HansonMB (1988686) writes "After launching on one of the nation’s Long March rockets and a three-day transit, Chang'E 3 will reach the Moon and enter into a 62 mile orbit. Once settled, the 2,645 pound lander will separate from the roughly 8,200 pound spacecraft and descend into a highly elliptical orbit 62 by 9.5 miles above the surface." Link to Original Source top
New Doc looks at OWS' attempt to make an independent internet
HansonMB (1988686) writes "To many open-source advocates, however, these are a few of the big, dirty names responsible for what they see as the Web’s rapid consolidation. The prospect of an irreparably centralized Internet, a physical Internet in the hands of a shrinking core of so-called Tier 1 transit networks, keeps Isaac Wilder up at night.
Wilder is the 21-year-old co-founder of the Free Network Foundation. Motherboard first caught up with Wilder at Zuccotti Park during the fledgling days of Occupy Wall Street. The Kansas City native seemed to be running on little sleep. He’d gone hoarse from chanting relentlessly over the first three days of a populist movement that would soon sweep the country and the world. But there was an undeniable urgency and excitement when Wilder told us about the efforts of the FNF, a non-profit, peer-to-peer communications initiative striving to liberate the global Internet from corporate and governmental interference." Link to Original Source top
HansonMB (1988686) writes "When the FBI and the Metropolitan Police Force in Washington DC found out that nightclub owner Antoine Jones had links to a drug trafficking ring they set out to get him behind bars.
They installed a camera to monitor the entrance to the club. They requested and received information from his cell phone through a trap and trace warrant. But what did him in was the installation of a GPS on his wife’s Jeep Grand Cherokee. The device collected more than 2000 pages of data over 4 weeks. This data connected Jones to a house containing $850,000 in cash and 97 kilograms of cocaine.
In 2008, Jones was convicted for possessing 5 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute and was sentenced to life in prison, Much of his case was based on evidence collected through the GPS tracker. Only thing is: the police didn’t have a valid warrant to track his car with the device." Link to Original Source top
HansonMB (1988686) writes "US Congressman and poor-toupee-color-chooser Lamar Smith is the guy who authored the Stop Online Piracy Act. SOPA, as I'm sure you know, is the shady bill that will introduce way harsher penalties for companies and individuals caught violating copyright laws online (including making the unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a crime which you could actually go to jail for). If the bill passes, it will destroy the internet and, ultimately, turn the world into Mad Max (for more info, go here).
I decided to check that everything on Lamar's official campaign website was copyright-cleared and on the level. Lamar is using several stock images on his site, two of which I tracked back to the same photographic agency. I contacted the agency to make sure he was paying to use them, but was told that it's very difficult for them to actually check to see if someone has permission to use their images." Link to Original Source top
New Species of Frog is World's Smallest Vertebrate
HansonMB (1988686) writes "It seems like biologists have been on a bit of a tear as of late, introducing new species left and right, but this frog takes the cake.
Let’s all say it together: Holy frog that thing is small.
The frog that’s now considered the world’s smallest invertebrate is named Paedophryne amauensis, paying homage to Amau Village in Papua New Guinea where the little guy was found. Taking credit for the discovery is a team of researchers led by Christopher Austin of Louisiana State University, who published their discovery in PLoS ONE." Link to Original Source top
CES 1991 Was Scary Because Every Gadget Did Everyt
HansonMB (1988686) writes "Man, these days it sure feels like everything has a computer chip in it, right? Even notorious doodad purveyors like The Sharper Image and Sky Mall seem to be constantly encroaching on the traditional computer market. Despite the threat of software piracy, the computer industry seems to be doing well at the moment, but what about the future? Will the market for hardcore geek gear survive if it continues to get usurped by the consumer electronics industry?
OK, OK, I admit that sounds a bit alarmist, but it doesn’t sound far off from what some Chicken Littles in Silicon Valley write from time to time. What’s wild is that these are all talking points from 1991. Over twenty years ago, our favorite tech show, Computer Chronicles, paid a visit to CES 1991 to check out the hot new gadgetry set to flood Circuit City and the like." Link to Original Source top
We are getting very close to finding the (mouse) f
HansonMB (1988686) writes "As you can maybe tell from buffmouse.jpg up there, this research is still in mice, but a new study out from the University of Pittsburg published in Nature Communications has big news for fans of not getting old and gross and dying. Shots of stem cells from healthy, young mice delivered to the abdomens of prematurally aging mice have been show to head off many of the effects of old age, leading to lives two to three times as long as would normally be the case. So, yes: a fountain of youth in a syringe full of stem cells. For mice.
