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Technical (News/Activism)

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  • Technology group to decide Cover Oregon’s future

    04/23/2014 11:45:04 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Apr 24, 2014 2:25 AM EDT | Gosia Wozniacka
    After weeks of deliberation, a committee is poised to make a final recommendation Thursday on what to do with Oregon’s botched health insurance exchange portal. The technology committee will decide whether Cover Oregon should ditch its glitch-filled website and replace it with the federal government’s health insurance marketplace, or try to fix the existing system with the help of a new IT contractor. The decision comes nearly seven months after Oregon’s exchange was supposed to go live so that residents could use it to compare and buy health insurance plans. Cover Oregon’s website is seen as the worst of the...
  • Russian social media CEO quits, flees country

    04/23/2014 9:49:31 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Apr 23, 2014 4:16 PM EDT | Laura Mills
    The founder of Russia’s leading social media network—a wunderkind often described as Russia’s Mark Zuckerberg—has left his post as CEO and fled the country as cronies of President Vladimir Putin have made steady inroads into the company’s ownership. The slow-motion ouster of Pavel Durov from the network known as VKontakte, or “In Contact,” is the latest sign that independent media outlets in Russia have become increasingly imperiled. Although months in the making, the loss of Durov’s leadership in VKontakte means that the space for free speech on the Russian web could shrink even further. …
  • IRS ... will pay Microsoft millions for Windows XP support

    04/13/2014 1:44:21 AM PDT · by dayglored · 69 replies
    Engadget ^ | Apr 13, 2014 | Michael Gorman
    Usually, the Internal Revenue Service is the one getting paid this time of year, but Uncle Sam will be lining someone else's pockets this tax season because of its attachment to Windows XP. In case you hadn't heard, support for XP officially stopped on April 8th, meaning that Microsoft will no longer provide support or security updates for the venerable OS. However, governmental computers can't be left vulnerable, so the IRS will be paying Microsoft millions of dollars for custom support to keep their machines secure and functional. Right now, over half the agency's PCs still run XP...
  • ‘Heartbleed’ Bug Exposes Passwords, Web Site Encryption Keys

    04/08/2014 6:13:21 PM PDT · by Drago · 25 replies
    Krebs on Security ^ | 04-08-2014 | Brian Krebs
    Researchers have uncovered an extremely critical vulnerability in recent versions of OpenSSL, a technology that allows millions of Web sites to encrypt communications with visitors. Complicating matters further is the release of a simple exploit that can be used to steal usernames and passwords from vulnerable sites, as well as private keys that sites use to encrypt and decrypt sensitive data.
  • The end of Windows XP support could hurt ATM's

    04/07/2014 8:16:48 PM PDT · by smokingfrog · 53 replies
    8 News Now ^ | 4-7-14 | Scott Daniels
    One in every three computers users could be in major trouble Tuesday, and they won't be getting any help. Microsoft is dropping its support of its operating system Windows XP. This means there will be no security updates to fend off hackers. The news gets worse. According to a CNN-Money report, 95 percent of all ATM's use Windows XP, which ATM's can be a prime target for hackers. Banking giant JP Morgan bought a one-year extension of service so Chase Banks could still run Windows XP in their ATM's and still be covered. All of the big banks should be...
  • Groundbreaking new laser technology could be used to control lightning (Antichrist Alert)

    04/03/2014 7:17:44 PM PDT · by equalator · 55 replies
    Digital Trends ^ | 4-3-2014 | Drew Prindle
    Optical scientists at the University of Arizona and University of Central Florida have developed a new type of laser technology capable of sending high-intensity beams through the atmosphere much farther than what was previously possible. The research, which was recently published in the journal Nature Photonics, is still in the laboratory phase. However, with further development, this technology could be used to divert lightning bolts away from buildings in the future. Here’s how that works. When the laser is fired, the high intensity beam leaves a channel of plasma (ionized molecules stripped of their electrons) in its wake. This column...
  • Hidden Ocean Found on Saturn's Icy Moon Enceladus, Could Potentially Support Life

