Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Is Facebook And Twitter Addictive?

Facebook And Twitter Are More Addictive Than Cigarettes Or Alcohol, Study Finds -- FOX News

A new study suggests that social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter are more difficult to resist than cigarettes or alcohol.

A team from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business recently conducted an experiment involving 205 people in Wurtzburg, Germany to analyze the addictive properties of social media and other vices.

Participants in the week-long study were polled via BlackBerry smartphones seven times per day and asked to report when they experienced a desire within the past 30 minutes, and whether or not the succumbed to that desire. They were also asked to gauge each desire on a scale from mild to “irresistible.”

Read more

My Comment: I could not care less about Twitter and Facebook, but the children of my friends are certainly attached to these websites.

The Climate Skeptics 'May' Be Right

From Climategate Central: The Skeptics Were Right -- Don Surber

The world is cooling. Finally, this admission comes from the British weather service (the Met Office) and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit — the center of the Climategate Conspiracy in which some climatologists conspired to manipulate data in a mad effort to “prove” their daft theory that using carbon-based fuels would turn the planet into Hell On Earth.

They now must admit the truth that Global Warming is in error.

And so they do.

From the London Daily Mail:

Read more ....

My Comment: The skeptics have a point .... this is the weather in Europe today.

'Oldest Living Thing On Earth' Discovered

Scientists say a patch of ancient seagrass in the Mediterranean is up to 200,000 years old Photo: Getty Images

'Oldest Living Thing On Earth' Discovered -- The Telegraph

Ancient patches of a giant seagrass in the Mediterranean Sea are now considered the oldest living organism on Earth after scientists dated them as up to 200,000 years old.

Australian scientists sequenced the DNA of samples of the giant seagrass, Posidonia oceanic, from 40 underwater meadows in an area spanning more than 2,000 miles, from Spain to Cyprus.

The analysis, published in the journal PLos ONE, found the seagrass was between 12,000 and 200,000 years old and was most likely to be at least 100,000 years old. This is far older than the current known oldest species, a Tasmanian plant that is believed to be 43,000 years old.

Read more ....

My Comment: Now that is old.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Breakthroughs In Invisibility Cloak Technology

Scientists Make 'Invisibility Cloak' Breakthrough -- The Telegraph

Scientists in the United States have made a further step towards creating an "invisibility cloak" by masking a large, free-standing object in three dimensions.

The lab work is the latest advance in a scientific frontier that uses novel materials to manipulate light, a trick that is of huge interest to the military in particular.

Reporting in the New Journal of Physics, researchers at the University of Texas in Austin cloaked a 7.2-inch cylindrical tube from light in the microwave part of the energy spectrum.

Those hoping for a Harry Potter-style touch of wizardry will be disappointed however. To the human eye, which can only perceive light in higher frequencies, there would have been no invisibility.

Read more

More News On Scientists Making An 'Invisibility Cloak' Possible

Invisibility cloak uses 'metamaterial' to hide three-dimensional objects -- Christian Science Monitor
Invisibility breakthrough reported -- CBS/Live Science
Scientists pioneer cloaking technology -- Al Jazeera
Breakthrough in bid to create 'invisibility cloak' as 3D object is made to vanish for first time -- Daily Mail
'Cloaking' a 3-D object from all angles demonstrated -- BBC
Cloak's on you: Scientists create 'invisible' object -- CNet
Invisibility’s Next Frontier: Scientists Cloak 3-D Objects -- Danger Room
Scientists Close In on Invisibility Cloak -- Tech News World
Researchers cloak free-standing 3D object using plasmonic metamaterials -- Gizmag
'Invisibility cloak' could be used in 'super stealth' warplanes -- The Week

How Contact Lenses Will Bring Virtual Reality To U.S. Soldiers By 2013

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is working with Washington based company Innovega to develop a system of contact lenses and small wearable glasses giving soldiers a considerable tactical advantage. The ‘Terminator eye’ contact lens would enable soldiers to simultaneously focus on the battlefield and mission data, such as live video from an overhead drone, at the same time. (Photo: Innovega)

Contact Lenses: How They Will Bring Virtual Reality to U.S. Soldiers by 2013 -- International Business Wimes

It has been the stuff of science fiction for decades, but the U.S. military announced on Tuesday it is close to developing a virtual reality contact lens to enhance soldiers' vision on the battlefield.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is working with Washington-based company Innovega to develop a system of contact lenses and small, wearable glasses giving soldiers battelfield information in realtime.

The Terminator-style vision would enable soldiers to simultaneously focus on the battlefield and mission data, such as live video from an overhead drone, at the same time.

Read more

More News On The Development Of Virtual Reality Contact Lens

DARPA developing contact lenses with 'Terminator'-like abilities -- GCN
Contact Lens Technology Could Give Soldiers 'Terminator' Capabilities -- Aol Defense
DARPA Working with Innovega for virtual reality contact lens and eyeware combination
-- Next Big Future
DARPA Works On Virtual Reality Contact Lenses -- Information Week
Virtual Reality Contact Lenses Are One Step Closer to Reality -- Big Think
Virtual reality contact lenses that beam images directly into your eyes could be on sale in 2014 -- Daily Mail
Virtual Reality Contact Lenses Offer 3D Panorama -- Discovery News
New Augmented Reality Contact Lenses/Eyeglasses Offer Entertainment, Help Soldiers -- Daily Tech

Take The Alzheimer's Test

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Take The Alzheimer's Test: The 21 Questions That Can Reveal If YOU Are At Risk... -- Daily Mail

A quick test that tells if your loved one is at risk of Alzheimer’s disease has been devised by doctors.

