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Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "In response to the increased interest by the public in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the world authority that names objects in space, is giving the public a chance to name up to 30 planets from a pre-selected group of 305 exoplanets. "Before you get excited about naming HAT-P-7b after your first pet goldfish, it's worth taking a look at the restrictions the IAU places on its minor planet names. The 16 characters or less must be 'pronounceable (in as many languages as possible)' and non-offensive in any language or culture. The names of living persons are verboten, pet names are 'discouraged,' and you can't use a name that is commercial or has political, military, or religious connotations." The proposed names can be submitted by astronomy clubs and non-profit organisations interested in astronomy and votes will be cast by the public from across the world."

Solving the K-5 Scholastic Chess Facilitation Puzzle

theodp (442580) writes | 2 hours ago

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theodp (442580) writes "The good news, writes Michael Thomas, is that wired kids are learning chess at an unprecedented rate. Young children learning chess from tablets can quickly become more knowledgeable than their parents. But the bad news, laments Thomas, is there is so much demand for scholastic chess that there are not enough experienced chess facilitators to go around. Could technology like RFID-tagged chess pieces or services like ChessStream.com be employed to referee second-grader chess matches, Thomas wonders, or are more well-meaning-but-not-necessarily-expert human facilitators — a la T-ball coaches — the answer?"

So black you can't see it.

gbjbaanb (229885) writes | 3 hours ago

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gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A British company is developing a new material that’s so black it absorbs all but 0.035 percent of the visual light, making it the darkest material ever created.

Of course, apart from making album covers, it conducts heat 7 times better than copper and is 10 times stronger than steel.

the pictures are the best, it looks like its sitting on some foil, but its grown on the foil which is all crinkled and bent — only people who have seen it say that it looks smooth because so little light is being reflected."

Link to Original Source

Elite group of researchers rule scientific publishing

sciencehabit (1205606) writes | 5 hours ago

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sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Publishing is one of the most ballyhooed metrics of scientific careers, and every researcher hates to have a gap in that part of his or her CV. Here’s some consolation: A new study finds that very few scientists—fewer than 1%—manage to publish a paper every year. But these 150,608 scientists dominate the research journals, having their names on 41% of all papers. Among the most highly cited work, this elite group can be found among the co-authors of 87% of papers. Students, meanwhile, may spend years on research that yields only one or a few papers. “[I]n these cases, the research system may be exploiting the work of millions of young scientists,” the authors conclude."
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@Congressedits tweets anonymous Wikipedia edits from Capitol Hill

mpicpp (3454017) writes | 9 hours ago

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mpicpp (3454017) writes "Ed Summers, an open source Web developer, recently saw a friend tweet about Parliament WikiEdits, a UK Twitter “bot” that watched for anonymous Wikipedia edits coming from within the British Parliament’s internal networks. Summers was immediately inspired to do the same thing for the US Congress.

“The simplicity of combining Wikipedia and Twitter in this way immediately struck me as a potentially useful transparency tool,” Summers wrote in his personal blog. “So using my experience on a previous side project [Wikistream, a Web application that watches Wikipedia editing activity], I quickly put together a short program that listens to all major language Wikipedias for anonymous edits from Congressional IP address ranges and tweets them.”

The stream for the bot, @congressedits, went live a day later, and it now provides real-time tweets when anonymous edits of Wikipedia pages are made. Summers also posted the code to GitHub so that others interested in creating similar Twitter bots can riff on his work.

So far, @congressedits hasn’t caught anything scandalous; most of the edits caught have been stylistic changes rather than factual ones. The most interesting edit found so far was to the Wikipedia article on horse head masks—adding a reference to President Obama shaking hands with a man in such a mask on a recent trip to Denver."

Link to Original Source

Utility wants $17,500 refund after failure to scrub negative search results

mpicpp (3454017) writes | 9 hours ago

2

mpicpp (3454017) writes "Seattle City Light worked really hard to quash 2008 article, may sue Brand.com.

Seattle’s publicly-owned electrical utility, City Light, is now demanding a refund for the $17,500 that it paid to Brand.com in a botched effort to boost the online reputation of its highly-paid chief executive, Jorge Carrasco.

Brand.com "enhances online branding and clears negatives by blanketing search results with positive content" in an attempt to counteract unwanted search engine results. City Light signed a contract with the company in October 2013 and extended it in February 2014. The contracts authorized payments of up to $47,500.

Hamilton said that he first raised the issue of the utility’s online reputation when he was interviewing for the chief of staff job in early 2013.

“All I saw were negative stories about storms, outages and pay increases and I raised it as a concern during that interview,” he said. “And then after I started, [CEO Jorge Carrasco] and I discussed what we could do to more accurately represent the utility and what the utility is all about, because we didn't feel it was well represented online.”