“Our experiments showed that mice that have progeria, a disorder of premature aging, were healthier and lived longer after an injection of stem cells from young, healthy animals,” says senior investigator Laura Niedernhofer, M.D., Ph.D. “That tells us that stem cell dysfunction is a cause of the changes we see with aging.”" Link to Original Source top
HansonMB (1988686) writes "It’s one thing to have the U.S. symbolically ending all major combat operations in Iraq for the second time in eight years. It’s an entirely other thing to watch the Americans physically rolling out of a warzone, especially after a nine-year campaign that cost the U.S. nearly $1 trillion and 4,500 lives, not to mention the lives of over 100,000 Iraqis, mainly unarmed civilians.
It’s only fitting, too, that footage of a final American convoy discreetly exiting Iraq early Sunday morning comes by way of a U.S. Predator surveillance drone. That the U.S. even had an unmanned aerial vehicle loitering high above yesterday’s dawn departure suggests that America’s stake in a seemingly endless Iraq conflict isn’t flat ending, but is simply phasing into something else – something with a lot more drones." Link to Original Source top
Scientists Are Now Tracking the Spread of Diseases
HansonMB (1988686) writes "Call it researching disease in the cloud or just plain illuminating, but Princeton researchers today published a paper in Science that demonstrates how aerial night images can be used to monitor the spread of epidemic in the developing world by tracking light density.
That’s a mouthful, but the concept is really pretty straightforward. In developing nations with migratory populations, there are parts of the year when everyone tends to meet up, creating localized, seasonal population booms. Those booms, with a large number of people in a concentrated area, are a hotspot for the spread of disease. Unfortunately for health agencies, tracking migratory populations has never been an easy task, which means epidemic can get out of hand quickly." Link to Original Source top
Read Chat Logs From The Internet's 24-Year-Old "Ki
HansonMB (1988686) writes "Apart from the networks of infected computers and poorly-translated emails offering shady pharmaceutical drugs, the inner workings of the shadowy criminal empires that deal in Internet spam remain a mystery. Every once in a while though, we match a face to junkmail. He’s called “the King of Spam” among members of the internet’s seedy underground, and now he’s been caught by authorities — 24 year old Oleg Nikolaenko, aka “Docent,” is the alleged owner of the “Mega-D” botnet, an enormous web of zombie-computers that collectively sends around 10 billion spam messages per day." Link to Original Source top
Voyagers Detect Long-Lost Signal From Our Own Gala
HansonMB (1988686) writes "If the world’s combined space fleet was in a school classroom together, NASA’s Voyager probes would be those annoying kids who constantly show up the the rest of the class with perfect assignments, extra credit homework and general overachievement.
Like Spirit and Opportunity – the equally keen Mars rovers who continued to work for years after they could have quit – the twin Voyagers just keep on turning in new science reports, three decades after their launch. As if discovering Jupiter’s faint ring system, Neptune’s Great Dark Spot, active volcanoes on Io, giant magnetic bubbles and, oh, a little something called entering the heliosheath wasn’t enough, the Voyagers have now allowed scientists to detect the long sought-after Lyman-alpha emission from our galaxy." Link to Original Source top
HansonMB (1988686) writes "It can’t be very hard for Bertrand Piccard to explain to his family why he wants to fly around the world with only sunlight for fuel. In the 1930s, his grandfather, Auguste Piccard, a physicist and inventor, applied his excitement and interest in ballooning to designing a high-flying balloon attached to a pressurized aluminum gondola. The first of its kind, Auguste’s flying machine completed a record-breaking climb more than 50,000 feet into the air, gathering valuable data about the Earth’s upper atmosphere along the way. Fitting that Bertrand, for what it’s worth, defeated the notorious Sir Richard Branson by becoming the first man to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon in 1999." Link to Original Source top
Building schools of robotic fish to defend the oce
HansonMB (1988686) writes "Massive oil spills like the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster last year – or the ongoing disaster along the Niger Delta – are fortunately rare. But smaller scale ocean pollution isn’t, and collectively it adds up to cause enough damage to alter ecosystems and affect fish stocks. A key to protecting the oceans (and the ecosystems and industries that live there) is collecting regular data on pollution levels to help target clean-up efforts. But given the scale of the world’s oceans, how can we monitor them effectively and cheaply?
