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+ - Bringing Back Quality Science Kits->

Submitted by Harris-Educational
Harris-Educational (578170) writes "Big Box Stores and others have "science kits" but in many cases they are cheap, throw-away, with poor (if any) instructions. Most are not made in the USA. Parents will spend $50+ on a video game but what about spending $50+ on a quality and inspiring educational experience (and sharing that experience with their children). Some kids today are lucky and are able to play with micro-controllers, PC's on a chip, and 3D printers but how many of them know the basics and can troubleshoot a circuit when something goes wrong? Do they really understand their technological building blocks?

Harris Educational (a small "Maker Business") is working to change all that for the better by launching 'Reinventing Science' kits that hearken back to the great science kits of the 50's and 60's like those made by A.C. Gilbert, REMCO, and others. One example is "Reinventing Edison: Build your own Light Bulb" in which experimenters work with a vacuum chamber and build a working incandescent light bulb like Edison and Swan did. These kits won "Best in Class" and an "Editor's Choice" awards at World Maker Faire in New York last week and will be on display again on October 4th and 5th at Maker Faire Atlanta. In addition to Harris Educational's Kickstarter (also working to raise money to launch an educational maker space in Burlington NC) Harris Educational is also a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made awards Is our society ready to invest again in quality hands-on STEM education like it did during the Space Race?"

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+ - The Raid-Proof Hosting Technology Behind 'The Pirate Bay'

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Ernesto reports at TorrentFreak that despite its massive presence the Pirate Bay doesn't have a giant server park but operates from the cloud, on virtual machines that can be quickly moved if needed. The site uses 21 “virtual machines” (VMs) hosted at different providers, up four machines from two years ago, in part due to the steady increase in traffic. Eight of the VM's are used for serving the web pages, searches take up another six machines, and the site’s database currently runs on two VMs. The remaining five virtual machines are used for load balancing, statistics, the proxy site on port 80, torrent storage and for the controller. In total the VMs use 182 GB of RAM and 94 CPU cores. The total storage capacity is 620 GB. One interesting aspect of The Pirate Bay is that all virtual machines are hosted with commercial cloud hosting providers, who have no clue that The Pirate Bay is among their customers. "Moving to the cloud lets TPB move from country to country, crossing borders seamlessly without downtime. All the servers don’t even have to be hosted with the same provider, or even on the same continent." All traffic goes through the load balancer, which masks what the other VMs are doing. This also means that none of the IP-addresses of the cloud hosting providers are publicly linked to TPB. For now, the most vulnerable spot appears to be the site’s domain. Just last year TPB burnt through five separate domain names due to takedown threats from registrars. But then again, this doesn’t appear to be much of a concern for TPB as the operators have dozens of alternative domain names standing by."

+ - Egypt's Oldest Pyramid is Being Destroyed by its Own Restoration Team->

Submitted by Taffykay
Taffykay (2047384) writes "The oldest pyramid in Egypt, the Pyramid of Djoserat Saqqara, is being destroyed by the very company the Egyptian government has hired to restore it. The roughly 4,600-year-old structure has been in trouble since an earthquake hit the region in 1992, but in a difficult political and economic climate for the country, those now tasked with preserving the pyramid are said to be doing more harm than good."
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Comment: Re:It's a proxy for needing to revamp the post sys (Score 1) 215

by BDeblier (#47804805) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

In Belgium we've got this: https://www.bpack247.be/. Part of the normal postal service. Basically you get a card with a barcode (to be scanned at the machine) and a pin code. A growing number of online stores will ship to these. Convenient if you're never at home during normal delivery hours. Since I pass through a train station equipped with one of these every evening, my problem's solved.

