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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Scientists Constantly Surprised By What They Discover?

Slashdot reader dryriver asks about “the sheer number of times scientists consider something to be ‘scientifically impossible’, are badly disproven by some kind of new finding or discovery a few years later, and then express ‘surprise’ that ‘X is indeed possible’.”

If you do a Google News search for the keywords “scientists were surprised” or similar, a huge number of science-related news articles contains a passage about “scientists being surprised” by what they discovered. There seems to be a great disparity between the mindset of inventors — who always try to MAKE new things become possible — and the mindset of many scientists, who seem unable or unwilling to consider that what “science holds to be true today” may not turn out to be quite so true tomorrow.
Here’s the question: Why do many scientists, having knowledge of the fact that surprises in science happen all the time, continually express “surprise” when they find something unusual? If surprises in scientific research are so common, why are scientists still “surprised” by “surprise findings”?

“The surprising stuff is what we hear about, and there has to be some reason why it is surprising,” argues gurps_npc in response to the original submission. “A common answer is that current state of science thinks the surprising stuff was impossible.”
“The whole premise is flawed,” counters long-time reader Martin+S. “Natural skepticism is an essential component of science.” And long-time reader UnknownSoldier supplies a one-word answer: “Ego.”

But how would you answer the question? Share your best thoughts in the comments.

Why are scientists constantly surprised by what they discover?

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Source:: Slashdot

Every upcoming Marvel movie and TV show – CNET

If it’s confirmed or rumored, it’s on this list. …read more

Source:: CNet

2020 Toyota Supra vs. BMW Z4, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang and Nissan 370Z – Roadshow

How does Toyota’s resurrected icon compare with other sports car legends? …read more

Source:: CNet

Amazon shareholders revolt on Rekognition, Nvidia opens robotics lab, and hot AI chips on Google Cloud

The week’s other stories in AI

Roundup Hello, here’s a very quick roundup of some of the interesting AI announcements from this week. Read on if you like robots and GPUs.…

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Source:: TheRegister

Epsom Salts Restores Lead Acid Battery

Despite a lot of advances in battery technology, lead acid batteries are still used in many applications due to cost and their ability to provide a lot of surge current. But they don’t last forever. However, [AvE] shows that in some cases a failed battery can be restored with — of all things — epsom salts. If it makes you feel funny to use the stuff grandpa soaks in when he has a backache, you can call it magnesium sulfate.

You can find a complete explanation in the video below (which includes [AvE’s] very colorful language), but fundamentally, the magnesium sulfate dissolves lead sulfate build-up on the battery plates. The fix is usually temporary because this build-up occurs with other failure mechanisms like plate material shedding and collecting at the bottom of the battery. Obviously, epsom salt can’t repair damaged plates or do any other magic cure.

We really enjoyed that [AvE] tore open a battery to show the plates and what was really happening inside. He also explains why the epsom salt might help.

We were surprised that he poured the salt directly into the battery. We were always taught to heat up some distilled water and saturate it with the epsom salt. Then you’d filter out any solid left and pour the water/salt mixture in until it couldn’t take any more.

Not only does this not always work, but it also doesn’t work instantly. We’ve heard of batteries treated with epsom salt or caustic soda reviving after several weeks. However, even if you don’t want to restore a battery with salt, there’s plenty of interesting battery facts and lore in the video that you’ll find interesting.

Everyone loves to point out how just about any project could have used a 555. That chip can charge your battery after you repair it. This isn’t the first time we’ve contemplated salting a battery, by the way. On the other hand, you can make a peculiar battery out of molten salt.

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Source:: Hackaday

Google Criticized Over Its Handling of the End of Google+

Long-time Slashdot reader Lauren Weinstein shares his report on how Google is handling the end of its Google+ service. He’s describing it as “a boot to the head: when you know that Google just doesn’t care any more” about users “who have become ‘inconvenient’ to their new business models.”