Dr. Huosheng Hu of the University of Essex has a rather elegant solution: setting loose a fleet of robotic fish to continually monitor water quality, without the costly man-hours of sending marine scientists out on boats. Like Cesar Harada, the drone sailboat fleet builder, Huosheng’s working towards a future where artificially-intelligent, self-sustaining robots swim alongside their living brethren, continually sending data about water conditions via wireless signals to collection points on shore." Link to Original Source top
HansonMB (1988686) writes "Worse, it was as if someone along the way purposefully destroyed all confiscated electronics, a strategic smashing of at least part of the digital record logged by full-on occupiers. “Dude, all the laptops are in a row," he tells us, baffled and raking his shock of brown hair. "They’ve all been smashed with bats.” When asked about the mangled property, LiPani admits that, inevitably, certain items could’ve been damaged in the shuffle: “I’m not surprised,” he says, to hear of damaged laptops. He adds that the DSNY is providing clearance forms to those occupiers concerned their property may’ve been mishandled or misplaced." Link to Original Source top
HansonMB (1988686) writes "Given one of my more immediate life goals is to be living in a somewhat self-contained cabin somewhere far away from all of this — yet still have a way to keep my deer meat frozen and my laptop charged — the Volo Stirling engine is very relevant to my interests. Basically, it’s a lot like an internal combustion engine, except instead of the heat coming from inside the engine via exploding gasoline, the heat comes from outside the engine, like from a woodstove. It’s an old concept, dating back to 1812, that got shoved to the side with the advent of the grid and the internal combustion engine. Detroiter Tim Sefton and his Volo Designs are aiming to bring it back, with plans to have a consumer-ready Stirling engine capable of generating a household’s worth of electricity ready by spring 2012, for less than $100." Link to Original Source top
Fighting for the Amazon can still get you killed (
HansonMB (1988686) writes "On May 24, 2011—the same day Brazil's Parliament voted to decrease logging restrictions in the country's Forest Code—married environmental activists Zé Cláudio Ribeiro and Maria do Espirito Santo were shot to death outside their house in the Amazonian state of Para. A month later we traveled to Zé Cláudio's hometown of Marabá, which was once in the middle of the rainforest and is now surrounded by miles and miles of clearcut cattle land. As the investigation into Zé and Maria's murders went nowhere, we drove into the forest to the site of the killings, followed the heavily armed men of Brazil's environmental protection agency as they busted up illegal timber mills, visited the militant squatters of Brazil's Landless Movement, met modern day slaves, and marveled at the lawless, violent atmosphere that permeates the town locals call Marabála (that means Mara-bullets)." Link to Original Source top
Thorium, the forgotten green nuclear fuel that alm
HansonMB (1988686) writes "While the idea of building small, thorium-based nuclear reactors – thought to be dramatically safer, cheaper, cleaner and terror-proof than our current catalog of reactors – can be shooed away as fringe by some, the germ of the idea began in the U.S. government’s major atomic lab, at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in the 1960s. It’s only in the past half-decade that the idea has picked up steam again on the Internet, thanks to enterprising enthusiasts who have chronicled the early experiments, distributed documents, and posted YouTube videos. But if thorium’s second life on the Internet has grown the flock of adherents exponentially, it’s also pulled in more than a few people whose nuclear expertise doesn’t extend far past Wikipedia, adding a sheen of hype to the proceedings." Link to Original Source top
New Independent Analysis Says Global Warming Is To
HansonMB (1988686) writes "The planet is heating up. Three big projects from NASA, NOAA, and a collaboration between Britain’s Met Office and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, all confirm that the surface of the planet on which we reside and depend upon is heating up and heating up at an increasing rate. This is, of course, not enough for a small but influential crowd that would prefer to not admit that a planet of nearly 7 billion terribly inefficient, rapidly consuming human beings can knock Earth out of stasis.
So, the University of California’s Richard Muller launched the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study, yet another analysis, this one independent and aimed at the skeptics. Muller’s crew devised a new statistical method that allowed them to use nearly every land temperature station on the planet, some 39,000 of them, rather than having to use subsets as used by the other groups. The group also used some different statistical techniques to help eliminate data skewing from things like the urban heat island effect, something used often as a counter-argument against climate change." Link to Original Source top
HansonMB writes "In April of last year the Deepwater Horizon semi-submersible Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 men, injuring 17 others and triggering what is generally recognized as one of the greatest human errors ever made and officially the largest unforeseen marine oil catastrophe since people started drilling for oil. By the time the leak was capped in July, 2010, enough oil to fill 4.9 million barrels covered the Gulf in a toxic slick.
Enter Cesar Harada. After visiting the oil spill, in June of 2010, the young engineer decided to leave MIT in Boston to develop an open source oil spill cleaning robot, Protei. Our current array of oil spill skimming technologies — mostly private boats retrofitted with skimming equipment and skimmers maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard — are only able to collect 3 percent of the oil in the Gulf of Mexico and carry health risks to humans and heavy economic costs. Protei is unmanned, autonomous, relatively inexpensive and open hardware (anybody can use, modify and distribute its designs), making it a potentially powerful weapon in the battle to clean up the Gulf of Mexico, while preserving the safety of the workers who would otherwise be exposed to the toxic mess. Already Harada imagines other uses for the sailboat drone, like oceanography and surveillance." Link to Original Source top