Interesting Tech

collection of interesting topics on tech

Mysterious molecules in space

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Over the vast, empty reaches of interstellar space, countless small molecules tumble quietly though the cold vacuum. Forged in the fusion furnaces of ancient stars and ejected into space when those stars exploded, these lonely molecules account for a significant amount of all the carbon, hydrogen, silicon and other atoms in the universe. In fact, some 20 percent of all the carbon in the universe is thought to exist as some form of interstellar molecule.

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‘Killer sperm’ prevents mating between worm species

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

The classic definition of a biological species is the ability to breed within its group, and the inability to breed outside it. For instance, breeding a horse and a donkey may result in a live mule offspring, but mules are nearly always sterile due to genomic incompatibility between the two species.

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Chinese smartphone makers win as market swells

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Chinese smartphone makers racked up big gains as the global market for Internet-linked handsets grew to record levels in the second quarter, International Data Corp said Tuesday.

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Full appeals court upholds labels on meat packages

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

(AP)—A federal appeals court has upheld new government rules that require labels on packaged steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

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Well: Rustle, Tingle, Relax: The Compelling World of A.S.M.R.

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Videos that evoke the tingling sensation of the “autonomous sensory meridian response” are popular on the Web, but scientists are only beginning to understand what might be involved.

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Poachers threaten new slaughter of South African elephants

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Rangers in South Africa’s Kruger national park, already struggling to cope with well-armed rhino poachers, said Tuesday they were preparing to face a new onslaught against the park’s elephants.

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Escaping email: Inspired vision or hallucination?

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

(AP)—Dustin Moskovitz is plotting an escape from email.

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Max Mosley sues Google over photos

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Ex-motorsport boss Max Mosley issues High Court proceedings against Google for publishing photos of him taken at a sex party.

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Bits Blog: The ‘Sharing Economy’ Goes White-Collar

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

In some ways, the new focus Uber and Airbnb are putting on business professionals is a risky maneuver as regulators have grown increasingly interested in how the services operate.

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Connected devices have huge security holes: study

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

The surge Web-connected devices—TVs, refrigerators, thermostats, door locks and more—has opened up huge opportunities for cyberattacks because of weak security, researchers said Thursday.

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BlackBerry to buy Germany’s Secusmart

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

(AP)—German voice and data encryption specialist Secusmart, which helps equip the German government with secure smartphones, says it’s being acquired by BlackBerry for an undisclosed sum.

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‘Quantum Cheshire Cat’ observed

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Scientists have separated a particle from one of its physical properties – proving a theory known as the "quantum Cheshire Cat".

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NASA sees warmer cloud tops as Tropical Storm Hernan degenerates

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Tropical Storm Hernan degenerated into a remnant low pressure area on July 29. Infrared imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed cloud tops were warming as the storm weakened.

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Microsoft, IBM make gains against Amazon in cloud services

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Microsoft and IBM are gaining momentum in the cloud infrastructure services market, putting pressure on Amazon and outpacing rival Google, according to a new study. While Amazon, the cloud market leader, retained its position, it can no longer claim to be bigger than its closest four competitors combined, noted a report from analyst firm Synergy Research Group.

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DealBook: Indian E-Commerce Firm Flipkart Raises Eye-Popping $1 Billion

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

The online marketplace confirmed on Tuesday that it had raised $1 billion in its latest round of fundraising, making it second only to Uber’s $1.2 billion round.

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Max Mosley sues Google over photos

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Ex-motorsport boss Max Mosley issues High Court proceedings against Google for publishing photos of him taken at a sex party.

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White House warns climate inaction could cost US billions

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Delaying efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could cost the US $150 billion per year, the White House warned Tuesday in a report on the economic consequences of inaction on climate change.

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Bits Blog: The ‘Sharing Economy’ Goes White-Collar

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

In some ways, the new focus Uber and Airbnb are putting on business professionals is a risky maneuver as regulators have grown increasingly interested in how the services operate.

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After early troubles, all go for Milky Way telescope

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

A billion-dollar telescope designed to provide the most detailed map yet of the Milky Way is ready to start work after teething problems, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Tuesday.