    04/03/2014 3:01:44 PM PDT · by mandaladon · 11 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 3 Apr 2014 | Mike Wall
    The Saturn moon Enceladus harbors a big ocean of liquid water beneath its icy crust that may be capable of supporting life as we know it, a new study reports. The water ocean on Enceladus is about 6 miles (10 kilometers) deep and lies beneath a shell of ice 19 to 25 miles (30 to 40 km) thick, researchers said. Further, it's in direct contact with a rocky seafloor, theoretically making possible all kinds of complex chemical reactions — such as, perhaps, the kind that led to the rise of life on Earth. "The main implication is that there are...
  • California's Anti-GMO Hysteria

    04/01/2014 4:02:25 PM PDT · by neverdem · 64 replies
    National Review Online ^ | March 31, 2014 | Henry Miller
    A new bill to mandate labeling of genetically altered food gets history and science all wrong.Last week, in a victory for California’s radical anti-technology minority, S.B. 131 passed the state’s senate Health Committee by a vote of five to two. This misguided piece of legislation, introduced by state senator Noreen Evans, would require that “any food, except as provided, offered for retail sale in the state be considered misbranded if it is entirely or partially genetically engineered, as defined, and that fact is not disclosed in a specified manner.” In other words, it would require a label to inform consumers...
  • Millennials Are Ditching Their Television Sets, Shifting To Mobile To Watch TV Shows

    03/26/2014 5:34:58 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 33 replies
    AppAdvice ^ | Bryan M. Wolfe
    A new report suggests bigger isn’t better, when it comes to watching television programming. Deloitte found that Millennials rather watch movies and television shows on computers, smartphones, and tablets. These details were recently published in the firm’s annual Digital Democracy Survey. Those between the ages of 14 and 24 only watch TV shows on an actual television set 44 percent of the time. Thirty-two percent of the time, TV shows are consumed on a desktop or laptop. Smartphones and tablets make up another 16 percent, while gaming devices are used 8 percent. This is the first time computers, smartphones, and...
  • Apple Engineer Recalls the iPhone's Birth

    03/26/2014 2:47:35 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 33 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | Tuesday, March 25, 2014 | Daisuke Wakabayashi
    Jobs's Ultimatum: Lay Out a Vision Fast or Lose the Project In February 2005, Apple Inc.'s then chief executive, Steve Jobs, gave senior software engineer Greg Christie an ultimatum. Mr. Christie's team had been struggling for months to lay out the software vision for what would become the iPhone as well as how the parts would work together. Now, Mr. Jobs said the team had two weeks or he would assign the project to another group. "Steve had pretty much had it," said Mr. Christie, who still heads Apple's user-interface team. "He wanted bigger ideas and bigger concepts." Mr. Christie's...
  • iOS 7 now running on 85% of iPads, iPhones, iPods, says Apple

    03/25/2014 8:38:10 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 66 replies
    MacWorld UK ^ | Tuesday, March 25, 2014 | Ashleigh Allsopp
    Apple has revealed that iOS 7 is now running on an impressive 85% of iOS devices, compared with just 2.5% of Android devices running the latest version, KitKat. In a change to its developer website at the end of on 25 March, Apple revealed that its newest mobile operating system is now running on 85 per cent of iOS devices, according to data collected over the 7-day period ending 23 March. That's up from the 74 per cent Apple boasted at the beginning of December, and the 78 per cent touted at the beginning of January. The increase comes at...
  • How Steve Jobs Blew Up the Rules of Branding

