Apple modular Mac Pro launch coming in 2019, new engineering group formed to guarantee future of hardware

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A redesigned modular Mac Pro — teased in April 2017 for professionals that want to upgrade faster — won’t ship until 2019, Apple declared on Thursday.
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The moon may have formed inside the early Earth

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Scientists have been puzzling over the moon's formation for a long time, and now there's a new theory that might explain some of the baffling mysteries surrounding our satellite. A new study published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Pla…
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Scientists Now Know When the First Stars Formed in the Universe

Using a compact radio antenna 10 years in the making, researchers have discovered evidence of the oldest suns in the known universe. They’ve published their findings in Nature.

When we look at stars, we see them as they were, not as they are. That’s because the light takes time to travel from its source to our eyes. With powerful enough telescopes, we could directly see the very oldest stars in the universe. Unfortunately, those telescopes don’t exist.

Instead, we have to rely on indirect evidence. So that’s what a team of astronomers from Arizona State University (ASU), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Colorado at Boulder set out to find. Their search was part of the Experiment to Detect the Global EoR (Epoch of Reionization) Signature (EDGES) project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)

The researchers posited that the earliest stars likely changed the universe’s background electromagnetic radiation, also known as cosmic microwave background (CMB). Although they knew what they were looking for — a small change in the intensity of CMB radio signals between certain wavelengths — finding it wasn’t going to be easy, considering everything else going on in the universe.

“Sources of noise can be 10,000 times brighter than the signal — it’s like being in the middle of a hurricane and trying to hear the flap of a hummingbird’s wing,” Peter Kurczynski, an NSF program director, noted in a press release.

Based on previous research, the team also knew that the universe’s earliest stars released large quantities of ultraviolet (UV) light. When this light interacted with hydrogen atoms, it would absorb CMB photons, leaving a signal in radio frequencies; an indication that stars were forming.

Using a customized radio antenna in the Australian desert, the team collected radio wave data until, at last, they found what they’d been looking for: a clear dip in CMB intensity. This dip indicated that ancient suns first emerged about 180 million years post-Big Bang. For several years the researchers checked and rechecked the data before concluding its validity.

“Finding this minuscule signal has opened a new window on the early universe,” said lead investigator Judd Bowman, an ASU cosmologist, in the press release. “It’s unlikely we’ll be able to see any earlier into the history of stars in our lifetime.”

Image Credit: N.R.Fuller, National Science Foundation
Image Credit: N.R.Fuller, National Science Foundation

Not only does this discovery give us a glimpse of the universe’s earliest stars, it may also help us solve one of its greatest mysteries: the nature of dark matter.

The signal at the center of the EDGES project was twice as intense as expected, indicating that the absorbing hydrogen atoms were colder than researchers thought they’d be. One possible explanation could be an interaction with dark matter.

“If that idea is confirmed, then we’ve learned something new and fundamental about the mysterious dark matter that makes up 85 percent of the matter in the universe,” said Bowman. “This would provide the first glimpse of physics beyond the standard model.”

Even without the possible dark matter connection, the discovery is groundbreaking. The EDGES project team’s follow-up projects, designed to build off this remarkable research, are already in the works.

The post Scientists Now Know When the First Stars Formed in the Universe appeared first on Futurism.


Our solar system may have formed inside a giant space bubble

There are various theories about how the solar system formed, but scientists haven't been able to agree on a single model that explains all the quirks of our corner of space as it exists today. Now, scientists at the University of Chicago have come u…
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Megazords Have Formed in ‘Power Rangers: Legacy Wars’

Power Rangers: Legacy Wars [Free], fresh from its showcase at Amazon’s Mobile Masters esport competition, is getting its biggest update yet that will have giant Megazords fighting other giant Megazords in a, you guessed it, giant Megazord on Megazord fight. There’s something about giant mechs fighting other giant mechs that gets gamers’ hearts pumping faster, so I’m pretty sure those who enjoy Power Rangers will have a gigantic blast with this new update. There are four Megazords to unlock, but who they are is a secret; you’ll have to collect Zord Shards to find out. And during the Megazord Alliance Wars event, you can take your Megazords to battle against other Alliances, trying to deal the most damage to opposing Megazords to add to their Alliance’s score.

You can, of course, customize your Megazord using 12 Mega Abilities, including restoring your energy, silencing your opponents’ Breakers briefly, and so on. All these Megas can be earned from Alliance Missions and Megazord Battles. This huge update, the biggest in the game yet, has a ton more additions and fixes, which you can read about here. It shows that there’s a lot more content to come to Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, and that’s a good thing for those who enjoy the game.


Trusted IoT Alliance formed to add Blockchain layer to enterprise IoT products/services

A group of companies announced last week to form a Blockchain-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) alliance named as Trusted IoT Alliance (TIA). The primary aim of this alliance is to lead pilots, publish open source code, and coordinate standards and reference architecture.

Members of the alliance include Bosch, BNY Mellon, Cisco, Gemalto, U.S. Bank along with Bitse, Chronicled, ConsenSys, Ledger, Skuchain,, HCM International of Foxconn Group, IOTA, Oaken Innovations, Qtum, Chain of Things, and Big Chain DB.

Founding Members

The use cases will involve to providing cryptographic identities to devices, machines, and supply chain hardware with a Blockchain and smart contract powered backend. A smart contract is a self-executable code-based contract that simplifies and automates transactions/contracts between parties.

A variety of use cases may include event logging, identity and access management of IoT-based products/services, title registration, and trade finance automation.

A key reason for adding a layer of open ledge/hyper ledger technology to IoT products/things is to add trust and immutability and hence verify originality/authenticity of these things.

There are a few Blockchain-based alliances and ecosystems already operating in the market, such as Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, IBM Interconnect, and Blockchain Alliance. However, TIA is the first one to focus on enterprise IoT-based Blockchain implementations. The alliance terms its mission as:

“To enable trust in the data produced by such IoT systems in a distributed ledger/blockchain agnostic fashion, thereby enabling a decentralized trust model for interoperable digitized identities of physical goods, documents, immobilized assets, sensors, and machines. Finally, we wish to see this happen with the resiliency that can scale to support billions of connected devices”.

As of now, the TIA has published a common API to register ‘things’ to both Hyperledger and Enterprise Ethereum Blockchain networks. It will operate via fee- and project contribution-based membership models. The fee-paying members will get a say in which projects get to be implemented.

The use cases currently underway include Trusted Odometer, Supply chain event logging, luxury goods identify verification, router firmware verification, and data logger provenance.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things