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World’s Biggest Search For Aliens Now Using World’s Biggest Radio Telescope

Breakthrough Listen, the global initiative looking for signs of intelligent life in the Universe, has partnered with the MeerKAT telescope in South Africa, the world’s largest radio telescope array, to search for extraterrestrial signals and alien “technosignatures.”

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Hollywood, CA, United States (4E) – Breakthrough Listen, the global initiative looking for signs of intelligent life in the Universe, has partnered with the MeerKAT telescope in South Africa, the world’s largest radio telescope array, to search for extraterrestrial signals and alien “technosignatures.”

Breakthrough Listen is the largest ever scientific research program whose goal is to uncover evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations in the Universe.

It announced the launch of a major new program with the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), operator of the MeerKAT telescope. The partners will examine a million individual stars, or 1,000 times the number of targets in any previous search.

Breakthrough Listen’s MeerKAT survey will search for technosignatures in the quietest part of the radio spectrum and hunt for signs of extraterrestrial technology. Because of the deal with SARAO, Listen will be able to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in parallel with other surveys.

“Collaborating with MeerKAT will significantly enhance the capabilities of Breakthrough Listen,” said Yuri Milner, founder of the Breakthrough Initiatives. “This is now a truly global project.”

Built and operated by SARAO and inaugurated July 13, MeerKAT is a powerful array of 64 radio antennas in the Karoo Desert. Signals from MeerKAT’s 64 dishes are combined electronically to create a powerful combination of sensitivity, resolution and field of view.

MeerKAT also serves as a precursor to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which will expand and enhance the current facility in the coming decades. SKA will eventually span a million square meters across South Africa and Australia to create the world’s largest radio telescope by far. MeerKAT will be integrated into Phase 1 of the mid-frequency component of the SKA.

“Listen and MeerKAT are developing next-generation technology and techniques that will ultimately lead to proposals for searches with the Square Kilometre Array. This is an exciting moment for SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and radio astronomy in general,” said Breakthrough Initiatives’ Executive Director, Pete Worden.

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Musk’s ‘Loop Tunnel System’ in Los Angeles to Open in December

The Boring Company, a Tesla, Inc subsidiary founded by Elon Musk in a fit of pique, will debut its super fast underground “Loop” transit system in Los Angeles on Dec. 10.

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Hawthorne, CA, United States (4E) – The Boring Company, a Tesla, Inc subsidiary founded by Elon Musk in a fit of pique, will debut its super fast underground “Loop” transit system in Los Angeles on Dec. 10.

An opening event will take place in the evening with free rides for the public the next day, tweeted Musk. He said the tunnel will help to ease “soul-destroying traffic” around Los Angeles.

Musk said the underground test tunnel for the Loop project “is almost done” and will be ready -hopefully – by Dec. 10. The tunnel is being built by The Boring Company.

When operational, the test tunnel will be outfitted with a first-of-its-kind rail system that will allow train-like sleds called “skates” to transport cars, or people riding in special passenger vehicles, to their destinations. The autonomous electric skates will reach speeds of up to 240 km/h.

A video released by The Boring Company last April shows just how the Loop system works. It shows a Tesla Model S driving up to a skate and parking inside it. The skate then lowers itself underground and onto a monorail. It zooms forward inside the tunnel with the sedan and its passengers just sitting there enjoying the ride.

You can view the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5V_VzRrSBI.

The concept is that a vehicle will be able to drive on to the skate; the engine will be turned off and the vehicle and its passenger will be transported from one end of the Test Tunnel to the other,” according to a technical description released by The Boring Company

The tunnel runs from SpaceX’s car park east of Crenshaw Boulevard and south of 120th Street. It turns west under 120th Street and remains underground along 120th Street for 2 miles.

Musk first announced plans to bore a tunnel to his SpaceX offices in Los Angeles in December 2016 after being stuck in traffic. “Traffic is driving me nuts,” he tweeted in exasperation. “Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging.”

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Blockchain Jobs Now Among Highest Paid in USA

Blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, is spawning some of the highest paying jobs in the United States.