    03/25/2014 8:23:11 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 29 replies
    Entrepreneur ^ | Tuesday, March 25. 2014 | Jonathan Salem Basking
    Apple blew up the rules of branding because Jobs simply didn't recognize them. He didn't follow the approved checklist, and he never did what he was supposed to do. He knew that someone else's success wouldn't be his own, not because of his ego, but because it's a fact that imitating others has never resulted in great successes. He left it to Apple's competitors to produce lame, unsold computers with colorful lids, knockoff ads that inadvertently made Apple look better and a world of smartphones and tablets that look like iPhones and iPads. In doing so, Apple focused on doing...
  • What I Learned Negotiating With Steve Jobs [Heidi Roizen]

    03/23/2014 11:13:39 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 58 replies
    Heidi Roizen's Blog ^ | Saturday, March 22, 2014 | Heidi Roizen
    Fresh out of Stanford Business School, I started a software company, T/Maker, with my brother Peter. He was the software architect and I was, well, everything else. Our little company was among the first to ship software for the Macintosh, and we developed a positive reputation among the members of the nascent developer community, which led us to expanding our business by publishing software for other independent developers. Two of our developers, Randy Adams and William Parkhurst, went to work for Steve Jobs at his new company, NeXT, and that’s how I ended up head to head with Steve Jobs....
  • Scientists Reconstruct Faces From DNA Samples

    03/21/2014 1:08:25 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 17 replies ^ | 03-21-2014 | Alex Knapp Forbes Staff
    Sometime in the future, technicians will go over the scene of the crime. They’ll uncover some DNA evidence and take it to the lab. And when the cops need to get a picture of the suspect, they won’t have to ask eyewitnesses to give descriptions to a sketch artist – they’ll just ask the technicians to get a mugshot from the DNA. That, at least, is the potential of new research being published today in PLOS Genetics. In that paper, a team of scientists describe how they were able to produce crude 3D models of faces extrapolated from a person’s...
  • Genetic mugshot recreates faces from nothing but DNA

    03/21/2014 1:05:01 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 17 replies ^ | 20 March 2014 | by Peter Aldhous
    A MURDER has been committed, and all the cops have to go on is a trace of DNA left at the scene. It doesn't match any profile in databases of known criminals, and the trail goes cold. But what if the police could issue a wanted poster based on a realistic "photofit" likeness built from that DNA? Not if, but when, claim researchers who have developed a method for determining how our genes influence facial shape. One day, the technique may even allow us to gaze into the faces of extinct human-like species that interbred with our own ancestors. It's...
  • Occupy founder calls on Obama to appoint Eric Schmidt "CEO of America"

    03/21/2014 4:34:49 AM PDT · by Biggirl · 12 replies
    The Guardian ^ | March 21, 2014 | Alex Hern
    One of the co-founders of the Occupy Wall Street movement has called on Barack Obama to resign as president, and “appoint Eric Schmidt CEO of America”.
  • Inside the Ring: Pentagon goes hypersonic with long-range rapid attack weapon

    03/20/2014 10:58:59 AM PDT · by mandaladon · 25 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | 20 Mar 2014 | Bill Gertz
    <p>An experimental scramjet-powered, ultrahigh speed strike vehicle is emerging as the Pentagon’s main choice for a new long-range, rapid attack weapon, a senior Pentagon official says.</p> <p>Alan R. Shaffer, principal deputy assistant defense secretary for research and engineering, told a defense industry conference that prototypes and recent tests proved concepts for hypersonic arms, and several systems are part of a high-priority effort by Pentagon weapons developers, despite the era of sharply-diminished defense spending.</p>
  • UK holds cyberwar game in Churchill’s WWII bunker

    03/14/2014 7:54:42 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Mar 14, 2014 10:43 AM EDT | Raphael Satter
    Bent over their computers in a World War II-era bunker beneath London’s streets, dozens of young techies have spent Friday racing to understand why Britain’s banking network suddenly seems to have gone offline. The exercise—it is just an exercise—comes complete with sirens and mock newscasts. It’s meant to recruit the next generation of tech talent, and is also meant to help highlight the threat many here see as inevitable: A major cyberattack on the nation’s critical infrastructure. …
  • NSA's Malware Methods Outed in Latest Leak