We already know about Google’s incredible user trust failure in announcing dates for this process. First it was August. Then suddenly it was April. The G+ APIs (which vast numbers of web sites — including mine — made the mistake of deeply embedding into their sites), we’re told will start “intermittently failing” (whatever that actually means) later this month.
It gets much worse though. While Google has tools for users to download their own G+ postings for preservation, they have as far as I know provided nothing to help loyal G+ users maintain their social contacts… As far as Google is concerned, when G+ dies, all of your linkages to your G+ friends are gone forever. You can in theory try to reach out to each one and try to get their email addresses, but private messages on G+ have always been hit or miss…
And with only a few months left until Google pulls the plug on G+, I sure as hell wouldn’t still be soliciting for new G+ users! Yep — believe it or not — Google at this time is STILL soliciting for unsuspecting users to sign up for new G+ accounts, without any apparent warnings that you’re signing up for a service that is already officially the walking dead! Perhaps this shows most vividly how Google today seems to just not give a damn about users who aren’t in their target demographics of the moment. Or maybe it’s just laziness.
I’d be more upset about this if I actually used Google+ — but has Google been unfair to the users who do? “[T]he way in which they’ve handled the announcements and ongoing process of sunsetting a service much beloved by many Google users has been nothing short of atrocious,” Weinstein writes, “and has not shown respect for Google’s users overall.”

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Source:: Slashdot

Domained – Multi Tool Subdomain Enumeration

Domained – Multi Tool Subdomain Enumeration

Domained is a multi tool subdomain enumeration tool that uses several subdomain enumeration tools and wordlists to create a unique list of subdomains that are passed to EyeWitness for reporting.

This produces categorized screenshots, server response headers and signature based default credential checking. It is written in Python heavily leveraging Recon-ng.

Domains Subdomain Enumeration Tools Leveraged

Subdomain Enumeraton Tools:

  • Sublist3r
  • enumall
  • Knock
  • Subbrute
  • massdns
  • Recon-ng
  • Amass
  • SubFinder

Reporting + Wordlists:

  • EyeWitness
  • SecList (DNS Recon List)
  • LevelUp All.txt Subdomain List

Domained Subdomain Enumeration Tool Usage

–install/–upgrade Both do the same function – install all prerequisite tools
–vpn Check if you are on VPN (update with your provider)
–quick Use ONLY Amass and SubFinder
–bruteall Bruteforce with JHaddix All.txt List instead of SecList
–fresh Delete old data from output folder
–notify Send Pushover or Gmail Notifications
–active EyeWitness Active Scan
–noeyewitness No Eyewitness
-d The domain you want to preform recon on
-b Bruteforce with subbrute/massdns and SecList wordlist
-s n Only HTTPs domains
-p Add port 8080 for HTTP and 8443 for HTTPS

Subdomain Enumeration Examples

First Steps are to install required Python modules and tools:

sudo pip install -r ./ext/requirements.txt
sudo python –install

Example 1 – Uses subdomain (Sublist3r (+subbrute), enumall, Knock, Amass, and SubFinder)

python -d

Example 2: – Uses subdomain with seclist subdomain list bruteforcing (massdns, subbrute, Sublist3r, Amass, enumall, and SubFinder), adds ports 8443/8080 and checks if on VPN

python -d -b -p –vpn

Example 3: – Uses subdomain with large-all.txt bruteforcing (massdns, subbrute, Sublist3r, Amass, enumall and SubFinder)

python -d -b –bruteall

Example 4: – Uses subdomain and only Amass and SubFinder

python -d –quick

Example 5: – Uses subdomain, only Amass and SubFinder and notification

python -d –quick –notify

Example 6: – Uses subdomain with no EyeWitness

python -d –noeyewitness

Note: –bruteall must be used with the -b flag

You can download Domained here:

Or read more here.

Read the rest of Domained – Multi Tool Subdomain Enumeration now! Only available at Darknet.