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Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – Blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, is spawning some of the highest paying jobs in the United States.

Blockchain engineers are being paid anywhere from $150,000 and $175,000 a year on average. It’s a pay scale that’s at par with engineers dealing with artificial intelligence (AI), said Hired, a San Francisco firm that recruits tech candidates for tech firms that abound in California.

The salaries paid to blockchain engineers dwarf the $135,000 typically paid to software engineers on average. Hired pointed out salaries for engineers with blockchain knowledge and experience are higher than any other specialized engineering roles.

Blockchain engineers carry job titles such as back-end engineer, systems engineer or solutions architect. Many job postings, however, list blockchain as a desired skill for the job.

Hired said engineers that want to specialize in blockchain should know networking, database design and have cryptography computing skills. Blockchain engineers code in a variety of programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, C++, Go, Solidity and Python.

Demand for blockchain engineers is booming because many large corporations have begun to work on projects that need blockchain to make them work. Among these behemoths are Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft.

Hired only began looking at blockchain engineers at the end of 2017. It said job postings for these people have skyrocketed by 400 percent since.

“There’s a ton of demand for blockchain,” said Hired CEO Mehul Patel. “Software engineers are in very short supply, but this is even more acute and that’s why salaries are even higher.”

One recently hired blockchain engineer recounted that when his title became principal blockchain engineer, the attention he got from companies wanting to pirate him became relentless. He said he gets interview requests every day on LinkedIn.

“There’s a mindset here of taking a long-term view of planning,” said Patel. “If you’re going to build blockchain technology, you have to get that talent.”

Blockchain’s champions also claim blockchain technology will form the backbone of a New Internet to replace the existing model. Originally devised for Bitcoin, blockchain has found other potential uses for that will change the shape of the digital universe.

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Chinese City Will Orbit ‘Fake Moon’ as a Tourist Attraction

The Chinese city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in western China, has made public its ambitious and somewhat loopy plan to orbit a huge solar mirror some refer to as a “fake moon.”

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Chengdu, China (4E) – The Chinese city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in western China, has made public its ambitious and somewhat loopy plan to orbit a huge solar mirror some refer to as a “fake moon.”

The reason: it’ll be a great tourist attraction and will help illuminate parts of the city at night.

This “fake moon” will be placed in a geosynchronous orbit so it hovers only over Chengdu while it reflects light from the Sun onto the city. A geosynchronous orbit is one some 36,000 km above mean sea level.

The city government revealed that research on developing this fake Moon has been going on for years. It expects to launch the illumination satellite by 2020 at the earliest.

Chengdu’s fake moon will be eight times brighter than the Earth’s real Moon. The area encompassed by the sunlight reflected from the solar mirror covers only 130 square kilometers, however. The entire city of Chengdu spans an area of 14,400 square kilometers.

The satellite will be encased in a special reflective coating that will optimize the light it reflect back to the Earth. A ground station will control the diameter of the reflected light beam to ensure it focuses precisely on the city and nowhere else. The light reflected off the fake moon won’t be very bright, however.

Scientists have described the beam’s luminosity as “a dusk-like glow.” While light this dim might not rouse sleeping animals, insects or plants, it seems to contradict the reason for launching the satellite in the first place. Then there’s the problem that clouds hovering over the city will block the illumination satellite’s light from reaching the ground.

Chengdu city officials also believe tourists will be more likely to visit and see the fake moon at night.

Only one solar mirror has been orbited so far. In 1999, Russia deployed a solar mirror named Znamya 2.5 to light-up cities in the inhospitable and far flung cities of arctic Siberia.

Znamya 2.5 was deployed into Low Earth Orbit on Feb. 5, 1999. It had a diameter of 25 meters and was expected to produce a bright spot 7 kilometers in diameter. The luminosity of this beam was the equivalent of five to 10 ten full moons.

Soon after deployment, however, the mirror snagged the antenna of the Progress cargo spacecraft and was badly torn. After several failed attempts by Russian mission control to free the mirror from the antenna, Znamya 2.5 was de-orbited. It was destroyed on atmospheric re-entry

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