    03/13/2014 5:21:22 PM PDT · by Aqua Buddhist · 21 replies
    NBC ^ | March 12, 2014 | Devin Coldewey
    The latest report from the top-secret documents that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden made off with describes the agency's efforts to infect and monitor PCs much in the way ordinary hackers do. The methods aren't particularly original, but the scale of the operations is huge. Ryan Gallagher and Glenn Greenwald reported on the revelations in great detail, but the takeaway is fairly straightforward. The NSA is employing hacking tools that will sound familiar to anyone in the security field: browser exploits, man-in-the-middle attacks and plain old spam....
  • Rocks On Mars

    03/12/2014 4:11:08 PM PDT · by onedoug · 14 replies ^ | 6 MAR 2014 | From various Mars missions
    Interesting discussions and photos of varying rock types encountered on Mars to date.
  • Google now owns Photo processing software company NIK

    03/11/2014 8:41:42 PM PDT · by MeshugeMikey · 10 replies ^ | March 10 2014 | meshugeMikey
    Create stunning images faster Get the full Nik Collection by Google, now just $149.
  • California mulls how to regulate ‘driverless cars’

    03/11/2014 12:29:37 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 27 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Mar 11, 2014 1:53 PM EDT | Justin Pritchard
    The California Department of Motor Vehicles began Tuesday to puzzle through the complex question of how to regulate cars that rely on computers—not people—to drive them. Once the stuff of science fiction, “driverless cars” could be commercially available by decade’s end. Google already has sent its fleet of Priuses and Lexuses, fitted with an array of sensors, hundreds of thousands of miles in California, and major automakers are testing their own models. …
  • Sweet success for bio-battery

    03/03/2014 9:55:59 PM PST · by neverdem · 38 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | Katia Moskvitch | 28 January 2014
    Rechargeable, energy-dense bio-batteries running on sugar might be powering our electronic gadgets in as little as three years, according to a US team of scientists. The battery, created by the group of Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech, can convert all the potential chemical energy stored in a sugar into electricity.The prototype is similar in size to a typical AA battery and has an energy storage density of 596 amp hours per kilogram – roughly one order of magnitude greater than a smartphone’s lithium-ion battery. This means that the battery could last at least...
  • Kids react to Rotary Phones...

    03/03/2014 9:54:47 AM PST · by US Navy Vet · 78 replies
    You Tube ^ | 3 Feb 2014 | US Navy Vet
    Too Funny!
  • 3D Systems: 4-D Printing A Threat To Long-Term Margins?

    02/27/2014 11:17:37 AM PST · by shove_it · 11 replies
    SeekingAlpha ^ | 27 Feb 2014 | AtonRa Partners
    The 3-D printing technology is evolving so fast that 4-D printing, i.e. the combination of high resolution 3D printers with smart materials that change their shape in response to outside stimuli, is already there. The rising importance and complexity of materials suggests in our view that 3D Systems' (DDD) input costs will rise in the future, putting some pressure on the margins of its key consumables business. We reiterate our view that consensus margin expectations are way too high on 3D Systems and that the stock is a Sell. For those willing to invest in the 3-D printing sector in...
  • Tesla's future rides on a massive battery plant

    02/22/2014 10:02:29 AM PST · by mandaladon · 48 replies
    CNN Money ^ | 22 Feb 2014 | Chris Isidore
    So far the story of Tesla Motors has been about exciting electric luxury cars and an even higher performing stock. Next week it will reveal plans for a much less sexy innovation that is more important to the company's future than either of those things: A huge new lithium battery factory dubbed the "Gigafactory" by Tesla founder Elon Musk. The plant is the key Tesla needs in order to produce an "affordable" long-range electric car in substantial enough numbers to join the ranks of the major automakers. "It's the future of the company," said Craig Irwin, analyst with Wedbush Securities....
  • Richard Branson insists he will be aboard first Virgin Galactic space flight

