Saturday, March 10, 2012

After Megaupload Shutdown, Other File Sharing Services Have Picked Up The Slack

After Megaupload Bust, Putlocker and RapidShare Pick Up Slack -- Danger Room

The Feds shut down Megaupload two months ago, but browser-based filesharing hasn’t slowed down. It has just moved to other websites.

Before the takedown, Megaupload was the most popular web-based filesharing service — by far. In a recent study of 1,600 networks, Palo Alto Networks — a company that makes its living scanning corporate networks for unauthorized software — found that it accounted for about a quarter of all filesharing traffic on these networks. That was about 10 percent more than its nearest competitor.

Read more ....

My Comment: When they first came out I found these file sharing services incredible useful in my business .... but with time (and technology advancements), I found their usefulness limited. There will be other file sharing services .... and technology advances that will make file sharing easy .... but the the golden age of file sharing services such as Megaupload .... those days are over.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sonar Images Show The Deep Sea Grave Of The Titanic

Deep Sea Grave Of The Titanic: Extraordinary Sonar Images Show Full Map Of Shipwreck On Ocean Floor For First Time -- Daily Mail

* Researchers hope the map will provide new clues about what happened when the famous vessel sank 100 years ago
* Expedition team used sonar imaging and more than 100,000 photos taken from underwater robots to create the detailed map
* It shows where hundreds of objects and pieces of the presumed-unsinkable vessel landed

It is one of the most famous disasters the world has ever known and even inspired an Oscar-winning film.

But never before has the Titanic disaster been seen in such extraordinary detail as these new images show.

Researchers have pieced together what is believed to be the first comprehensive map of the entire 3-by-5-mile Titanic debris field.

Read more ....

Moment A Seal Dodges Great White Shark

Incredible: Tourists in False Bay, South Africa, were left amazed when they saw this 12ft shark emerge from the water to catch a seal. But despite being one of the world's most feared predators, it badly misjudged its attack

Perched On The Jaws Of Death: Moment A Seal Dodges Great White Shark... -- Daily Mail

They are known for being one of the world's most feared predators.

But as this picture shows, great white sharks do not always get things right when moving in for the kill.

A shocked group of tourists in False Bay, South Africa, were left amazed when they saw this 12ft shark emerge from the water to catch a seal.

Read more ....

CSN Editor: Click on the above image to enlarge it.

Printed Book Sales Plummet As The E-Reader Grows In Popularity

A New Chapter In Publishing: Printed Book Sales Plummet As The E-Reader Grows In Popularity -- Daily Mail

* Sales of printed novels fell by a quarter in the first two months of this year

The rise of e-readers - such as Kindle - is thought to be behind a slump in sales of the printed novel in the UK, figures have revealed.

In the first eight weeks of 2012, Britons bought 7.6million printed novels - almost two-and-a-half million fewer than books bought in the same period in 2011.

The slump - which does not include non-fiction and children's books - coincides with a jump in sales of e-readers, which include Kindle and iPads.

Read more ....

Is Our Galaxy Warped?

ESO 510-13: Warped Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), C. Conselice (U. Wisconsin/STScI) et al., NASA

Hubble Catches a Warped Spiral Galaxy in Profile -- Popular Science

The Hubble Heritage Team captured the warped structure of spiral galaxy ESO 510-13 so beautifully in this pretty space pic. Behold, the product of galactic collisions.

At least, that’s one theory. Most spiral galaxies are flat disks made up of millions of stars and gas and planets and whatnot orbiting a galactic center (which is thought to be, at least in the case of large galaxies, a supermassive black hole). These disks are thought to flatten out the way they do by the nature of the collision of gas clouds early in a galaxy’s lifespan.

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Japan Prepares To Remember The First Year Anniversary Of Last Year's Earthquake/Tsunami

One Year After Japan Tsunami: Roads Repaired, But Lives Still Disrupted -- Christian Science Monitor

One year after the Japan tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear disaster, many roads are rebuilt and debris is cleaned up. But much remains in flux for residents of the hard-hit northeast coastal zone.

When Takako Ouchi's elderly mother died last December, tradition dictated she be laid to rest in a cemetery near her home.

But the cemetery, like her old house, lies in the shadow of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, rendered unreachable – perhaps forever – because of radiation. Instead, Ms. Ouchi has constructed a shrine to her mother in the bedroom of her new home, 40 miles away.

