Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

An anonymous reader writes: Like initials carved in a tree, ER = EPR, as the new idea is known, is a shorthand that joins two ideas proposed by Einstein in 1935. One involved the paradox implied by what he called “spooky action at a distance” between quantum particles (the EPR paradox, named for its authors, Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen). The other showed how two black holes could be connected through far reaches of space through “wormholes” (ER, for Einstein-Rosen bridges). At the time that Einstein put forth these ideas — and for most of the eight decades since — they were thought to be entirely unrelated.

But if ER = EPR is correct, the ideas aren’t disconnected — they’re two manifestations of the same thing. And this underlying connectedness would form the foundation of all space-time. Quantum entanglement — the action at a distance that so troubled Einstein — could be creating the “spatial connectivity” that “sews space together,” according to Leonard Susskind, a physicist at Stanford University and one of the idea’s main architects. Without these connections, all of space would “atomize,” according to Juan Maldacena, a physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., who developed the idea together with Susskind. “In other words, the solid and reliable structure of space-time is due to the ghostly features of entanglement,” he said. What’s more, ER = EPR has the potential to address how gravity fits together with quantum mechanics.

Article source: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/ozAzSHtYPjw/wormholes-untangle-a-black-hole-paradox

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German Intelligence Helped NSA Spy On EU Politicians and Companies

An anonymous reader writes: We’ve known for some time already that intelligence agencies operate beyond rules, laws, and regulations. Now, we learn that the NSA and the German intelligence service, BND, lied and withheld information about misuse from the German Chancellor’s Office.

“The BND realized as early as 2008 that some of the selectors were not permitted according to its internal rules, or covered by a 2002 US-Germany anti-terrorism “Memorandum of Agreement” on intelligence cooperation. And yet it did nothing to check the NSA’s requests systematically. It was only in the summer of 2013, after Edward Snowden’s revelations of massive NSA and GCHQ surveillance, that the BND finally started an inquiry into all the selectors that had been processed.

According to Der Spiegel, investigators found that the BND had provided information on around 2,000 selectors that were clearly against European and German interests. Not only were European businesses such as the giant aerospace and defense company EADS, best-known as the manufacturer of the Airbus planes, targeted, so were European politicians—including German ones.

However, the BND did not inform the German Chancellor’s office, which only found out about the misuse of the selector request system in March 2015. Instead, the BND simply asked the NSA to make requests that were fully covered by the anti-terrorism agreement between the two countries. According to Die Zeit, this was because the BND was worried that the NSA might curtail the flow of its own intelligence data to the German secret services if the selector scheme became embroiled in controversy.

Article source: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/TUdLLzi5XxI/german-intelligence-helped-nsa-spy-on-eu-politicians-and-companies

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Microsoft Opens Vulnerability Bounty Program For Spartan Browser

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Article source: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Th_NA8gMsoA/microsoft-opens-vulnerability-bounty-program-for-spartan-browser

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Pirate Bay Blockade Censors CloudFlare Customers

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Article source: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/BIl39q5vgUM/pirate-bay-blockade-censors-cloudflare-customers

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Mystery of the Coldest Spot In the CMB Solved

Something can be uniform and fluctuating at the same time. All that’s required is that the fluctuations follow the same, regular pattern everywhere.
I have no idea whether this is true for the CMB, however.

Article source: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/vwNKwih-OGE/mystery-of-the-coldest-spot-in-the-cmb-solved

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Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

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7.8 Earthquake Rocks Nepal, Hundreds Dead

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Synths you’ve been gone: Vintage tech rules at Musikmesse 2015

+Vids The trend of re-releasing or updating classic synths, which we saw at NAMM in January, continued apace at the biggest musical instrument fair in the world in Frankfurt last week. But for once there was a strong British presence, with innovative new products, as well.

In Hall 5.1, where most of the synthesiser manufacturers exhibit, there was mostly a re-run of Anaheim’s new products receiving their European debut, but there were also three British companies in the mix.

Based in Dalston, close to London’s Silicon Roundabout, Roli was showing its innovative controller Seaboard which “reimagines the piano keyboard as a soft, continuous pressure-sensitive surface”. In short, instead of using pitch bend and mod wheels and a volume foot pedal, it enables control of all these functions on an individual note-by-note basis.

The buzzwords are “disruptive platform sensor technology”. For the musician this translates to: after playing a note in the traditional keyboard manner you can change its volume and timbre by pushing into the soft rubbery keys, and add vibrato or pitch bend by sideways movements.

