Monthly Archives: June 2018

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Gravitational waves and the slow pace of scientific revolutions

Enlarge / For years, people weren’t sure if gravitational wave were a necessary product of relativity. (credit: Fermilab)

LIGO’s detection of gravitational waves came almost exactly a century after Einstein had formulated his general theory of relativity and an ensuing paper mathematically describing the possibility of gravitational waves. Or at least that’s the story as it was presented to the public (including by yours truly). And in some ways, it’s even true.

But the reality of how relativity progressed to the point where people accepted that gravitational waves are likely to exist and could possibly be detected is considerably more complicated than the simple narrative described above. In this week’s Nature Astronomy, a group of science historians lays out the full details of how we got from the dawn of relativity to the building of LIGO. And, in the process, the historians show that ideas about scientific revolutions bringing about a sudden, radical shift may sometimes miss the point.

Has your paradigm shifted?

The popular conception of scientific revolutions (to the extent that it exists) was shaped by Thomas Kuhn. Kuhn described a process where data gradually pushes an existing theory into crisis, allowing nearly everyone to see it doesn’t work. After a period of crisis, a revolution takes place and a new theory emerges. The theory’s ability to solve all the problems that precipitated the crisis quickly draws support, and a new period of theory-driven—in Kuhn’s language, “paradigm-driven”—science begins.

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Saturday’s Best Deals: 4K Smart TV, Philips Hue Bulbs, Breda Watches, and More

Grab discounts on a 4K Smart TV, Philips Hue bulbs, Breda watches, and more of Saturday’s best deals.

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The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S Review: Fantastic Overall Value

As Xiaomi is doubling down on its presence in Europe, we’re reviewing the MIX 2S – a larger phone that’s directly competing with the likes of the Galaxy S9+. Xiaomi is known to offer excellent hardware at very competitive prices, and as we’ll see, while the MIX 2S isn’t perfect in every aspect, it’s a tremendously well rounded device at a very attractive price point.

Google adds anti-tampering DRM to Android apps in the Play Store

Google has made a small change to Play Store apps that could prove a significant help to the security of your Android phone. The company is now adding a "small amount" of security metadata to Android APKs to be sure that they were distributed throug…

Acer Chromebook Tab 10 review: Chrome OS revives Google’s tablet future

Enlarge / Hellllloooooo Chrome OS tablets. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Chrome OS took over schools with clamshells, but now Google is shaking things up with slabs. After a spring announcement, Acer has built the first Chrome OS tablet, the $329 Chromebook Tab 10, to give teachers and students a more flexible device to use for schoolwork both in and out of the classroom.

Some might perk up at the idea of a lightweight yet durable tablet with a 2048×1536 display and a built-in Wacom stylus running Chrome OS, but this device (like many other Chrome OS devices) will only be sold in the education market. While regular consumers may not be able to get their hands on the Chromebook Tab 10, however, there will be more Chrome OS tablets to come that will be sold to the general public.

After spending some time with this inaugural Chrome OS tablet, it would be remiss to think that it’s essentially the same thing as an Android tablet—devices that are largely unsupported at this point. We may not be traditional educators or students at this point, but Ars tested the Chromebook Tab 10 with a few things in mind: how does the Chrome OS experience translate on a tablet sans-keyboard? And, perhaps more importantly, can Chrome OS bring Google’s tablet category back from the dead?

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Saturday’s Best Deals: Fossil Accessories, Cheap SSD, Solar Battery, and More

Happy Saturday! Kick off your weekend with discounted massagers, a surprisingly affordable graphics card, Fossil’s semi-annual sale, and the rest of the best deals from around the web.

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The GIGABYTE X399 DESIGNARE EX Motherboard Review

In this review we are having a look at GIGABYTE's currently best AMD X399 motherboard, the Designare EX. The specifications of the motherboard are impressive, and the design of the board certainly makes it stand out from the rest. The X399 Designare EX is slightly more competitively priced compared to its competition as well. We closely examine its features and capabilities in this review.

Man goes to prison for attempting to hijack web domain at gunpoint

Internet domains are becoming increasingly desirable, especially as the web becomes crowded and it becomes harder to find memorable addresses. However, one man unfortunately took this to a violent extreme. Iowa resident Sherman Hopkins Jr. has been s…

I Used A Volkswagen Beetle To Commit Political Guerrilla Warfare 

Dave’s unbreakable Volkswagen Bug was a political guerrilla weapon. The battle was with the local prosecutor who hated 1960s student demonstrations and subsequently charged students under the Joseph McCarthy-era Indiana State Anti-Subversion Act. I began college in the fall of 1963 and quickly fell in with like-minded…

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Drive With Your Kid

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is what was the first car I ever drove, and what my lousy teen-years Bondo beater was like, and how my parents and my spinster aunt with the cat glasses were set up for daily drivers, and all that Holden Caulfield kind of crap, but I…

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