Read more ....

More News On The Anniversary Of Last Year's Japanese Earthquake And Tsunami

The world's first YouTube catastrophe: One year on, how the tsunami changed Japan (and the world) forever -- Daily Mail
Japan earthquake and tsunami: 478 bodies remain unidentified one year on -- The Telegraph
Japan earthquake and tsunami anniversary: quarter of a million face five years in shelters -- The Telegraph
Japan Disaster: A Year Later: Without a blueprint -- L.A. Times
VOA Reporter Reflects on Devastation of Japan's Major Earthquake -- Voice of America
Japan’s 3/11 Triple Catastrophe Endures in Broken Families, Divided Towns -- Bloomberg
A year after disastrous earthquake, tsunami, travel to Japan slowly rebounds -- MSNBC
Grief of Japan's tsunami survivors -- BBC
Six videos of the Japanese tsunami [Video] -- L.A. Times
Japan’s disaster (Photo Gallery) -- Washington Post
Japan: Then and Now (Photo Gallery) -- New York Times
Graphic: Aftermath of Japan earthquake and tsunami -- The Telegraph

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The One-Trillion-Bits-Per-Second Chip is Here

IBM's Holey Optochip IBM

Holey Optochip! The One-Trillion-Bits-Per-Second Chip Is Here -- Popular Science

The high data loads of the future--and even the present--require that optical communications platforms continue to get faster, leaner, and cheaper. At the Optical Fiber Communication Conference in Los Angeles today, IBM will report on a prototype optical chip it has developed that has hit a significant milestone in optical data transfer: one terabit--that’s one trillion bits--per second.

Read more

The Ultimate Library

Storage: Internet tycoon Brewster Kahle has spent $3million building this repository in San Francisco where he hopes to archive as many books as possible

The Ultimate Library: Online Archive Aims To Collect A Physical Copy Of Every Book In Existence -- Daily Mail

An internet tycoon turned latter-day Noah is trying to collect a physical copy of every single book in existence in case of a cataclysmic internet failure.

Brewster Kahle has spent $3million building a book repository in San Francisco, California, where he hopes to archive as many books as possible.

So far he has managed to accumulate about 500,000 volumes - ranging from American Indian Policy in the 20th Century to Temptation’s Kiss - but one day he hopes to have 10million.

Read more ....

My Comment: I am sure that such a collection will be very available one day as a collector's item .... in a few centuries.

A Robot Cosmonaut For The International Space Station

The S-400 robot will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) within two years' time. RIA Novosti

Russia Unveils Android for Space Missions -- RIA Novosti

Russia has built a space android to work in orbit, its first space robot in more than two decades, Izvestia daily said on Tuesday.

The robot, S-400, can perform simple tasks such as screwing bolts and searching the spacecraft for damage.

It will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) within two years' time, and will also be joining future missions to the Moon and Mars, the paper said.

Read more ....

What If Biggest Known Solar Storm Hit Today?

This week's largest solar flare is seen in a still from a NASA satellite video. Image courtesy SDO/NASA

Solar Flare: What If Biggest Known Sun Storm Hit Today? -- National Geographic

Repeat of 1859 space-weather event could paralyze modern life, experts say.

A powerful sun storm—associated with the second biggest solar flare of the current 11-year sun cycle—is now hitting Earth, so far with few consequences. But the potentially "severe geomagnetic storm," in NASA's words, could disrupt power grids, radio communications, and GPS as well as spark dazzling auroras.

The storm expected Thursday, though, won't hold a candle to an 1859 space-weather event, scientists say—and it's a good thing too.

If a similar sun storm were to occur in the current day—as it well could—modern life could come to a standstill, they add.

Read more ....

My Comment: In short .... it's going to be a mess.

Collusion! Apple, Publisher Partners Accused Of Raising E-Book Prices

Justice Department May Sue Apple, Publishers On E-Books -- Reuters

(Reuters) - The Justice Department has warned Apple (AAPL.O) and five major publishers that it plans to sue them, accusing them of colluding to raise the prices of electronic books, a person familiar with the probe said on Thursday.

Several parties have held talks to settle the potential antitrust case, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The five publishers facing possible Justice Department action are Simon & Schuster Inc, a unit of CBS Corp (CBS.N); Lagardere SCA's (LAGA.PA) Hachette Book Group; Pearson Plc's (PSON.L) Penguin Group (USA); Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH; and HarperCollins Publishers Inc, a unit of News Corp (NWSA.O).