The 21-question test distinguishes between normal absent-mindedness and the more sinister memory lapses that may signal the early stages of dementia.

The questions are designed to be answered by a spouse or close friend.

The Alzheimer’s Questionnaire, which is almost 90 per cent accurate, measures mild cognitive impairment – the slight memory lapses that can be a precursor of the disease.

Read more ....

My Comment: Did the test on myself .... scored 4. Hmmmm ....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

More Internet Censorship On The Way

Posts on Google's Blogger service will now be taken down if they violate local laws - so in repressive regimes, governments may be able to use local speech laws to block controversial posts

Google Joins Twitter In Censorship Storm: Site May Now Block Blog Posts In Line With Requests From Oppressive Regimes -- Daily Mail

* Blog posts will be blocked at national government request
* Campaigners fear 'the end of the global internet community'
* But Google claims move will allow MORE free speech

Google's informal motto is 'don't be evil', but a huge change to its Blogger service could see the search giant help oppressive governments stamp out voices of protest.

Bloggers who have relied on the popular service to organise dissent as seen during the Arab Spring could find their posts being blocked by Google itself.

The company will now block posts or blogs from being seen in a country if they their local laws, handing a victory to regimes that crack down on free speech to keep a lid on dissent.

Read more

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Happens When Our Brain Ages

New Insight Into Aging Brains -- Wall Street Journal

Study Links 24% of Intelligence Changes Over a Person's Life to Genetic Factors.

Nearly a quarter of the changes often seen in a person's intelligence level over the course of a lifetime may be due to genes, a proportion never before estimated, new research shows.

The study suggests that genes may partly explain why some people's brains age better than others, even though environmental factors likely play a greater role over a lifetime.

Understanding the factors behind healthy mental aging has become an increasingly vital one for societies with large elderly populations. However, it isn't an easy task.

Read more

The Biggest Unsolved Mysteries In Physics

We've learned so much from science, bet there's plenty we still don't understand

5 Of The Biggest Unsolved Mysteries In Physics -- Y!Tech/Yahoo News

The mysteries of the universe are as vast and wide as existence itself. Throughout history, mankind has searched and struggled to find the answers tucked away inside the universe and everything we see around us. As Deep Thought said in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is."

Read more

Monday, January 30, 2012

All Time Coldest U.S. Record Nearly Broken

Bitter Cold Records Broken In Alaska – All Time Coldest Record Nearly Broken, But Murphy’s Law Intervenes -- WUWT

Jim River, AK closed in on the all time record coldest temperature of -80°F set in 1971, which is not only the Alaska all-time record, but the record for the entire United States. Unfortunately, it seems the battery died in the weather station just at the critical moment.

While the continental USA has a mild winter and has set a number of high temperature records in the last week and pundits ponder whether they will be blaming the dreaded “global warming” for those temperatures, Alaska and Canada have been suffering through some of the coldest temperatures on record during the last week.

Read more ....

My Comment: Damn .... that's cold.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

`Space Hurricane`From The Sun Sweeping The Planet Right Now

'Space Hurricane' From The Sun Sweeping Over Our Planet -- MSNBC

Flights rerouted due to solar storm; radiation rated strongest since 2003

A wave of charged particles from an intense solar storm is raising alerts about airline flights and satellite operations — and raising the prospect of stunning auroral displays.

The storm began when a powerful solar flare erupted on the sun Monday, blasting a stream of charged particles toward our planet. This electromagnetic burst — called a coronal mass ejection, or CME — started hitting Earth somewhere around 10 a.m. ET Tuesday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center.

Read more

More News On Today`s Hurricane`From The Sun

'Space Hurricane': Huge Solar Storm Is Pounding Earth Now -- Space.com
Delta reroutes planes following massive solar eruption -- FOX news
Solar radiation storm sweeps over Earth -- CNET
Strongest Solar Storm Since 2005 Hitting Earth -- Sci-Tech Today
Space station dwellers safe from massive radiation storm -- Christian Science Monitor
Solar storm's effects to lash Earth until Wednesday -- BBC
Solar storm underway: ‘A taste of what’s going to come’ next year -- Washington Post
A solar storm reaches Earth (images) -- CNET

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fears Of Bioterrorism Halts Research On Mutant Bird Flu

Bioterror Fears Halt Research On Mutant Bird Flu -- BBC

Scientists who created a more deadly strain of bird flu have temporarily stopped their research amid fears it could be used by bioterrorists.

In a letter published in Science and Nature, the teams call for an "international forum" to debate the risks and value of the studies.

US authorities last month asked the authors of the research to redact key details in forthcoming publications.

A government advisory panel suggested the data could be used by terrorists.

Biosecurity experts fear a mutant form of the virus could spark a pandemic deadlier than the 1918-19 Spanish flu outbreak that killed up to 40 million people.

Read more ....

