Daily Archives: June 12, 2017

Landry: 5 takeaways from the first week of pre-season – CFL.ca

Posted: June 12, 2017 at 8:42 pm

The Edmonton Eskimos have a linebacker named Terrance Bullitt on their roster. Bullitt! Too bad he didnt play his college ball at Western.

For those of you too young to get that reference, Bullitt is the name of one of the greatest action movies of all-time, with the grand-daddy of all car chase scenes in it, one that made a particular sports car an indelible cultural icon. You think Vin Diesel is cool? Pffft. Steve McQueen in Bullitt makes Vin Diesel look like a background extra in a chess club episode of Big Bang Theory.

Here are this weeks takeaways.

Deep down in the Edmonton quarterback depth chart lies an incredible natural resource just waiting to be tapped for the good of all mankind: Zach Klines exuberance. The rookie quarterback came on in the fourth quarter of Sunday nights thriller (you dont really get to say that about a pre-season game very often do you?) and on his very first read in a CFL game, saw a wide open Dhaquille Williams down the right side.

He let it fly and boom, Edmonton had a 75 yard touchdown play:

The isolation camera shot on Kline was fantastic as we got to watch the 23-year-old native of Danville, Calif. take off on a sprint, right arm thrust into the air most of the way, hand balled up in a fist. Then, looking for anyone everyone, actually to celebrate with. Moments later, on the sideline, he was still whooping it up like he was 10years old and had actually really, really gotten a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Gotta love moments like that.

Note to the Eskies: Next home game, hook up one of the sideline bikes to the stadium lights and turn Kline loose. Ive a hunch he could save you oodles on your electricity bill. Of course, there IS the chance he could pop a few bulbs.

The third-year quarterback from Mississauga, Ont., looked very good against Winnipeg on Saturday night, propelling himself into serious conversation about who ought to start the season as Saskatchewans back-up man behind Kevin Glenn. Bridge may have been lost a wee bit in the shuffle with the comeback of Vince Young and the surge of Bryan Bennett dominating the talk at Roughriders camp.

Bridge looked cool as a hollowed out watermelon Im assuming thats why theyre worn, for the coolness on a hot prairie afternoon against the Blue Bombers, going 20 for 26 for 201 yards and a touchdown. Bridge did most everything right and displayed a terrific release as he zipped a missile into Duron Carter for a touchdown strike. Air Canada flight 16 is revving its engines on the tarmac.

Rick Campbells squad eked out a one-point win over Hamilton on Thursday night and the coach rewarded his team with a field trip to the House of Commons, where they apparently held a quick team meeting. Fuddle Huddle, I call it. Or, Huddle Duddle if you prefer.

I understand that while they were there, the team installed a couple of new plays for Thursdays game against Montreal and passed Bill C-1127, which will see the red bands on Canadas flag changed to red and black plaid, allow the team to practise inside Rideau Hall during inclement weather and declare the end zones they defend to be national nature preserves, trespassers being subject to fine and/or imprisonment. Its a bit of an omnibus bill and the REDBLACKS are being roundly criticized for that. As they should.

Going forward, Ottawa fans can celebrate touchdowns by pounding their seats and yelling Hear, hear!

Alouettes kicker Boris Bede is looking for a bounce back season in 2017 (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

The Montreal kicker and punter, who had a mostly miserable 2016 season, may have found the root of what was ailing him. Against the Argos on Thursday night, Bede was a perfect 4-for-4 in field goal attempts, his longest from 48 yards. He also strong-legged the pigskin by way of punts (averaging 44.4 yards, better than his career average) and kick-offs (64.5 yards).

Bede went a miserable 11-of-21 on field goals last season, including the 7-of-16 start that saw him lose his job in August. When granted a reprieve in October, Bede did come back looking a little better, but the sample size was small. Thursdays performance in Toronto may be a signal that hes returned to the form of 2015, when he went 36-of-40.

Lets travel from East to West and highlight a guy like that from each franchise. These are really nine mini-takeaways among the fifth takeaway, so memo to CFL.ca head office: Ill be billing for overtime even though, as we all know, there is no overtime in pre-season.

Montreal: George Johnson. The lanky receiver from London, Ontario, caught a touchdown pass and then capped it with a terrific grab on the ensuing two point convert.

Ottawa: Sherrod Baltimore. The defensive back from Maine had five tackles, two of them on special teams. And he had an interception that was called back due to a penalty on some other guy.

Toronto: Jimmy Ralph. The Alberta-born receiver gathered in four receptions for 54 yards, including a splendid diving grab on a bomb and another nifty, ground-level catch for a touchdown.

Hamilton: DT Davon Coleman. The Arizona State grad raised a few eyebrows with good interior play, including two tackles, a sack and a pass knockdown.

