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Technical (News/Activism)

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  • Seeing cells under stress

    09/18/2012 7:42:06 AM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 17 September 2012 | Jennifer Newton
    The assembly includes a cell-stretching device, an atomic force microscopy head and an objective of the inverted microscopeAn analytical platform that imposes controlled mechanical strain onto live cells whilst monitoring changes in cell morphology and molecular signalling has been developed by scientists in Germany. Cellular processes induced by mechanical forces are crucial for bone healing and lung function. Understanding these processes could help to prevent and aid the development of therapies for mechanically induced lung and cardiovascular diseases and injuries.Christine Kranz and colleagues from the University of Ulm combined fluorescence microscopy with atomic force microscopy to analyse the cells. They...
  • Civilian 'hacktivists' fighting terrorists online

    09/18/2012 1:43:44 AM PDT · by THE UNDISPUTED TRUTH · 27 replies
    phys.org, physorg.com ^ | Brian Bennett
    Working from a beige house at the end of a dirt road, Jeff Bardin switches on a laptop, boots up a program that obscures his location, and pecks in a passkey to an Internet forum run by an Iraqi branch of al-Qaida. Soon the screen displays battle flags and AK-47 rifles, plus palm-lined beaches to conjure up a martyr's paradise. "I do believe we are in," says Bardin, a stout, 54-year-old computer security consultant. Barefoot in his bedroom, Bardin pretends to be a 20-something Canadian who wants to train in a militant camp in Pakistan. With a few keystrokes, he...
  • Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

    09/17/2012 10:28:10 AM PDT · by justlurking · 144 replies
    SPACE.com ^ | 2012-09-17 | Clara Moskowitz
    A warp drive to achieve faster-than-light travel — a concept popularized in television's Star Trek — may not be as unrealistic as once thought, scientists say. A warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre, however subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy. Now physicists say that adjustments can be made to the proposed warp drive that would...
  • TNT for top guns

    09/14/2012 10:07:42 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 14 September 2012 | Laura Howes
    A short exposure, small aperture shot of the TNT formulation burning. The purple colour is down to the potassium perchlorate © WileyIt might seem counterintuitive but one way of making decoy flares for fighter planes better and safer is to make them out of TNT, say European scientists.Decoy flares are pyrotechnic devices shot out of aeroplanes to confuse heat seeking missiles. For the simpler missiles a hot flame will suffice but technology is always improving and advanced missiles now look for the tell tale signatures of water and carbon dioxide to distinguish between a plane and a flare. Of course,...
  • Atomic bond types discernible in single-molecule images

    09/14/2012 7:55:26 PM PDT · by neverdem · 33 replies
    BBC News ^ | 13 September 2012 | Jason Palmer
    A pioneering team from IBM in Zurich has published single-molecule images so detailed that the type of atomic bonds between their atoms can be discerned. The same team took the first-ever single-molecule image in 2009 and more recently published images of a molecule shaped like the Olympic rings. The new work opens up the prospect of studying imperfections in the "wonder material" graphene or plotting where electrons go during chemical reactions. The images are published in Science. The team, which included French and Spanish collaborators, used a variant of a technique called atomic force microscopy, or AFM. AFM uses a...
  • Microwave weapons: Wasted energy

    09/14/2012 12:27:13 AM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies
    NATURE NEWS ^ | 12 September 2012 | Sharon Weinberger
    Despite 50 years of research on high-power microwaves, the US military has yet to produce a usable weapon. For some Pentagon officials, the demonstration in October 2007 must have seemed like a dream come true — an opportunity to blast reporters with a beam of energy that causes searing pain. The event in Quantico, Virginia, was to be a rare public showing for the US Air Force's Active Denial System: a prototype non-lethal crowd-control weapon that emits a beam of microwaves at 95 gigahertz. Radiation at that frequency penetrates less than half a millimetre into the skin, so the beam...
  • Super-stretchy jelly can take a hit - Mix-and-match hydrogel is most resilient yet.

    09/08/2012 2:00:12 PM PDT · by neverdem · 15 replies
    NATURE NEWS ^ | 05 September 2012 | Katharine Sanderson
    Your eyes aren’t deceiving you — you just watched a metal ball bounce off a sliver of jelly. But you wouldn’t put this jelly in a sherry trifle: it is a sophisticated hydrogel developed by Zhigang Suo, a materials engineer at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his colleagues1. A hydrogel is a network of polymers that soaks up lots of water to form a jelly-like material. But most shatter easily and don’t stretch far without breaking. Some of the toughest hydrogels are used to make soft contact lenses, and researchers want to make them more robust, for use in...
  • IU mathematician offers unified theory of dark matter, dark energy, altering Einstein field...