More News On Scientists Suspending For 60 Days Their Research On Mutant Bird Flu

Researchers Pause Work on Bird Flu That Could Kill Hundreds of Millions -- ABC News
Fears of mutant virus escape halt bird flu study -- Reuters
Deadly Bird Flu Research to Be Paused Over Concern About Risks -- Bloomberg
Bird flu scientists suspend work amid epidemic fears -- The Guardian
Scientists call moratorium on study of deadly bird flu -- L.A. Times
Scientists Agree to Halt Work on Dangerous Bird Flu Strain -- Time
Scientists to Pause Research on Deadly Strain of Bird Flu -- New York Times
Controversial Killer Flu Research Paused -- Wired
Flu scientists agree to 60-day ‘pause’ in bird-flu research -- Washington Post
Scientists Call for 60-Day Suspension of Mutant Flu Research -- Scientific America

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hackers Retaliate With Massive Cyber Attacks After Shutdown Of Megaupload

U.S. Justice Department Website Attacked By Hackers Over Megaupload Shutdown -- National Post

The U.S. government shut down the Megaupload.com content sharing website, charging its founders and several employees with massive copyright infringement, the latest skirmish in a high-profile battle against piracy of movies and music.

The Department of Justice announced the indictment and arrests of four company executives on Thursday as debate in Washington reaches a fever pitch over online piracy. Lawmakers are trying to craft legislation that balances cracking down on violators while avoiding censorship of the Internet.

Read more ....

More News On The Shutdown Of Megaupload And Hacker Retaliation

Anonymous strikes back after feds shut piracy hub Megaupload -- CNN
Megaupload.com Gets Hit by Mega Piracy Indictment; Hackers Attack Feds, Entertainment Industry -- ABC News
U.S. shutters Megaupload.com, arrests founder; hackers retaliate? -- Seattle Times/AP
Megaupload is Megapwned by Gov't, Anonymous Hits Back, Downs DOJ Homepage -- Daily Tech
Anonymous claims DOJ hack attack -- Politico
FBI shuts down Megaupload.com, Anonymous shut down FBI -- News.com.au
Anonymous says it takes down FBI, DOJ, entertainment sites -- MSNBC
Hackers attack FBI, Justice Department websites after Megaupload shutdown -- National Post
Hackers’ revenge: Federal -- Miami Herald
Anonymous Claims DOJ, RIAA, MPAA Sites Hit for Megaupload Bust -- Time
The Copyright War- Govt Takes Down Megaupload, Anonymous Takes Down Govt! -- Crazy Engineers
Anonymous DOJ Attack Also Targets RIAA and More in Response to MegaUpload Indictment -- Gather
Anonymous Retaliates With Gov., Media Web Site Shutdowns after Megaupload Arrests -- RedmondMag
Anonymous Retaliates for Megaupload Shutdown, Attacks DOJ, Others -- PC World
US govt, entertainment sites attacked after piracy arrests -- ZDNet
Anonymous hacks DOJ, RIAA, MPAA and Universal Music websites -- ZDNet

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gravitational Lensing Helps Redraw the Map of Space

The observations show that dark matter in the Universe is distributed as a network of gigantic dense (white) and empty (dark) regions, where the largest white regions are about the size of several Earth moons on the sky. Van Waerbeke / Heymans / CFHTLens collaboration

A Cosmic Illusion: Gravitational Lensing Helps Redraw the Map of Space -- Time

You can hardly accuse Albert Einstein of being short on imagination. The man who invented General Relativity and helped invent quantum theory probably had more creative thoughts in an hour than most folks have in a year. But one of Einstein's more intriguing scientific papers, which appeared in Science in 1936, wasn't really his idea in the first place. It came instead from a Czech electrical engineer named Rudi Mandl, who was intrigued by one of relativity's implications.

Read more ....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Major Websites Preparing To Go Dark On Wednesday

Wikipedia and other websites plan to go dark in protest. Reuters

SOPA Protest Nears Zero Hour -- Politico

Internet companies and activists are hoping to join the Arab Spring and other online democracy movements by taking an estimated 7,000 websites offline Wednesday to send a message to Washington: Don’t pass a pair of anti-piracy bills.

The websites that have announced plans to go dark include Wikipedia, Mozilla, Reddit and Wordpress, but some of the most visited websites are conspicuous in their absence.

And supporters of the copyright bills dismissed the blackout as a “stunt.”

Read more ....

My Comment: To understand the issues that are involved, go here. As for myself .... unless Blogger goes offline .... I will be blogging tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Massacre In The Hive

Massacre In The Hive: Amazing Footage Of 30 Giant Japanese Hornets Slaughtering 30,000 Tiny Honeybees To Eat Their Young -- Daily Mail

Tens of thousands are dead, hundreds more of the dying lie writhing on the battlefield, powerless to protect their children.

These horrifying and yet fascinating scenes are the highlights of a three-hour battle between just 30 giant Japanese hornets and 30,000 European honeybees.

The video, from a National Geographic documentary called Hornets From Hell, shows a full-scale attack on the honeybees' comb in order that the hornets can get at their larvae.

Read more ....

My Comment:
I got the chills from just watching the video.

The Hunt for Exomoons Is Heating Up

An artist's impression of a hypothetical exomoon in orbit around a planet in another planetary system. Dan Durda

Forget Exoplanets: The Hunt for Exomoons Is Heating Up

The universe seems almost infinitely reductive: our galaxy rotates around a central hub, planets orbit their planet stars, moons orbit their parent planets, and the odd moonlet may even orbit a moon.