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Study on shallow artificial reefs offers clues to improving marine life habitat along Florida’s east coast

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

A newly completed seven-year collaborative research project by Jacksonville University, the Florida Institute of Technology and other research groups has the potential to have a large impact on marine life by improving artificial and natural reef management along Florida’s east coast.

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India’s Flipkart raises $1 bn to tackle Amazon

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

India’s top e-commerce company Flipkart said Tuesday it had raised $1 billion (60 billion rupees) in funds as it battles US giant Amazon for supremacy in the hyper-competitive local market.

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Audi tests its A7 driverless vehicle on Florida highway

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

German automaker Audi made use of a Florida law passed in 2012 that allows for testing driverless vehicles on Florida highways this past Sunday and Monday, by requesting a shutdown of Tampa’s Lee Roy Selmon Expressway—engineers ran the A7 driverless car through several real-world scenarios to test the cars’ abilities. The highway has been specifically designated as a test-bed site for such vehicles.

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London mulls pollution charge on diesel vehicles

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

London may introduce a charge on polluting diesel vehicles that enter the centre of the British capital, in a bid to meet EU rules, mayor Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.

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Major turtle nesting beaches protected in 1 of the UK’s far flung overseas territories

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

But on the remote UK overseas territory of Ascension Island, one of the world’s largest green turtle populations is undergoing something of a renaissance.

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Optimum inertial self-propulsion design for snowman-like nanorobot

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Scale plays a major role in locomotion. Swimming microorganisms, such as bacteria and spermatozoa, are subjected to relatively small inertial forces compared to the viscous forces exerted by the surrounding fluid. Such low-level inertia makes self-propulsion a major challenge. Now, scientists have found that the direction of propulsion made possible by such inertia is opposite to that induced by a viscoelastic fluid. These findings have been published in EPJ E by François Nadal from the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), in Le Barp, France, and colleagues. This study could help to optimise the design of self-propelled micro- and nanoscale artificial swimming machines to improve their mobility in medical applications.

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Car firms sued over CD ‘rip’ system

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

A group representing musicians in the US is suing Ford and General Motors over in-car CD players which allow tracks to be stored on a hard drive.

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Tough foam from tiny sheets

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Tough, ultralight foam of atom-thick sheets can be made to any size and shape through a chemical process invented at Rice University.

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Rare Sri Lankan leopards born in French zoo

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Two rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs have been born in a zoo in northern France, a boost for a sub-species that numbers only about 700 in the wild, the head of the facility said Tuesday.

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Android vulnerability allows malware to compromise most devices and apps

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

The majority of Android devices currently in use contain a vulnerability that allows malware to completely hijack installed apps and their data or even the entire device. The core problem is that Android fails to validate public key infrastructure certificate chains for app digital signatures, said Jeff Forristal, chief technology officer of Bluebox Security, a San Francisco company whose researchers discovered the issue.

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DealBook: Indian E-Commerce Firm Flipkart Raises Eye-Popping $1 Billion

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

The online marketplace confirmed on Tuesday that it had raised $1 billion in its latest round of fundraising, making it second only to Uber’s $1.2 billion round.

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The Quantum Cheshire Cat: Can neutrons be located at a different place than their own spin?

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

The Cheshire Cat featured in Lewis Caroll’s novel "Alice in Wonderland" is a remarkable creature: it disappears, leaving its grin behind. Can an object be separated from its properties? It is possible in the quantum world. In an experiment, neutrons travel along a different path than one of their properties – their magnetic moment. This "Quantum Cheshire Cat" could be used to make high precision measurements less sensitive to external perturbations.

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From ‘Finding Nemo’ to minerals—what riches lie in the deep sea?

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

As fishing and the harvesting of metals, gas and oil have expanded deeper and deeper into the ocean, scientists are drawing attention to the services provided by the deep sea, the world’s largest environment. "This is the time to discuss deep-sea stewardship before exploitation is too much farther underway," says lead-author Andrew Thurber. In a review published today in Biogeosciences, a journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU), Thurber and colleagues summarise what this habitat provides to humans, and emphasise the need to protect it.

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OKCupid experiments with ‘bad’ matches

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Dating website OKCupid reveals that it experimented on its users, including putting the "wrong" people together to see if they would connect.