    02/22/2014 9:30:43 AM PST · by mandaladon · 14 replies
    The Guardian ^ | 21 Feb 2014 | Peter Walker and Jon Ronson
    Richard Branson has reiterated his plan to fly with his children on the inaugural flight of his long-planned commercial space operation, Virgin Galactic, despite the relatively untested nature of the technology and a departure date which has slipped repeatedly. "Everybody who signs up knows this is the birth of a new space programme and understands the risks that go with that," Branson said in an interview for Weekend magazine at Virgin Galactic's base in the Mojave desert north of Los Angeles. "But every person wants to go on the first flight." While insisting his plan is credible and the first...
  • Coming Soon: Free Internet From Space

    02/20/2014 9:23:46 AM PST · by Biggirl · 34 replies
    National Journal ^ | February 20, 2014 | Alex Brown
    f all goes according to plan, North Koreans will soon have free, uncensored Internet provided by satellites the size of toaster ovens. That's part of a project called Outernet, which hopes to launch hundreds of tiny satellites—known as CubeSats—to provide Internet to every person on Earth. Forty percent of the world's people currently don't have access to the Web. In a little more than a year, Outernet plans to have a fleet of 24 satellites operational and testing to pave the way for a globe-spanning network.
  • Moon Lasers Are Creating the Galaxy’s Fastest Internet

    02/18/2014 2:20:30 PM PST · by Red Badger · 32 replies ^ | February 18, 2014 | By Alex Brown
    Want this article to load more quickly? Read it in space. Hong Kong has the world's fastest Internet. Internet on the moon is 10 times faster. How do our lunar-exploring spaceships get buffer-free video? Lasers. NASA and MIT are shooting "lasers full of Internet" to a ship named LADEE that's exploring the moon's atmosphere. According to NASA, speeds have reached 622 megabits per second (Hong Kong tops out at 63.6). Right now, the agency is using a pulsed laser beam to transmit a pair of HD video signals to and from the moon. The 239,000 miles between the New Mexico...
  • Baby Steps on the Road to Fusion Energy

    02/13/2014 1:06:21 AM PST · by neverdem · 5 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 12 February 2014 | Daniel Clery
    Dr. Eddie DewaldA millimeter-sized fuel capsule inside its target can, or hohlraum. As it approaches its fifth birthday, the National Ignition Facility (NIF), a troubled laser fusion facility in California, has finally produced some results that fusion scientists can get enthusiastic about. In a series of experiments late last year, NIF researchers managed to produce energy yields 10 times greater than produced before and to demonstrate the phenomenon of self-heating that will be crucial if fusion is to reach its ultimate goal of “ignition”—a self-sustaining burning reaction that produces more energy than it consumes.“This is a very significant achievement, and...
  • The Quantum Quest for a Revolutionary Computer (Jeff Bezo's "Infinity Machine")

    02/10/2014 7:37:20 PM PST · by equalator · 32 replies
    Time Magazine ^ | 2-17-14 | Lev Grossman
    “[The company D-Wave] makes a new type of computer called a quantum computer that’s so radical and strange, people are still trying to figure out what it’s for and how to use it…. The supercooled niobium chip at the heart of the D-Wave Two has 512 qubits and therefore could in theory perform 2^512 operations simultaneously. That’s more calculations than there are atoms in the universe, by many orders of magnitude…. Naturally, a lot of people want one. This is the age of Big Data, and we’re burying ourselves in ­­information—search queries, genomes, credit-card purchases, phone records, retail transactions, social...
  • NASA Calls: Conducts Lunar CATALYST pre-proposal Teleconference

    01/28/2014 4:50:16 AM PST · by ND23 · 1 replies
    Monday, January 27, 2007: In order to give a boost to the NASA's new Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown CATALYST program, the space agency conducted a teleconference in Washington DC, USA. The purpose of a conference of this format was to create more opportunities to trigger commercial cargo transportation capabilities to the moon.
  • AMD Rolls Out "Warsaw" Opteron CPUs With 12 and 16 Cores

