Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Killer Whales Can 'Talk' Like Dolphins



Killer Whales Can 'Talk' Like Dolphins When The Two Species Spend Time Together: Orcas Imitate Sounds To Help Them Communicate -- Daily Mail

* Killer whales can engage in cross-species ‘vocal learning’ by matching the types of sounds made by bottlenose dolphins when spending time with them
* Results suggest vocal imitation may enable social interactions in cetaceans
* Killer whales make clicks, whistles and pulsed calls, which are repeated brief bursts of sound punctuated with silence
* When they spent time with dolphins they altered these noises to make more dolphin-like clicks and fewer pulsed calls, which dolphins don't make
* Study was conducted by Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in San Diego

Most animals make noises that are innate, not learned.

But scientists claim killer whales can learn to ‘talk’ like dolphins when the two species spend time together.

This means the ocean predators join the likes of bats, some birds and humans that each copy sounds and use them in appropriate social contexts.

Read more ....

My Comment: I always find it amazing that we are still making discoveries even though we have been studying animals .... like killer whales .... for years.

A Means To Harness Wind Energy At 2,000 Feet

Altaeros' Buoyant Air Turbine: Last year, Altaeros tested a prototype of the turbine at a height of 500 feet in Maine, where it flew in 45mph winds. courtesy Altaeros

The Quest To Harness Wind Energy At 2,000 Feet -- Popular Science

High-altitude wind contains enough energy to power the planet. A Boston start-up wants to be the first to bring it down to Earth.

Nothing about the grooved, inflatable body taking shape inside Greentown Labs in Somerville, Massachusetts, resembles a wind turbine. It looks more like a jetliner's emergency ramp, or something you'd tie behind a boat and cling to desperately while bumping across the surface of a lake. But the 14-foot-long structure most resembles what it actually is--an air-filled wing.

To be more precise, it's a stabilizing fin, part of a tube-shaped, robotic airship designed to tap the power of high-altitude winds. The blade tips of today's tallest conventional wind turbine, installed at a test center in Denmark this year, stretch to 720 feet. The fully autonomous, lighter-than-air BAT (short for buoyant airborne turbine) will climb as high as 2,000 feet, where winds blow stronger and steadier.

Read more ....

My Comment: People are protesting windmills on the ground .... I expect the same protests for these wind turbines 2,000 feet in the air.

'Tyupkin' Malware Lets Criminals Steal Millions From ATMs Around The World

Infected Cash Machines Are Giving Away Money: 'Tyupkin' Malware Lets Criminals Steal Millions From ATMs Around The World -- Daily Mail

* Malicious software allows thieves to visit cash machines and empty them
* Money has been stolen from machines in Latin America, Europe and Asia
* ATMs are deliberately infected with so-called Tyupkin malware by criminals
* They then visit the machines at night and enter codes to access the cash
* Security experts have warned banks to boost the security of ATMs

Computer viruses may make your laptop run slower and even steal personal details such as passwords, but they can also attack cash machines - with expensive results.

Experts have forensically investigated cybercriminal attacks targeting ATMs around the world and have discovered a piece of malware called 'Tyupkin' that is leaving hundreds of machines at risk.

This malicious software allows thieves to visit cash machines and empty them – stealing millions in the process - without the need for a card.

Read more ....

My Comment: Not so secure after-all.

Everything Is CGI



This Is CG -- Techcrunch

This is your semi-regular reminder that CGI is at or beyond the point of absurdity, that everything on the Internet is fake, that there is no spoon, etc.

Because seriously. Look at that. Look at it.

I think this is the first time I’ve watched a video like this and wandered right on past the uncanny valley, only to plummet backwards into it when I realized — about halfway through, mind you — that it was rendered.

Read more ....

My Comment: It fooled me.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Spain Has 1st Known Case Of Contracting Ebola Outside Of Africa

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Spain Has Outbreak's 1st Known Case Of Contracting Ebola Outside Of Africa -- CNN

(CNN) -- A nurse's assistant in Spain is the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside of Africa in the current outbreak.

Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato announced Monday that a test confirmed the assistant has the virus.

The woman had helped treat a Spanish missionary and a Spanish priest, both of whom had contracted Ebola in West Africa.

Both died after returning to Spain.

Health officials said she developed symptoms on September 30. She was hospitalized Sunday.

An investigation is under way to find everyone she may have had contact with while contagious. So far, there are no other known cases.