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Japan wraps up Pacific whale hunt

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Japan announced Tuesday that it had wrapped up a whale hunt in the Pacific, the second campaign since the UN’s top court ordered Tokyo to halt a separate slaughter in the Antarctic.

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Alaska fisheries and communities at risk from ocean acidification

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Ocean acidification is driving changes in waters vital to Alaska’s valuable commercial fisheries and subsistence way of life, according to new NOAA-led research that will be published online in Progress in Oceanography.

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Oracle slashes Larry Ellison’s stock options

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Oracle has granted CEO Larry Ellison 3 million stock options, a significant reduction from the 7 million options he received in previous years, according to a regulatory filing. Other Oracle executives, such as co-presidents Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, were also awarded smaller stock option grants than in the past, other filings made Monday show. Each received 2.25 million stock options, compared to 5 million last year.

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Local education politics ‘far from dead’

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Teach for America, known for recruiting teachers, is also setting its sights on capturing school board seats across the nation. Surprisingly, however, political candidates from the program aren’t just pushing its national education agenda, they’re advancing local issues as well, according to a new study.

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Researchers uncover secrets of internal cell fine-tuning

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

New research from scientists at the University of Kent has shown for the first time how the structures inside cells are regulated – a breakthrough that could have a major impact on cancer therapy development.

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First grade reading suffers in segregated schools

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

A groundbreaking study from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) has found that African-American students in first grade experience smaller gains in reading when they attend segregated schools—but the students’ backgrounds likely are not the cause of the differences.

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Printing the metals of the future

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

3-D printers can create all kinds of things, from eyeglasses to implantable medical devices, straight from a computer model and without the need for molds. But for making spacecraft, engineers sometimes need custom parts that traditional manufacturing techniques and standard 3-D printers can’t create, because they need to have the properties of multiple metals. Now, researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are implementing a printing process that transitions from one metal or alloy to another in a single object.

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New research reveals Pele is powerful, even in the sky

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

One might assume that a tropical storm moving through volcanic smog (vog) would sweep up the tainted air and march on, unchanged. However, a recent study from atmospheric scientists at the University of Hawai’i – Mānoa (UHM) revealed that, though microscopic, gasses and particles from Kilauea volcano exerted an influence on Tropical Storm Flossie – affecting the formation of thunderstorms and lightning in the sizeable storm.

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Getting a jump on plant-fungal interactions

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Fungal plant pathogens may need more flexible genomes in order to fully benefit from associating with their hosts. Transposable elements are commonly found with genes involved in symbioses.

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Stem cell advance may increase efficiency of tissue regeneration

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

A new stem-cell discovery might one day lead to a more streamlined process for obtaining stem cells, which in turn could be used in the development of replacement tissue for failing body parts, according to UC San Francisco scientists who reported the findings in the current edition of Cell.

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Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Denmark attracted international attention in 2012 when archaeological excavations revealed the bones of an entire army, whose warriors had been thrown into the bogs near the Alken Enge wetlands in East Jutland after losing a major engagement in the era around the birth of Christ. Work has continued in the area since then and archaeologists and experts from Aarhus University, Skanderborg Museum and Moesgaard Museum have now made sensational new findings.

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Algae under threat from invasive fish

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Tropical fish invading temperate waters warmed as a result of climate change are overgrazing algae, posing a threat to biodiversity and some marine-based industries.

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DealBook: Indian E-Commerce Firm Flipkart Raises Eye-Popping $1 Billion

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

The online marketplace confirmed on Tuesday that it had raised $1 billion in its latest round of fundraising, making it second only to Uber’s $1.2 billion round.

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Turning bio-waste into hydrogen

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Whilst hydrogen cars look set to be the next big thing in an increasingly carbon footprint-aware society, sustainable methods to produce hydrogen are still in their early stages. The HYTIME project is working on a novel production process that will see green hydrogen being produced from grass, straw and food industry residues.

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Evolution in rainforest flies points to climate change survival

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Scientists believe some tropical species may be able to evolve and adapt to the effects of climate change.

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Android ID flaw exposes smartphones

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

A security firm warns of a flaw in the way Android ID checks apps that puts thousands of smartphones and tablets at risk.