Winnipeg: Flix Mnard-Brire. The former Montreal Carabins kicker did miss a 44-yard field goal attempt. But that miss was highlighted by him chasing down the returner from behind to stop a touchdown. He also nailed two converts and averaged more than 64 yards on four kick-offs.

Saskatchewan: Returner Quincy Walden. The running back out of Bethel University averaged 24.5 yards on two kick returns and hauled back that missed Winnipeg field goal 87 yards. Yes, he got caught by a kicker but Im told that might say more about Mnard-Brire than Walden.

Calgary: Receiver Reggie Begelton. The Texas native reeled in five catches for 88 yards against the BC Lions, one of them for a touchdown. Of his yardage total, more than half came after the catch.

Edmonton: Kent London. The defensive back from California, signed just last week, picked off a pass and earned high marks for run defence support. When the camera caught him on the sideline, he said Let em know youre here. He did that.

BC: Linebacker Micah Awe, born in Nigeria and university trained at Texas Tech, got an edge in the Who Replaces Adam Bighill competition with four tackles, one of them on special teams.

AND FINALLY

Mike Reillys suit of armour gets polished a bit more. Switching from 13 to zero for a game to honour Larry Highbaugh? Classy.

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Landry: 5 takeaways from the first week of pre-season – CFL.ca

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Hubble spies on nearby brown dwarfs – Astronomy Magazine

Posted: at 8:42 pm

Sometimes, its our closest neighbors that are the most difficult to spy on. Case in point: The Luhman 16 AB system, which is the third-closest stellar system to our Sun, yet was not discovered until 2013. After three years of subsequent monitoring, a stack of 12 images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has confirmed that the system is composed of two brown dwarfs and no third companion, as was originally suspected.

A team of astronomers led by Luigi Bedin watched the two visible stars, Luhman 16 A and Luhman 16 B, over the course of three years between August 22, 2014, and October 4, 2016. During this time, HST has imaged the system 12 times (with a thirteenth proposed visit in August 2018). Using these images, they were able to determine several orbital parameters of the stars, as well as more accurately measure their distance and search for any potential exoplanets in the system. Their results have been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Bedin and his team used their sequence of Hubble images to watch the two brown dwarfs dance across the sky. In particular, they were looking for a third potential body in the system, such as a large exoplanet, which had been indicated by the stars motion in previous observations with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. However, according to Bedins group, the new Hubble measurements rule out the presence of a third body in the system, all the way down to planets of Neptunes mass with a period between one and two years. Thus, if the system does harbor exoplanets, they must be smaller than Neptune and take longer than one to two Earth years to circle their sun.

Brown dwarfs are often called failed stars because they are too small to sustain the fusion processes that create energy inside stars. While these bodies can sometimes fuse a hydrogen isotope known as deuterium, even this phase doesnt last very long, relatively speaking, leaving the star to essentially cool off over cosmic time and grow dark.

However, astronomers know that there are many more low-mass objects in the universe than high-mass ones. Thus, because of their increased number, these lower-mass objects are an extremely fertile place to look for exoplanets.

Luhman A and B circle each other once every two to four decades, with a distance between them of about 3 astronomical units (three times the distance between the Sun and Earth). The system itself is located within about 2 parsecs of the Sun, or 6.5 light-years. Only the Alpha Centauri system and Barnard’s Star are closer.

Because the Luhman 16 AB system is so close to the Sun, its the perfect place to study brown dwarfs, which are hard to see because theyre both small and dim, up close. Bedins team plans to continue their study of the stars to both improve the precision of their measured orbital parameters and to search for ever-smaller, Earth-sized exoplanets in the system.

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Hubble spies on nearby brown dwarfs – Astronomy Magazine

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Inquiring minds rewarded – Harvard Gazette

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Investigating how languages emerge and evolve. Using climate-change data to predict dust storms and bacterial meningitis outbreaks in Northern Africa. Understanding whether age-related diseases may stem from a common driver. Determining whether the presence of oxygen can be used to predict life on distant exoplanets.

Harvard scientists are known for pushing boundaries, but the projects funded through the 2017 Star Family Challenge for Promising Scientific Research are poised to take that reputation to new heights.

Created through a gift from James A. Star 83, the annual challenge funds high-risk, high-reward research that might not receive funding through other programs.

I want to salute the winners of the 2017 Star Family Challenge, Star said. This is a wonderful set of projects, and I look forward to hearing about them. I also want to thank Professor Randy Buckner and his committee for taking over from [former chairman] Doug Melton and moving the challenge forward.

As part of the program, the faculty members selected for the awards Jesse Snedeker, Elsie Sunderland, Caroline Buckee, Amy Wagers, and Robin Wordsworth made short presentations on their work to a standing-room-only crowd in the Faculty Room of University Hall.

