Daily Archives: January 9, 2013

Galactic Views (70)


Sizzling Remains of a Dead Star
NASA – This new view of the historical supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, located 11,000 light-years away, was taken by NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. Blue indicates the highest energy X-ray light, where NuSTAR has made the first resolved image ever of this source. Red and green show the lower end of NuSTAR’s energy range, which overlaps with NASA’s high-resolution Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Light from the stellar explosion that created Cassiopeia A is thought to have reached Earth about 300 years ago, after traveling 11,000 years to get here. While the star is long dead, its remains are still bursting with action. The outer blue ring is where the shock wave from the supernova blast is slamming into surrounding material, whipping particles up to within a fraction of a percent of the speed of light. NuSTAR observations should help solve the riddle of how these particles are accelerated to such high energies

X-ray light with energies between 10 and 20 kiloelectron volts are blue; X-rays of 8 to 10 kiloelectron volts are green; and X-rays of 4.5 to 5.5 kiloelectron volts are red.

The starry background picture is from the Digitized Sky Survey.

› Image without background stars Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/DSS

Five Years After The Financial Meltdown, The Water Is Still Full Of Big Sharks

By Steve Denning – The problem at the core was a lack of transparency. After Lehman’s collapse, no one could understand any particular bank’s risks from derivative trading and so no bank wanted to lend to or trade with any other bank. Because all the big banks’ had been involved to an unknown degree in risky derivative trading, no one could tell whether any particular financial institution might suddenly implode.

Financial reform didn’t work. Banks today are bigger and more opaque than ever, and they continue to trade in derivatives in many of the same ways they did before the crash, but on a larger scale and with precisely the same unknown risks.

Another global financial crisis is on the way. more> http://tinyurl.com/aegxa2v

Shared sacrifice – except for CEOs

By Matt Stoller – The hypocrisy over deficits and calls for shared sacrifice can be illustrated with one simple statistic. According to the Institute for Policy Studies, 25 of the most-well-paid chief executives got higher compensation than their companies paid in federal taxes.  There’s a class war on, as Warren Buffett has noted, and his class is winning it.

In 1950, corporate income taxes provided $1 in every $4 of federal tax revenue, and slightly less than half of state tax revenue. By 2012, corporate taxes provided about $1 in every $10 of federal tax revenue, and about $1 in $8 of state tax revenue. Under that system, the nation paid off the massive public debt we incurred during World War II. more> http://tinyurl.com/awol6vn

The Kind Of Training You Really Need

By Mike Collins – We have been talking about the skilled labor problem for years. This is the fifth skills gap survey published by these organizations since 1990, and all show similar results, but, very few people who talk about this problem ever say exactly what skills are needed. The reason this is hard to define is that manufacturing covers a huge number of industries, industrial products, and types of manufacturing.

Six million people have been laid off from manufacturing jobs since 2001, and still 5 percent of all manufacturing jobs (60,000 jobs) remain unfilled. The manufacturers don’t want to hire back the low-skilled people; they want multi-skilled people who can do a wide variety of jobs. more> http://tinyurl.com/angzygv


Why Cloud Computing Is About More Than Just Data Centers

By Brian Caulfield – Michael Hickens, editor-in-chief of CIO Journal, noted that businesses will spend more than $100 billion on cloud-based services in 2016, up from $40 billion in 2013.

Bob Worrall was joined on the panel by Lars Fjeldsoe-Nielsen, head of mobile business development at cloud-storage company DropBox, and Tom Paquin, CTO at online gaming provider OnLive.

“This is by far the most exciting time in my career,” Fjeldsoe-Nielsen said. more> http://tinyurl.com/ahf47hd