Almost from the moment astronomers began finding planets around distant stars, they thus began talking about the moons that might orbit those alien worlds. It wasn't that they had any hope of discovering something as tiny as a moon: the smallest things they could find at the time were giant planets like Jupiter. But if a Jupiter happened to orbit in its star's Goldilocks Zone, where temperatures were relatively balmy, and if that Jupiter happened to have a moon about the size of Earth — not impossible, surely — then that hypothetical moon might have a chance of harboring life. That's a lot of ifs, which made talk of so-called exomoons seem like more of a marketing gimmick designed to gin up public interest in exoplanet science than a serious area of research.

Read more ....

The First Ever Saturn-Like Exoplanet Is Found

A Saturn-Like Ringed Planet, 420 Light-Years Away Michael Osadciw/University of Rochester

Found: The First Ever Saturn-Like Exoplanet Surrounded By Orbital Rings -- Popular Science

The hits just keep on coming out of Austin this week as the 219th meeting of the American Astronomical Society rolls on. Researchers there have announced the discovery of the first Saturn-like ringed object outside our solar system, documented when researchers were trying to diagnose the cause of a strange eclipsing effect emanating from a nearby star.

Read more ....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

An Innovative Way To Collect Solar Energy

13-year-old Aidan Dwyer developed a new way to collect solar energy, and along the way sparked a fierce debate among scholars and scientists. He joins the News Hub to tell his story. Photo: Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

A Youngster's Bright Idea Is Something New Under The Sun -- Wall Street Journal

Aidan Dwyer Took a Leaf from the Trees and Electrified International Debate

NORTHPORT, N.Y.—A new way of collecting solar energy has polarized scientists around the world and ignited fierce debate on the Internet, where the innovator in question has been called everything from an alien to the agent of a global conspiracy.

Maybe a better title would be an intellectual Hannah Montana. That's because the scientist, Aidan Dwyer, is 13 years old.

This past summer, Aidan won a national science competition with what seemed to be a bright idea: His research appeared to show that solar panels arrayed like the leaves on a tree collect sunlight more efficiently than traditional setups.

Read more ....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Google's Chrome Poised To Become World's Most Popular Web Browser

Over the past year, Internet Explorer fell from 46 per cent of the worldwide market to 38.5 per cent. In the same period, Chrome rose from 15.68 per cent to 27.27 per cent, overtaking rival Firefox in the process

Google's Chrome Poised To Become World's Most Popular Web Browser This Year, Overtaking Internet Explorer -- Daily Mail

* Internet Explorer falls to 38.5 per cent in 2011
* Chrome soars from 15.68 per cent to 27.27 per cent
* Will overtake IE in 2012 if current trend continues

Google's fast, simple Chrome browser will move ahead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer by the end of this year if current trends continue, according to research from research firm StatCounter.

Over the past year, Internet Explorer fell from 46 per cent of the worldwide market to 38.5 per cent.

In the same period, Google Chrome rose from 15.68 per cent to 27.27 per cent, overtaking rival Firefox in the process.

Read more ....

A New Design For Robots

This photo illustration shows an agama lizard with the Tailbot robot. (Discovery Channel 4D Anatomy Model, 2008 Fame Master Ent. Ltd.). Thomas Libby, Evan Chang-Siu and Pauline Jennings. Courtesy of PolyPEDAL Lab & CiBER/UC Berkeley

Should We Design Robots To Be More Like Velociraptors? -- Christian Science Monitor

Adding a long tails to a robot to stabilize its body could lead to far more agile search-and-rescue machines, a new study reveals.

Meat-eating dinosaurs like Velociraptor may have been quite the acrobats, using their tails to land aerial maneuvers safely, say scientists studying today's leaping lizards.

Long-tailed robots built as part of this work could help inspire a new generation of maneuverable search-and-rescue droids, the researchers add.

Read more ....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Google Search Home Page Revamped

Google's pull-down menus should help highlight the firm's non-core search services to users.

Google Search Home Page Revamp Promotes Other Services -- BBC

Google is rolling out one of its biggest home page changes to date.

The revamp strips its front page of the black bar that currently runs horizontally along its top, and replaces it with a grey logo.

When clicked or highlighted, it reveals seven alternative services to the site's search page with an option to reveal a further eight.

Analysts said the move was designed to promote more of the firm's businesses without cluttering its webpage.

Read more

My Comment: This is going to take some getting use to.

Windows XP Still Dominates The Web

Ten Years Later, Windows XP Still Dominates The Web -- CNN Money

And in the Apple market, Lion is still trailing two-year-old Snow Leopard.

In its final monthly report for 2011, NetApplications offers a window on the shifting fates of the various flavors of Microsoft (MSFT) Windows and Mac OS X that show up at its 40,000 clients' websites.

As a rule, creaky old legacy systems dominate.

Read more ....

My Comment: It took me a few months to get over Windows 3.1 in favor of Windows 95. Such is the life of software.

'Buffing' Your Brain

Buff Your Brain -- Daily Beast/Newsweek

Read more. Learn a language. Get some sleep! Sharon Begley reports getting a bigger brain is easier—and more fun—than you think.

Brain training to sharpen memory. Aerobic exercise to preserve gray matter. Meditation to hone connections between reason and emotion.