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DealBook: Indian E-Commerce Firm Flipkart Raises Eye-Popping $1 Billion

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

The online marketplace confirmed on Tuesday that it had raised $1 billion in its latest round of fundraising, making it second only to Uber’s $1.2 billion round.

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Who believes compatibility ratings on dating websites?

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Who believes ratings on dating websites?

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China investigating Microsoft in monopoly case

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

(AP)—China’s anti-monopoly agency announced an investigation Tuesday of Microsoft Corp., stepping up regulatory pressure on foreign technology companies.

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Controlling water quality in the age of pollution and natural disasters

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Two years ago, Hurricane Sandy damaged more than 100 drinking water supply facilities and sewage treatment plants, leaving the state of New York, with an unexpected €2 billion bill to repair them. On the other side of the globe, drinking water even kilometres from the Fukushima power plant in Japan still is, today, a life gamble. In a time when natural disasters and pollution catastrophes seem to be happening at an increasing pace, how to make sure that tap water is always safe?

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Re-distribution of major tree species in British forests should begin soon

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Scientists at the University of Twente and at Forest Research, the research agency of the British Forestry Commission, used the UK Climate Projections 2009 data in models to show reduction in forest production by up to 42% by the 2080s due to climate change. The researchers studied three major tree species: spruce, pine, and oak, which together make up 59% of the British public forest area. Thanks to this new information, the forestry industry can anticipate by re-distributing tree species when restocking existing woodland or planting new woodland.

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Bid to save tiger threatened by poor data, says WWF

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Efforts to save the tiger are being undermined by a lack of information about how many of the endangered cats live in the wild, the conservation group WWF said on Tuesday.

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Pfizer’s 2Q profit sinks 79 pct but tops forecasts

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

(AP)—Pfizer’s second-quarter earnings plunged 79 percent from last year, when the world’s second-largest drugmaker booked a business spinoff gain of more than $10 billion. The latest results still edged analyst expectations.

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Aetna 2Q profit rises 2.4 percent

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Aetna’s second-quarter profit climbed more than 2 percent, as gains from an acquisition helped the health insurer beat analyst expectations and raise its 2014 earnings forecast again.

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Merck 2Q profit more than doubles

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

A big one-time gain and a tax benefit helped drugmaker Merck & Co. more than double its second-quarter profit, raise the lower end of its profit forecast and easily top analysts’ expectations.

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Europe makes final delivery run to space station

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Delivering fuel, food and a game of Pong for astronauts on the ISS, the final launch of the ATV prepares the European Space Agency for crewed moon missions

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Researchers examine population dynamics and disease in mountain lions

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

A Colorado State University research team is examining how illnesses are transmitted in mountain lion populations in an effort to manage future outbreaks of diseases, such as feline leukemia virus, that could threaten the species.

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Building the ideal rest stop for protons

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Where protons, or positive charges, decide to rest makes the difference between proceeding towards ammonia (NH3) production or not, according to scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Villanova University. By designing and examining the reactivity of five complexes with molybdenum metal centers, the team found that subtle differences in the complexes greatly change where the protons end up. The differences were in the structure of the ligands, molecular frameworks that surround the metal. When the ligands were more willing than a metal-bound dinitrogen group to take in a proton, the protons ended up binding with the molybdenum center, essentially ending up stuck in the wrong place. But when the ligands ability to accept protons was more closely matched with that of the dinitrogen group, the protons ended up going to the desired location for producing NH3.

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DNA find reveals new insights into the history of cattle in Europe

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

A research team from the University of Basel made a surprising find in a Neolithic settlement at the boarders of Lake Biel in Switzerland: The DNA of a cattle bone shows genetic traces of the European aurochs and thus adds a further facet to the history of cattle domestication. The journal Scientific Reports has published the results.

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A smart wristband for nocturnal cyclists

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Five EPFL PhD students have developed a wristband that flashes when the rider reaches out to indicate a turn. Their invention was recognized at a European competition.