Thus, the Brand.com contract. City Light says that it only ever thought Brand.com would help it place legitimate material in legitimate outlets—talking up some of the positive changes that have taken place at City Light during Carrasco's tenure. Instead, it appears to have received mostly bogus blog posts."

Link to Original Source

"Nano-Pixels" Hold Huge Potential For Flexible, Low-Power, High-Res Screens

Zothecula (1870348) writes | 2 days ago

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Zothecula (1870348) writes "The Retina displays featured on Apple's iPhone 4 and 5 models pack a pixel density of 326 ppi, with individual pixels measuring 78 micrometers. That might seem plenty good enough given the average human eye is unable to differentiate between the individual pixels, but scientists in the UK have now developed technology that could lead to extremely high-resolution displays that put such pixel densities to shame."
Link to Original Source

Source Code Leaked for Tinba Banking Trojan

msm1267 (2804139) writes | 2 days ago

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msm1267 (2804139) writes "The source code for Tinba, known as the smallest banker Trojan in circulation, has been posted on an underground forum. Researchers say that the files turned out to be the source code for version one of Tinba, which was identified in 2012, and is the original, privately sold version of the crimeware kit.

Tinba performs many of the same malicious functions as other banker Trojans, injecting itself into running processes on an infected machine, including the browser and explorer.exe. The malware is designed to steal financial information, including banking credentials and credit-card data and also makes each infected computer part of a botnet. Compromised machines communicate with command-and-control servers over encrypted channels. Tinba got its name from an abbreviation of “tiny banker”, and researchers say that it’s only about 20 KB in size."

Link to Original Source

Want To Ensure Your Personal Android Data Is Truly Wiped? Turn On Encryption

MojoKid (1002251) writes | yesterday

1

MojoKid (1002251) writes "We've been around the block enough times to know that outside of shredding a storage medium, all data is recoverable. It's just matter of time, money, and effort. However, it was still sobering to find out exactly how much data security firm Avast was able to recover from Android devices it purchased from eBay, which included everything from naked selfies to even a completed loan application. Does this mean we shouldn't ever sell the old handset? Luckily, the answer is no. Avast's self-serving study was to promote its Anti-Theft app available on Google Play. The free app comes with a wipe feature that overwrites all files, thereby making them invisible to casual recovery methods. That's one approach. There's another solution that's incredibly easy and doesn't require downloading and installing anything. Before you sell your Android phone on eBay, Craigslist, or wherever, enable encryption and wait for it to encrypt the on board storage. After that, perform a wipe and reset as normal, which will obliterate the encryption key and ensure the data on your device can't be read. This may not work on certain devices, which will ask you to decrypt data before wiping but most should follow this convention just fine."
Link to Original Source

New Technology Uses Cellular Towers for Super Accurate Weather Measurements

Iddo Genuth (903542) writes | yesterday

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Iddo Genuth (903542) writes "Israeli scientists from the Tel Aviv University perfected a method for using cell phone service towers microwave emitters to measure rain, snow and even (for the first time ) detect fog with great accuracy over vast areas in real time.

The research team members have analyzed endless amounts of raw cellular data and developed more accurate ways to measure meteorological information and added more parameters that they can now measure using their growing database. When combined with existing meteorological monitoring technologies such as radars and local ground based weather stations, the results show unprecedented level of accuracy that can give better and further weather forecast as well as special warnings about upcoming floods, fog and hail which can affect both people and crop production."

Link to Original Source

Highly respected engingeering school graduates more women than men

kevmeister (979231) writes | yesterday

3

kevmeister (979231) writes "Harvey Mudd College, a highly regarded engineering school in Claremont, California, announced that 56% of the latest graduating engineering class was female.

The article makes it clear that Harvey Mudd did put substantial effort into increasing female participation in STEM majors and that the overall graduating class or 2014 was almost half women.

Looks like (with effort) it is possible to get women interested in STEM."

Israel's Iron Dome rocket defense system is high-tech. So is the PR campaign

Lasrick (2629253) writes | 2 days ago

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Lasrick (2629253) writes "It isn't as if real analysis of Israel's "Iron Dome" isn't available, but invariably, whenever Israel has a skirmish the media is filled with glowing reports of how well the system works, and we always find out months later that the numbers were exaggerated. John Mecklin at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists looks at the coverage of Iron Dome in the recent exchanges between Israel and Hamas and finds the pattern is repeating itself. However, 'Ted Postol, an MIT-based missile defense expert and frequent Bulletin contributor, provided a dose of context to the Iron Dome coverage in a National Public Radio interview Wednesday. "We can tell, for sure, from video images and even photographs that the Iron Dome system is not working very well at all,"' Includes a good explanation of the differences between Iron Dome (a 'rocket defense system') and missile defense systems pushed by the US."
Link to Original Source

Take a Picture just by thinking about it, using Google Glass with MindRDR App.

rtoz (2530056) writes | yesterday

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rtoz (2530056) writes "A London based company "This Place" is launching a new app "MindRDR" for providing one more way for controlling Google Glass. It will allow the users to control the Google Glass by their thoughts.