U.S. and European officials have been investigating whether e-book publishers and Apple fixed prices in the growing electronic book industry, blocking rivals and hurting consumers.

Read more

More News On The Justice Department Investigating Apple Over E-Book Pricing

U.S. Warns Apple, Publishers -- Wall Street Journal
Apple, publishers threatened with Justice lawsuits, report says -- Washington Post
Apple, book publishers facing potential US suit: WSJ -- AFP
DOJ targets Apple and publishers for e-book price fixing -- CNN
Publishers could face legal action over ebook prices -- The Guardian
Government Pressuring Publishers to Adjust Pricing Policy on E-Books -- New York Times
Apple, publishers in DOJ crosshairs over e-book prices -- MSNBC
U.S. reportedly warns Apple, e-book publishers about price-fixing -- L.A. Times
Report: U.S. threatens Apple, book publishers with price collusion suit -- Seattle PI
DOJ Threatens Apple, Book Publishers with Lawsuit Regarding E-Book Sales -- Daily Tech

Dust Devils Caught On Camera On The Martian Surface

Pluming hell: The towering dust devil snakes across the Martian surface

Let's Twist Again: Martian Dust Devil 2,600-Feet Tall caught On Camera -- Daily Mail

* Picture was taken from over 160 miles up by Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
A towering dust devil reaching half a mile in height has been pictured swirling across the surface of Mars by Nasa.

The Agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured the image with its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on February 16 this year as it passed over the Amazonis Planitia region of the planet.

Despite the atmosphere on Mars being desperately thin – one per cent of Earth’s pressure – the planet's winds are strong enough to produce dramatic events and in the area observed, paths of many previous whirlwinds, or dust devils, are visible as streaks on the dusty surface.

Read more

Air Force X-37B Hits The One Year Mark In Space

Revealed: How America's Secret Space Plane Has Been In Orbit For Over A Year - And No One Knows What It's Doing -- Daily Mail

* The X-37B has been circling the Earth at 17,000mph and was due to land in California in December

The U.S Air Force’s highly secret unmanned space plane was supposed to stay in space for nine months, but it’s now been there for a year and three days – and no one knows what it’s doing.

The experimental craft has been circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour and was due to land in California in December.

However the mission of the X-37B orbital test vehicle was extended – for unknown reasons.

Read more

Previous Post:
U.S. Air Force's Second X-37B Space Plane Marks One Year In Orbit

More News On The X-37B

Air Force space drone's secret mission hits one-year mark -- L.A. Times
Air Force's mysterious space plane survives one year in orbit -- MSNBC/
A year later, mysterious space plane is still in orbit -- Wired
The Air Force's Mysterious X-37B Spaceplane Celebrates Its First Full Year in Orbit -- Popular Science
Secret Military Mini-Shuttle Marks One Year in Orbit -- Discovery News
US Air Force’s Mysterious Space Plane Has Been In Orbit For A Whole Year -- Gizmodo
What Next for X-37B -- Space Travel

Preparing To Dive To The Deepest Part Of The Ocean

The sub is designed for one person and is fitted with 3D cameras

James Cameron Close To Diving To Deepest Ocean -- BBC

Director James Cameron has said that he is close to diving 11km (seven miles) down to the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific.

He has just successfully completed a test-dive 8km (five miles) down off the coast of Papua New Guinea.

He now hopes to reach the world's deepest point in his one-man submersible in the coming weeks.

Only two people have been to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, back in 1960.

Mr Cameron said: "The deep trenches are the last unexplored frontier on our planet, with scientific riches enough to fill 100 years of exploration."

Read more ....

My Comment: I wish Cameron the best.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Infinite Storage In The Cloud

Infinite Storage In The Cloud -- Kurzweil

Bitcasa has created a new cloud service that promises “infinite storage” in the cloud for Windows and Mac.

Once you install Bitcasa it prompts you to choose which of your folders to “cloudify.” Cloudified folders are uploaded to Bitcasa’s cloud right away and get a Bitcasa logo added to the system tray or Finder.

Any time you save, copy, or paste new files into a cloudified folder they also uploaded. You’ll also be able to access your files from any device, wherever you are, the company says.

