siddesu writes "A man was arrested this morning in Tokyo because he was videotaped approaching a famous stray cat in the popular tourist destination of Enoshima near Tokyo.
The animal was used some months ago to deliver (via an SD card strapped to its leash) a message ridiculing the cyber crime unit of the Japanese police for their failure to apprehend a "hacker", who posted "threatening messages" to several popular boards.
The investigation of the pranks since October last year has so far resulted in four arrests of innocent people." Link to Original Source top
Room Temperature Superconductivity Found in Graphite Grains
siddesu writes "Here's an interesting recipe. Take a spoonful of graphite powder and stir it into a glass of water. Leave for 24 hours at room temperature and then filter the powder. Finally, bake overnight at 100 degrees C and allow to cool.
And voila! A material that superconducts at over 300 kelvin--room temperature. At least that's the claim today from Pablo Esquinazi and buddies at the University of Leipzig in Germany." Link to Original Source top
siddesu writes "The Asahi Shimbun has published a rather thorough and readable Q&A article, which is addressing many frequently asked questions about the consequences of the radioactive pollution that followed the accident.
Answers are given by Mariko Takahashi, a writer with the paper, who is, according to the introduction, "well-versed" in the issues at hand." Link to Original Source top
siddesu writes "After 30 years of being around computers, I have, like everyone else, amassed a huge amount of files in huge amount of formats about a huge amount of topics. And it isn't only me — the family has now a ton of data that they want managed and easily accessible.
Keeping all that information in order has always been a pain, but it has gone harder as the storage has increased and people and files and sizes have multiplied.
What do you folks use to keep your odd terabyte of document, picture, video and code files organized — that is, relatively uniformly tagged, versioned, searchable and ultimately findable, without 50 duplicates over your 50 devices and without typing arcane commands in a terminal window?
siddesu writes "Japanese big retail stores were ordered a week or so ago to stop selling Apple products online. The comments in the Japanese business newspapers suggest that Apple believes online shopping adds an aura of "cheapness" to their products, but killing the competition of the Apple store has surely been considered as well. As of today, most of the largest retailers have notices on their Apple catalog pages that ask you to kindly visit the shop if you want to acquire a piece of magic. It seems that for the moment the campaign is aimed at the big fish, as smaller shops still seem to carry and sell Apple items.
siddesu writes "Scientists working on the Cassini mission (thttp://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm) have found evidence of liquid water on the planet's icy moon Enceladus, suggesting the possibility of life below its surface and further limiting parking availability in the solar system." Link to Original Source top
siddesu writes "Wired has a fascinating story about a recent discovery that sheds light on the quantum physics mechanisms behind the efficiency of photosynthesis. Antenna proteins appear to "use" quantum effects to route energy almost without loss from photon-sensitive molecules to nearby reaction-center proteins, which convert it to cell-driving charges. As a bonus, the article provides a car analogy." Link to Original Source top
siddesu writes "Compelling new data that chemical and fossil evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars was carried to Earth in a Martian meteorite is being elevated to a higher plane by the same NASA team which made the initial discovery 13 years ago. Time to bow to our Marsian overlords?" Link to Original Source top
siddesu writes "New study of storage technology by the former CTO of Seagate predicts that harddisks will remain the cheapest storage technology in the next decade and probably beyond." Link to Original Source top
siddesu writes "Herschel, the infra-red space telescope, opened its eyes on 14 June 2009, precisely one month after the launch. It carried out test observations labeled a 'sneak preview' making use of time initially allocated to 'thermal stabilization', following a request to attempt producing an early observational result.
Here's the first pictures and more." Link to Original Source top
siddesu writes "TV Asahi reports (video attached to the news clip, all in Japanese) that a Japanese neuroscience research institute has read images as they are processed by the brain for the fist time in history. The video shows pictures being shown to a subject and the reading of the images in the brain by a scanner developed by the institute. The researchers expect to perfect the technology so that it reads dreams and images in the near future.
(The scoop is a rough translation of the news article)
siddesu writes "BBC mentions briefly that EU police will perform remote searches of suspect computers as a part of an EU plan to tackle hi-tech crime. "The strategy encourages the much needed operational cooperation and information exchange between the Member States," said EC vice-president Jacques Barrot in a statement. Now, that is a crime prevention I can subscribe to." Link to Original Source top
siddesu writes "BBC and other news agencies report that the most recent National Intelligence Council report suggests that by 2025 the influence of the US over the world will diminish, new powers — notably Brazil, India and China will emerge, and with the onset of global warming and new superpowers with diverging political values the world will become a more dangerous place, prone to conflicts in which nukes may be used. This is a much gloomier outlook on the world compared to the report from only two years ago. Dig that shelter and stock up on ammo where legal.
siddesu writes "For all people like me, who think skype is sort of secure against eavesdropping, here is a reminder from the real world:
"Citizen Lab, a group of Canadian human-rights activists and computer security researchers, has discovered a huge surveillance system in China that monitors and archives certain Internet text conversations that include politically charged words.
The system tracks text messages sent by customers of Tom-Skype, a joint venture between a Chinese wireless operator and eBay, the Web auctioneer that owns Skype, an online phone and text messaging service."
More is available from the BBC and the NYT, as well as on the site of Citizen Lab.
siddesu writes "A new research by the Sanger institute suggests that the widely accepted view that brain power is a function only of size and that nerve cells are similar accross species is incorrect, and that complex brains depend not only on the number of neurons and connection, but also on the complexity and capabilities of its neurons.
The study compares proteins found in synapses accross many species and finds that in simpler organisms not only the brain size is different, but the number of proteins in their neurons is also significantly lower than that of animals with complex brains or humans.
This suggests that complex brains need more complex "hardware", and that the evolution from simple sensory "components" (as found in the various yeasts) to the complex neurons that build the human brain is similar to the development of computer hardware." Link to Original Source top
siddesu writes "Intel has pulled out of the OLPC project, citing "philosophical differences". An Intel representative, Chuck Molly has commented that OLPC project has asked Intel to drop support for "rival" low-cost PC projects, including Classmate PC, and "to focus on the OLPC platform exclusively. At the end of the day, we decided we couldn't accommodate that request."
siddesu writes "Nice high-level BBC overview of some technologies for surveillance developed in the US and the UK.
From the article:
"The US and UK governments are developing increasingly sophisticated gadgets to keep individuals under their surveillance. When it comes to technology, the US is determined to stay ahead of the game."
"But it [a through-the wall sensing device in development] will also show whether someone inside a house is looking to harm you, because if they are, their heart rate will be raised. And 10 years from now, the technology will be much smarter. We'll scan a person with one of these things and tell what they're actually thinking."