Friday, May 11, 2012

Eerie Second World War RAF Fighter Plane Discovered In The Sahara

Shifting sands: The final resting place of the Kittyhawk P-40 has been discovered in the Sahara 70 years after it crashed there

Frozen In The Sands Of Time: Eerie Second World War RAF Fighter Plane Discovered In The Sahara... 70 Years After It Crashed In The Desert -- Daily Mail

* Pilot of the Kittyhawk P-40 was thought to have survived crash, but died trying to walk out of the desert
* Aircraft was found almost perfectly preserved, unseen and untouched, after it came down in 1942
* Historian describes find as 'an incredible time capsule' and 'the aviation equivalent of Tutankhamun's Tomb'

He was hundreds of miles from civilisation, lost in the burning heat of the desert.

Second World War Flight Sergeant Dennis Copping took what little he could from the RAF Kittyhawk he had just crash-landed, then wandered into the emptiness.

From that day in June 1942 the mystery of what happened to the dentist’s son from Southend was lost, in every sense, in the sands of time.

Read more

My Comment
: 200 miles away from the nearest town .... the pilot must have known that he was not going to make it. But he tried anyway.

Google - NSA Ties Can Still Remain Secret

Court Affirms Protection Of Google/NSA Communications -- CNN

Washington (CNN) -- U.S. authorities are not required to release any internal National Security Agency communications it had with Internet giant Google Inc. after a 2010 cyber attack in China, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

At issue was a Freedom of Information Act request from a private group over the suspected collaborative relationship between the public and private entities. The NSA said disclosure of any communications -- even with outside companies -- would threaten government information systems.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. Courts Affirming The Secrecy Of Google/NSA Communications

US spy agency can keep mum on Google ties: court -- AFP
Appeals court won’t order public release of Google-NSA communications following cyberattack -- Washington Post/AP
Court Upholds Google-NSA Relationship Secrecy -- Threat Level
Court allows NSA and Google to keep their ties secret -- RT
Court Rules NSA Doesn't Have To Reveal Its Semi-Secret Relationship With Google -- Forbes
Google Could Be Helping The Government Spy -- Business Insider
We'll Never Know What Google's Doing With the NSA -- Atlantic Wire

The Ultimate Electric Car Inspired By Jaguar's Iconic E-Type

Stunning: The Jaguar XKX concept car features amazing energy capturing bodywork that recharges the battery as air flows over it

Look What The Bright Sparks At Jaguar Have Come Up With: The Ultimate Electric Car Inspired By The Iconic E-Type -- Daily Mail

* Car features layers of microscopic ripples that recharge batteries when stimulated by the friction of airflow

If this stunning electronic concept car drives half as well as it looks Jaguar should be able to convert even the most ardent petrol heads to battery power.

The XKX will not be unveiled to the world any time soon as it the dream child of an independent design studio which has no links to the car marque.

But it does provide a glimpse of the astonishing cutting-edge science which could be driving cars of the future.

Read more ....

My Comment: The word 'sleek' comes to me when I look at this car.

A Doomsday Scenario For The Japanese?

Lack Of Babies Could Mean The Extinction Of The Japanese People -- FOX News

Japan has a problem, a lack of children, and it seems likely there will be even fewer in the future.

Japanese researchers have now warned of a doomsday scenario if it carries on this way with the last child to be born there in 3011 and the Japanese people potentially disappearing a few generations later.

Academics from the city of Sendai, which was hit hard by last year's tsunami, calculate there are now 16.6 million children under the age of 14 now in Japan.

Read more ....

My Comment: The population is going to decline .... that is the world trend .... but I doubt that it will go to zero.

Seven Volcanoes That Should Be Watched

Popocatépetl, Mexico

7 Volcanoes We Should Be Watching -- Popular Mechanics

Two years ago, Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull brought most European air travel to a halt. This year, volcanoes such as Mexico's Popocatépetl and Indonesia's Lokon-Empung are rumbling. Volcanoes are impossible to predict with certainty, but these are seven active ones that we know we must watch.

Read more ....

My Comment: I would add a few others to this list .... but these 7 are OK for now.