Read more

How Western Tech Firms Are Helping Arab Dictators

A computer systems coordinator at Tunisia Television in Tunis / Reuters

Surveillance Inc: How Western Tech Firms Are Helping Arab Dictators -- The Atlantic

As democratic movements spread in the Middle East, governments are cracking down, and that means big business for the companies who help them do it.

Reliance means vulnerability, and the activists and citizen journalists of the Arab uprisings rely heavily on the Internet and mobile technology. They use text messaging to coordinate protests, for example, or social media sites to upload the photos and videos that then make it into mainstream global media. In the first protests in Tunisia, because traditional journalists could not get access, citizen journalists filled in, using YouTube and the live-streaming platform UStream to give the world -- including, for example, the Egyptians and Syrians who later began revolts of their own -- a window into the events there.

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My Comment: Helping governments to bring misery to their people for a few dollars .... there has to be an accounting for this in addition to exposing the companies and the people who are involved in this trade.

Control Dangerous AI Before It Controls Us

A killer robot from the 2009 film "Terminator Salvation" — exactly the type of future we don't want to see. Warner Bros.

Control Dangerous AI Before It Controls Us, One Expert Says -- MSNBC/Innovation

He believes super-intelligent computers could one day threaten humanity's existence

Super-intelligent computers or robots have threatened humanity's existence more than once in science fiction. Such doomsday scenarios could be prevented if humans can create a virtual prison to contain artificial intelligence before it grows dangerously self-aware.

Keeping the artificial intelligence genie trapped in the proverbial bottle could turn an apocalyptic threat into a powerful oracle that solves humanity's problems, said Roman Yampolskiy, a computer scientist at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. But successful containment requires careful planning so that a clever breed of artificial intelligence cannot simply threaten, bribe, seduce or hack its way to freedom.

Read more

Humanity Must 'Jail' Dangerous AI to Avoid Doom, Expert Says -- Live Science

Communication Technologies Can Operate 1,000 Times More Faster

Credit: © lassedesignen / Fotolia)

Communication Technologies Including Smartphones and Laptops Could Now Be 1,000 Times Faster, New Study Suggests -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Mar. 7, 2012) — Many of the communication tools of today rely on the function of light or, more specifically, on applying information to a light wave. Up until now, studies on electronic and optical devices with materials that are the foundations of modern electronics -- such as radio, TV, and computers -- have generally relied on nonlinear optical effects, producing devices whose bandwidth has been limited to the gigahertz (GHz) frequency region. (Hertz stands for cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon, in this case 1billion cycles).

Read more

My Comment: Faster please.

Search For The 'God Particle' Coming To An End?

Chicago's Tevatron particle accelerator: Analyzing data from some 500 trillion sub-atomic particle collisions designed to emulate conditions right after the Big Bang, scientists at Fermilab outside Chicago produced some 1,000 Higgs sightings over a decade of work.

'End Game' For The Higgs: U.S. Particle Collider Helps Prove Einstein Right With New Sightings Of Elusive 'God Particle' -- Daily Mail

A second particle collider - Chicago's Tevatron - has captured glimpses of the elusive Higgs boson, the ‘God particle’ that would complete Albert Einstein's theory of the universe.

The probability that the particles are not the Higgs, but instead a statistical fluke is now just 1 in 250.

Tevatron's sighting tally with measurements from CERN's Large Hadron Collider, which is to 'turn up' its beams this year to find the particle by Christmas.

'The end game is approaching in the hunt for the Higgs boson,' said Jim Siegrist, Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics.

More News On The Search For The 'God Particle'

In search for ‘God particle,’ US research confirms Europe’s: No place for Higgs boson to hide -- Washington Post/AP
Data Hint at Hypothetical Particle, Key to Mass in the Universe -- New York Times
Scientists at U.S. lab detect hints of elusive particle -- Reuters
Higgs boson hints multiply in US Tevatron facility data -- BBC
Scientists see 'endgame' for subatomic quest -- MSNBC/Reuters
Strong hints of the Higgs boson from Tevatron particle collider in US -- The Guardian
Hunt for 'God Particle' even closer to conclusion -- The Telegraph
US physicists confirm Higgs finding is near -- AFP
Higgs Boson Finding is Near -- Discovery News
Eureka? Evidence of the Higgs Boson Mounts -- Wired Science
Higgs boson hunt approaching 'end game' say scientists -- Christian Science Monitor
Higgs boson coming into focus, say scientists -- Christian Science Monitor
Are scientists close to uncovering the Higgs boson? -- Christian Science Monitor

Here Comes The Solar Storm

Earth Braces For Biggest Space Storm In Five Years -- Space Daily

A pair of scorching explosions on the Sun's surface is sparking the biggest radiation and geomagnetic storm the Earth has experienced in five years, space weather experts said Wednesday.