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Excavated ship traced to Colonial-era Philadelphia

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Four years ago this month, archeologists monitoring the excavation of the former World Trade Center site uncovered a ghostly surprise: the bones of an ancient sailing ship. Tree-ring scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory were among those asked to analyze its remains for clues about its age and origins. In a study now out in the journal Tree Ring Research, the scientists say that an old growth forest in the Philadelphia area supplied the white oak used in the ship’s frame, and that the trees were probably cut in 1773 or so—a few years before the bloody war that established America’s independence from Britain.

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C’mon girls, let’s program a better tech industry

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Twitter is the latest tech company to reveal figures showing women are still underrepresented in the information and communication technology (ICT) workforce.

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What 6.9 million clicks tell us about how to fix online education (w/ Video)

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

The rise of online education and massively open online courses (MOOCs) have prompted much naysaying on their effectiveness, with detractors citing single-digit completion rates and short-lived pilot programs.

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Direct reaction heavy atoms to catalyst surface demonstrated

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Researchers from FOM Institute DIFFER are the first to have demonstrated that heavier atoms in a material surface can react directly with a surrounding gas. The so-called Eley-Rideal reaction has never previously been demonstrated for atoms heavier than hydrogen. The Eley-Rideal process requires less energy than a reaction between two atoms that are both attached to the material. The discovery could lead to more efficient catalysts for the production of synthetic fuel, for example. The researchers published the results on 29 July online in Physical Review Letters.

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Regulations only a first step in cutting emissions

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Intensifying calls for action on climate change have led to a variety of proposed regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions from specific sources of the economy, including, most recently, the environmental protection agency’s (EPA) rule on coal power plants. Examining the costs and effects of such regulatory approaches, MIT researchers found that source-specific regulations will reduce emissions, but not enough to substantially slow future climate change—and at a steep cost compared to price-based policies. However, if regulations are combined with a price-based policy further down the road, such a two-step approach would have significant benefits for climate, at a lower cost in the future than regulations alone.

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Cruising high seas, engineers detect fake GPS signals

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Cruising the Mediterranean aboard a superyacht, a Cornell professor and grad student took their Global Positioning System (GPS) research to the high seas. For four days in late June, they tested the newest version of their GPS "spoofing" detector, which allows them to differentiate between real or fake GPS signals – a technology that could lead to protection strategies against insidious GPS hackers.

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The five most poisonous substances

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

With the announcement of an inquiry into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, talk of poisons is back in the news. There are many articles with lists of the most poisonous substances, which are often gathered based on their acute toxicity as measured by something called LD50. But acute toxicity is only one factor that needs to be considered, and relying solely on LD50 or similar measures is overly simplistic.

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Why aren’t consumers buying remanufactured products?

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Firms looking to increase market share of remanufactured consumer products will have to overcome a big barrier to do so, according to a recent study from the Penn State Smeal College of Business. Findings from faculty members Meg Meloy and V. Daniel R. Guide Jr., indicate that consumers perceive many categories of remanufactured products as dirty and disgusting.

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New type of ransomware more sophisticated and harder to defeat

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

A new type of ransomware known simply as Onion, has been discovered by Russian based security firm Kaspersky Lab. To force victims to hand over money, the software encrypts stored data files and then uses Tor (anonymity network) to facilitate transfer of funds anonymously. Thus far, the ransomware appears to be restricted mostly to Windows users in Russia and other eastern European countries.

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Drought-stricken trees offer study platform for AgriLife Research scientists

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Severe drought across Texas since 2011 has produced a unique opportunity for Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists to gain a greater understanding of the decaying process of trees and the effects on the surrounding ecosystem.

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Image: NASA’s SDO observes a lunar transit

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

On July 26, 2014, from 10:57 a.m. to 11:42 a.m. EDT, the moon crossed between NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and the sun, a phenomenon called a lunar transit.

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Expecting to teach enhances learning, recall

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

People learn better and recall more when given the impression that they will soon have to teach newly acquired material to someone else, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Image: Tethys in sunlight

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Tethys, like many moons in the solar system, keeps one face pointed towards the planet around which it orbits. Tethys’ anti-Saturn face is seen here, fully illuminated, basking in sunlight. On the right side of the moon in this image is the huge crater Odysseus.

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Facebook to require Messenger app for mobile chat

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

If you like to send messages via Facebook when you’re on the move, get ready to download a new app. Facebook confirmed Monday that it will be removing the messaging feature from its mobile app over the next few days, and requiring people to use its stand-alone Messenger app instead.