Rock and Roli

A fledgling UK innovator, Roli has been touting Seaboard since late 2013, but its handcrafted keyboards are finally getting some serious attention and attracted superstar demonstrator Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater. He is more often found on the booths of Korg and Kurzweil putting those synths through their paces. Jordan very kindly did us a close-up one-on-one demonstration of the Seaboard, so you can see exactly how the instrument responds to his playing.

Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater demonstates the Roli Seaboard controller keyboard at Frankfurt Musikmesse 2015

Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater demonstrates the Roli Seaboard controller keyboard

For fans of his more frenetic playing style (and there were many of these crowding the Roli booth to catch him in action), we also managed to catch him performing with a couple of friends over the heads of the assembled throng for his blitz action solo on this uptempo tune. Clearly, Germany boasts more than its fare share of Dream Theater fans.

Unlike the radically new Linnstrument we saw at NAMM, the Seaboard allows keyboard players to leverage their hard-won playing skills with the familiar black and white key layout but add expression directly to each note in the manner of violin vibrato or portamento, without needing to acquire a completely new performance skill.

To my fingertips, it felt like the perfect way to exceed the limitations of the traditional mechanical keyboard without throwing out this basic frame of reference with the bathwater. It may have been the long-dormant violinist in me, but I soon found myself adding volume and pitch variations to individual notes in an intuitive way.

The Seaboard’s onboard processor can be used to run the bundled Equator software, which comprises a full audio engine running FXpansion’s Synth Squad suite of plug-ins. Equator can also be run under Mac OS 10.7 and later, being triggered from Seaboard’s pair of USB A and USB B ports. These also give you access to integrate Seaboard into the full world of MIDI sequencing and virtual plug-ins.

Youtube Video

Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater duets on the Roli Seaboard controller keyboard with band

The Seaboard will come in three lengths of 37, 61 and 88 keywaves (Roli’s term for their new twist on traditional keys) and all three models can be pre-ordered now at with prices starting at £1,399. More information from Roli.

The innovative approach of Seaboard has already won Roli several awards – including the Music Accelerator at Austin’s recent SXSW film/music festival and the UK Design Museum’s Product Design of the Year – before it even ships. Deliveries are expected to begin in June of this year.

For keyboard players looking to move beyond the limited expressivity of traditional electronic keyboards, it certainly looks and feels like the future.

Article source: http://go.theregister.com/feed/www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/25/frankfurt_musikmesse_2015/

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Memory Man, The Lady from Zagreb and Blood on Snow

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston takes a look at the new releases in crime fiction with the latest from David Baldacci that introduces a new character series. Philip Kerr wheels outs Bernie Gunther for another wartime adventure and we’ve some Scandi noir from Jo Nesbo.

Memory Man

David Baldacci is a bestselling American novelist, the author of thirty works of crime fiction. Memory Man is the story of Amos Decker, whose life was changed by a “blunt force trauma on the gridiron”. For those on the eastern side of the Atlantic, he suffered brain damage playing American football.

The accident left him suffering from hyperthymesia, the inability to forget anything and synesthesia, a condition that associates colours with certain numbers, letters and suchlike. Amos had a successful career as a police officer and a detective until tragedy struck and his wife, daughter and brother-in-law were all murdered at his home.

Decker’s life falls to pieces; he lets himself go, loses his home and job and becomes “a fat weirdo dressed as a homeless person… he looked like he should be living in a cave somewhere attempting to conspire with aliens.”

David Baldacci, Memory Man book cover

Sixteen months after his family’s murders, he is informed that one Sebastian Leopold has handed himself in and confessed to the crime.

Decker heads to the police station to see Leopold for himself. As he arrives there is complete chaos: a school shooting has just taken place in nearby Mansfield High and in the confusion he manages to blag a short visit with Leopold, posing as a defence brief.

Amos is convinced that Leopold is not the perpetrator, but as the school shooting is revealed to be a massacre, his talents are required and he is joins the local police force as a consultant, using his perfect memory in the hunt for the killer.

Memory Man is a highly unlikely and unfeasible tale, but Baldacci is a master of his craft and once you accept these provisos, he drags you headlong through a fascinating and labyrinthine plot.

It is interesting to compare him with that other master of US crime fiction, James Elroy. They both use short, tight sentences but Baldacci hasn’t got the black humour, the political incorrectness or the literary ability of Elroy. Yet, neither is he stuck in a mythical past, unlike Elroy.