+ - Saturn's F Ring Is Now Three Times As Wide As During The Voyager Flybys

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "In 1980 and 1981, Voyager 1 and 2 flew past Saturn providing unprecedented images of its magnificent ring system. At that time, its most distant discrete ring, the F ring, was about 200 kilometres wide. But puzzlingly, images sent back by Cassini show that the ring is now 580 kilometres wide and twice as bright as it was thirty years ago. Now astronomers think they have finally solved the mystery of the expanding F ring. The ring is shepherded by a number of small moons, the most famous of which is Prometheus. These moons interact gravitationally with the ring creating structures such as braids and spokes. The new thinking is that the moons' orbits resonate with the F ring, pushing clouds of dust and ice further away from Saturn. This makes the ring wider. But beyond a certain radius the orbit of the dust becomes unstable and it begins to spiral back towards Saturn and collides with the rest of the ring. This causes a chain reaction of collisions that dramatically increases the number of particles in the ring and hence its brightness. This theory also leads to a prediction--the resonant process is currently at a maximum but should reduce sharply in the coming years, if the theory is correct. So by 2018, the F ring should be back to the same configuration the Voyagers saw in 80/81."

+ - gcc LTO reduces firefox package size by 50%-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Link Time Optimization used to be a lot of promise for little gain, and typically unable to deal with packages in the MSLOC range. Seemingly no longer. Reported in gcc's bugzilla is an impressive result for firefox:
'Firefox since version 30 as well as Thunderbird since version 31 both compile fine with LTO enabled without the need of any additional patches. The package size was reduced by 51% (firefox ~420MB -> ~207MB) and 59% (thunderbird ~480MB -> ~200MB). Both programs work as intended, no crashes or unexpected behaviour so far.'
Has time come to rebuild the world using LTO ?"

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+ - What happens when the Universe's largest objects meet their twins?

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "You can imagine all sorts of objects in the Universe, from the very low mass like meteoroids to planets, stars, and even incredibly dense ones like white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. But what happens to these different classes of object when you allow them to merge with another object that could pass for its identical twin? The answers are varied and spectacular and show us all sorts of things about the Universe, from blue stragglers to supernovae to gamma-ray bursts and more!"

+ - Fossils of Cambrian predator preserved with brain impressions

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers on Wednesday described fossilized remains unearthed in China showing in fine detail the brain structures of a bizarre group of sea creatures that were the top predators more than half a billion years ago. The 520-million-year-old creature, one of the first predators of its day, sported compound eyes, body armor and two spiky claws for grabbing prey. "The animals of the Cambrian are noted for being a collection of oddballs that are sometimes difficult to match up with anything currently living on Earth. But even among these oddities, Anomalocarids stand out (as their name implies). The creatures propelled themselves with a series of oar-like paddles arranged on their flanks, spotted prey with enormous compound eyes, and shoveled them into a disk-like mouth with large arms that resided at the very front of their bodies—although some of them ended up as filter feeders.""

+ - Satellite reboot is about reconnecting with an old friend->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "His wife calls him an egotist, NASA calls him a genius, and his friends call him a sore loser and insufferable winner.

Bob Farquhar says they're all right.

"I not only want to get things done, I want to be in your face at the end," the 82-year-old spaceflight engineer said. "And yes, I have a big ego, but it's not as big as Buzz Aldrin's."

The former Army paratrooper with a Stanford PhD is legendary for making spacecraft do things once thought impossible, and maybe even unwise. The only rules he followed faithfully during his 23 years at NASA were the laws of physics.

After years of lobbying NASA, he and a group of self-described space cowboys have won permission to be the first privately organized group to take control of a retired government satellite and change its orbit.

And it's not just any satellite: Farquhar helped send the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 into space 36 years ago — at 12 minutes and 12 seconds after the hour on Aug. 12."