We live in a time in which the funding of science faces threats, said Buckner, a professor of psychology and of neuroscience. It is unlikely the funding of science is going to become more risk-taking, more imaginative, or more centered on the blue-sky projects which excite so many people here today.

The need for the type of funding the Star Family Foundation is providing is going to become ever more critical, he continued. Your support means a very great deal.

Jesse Snedeker

Language is ubiquitous, said Snedeker, a professor of psychology, describing her project. Everywhere in the world you will find people talking to one another. These languages have many properties in common they all use nouns and verbs, they all have grammatical rules, and all languages are acquired by young children over a very short period. But there is also remarkable diversity of language they can vary in their words, in the specific grammatical structures that they allow, and in their sounds.

The basic question Snedeker hopes to address is one that has long been at the center of psychological research: Where does language come from?

Its an extremely difficult problem, she noted, because while the first humans left Africa at least 60,000 years ago, written records of language begin only about 5,000 years ago. What researchers can examine are the languages created by deaf communities.

Working with the deaf community in Nicaragua, Snedeker and colleagues plan to collect data on shared words, grammatical rules, and social networks among students from the 1970s through the 1990s with the goal of understanding how language changed over time.

What other researchers have discovered is that the first cohort those students that came into the schools in the 70s had shared signs for certain words and ordered narratives, but they do not reliably mark which argument is the subject and which is the object with either word order, like English, or case marking, like Russian or Turkish, Snedeker said. But by the time the later cohorts come in, they use verbal inflection about 50 percent of the time, and subject, object, verb word order the rest of the time.

This rapid pattern of evolution of language raises some interesting questions, Snedeker added. The first were going to be asking is: Why havent these older signers picked up on what the younger people around them are doing? Theyre part of a larger community, yet they havent adopted the regularities that the 20- and 30-year-olds are using.

Working with Martin Nowak, a professor of biology and mathematics and director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, and Annemarie Kocab, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology, Snedeker hopes to create computational models that can provide new insight into the social dynamics that drive language.

Amy Wagers

When you consider the greatest risk factor for many diseases, says Wagers, the Forst Family Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, it all comes down to one word: aging.

There is growing evidence that diseases such as cancer, cardiac disease, and cognitive decline today viewed as separate medical challenges could be treated by targeting their age-related roots, Wagers said.

The underlying goal of this project is to understand the fundamental physiological processes of the natural process of aging, and then understand how those impact health, Wagers said. [With] that understanding, can we develop therapies or other interventions that allow us to take aim at that root cause, or develop strategies that could be applied across different diseases of aging which have typically been thought of as independent.

The notion that many age-related diseases may share a common driver was inspired in part by the discovery of mutations in circulating blood cells that accumulate with age and lead to clonal hematopoiesis problems in the formation of blood. Wagers and colleagues hope to investigate a new hypothesis that those mutations, and the problems they cause, may be a common driver of age-associated dysfunction across organ systems.

What this project will allow us to do is clarify the relevance of these age-related [mutations], Wagers said. This will allow us to understand whether there is therapeutic value in targeting those clones.

Working with Lee Rubin, a professor of stem cell and regenerative biology, and Richard T. Lee, a professor of stem cell and regenerative biology and of medicine, Wagers plans to use CRISPR technology to introduce specific mutations associated with clonal hematopoiesis in humans into young and middle-aged mice, and monitor the rate of emergence of age-associated pathologies in three different organ systems: skeletal muscle, the brain, and the heart.

Elsie Sunderland

Seasonal change and illness often go hand in hand, but in West Africa, the combination can be deadly.

Every year, dust storms across the region are accompanied by devastating epidemics of bacterial meningitis, which has a mortality rate of 50 percent when left untreated, said Sunderland, the Thomas D. Cabot Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and an associate professor of environmental science and engineering at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Though its thought that the dust irritates the throat, making people more susceptible to disease, Sunderland plans to test an alternative hypothesis that meningitis bacteria are carried on the winds that drive those dust storms.

Microbes can be transported on aerosols like dust, Sunderland said. And these dust storms are very much a function of global climate so the intensity of these storms has been changing quite a bit over the last number of years. This is a very dynamic phenomenon that we are trying to link to the spread of meningitis in the area.

Sunderlands partner on the project is Buckee, an infectious disease epidemiologist from the Harvard Chan School, who said that while there has long been evidence of correlation between the dust storms and the outbreaks, the mechanism behind the link has been unclear.

Along with Buckee, Sunderland has recruited help from Tovi Lehmann of the National Institutes of Health, who samples insect populations on wind currents in Mali using helium balloons, and Stephen Bentley, a bacterial genomics expert at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

The group plans to use helium balloons and microbial collection devices to sample aerosols transported by winds in Mali, sequence the bacterial genomes that are collected, and assess the risk of atmospheric spread of meningitis and other windborne pathogens.

