Gravity: We Might Have Been Getting It Wrong This Whole Time

Motoko Kakubayashi, from the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, writes via Physicists have been looking for laws that explain both the microscopic world of elementary particles and the macroscopic world of the universe and the Big Bang at its beginning, expecting that such fundamental laws should have symmetry in all circumstances. However, last year, two physicists found a theoretical proof that, at the most fundamental level, nature does not respect symmetry. There are four fundamental forces in the physical world: electromagnetism, strong force, weak force, and gravity. Gravity is the only force still unexplainable at the quantum level. Its effects on big objects, such as planets or stars, are relatively easy to see, but things get complicated when one tries to understand gravity in the small world of elementary particles. To try to understand gravity on the quantum level, Hirosi Ooguri, the director of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe in Tokyo, and Daniel Harlow, an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, started with the holographic principle. This principle explains three-dimensional phenomena influenced by gravity on a two-dimensional flat space that is not influenced by gravity. This is not a real representation of our universe, but it is close enough to help researchers study its basic aspects. The pair then showed how quantum error correcting codes, which explain how three-dimensional gravitational phenomena pop out from two dimensions, like holograms, are not compatible with any symmetry; meaning such symmetry cannot be possible in quantum gravity. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-01-25 02:15:01 preview's
36 Years Ago Today, Steve Jobs Unveiled the First Macintosh

An anonymous reader quotes a report from MacRumors: On January 24, 1984, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the first Macintosh at Apple's annual shareholder's meeting in Cupertino, California, debuting the new computer equipped with a 9-inch black and white display, an 8MHz Motorola 68000 processor, 128KB of RAM, a 3.5-inch floppy drive, and a price tag of $2,495. The now iconic machine weighed in at a whopping 17 pounds and was advertised as offering a word processing program, a graphics package, and a mouse. At the time it was introduced, the Macintosh was seen as Apple's last chance to overcome IBM's domination of the personal computer market and remain a major player in the personal computer industry. Despite the high price at the time, which was equivalent to around $6,000 today, the Macintosh sold well, with Apple hitting 70,000 units sold by May 1984. The now iconic "1984" Super Bowl ad that Apple invested in and debuted days before the Macintosh was unveiled may have helped bolster sales. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-01-24 22:45:02 preview's
GE Fridges Won't Dispense Ice Or Water Unless Your Water Filter 'Authenticates' Via RFID Chip

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: Count GE in on the "screw your customers" bandwagon. Twitter user @ShaneMorris tweeted: "My fridge has an RFID chip in the water filter, which means the generic water filter I ordered for $19 doesn't work. My fridge will literally not dispense ice, or water. I have to pay General Electric $55 for a water filter from them." Fortunately, there appears to be a way to hack them to work: How to Hack RWPFE Water Filters for Your GE Fridge. Hacks aside, count me out from ever buying another GE product if it includes anti-customer "features" like these. "The difference between RWPF and RPWFE is that the RPWFE has a freaking RFID chip on it," writes Jack Busch from groovyPost. "The fridge reads the RFID chip off your filter, and if your filter is either older than 6 months or not a genuine GE RPWFE filter, it's all 'I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't dispense any water for you right now.' Now, to be fair, GE does give you a bypass cartridge that lets you get unfiltered water for free (you didn't throw that thing away, did you?). But come on..." Jack proceeds to explain how you can pop off the filter bypass and "try taping the thing directly into your fridge where it would normally meet up when the filter is install." If you're able to get it in just the right spot, "you're set for life," says Jack. Alternatively, "you can tape it onto the front of an expired RPWFE GE water filter, install it backward, and then keep using it (again, not recommended for too much longer than six months). Or, you can tape it to the corresponding spot on a generic filter and reinstall it." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-01-24 20:30:03 preview's
Free Software Foundation Suggests Microsoft 'Upcycles' Windows 7 As Open Source

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is urging Microsoft to open source Windows 7, which is no longer supported by the company. The Register reports: On the face of it, the logic seems pretty simple. On January 14, Windows 7 reached its end of life as Microsoft turned off the free security update taps with a final fix. "Its life doesn't have to end," cried the foundation. "We call on Microsoft to upcycle it instead." Unfortunately, the FSF couldn't resist a final dig, saying the killing of the OS had brought to an end "its updates as well as its 10 years of poisoning education, invading privacy, and threatening user security." There is a precedent. Ancient MS-DOS and Word code has been opened up, and the Calculator app found in the current Windows 10 now lurks on GitHub. But an entire, relatively recent OS? We can see some problems, not least the licensed components lurking in Windows 7 that would need to be either excised or open-sourced as well. Then there are the bits and pieces that the company would consider valuable secrets (large chunks of Windows 7 linger on in Windows 10 after all.) And then there is the fact that Windows 7 is not actually unsupported. Three more years of updates are available for those who can pay. And with Windows (as well those parts of it licensed to third parties) still accounting for a sizeable chunk of Microsoft's revenues, we can imagine a very functional and highly compatible free version is not really in the company's best fiscal interests. You can read the FSF's "Upcycle Windows 7" petition here. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-01-24 20:15:01 preview's
Support Grows For Unionizing Video Game Industry, Survey Finds

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hollywood Reporter: Ahead of the Game Developer's Conference (GDC) -- which is dedicated to the art and science of making video games and set to take place March 16-20 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco -- the results of the organization's eighth annual State of Industry report were released Friday. Surveying nearly 4,000 video game developers with the intent of highlighting industry trends and forecasts for the future of gaming, this year's report indicates an increasing interest in the games industry to unionize. This was also a major topic of conversation in 2019, amid reports of gaming professionals working extended overtime hours and tolerating poor working conditions. Among the survey participants, 54 percent said that game industry workers should unionize (a 7 percent increase from last year), 21 percent answered "maybe" and 9 percent said they weren't sure. When the same group was asked whether they thought game industry workers would unionize, only 23 percent said "yes," while 43 percent said "maybe." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-01-24 20:00:03 preview's
Scientists Predict Wuhan's Virus Outbreak Will Get Much Worse

New estimates of how far the virus could spread suggest an explosion of cases will hit the Chinese city and more infected individuals will show up abroad.
2020-01-24 19:45:02 preview's
An Esports Exodus to YouTube Reshapes the Livestream Wars

The *Call of Duty* League, the *Overwatch* League, and *Hearthstone* Esports all call YouTube home now. That's not great news for Twitch.
2020-01-24 19:00:03 preview's
After 3000 years, we can hear the “voice” of a mummified Egyptian priest

It's a single vowel sound, not a running string of speech. But it's a start.
2020-01-24 18:45:02 preview's
Giant Planets Could Form Around Tiny Stars in Just a Few Thousand Years

A new study has shown how gas giants (like Proxima c) can exist around Red Dwarf suns, the most common type of star in the Universe The post Giant Planets Could Form Around Tiny Stars in Just a Few Thousand Years appeared first on Universe Today.
2020-01-24 18:15:02 preview's
Dolly Parton's Meme Exposes Social Media's Masquerade

The country star's “LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder” post speaks to people's desire to be what any platform needs them to be.
2020-01-24 17:45:03