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+ - Seed from ancient extinct plant planted and brought back to life

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Israeli scientists have successfully gotten a 2000-year-old seed of an extinct date plant to grow and now reproduce.

Methuselah sprouted back in 2005, when agriculture expert Solowey germinated his antique seed. It had been pulled from the remains of Masada, an ancient fortification perched on a rock plateau in southern Israel, and at the time, no one could be sure that the plant would thrive. But he has, and his recent reproductive feat helps prove just how well he’s doing.

For a while, the Judean date palm was the sole representative of his kind: Methuselah’s variety was reportedly wiped out around 500 A.D. But Solowey has continued to grow date palms from ancient seeds discovered in the region, and she tells National Geographic that she is “trying to figure out how to plant an ancient date grove.” Doing so would allow researchers to better understand exactly what earlier peoples of the region were eating and how it tasted.

"

+ - New Political Party Runs Entirely on Your Feedback->

Submitted by Andrew Warshaver
Andrew Warshaver (4027499) writes "Fed up with the failures of the U.S. political system, two CMU grads are turning to technology to create a new party that runs entirely online, and entirely on your feedback. Their electorates will make decisions solely based on the principles of Liquid Democracy, a form of Representative Democracy for the Technology Age. If they succeed, no more calling & mailing your representatives, simply log on and vote (or delegate)."
Link to Original Source

+ - Methane leak unlocks potential for revolutionary graphene production->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Caltech scientists have published a new technique [http://www.caltech.edu/news/caltech-scientists-develop-cool-process-make-better-graphene-45961] for producing graphene at room temperature — ushered by an accidental methane leak — which could be critical for future commercial production of the material. Manufacturing graphene has often been problematic, with scientists required to ‘grow’ the material in furnaces reaching 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, frequently resulting in strain and deformation. Today researchers at the California Institute of Technology have revealed a method which will enable a faster and cooler production of high-quality graphene sheets. David Boyd, who developed the technique following a 'lucky' failed experiment in 2012, said of the technology's potential: “You could imagine something crazy. You could wrap a building in graphene to keep it from falling over.”"
Link to Original Source

+ - US Asks Vietnam To Stop Russian Bomber Refueling Flights From Cam Ranh Air Base 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Reuters reports that the United States has asked Vietnam to stop letting Russia use its former US base at Cam Ranh Bay to refuel nuclear-capable bombers engaged in shows of strength over the Asia-Pacific region. General Vincent Brooks, commander of the U.S. Army in the Pacific, says the Russian bombers have conducted "provocative" flights, including around the U.S. Pacific Ocean territory of Guam, home to a major American air base. Brooks said the planes that circled Guam were refueled by Russian tankers flying from the strategic bay, which was transformed by the Americans during the Vietnam War into a massive air and naval base. Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed that the airport at Cam Ranh was first used for staging Il-78 tankers for aerial refueling of Tu-95MS bombers in January 2014. Asked about the Russian flights in the region, the State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Washington respected Hanoi's right to enter agreements with other countries but added that "we have urged Vietnamese officials to ensure that Russia is not able to use its access to Cam Ranh Bay to conduct activities that could raise tensions in the region."

Cam Ranh is considered the finest deepwater shelter in Southeast Asia. North Vietnamese forces captured Cam Ranh Bay and all of its remaining facilities in 1975. Vietnam’s dependence on Russia as the main source of military platforms, equipment, and armaments, has now put Hanoi in a difficult spot. Russia has pressed for special access to Cam Ranh Bay ever since it began delivering enhanced Kilo-class submarines to Vietnam. "Hanoi is invariably cautious and risk adverse in its relations with the major powers," says Carl Thayer. "The current issue of Russian tankers staging out of Cam Ranh pits Russia and China on one side and the United States on the other. There is no easy solution for Vietnam.""

+ - In Historic Turn, CO2 Emissions Flatline in 2014, Even as Global Economy Grows->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "A key stumbling block in the effort to combat global warming has been the intimate link between greenhouse gas emissions and economic growth. When times are good and industries are thriving, global energy use traditionally increases and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions also go up. Only when economies stumble and businesses shutter — as during the most recent financial crisis — does energy use typically decline, in turn bringing down planet-warming emissions.

But for the first time in nearly half a century, that synchrony between economic growth and energy-related emissions seems to have been broken, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency, prompting its chief economist to wonder if an important new pivot point has been reached — one that decouples economic vigor and carbon pollution.

The IEA pegged carbon dioxide emissions for 2014 at 32.3 billion metric tons — essentially the same volume as 2013, even as the global economy grew at a rate of about 3 percent.