It all sounds great, but there’s something that has long bothered us about the growing number of studies pinpointing ways to buff your brain: they don’t go far enough. Sure, exercises to improve memory are better for your brain than, say, watching reality TV, but the most you’re going to gain is more reliable access to knowledge already scattered around your cerebral cortex. If the information isn’t in there, no amount of brain training will tell you how the Federal Reserve system functions, why the Confederacy lost the Civil War, the significance of Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon, or why Word just crashed.

Read more

Is A Super-Volcano In The Heart Of Europe About To Erupt?

If the Laacher See eruption is as powerful as the last one, volcanic material could land over 600 miles away

Is A Super-Volcano Just 390 Miles From London About To Erupt? -- Daily Mail

* It's similar in size to Mount Pinatubo, which in 1991 gave us the biggest eruption of the 20th century
* Billions of tons of ash and magma would be ejected
* Southern England would be covered in ash

A sleeping super-volcano in Germany is showing worrying signs of waking up.

It's lurking just 390 miles away underneath the tranquil Laacher See lake near Bonn and is capable of ejecting billions of tons of magma.

This monster erupts every 10 to 12,000 years and last went off 12,900 years ago, so it could blow at any time.

Read more ....

My Comment: The awesome power of mother nature always gives me pause.

Four Industries Being Targeted By Apple

Brian Snyder / Reuters

Four Industries Apple Can Disrupt In The Near Future -- Time Techland

Tim Bajarin is the president of Creative Strategies Inc., a technology industry analysis and market intelligence firm in Silicon Valley.

Over the last 10 years, Apple has done a rather amazing job of disrupting quite a few industries. By my account, it has dramatically impacted the PC, tablet, consumer electronics, telecom, music and TV industries in a big way. And I believe that Apple is on the cusp of disrupting at least four more major industries in the next three to five years.

Read more ....

My Comment
: Only 4?

Is This The Year of Cold Fusion?

2012: The Year of Cold Fusion? -- Forbes

Well, there goes 2011, a year that was, to say the least, a mixed bag.

In the tech world it has been an interesting year. The Large Hadron Collider has, so far, failed to find evidence of the Higgs Boson (boo!) but at least it didn’t, as some people had feared, create a black hole that swallowed the earth (hooray!). Biological research produced promising results regarding antiviral drugs that may cure the common cold (hooray!) but a cure for cancer and HIV stills seems a long way away (boo!).

Read more ....

My Comment: Unfortunately .... we are still a long way off.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

How Can I Track My Stolen Gadget?

Laptop LoJack Nigel Buchanan

Ask a Geek: How Can I Track My Stolen Gadget? -- Popular Science

Thieves make off with millions of dollars’ worth of laptops and mobile devices every year. Most stolen gadgets go unrecovered, but tracking software can help. The software runs in the background of the operating system or, with some services, the boot-level layer, which makes detecting the tracker much more difficult. Services like Prey provide free software for up to three laptops or Android devices. BlackBerry, iPhone or iPad owners can use GadgetTrak (from $4).

Read more ....

Friday, December 30, 2011

Great White Sharks Hunting Cape Fur Sseals Off The Coast Of Cape Town, South Africa

A seal tries to outmanoeuvre a great white shark, seconds before it becomes lunch. The tiny Cape fur seal is dwarfed by the enormous shark as it hunts off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. These images taken by wildlife photographer David Jenkins show the constant struggle for survival for the animals that live on Seal Island in False Bay where around 12,000 seal pups are born each November and December. Taken over three years, the photos illustrate exactly why great whites are considered one of the world's most efficient predators. Picture: Specialist Stock / Barcroft Media

CSN Editor:
A cool gallery of pictures. The link is here.

101 Gadgets That Changed The World

101. Duct Tape
NASA astronauts have used it to make repairs on the moon and in space. The MythBusters built a boat and held a car together with the stuff. Brookhaven National Laboratory fixed their particle accelerator with it. And enthusiasts have used it to make prom dresses and wallets. You might say it's a material, not a gadget, but trust us: Duct tape is the ultimate multitool.

101 Gadgets That Changed The World -- Popular Mechanics

The alarm clock. The personal computer. The smartphone. The radio. You know the greatest gadgets of all time (and you’ve probably owned most of them), but which has changed the world more than any other? To make our list of 101, a gadget had to be something you could hold in your hands, mechanical or electronic, and a mass-produced personal item. The rest was up to the judges. Check out our selections, and watch the 101 Gadgets TV special on History, premiering June 15. Then, let the debate begin.

Read more ....

My Comment: They are all indispensable in today's world.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Helicopter Drone For The U.S. Army

(Credit: U.S. Army)

US Army Unveils 1.8 Gigapixel Camera Helicopter Drone -- BBC

New helicopter-style drones with 1.8 gigapixel colour cameras are being developed by the US Army.

The army said the technology promised "an unprecedented capability to track and monitor activity on the ground".

A statement added that three of the sensor-equipped drones were due to go into service in Afghanistan in either May or June.

Boeing built the first drones, but other firms can bid to manufacture others.

