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Submission + - Spike of radioactive Iodine levels is detected in Europe (theaviationist.com)

schwit1 writes: Iodine-131 (131I), a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January.

However, no one seems to know the reason behind the released Iodine-131. Along with nuclear power plants, the isotope is also widely used in medicine and its presence in the air could be the effect of several different incidents.

Or, as someone speculates, it could have been the side effect of a test of a new nuclear warhead in Russia: an unlikely (considered the ability to detect nuke tests through satellites and seismic detectors) violation of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Submission + - IBM & Watson booted by MD Anderson cancer research center (forbes.com)

Life2Short writes: According to Fortune Magazine IBM's Watson has not impressed folks at the University of Texas' cancer research center. Apparently IBM does not meet the expectations of MD Anderson. FTFA: "And a scathing report from auditors at the University of Texas says the project cost MD Anderson more than $62 million and yet did not meet its goals."

Submission + - Iron-age potters accidentally recorded Earth's magnetic field strength

Solandri writes: We've only been able to measure the Earth's magnetic field strength for about 2 centuries. During this time, there has been a gradual decline in the field strength. In recent years, the rate of decline seems to be accelerating, leading to some speculation that the Earth may be losing its magnetic field — a catastrophic possibility since the magnetic field is what protects life on Earth from dangerous solar radiation. Ferromagnetic particles in rocks provide a long-term history which tells us the poles have flipped numerous times. But uncertainties in dating the rocks prevents their use in understanding decade-scale magnetic field fluctuations.

Now a group of archeologists and geophysicists have come up with a novel way to produce decade-scale temporal measurements of the Earth's magnetic field strength from before the invention of the magnetometer. When iron-age potters fired their pottery in a kiln to harden it, it loosened tiny ferromagnetic particles in the clay. As the pottery cooled and these particles hardened, it captured a snapshot of the Earth's magnetic field. Crucially, the governments of that time required pottery used to collect taxed goods (e.g. a portion of olive oil sold) to be stamped with a royal seal. These seals changed over time as new kings ascended, or governments were completely replaced after invasion. Thus by cross-referencing the magnetic particles in the pottery with the seals, researchers were able to piece together a history of the Earth's magnetic field strength spanning from the 8th century BCE to the 2nd century BCE. Their findings show that large fluctuations in the magnetic field strength over a span of decades are normal.

Comment You're probably NOT owed $10 (Score 5, Informative) 99

Residency requirement. FTFA: Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin.

Comment Good design (Score 4, Interesting) 63

I'm not an aviation professional but I think about designs for these all the time. I'd be proud of this design:
  • Simple, inexpensive propellers rather than one or two massive, complex rotor(s)
  • Wings so when traveling place to place you don't have to expend extra energy to stay aloft
  • Electric. You'll need a fantastic battery, but if that's not quite available you can use a gas turbine powering a generator for hybrid operation

My only quibble is the design relies on differential torque of the propellers for pivot rotation. I think it would be better to arrange for thrust vectoring for this. Also thrust vectoring would allow you to run identical propellers because the thrust vectoring can eliminate the torque.

Submission + - Police and FAA Are Making It Impossible To Use Drones To Document Protests (vocativ.com)

schwit1 writes: Last November, an aerial drone flown by a member of the resistance camp opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline captured dramatic footage of riot police blasting crowds with water cannons as temperatures dipped below freezing, sending 17 of the camp’s occupants to the hospital with injuries and hypothermia.

The video quickly spread on social media, spurring global news coverage of the fight against the oil pipeline, which saw activists clash with police and security forces in tense standoffs last year. A few weeks later, the Army Corps of Engineers halted construction of the pipeline, which had encroached on Native American sacred lands and threatened water supplies near North Dakota’s Standing Rock reservation.

It was another example of how drones have become a crucial technology, allowing activists and journalists to document protests and hold police accountable for abuses. But as a new era of civil resistance dawns under the Trump administration, at the Standing Rock site and in anti-Trump demonstrations across the country, drone experts say police and government have made it unnecessarily difficult — sometimes impossible — for civilians to deploy drones at large protests.