The storm, expected to hit Earth early Thursday US time and last through Friday, may disrupt power grids, GPS systems and satellites, and has already forced some airlines to change their routes around the polar regions.

Read more ....

More News On the Approaching Solar Storm

Biggest Solar Storm In Years Races Toward Earth -- NPR/AP
Biggest solar storm in years races toward Earth, could disrupt power grid, GPS and more -- Washington Post/AP
Solar storms ramp up, take aim at Earth -- Washington Post
Massive solar storm headed toward Earth -- CNET
Fears of disruption as big solar storm set to hit Earth -- BBC
Massive solar storm heading for Earth -- The Guardian
Solar flares erupt from the Sun -- The Telegraph
Massive solar flare ripples sun's surface; storms speed to Earth -- L.A. Times
Major Sun Storm May Supercharge Northern Lights This Week --
Will the solar storm disrupt power grids? -- Christian Science Monitor

Apple TV Makes It's Debut

The new Apple TV has a refreshed user interface. Image: Courtesy Apple

Hands-On With the New 1080p Apple TV -- Gadget Lab

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple introduced its new 1080p Apple TV to the world on Wednesday, and we got a brief chance to check out the improved user interface and features for ourselves.

Thanks to its brand-new A5 processor and new software design, the updated Apple TV experience is snappy and intuitive, largely improving on the 2010 version. The new device is capable of delivering 1080p content, and the fresh UI takes full advantage of the fact that you’re probably watching content on a widescreen TV set with large icons and luscious HD images.

Read more

CSN Editor: For more news and article on Apple TV, you can go here or here.

Apple Unveils iPad3

Apple Unveils New iPad With 'Retina' Display -- The Telegraph

Apple has announced its new iPad, which adds an improved display, a faster processor and an upgraded camera to the leading tablet computer.

The new device, named "new iPad", has what Apple calls a "Retina" display, which offers 3.1 million pixels, which is a higher screen resolution than a HDTV.

It also has a 5-megapixel rear camera, which features the same lens technology as Apple's iPhone 4S, and is capable of recording full 1080p HD video.

Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, announced the new iPad at an Apple event in San Francisco. He described the device as the flagship among the company's "post-PC" products.

The new iPad will be released in the UK on Friday, March 16. Apple has not confirmed prices but they are expected to start at £499 - the same prices as the iPad 2.

Read more

CSN Editor: There are thousands of stories and reviews on Apple's new iPad. You can check some of them here, or here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Supernova Countdown

About 165 years ago, Eta Carinae mysteriously became the second brightest star in the sky. In 20 years, after ejecting more mass than our sun, it unexpectedly faded. N. Smith / J.A. Morse (U. Colorado) et al. / NASA

Supernova Countdown: Giant Star Could Explode Any Day Now -- Time

When the sun finally dies some 5 billion years from now, the end will come quietly, the conclusion of a long, uneventful life. Our star will, in a sense, go flabby, swelling first, releasing its outer layers into space and finally shrinking into the stellar corpse known as a white dwarf.

Things will play out quite differently for a supermassive star like Eta Carinae, which lies 7,500 light-years from Earth. Weighing at least a hundred times as much as our sun, it will go out more like an adolescent suicide bomber, blazing through its nuclear fuel in a mere couple of million years and exploding as a supernova, a blast so violent that its flash will briefly outshine the entire Milky Way. The corpse this kind of cosmic detonation leaves behind is a black hole.

Read more

Soldiers From The Past

Forensic Reconstructions Reveal The Faces Of Civil War Sailors -- Popular Mechanics

Forensic anthropologists have reconstructed the faces of two Union sailors found onboard the USS Monitor, 150 years after the world’s first battle between ironclad warships off the coast of North Carolina.

One-hundred-fifty-year-old ghosts rarely look so detailed.