"These aircraft will deploy for up to one full year as a way to harness lessons learned and funnel them into a program of record," said Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Munster, product manager at the US Army's Unmanned Aerial System Modernization unit.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. Army`s Newest Helicopter Drone

US deploys 1.8 gigapixel helicopter surveillance drones to Afghanistan -- The Register
Hummingbird robo-drone gets 1.8-gigapixel camera -- CNet
New spy drone has 1.8 gigapixel camera -- Extreme Tech
US Army's A160 Hummingbird drone-copter to don 1.8 gigapixel camera -- Endgadget
Army to deploy vertical take-off UAS -- www.Army.mil

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Massive Solar Storm Heading Our Way

It's coming this way: The CME, seen by Nasa's STEREO-B spacecraft, can be seen blasting out from the Sun on the right-hand side (circled)

Massive Solar Storm 'Could Knock Out Radio Signals' Over Next Three Days, Warn Scientists -- Daily Mail

Skywatchers will be hoping for clear skies from today because particles from a recent solar storm will slam into Earth and produce amazing Northern Lights, or auroras.

On the downside, experts expect radio blackouts for a few days, caused by the radiation from the flare – or coronal mass ejection (CME) – causing magnetic storms.

The flare is part of a larger increase in activity in the Sun, which runs in 11-year cycles. It is expected to peak around 2013.

Read more

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Where Science And The Search For Understanding Can Produce Mankind's Worst Nightmare

This transmission electron micrograph taken at a magnification of 150,000x, reveals the ultrastructural details of an avian influenza A (H5N1) virion, pictured by the United States government's Centre for Disease Control.

Studies Of Deadly H5N1 Bird Flu Mutations Test Scientific Ethics -- L.A. Times

Dutch scientists have created a version of the deadly H5N1 bird flu that's easily transmitted. In an unprecedented move, a U.S. board asks that some details of the research not be published.

In a top-security lab in the Netherlands, scientists guard specimens of a super-killer influenza that slays half of those it infects and spreads easily from victim to victim.

It is a beast long feared by influenza experts, but it didn't come from nature. The scientists made it themselves.

Their noxious creation could help prevent catastrophe in the battle against the deadly H5N1 bird flu that has ravaged duck and chicken flocks across Asia and elsewhere since the mid-1990s but has mostly left our species alone — for one crucial reason. Though H5N1 kills with brutality when it takes hold in a human, it infects extremely rarely and doesn't go on to easily spread between people.

Public health officials have long fretted that the virus may one day find a way to do so.

Read more

Previous Post
: A Bioterror Weapon That Can Easily Kill Billions

My Comment: From what I have been reading, this genetically engineered virus is incredibly lethal (60%). And while the desire is to now limit it`s findings, the sad fact is that we are now faced with a situation in which "Pandora`s Box" has been opened, and there are now too many people who are aware of its findings.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Should We Scour The Moon For Ancient Traces Of Aliens

A pit in Mare Ingenii, possibly the result of a collapsed lava tube. Natural tunnels like this would be ideal sites for an alien moon base. Photograph: Nasa

We Should Scour The Moon For Ancient Traces Of Aliens, Say Scientists -- The Guardian

Online volunteers could be set task of spotting alien technology, evidence of mining and rubbish heaps in moon images.

Hundreds of thousands of pictures of the moon will be examined for telltale signs that aliens once visited our cosmic neighbourhood if plans put forward by scientists go ahead.

Passing extraterrestrials might have left messages, scientific instruments, heaps of rubbish or evidence of mining on the dusty lunar surface that could be spotted by human telescopes and orbiting spacecraft.

Read more ....

My Comment: The moon is one hell of a big place.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Every Bioterrorism Expert's Worse Nightmare: Recent Man-Made Super-Flu Could Kill Half Humanity

This transmission electron micrograph taken at a magnification of 150,000x, reveals the ultrastructural details of an avian influenza A (H5N1) virion, pictured by the United States government's Centre for Disease Control.

Armageddon Super Virus Recipe: Keep Secret Or Publish? -- Sydney Morning Herald

To publish or not to publish?

That is the question gripping scientists after virologists said they had developed a bird flu virus - with a 60 per cent human mortality rate - that could spread as easily as the common cold.

Some fear the virus, if it fell into the wrong hands, could be modified by bioterrorists into a weapon that kills billions of people.

Read more

More News On The H5N1

'Anthrax isn't scary at all compared to this': Man-made flu virus with potential to wipe out many millions if it ever escaped is created in research lab -- Daily Mail
Man-made super-flu could kill half humanity -- RT
Super Virus Report Might Make or Break Biosecurity -- Top News
New manmade super virus? New bird flu has 60% human lethality -- Digital Journal
Canberra Vaccine Expert Urges Censorship on Bird Flu Strain Mutant Research -- IBTimes
“Bird Flu” Virus Experiment Sparks Controversy and a Biosecurity Review -- Decoded Science
US fears Dutch research could be biological weapon -- Radio Netherlands
Deadly man-made strain of H5N1 bird flu virus raises controversy -- Digital Journal
Should a New Recipe for Engineered Bird Flu, Potent Enough to Kill Millions, Be Published? -- Popular Science
Scientists Brace for Media Storm Around Controversial Flu Studies -- Science Insider
Deadly Man-Made Flu Won’t Kill Everyone Unless It Escapes From the Lab -- Gawker

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Beauty Of Pollination (Video)

Can You Crack It? Britain's Spy Agency Looking To Hire Top Cyber Hackers

Can You Solve This Code? Then This U.K. Spy Agency Might Want To Hire You -- National Post/AFP

LONDON — No longer content with simply approaching the brightest from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Britain’s intelligence agency GCHQ has launched a code-cracking competition to attract new talent.