Just a few days after the video from Standing Rock went viral, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave permission to local authorities to effectively ban all civilian drone flights in 4 mile radius above the Oceti Sakowin resistance camp and drill site. The same thing happened two years earlier, during the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri: Police were granted what is called a Temporary Flight Restriction, or TFR, which legally restricts airspace above a designated area to law enforcement and emergency aircraft. In Ferguson, the explicit goal was to stop news helicopters and drones from observing the Black Lives Matter protests, where cops were firing tear gas and menacing protesters with military vehicles and weapons.

Submission + - Is Mt Everest shrinking? (phys.org) 1

OffTheLip writes: Recent scrutiny into the officially recorded height of the worlds tallest mountain will lead to a re-measurement. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal in 2015 is being eyed as the reason.

India's surveyor general Swarna Subba Rao said, We will remeasure it,Two years have passed since the major Nepal earthquake and there's doubt in the scientific community that it did in fact shrink.

A team will depart once winter passes to take measurements to determine the current height Everest.

Submission + - U.S. solar industry power generation jobs pass oil, coal and gas combined (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: In 2016, the solar workforce in the U.S. increased by 25% to 374,000 employees, compared to 187,117 electrical generation jobs in the coal, gas and oil industries. Solar employment, which includes both photovoltaic electricity and concentrated solar steam generators, accounts for 43% of the electric power generation workforce — the largest share of workers in that sector. Fossil fuel generation employment now accounts for 22%. In addition to losing ground in employment, net power generation from coal sources declined by 53% between 2006 and September 2016; electricity generation from natural gas increased by 33%; and solar grew by over 5,000% —from 508,000 megawatt hours (MWh) to just over 28 million MWh.

Submission + - Paris says 'bonjour' to driverless buses in bid to cut city's smog problem (ibtimes.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Paris has become the latest city to embrace autonomous vehicles after rolling out a driverless bus service. City officials have begun experiments with new urban mobility solutions as a means of tackling pollution and congestion in the French capital.

A three-month trial is to see two electric shuttle buses transport passengers between Lyon and d'Austerlitz railway stations, in the east of the city. The cube-shaped EZ10 vehicles, designed by French firm Easymile, are capable of carrying up to 12 passengers and can be guided along pre-programmed routes using an array of cameras, GPS, lasers and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology.

Submission + - SPAM: Seattle Tech Expansion Delivers 76,755 More Men Than Women

reifman writes: After 8x growth since 2010, Amazon announced that it now has more than 40,000 employees in Washington. Facebook, Google, Apple and others have flocked to the city as well. As a result, the U.S. Census, reports there are 76,755 more men than women in Washington State in the 18 to 54 year old range,. Not only has this made dating more difficult for many Seattle techies but may also be playing a role in increased reports of drugging at bars and a 51% increase in reported rape since 2015.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Hamas 'Honey Trap' Dupes Israeli Soldiers (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: The smartphones of dozens of Israeli soldiers were hacked by Hamas militants pretending to be attractive young women online, an Israeli military official said Wednesday. Using fake profiles on Facebook with alluring photos, Hamas members contacted the soldiers via groups on the social network, luring them into long chats, the official told journalists on condition of anonymity.

Dozens of the predominantly lower-ranked soldiers were convinced enough by the honey trap to download fake applications which enabled Hamas to take control of their phones, according to the official.

Submission + - Number of Hijacked MongoDB Servers Doubles After Kraken Gang Gets Involved (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The number of hijacked MongoDB servers held for ransom has skyrocketed in the past two days from 10,500 to over 28,200, thanks in large part to the involvement of a professional ransomware group known as Kraken, previously known for developing a poorly-coded Windows ransomware.

Ever since this group got involved, the number of hacked and ransomed MongoDB servers went from 10,000 to 28,000, with the Kraken group accounting for 56% of all hijacked servers. The group's efforts seem to be worth it, as they made over $6,000 worth of Bitcoin in just 2 days.

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