In 1862, two ironclad warships from opposing sides of the American Civil War blasted each other silly in the Battle of Hampton Roads. Although neither vessel could inflict much damage on the other, the Union’s USS Monitor and the Confederacy’s CSS Virginia opened a new era in naval technology as wooden sailing frigates gave way to armored warships with steam engines. The Monitor, however, didn’t have long to live; it sank in rough seas on December 1862 and sat for more than a century.

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My Comment: It is truly amazing what science can reveal, and looking at the pictures I cannot help but feel that these two fallen sailors are related by family.

A History Of The Parachute

A Brief History Of The Parachute -- Popular Mechanics

One hundred years ago, an Army daredevil completed the first parachute jump from a plane. But the history of the chute goes all the way back to Leonardo da Vinci, and all the way up to today's advanced military air drops.

Base jumpers like Jeb Corliss have nothing on U.S. Army Captain Albert Berry (right, above). The son of a balloonist, Berry grew up jumping out of balloons and dangling from a trapeze bar suspended from a parachute, a common stunt for early 20th century daredevils. But 100 years ago, on March 1, 1912, Berry entered a class of his own when he hopped off the axle of an early Benoist pusher biplane high above a St. Louis army base, and became the first person to jump from an airplane and land by parachute.

Read more ....

An Interview With Radical Linguist Noam Chomsky

Photo: John Soars/Wikimedia Commons

Discover Interview The Radical Linguist Noam Chomsky -- Discover

For centuries experts held that every language is unique. Then one day in 1956, a young linguistics professor gave a legendary presentation at the Symposium on Information Theory at MIT. He argued that every intelligible sentence conforms not only to the rules of its particular language but to a universal grammar that encompasses all languages. And rather than absorbing language from the environment and learning to communicate by imitation, children are born with the innate capacity to master language, a power imbued in our species by evolution itself. Almost overnight, linguists’ thinking began to shift.

Read more

Can America's Bunker-Busting Bombs Penetrate Iran's Defenses?

Exploding Concrete Wikimedia Commons

Could Iran's Ultra-Tough Concrete Withstand Bunker-Busting Bombs? -- Popular Science

Iran may not impress us with its flying saucer drones, but the country does at least one thing better than anyone else: Make concrete. Iran is in an earthquake zone, and its engineers make some of the world’s toughest building materials, which could conceivably withstand small earthquakes.

Or, as it happens, artificially-induced earth shaking. Like from bombs.

Read more ....

My Comment: Oh oh .... another uncertainty for the Pentagon (and Israeli) planners to work out a successful plan of action against Iran's protected nuclear facilities.

A Earth - Comet Collision 13,000 Years Ago?

Comet May Have Collided With Earth 13,000 Years Ago -- Live Science

New evidence supports the idea that a huge space rock collided with our planet about 13,000 years ago and broke up in Earth's atmosphere, a new study suggests.

This impact would have been powerful enough to melt the ground, and could have killed off many large mammals and humans. It may even have set off a period of unusual cold called the Younger Dryas that began at that time, researchers say.

Read more ....

U.S. Air Force's Second X-37B Space Plane Marks One Year In Orbit

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center image shows on-orbit functions for the reusable X-37 space plane, now under the wing of the U.S. Air Force. CREDIT: NASA/MSFC

U.S. Air Force Space Plane Marks One Year In Orbit -- Space Flight

The U.S. Air Force's second X-37B space plane marked one year in orbit Monday, continuing its clandestine mission more than 200 miles above Earth.

The robotic spacecraft's purpose is secret, but Air Force officials acknowledge the vehicle is performing well one year after it blasted off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket on March 5, 2011.

"We are very pleased with the results of the on-going X-37B experiments," said Lt. Col. Tom McIntyre, X-37B program director in the Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office. "The X-37B program is setting the standard for a reusable space plane and, on this one-year orbital milestone, has returned great value on the experimental investment."

Read more

Update: Air Force's Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Survives 1 Year in Orbit --

My Comment: The Air Force is saying that they are VERY pleased with the performance of the X-37B .... are planning for a third one .... and .... oh yeah .... everything else is secret so don't bug us.

LulzSec And Anonymous Hackers Busted, Done In By Ringleader

Federal prosecutors unveiled criminal charges on Tuesday against six people in the U.S. and abroad they described as important members of a computer hacking group that allegedly stole confidential information from major companies, Joanna Chung reports on digits. Photo: Getty Images.