The idea is to provide some metrics to use for modeling to better understand these outbreaks, and to potentially use for forecasting, Sunderland said. Thats a major benefit for the practice of public health and being able to identify where vulnerable populations are.

Robin Wordsworth

With every discovery of a new exoplanet, interest in the idea that one may hold extraterrestrial life gains momentum. But how will that life be detected if the technology doesnt exist to send probes into deep space?

One possible method, says Wordsworth, an assistant professor of environmental science and engineering at SEAS, may be in detecting oxygen in the atmosphere of other planets.

Whats really fascinating and exciting about this to me is that for the first time on a large scale this question of extraterrestrial life is no longer something which is purely in literature or science fiction, Wordsworth said. Its something we can start to address scientifically.

Though there is wide evidence that oxygen in Earths atmosphere is due to the presence of life, there is debate about whether the gas is a reliable biosignature, because recent research has shown that some planets can produce oxygen-rich atmospheres abiotically.

In an effort to resolve that debate, Wordsworth and collaborators David Charbonneau, a professor of astronomy, and Dimitar Sasselov, Phillips Professor of Astronomy and director of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative, plan to construct advanced planetary evolution models that incorporate atmospheric, surface, and interior processes to simulate the early years of a planets development the period that most affects a planets oxygen accumulation.

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Inquiring minds rewarded – Harvard Gazette

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Stalwart of astronomy and proud family man – Gisborne Herald

Posted: at 8:42 pm

HE WAS a Gisborne Astronomical Society star but the late Huon Chandler preferred to stay out of the limelight, says society president John Drummond of his long-time friend.

Mr Chandler was the societys long-standing treasurer and public nights presenter.

Devoted to the society since the early 1970s, the Cook Observatory was like his second home, said Mr Drummond in his eulogy.

Few know he paid the monthly power bills out of his own pocket when the society was at its ebb.

He also regularly mowed the grass around the Cook Observatory for years and painted over graffiti as soon as it appeared on the observatory.

Mr Chandler ran public nights every Tuesday for about 25 years and his talks on cosmology and others aspects of astronomy were legendary.

Those public nights even made it into the New Zealand Lonely Planet section on Gisborne.

There are undoubtedly many other things that Huon did for the society and observatory that even I dont know, said Mr Drummond.

Born in Dunedin in 1947, Mr Chandler joined the Inland Revenue Department on leaving school. When his family moved to Gisborne a few years later, he moved here too.

He met his future wife, Carol, during a holiday in USA and in 1976. They married in Gisborne and raised two boys, Joseph and Matthew.

Mr Chandlers varied career usually included a computer.

A passionate reader, Mr Chandler had a particular penchant for science fiction and loved fantasy games.

When computer fantasy games became available, he was in his element.

He was equally in his element on starry nights.

Mr Drummond recalls those nights.

We discussed everything from astronomy, to politics, to God and, of course his family, which he always spoke of with pride and excitement.

I remember one night on the roof of the Cook Observatory when Huon and I were observing a meteor shower.

We got to talking about the movie Blazing Saddles and noticed more meteors.

Later we revisited that comedy-western and again saw an increase in meteors.

This happened a number of times during the night. It was a unique experience to us both and one that we joked about for many years after.

Mr Chandler died on May 26 after several months of illness.

Farewell my old meteor-observing buddy, said Mr Drummond.

May you shine like a star in your new abode forever.

HE WAS a Gisborne Astronomical Society star but the late Huon Chandler preferred to stay out of the limelight, says society president John Drummond of his long-time friend.

Mr Chandler was the societys long-standing treasurer and public nights presenter.

Devoted to the society since the early 1970s, the Cook Observatory was like his second home, said Mr Drummond in his eulogy.

Few know he paid the monthly power bills out of his own pocket when the society was at its ebb.

He also regularly mowed the grass around the Cook Observatory for years and painted over graffiti as soon as it appeared on the observatory.

Mr Chandler ran public nights every Tuesday for about 25 years and his talks on cosmology and others aspects of astronomy were legendary.

Those public nights even made it into the New Zealand Lonely Planet section on Gisborne.

There are undoubtedly many other things that Huon did for the society and observatory that even I dont know, said Mr Drummond.

Born in Dunedin in 1947, Mr Chandler joined the Inland Revenue Department on leaving school. When his family moved to Gisborne a few years later, he moved here too.

He met his future wife, Carol, during a holiday in USA and in 1976. They married in Gisborne and raised two boys, Joseph and Matthew.

Mr Chandlers varied career usually included a computer.

A passionate reader, Mr Chandler had a particular penchant for science fiction and loved fantasy games.

When computer fantasy games became available, he was in his element.

He was equally in his element on starry nights.