Surfer Sets Guinness Record Riding 78-Foot Wave

Surfer Catches 'Biggest Wave Ever' Off Portugal -- Christian Science Monitor

The Guinness World Records recognizes Hawaii pro surfer for the biggest wave ever ridden. Garrett McNamara surfed a 78-foot wave off the coast of Portugal.

The Guinness World Records has recognized a 44-year-old Hawaii pro surfer for catching a 78-foot wave off the coast of Portugal, saying the November feat beats a 2008 record for the biggest ridden by more than 1 foot.

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My Comment: That's one impressive wave.

Using Magnetic Bacteria To Construct Biocomputers

Magnetospirilllum magneticum University of Leeds

Using Magnetic Bacteria To Construct The Biocomputer Of The Future -- Popular Science

As computer components grow smaller and smaller it becomes more and more difficult to manufacture them by conventional means, meaning the nano-hard-drives of the future are going to come at a cost. So researchers from the University of Leeds in the UK and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology are enlisting the help of magnetic bacteria, which they say can be harnessed to build tiny computing components similar to those found in conventional PCs, or even to construct the biological computers of the future.

Read more ....

My Comment
: Talk about small .... correction .... very small.

The First Solar-Powered Ship To Circumnavigate The Globe

Tûranor PlanetSolar Wikimedia Commons

The First Solar-Powered Ship To Circumnavigate The Globe Completes Its Trip -- Popular Science

The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar pulled into Monaco's Hercule Harbor on Friday, completing its journey around the world--the very first solely solar-powered watercraft to do so. Of course, it's not an ordinary ship. It cost over $16 million USD, has over 500 square meters of solar panels, and can house 200 people.

Read more

My Comment: A top speed of 14 knots .... and 585 days to go around the world. Impressive (for a solar power boat) if you ask me.

New Hope For An Alzheimer Treatment

Injection Offers Alzheimer's Hope -- The Telegraph

Hopes have been raised for new Alzheimer's treatments after scientists found an injection could stop the body from killing brain cells by "cutting off" their protein supply.

Researchers found that by injecting a protein into the brain, they could protect nerve cells in the brains of mice with prion disease, a condition which normally causes the brain to slowly die.

Because the process by which prion disease affects the brains of mice is similar to some degenerative brain conditions in humans, it is hoped that the findings could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.

Read more ....

Mystery Continues On Marine Monster Caught In Video

Mysterious Marine Monster Caught In Video -- Discovery News

A strange creature allegedly filmed by underwater drillers in the deep ocean on April 25 has sparked intrigue and controversy on the Internet. Theories about the mysterious animal range from a jellyfish to an unknown marine version of the Loch Ness monster to a whale placenta.

Neither the source of the video nor the location where it was filmed have been revealed, leading some people to suspect a hoax.

Read more

My Comment: Learning something new every day.

Vesta Is A Baby Planet, Not An Asteroid

Artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft orbiting the giant asteroid Vesta (Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Vesta A Baby Planet, Not An Asteroid -- ABC News (Australia)

Vesta, the second largest object in the main asteroid belt, has an iron core, a varied surface, layers of rock and possibly a magnetic field - all signs of a planet in the making, not an asteroid.

So concludes an international team of scientists treated to a virtual front row seat at Vesta for the past 10 months, courtesy of NASA's Dawn robotic probe.

They have a bit more ground to cover before Dawn leaves Vesta's cratered, lava-like surface in late August to rendezvous with the king of the asteroid belt, Ceres, another type of proto-planet believed to be flush with water ice.

Read more

My Comment: Looks like a planet to me.

Microsoft's Bing Search Engines To Use Social media Platforms

The new social results will appear in a grey column on the right-hand side of Bing's results page

Microsoft's Bing Search Engines To Use Facebook Tips -- BBC

Microsoft is revamping its Bing search engine to include advice from Facebook and other social media platforms.

The move involves the introduction of a new sidebar which seeks to connect users with friends and other enthusiasts who can provide help.

The firm says it is based on the fact "90% of people consult with a friend or expert before making a decision".

Surveys suggest Bing has about a 15% share of the US search market, lagging behind Google's 66% portion.

Read more ....