Top Members Of Hacking Group Anonymous Arrested After LEADER 'Betrays Them And Works With FBI For Six Months' -- Daily Mail

* Leader of computer hacking group LulzSec identified as unemployed dad-of-two Hector Xavier Monsegur
* Secretly arrested last June and pleaded guilty to hacking charges in August
* Has reportedly been working with FBI to bring down top hackers ever since
* Court papers released Tuesday portray him as ringleader of hacking groups
* Five members from UK, Ireland and US face charges

Top members of computer hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec have been arrested across two continents after their leader - one of the world's most wanted computer vandals - turned them in.

In a startling show of betrayal towards his fellow hackers, 28-year-old Hector Xavier Monsegur led authorities to the five people who have now been charged in court papers in New York.

Dad-of-two Monsegur, who has pleaded guilty to a dozen hacking-related charges, is portrayed in court papers as the ringleader of LulzSec, and an 'influential member' of Anonymous.

Read more ....

More News On The FBI Arrest Of The Members In Computer Hacking Group Anonymous and LulzSec

Top alleged members of hacking ring busted after one becomes FBI informant, betrays comrades -- Washington Post/AP
Authorities: LulzSec hackers busted, done in by ringleader -- Mercury News/AP
'Lulzsec hackers' arrested in international swoop -- BBC
LulzSec Leader Was Snitch Who Helped Snag Fellow Hackers -- Threat Level
U.S. Swoops Down on Alleged Computer Hackers -- Wall Street Journal
LulzSec arrests deal blow to hacker group -- CNET
Too Big To Fail: Why Anonymous And Hacktivism Will Go On After Sabu -- Tech Crunch

Monday, March 5, 2012

Looking For That Military 'Sixth Sense'

Soldiers occasionally get a sixth sense feeling about battlefield dangers. Here, Sgt. Auralie Suarez and Pvt. Brett Mansink take cover during a firefight with anti-Iraqi forces in the Al Doura section of Baghdad, March 7. CREDIT: U.S. Army | Staff Sgt. Sean A. Foley

US Military Seeks Sixth Sense Training -- Live Science

Ordinary soldiers have sometimes shown a battlefield sixth sense that has saved lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the U.S. military wants to better understand that "spidey sense" and train troops to tap their inner superhero instincts.

The U.S. Office of Naval Research pointed to sixth sense research about how "humans can detect and act on unique patterns without consciously and intentionally analyzing them," according to a special notice posted on Feb. 29. It hopes to encourage such intuition in the brains of new soldiers, Marines and other troops with little or no battlefield experience.

Read more

My Comment
: My father mentioned this '6th sense' to me when I once asked him on how was he able to survive the fight on the Russian front during the Second World War. From his observation, he found that soldiers who were able to survive the first six months of heavy combat .... were also the same soldiers who were alive at the end of the war. It seems that the first few months of combat are crucial in sharpening these instincts and to help the soldier in becoming aware of the dangers that may be in front of him .... and to avoid it. Without this experience .... my father found that soldiers who were "green to the fight" were usually the soldiers who were finding themselves in grave and dangerous situations .... and getting killed or wounded because of it.

'Speech Jamming Gun' That Stops People Talking

Shut up! Japanese scientists say the 'Speech Jammer' can silence someone almost instantly

A Mute Button For People? 'Speech Jamming Gun' That Stops People Talking By Freezing The Brain -- Daily Mail

* The gadget fires a speaker's words back to them causing them to stutter and then stop talking
* 'Delayed Auditory Feedback' works because the brain does not like hearing the echo of the human voice
* Research has found it works best during a speech, making it ideal for shutting up unpopular politicians

It is a new gadget that could be straight out of George Orwell's 1984.

Japanese researchers have invented the ultimate conversation killer and instrument of control - a machine that can shut someone up at will.

Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada have built a gun they call the 'Speech Jammer', which could be ideal for an unruly classroom or noisy library.

It forces individuals into 'vocal submission', they say, and is accurate when fired from up to 30 metres away.

Read more ....

My Comment: The applications for such a device are endless.

Darpa's Robot Sets Racing Record

Video: Darpa’s Robotic Cheetah Sets Racing Record -- Danger Room

Trust me, gym rat. Your outrageously badass treadmill workout has nothing on this.