Mr Drummond recalls those nights.

We discussed everything from astronomy, to politics, to God and, of course his family, which he always spoke of with pride and excitement.

I remember one night on the roof of the Cook Observatory when Huon and I were observing a meteor shower.

We got to talking about the movie Blazing Saddles and noticed more meteors.

Later we revisited that comedy-western and again saw an increase in meteors.

This happened a number of times during the night. It was a unique experience to us both and one that we joked about for many years after.

Mr Chandler died on May 26 after several months of illness.

Farewell my old meteor-observing buddy, said Mr Drummond.

May you shine like a star in your new abode forever.

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Stalwart of astronomy and proud family man – Gisborne Herald

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ALMA Observes Massive Protostar in Kleinmann-Low Nebula – Sci-News.com

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A team of astronomers has determined how the gas flow from a massive infant star is launched. The researchers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to observe the 10-solar-mass protostar Orion KL Source I in the Kleinmann-Low Nebula and obtained clear evidence of rotation in the outflow.

Artists impression of Orion KL Source I. The massive protostar is surrounded by a disk of gas and dust. The outflow is launched from the surface of the outer disk. Image credit: ALMA / ESO / NAOJ / NRAO.

Stars form from gas and dust floating in interstellar space. But, astronomers do not yet fully understand how it is possible to form the massive stars seen in space.

One key issue is gas rotation. The parent cloud rotates slowly in the initial stage and the rotation becomes faster as the cloud shrinks due to self-gravity.

Stars formed in such a process should have very rapid rotation, but this is not the case. The stars observed in the Universe rotate more slowly.

How is the rotational momentum dissipated? One possible scenario involves that the gas emanating from protostars.

If the gas outflow rotates, it can carry rotational momentum away from the system.

Astronomers have tried to detect the rotation of the outflow to test this scenario and understand its launching mechanism.

In a few cases signatures of rotation have been found, but it has been difficult to resolve clearly, especially around massive protostars.

Orion KL Source I observed with ALMA. The massive protostar is located in the center and surrounded by a gas disk (red). A bipolar gas outflow is ejected from the protostar (blue). Image credit: ALMA / ESO / NAOJ / NRAO / Hirota et al.

Dr. Tomoya Hirota, an astronomer at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and SOKENDAI, and colleagues observed a protostar called Orion KL Source I in the Kleinmann-Low Nebula, the most active part of the Orion Nebula complex.

Thanks to its close vicinity and ALMAs advanced capabilities, Dr. Hirota and co-authors were able to reveal the nature of the outflow from Orion KL Source I.

We have clearly imaged the rotation of the outflow. In addition, the result gives us important insight into the launching mechanism of the outflow, Dr. Hirota said.

The new ALMA observations beautifully illustrate the rotation of the outflow: it rotates in the same direction as the gas disk surrounding the star; this strongly supports the idea that the outflow plays an important role in dissipating the rotational energy.

Furthermore, ALMA clearly shows that the outflow is launched not from the vicinity of Orion KL Source I itself, but rather from the outer edge of the disk. This morphology agrees well with the magnetocentrifugal disk wind model.

The findings appear today in the journal Nature Astronomy.

_____

Hirota et al. Disk-Driven Rotating Bipolar Outflow in Orion Source I. Nature Astronomy, published online June 12, 2017

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The Controversy Over the Alien ‘Wow!’ Signal Is Astronomy’s Greatest Beef – Motherboard

Posted: at 8:42 pm

The origin of the notorious Wow! Signala 72 second-long astronomical anomaly some scientists first thought to have been a signal from extraterrestrial lifehas been a constant source of speculation for alien hunters ever since it was recorded in 1977 by Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope.

Was it a radio signal sent by E.T. or just something more mundanely human?

A new scientific paper, published in the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, claims to have finally nailed it, sparking a flurry of press coverage proclaiming the mystery finally solved. According to the study author, Antonio Paris of St. Petersburg College in Florida, the answer lies in a passing comet called 266P/Christensen (only discovered in 2006) that caused the 1420MHz ‘Wow!’ radio signal detected some forty years ago.

Paris’ research claims to have confirmed that comets emit a 1420MHz signal. Thus, he goes on to argue, this is likely what the telescope picked up on when the comet passed in front of the area of the sky the it was pointed at.

But Paris’ conclusion doesn’t have fellow astronomers convinced.

“There are some problems with the analysis, which doesn’t use many of the standard things one would do in radio astronomy,” Chris Lintott, professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, told Motherboard.

“The paper appears in a journal that I hadn’t heard of before Paris published his Wow/comet ideas in thereit may be peer reviewed, but it’s not part of the astronomical mainstream and so I’d be worried about the quality of that review.”

“You may as well say it’s due to ghosts or due to reality television”

So between interrogative tweets and doubting Reddit threads, Motherboard reached out to Paris to ask what’s really going on.