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Contrary to image, city politicians do adapt to voters according to study

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Political scientists have long wondered whether city governments in the United States are really responsive to their voters. Aren’t local governments simply mired in machine politics, or under the sway of local big-money interests? Does ideology matter?

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Tropical tempests take encouragement from environment

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Mix some warm ocean water with atmospheric instability and you might have a recipe for a cyclone. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Atlanta Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory found that the intensity of post-monsoon tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal has increased over the 30-year period from 1981-2010. The culprit? Trending increases in certain environmental conditions that brew up these storms: increased sea surface and upper ocean temperatures and atmospheric instability. These particular changes are prominent in the eastern Bay of Bengal where the strongest tropical cyclones have traditionally formed.

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Privacy groups call for action to stop Facebook’s off site user tracking plans

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

U.S. and EU privacy and consumer groups called on privacy regulators to stop Facebook’s plans to gather the Internet browsing patterns of its users while they visit other sites.

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Cagey material acts as alcohol factory

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Some chemical conversions are harder than others. Refining natural gas into an easy-to-transport, easy-to-store liquid alcohol has so far been a logistic and economic challenge. But now, a new material, designed and patented by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), is making this process a little easier. The research, published earlier this year in Nature Chemistry, could pave the way for the adoption of cheaper, cleaner-burning fuels.

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3D printing helps designers build a better brick

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Using 3-D printing and advanced geometry, a team at Cornell has developed a new kind of building material – interlocking ceramic bricks that are lightweight, need no mortar and make efficient use of materials.

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First metatranscriptome of bee gut finds 19 different bacterial phyla

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

The digestive tract of the world’s most important agricultural pollinator, the honey bee, is a complex fermenting tank that serves up energy-providing short-chain fatty acids thanks to a host of microbial groups that reside in what an Indiana University biologist has described as an intensely intertwined and entangled microbiome.

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Dinosaurs doing well before asteroid impact

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

A new analysis of fossils from the last years of the dinosaurs concludes that extra-terrestrial impact was likely the sole cause of extinction in most cases.

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Long-lived Mars Opportunity rover sets off-world driving record

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving. The previous record was held by the Soviet Union’s Lunokhod 2 rover.

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Communication-optimal algorithms for contracting distributed tensors

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Tensor contractions, generalized matrix multiplications that are time-consuming to calculate, make them among the most compute-intensive operations in several ab initio computational quantum chemistry methods. In this work, scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and The Ohio State University developed a systematic framework that uses three fundamental communication operators—recursive broadcast, rotation, and reduction, or RRR,—to derive communication-efficient algorithms for distributed contraction of arbitrary dimensional tensors on the IBM Blue Gene/Q Mira supercomputer. The framework automatically models potential space-performance trade-offs to optimize the communication costs incurred in executing tensor contractions on supercomputers. The paper documenting this work, "Communication-optimal Framework for Contracting Distributed Tensors," is a SC14 Best Paper award finalist.

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Testbed will help clouds and networks shake hands

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

A network testbed being constructed just south of San Francisco will help carriers and vendors develop standards for better cloud services, the CloudEthernet Forum says. The group’s OpenCloud Project, announced on Monday, will combine commonly used networking and computing equipment with live traffic from service providers’ commercial networks. It’s the first place researchers will be able to test new technologies designed to make cloud services more reliable and easier to set up and manage.

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Mobile devices to get faster LP-DDR4 memory next year

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Thanks to the rise of mobile gaming and 4K video, LP-DDR4 memory will reach smartphones and tablets close to two years earlier than expected, an analyst said. The first mobile devices with LP-DDR4 will arrive next year, and the technology will go mainstream in 2016, said Mike Howard, a senior principal analyst at IHS.[ Keep up on the day's tech news headlines with InfoWorld's Today's Headlines: Wrap Up newsletter. ]

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Onset of puberty in female bonobos precedes that of chimpanzees

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Puberty is the threshold between childhood and adulthood. Behavior and appearance change considerably during this period – not only in humans but also in our closest relatives, the great apes. In a current study researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have investigated at which age bonobos and chimpanzees, the closest living relatives of humans, enter puberty. In order to determine the onset of puberty the researchers measured the concentration of the hormone testosterone which rapidly increases when male and female primates reach sexual maturity.