The Pentagon’s far-out research agency, Darpa, has just released a new video of its Cheetah ‘bot — designed to mimic the rapid movements of cheetahs, the speediest animals in nature — absolutely killing it on a laboratory treadmill.

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My Comment: That's fast .... and I am sure with time they will develop new robots that will be even faster.

Was Mars Stripped Of Its Protective Magnetic Field By A Huge Asteroid Impact

The Hellas basin on Mars was created by an asteroid impact so violent it left a crater as deep as Mount Everest is high - and deposited a layer of debris more than a mile thick around the crater

Was Mars Stripped Of Its Protective Magnetic Field By A Huge Asteroid Impact That Left THIS Crater As Deep As Mount Everest? -- Daily Mail

Four billion years ago, Mars had a magnetic field, just like Earth's - but something turned it off, leaving a barren planet totally exposed to the Sun's deadly radiation.

Now scientists have come up with a likely culprit - a huge asteroid impact which left a crater as deep as Mount Everest is high.

That impact, and four other 1500-mile-wide asteroids, had a catastrophic effect on hot rocks in and under Mars's surface - 'knocking out' the planet's magnetic field forever.

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What Happens As We Get To Absolute Zero

Why Can’t We Get Down To Absolute Zero? -- io9

What is Absolute Zero, and does it really exist anywhere in the universe? Could we ever reach Absolute Zero in real life?

There are all sorts of reasons to be curious about the limits of cold. Maybe you're an incredibly lame supervillain who uses the power of freezing, and you want to understand the extent of your powers. Or you're wondering if it would be possible to outrun a wave of cold. Either way, in this week's "Ask a Physicist" we'll explore the farthest limits of cold.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hackers Had 'Control' Of Nasa Computers

NASA said the loss of data did not affect the operations of the International Space Station

Hackers Had 'Full Functional Control' Of Nasa Computers -- BBC

Hackers gained "full functional control" of key Nasa computers in 2011, the agency's inspector general has told US lawmakers.

Paul K Martin said hackers took over Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) computers and "compromised the accounts of the most privileged JPL users".

He said the attack, involving Chinese IP addresses, was under investigation.

In a statement, Nasa said it had "made significant progress to protect the agency's IT systems".

Mr Martin's testimony on Nasa's cybersecurity was submitted to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology's Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight.

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My Comment: This should never have happened.

Has Earth Always Had The Same Amount Of Water?

Researchers have examined 3.8 billion year old minerals from Greenland which are derived from the Earth’s primordial oceans in order to approximate the ancient water budget. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Copenhagen)

The Blue Planet's New Water Budget: Do We Have Enough? -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Mar. 5, 2012) — Investigating the history of water on Earth is critical to understanding the planet's climate. One central question is whether Earth has always had the same amount of water on and surrounding it, the same so-called "water budget." Has Earth gained or lost water from comets and meteorites? Has water been lost into space? New research into Earth's primordial oceans conducted by researchers at the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen and Stanford University revisits Earth's historical water budget.

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The Hardest Movies To Turn Off Once You Start Watching Them

The Ten Hardest Movies To Turn Off Once You Start Watching Them -- PJ Media

I hereby provide my list of the Ten Hardest Movies to Turn Off Once You Start Watching Them. These may not be the best movies ever made — or they may be. But no matter where you come in on these films — no matter whether you intended to watch them or stumbled on them while lazily channel surfing — they grab you and won’t let you go. Or at least they grab me — which is more important, because I live here and you don’t.

Except for the first one — the most compulsively watchable film ever made — they’re not in any particular order. And any further suggestions will be welcomed and watched.

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My Comment: I totally agree with this list. And yes .... I love the movie HEAT.

Why Pot Smokers Forget

How Marijuana Makes You Forget -- Nature

Drug affects previously overlooked brain cells that have a crucial role in memory formation.

Researchers have discovered how marijuana disrupts short-term memory.

The drug impairs users’ working memory — the ability to retain and use information over short periods of time. Neuroscientists Giovanni Marsicano of the University of Bordeaux, France, and Xia Zhang of the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research now show that this common side effect occurs because of a previously unknown signalling mechanism between neurons and non-neuronal cells called astrocytes. Their work is published today in Cell1.

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My Comment:
In short .... marijuana use has consequences. But will anyone listen .... hmmm .... I doubt it.