Baldacci does modern America, the city of Burlington – where most of the action takes place – is on its arse, full of bankruptcies and foreclosures. Baldacci’s novels are tighter, less over-inflated and free of Elroy’s right-wing posturing, cop worship and liberal-baiting which was wearing thin by LA Confidential and has now become a cliche.

I don’t know how Baldacci votes and thinks whereas with Elroy it seems all too obvious. His most recent work, Perfidia, was just more over-inflated nostalgic bluster.

Anyway. The gun used in the school shooting turns out to be the same that killed Amos’s family; someone has a grudge against him. The plot is convoluted and the criminal is fucked up – aren’t they always?

If you take a step back from this novel it is utterly ridiculous, but it is engaging, fast-paced and everything you could wish for in a page-turner. Amos is an unlikely but compelling hero and if the “introducing Amos Decker” strapline on the cover is anything to go by, we’ll be seeing more of this character from Mr Baldacci in future.

David Baldacci, Memory Man book coverAuthor David Baldacci

Title Memory Man

Publisher Macmillan

Price £16.99 (Hardback), £7.99 (eBook)

More info Publication web site

Article source: http://go.theregister.com/feed/www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/25/book_review_memory_man_baldacci_the_lady_from_zagreb_and_blood_on_snow/

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Avengers: Age of Ultron – blisteringly big banter, brawls and brio

Film Review Marvel’s Avengers franchise is such a massive, behemoth of a marketing machine, such a merchandise-heavy, almost decade-long suction of talent, time and money that I want to hate it. I want to say, why don’t we spend all that money on independent films? Original stories? Something new, for God’s sake! But there’s just no denying the fact that nine films later (if one counts the standalone Iron Mans, Thors and Captain Americas) it’s still a whole lot of cinema fun.

Age of Ultron opens with a bang – a massive action scene, featuring some incredibly fromage-heavy slow-mo 3D that director Joss Whedon totally gets away with because it’s done with such an air of self-deprecation and appreciation for the inherent cheesiness of comics like The Avengers.

The scene takes place in Sokovia, one of those Eastern European-sounding countries Hollywood execs love to make up, and the Avengers are hot on the trail of Loki’s sceptre left behind after his last Earth adventure in Avengers Assemble.

Unfortunately, a Hydra minion has used the sceptre for some pretty questionable human and robotic experimentation, including the twins glimpsed in an Easter egg additional scene of an earlier film, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quiksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). These disenfranchised youths, with a burning hatred for Tony Stark courtesy of their country’s wars, have been “enhanced” by the sceptre with some pretty cool powers – super-speed for Quiksilver and mind control and telekinesis for Scarlet Witch.

The Avengers come out with the sceptre, but for a few dents from their new foes, and it isn’t long before Tony is wondering whether he should let Thor skip town with the power of the sceptre without having a good scientific look at that power for himself. But wouldn’t you know it? Probing alien technology with human technology isn’t a very good idea and what Stark ends up with is not a hero that can take the Avengers’ place guarding the planet, but a vicious, black-humoured AI determined to destroy the team and the whole of Earth while he’s at it.

If you haven’t caught James Spader’s performance as criminal mastermind Raymond Redington in TV’s The Blacklist, you really should. As Ultron, Spader turns in the same dulcet-toned mania, laced with black humour. Few villains are simultaneously so chilling and thrilling as Spader detailing his upcoming acts of heinous evil and unspeakable violence in the soft, soothing tones of a well-paid therapist.

The Avengers themselves show up with great performances and Whedon isn’t afraid to let the newcomers, who more than hold their own, get in a few decent hits in the ensuing fights. But as always, it’s the banter that carries these films. Whedon has been delivering top-notch in-fight banter since Buffy the Vampire Slayer and his reign continues with Age of Ultron. His comedy timing is perfect and he never lets the jokes detract from the serious moments, even if they happen right in the middle.

This is cinema entertainment in its purest, popcorn-fuelled form – big fights, big heroes and big fun. ®

Avengers: Age of UltronTitle Avengers: Age of Ultron

Writer/Director Joss Whedon

Cast Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Cobie Smulders, James Spader, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Release date 23 April (UK) / 1 May (US)

More info Studio website

Article source: http://go.theregister.com/feed/www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/25/avengers_age_of_ultron_film_review/

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