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Submission + - Failed Strut May Have Caused Space X Rocket Accident (

AaronW writes: According to CEO Elon Musk the failure of the Falcon 9 last June was caused by a failed strut that held a helium bottle inside the liquid oxygen tank. Elon said "One of those struts broke free during flight, so the helium bottle would have shot to the top of the tank at high speed." The strut, about two feet long and an inch thick was supplied by a 3rd party. Musk also said, "We are not going to use these particular struts in the future." He also said that they will test each strut in the future and will resume flights of the Falcon 9 "no sooner than September."

Submission + - Anthem Hacked, Millions of Records Downloaded Including SSNs.

AaronW writes: The second largest health insurer Anthem says hackers had access to its data between December 10th and January 27th, including names, medical IDs, social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses, birthdays, employment information (including income information) and more of subscribers, former subscribers and employees. Anthem has put up a web site about the hack along with a FAQ. It sounds like the only things the hackers did not have access to were credit cards and health history.

This breach affected all of their brands including Blue Cross, Blue Shield and others.

Anthem promises to send out letters to customers whose data was accessed and to provide free credit monitoring and identity protection services.

The attack is currently being investigated by the FBI.

The LA Times has an article here.

The FAQ can be found here.

Submission + - Scientists develop paint to help cool the planet (

AaronW writes: Engineers at Stanford University have developed an ultrathin, multilayered, nanophotonic material that not only reflects heat away from buildings but also directs internal heat away from the building using a system called "photonic radiative cooling." The coating is capable of reflecting away 97% of incoming sunlight and when combined with the photonic radiative cooling system it becomes cooler than the surrounding air by around 9F (5C). The material is designed to radiate heat into space at a precise frequency that allows it to pass through the atmosphere without warming it.

The material is designed to be cost effective for large-scale deployments.

Submission + - Researchers Closer to Industrial Graphene Production Due to $10 Bet (

AaronW writes: After trying and failing to convince Nina Kovtyukhona to test her technique of separating layers of graphite and boron nitride to instead try graphene, Thomas E. Mallouk made a bet with Nina that her technique method would work. If it worked, Nina would owe him $10. If it didn't, he would owe her $100. Thomas is now $10 richer and we are now a step closer to industrial scale graphene production.

Submission + - 3mm Inexpensive Chip Revolutionizes Electron Accelerators ( 1

AaronW writes: Scientists and engineers at the US DOE SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have discovered an advanced accelerator technology smaller than a grain of rice. It is currently accelerating electrons at 300 million volts per meter with a goal of achieving 1 billion EV per meter. It could do in 100 feet what the SLAC linear accelerator does in two miles and could achieve a million more electron pulses per second. This could lead to more compact accelerators and X-ray devices.

Submission + - Earth May Once Had Two Moons (

AaronW writes: According to a story at, Earth may once have had two moons. The smaller moon, estimated to be 750 miles (1200km) wide and only 4% of the mass of the larger moon, crashed into the far side of the larger moon which caused the features we see today on the moon. The surface of the far side of the moon is quite different than the side facing the earth, having a different composition and a much rougher terrain.

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise. -- Larry Wall