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TBTF Log, week of 2000-02-20
This is the TBTF Log, week of 2000-02-20, an experiment in reporting important breaking news
in a very timely way. The
TBTF newsletter continues unchanged. The most recent issue is
TBTF for 2000-02-06: Privacy at the boil.
this Web log.
using this permanent URL.
weeks' logs table of contents.
[Tue. 2000-02-20, 4:35 pm EST:] Looking for the article on WIMPs?
Saturday, February 26, 2000
2/26/00 12:49:04 PM
Too quiet, White Man.
The X-ray source Cygnux X-3 is
to blow. Last Thursday its radio emissions dropped dramatically
and have stayed low; its hard-X-ray emissions have been minimal for
the last month. The last time Cyg X-3 went nearly silent in both
radio and hard X-ray, in 1997, a massive eruption followed.
Cyg X-3 is believed to be a binary system within our own galaxy
consisting of a neutron star or black hole orbiting a Wolf-Rayet
star. The latter is a class of stars 7 to 50 times as massive as our
sun that have blown off their outer layer of hydrogen; the resulting
helium star features a vigorous stellar wind. All the electromagnetic
activity happens in the accretion disk surrounding the collapsed
junior partner of the binary system. During a major outburst, Cyg
X-3 shoots X-ray jets in opposite directions from the poles of the
accretion disk. We happen to be positioned looking right down the
barrel of one of those polar jets.
When Cyg X-3 blows this time, mankind will be ready and watching.
NASA scientist Mike McCullough has been granted "target of
opportunity" time to observe Cyg X-3 with the Chandra X-ray
Observatory, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and the Rossi X-ray
Timing Explorer. McCollough and colleagues are now monitoring Cyg
X-3 using instruments in West Virginia, Britain, Russia, and New
Mexico. When the flare begins these instruments will be joined by
the Very Long Baseline Array, which is effectively a radiotelescope
as big as the earth.
Sunday, February 20, 2000
2/20/00 2:33:50 PM
A spam magnet.
TBTF Irregular Steve Yost came across this clever use of Hypermail
while browsing one of his sites' referrer logs. An outfit called
Tinaa has set up a spam
attractor. Here's the idea: when you sign up for some service on the
Web that requires an email address, and you suspect that providing
one might subject you to spam, use the address email@example.com
instead. Then visit Tinaa's
mail page from
time to time to see what spam you've harvested.
This venue represents an experiment in more timely and less "cooked"
TBTF news coverage. You'll read here things that came through my
desktop machine mere minutes before. The TBTF Log replaces the Tasty
Bit of the Day feature.
You can receive a collected week's worth of TBTF Log items by email
every Sunday evening; simply fill out the form.
The email and Web editions of Tasty Bits from the Technology Front
represent my best effort to present engaging, cogent news and analysis
on what matters to the life of the Net. The TBTF newsletter will continue
Do you value this service?
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