and potential hazards by that time. SpaceX also plans to start building mining, power and life support infrastructure that year to prepare for the first settlers that could arrive as soon as 2024.

Musk said SpaceX aims to take the first settlers aboard two crewed flights to the red planet by 2024. Their supplies will be loaded onto two separate cargo flights also slated to land within that year. The first wave of settlers will have to set up the base to prepare for future waves who will work on expanding it further and terraforming their new home. These are, however, very ambitious goals -- we could probably expect delays as SpaceX develops the technologies needed to make them happen.

Supporting the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars.

BFR is capable of transporting satellites to orbit, crew and cargo to the @Space_Station and completing missions to the Moon and Mars.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:33 pm

There is no such thing as race as it relates to skin color, so can we all just get along now?

A new scientific study challenges the use of skin color as a classifier for race

At the heart of white supremacist ideology is the belief that people of different races are biologically distinct, and people with very pale skin colors belong to a superior race that evolved from people with darker skin.

But findings from a recent scientific study strike a powerful blow to this myth. The study, published in Science, challenges the use of skin color as a classifier for race at all.

Nicholas Crawford and Sarah Tishkoff at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia studied the genetics of skin color in over 1,500 African participants and compared the results to the hundreds of studies of skin color in Europeans. Researchers recruited volunteers from 10 ethnic groups living in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Botswana and took their DNA samples and measured their skin pigmentation.

Once researchers combined and combed through the data, they were able to find eight sites in the human genome that are associated with skin color. These eight sites accounted for nearly 30% of the variation in skin color among the volunteers. Researchers found variants associated with paler skins and those associated with darker skin.

The study showed that seven paler skin variants are thought to have arisen at least 270,000 years ago; with four emerging more than 900,000 years ago. These variants for pale skin predated the arrival of Homo sapiens (who are estimated to have emerged from Africa 300,000 years ago).

The findings may come as a surprise to some. Researchers have long believed that variants for darker skin color are somewhat fixed for people of African descent, while variants for lighter skin color emerged later on once humans settled outside of Africa. But the study points at what may seem obvious; skin color in Africa can vary widely, with lighter or darker skin pigments found across the continent. While the San hunter-gatherers of Botswana have lighter skin variants comparable to some East Asians, the Nilo-Saharan pastoralists from East Africa have some of the darkest skins around.

When looking at the darker-skin variants, researchers found that some variants evolved much more recently than initially thought. That is to say that participants with particularly dark skins may have gained the trait more recently from paler ancestors. Once again, this challenges the view that paler skin variants are more recently evolved, whilst darker skin variants remained constant and fixed in Africa. The study also suggests that some people with darker skin also carried a gene for lighter skinned variants, but though they don’t show it, they still carry a trait found within their population.

For researchers, the study blows away the biological concept of race all together. These variants for lighter or darker skin color don’t neatly fit into discrete groups or boundaries.

Most interestingly, researchers say they wouldn’t have been able to come to this conclusion had they not made the conscious decision to carry out their study in Africa. Researchers have previously focused predominantly on European descent—it wasn’t until they broadened their scope that they were able to piece together the puzzle of what unites us.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Caradoc » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:12 pm

Buc2 wrote:There is no such thing as race as it relates to skin color, so can we all just get along now?


This isn't exactly news.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby deltbucs » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:02 pm

Just got back from watching Neil deGrasse Tyson speak in Orlando. His overacting bothers me a bit, but I still loved the Cosmos series and I really enjoyed myself tonight. Very good/interesting talk and the QA portion was awesome. Definitely recommend.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby paco74 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:34 am

One of those, wow that's just neat kinda things. Don't know if someone posted this already but we recently had a interstellar visitor whiz past us and it is on its speedy way to Pegasus.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/27/us/mystery-object-solar-system-trnd/index.html
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:12 pm

I just came in here to post a story about it. Pretty cool. If/when confirmed, it will be the first proof of extraterrestrial visitation. :lol:

Oct. 26, 2017
Small Asteroid or Comet 'Visits' from Beyond the Solar System

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This animation shows the path of A/2017 U1, which is an asteroid -- or perhaps a comet -- as it passed through our inner solar system in September and October 2017. From analysis of its motion, scientists calculate that it probably originated from outside of our solar system.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech


A small, recently discovered asteroid -- or perhaps a comet -- appears to have originated from outside the solar system, coming from somewhere else in our galaxy. If so, it would be the first "interstellar object" to be observed and confirmed by astronomers.