The electronic surveillance organisation, the U.K. Government Communications Headquarters, is asking potential applicants to solve a code posted on a website.

It will direct potential candidates to the competition, hosted on an anonymous website, via sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Read more ....

More News On Britain's GCHQ Wanting To Hire Code Breakers

iSpy: Government intelligence agency launches online code-cracking puzzle to recruit future stars of cyber-savvy espionage -- Daily Mail
GCHQ: solve the online code, become a real-life spy -- The Telegraph
GCHQ challenges codebreakers via social networks -- BBC
GCHQ aims to recruit computer hackers with code-cracking website -- The Guardian
Crack GCHQ's code and become the next James Bond -- The Register
GCHQ challenges codebreakers in online competition -- Digital Spy
GCHQ sets codebreaking challenge for wannabe spies -- Computer World
Crack an online code, get a job as a spy -- The Inquirer
GCHQ Launches Code-Breaking Competition Through Social Networking Sites -- Jobs and Hire
Crack This Code, and Become a British Spy -- The Danger Room
Intelligence agency recruits spies with online code -- New Scientist

CSN Editor: The GCHQ spy recruitment code problem has been solved (in a few hours after being posted online).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oldest Evidence Of Violence Between Humans Unearthed In China

Maba "man" took a wallop from something, but lived to fight another day. BBC

Ancient Skull Found In China May Be Oldest Evidence Of Violence Between Humans -- The Telegraph

An ancient skull discovered in China may be the oldest evidence of violence between humans, according to researchers.

A fracture on the right temple of the skull is likely to have been caused by a blow to the side of the head some 150,000 to 200,000 years ago.

“There are older cases of bumps and bruises and cases of trauma,” said Erik Trinkaus from Washington University in St Louis, US, to the BBC.”

But this is the first one I am aware of where the most likely interpretation is getting whooped by someone else – to put it bluntly.”

The skull was unearthed in a cave near Maba in 1958 but its significance only came to light recently.

Read more

More Evidence Of Archaeologists Uncovering Evidence Of Early Human Violence

'Earliest' evidence of human violence
-- BBC
Evidence uncovered of world's oldest violent argument -- CBS
The Roots of Violence -- The Scientist
Archaeologists Uncover Evidence Of Early Human Violence -- And Caring -- Forbes
Bashed Skull Is Earliest Evidence of Human Aggression? -- National Geographic

Amazing Video: 'Jet Man' Stunts Alongside Fighter Jets Over Alps

WNU Editor: OK .... I am impressed.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

U.S. Ranks 28th In Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy 2011 Estimates CIA World Factbook

What's Killing America? U.S. Ranks 28th In Life Expectancy (Lower Than Chile And Greece) While It Pays The MOST For Health Care -- Daily Mail

A new survey on health care is revealing that you may not be getting what you pay for if you check into a U.S. hospital.

The U.S. healthcare system is more effective at delivering high costs than quality care than other developed nations, according to the study, conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD.

It found first-rate treatment for cancer but insufficient primary care for other ailments.

Read more ....

The Construction of NASA's Next Mars Rover

This artist's concept depicts the rover Curiosity, of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, as it uses its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument to investigate the composition of a rock surface. ChemCam fires laser pulses at a target and views the resulting spark with a telescope and spectrometers to identify chemical elements. The laser is actually in an invisible infrared wavelength, but is shown here as visible red light for purposes of illustration. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Inside Look: The Construction of NASA's Next Mars Rover -- FOX News

In May 2011, SPACE.com reporter Mike Wall visited NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., as scientists and engineers were wrapping up work on Curiosity, NASA's next Mars rover. This is his account.

It could be a scene from a James Bond film — a glimpse into the archvillain's lair.

Anonymous white-clad workers, their faces obscured by surgical masks, cross a cavernous, high-ceilinged room. They pause to adjust or inspect large pieces of mysterious equipment, some of which is spangled with bright gold foil. It's obvious that they're building something complicated and important.

Read more ....

Power Source Unveiled For Cyborg Search-And-Rescue Insects

Image: The research team proposed putting two spiral energy harvesters on either side of a beetle's thorax.

Cyborg Search-And-Rescue Insects' Power Source Unveiled -- BBC

Efforts to create an army of cyborg insects are being pursued by a team of US-based engineers.

The group is investigating ways to harvest energy from the creatures to power sensors and other equipment fastened to their bodies.

The team has created an energy scavenging device that is attached close to the insects' wings.

It suggested the creatures might one day be used to aid search-and-rescue operations and surveillance.

The University of Michigan team of engineers published their study in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

Read more

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Emails Question The Impact Of Climate Change

Uh Oh, Global Warming Loons: Here Comes Climategate II! -- The Telegraph

Breaking news: two years after the Climategate, a further batch of emails has been leaked onto the internet by a person – or persons – unknown. And as before, they show the "scientists" at the heart of the Man-Made Global Warming industry in a most unflattering light. Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Ben Santer, Tom Wigley, Kevin Trenberth, Keith Briffa – all your favourite Climategate characters are here, once again caught red-handed in a series of emails exaggerating the extent of Anthropogenic Global Warming, while privately admitting to one another that the evidence is nowhere near as a strong as they'd like it to be.