    01/23/2014 9:35:14 PM PST · by smokingfrog · 20 replies
    Tom's Hardware ^ | 1-22-14 | Marcus Yam
     AMD today released two new Opteron chips based off the company's "Piledriver" core. Part of the 6300 series codenamed "Warsaw", the 6370P packs 16 cores and the 6338P has 12 cores. Both of these new processors are fully socket and software compatible with the existing AMD Opteron 6300 Series. AMD boasts that the new Opterons are ideal for the Open 3.0 Open Compute Platform, complex compute needs of data analysis, xSQL and traditional databases, citing reasons of power efficiency and cost effectiveness. Specifically, these Warsaw parts have a TDP of 99 W. As far as cost effectiveness, the 16 core...
  • Bugs in Google Chrome let websites listen to your conversations

    01/22/2014 8:43:31 PM PST · by null and void · 26 replies
    Daily Caller ^ | 2:14 PM 01/22/2014 | Giuseppe Macri
    Google’s popular Chrome search engine might be doing more than helping you find websites — it might be helping websites find and listen to you through the microphone in your computer. reports the search engine’s voice recognition functionality can be compromised by websites that allow Chrome users to navigate their site via voice. The problem is once you give Chrome permission, the websites you’ve visited retain that permission — even if you’re not on the site, allowing them to tap into your computer’s onboard microphone and listen in at any time. Any site operator that chooses to adopt Chrome’s...
  • World’s ATMs still running Windows XP—and wildly out of date

    01/17/2014 9:43:17 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 81 replies
    Fox News ^ | January 17, 2014
    Nearly all of the ATMs in the world are running the Windows XP operating system, introduced by Microsoft 13 years ago—and incredibly out of date, as any tech enthusiast will tell you. On April 8, Microsoft will officially end the tech support for the aging OS, which was replaced by Windows Vista in 2007, Windows 7 in 2009, Windows 8 in 2012 and Windows 8.1 in 2013. […] If an ATM isn’t upgraded, it will continue to function, experts said. Withdrawals, deposits, and other transactions will work as they did before. But the machines will be more vulnerable to cyber...
  • Mobile phones powered by WIND TURBINES: 'Micro-windmills' could be fitted to our phones

    01/15/2014 10:48:13 AM PST · by smokingfrog · 50 replies
    Daily Mail UK ^ | 1-14-14 | Victoria Woollaston
    Forget hand-cranked chargers and solar-powered cases, the latest way to solve the ever-present problem of a dying phone battery is by using thin air. Researchers from Texas have developed a miniscule ‘micro-windmill’ that is just 1.8mm wide and can transform wind energy into electricity. The team behind the design claim hundreds of the nickel devices could be fitted to a phone case, for example, and users could charge their phone simply by waving it in the air. - - - - The technology was built by micro-engineering experts at the University of Texas Arlington (UTA). Each windmill is made of...
  • Former 82nd Airborne Soldier receives helmet that saved his life

    01/08/2014 7:33:15 AM PST · by Londo Molari · 9 replies
    PEO SOLDIER LIVE ^ | 6-January-2014 | ddawson
    SAN ANTONIO – When Chance Darby received the helmet that saved his life in Afghanistan, he said it successfully stopped an enemy rifle bullet but left him with two big headaches. One headache lasted a few days after the impact from a high-velocity round. The other lasted several weeks as he tried to keep the news of the incident from his mother, Lynlee Darby, and his then-fiancée and now wife, Cheryl. Chance proposed to Cheryl shortly before deploying to Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division. On May 31, 2012, Taliban ambushed his platoon while it was dismantling an improvised explosive...
  • Ford C-Max Solar Energi concept