    09/08/2012 1:36:57 PM PDT · by neverdem · 21 replies
    Indiana University ^ | Sept. 6, 2012 | NA
    IU mathematician offers unified theory of dark matter, dark energy, altering Einstein field equations BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A pair of mathematicians -- one from Indiana University and the other from Sichuan University in China -- have proposed a unified theory of dark matter and dark energy that alters Einstein's equations describing the fundamentals of gravity. Shouhong Wang, a professor in the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Mathematics, and Tian Ma, a professor at Sichuan University, suggest the law of energy and momentum conservation in spacetime is valid only when normal matter, dark matter and dark energy are...
  • New high-tech airships are rising in Southern California

    09/01/2012 7:40:17 PM PDT · by mandaladon · 48 replies
    LA TIMES ^ | 1 Sep 2012 | W.J. Hennigan,
    Not since the waning days of World War II have the mammoth wooden blimp hangars at the former military base in Tustin seen as much airship manufacturing work as they do today. Inside the 17-story structures that rise above southern Orange County, Worldwide Aeros Corp. is building a blimp-like airship designed for the military to carry tons of cargo to remote areas around the world. "Nobody has ever tried to do what we're doing here," Chief Executive Igor Pasternak said of the 265-foot skeleton being transformed into the cargo airship. "This will revolutionize airship technology." Residents of Southern California are...
  • New Trojan Backdoor Malware Targets Mac OS X And Linux, Steals Passwords And Keystrokes

    09/01/2012 8:34:42 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 19 replies
    Forbes ^ | 8-31-2012 | Anthony WIng Kosner
    Russian anti-virus software maker Doctor Web, has identified, “The first Trojan in history to steal Linux and Mac OS X passwords.” BackDoor.Wirenet.1, is the first Trojan Horse program that works on the Mac OS X and Linux platforms that is, “designed to steal passwords stored by a number of popular Internet applications.” The company, which sells anti-virus software that, conveniently, protects you against the malware they are identifying, explains that, “When launched, it creates its copy in the user’s home directory. The program uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to communicate with its control server whose address is 212.7.208.65.” The...
  • Tokyo Court Hands Win to Samsung Over Apple

    09/01/2012 6:22:13 AM PDT · by SmokingJoe · 6 replies
    New York Times ^ | August 31, 2012 | By HIROKO TABUCHI and NICK WINGFIELD
    TOKYO — A Japanese court on Friday rejected patent claims made by Apple against Samsung, a victory for the company after its crushing defeat in the United States last week and a reminder of the global scope of the patent war between the two technology giants. While Apple prevailed over Samsung in the United States, winning an award of $1 billion in damages from a federal jury, the two companies remain neck-and-neck in legal disputes in almost a dozen countries. A judge in South Korea, where Samsung is based, for example, handed down a split decision in a patent case...
  • Nanotechnology: Armed resistance

    08/29/2012 10:04:36 PM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies
    Nature ^ | 29 August 2012 | Leigh Phillips
    Nature assesses the aftermath of a series of nanotechnology-lab bombings in Mexico — and asks how the country became a target of eco-anarchists. The shoe-box-sized package was addressed to Armando Herrera Corral. It stated that he was the recipient of an award and it was covered in official-looking stamps. Herrera, a computer scientist at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico City, shook the box a number of times, and something solid jiggled inside. What could it be? He was excited and a little nervous — so much so, that he walked down the hall to the...
  • The Facts Behind the Frack - Scientists weigh in on the hydraulic fracturing debate

    08/30/2012 12:46:46 AM PDT · by neverdem · 20 replies
    Science News ^ | September 8th, 2012 | Rachel Ehrenberg
    To call it a fractious debate is an understatement. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, wrenches open rock deep beneath the Earth's surface, freeing the natural gas that's trapped inside. Proponents argue that fracking-related gas recovery is a game changer, a bridge to the renewable energy landscape of the future. The gas, primarily methane, is cheap and relatively clean. Because America is brimful of the stuff, harvesting the fuel via fracking could provide the country jobs and reduce its dependence on foreign sources of energy. But along with these promises have come alarming local incidents and national reports of blowouts, contamination and...
  • Apple vs. Samsung verdict: It doesn't matter

    08/24/2012 6:39:02 PM PDT · by SmokingJoe · 6 replies
    Zdnet ^ | August 24, 2012 | Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
    The jury in Apple vs. Samsung, doubtlessly eager to be out by the weekend, rushed their way through the approximately 26 pages and 55 questions of their instructions and decided that Samsung did indeed violate some of Apple's patents just over a billion bucks. Impressive? Not really. This is not the end. This verdict doesn't even matter in the long run. This was just another clash. This case was going to be appealed, no matter who won, the second it started. This is just one more encounter on the case's way to the Supreme Court. Samsung has lost this skirmish,...
  • What Does Apple's Patent Trial Victory Over Samsung Mean To You? Nothing.