“I have received over 500 emails this week about the Wow paper. About 99.99 percent appear [to be] positive reaction from the public and the scientific community,” Paris told Motherboard in an email. “A handful, however, were from those who are still skeptical, mostly from the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Life) community. I suspect that SETI, who has used the Wow signal as a source of revenue, is nervous.”

SETI, for its part, says such claims are preposterous: “We haven’t made any money on the Wow signal whatsoever,” Seth Shostak, senior astronomer for the SETI Institute, told Motherboard. “The charge we’re making a lot of money off of it is bizarre. It’s a bogus claim.”

Shostak says he finds Paris’s paper hard to believe based on what other astronomers have observed.

“The Ohio State radio telescope has two receivers on it. If it observes something in the sky, it’s always reobserved 70 seconds later with a second feed,” he said. “With Wow, it found it in one feed but it doesn’t find it in the second. It’s disappeared. A comet doesn’t disappear in a minute. It doesn’t move across the sky in a minute. It barely moves at all.”

Paris said he had even received a phone call from a technician who helped build the Big Ear telescope who was excited that “the mystery has been solved.” But Paris’ research is still in the firing line.

“Saying ‘The Wow signal might not be a comet if comets do something we haven’t seen them doing’ seems not very exciting.”

“The claimed detectioneven if it’s realis much, much weaker than the Wow signal, and lasts for longer. So at best the paper shows that comets are detectable in the radionot that they’re capable of the kind of burst that produced the Wow signal,” Lintott told Motherboard. “Saying ‘The Wow signal might be a comet if comets do something we haven’t seen them doing’ seems not very exciting.”

A Reddit user, also claiming to be a radio astronomer, posted a lengthy takedown of Paris’ paper over the weekend, arguing, “This paper was also just really, really, really short on details that a radio astronomer would want, to the point where it likely wouldn’t have passed a referee at a ‘regular’ journal.”

The Wow! signal. Its name inspired by astronomer Jerry R. Ehman, who discovered the anomaly in August 1977. Image: Big Ear Radio Observatory and North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO).

But Paris has kicked back against what he calls an “emotional” response. “I am not in the business of responding to emotions,” he told Motherboard. “There are too many people ‘excited’ or ‘upset’ about this project. Emotions should not have any part in science.”

Shostak said that the comet explanation “would be an interesting result if true,” but that the data just doesn’t back it up: “You may as well say it’s due to ghosts or due to reality television or something. If the explanation doesn’t fit the data, you have to be a little suspect.”

To that end, Lintott has spent the weekend putting together a public list of questions for Paris to answer about his paper, including contributions from other astronomers. The search for extraterrestrial life continues.

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The Controversy Over the Alien ‘Wow!’ Signal Is Astronomy’s Greatest Beef – Motherboard

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Mori Astronomy exhibition double-finalist at NZ Museum Awards – Mori Television

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Waikato Museum exhibition “Te Whnau Mrama: The Heavenly Bodies” was a double-finalist at the New Zealand Museum Awards.

Curated by Dr Rangi Matamua, Dr Hemi Whaanga, Dr Ann Hardy and Hohepa Tuahine from the University of Waikato, the exhibition shines the spotlight on Mori astronomy and how it is being revitalised.

Supported by taonga, photographs and krero, Te Whnau Mrama opens the door on tuning into the stars and a better understanding of the history and meaning of Matariki.

Dr Rangi Matamua (Thoe) is an associate professor at the University ofWaikato.

He states, The right time to look for Matariki is at the end of June or the beginning or middle of July. That’s Pipiri according to the Mori calendar. This year, its from July 17 to July 20 when the moon is in the Tangaroa phase in the month ofPipiri.

Matamua maintains that Mori astronomy is not practised as widely as it once was.

I want this system of knowledge of astronomy to be revitalised in our modern world. We haveforgottenhow to read the stars. However, the knowledge is still there today.

The exhibition was a finalist in the Excellence: Taonga Mori and Most Innovative Use of Te Reo Mori categories.

It incorporates Mori legend, tradition, architecture, music and history to convey the spoken and written language within the exhibition.

Although the exhibition was not a winner, Matamua maintains that the overall aim is the dissemination and revival of traditional Mori knowledge.

The hope is for Mori to return to the environment, to the origin of Mori language and philosophy, governing principals and protocols everything that came from the environment.

The Te Whnau Mrama: The Heavenly Bodies exhibition is on at Waikato Museum and runs until 13 July 2018.