    01/02/2014 8:42:55 AM PST · by taildragger · 17 replies
    Ford Motor Company ^ | 1/2/2014 | Ford Website reposted
    Video At:
  • HTML Sandbox 2014

    01/01/2014 8:01:39 AM PST · by ShadowAce · 96 replies
    Free Republic | 01 January 2014 | FR
    It's time for a new HTML reference so you can make your posts look cool. HTML means Hyper Text Markup Language. It's a set of simple commands used to format the text of your posts, add images, or links, or change the appearance. URL is Uniform Resource Locator. It's the name of the page or the picture that you see, the www.http:// stuff. You'll need to use the URL to make links and post pictures. Quotation Marks Quotes have to be used around the URLs for web pages and images on Free Republic. Some systems do not require this. Ours...
  • The Innovation Story of the Year

    12/31/2013 8:25:23 AM PST · by shove_it · 11 replies ^ | 13 Nov 2013 | LEIGH BUCHANAN
    Until this morning I’d never heard of Odon. Then I read this article in the New York Times about a 59-year-old Argentine car mechanic who invented a mechanism for safely extracting babies stuck in the birth canal. The device involves a plastic bag, which is inflated around the baby’s head and can then be used to pull the baby out, potentially causing less damage than forceps or suction cups. The World Health Organization has endorsed the device. Becton Dickenson licensed it for production. The idea came to Odon in a dream after he viewed a Youtube video about extracting...
  • Google's drive into robotics should concern us all

    12/29/2013 5:08:15 PM PST · by SamAdams76 · 44 replies
    The Guardian ^ | December 28, 2013 | John Naughton
    You may not have noticed it, but over the past year Google has bought eight robotics companies. Its most recent acquisition is an outfit called Boston Dynamics, which makes the nearest thing to a mechanical mule that you are ever likely to see. It's called Big Dog and it walks, runs, climbs and carries heavy loads. It's the size of a large dog or small mule – about 3ft long, 2ft 6in tall, weighs 240lbs, has four legs that are articulated like an animal's, runs at 4mph, climbs slopes up to 35 degrees, walks across rubble, climbs muddy hiking trails,...
  • From Algae to Oil In Just One Hour

    12/25/2013 3:51:31 AM PST · by neverdem · 124 replies
    The American Interest ^ | December 23, 2012 | Walter Russell Mead & Staff
    Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are pioneering a process that produces oil from algae in just one hour. Wet algae goes in, heat and pressure is applied, and crude oil comes out. From the PNNL itself: “It’s a bit like using a pressure cooker, only the pressures and temperatures we use are much higher,” said [Douglas Elliott, the laboratory fellow who led the PNNL team's research]. “In a sense, we are duplicating the process in the Earth that converted algae into oil over the course of millions of years. We’re just doing it much, much faster.” The...
  • 21st century bird watching: Drone guide

    12/24/2013 5:34:42 PM PST · by MarkBsnr · 9 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | 24 December 2013 | SARAH GRIFFITHS
    These days drones are used for everything from farming to surveying remote regions to waging war. So it makes sense that one Dutch designer has penned the Drone Survival Guide, which like bird watching charts, shows the various shapes and sizes of flying objects by their silhouettes... Dutch designer Ruben Pater has penned the Drone Survival Guide, which like bird watching charts, shows the various shapes and sizes of flying objects by their silhouettes The majority of the drones selected for the chart are from NATO member countries, including the UK, France, Germany, U.S. and Canada... The RAF's Reaper unmanned...
  • A Deep Look At The 3D Revolution - Where Printing Money Is A Reality

    12/20/2013 8:16:00 AM PST · by shove_it · 15 replies
    SeekingAlpha ^ | 19 Dec 2013
    Welcome to the deepest dive into the 3D printing sector, what the different business models are all about, and how a fair value for shares can be calculated in this hot technology space. It is important to understand the difference between all of the companies involved in this area in order to separate the firms with real potential from the pretenders that are simply riding the coattails of the others. In recent weeks, we have witnessed several companies' stock prices soar by being mentioned as players in this technology, even with no real products or revenue to show. We need...
  • Breakthrough study overturns theory of 'junk DNA' in genome