This unusual object – for now designated A/2017 U1 – is less than a quarter-mile (400 meters) in diameter and is moving remarkably fast. Astronomers are urgently working to point telescopes around the world and in space at this notable object. Once these data are obtained and analyzed, astronomers may know more about the origin and possibly composition of the object.

A/2017 U1 was discovered Oct. 19 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii, during the course of its nightly search for near-Earth objects for NASA. Rob Weryk, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA), was first to identify the moving object and submit it to the Minor Planet Center. Weryk subsequently searched the Pan-STARRS image archive and found it also was in images taken the previous night, but was not initially identified by the moving object processing.

Weryk immediately realized this was an unusual object. "Its motion could not be explained using either a normal solar system asteroid or comet orbit," he said. Weryk contacted IfA graduate Marco Micheli, who had the same realization using his own follow-up images taken at the European Space Agency's telescope on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. But with the combined data, everything made sense. Said Weryk, "This object came from outside our solar system."

"This is the most extreme orbit I have ever seen," said Davide Farnocchia, a scientist at NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "It is going extremely fast and on such a trajectory that we can say with confidence that this object is on its way out of the solar system and not coming back."

The CNEOS team plotted the object's current trajectory and even looked into its future. A/2017 U1 came from the direction of the constellation Lyra, cruising through interstellar space at a brisk clip of 15.8 miles (25.5 kilometers) per second.

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A/2017 U1 is most likely of interstellar origin. Approaching from above, it was closest to the Sun on Sept. 9. Traveling at 27 miles per second (44 kilometers per second), the comet is headed away from the Earth and Sun on its way out of the solar system.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech


The object approached our solar system from almost directly "above" the ecliptic, the approximate plane in space where the planets and most asteroids orbit the Sun, so it did not have any close encounters with the eight major planets during its plunge toward the Sun. On Sept. 2, the small body crossed under the ecliptic plane just inside of Mercury's orbit and then made its closest approach to the Sun on Sept. 9. Pulled by the Sun's gravity, the object made a hairpin turn under our solar system, passing under Earth's orbit on Oct. 14 at a distance of about 15 million miles (24 million kilometers) -- about 60 times the distance to the Moon. It has now shot back up above the plane of the planets and, travelling at 27 miles per second (44 kilometers per second) with respect to the Sun, the object is speeding toward the constellation Pegasus.

"We have long suspected that these objects should exist, because during the process of planet formation a lot of material should be ejected from planetary systems. What's most surprising is that we've never seen interstellar objects pass through before," said Karen Meech, an astronomer at the IfA specializing in small bodies and their connection to solar system formation.

The small body has been assigned the temporary designation A/2017 U1 by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where all observations on small bodies in our solar system -- and now those just passing through -- are collected. Said MPC Director Matt Holman, "This kind of discovery demonstrates the great scientific value of continual wide-field surveys of the sky, coupled with intensive follow-up observations, to find things we wouldn't otherwise know are there."

Since this is the first object of its type ever discovered, rules for naming this type of object will need to be established by the International Astronomical Union.

"We have been waiting for this day for decades," said CNEOS Manager Paul Chodas. "It's long been theorized that such objects exist -- asteroids or comets moving around between the stars and occasionally passing through our solar system -- but this is the first such detection. So far, everything indicates this is likely an interstellar object, but more data would help to confirm it."

The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) is a wide-field survey observatory operated by the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. The Minor Planet Center is hosted by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and is a sub-node of NASA's Planetary Data System Small Bodies Node at the University of Maryland (http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/ ). JPL hosts the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). All are projects of NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program, and elements of the agency's Planetary Defense Coordination Office within NASA's Science Mission Directorate.
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