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New Ways to Find E.T.

first_img(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 SETI researchers may not have to wait by the stellar radio dial for their imaginary friends to call in.  They might eavesdrop on their pollution.Perhaps desperate for proof of life beyond the earth, scientists continue to expand their search resources.  One idea put forth by Avi Loeb at Harvard, with two buddies, is that we could find them by their smog.  Specifically, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) of a certain type would be nearly impossible for natural processes to produce.  If someone on a distant planet is using hairspray, then, we might be able to tell if alien blondes are smarter than their human counterparts.That’s not much sillier than what Sheyna Gifford wrote, in all seriousness, for NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine:While primitive forms of life have their own biomarkers – like oxygen and methane – these molecules are too complicated for nature to, as Loeb put it, “do this on its own.” However, at least for the moment, we can’t rush off and start looking for aliens by their hairspray.The only reason we can’t is we don’t have the detection technology yet.  In principle, it could be done.  This represents a departure from the old SETI program of listening in for signals broadcast intentionally.  Now, it’s eavesdropping.  Maybe the NSA should take up this job.Loeb’s thesis was published on the arXiv server, awaiting publication in the Astronomical Journal.  On Live Science, Elizabeth Howell thought the idea was just fine.  Instead of portraying aliens as dumb blondes with hairspray, she envisioned purple aliens: quoting Loeb, her article ends, “People often refer to E.T.’s as ‘little green men,’ but the E.T.’s detectable by this method should not be labeled ‘green’ since they are environmentally unfriendly.”Charles Q. Choi on Space.com discussed a related suggestion by Sara Seager of MIT.  Life could be inferred, she argues in a paper on PNAS, by scanning atmospheres of exoplanets for ways organisms might have made alterations that normal physical processes would not make.  This strategy does not assume the organisms are intelligent; even microbes might affect their planet’s atmospheres in unnatural ways.  The “biomarkers” are too difficult to detect right now.  Like Loeb, Seager hopes that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), scheduled for launch in 2018, will have the capability to eavesdrop on life beyond earth.  Bob Yirka summarized Seager’s views on PhysOrg.In another stretch of the imagination, researchers are peering into oil drops to divine habitats for life.  Science Daily says, “An international team of researchers has found extremely small habitats that increase the potential for life on other planets while offering a way to clean up oil spills on our own” (paper in Science Magazine; got good press in Nature, too).  Rationale: they found microbes in water droplets in an oily lake, but it was their asphalt.  Megan Gannon launched from that gooey subject into 4 possible places in our solar system where alien life could exist: Mars, Europa, Titan and Enceladus.  She’s forgotten that Texas is being overrun by aliens right now.Silliness of hairspray aside, there are serious philosophical questions to discuss with Loeb’s theory.  Evolution News & Views, for instance, used the occasion to discuss the design filter and to clarify the limits of design inference.  If SETI researchers seriously believe that we could make an inference to intentional, intelligent causes merely from observing certain rare gases in an alien planet’s atmosphere, what’s the problem with intelligent design reasoning?  If evolutionists use it, why can’t their critics use the same thought processes?  This is a good story to throw back at the atheists who insist, vehemently, that intelligent design is not scientific.  Good grief, Loeb and his lackeys think they can figure out the environmental ethics of aliens, their color and their wisdom, too!  All ID tries to do is separate intelligent causes from non-intelligent causes.  ID advocates are, therefore, the more empirically modest scientists.  Yet the Darwine-drunk guys in SETI get away with outlandish speculations.Exercise: What do we mean by “natural”?  Atheists will claim that aliens are natural, like they believe humans are products of natural selection.  How would you clarify the difference between natural causes and intelligent causes to someone who thinks intelligent causes are a subset of natural causes?  Cf. 05/11/06.last_img read more

Will HP Moonshot Ignite Or Fizzle?

