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Broadband ISPs, CableCos Still Least Liked of Any US Industry (tied with healthcare providers)

"TV service and Internet service providers tied with healthcare providers for the lowest average ratings in any industry."

https://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Broadband-ISPs-CableCos-Still-Least-Liked-of-Any-US-Industry-137051

Broadband ISPs, CableCos Still Least Liked of Any US Industry
by Karl Bode
Wednesday May 25 2016 18:30 EDT

A survey of 10,000 consumers has found that broadband ISPs and cable companies continue to have the worst customer satisfaction ratings of any industry in the United States -- despite countless, breathless claims by cable executives that things are improving. According to the 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings, TV service and Internet service providers tied with healthcare providers for the lowest average ratings in any industry.

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"The poster child for poor customer experience in these industries—Comcast—was not only the lowest-scoring TV service and Internet service provider, but was also one of the lowest-scoring companies in the entire Ratings," states the report. "It ranked 289th overall out of 294 companies for its TV service and ranked 284th overall for its Internet service."

It's worth noting that no company in the cable or broadband industries received anything higher than a "poor" rating. But among the best of the bad, DirecTV earned the highest score for the TV service industry with a rating of 57% and an overall rank of 182nd.

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NASA TV live broadcast inflation of Bigelow module Thursday

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/22824/20160524/nasa-to-expand-beam-the-first-inflatable-habitat-docked-on-the-iss.htm

Magic mushrooms lift severe depression in clinical trial

Source: Guardian

Magic mushrooms have lifted severe depression in a dozen volunteers in a clinical trial, raising scientists’ hopes that the psychedelic experiences beloved of the Aztecs and the hippy counter-culture of the 1970s could one day become mainstream medicine.

A clinical trial, which took years and significant money to complete due to the stringent regulatory restrictions imposed around the class 1 drug, has found that two doses of psilocybin, the active substance in the mushrooms, was sufficient to lift resistant depression in all 12 volunteers for three weeks, and to keep it away in five of them for three months.

The size of the trial and the absence of any placebo means the research, funded by the Medical Research Council and published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal (pdf), is a proof of principle only.

The scientists, from Imperial College London, said they hoped the results would encourage the MRC or other funders to put up the money needed for a full trial. However, the use of a placebo control, comparing those who use the drug with those who do not, will always be difficult, because it will be obvious who is having a psychedelic experience.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/may/17/magic-mushrooms-lift-severe-depression-in-clinical-trial

Astronomical software accurately dates 2,500-year-old lyric poem

Source: Astronomy Now


A computer simulation of the sky over the island of Lesbos, Greece, soon after astronomical dusk during the third week of January 570 BC. The 6-day-old waxing crescent Moon lies in the constellation of Taurus forming a triangle with first-magnitude star Aldebaran and the Seven Sisters, or Pleiades open star cluster. Physicists and astronomers from the University of Texas at Arlington believe that this sky scene, or one of a few nights later, to have inspired Sappho’s “Midnight Poem.” AN graphic by Ade Ashford.

Physicists and astronomers from the University of Texas at Arlington have used advanced astronomical software to accurately date lyric poet Sappho’s “Midnight Poem,” which describes the night sky over Greece more than 2,500 years ago.
The scientists described their research in the article “Seasonal Dating of Sappho’s ‘Midnight Poem’ Revisited,” just published in the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage. Martin George, former president of the International Planetarium Society, now at the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, also participated in the work.

“This is an example of where the scientific community can make a contribution to knowledge described in important ancient texts, ” said Manfred Cuntz, physics professor and lead author of the study. “Estimations had been made for the timing of this poem in the past, but we were able to scientifically confirm the season that corresponds to her specific descriptions of the night sky in the year 570 B.C.”

Sappho’s “Midnight Poem” describes the Pleiades star cluster in the constellation of Taurus having set at around midnight, when supposedly observed by her from the Greek island of Lesbos:



Cuntz and co-author and astronomer Levent Gurdemir, director of the planetarium at UTA, used astronomical software called Starry Night version 7.3, to identify the earliest date that the Pleiades would have set at midnight or earlier in local time in 570 B.C. The planetarium system Digistar 5 also allows creating the night sky of ancient Greece for Sappho’s place and time.

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Read more: https://astronomynow.com/2016/05/15/astronomical-software-accurately-dates-2500-year-old-lyric-poem/

Nasa's Juno spacecraft becomes 'fastest object ever made' during mission to Jupiter

Source: International Business Times

Nasa's Juno spacecraft has become the fastest object ever made by humanity after clocking in speeds of over 160,000mph during its five-year voyage to Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system. Next month, on 4 July, the Juno probe will decelerate in orbit around the gas giant to probe a rich atmosphere that is thousands of times thicker than Earth's, in order to find out more about the mysterious planet.

Launched in 2011, Juno is the first solar-powered spacecraft that is made to operate at such a great distance from the Sun. According to Nasa, the four-tonne probe carries three 30ft (9m) solar arrays and nearly 20,000 individual solar cells to power it during its journey.

Nasa says the goal of the mission is to "understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter, look for a solid planetary core, map its magnetic field, measure water and ammonia in deep atmosphere and observe its auroras".

Chris Lintott, professor of astrophysics at Oxford University and presenter of the BBC's The Sky at Night programme, told The Sunday Times: "Juno's mission is to help us understand how Jupiter formed and thus what happened in the early days of the solar system 4.5bn years ago. For example, pinning down the amount of water in the atmosphere might show whether Jupiter began life as a rocky planet like Earth, or collapsed directly , rather like a star."

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Read more: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/nasas-juno-spacecraft-becomes-fastest-object-ever-made-during-mission-jupiter-1560157



"Next month" is actually a month and a half away.