My Comment: It's about time that search engines start using social media outlets like Facebook for results.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Facebook Starts Charging

If Apple and Google can do it, so can social network Facebook - the site is to launch an 'app store' to showcase the games and apps that earn the site much of its revenue

Facebook Starts Charging: Site Launches Its Own App Store To Take On Apple And Google - And You'll Have To PAY For Some Up Front -- Daily Mail

* App store offers first time for developers to charge consumers directly
* 'In-app' purchases already a major source of social site's revenue
* Will also offer apps for Android and iPhone

If Apple and Google can do it, so can social network Facebook - the site is to launch an 'app store' to showcase the games and apps that earn the site much of its revenue.

The app store will also allow developers to sell apps direct to consumers for the first time via the network.

It's the latest in a series of moves to 'spruce up' the number one social network in advance of a flotation on the stock market expected to take place later this month - and to convince investors it CAN earn more money.

Read more

My Comment: It was only a matter of time .... but if done right .... this business model should also succeed.

Why Some Rats Live For A very Long Time

Naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber). (Credit: © belizar / Fotolia)

Long-Lived Rodents Have High Levels of Brain-Protecting Factor -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (May 10, 2012) — The typical naked mole rat lives 25 to 30 years, during which it shows little decline in activity, bone health, reproductive capacity and cognitive ability. What is the secret to this East African rodent's long, healthy life?

Scientists from the United States and Israel found a clue. From infancy to old age, naked mole rats are blessed with large amounts of a protein essential for normal brain function.

Read more ....

My Comment: A rat living for 25-30 years .... that is news to me.

FBI Pushes For Surveillance Backdoors On Internet Companies

FBI: We Need Wiretap-Ready Web Sites - Now -- CNET

CNET learns the FBI is quietly pushing its plan to force surveillance backdoors on social networks, VoIP, and Web e-mail providers, and that the bureau is asking Internet companies not to oppose a law making those backdoors mandatory.

The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in backdoors for government surveillance.

In meetings with industry representatives, the White House, and U.S. senators, senior FBI officials argue the dramatic shift in communication from the telephone system to the Internet has made it far more difficult for agents to wiretap Americans suspected of illegal activities, CNET has learned.

Read more

My Comment: The march to eliminate our privacy continues.

How Much Water Is On Planet Earth?

If You Collected All Of Earth’s Water Into A Sphere, How Big Would It Be? -- io9

Imagine the Earth in your mind's eye. Now round up all the water on the planet into a sphere (we're talking oceans, icecaps, atmosphere, everything — even the water bound up in you and me). How big do you think that sphere would be compared to the Earth?

Got your answer? Our water sphere would have a diameter of 1,385 kilometers (about 860 miles), and span the distance from Salt Lake City, Utah to Topeka, Kansas. A sphere this far across would have a volume equal to about 1,386 million cubic kilometers (roughly 332,500,000 cubic miles). Those might sound like big numbers (and they certainly are big numbers) but wait until you see this sphere beside the Earth.

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My Comment: What a surprise .... that is not a lot of water.

A Competitor To Tesla Motors

Fisker Karma Plug-in Hybrid Courtesy Fisker Automotive

Testing the Long-Awaited Fisker Karma Plug-In Hybrid -- Popular Science

At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the start-up Fisker Automotive unveiled its Karma concept , a high-end plug-in hybrid the company would use to challenge Tesla Motors. Cofounder Henrik Fisker said the Karma would go on sale in late 2009. Then the recession, a switch in battery suppliers and other delays kept Fisker from shipping the first trickle of cars until late last year. This spring, we got one of the first test drives.

Read more ....

My Comment: I wish them luck.

U.S. Army Wants To Give War Robots More Power To 'Make Their Own Decisions'

Giving war robots 'autonomy' sparks fears of independent killing machines similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Terminator

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? U.S. Army Wants To Give War Robots More Power To 'Make Their Own Decisions' -- Daily Mail

* Trucks that 'drive themselves' already under test
* Military is testing 'autonomous' robots that follow soldiers
* Robots will use laser-imaging to build their own 3D image of the world
* Will be 'supervised' by soldiers

Armies of robots including dog-like creatures walking on four legs and huge lumbering trucks are the stuff of science fiction - specifically, bleak films such as The Terminator series.