    08/24/2012 6:29:32 PM PDT · by SmokingJoe · 9 replies
    Forbes ^ | 8/24/2012 | Robert Hof,
    Apple scored a big victory in its smartphone patent infringement case vs. Samsung late Friday afternoon as a jury awarded the victor $1.05 billion in damages. But does the closely watched verdict mean anything to consumers? No–at least not for now. Why? * This case no doubt will be appealed. That means little is likely to change anytime soon, at least until Apple files for injunctions against the Samsung products involved. And those are by no means all of Samsung’s products, let alone other Android smartphones. You won’t have to surrender your Samsung smartphones or tablets or worry that some...
  • Samsung v. Apple: The (South Korean) verdict is in

    08/24/2012 6:06:47 PM PDT · by SmokingJoe
    CNN ^ | August 24th, 2012 | CNN
    (CNN) – A South Korea court ruled that both Apple and Samsung violated each other’s patents, in a case that mimics legal battles between the electronics giants around the world. The Seoul District Court ruled that Samsung must pay $33,350 for infringing two of the intellectual property rights for Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Apple was found to have infringed Samsung’s Wi-Fi technology, and must pay $22,000 in damages. The court banned sales in South Korea of Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad 2, Samsung’s Galaxy SII and Galaxy Nexus smartphones and Galaxy Tab and Galaxy 10.1 tablet computers. Both Samsung and...
  • Samsung keeps prior art parade marching against Apple

    08/14/2012 6:00:08 PM PDT · by SmokingJoe · 19 replies
    CNET ^ | August 14, 2012 | Josh Lowensohn
    Samsung today brought out early technology relics in hopes of busting Apple's design patents for the iPhone and iPad — the very ones Apple has pointed at it like howitzers. The South Korean technology giant called upon a pair of experts — one in person, another by video deposition — to make the case that others had beaten Apple to the punch, effectively rendering those patents useless. Samsung’s argument relied mainly on foreign patent designs and an early prototype for a tablet that never made it into commercial production. However, Samsung also brought out a real product, Hewlett-Packard’s TC1000...
  • Robot Will Harvest Your Crops

    08/10/2012 11:34:47 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 22 replies
    Design News ^ | 08/10/12 | Elizabeth Montalbano
    A multinational engineering project aims to create an intelligent robotics platform that can identify and harvest specific types of crops to help foster sustainable agriculture. The Clever Robots for Crops (CROPS) project -- a collaboration between universities from a number of countries -- is working on technology for a modular intelligent sensing and manipulation platform to harvest so-called “high value” crops, such as vegetables grown in a greenhouse, greenhouse vegetables, orchard fruits, and grapes used in making premium wines, according to the project’s Website. The design goals of the project include creating a robotic platform intelligent enough to specifically spray...
  • Terminal Ballistics as Viewed in a Morgue (an oldie but goodie)

    08/10/2012 10:44:12 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 94 replies
    Mouseguns.com ^ | 7/13/06 | Deadmeat2
    Terminal Ballistics as Viewed in a Morgue One of the benefits of working in a morgue is that I get to see what works and what doesn't. Ballistic gelatin is good as far as it goes, but there's nothing like seeing what a bullet actually does once it strikes bone, flesh, and organs. Suffice it to say, it doesn't always mimic ballistic gelatin. The other is that I get to hear some great CCW stories. Here's one of them: A recently-married couple living in one of the less desirable sections of Atlanta decided that for safety purposes they should get...
  • Stem-cell pioneer banks on future therapies - Japanese researcher plans cache of induced stem...

    08/10/2012 12:29:09 AM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Nature News ^ | 07 August 2012 | David Cyranoski
    Japanese researcher plans cache of induced stem cells to supply clinical trials. Progress toward stem-cell therapies has been frustratingly slow, delayed by research challenges, ethical and legal barriers and corporate jitters. Now, stem-cell pioneer Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan plans to jump-start the field by building up a bank of stem cells for therapeutic use. The bank would store dozens of lines of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, putting Japan in an unfamiliar position: at the forefront of efforts to introduce a pioneering biomedical technology. A long-held dream of Yamanaka’s, the iPS Cell Stock project received a boost...