Read more

'New release' of climate emails -- BBC

My Comment: The BBC reporter in his post is clearly not amused with this additional release of emails .... not a surprise considering the embarrassing nature of its content and the BBC's agenda of promoting the science behind climate change.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

U.S. Singles Out China And Russia For Conducting Cyberespionage

A cybersecurity analyst works in a watch and warning center at a Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity defense lab at the Idaho National Laboratory, in September, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Jim Urquhart/Reuters

US Names Names – China And Russia – In Detailing Cyberespionage -- Christian Science Monitor

China, in particular, was fingered for massive ongoing cyberespionage against US companies in an alleged effort to gather the technological insights needed to make its economy more competitive.

Using blunt language, a new report by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive singles out China and Russia for cyber economic espionage, saying they are fast-growing threats to US economic and national security. In the past, the US government had largely refrained from naming specific countries as sources of cyberespionage.

Read more ....

More News On Who Is Conducting Cyberespionage

U.S. cyber espionage report names China and Russia as main culprits -- Washington Post
China, Russia Top List Of U.S. Economic Cyberspies -- NPR
U.S. blames China, Russia for cyber espionage -- Reuters
US: Russia, China stealing online from US companies -- BBC
US Report Cites Growing Economic Cyber Espionage -- Voice of America
U.S. Calls Out China and Russia for Cyber Espionage Costing Billions -- FOX News
US report accuses China, Russia of cyber-espionage to help build their own economies -- Chicago Tribune/AP
Report: China, Russia Top Culprits in Cyber Espionage -- National Journal
Report Says China, Russia ‘Aggressive’ Cybercrime Sponsors -- Epoch Times
China's cyberwar capabilities 'fairly limited,' says expert -- MSNBC
US points finger at China, Russia over cyber spying -- AFP
U.S. Intelligence Report Calls China World's Biggest Cyber Thief -- SFGate/Bloomberg
US Official Singles Out China, Russia on Cyber-Spying -- ABC News
China, Russia called out as cyberspy hotbeds -- The Register
Cyber-espionage attempts on US businesses are on rise -- Ars Technica
Russia and China accused of cyber espionage -- TG Daily
US Report Warns of Russia, China Cyber Spying -- PC World
Russia, China 'aggressive' cyberspies, U.S. report frets -- CNET

CSN Editor: The full report from the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive to Congress titled "Foreign Spies Stealing U.S. Economic Secrets in Cyberspace" can be read here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Chinese Cyber Attack Against Japan?

Japan's parliament building in Tokyo Photo: REUTERS

Japan Parliament Hit By China-Based Cyber Attack -- The Telegraph

Computers in Japan's lower house of parliament were hit by cyber-attacks from a server based in China that left information exposed for at least a month, according to reports.

Passwords and other information could have been compromised in the attacks, which began in July but were not reported to security authorities until the end of August, the Asahi Shimbun said, without citing sources.

Osamu Fujimara, Japan's government top spokesman, chief cabinet secretary and a lower house member, said he was not previously aware of the reported attack but that the government was investigating the issue.

Read more ....

More News On China's Cyber Attack Against Japan

Japanese government ambushed by Chinese Trojan horse attack -- Upbergizmo
Japan Lower House Servers, Lawmakers' PCs Hit By Cyber Attack -Report -- Wall Street Journal
Japanese government hit by Chinese Trojan horse attack -- The Next Web
Hackers May Have Stolen Sensitive Defense Info from Japan's Largest Weapons Supplier -- Daily Tech
Japan contractor hacking likely got military data: Asahi -- Reuters
Japanese Defence Ministry raises concerns about cyber breach at Mitsubishi Heavy -- Computer Weekly
Japanese military contractor hacked -- Passport/Foreign Policy

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Trends And Impact Of Population Growth

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
Sources: World Bank; U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, U.N. Global Forest Resources Assessment, 2010. Graphic: Dan Keating and Bill Webster/The Washington Post. Published on October 23, 2011, 8:55 p.m.

Population Growth Taxing Planet’s Resources -- Washington Post

Humans have mined resources from the remote and rocky coast of Peru and Chile for more than a century and a half, gathering the guano deposits of seabirds for fertilizer and gunpowder. Those seabirds flourished on anchoveta in the coastal waters, while Peruvians in the highlands ate the same fish as dried snacks.

Now fishing vessels haul 7.5 million tons of the small silvery fish out of the water every year. Almost all the catch is reduced to fish oil and fish meal, which is fed to pigs, poultry and salmon being raised thousands of miles away to satisfy demand in the industrialized and rapidly-growing developing world.

Read more ....

More News On Mankind Reaching The 7 Billion Population Mark

How Do You Get to 7 Billion People? -- Wall Street Journal
World population will more than double to 15billion by 2100, says UN -- Daily Mail
Crowded earth: Bursting at the seams -- News24
Halloween fright: 7 billion humans -- Mother Nature Network
The global population will reach 7 billion this month; here are 7 things you didn’t know -- Smart Planet
Spiralling population puts the planet at risk -- NZHerald
Why current population growth is costing us the Earth -- Roger Martin, The Guardian
Seven Billion -- Joel E. Cohen, New York Times