    12/15/2013 5:16:23 PM PST · by Dark Knight · 62 replies
    The Guardian ^ | Alok Jha
    Long stretches of DNA previously dismissed as "junk" are in fact crucial to the way our genome works, an international team of researchers said on Wednesday.
  • NSA review to leave spying programs largely unchanged, reports say

    12/13/2013 2:51:40 PM PST · by kobald · 11 replies
    The Guardian ^ | December 13, 2013 | Spencer Ackerman
    A participant in a White House-sponsored review of surveillance activities described as “shameful” an apparent decision to leave most of the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk spying intact. Sascha Meinrath, director of the Open Technology Institute, said Friday that the review panel he advised is at risk of missing an opportunity to restore confidence in US surveillance practices. “The review group was searching for ways to make the most modest pivot necessary to continue business as usual,” Meinrath said... According to the leaks, the review group will recommend that bulk collection of every American’s phone call data continue, possibly by...
  • Using 3-D Printing to Explain Theoretical Physics

    12/10/2013 12:11:27 PM PST · by null and void · 11 replies
    Scientific Computing ^ | 12/09/2013 - 3:55am | Institute of Physics
    Dr. Tim Evans with his 3D-printed model of a forest fire. (Source: Imperial College London) Students may soon be able to reach out and touch some of the theoretical concepts they are taught in their physics classes thanks to a novel idea devised by a group of researchers from Imperial College London. In a new study published in the journal EPL, the researchers have successfully demonstrated how complex theoretical physics can be transformed into a physical object using a 3-D printer. In just eight hours and at the cost of around 15 euros, they were able to use a commercially...

    12/06/2013 10:46:25 PM PST · by shove_it · 22 replies
    Breitbart/Drudge ^ | 6 Dec 2013
    REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Microsoft is working on a smart bra with sensors to monitor a wearer's mood and trigger a smartphone app to reduce emotional overeating, U.S. researchers said. Alerts from the wearable technology would be constantly refined by user feedback, enabling the bra to improve its ability to read a specific person's feelings, InformationWeek reported Thursday. Microsoft researchers worked with the University of Rochester and Britain's University of Southampton on the project, attempting to associate emotions with poor eating habits and to determine whether wearable devices can help reduce the resulting weight gains. A wearable smart...
  • ‘Spooky action’ builds a wormhole between ‘entangled’ particles

    12/04/2013 8:21:43 AM PST · by Red Badger · 85 replies ^ | December 3, 2013 | Vince Stricherz
    Quantum entanglement, a perplexing phenomenon of quantum mechanics that Albert Einstein once referred to as “spooky action at a distance,” could be even spookier than Einstein perceived. Physicists at the University of Washington and Stony Brook University in New York believe the phenomenon might be intrinsically linked with wormholes, hypothetical features of space-time that in popular science fiction can provide a much-faster-than-light shortcut from one part of the universe to another. But here’s the catch: One couldn’t actually travel, or even communicate, through these wormholes, said Andreas Karch, a UW physics professor. Quantum entanglement occurs when a pair or a...
  • Germans want greater state internet control

    12/04/2013 12:55:52 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 11 replies ^ | 04 Dec 2013 08:13 GMT+01:00 | (DPA/The Local)
    More than half of Germans want greater state control over websites, but about the same share are worried about surveillance of their own online activity, a survey on Tuesday revealed. Many users are concerned about the threats they face online, above all from computer viruses (72 percent), surveillance of their browsing activity (57 percent) and the misuse of personal data (50 percent), the survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute for the German Institute for Trust and Security in the Internet showed. But in a seeming contradiction, a considerable majority (61 percent) also believed there should be greater state controls on...