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+ - Why is long term storage so miserably slow - even SSDs?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Using data from the /. post earlier...about the fastest an SSD will spin data off is 550MB/s. Considering that some 8TB SSD drives are coming soon (http://gadgets.ndtv.com/laptops/news/sandisk-unveils-4tb-ssd-says-6tb-and-8tb-ssds-are-due-next-year-1-518516) — even with the speed of 550MB/s — it will take about 4 hours to spool off. Back in "the day" you could back up a system in about an hour...why hasn't the speed of mass storage kept up?"
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+ - In 1972, Scientists Discovered a 2 Billion-Year-Old Nuclear Reactor in W Africa

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "In June 1972, nuclear scientists at the Pierrelatte uranium enrichment plant in south-east France noticed a strange deficit in the amount of uranium-235 they were processing. That’s a serious problem in a uranium enrichment plant where every gram of fissionable material has to be carefully accounted for. The ensuing investigation found that the anomaly originated in the ore from the Oklo uranium mine in Gabon, which contained only 0.600% uranium-235 compared to 0.7202% for all other ore on the planet. It turned out that this ore was depleted because it had gone critical some 2 billion years earlier, creating a self-sustaining nuclear reaction that lasted for 300,000 years and using up the missing uranium-235 in the process. Since then, scientists have studied this natural reactor to better understand how buried nuclear waste spreads through the environment and also to discover whether the laws of physics that govern nuclear reactions may have changed in the 1.5 billion years since the reactor switched off. Now a review of the science that has come out of Oklo shows how important this work has become but also reveals that there is limited potential to gather more data. After an initial flurry of interest in Oklo, mining continued and the natural reactors--surely among the most extraordinary natural phenomena on the planet-- have all been mined out."

+ - Tunlr DNS service has closed down 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Tunlr is a DNS service that enables people outside the USA to access services like Netflix and HuluPlus. However, a visit to http://tunlr.net/ now brings up the following message:

Tunlr Has Left The Building...
A little over two years ago we started Tunlr as a fun project. It was a steep but interesting learning curve and we've developed many ideas, skills and code snippets which we will be of use in future projects.

However, while preparing the paid plans we recognized that we had no desire to run Tunlr as a paid service. Running Tunlr as a good-quality and reliable, paid service requires more time than we're willing to devote to the cause. We didn't want Tunlr to become one of the many mediocre DNS unblocking services available on the market today. That's why we pulled the plug. None of your account data will be shared, all account data has been destroyed...."
Earth

+ - Mysterious Sprite Photographed by ISS Astronaut->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "A very rare and beautiful view of a red sprite has been photographed by Expedition 31 astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) hovering just above a bright flash of lightning in a thunderstorm over Myanmar. First documented in a photo in 1989, red sprites are very brief flashes of optical activity that are associated with powerful lightning discharges in storms — although the exact mechanisms that create them aren't yet known. But the orbiting outpost seems like the perfect vantage point to learn more about them!"
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Privacy

+ - NY Couple on "Wanted" Poster for Filming Police

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Ben Fractenberg and Jeff Mays write that the NYPD has created a "wanted" poster for a Harlem couple who film cops conducting stop-and-frisks and post the videos on YouTube — branding them "professional agitators" who portray cops in a bad light and listing their home address. The flyer featuring side-by-side mugshots of Matthew Swaye and Christina Gonzalez and the couple's home address was taped to a podium outside a public hearing room in the 30th Precinct house and warns officers to be on guard against them. The couple has filmed officers stopping and frisking and arresting young people of color in Harlem and around New York City, which they post on Gonzalez's YouTube account. They said their actions are legal. "There have been times when it's gotten combative. There have been times when they [police officers] have videoed Christina," says Swaye. "But if we were breaking the law they would have arrested us." Swaye was part of a group of advocates including Cornel West who were detained at the 28th Precinct in Harlem in October for protesting the stop-and-frisk policy which Mayor Bloomberg strongly defends. Gonzalez and Swaye see the flyer as an effort to "discredit" and "shame" them for protesting what they feel is a civil rights issue, while also potentially endangering them by putting their home address on the flyer. "I saw it immediately and was kind of blown away," says Swaye, "It was designed to show us as people who are not trustworthy or safe.""

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik

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