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Mori Astronomy exhibition double-finalist at NZ Museum Awards – Mori Television

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Why Cloud Computing Is The Most Disruptive IT Force – CXOToday.com

Posted: at 8:41 pm

Cloud computing is one of the most disruptive forces facing the Information Technology sector. This statement is not without justification. Lets cast a glance at the enormity of the phenomenon. According to the Bain & Company research report The Changing Faces of the Cloud, globally, the cloud IT market revenue is projected to increase to $390 billion in 2020 from $180 billion, translating into a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 17%.

The report also points out that cloud demand accounted for 70% of related IT market growth in 2015. Moreover, 48 out of Fortune Global 50 companies have announced plans for cloud adoption for a range of IT applications. The cloud market will continue to gain momentum as businesses shift from legacy systems to cloud-based ones, with an increasingly higher number of organizations pursuing digital business strategies.

Cloud computing represents the biggest IT industry disruptions in several years. CIOs will need to put their heads together in order to aid their company successfully and safely navigate the cloud journey, says Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a global leader in cloud tech.

While premise-based IT software and tools have their own advantages, the global trend is for cloud based applications since they offer more connectivity and functionalities than legacy systems. Moreover, enterprises are naturally gravitating towards it as the technology is reasonably reliable, affordable, and provides them access to other new and emergent technologies as well as high end skills. The cloud boom is also propelled by the fact that enterprises are trying to improve performance and productivity over the long term. Looking at the tremendous response for cloud services, several IT companies are designing applications meant solely for pure cloud play.

The overall global public cloud market will mature, and its growth rate will slightly slow down from 17.2% in 2016 to a 15.2% increase in 2020, says Sid Nag, research director at Gartner. While Brexit and other growth challenges exist, some segments such as financial SaaS applications and the PaaS user markets will still see strong growth through 2020. As buyers intensify and increase IaaS activity, they will be getting more for their investment: ongoing enhancement of performance, more memory, more storage for the same money (which will drive increases in consumptions) and increased automation in traditional IT outsourcing (ITO) delivery, added Nag.

In this fast paced world of technology, enterprises must leverage technology to stay ahead of competition. And they must choose wisely. There is a huge market that needs to be explored particularly since the reach of the Internet (including both 3G and 4G services) and the levels of automation and digitization rise exponentially.

[Disclaimer:The views expressed in this article are solely those of theauthors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views ofTrivone MediaNetwork’s or that of CXOToday’s.]

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Why Cloud Computing Is The Most Disruptive IT Force – CXOToday.com

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China’s cloud industry moving to new era with emergence of unicorns – TechNode (blog)

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Just a few years ago, billion-level funding would be beyond the imagination of Chinese cloud computing companies. But now it is becoming more and more tangible as the market matures.

QingCloud, a leading player in the field, is announcing the largest ever funding in the industry so far. The cloud computing platform made it public that they havesecured D round funding worth RMB 1.08 billion (around US$ 158 million). The current round adds to a US$ 2 million series A in 2012, aUSD 20 million Series Bin 2013 and USD 100 million in 2016.The company confirmed with TechNode that it has IPO plans, but declined to offer more details. The firm reportedly is removing their VIE structure to prepare for a local listing.

The massive round is from a consortium of investors, including China Merchants Securities International and China Merchants Zhiyuan Capital Investment (two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Chinas top security trading and brokerage firm, China Merchants Securities), Riverhead Capital Investment Management, CICC Jiatai Fund and China Oceanwide Holdings Group. Existing investors of Lightspeed China Partners and Bluerun Ventures also participated.

QingCloud founding team (L-R): Spencer Lin, Richard Huang, Reno Gan (Image credit: QingCloud)

QingClouds funding isnt a single case. It marks the latest in a series of venture investments in this sector, which has bumped several companies in the vertical to unicorn status recently.

Two companies in the arena received similar-sized backings in June alone. Cloud and big data solution provider Dt Dream received an RMB 750 million A round led by Alibaba and Everbright Industry Capital Management. Another Alibaba-backed cloud computing startup Cloudcare received nearly a 1 billion RMB C round led by FOSUN Group and Sequoia Capital China.Tencent-backed UCloud completed an RMB 960 million series D roundearlier this year.

Among the companies that have landed billion-level RMB funding, Dt Dream is the only one that announced unicorn status with over US$ 1 billion valuation. This may shed light on the valuations of the other companies, which have received similar size or higher funding.

Behind the investment frenzy is the huge potential of this market. Areport from research institute CCID shows that Chinas cloud computing market surged 41.7% YOY to RMB 279.7 billion in 2016, forecasting that this figure would reach RMB570.64 billion by 2019 with an annual growth rate of over 20%.

The emergence of several unicorns over a relatively short period of time is signifying a deeperchange in the market. In line with the second-half era proposition proposed by Meituan-Dianping CEO Wang Xing, the cloud computing startup pointed that Chinas cloud computing market is also entering a special transition point fora new period. While cloud computing platforms only used by non-core businesses for financial clients like banks, insurance, and security companies in the first-half era, it will find wider application in the new era.