But the U.S. military not only wants more robots - it wants more 'autonomous' robots, robots free to make their own decisions on the battlefield.

A new robot is described as 'like a dog' that follows troops on the battlefield - and future models will use technologies such as laser imaging to build their own picture of the world.

Read more ....

Update #1: U.S. military embraces robots with greater autonomy -- Reuters
Update #2: Factbox: U.S. military robot systems in development -- Reuters

My Comment: Science fiction becoming reality .... albeit slowly.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Black Holes Are Pretty Much the Sharks of Space

Black Hole Devouring Star NASA, S. Gezari (JHU), and J. Guillochon (UC Santa Cruz)

Omnivorous Black Holes Like This One Are Pretty Much the Sharks of Space - -Popular Science

Scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Johns Hopkins University report seeing a phenomenon we've all imagined: a black hole devouring a star.

A black hole at the center of a galaxy about 2.7 billion light-years away, one about the same size as the black hole at the center of our own Milky Way, was observed sucking the life out of a star. Interestingly, the scientists who observed the black hole's meal compared it to a shark: neither, says Ryan Chornock of Harvard-Smithsonian, are unstoppable eating machines.

Read more ....

Two Hundred Years of Surgery

Two Hundred Years of Surgery -- New England Journal Of Medicine

Surgery is a profession defined by its authority to cure by means of bodily invasion. The brutality and risks of opening a living person's body have long been apparent, the benefits only slowly and haltingly worked out. Nonetheless, over the past two centuries, surgery has become radically more effective, and its violence substantially reduced — changes that have proved central to the development of mankind's abilities to heal the sick.

Read more ....

CSN Editor:
The PDF version is here.

College Dropout Became Mathematical Genius After Mugging

Real ‘Beautiful Mind’: College Dropout Became Mathematical Genius After Mugging -- ABC News

Working behind the counter at a futon store in Tacoma, Wash., is not the place you would expect to find a man some call a mathematical genius of unprecedented proportions.

Jason Padgett, 41, sees complex mathematical formulas everywhere he looks and turns them into stunning, intricate diagrams he can draw by hand. He’s the only person in the world known to have this incredible skill, which he obtained by sheer accident just a decade ago.

Read more ....

My Comment:
The mysteries of the human mind always amazes me.

Spychips For Soldiers

U.S. Military Developing Spychips For Soldiers -- WND

Government wants 'health' benefits from nanosensors.

The U.S. military wants to plant nanosensors in soldiers to monitor health on future battlefields and immediately respond to needs, but a privacy expert warns the step is just one more down the road to computer chips for all.

“It’s never going to happen that the government at gunpoint says, ‘You’re going to have a tracking chip,’” said Katherine Albrecht, who with Liz McIntyre authored “Spychips,” a book that warns of the threat to privacy posed by Radio Frequency Identification.

Read more

My Comment: It is easy to foresee that one day these chips will be in all of us.

Is Space Weather A National Security Threat?

A massive explosion on the sun's surface has triggered the largest solar radiation storm since 2005, hurling charged particles at Earth. (NASA / May 4, 2012)

Space Weather Expert Has Ominous Forecast -- L.A. Times

Mike Hapgood, who studies solar events, says the world isn't prepared for a truly damaging storm. And one could happen soon.

A stream of highly charged particles from the sun is headed straight toward Earth, threatening to plunge cities around the world into darkness and bring the global economy screeching to a halt.

This isn't the premise of the latest doomsday thriller. Massive solar storms have happened before — and another one is likely to occur soon, according to Mike Hapgood, a space weather scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, England.

Read more

My Comment: A giant space storm that knocks-off the world's electrical and communications grid system will be a disaster .... but not a catastrophic one. We will survive .... but trust me .... it is not going to be easy. I should know .... I lived through the Ice Storm of 1998 in Montreal .... an ice storm that knocked-off the electrical grid for a week in my part of Montreal, and longer in the south of Montreal (some regions had no power for a month) .... and before I forget .... this all happened in the middle winter when temperatures outside can easily reach (and did) -20C. We (of course) all survived .... but it was a difficult time, and what bothered me most was the lack of news and information.