She was one of about 30 health professionals in Spain who helped to treat the Ebola patients.

Read more ....

More News On The Ebola Epidemic: Spain Has 1st Known Case Of Contracting Ebola Outside Of Africa

Spanish Nurse Is Suspected of Ebola Infection -- AP
Nurse at Spain hospital contracts Ebola -- AFP
Nurse in Spain tests positive for Ebola in first infection outside west Africa -- The Guardian
Ebola outbreak: Nurse infected in Spain -- BBC
Spanish health-care worker contracts Ebola in first transmission case outside of Africa -- Washington Post
Health-Care Worker Contracted Ebola in Spanish Hospital -- WSJ
Spanish nurse tests positive for Ebola -- Al Jazeera
Spanish nurse tests positive for Ebola after treating victim in Madrid -- RT
Hospital Nurse in Spain Gets Infected With Ebola: Reports -- RIA Novosti
Spanish nurse infected with Ebola in Europe -- Deutsche Welle

The Whale Who Thought He Could Fly

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
Hello there: A humpback whale threw itself out of the water off the eastern coast of South Africa, waving to amazed onlookers in a tour guide's boat

The Whale Who Thought He Could Fly: Amazing Moment Humpback Is Captured Leaping Out Of The Water (And Even Manages A Wave) -- Daily Mail

* Marine tour guide Steven Benjamin captured the spectacular sight while whale-spotting off the coast of South Africa
* The 31-year-old was 'blown away' by the humpback, which disappeared for 20 minutes before leaping from the water
* The majestic animal even 'waved' his fin at the stunned onlookers in a rare close encounter with the huge creatures

These jaw-dropping images show the moment a humpback whale leapt majestically from the ocean, 'waving' to a tourist boat before crashing back down with an almighty splash.

The photos, taken off the coast of South Africa by marine tour guide Steven Benjamin, captured a sight rarely seen at such close proximity.

The 40 ton humpback put on an incredible aerial display, soaring through the air just yards from a boat as shocked onlookers screamed.

Read more ....

My Comment: These people were lucky .... to see something like that in front of them .... it must have been incredible.

How Memories Are Formed

3D image of the hippocampus of a rat. Credit: © M. Pyka

A Glimpse Into The 3-D Brain: How Memories Form -- Science Daily

Summary: People who wish to know how memory works are forced to take a glimpse into the brain. They can now do so without bloodshed: Researchers have developed a new method for creating 3-D models of memory-relevant brain structures.

People who wish to know how memory works are forced to take a glimpse into the brain. They can now do so without bloodshed: RUB researchers have developed a new method for creating 3D models of memory-relevant brain structures. They published their results in the journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.

Read more ....

My Comment: A first step (among many) on how memories are formed.

A New Underwater Robot Could Be Used To Sniff Out Smuggled Drugs, Weapons

The oval-shaped submersible robot is half waterpoof to keep electronic components safe from damage. Credit: Sampriti Bhattacharyya/MIT

Underwater Robots Could Sniff Out Smuggled Drugs, Weapons -- Live Science

A warning to all smugglers: A new underwater robot could be used to sniff out contraband — including weapons and drugs — hidden aboard ships.

Developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the new, oval-shaped robot may be small (it's slightly smaller than a football), but it features some big crime-stopping abilities. One side of the bot is flat, which enables it to slide along the bottom of a ship to perform ultrasound scans of the vessel's hull.

Read more ....

My Comment: I can see this being deployed in war zones ... or potential war zones like the Persian Gulf.

You Can Now Make A Metal Gun In Your Home



The $1,200 Machine That Lets Anyone Make a Metal Gun at Home -- Threat Level/Wired

When Cody Wilson revealed the world’s first fully 3-D printed gun last year, he showed that the “maker” movement has enabled anyone to create a working, lethal firearm with a click in the privacy of his or her garage. Now he’s moved on to a new form of digital DIY gunsmithing. And this time the results aren’t made of plastic.

Wilson’s latest radically libertarian project is a PC-connected milling machine he calls the Ghost Gunner. Like any computer-numerically-controlled (or CNC) mill, the one-foot-cubed black box uses a drill bit mounted on a head that moves in three dimensions to automatically carve digitally-modeled shapes into polymer, wood or aluminum. But this CNC mill, sold by Wilson’s organization known as Defense Distributed for $1,200, is designed to create one object in particular: the component of an AR-15 rifle known as its lower receiver.