This MindRDR application bridges the Neurosky EEG biosensor and Google Glass. It allows users to take photos and share them on Twitter and Facebook by simply using brainwaves alone.

"This Place" has put the code of this app on GitHub for others to use it and expand on it."

How deep does the multiverse go?

StartsWithABang (3485481) writes | yesterday

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StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "Our observable Universe is a pretty impressive entity: extending 46 billion light-years in all directions, filled with hundreds of billions of galaxies and having been around for nearly 14 billion years since the Big Bang. But what lies beyond it? Sure, there's probably more Universe just like ours that's unobservable, but what about the multiverse? Finally, a treatment that delineates the difference between the ideas that are thrown around and explains what's accepted as valid, what's treated as speculative, and what's completely unrelated to anything that could conceivably ever be observed from within our Universe."

Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast to Make THC

meghan elizabeth (3689911) writes | 3 days ago

1

meghan elizabeth (3689911) writes "How do you get weed without the weed? By genetically engineering yeast to produce THC, of course.
Once theorized in a stoner magazine column more than a decade ago, a biotech startup working in Ireland is actively trying to transplant the genetic information that codes for both THC and another cannabinoid called CBD into yeast so that "marijuana" can be grown in a lab—no plants necessary."

FAA Intimidates Coldwell Banker, Other Realtors Into Shunning Drone Photography

mpicpp (3454017) writes | 2 days ago

1

mpicpp (3454017) writes "For months, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been investigating realtors who use drones to film their properties. Now, Forbes has learned that the FAA’s investigations have succeeded in intimidating NRT —the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company — into advising their members to not only cease flying drones as part of their work, but to also cease using drone footage.

This is a troubling development in an ongoing saga over the FAA’s rules which punish the safe commercial use of drones. Currently, the FAA does not prohibit the use of drones for a hobby — flying over your home and taking pictures of it for fun is allowed, but because real estate drones take pictures for a commercial purpose, the FAA prohibits their use."

Link to Original Source

Finnish National Digital TV Broadcaster Starts Sending Bitcoin Blockchain

Joel Lehtonen (3743763) writes | yesterday

3

Joel Lehtonen (3743763) writes "Finnish national digital TV broadcaster Digita co-operates with startup company Koodilehto to start transmission of Bitcoin blockchain and transactions in Terrestrial Digital TV (DVB-T) signal that covers almost the entire Finnish population of 5 million people. The pilot broadcasting starts in September the 1st and lasts two months. The broadcast can be received by a computer with any DVB-T adapter like this $20 dongle. Commercial production phase is planned to begin later this year."

New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

jfruh (300774) writes | 2 days ago

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jfruh (300774) writes "New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that he and his leadership team are taking "important steps to visibly change our culture" and that "nothing is off the table" on that score. While much of his declaration consists of vague and positive-sounding phrases ("crease the fluidity of information and ideas by taking actions to flatten the organization and develop leaner business processes"), he outlined his main goals for the shift: reduce time it takes to get things done by having fewer people involved in each decision; quantify outcomes for products and use that data to predict future trends; and increasing investment for employee training and development."
Link to Original Source

Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance

Zothecula (1870348) writes | 3 days ago

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Zothecula (1870348) writes "Conventional lithium-ion batteries rely on anodes made of graphite, but it is widely believed that the performance of this material has reached its zenith, prompting researchers to look at possible replacements. Much of the focus has been on nanoscale silicon, but it remains difficult to produce in large quantities and usually degrades quickly. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have overcome these problems by developing a lithium-ion battery anode using sand."
Link to Original Source

NSA Admits Retaining Snowden Emails, no FOIA for US press

AHuxley (892839) writes | yesterday

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AHuxley (892839) writes "The http://thedesk.matthewkeys.net... reports on a FOIA request covering "... all e-mails sent by Edward Snowden"
Remember how Snowden should have raised his concerns with his superiors within the NSA?
Remember how no such communication could be found?
Remember how one such communication was released but did not seem to be raising direct concerns?
Well some record of e-mail communications seems to exist but they are exempt from public disclosure under the federal Freedom of Information Act."

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