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Cassini spacecraft reveals 101 geysers and more on icy Saturn moon

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

Scientists using mission data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have identified 101 distinct geysers erupting on Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus. Their analysis suggests it is possible for liquid water to reach from the moon’s underground sea all the way to its surface.

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Psychedelic cells are fruit of Alan Turing’s equations

Written By: admin - Jul• 30•14

It looks like living cells – but this image evolved in a computer following an algorithm based on Alan Turing’s ideas about the patterns on animals’ bodies

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Next-generation Thirty Meter Telescope begins construction in Hawaii

Written By: admin - Jul• 29•14

Following the approval of a sublease on July 25 by the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) announces the beginning of the construction phase on Hawaii Island and around the world throughout the TMT international partnership. Contingent on that decision, the TMT International Observatory (TIO) Board of Directors, the project’s new governing body, recently approved the initial phase of construction, with activities near the summit of Mauna Kea scheduled to start later this year.

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NASA-funded X-ray instrument settles interstellar debate

Written By: admin - Jul• 29•14

New findings from a NASA-funded instrument have resolved a decades-old puzzle about a fog of low-energy X-rays observed over the entire sky. Thanks to refurbished detectors first flown on a NASA sounding rocket in the 1970s, astronomers have now confirmed the long-held suspicion that much of this glow stems from a region of million-degree interstellar plasma known as the local hot bubble, or LHB.

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A transistor-like amplifier for single photons

Written By: admin - Jul• 29•14

Data transmission over long distances usually utilizes optical techniques via glass fibres – this ensures high speed transmission combined with low power dissipation of the signal. For quite some years possibilities have been explored how to go one step further and perform all-optical data processing, with optical transistors and optical logic gates. In particular in the case of quantum information this option would be highly recommendable as the information is often stored in faint light pulses which – at the ultimate limit – contain a single photon only. A team around Professor Gerhard Rempe, Leader of the Quantum Dynamics Division and Director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, has now made a kind of optical transistor using a cloud of ultracold rubidium atoms. With this new device they observed a twentyfold amplification of signal variations at the one-photon level.

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Microsoft in China anti-trust probe

Written By: admin - Jul• 29•14

An anti-monopoly investigation into US technology giant Microsoft is launched by Chinese authorities.

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White House Report Presses Economic Case for Carbon Rule

Written By: admin - Jul• 29•14

Failing to reduce carbon pollution could cost the United States economy $150 billion a year, the Council of Economic Advisers said.

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Docker: The first true devops tool?

Written By: admin - Jul• 29•14

Credit: Docker

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London mayor expected to say city will rock 5G by 2020

Written By: admin - Jul• 29•14

London mayor Boris Johnson this week will pledge to bring 5G to London in the next six years, reported The Telegraph on Monday. The pledge is part of a more extensive plan for London’s infrastructure between now and 2050. The scheme is also part of a collaboration with the University of Surrey. Mayors of cities typically like to underscore something unique or superior about their place and in Johnson’s case, he is emphatic about showing off London’s full promise vis a vis digital connectivity. The delivery of 5G would also make London the site of the world’s first major 5G mobile network deployment.

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Illuminating the dark side of the genome

Written By: admin - Jul• 29•14

Almost 50 percent of our genome is made up of highly repetitive DNA, which makes it very difficult to be analysed. In fact, repeats are discarded in most genome-wide studies and thus, insights into this part of the genome remained limited. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI-IE) in Freiburg now succeeded in examining this dark side of the genome. Their analyses revealed that repeat-associated heterochromatin is essential to repress retrotransposons and thereby protects the genomic integrity of stem cells. This work opens the way for future genome-wide analyses of repetitive regions in the genome and is in line with newly emerging functions for heterochromatin.

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Minorities aren’t well represented in environmental groups, study says

Written By: admin - Jul• 29•14

Minorities and people of color have not managed to break the "green ceiling" inside environmental organizations, and remain underrepresented on their staffs, according to a report released Monday.

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