Friday March 30, 2012
Eye on Radiation:
Camera Can 'See' Gamma Rays
The camera may be used in the long and complex task of decontaminating the site of the Fukushima disaster.
From The Mainichi Daily News:
The new development makes it possible to easily grasp where radioactive substances spewed from the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have accumulated, and is likely to help decontamination work in the affected areas, officials say.
Thursday March 29, 2012
FBI Says They're 'Not Winning' Battle Against Cybercrime
According to Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry, criminal hackers are increasingly hard to fend off.
From The Wall Street Journal:
"I don't see how we ever come out of this without changes in technology or changes in behavior, because with the status quo, it's an unsustainable model. Unsustainable in that you never get ahead, never become secure, never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security,'' Mr. Henry said.
Wednesday March 28, 2012
Fukushima Reactor Lacks Water & Has High Radiation Levels
The environment in the reactor is such that it could take decades of specialist work to decontaminate it.
From The Washington Post:
The data collected from the probes showed the damage from the disaster was so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades.
Sunday March 25, 2012
Schools Embed Smart Tags Into Uniforms
The smart tags are similar to the chips found in contactless cards such as the Oyster pass used on London's public transport system.
The "intelligent uniforms" tell parents when their children enter the school building by sending a text message to their cell phones. Parents are also alerted if kids don't show up 20 minutes after classes begin with the following message: "Your child has still not arrived at school."
Saturday March 24, 2012
ISS Astronauts Rattled by Space Junk
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station were evacuated to the station's escape pods when a piece of debris passed nearby.
The debris originated from a Russian Cosmos satellite, but luckily avoided the station in the end.
"The Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station received an 'all clear' to move out of their Soyuz vehicles after a small piece of a Russian Cosmos satellite debris passed by the complex without incident early Saturday," the statement said.
Friday March 23, 2012
Fukushima Radiation Polluting Pacific Ocean
The irradiated water is fast approaching the Hawaiian islands.
Last April, Japanese officials claimed that they had halted the release of radioactive radiation from the crippled nuclear reactors at Fukushima.
On December 5, however, the Los Angeles Times revealed that "45 tons of highly radioactive water" had been released from the plant on the previous weekend.
Tuesday March 20, 2012
New iPad is Hard to Repair
The latest tablet from the company is even harder to open up without causing permanent damage.
Wiens said that if machines in other industries — for example, tractors used by farmers — were to break down over a handful of years and couldn’t be easily repaired, consumers would openly revolt. “In industries where consumers really care about a quality, long-lasting product, there’s no way companies can get away with it,” he said.
Sunday March 18, 2012
Chinese Authors Claim Apple is Selling Pirated Books
Apple has been accused of selling pirated books in its App Store by a group of Chinese authors.
They are suing Apple in China and are demanding millions of dollars in compensation.
The group, the Writers Rights Alliance, petitioned Apple last year to stop electronic distribution of the writers' books and had earlier persuaded Baidu, China's largest search engine, to stop publishing their material on its Baidu Library product.
Saturday March 17, 2012
Skydiver Prepares For Highest Jump Ever
He will jump from 36 kilometres and possibly become the first human to fall at the speed of sound.
From BBC News:
His Red Bull Stratos team estimates he reached 364mph (586km/h) during the descent, and was in free fall for three minutes and 43 seconds before opening his parachute. From capsule to ground, the entire jump lasted eight minutes and eight seconds.
Friday March 16, 2012
Scientists Plan to Clone Wooly Mammoth
The discovery of frozen tissue in the Arctic tundra could result in viable genetic material that would be used to impregnate an elephant with a mammoth embryo.
"The first and hardest mission is to restore mammoth cells," another Sooam researcher, Hwang In-Sung, told AFP. His colleagues would join Russian scientists in trying to find well-preserved tissue with an undamaged gene
Thursday March 15, 2012
Can't Stop The Signal:
Message Sent Using Neutrinos
If the technology is commercialised, it could put an end to having no signal on your mobile phone.
From the University of Rochester:
"Of course, our current technology takes massive amounts of high-tech equipment to communicate a message using neutrinos, so this isn't practical now," said Kevin McFarland, a University of Rochester physics professor who was involved in the experiment. "But the first step toward someday using neutrinos for communication in a practical application is a demonstration using today's technology."
Monday March 12, 2012
Hidden in Plain Sight:
'Anonymous Hackers' Operated in the Open
It seems that the so-called hackers of Anonymous and its affiliates are anything but obscure.
Two members of LulzSec accused of security breaches have been found to have substantial online presences that personally identify them.
An investigation by Threatpost found that two of the accused, Darren Martyn (aka "pwnsauce," “raepsauce,” and “networkkitten,”) and Donncha O’Cearbhail, formerly known as Donncha Carroll (aka “Palladium”) sported outsize online footprints and made little effort to hide their affinity for hacking.
Sunday March 11, 2012
The Final Frontier:
First Nuclear Aircraft Carrier Nears End of Life
The Enterprise was only meant to be in service for 25 years, but has ended up serving for twice as long.
The Enterprise is the longest aircraft carrier in the U.S. fleet. It is also the oldest, a distinction that brings pride as well as plenty of headaches for the ship's more than 4,000 crew members. The ship is effectively a small city that frequently needs repairs because of its age. It was originally designed to last 25 years, but a major overhaul in 1979 and other improvements have extended its life.
Friday March 09, 2012
The Acid Test:
Is LSD a Viable Treatment for Alcoholism?
After receiving a single dose of LSD, patients reported a 'significant beneficial effect'.
From BBC News:
This effect was maintained six months after taking the hallucinogen, but it disappeared after a year. Those taking LSD also reported higher levels of abstinence.
Tuesday March 06, 2012
Magnetic Levitation May Have Medical Uses
Researchers have found a way to use magnetic levitation to detect changes in proteins that could be used for diagnostic purposes.
According to Whitesides, the main advantages of the levitation system are its low cost and portability. The magnets cost only about $5 each, and the device requires no electricity or batteries. Because the beads are visible to the naked eye, researchers can make measurements with a simple ruler with a millimeter scale.
Monday March 05, 2012
Wire in the Blood:
Implant Breakthrough Could Lead to Robotic Limbs
They have developed a biocompatible implant that could be used to route nerves to a prosthetic limb.
The current work at Sandia Laboratories is still in the proof of concept stage, but the stakes are very high. If they pan out and the gap between man and machine can be bridged, we could see the first true cyborg produced. Or, at the very least, the liberation of hundreds of thousands of people from physical limitations.
Sunday March 04, 2012
Bait & Switch:
Anonymous Supporters Tricked Into Installing Virus
Supporters of the Anonymous hacking group may have helped spread one of the most notorious 'botnets', a network of compromised computers used by fraudsters.
By installing a denial of service tool compromised by a hacker, they inadvertently installed the ZeuS trojan onto their computers.
The deception of Anonymous supporters began on January 20, 2012, the day of the FBI Megaupload raid. An attacker took a popular PasteBin guide, used by Anonymous members for downloading and using the DoS tool Slowloris, and modified it.
Friday March 02, 2012
Flares Are Back:
Impending Solar Flare Threatens Earth
Critical infrastructure such as GPS satellites and electrical grids could potentially go offline for months or even years afterwards, leading to knock-on effects.
“A longer-term outage would likely include, for example, disruption of the transportation, communication, banking, and finance systems, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution of potable water owing to pump failure; and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration,” the NRC report said.