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Source:: Darknet

SNL pits Trump against Congress on Deal or No Deal: Shutdown Edition – CNET

Maybe the president’s game-show past will let him end the shutdown this way …read more

Source:: CNet

Strobe For Wood Turning Makes Inspection Easy

The lathe is a simple enough tool to understand, but requires much practice to truly master. During the turning process, it’s often necessary to inspect the workpiece. This generally necessitates stopping the lathe, waiting for everything to spin down, and then starting again. This can be a major time sink when added up across the full scope of a project. However, the magic of strobes can help.

The basics of [Darcy]’s project will be familiar to any hacker who has worked with rotating machinery before. The rotational speed of the lathe is measured, in this case using a reed switch and a magnet. This signal is fed to a microcontroller, which controls the strobing of an LED lamp. By synchronizing the flashes to the speed of the lathe, it’s possible to view the workpiece as if it were standing still. By adjusting the offset of the flashes to the position of the lathe, it’s also possible to rotate this view to see the entire workpiece – all while the lathe remains spinning.

Further photos and videos are available in the Reddit thread. [Darcy] reports that despite his best efforts, he couldn’t quite find a business case for producing the hardware commercially, but the idea was too useful to leave languishing in a notebook. We’d love to hear your ideas on how this could improve turning projects, so be sure to let us know in the comments. If you’re just getting started with turning, it might be worth cutting a test bar to make sure your rig is up to snuff.

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Source:: Hackaday

Is California’s PG&E The First Climate Change Bankruptcy?

“California’s largest power company intends to file for bankruptcy as it faces tens of billions of dollars in potential liability following massive wildfires that devastated parts of the state over the last two years,” reports the Washington Post.
Calling it “a climate change casualty,” one Forbes contributor notes that PG&E’s stock has now lost 90% of its mid-October value after a giant November wildfire, adding that “Future investors will look back on these three months as a turning point, and wonder why the effects of climate change on the economic underpinnings to our society were not more widely recognized at the time.”

Climate scientists may equivocate about the degree to which Global Warming is contributing to these fires until more detailed research is complete, but for an investor who is used to making decisions based on incomplete or ambiguous information, the warning signs are flashing red… there is no doubt in my mind that Global Warming’s thumb rests on the scale of PG&E’s decision to declare bankruptcy.

And the Wall Street Journal is already describing it as “the first climate-change bankruptcy, probably not the last,” noting that it was a prolonged drought that “dried out much of the state and decimated forests, dramatically increasing the risk of fire.”

“This is a fairly new development,” said Bruce Usher, a professor at Columbia University’s business school who teaches a course on climate and finance. “If you are not already considering extreme weather and other climatic events as one of many risk factors affecting business today, you are not doing your job”…
In less than a decade, PG&E, which serves 16 million customers, saw the risk of catastrophic wildfires multiply greatly in its vast service area, which stretches from the Oregon border south to Bakersfield. Weather patterns that had been typical for Southern California — such as the hot, dry Santa Ana winds that sweep across the region in autumn, stoking fires — were now appearing hundreds of miles to the north. “The Santa Ana fire condition is now a Northern California fire reality, ” said Ken Pimlott, who retired last month as director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. “In a perfect world, we would like to see all [of PG&E’s] equipment upgraded, all of the vegetation removed from their lines. But I don’t know anybody overnight who is going to catch up.” PG&E scrambled to reduce fire risks by shoring up power lines and trimming millions of trees. But the company’s equipment kept setting fires — about 1,550 between mid-2014 through 2017, or more than one a day, according to data it filed with the state.
The global business community is recognizing the risks it faces from climate change. This week, a World Economic Forum survey of global business and thought leaders found extreme weather and other climate-related issues as top risks both by likelihood and impact.
Other factors besides climate change may also have pushed PG&E towards bankruptcy, according to the article. They’re required by California …read more

Source:: Slashdot

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