first_imgIf anything, give HP credit for historical parallels: when John F. Kennedy wanted to shake the U.S. out of a calamitous post-war funk, he gave Americans something to shoot for: the Moon. It’s very much in that spirit that HP’s management is hoping their latest Moonshot server product line will revitalize a company that’s been mired in declining hardware sales.Based on early indications, there is a good chance that this launch will be successful.Moonshot is not your typical server, with a single set of processors and memory storage sitting in a racked box, just one among many such boxes tightly networked together in racks and racks of such servers, filling up data centers, sucking in power and pumping out heat like a furnace. No, Moonshot is very much different.What We KnowReports have indicated that Moonshot servers will be small, cartridge-like devices only take up 6% of a current server’s space. Cartridges can be slotted into enclosures that will hold 45 of the microserver units. It is estimated that a standard server rack can hold anywhere from 10-40 enclosures, similar in look and feel to the Project Redstone development server configuration pictured above.This configuration will use 89% less power, early reports have stated. From a cost standpoint, that’s huge: not only are you knocking down your electric bill by nearly 90% per server, but low-power chips mean far less heat energy is created from voltage leakage and alway-on processors. Less heat means less money spent on cooling.“To put in that perspective, if just 10 large web services providers switched their traditional x86 servers to Moonshot, they could save a combined $120 million in energy operating expense and nearly one million metric tons of CO2 per year. The equivalent of taking over 180,000 cars off the road for a year,” CEO Meg Whitman said on a recent HP earnings call.Another unique feature of these devices: they aren’t tied to a single type of processor. Sure, there’s Intel chips in there, represented in the form of the low-power Atom processors, but there’s also support for ARM-based chips as well, from a variety of manufacturers. Multiple flash-based or standard hard drives are supported, too.That means you can order exactly the hardware combination you need, instead of trying to port your applications to a single rigidly defined hardware platform. Theoretically, you could build a single private cloud that would run applications built for multiple architectures, each application talking the the Moonshot unit that has the architecture it needs.What We Don’t KnowThe big unknown, at this point, is how much these microservers will cost. That’s going to be a key difference to whether these are truly going to reach their destination or just fizzle on the launchpad.Looking at HP’s ProLiant Gen8 servers, the low-end starts at $885 for the DL100 model, and $899 for the starting DL300. The question is, how many Moonshots equal the equivalent in processing power and storage of one of these full-sized server? If you tell me, hypothetically, that it would take five Moonshots to equal one DL100 (and trust me, I have no idea at this point) and each Moonshot costs $250, then that would be a problem, even factoring in the expected overhead for the customization costs that might be built in to the units.But, tell me that Moonshots will cost $150 with the same hardware specs, and I’d be all ears.Until we get the details on the price and the specs, there’s no telling how successful these will be. If HP were smart, they wouldn’t price these things out of the ballpark… and not just to attract sales from existing standard server owners. They also have to make prices attractive to keep potential customers from shifting over to a public cloud environment – a more difficult scenario every day as providers like AWS and Google keep lowering their prices.And even if Moonshots do take off, expect this to be a slow launch. Like the first moments of a Space Shuttle launch, when the rockets seem to just creep upwards, so too will Moonshots take a while to be widely deployed. Developers have to figure out how to work with them, and IT managers have to find reasons to put them on the procurement lists. To take off in the private cloud sector, there needs to be support from platforms like OpenStack and CloudStack soon.A lot is riding on this launch for HP, which could bring change to the IT industry as a whole: if a truly flexible low-power system can be introduced, the potential for savings and environmental benefits for the enterprise will be impossible to ignore.Image courtesy of HP. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… brian proffitt Related Posts Tags:#HP#microserver#Moonshot center_img IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

CWG tennis: Bopanna gives India winning start

first_imgIndia were off to a perfect start in the tennis event of Commonwealth Games with Rohan Bopanna demolishing Robert Buyinza of Uganda in straight sets in the men’s singles event in New Delhi on Monday.Bopanna was too good for a player, who has just one ranking point in the ATP charts, as he completed a 6-1 6-4 win in just one hour and two minutes in the first round.The tall Karnataka-lad is scheduled to play a second match on Monday when he pairs up with Nirupama Sanjeev against top seeded Australians Paul Hanley and Rodionova Anastasia.Bopanna on Monday dropped 114 places in the ranking chart to be at 587 but he was coming into the event after playing a crucial role in the Davis Cup tie against Brazil and was hardly troubled by the African player.With two break of serves, Bopanna raced to a comfortable 5-1 lead in the opening set and sealed the lead in just 21 minutes.Buyinza, ranked 1601, overcame the initial jitters and started to serve well in the second set but unforced errors continued to flow from his racquet.After missing four break points, Bopanna converted the fifth to get his first break — in the fifth game — to be up 3-2 in the second set.He had a chance to close the set in the ninth game but Buyinza played his best tennis to save that point. However, he could not stop the Indian from serving out the match in the next game.advertisementBut there was hardly any crowd to celebrate Bopanna’s win at the Centre Court.India’s Poojashree Venkatesh, Rushmi Chakravarthy and the the mixed doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Leander Paes are also scheduled to play later in the day.last_img read more