Read more ....

My Comment: This technology is only going to develop and expand with time.

The Science Of Sharpening A Knife



How To Sharpen Any Knife -- Gizmodo

A sharp knife isn't just sharper, it's a safer, more efficient, more precise tool. And, like most people, your knives are probably dull. Here's how to fix that quickly, easily and cheaply.

Why do you need to sharpen knives? A sharp knife stands less chance of slipping on the material being cut and, because it requires less effort and force to use than a dull knife, you're less likely to cut yourself. Working with a sharp knife is faster and easier, too. It also damages the material being cut less — ever tried to slice a tomato with a dull knife? It doesn't exactly produce clean results.

Read more ....

My Comment: For those who love to cook .... a sharp knife is essential. This is a good summary on how to have one.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Better Map Of The Ocean Floor Has Been Produced

The new gravity data gives us our clearest view yet of the shape of the ocean floor

Satellites Detect 'Thousands' Of New Ocean-Bottom Mountains -- BBC

It is not every day you can announce the discovery of thousands of new mountains on Earth, but that is what a US-European research team has done.

What is more, these peaks are all at least 1.5km high.

The reason they have gone unrecognised until now is because they are at the bottom of the ocean.
Dave Sandwell and colleagues used radar satellites to discern the mountains' presence under water and report their findings in Science Magazine.

Read more ....

My Comment: The oceans are still a mystery .... but more is being discovered about the oceans everyday.

Security Officials: Ebola Pandemic Should Be Treated 'The Same Way' As Threat Posed By Nuclear Weapons


Ebola Virus: Pandemic Should Be Treated 'The Same Way' As Threat Posed By Nuclear Weapons, Security Officials Say -- The Independent

Special report: The Government has admitted that the virus spreading across Africa will 'get worse'

The Ebola virus spreading exponentially across Africa and killing thousands of people “will get worse”, the Government has admitted, amid calls for the full involvement of the international military to contain the disease.

Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, said that ministers had been shocked by a prediction from the US public health institute that 1.4 million people may be infected by the virus by January if it continues unchecked.

As ministers, diplomats and humanitarian organisations from 20 different countries pledged a further £79 million to control the outbreak, which has already killed more than 3,000 people, a group of 35 European security officials issued a joint declaration suggesting that Ebola should be treated in the same way as the threat posed by nuclear weapons.

Read more ....

My Comment: Is it me .... or am I starting to sense panic among our government officials?

UN's Ebola Response Chief Warns Of A 'Global Nightmare' On The Prospect Of The Virus Mutating And Becoming Airborne

A burial team remove a Ebola victim's body from isolation in Sierra Leone

Doomsday Warning: UN Ebola Chief Raises 'Nightmare' Prospect That Virus Could Mutate And Become Airborne - Making It Much More Infectious -- Daily Mail

* UN warns Ebola virus currently plaguing West Africa could become airborne
* The longer it moves between human hosts the greater possibility of mutation
* The risk grows the longer virus is living within the human 'melting pot'
* NGOs have said the Ebola virus is currently infecting five people every hour
* More than 3,300 people have died from Ebola since the outbreak first began
* Officials call for 1,000 new Sierra Leone isolation centres to contain virus
* British survivor says 'horror' of children dying from disease must be avoided
* Will Pooley was first Briton to contract virus after working in Sierra Leone
* Thomas Eric Duncan is the first person to be diagnosed in the U.S.
* He flew into Texas from Liberia, touching down in Brussels and Washington
* Up to 100 people in Texas are feared to have come into contact with him
* Doctors at the hospital in Texas said he was in a serious but stable condition

The longer the Ebola epidemic continues infecting people unabated, the higher the chances it will mutate and become airborne, the UN's Ebola response chief has warned.

Anthony Banbury, the Secretary General's Special Representative, has said there is a 'nightmare' prospect the deadly disease will become airborne if it continues infecting new hosts.

His comments come as organisations battling the crisis in West Africa warned the international community has just four weeks to stop its spread before it spirals 'completely out of control'.

And the British nurse who survived the disease said the 'horror and misery' of watching young children die from the disease must be avoided 'at all costs'.

Read more ....

My Comment: The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is giving the world has only four weeks to stop the crisis from spiraling out of control .... 1 month to stop Ebola before it's 'totally out of control' - global aid NGO -- RT