Co-founded by IBM alumni Richard Huang, Reno Gan, and Spencer Lin, the company launched the QingCloud platform in July 2013. They now operate 24 data centers, of which 10 are run independently and 14 through partnerships, providing services to over 70,000 enterprise services.

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. Reach her at lixin@technode.com

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The Risks and Perquisites of Cloud Computing – DATAQUEST

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Cloud technology is catching up in India and the considerations for adopting it have evolved too. Customers today are looking at deploying public and private cloud capabilities in one infrastructure. In fact, according to a recent Gartner report, the public cloud services market in India is estimated to grow at 38% in 2017 to $1.81 billion.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), projected to grow 49.2% in 2017, will be the highest growth driver, followed by software as a service (SaaS) at 33% and lastly platform as a service (PaaS) with 32.1%. This trend is a significant indicator that the migration of application and workloads from on premises data centres to the cloud, along with the development of cloud-ready and cloud-native applications, are triggering immense growth. While this may be on the rise, it also comes with some challenges and companies need to consider aspects like security, migration to new technologies, training for resources etc.

With this, the debate surrounding the security of cloud computing specifically whether data was more secure in the cloud or not has for the most part been settled. A growing number of organizations now view the cloud as secure and in many cases more so than an on-premises deployment. Beyond that, as each of the public cloud vendors point out, security in the cloud is ashared responsibility with the organization as the application owner being responsible for protecting applications, the OS, supporting infrastructure and other assets running in the cloud.

From a security standpoint, public cloud vendors management consoles are a key weak point and consequently an attractive target for an attacker, often via a phishing attempt. As such, its important to lock down and secure privileged credentials in a digital vault to secure the management console. As such, the enterprises responsibilities, specifically the functions above the hypervisor, include securing the privileged credentials used by applications and scripts accessing other applications and assets, such the enterprises customer database.

Unfortunately these credentials are all too often hardcoded. This is a particularly troubling vulnerability as there can be a large number of hardcoded credentials used throughout cloud and hybrid environments. Hard-coding and embedding credentials in the code or a script can initially make them easy to use but thisrepresents a significant vulnerabilitybecause attackers or malicious insiders can also easily access them, especially if the credentials are in clear text. But, even worse, when credentials are hard-coded or locally stored, they are nearly impossible to rotate, further making them a static and easy target for attackers.

The Risk Is Real

As part of the DevOps process developers often share source code theyve developed on code repositories such GitHub. While its part of the DevOps process, its an all too common example of how embedded passwords and credentials can become public if theyre hardcoded. Even if the code is only saved in the enterprises internal code repositories those passwords and credentials can easily be accessed by other developers and used either inadvertently or maliciously. It also becomes difficult, if not impossible, to fully identify which applications or scripts are interacting with other applications and other enterprise assets.

In the past, these mistakes might not have been so risky, exploitable and damaging within an on-premises environment. However, in a cloud environment, because of the rapid pace of change, the ability to quickly scale and the tools being used, these vulnerabilities are amplified and can pose unacceptable levels of risk.

To minimize risk and follow best practices, enterprises should avoid hardcoding passwords and credentials used by applications and scripts and instead secure credentials in a digital vault and rotate them according to policy. With this approach, just like with human users, enterprises can assign unique credentials to each application, code image or script, and then track, monitor and control access. IT administrators will know which applications access resources such as a customer database. Also, when an application or script is retired, the administrator or script can simply turn off the credentials.

A core business benefit of cloud is elasticity the ability to easily and instantaneously scale up and scale down the number of compute instances or virtual servers to meet the needs of the business at a specific point in time. With on-demand cloud computing, the business only pays for the compute, storage and other resources they use. No human intervention is required. The cloud automation tools are either built-in as a capability of the public cloud vendors offerings such as AWS Auto Scale, or as part of the orchestration and automation tools used with DevOps such as Puppet, Chef, Ansible, etc.

On-demand computing in the cloud, enabled by the automation tools, is a huge business benefit, but it also presents challenges and new potential risks when these new application instances are created and launched, they need privileges and credentials to access resources. The automation tools can provide the credentials, but these credentials also need to be secured.

Consequently, when a new application instance is created, as the compute environment dynamically scales, a best practice is to immediately secure the permissions and credentials assigned to the new instance in the secure digital vault. This ensures that the credentials can immediately be monitored, managed, secured and rotated according to policy. When the compute instances are retired, the associated credentials can also be removed. This is achieved with integrations between the various automation tools and the secure digital vault.

Whether the enterprise is fully in the cloud with IaaS or PaaS or is migrating to the cloud, it is critical to ensure applications, scripts and other assets use secure passwords and privileged credentials to access other applications and assets in the cloud.

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