Brazil Bike Lane Collapses, Killing 2

first_imgRIO DE JANEIRO— With the Olympic Games just months away, concerns about Rio de Janeiro’s preparedness were highlighted when part of an elevated bike lane built for the Olympic Games collapsed on Thursday, killing at least two people who were on it when cement gave way and crashed onto the beach below.An Associated Press photographer at the scene saw two dead bodies laid out on the beach. A fire official told the AP by phone that three people were affected by the accident but couldn’t immediately provide details on their status and it wasn’t clear if they included the two who died.It wasn’t immediately clear why the lane had collapsed.Ambulances were dispatched to the scene and helicopters hovered over the beach.Rio de Janeiro is hosting the Summer Games beginning in August and the bike lane was among the projects built in preparation. While no Olympic event will be held on the path, the collapse will likely add to worries about the country’s readiness to host the Games.The bike path runs several miles (kilometers) through southern parts of the city, connecting the tony beachfront neighborhoods of Leblon and Sao Conrado. It snakes along sheer cliffs tens of meters above the surface of the ocean.Since its January inauguration, the path has earned kudos for its spectacular views. But detractors complained it was dangerous, saying the narrowness of the path made cyclists prime targets for mugging. In the weeks after it was opened, local newspapers also featured photos of its speedy deterioration, showing missing handrails and rusting metal parts.Construction is under way to extend the bike path westward to the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood that is one of the Olympic hubs.The accident comes on the same day that a flame for South America’s first Olympics was lit in Greece, heralding the start of a 15-week journey that will culminate with the August 5 opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.FELIPE DANA, Associated PressRENATA BRITO, Associated PressJenny Barchfield and Steve Wade in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Congers Nomination to Comptrollers Office Stuck for Now

Chinese consulate gets Joyee footballs thanks to Refugee Handicrafts

first_imgKolkata: With the immense success in Bengal and in other parts of the country, the Refugee Handicrafts have now become successful in making Joyee footballs for the Chinese consulate in Kolkata.Refugee Handicrafts, which was set up in 1950 to help refugees earn their livelihood, had lost all its importance due to the lackadaisical attitude of the erstwhile Left Front government. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee finally set up the Refugee Handicrafts Managing Committee comprising veteran football players and revived the organisation. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsMaking footballs was one of the key sectors that played a crucial role in revival of Refugee Handicrafts that functions under the supervision of the state MSME department. Manas Bhattacharya, the chairman of the committee, said: “The Chinese Consulate in Kolkata had tested the footballs that were being prepared by us and subsequently they placed an order for 850 Challenger Joyee footballs. The footballs have been supplied to the consulate.””We are hopeful that they will place orders for more number of footballs in future. Besides showing interest for football, there were also queries for other handicraft goods that are being made by members of Refugee Handicrafts,” said Bhattacharya. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedHe further said Joyee footballs are in use at nine centres of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) including Cuttack, Dhanbad and Kolkata. Members of the Refugee Handicrafts mostly women got involved in the making of Joyee footballs and they were provided with the necessary training. They have made more than 1 lakh footballs during the FIFA Under-17 Football World Cup that held in October 2017. The Mamata Banerjee government took several steps to promote the Joyee footballs and the state government had distributed it among Durga Puja organisers ahead of Durga Puja in 2017. The footballs were displayed outside Puja Mandaps and it helped in promotion. Similarly, two footballs were given to each of the 12,000 local clubs in the state ahead of the FIFA Under-17 Football World Cup and to encourage more youth to get involved in playing football. Footballs were also distributed in educational institutions including all high schools, higher secondary schools, high Madrassas and colleges and police lines to promote. Each of these institutions got five footballs.Bhattacharya said the success of Joyee footballs has helped Refugee Handicrafts in its revival and now steps are also being taken for better promotion of other handicraft goods as well.last_img read more