Verizon Strike Escalates With Armed Confrontation in the Philippines

Source: Fortune

Tim Dubnau knew that helping lead a strike of almost 40,000 workers against Verizon Communications was going to be tough. But he had no idea that he would find himself, as he did on Wednesday, crammed in the back of an unmarked white van, terrified, being chased through the streets of Alabang, a city on the outskirts of Manila, by a group of armed men on motorcycles.

And the situation only got more tense when the men surrounded the van, forcing it to pull over, and called in a SWAT team of heavily armed Philippine police officers.

“It was like being in a movie–they were dressed all in black with masks and automatic rifles,” Dubnau recalled in an interview with Fortune. “At first they were demanding that we get out. One officer even hit the door with his gun. But we didn’t open up, we knew our rights.”

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Read more: http://fortune.com/2016/05/12/verizon-strike-armed-confrontation-philippines/

Union officials, SWAT police face off in Philippines amid ongoing Verizon labor dispute

Source: UPI

An ongoing labor dispute between Verizon and almost 40,000 workers nearly led to violence in the Philippines this week, where armed police and advocates for striking workers suddenly found themselves in a confrontation.

The escalation happened Thursday in the Pacific island nation, where Verizon operates call centers. The dispute, which has been going on for a month, involves two labor unions concerned about job outsourcing and low wages.

Thursday, members of the Communications Workers of America were confronted by police after visiting Verizon offices in the Philippines, where the union reps said they hoped to gauge the extent of the company's call center job outsourcing.

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According to the union members, and video taken of the confrontation, they were chased off by private security forces and even armed police -- who appeared to be tactical officers carrying automatic weapons -- who pursued their van through the streets of Alabang and ultimately stopped them for questioning, guns drawn.

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Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2016/05/13/Union-officials-armed-police-face-off-in-Philippines-amid-ongoing-Verizon-labor-dispute/7291463160414/

CWA union says it faced “SWAT team armed with automatic weapons” after uncovering “massive Verizon o

Source: Salon

CWA union says it faced “SWAT team armed with automatic weapons” after uncovering “massive Verizon offshoring operation in Philippines”

Photos and videos show what union reps say are armed police and a SWAT team "intimidating" them in the Philippines


The union that is on strike against corporate telecommunications giant Verizon alleges that its representatives were confronted by a heavily armed “SWAT team” in the Philippines, where it says it discovered undeclared offshore operations. Verizon strongly denies the accusations.

Chris Shelton, president of Communications Workers of America, or CWA, says his union was contacted by call center workers in the Philippines who work for Verizon. CWA says it sent four representatives to the Philippines this week, where they “discovered that the extent to which Verizon is offshoring work is far beyond what has previously been reported and what the company publicly has acknowledged.”

CWA alleges that Verizon is offshoring U.S. customer service calls to centers in the Philippines, where workers are paid as little as $1.78 an hour. The union says that Filipino workers told it they are being forced to work overtime an extra one to two hours each day, along with another full eight-hour sixth day, and are not receiving additional overtime compensation.

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“Terrified that the public might find out about what has happened to the good middle-class jobs the company has shipped overseas, Verizon sent private armed security forces after peaceful CWA representatives and called in a SWAT team armed with automatic weapons,” the union wrote in a statement.

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Read more: https://www.salon.com/2016/05/13/cwa_union_says_it_faced_swat_team_armed_with_automatic_weapons_after_uncovering_massive_verizon_offshoring_operation_in_philippines/

SpaceX successfully lands its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating drone ship again

Source: Verge

SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea after launching it into space early Friday morning. It's the third time the company has recovered the vehicle post-launch, and the second time the rocket has landed intact on the ship. Now, SpaceX has both demonstrated that it can land the Falcon 9 at sea, and that the company can repeat the process.

The logistics for this mission made sticking the landing unlikely, SpaceX said on Monday, but CEO Elon Musk upgraded the chances to "maybe even" just before launch. Today's mission sent a Japanese communications satellite to a very high orbit above Earth — called a geostationary transfer orbit. Because of the satellite's destination, SpaceX originally said that the rocket would be "subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating, making a successful landing unlikely."

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This was SpaceX's fifth attempt to land the rocket at sea, and the company will continue to attempt ocean landings for its next few launches too, according to Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of mission assurance for SpaceX. SpaceX keeps trying to land at sea, because it's sometimes the only option for recovering the vehicle. Missions that launch heavy payloads or go to high orbits use up a lot of fuel during the initial take off, leaving less fuel for the landing. And landing at sea requires a lot less fuel than landing on land (which we explain here).

Perfecting these sea landings is an important step for SpaceX, especially since the company hopes to land and reuse as many Falcon 9 rockets as possible. SpaceX has said that somewhere between half and two-thirds of its launches will need to be at sea, but if it keeps successfully landing rockets, it's going to need somewhere bigger to put them — ironically, its hangar is running out of space.

Read more: http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/6/11599196/spacex-launch-landing-success-falcon-9-rocket-elon-musk

SpaceX breaks Boeing-Lockheed monopoly on military space launches

Source: Reuters

The U.S. Air Force on Wednesday awarded billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX an $83 million contract to launch a GPS satellite, breaking the monopoly that Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and Boeing Co (BA.N) have held on military space launches for more than a decade.

The Global Positioning System satellite will be launched in May 2018 from Florida, Air Force officials said.

The fixed-price award is the military's first competitively sourced launch service contract in more than a decade. It ends the exclusive relationship between the military and United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

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SpaceX declined to comment about its first military launch contract until after an Air Force conference call with reporters on Thursday.

Read more: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0XO2TC
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