“This gives me even more hope that humankind will be able to work together to combat climate change, the most important threat facing us today,” the IEA’s lead economist, Fatih Birol, said in a statement accompanying the findings.

Whether the disconnect is a mere fluke or a true harbinger of a paradigm shift is impossible to know. The IEA suggested that decreasing use of coal in China — and upticks in renewable electricity generation there using solar, wind and hydropower — could have contributed to the reversal. The agency also cited the ongoing deployment of energy-efficiency and renewable power policies in Europe, the U.S. and other developed economies as additional factors."

Link to Original Source

+ - Silk-Derived Material Could Boost Battery Performance->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Next-generation lithium-ion batteries may hold more charge for a greater number of cycles thanks to a new material derived from natural silk. Scientists at the Beijing Institute of Technology found that not only does their regenerated silk fibroin material work for over 10,000 cycles but it also stores five times more lithium than graphite, which is the most common choice for the anode (negative electrode) in lithium-ion batteries."
Link to Original Source

+ - Google's Angular 2 Being Built With Microsoft's TypeScript->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Big news for fans of static typing! Google and Microsoft have partnered to both enhance TypeScript and rebuild Angular in the TypeScript language. TypeScript, Microsoft's attempt at improving on JavaScript development, has been out there for a while without a notable use case. Likewise, Dart, Google's attempt at a language which accomplishes many of the same goals, hasn't seen a lot of traction outside of Google. With Google creating the next version of its popular framework Angular 2 using TypeScript, some weight is being thrown behind a single effort. Of course, Angular has its fair share of haters, and a complete re-write in version 2 that breaks compatibility with previous versions isn't going to help matters."
Link to Original Source

+ - SpaceX Warns Fake Competitors Could Disrupt its Space Internet Plan

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "The biggest impediment to SpaceX's plan to create a worldwide, satellite broadband network might not be the sheer technological difficulty of putting 4,000 satellites into space. Instead, outdated international and domestic regulations on satellite communications could stand in the way, according to a new Federal Communications Commission filing by the company.
The company's attorneys wrote that the FCC might make it too easy for competitors to reserve communications bandwidth that they will never use. "Spectrum warehousing can be extremely detrimental and unprepared, highly speculative, or disingenuous applicants must be prevented from pursuing 'paper satellites' (or 'paper constellations'), which can unjustly obstruct and delay qualified applicants from deploying their systems.""

+ - Hubble Discovers Quadruple Lensed Ancient Supernova->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "Astronomer Patrick Kelly, with the University of California Berkeley, and colleagues report this week about four different routes light from an ancient supernova took to reach the Hubble telescope after being deflected around an intervening elliptical galaxy. The phenomenon is known as an Einstein cross. “Basically, we get to see the supernova four times and measure the time delays between its arrival in the different images, hopefully learning something about the supernova and the kind of star it exploded from, as well as about the gravitational lenses,” Kelly said in a statement. The supernova will appear again in the next 10 years, as its light takes different paths around and through the gravitational lens."
Link to Original Source

+ - SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails to Take Off->

Submitted by speedplane
speedplane (552872) writes "As was previously discussed on Slashdot, back in September SpaceX challenged a patent owned by Blue Origin. The technology concerned landing rockets at sea. Yesterday, the judges in the case issued their opinion stating that they are unable to initiate review of the patent on the grounds brought by SpaceX.

Although at first glance this would appear to be a Blue Origin win, looking closer, the judges explained that Blue Origin's patent lacks sufficient disclosure, effectively stating that the patent is invalid, but not on the specific grounds brought by SpaceX:

Because claim 14 lacks adequate structural support for some of the means-plus-function limitations, it is not amenable to construction. And without ascertaining the breadth of claim 14, we cannot undertake the necessary factual inquiry for evaluating obviousness with respect to differences between the claimed subject matter and the prior art.

If SpaceX wants to move forward against Blue Origin, this opinion bodes well for them, but they will need to take their case in front of a different court."
Link to Original Source

+ - Former MLB Pitcher Doxes Internet Trolls, Delivers Real-World Consequences

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "When Twitter trolls began posting obscene, sexually explicit comments about his teenage daughter, former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling responded by recording their comments and gathering personal information readily available to the public. He then doxxed two of them on his blog, resulting in one being suspended from his community college and the other being fired from his part-time job as a ticket seller for the New York Yankees. There were seven others in Curt's crosshairs, all college athletes, but although he hasn't publicly doxxed those individuals he hints, 'I found it rather funny at how quickly tone changed when I heard via email from a few athletes who’d been suspended by their coaches. Gone was the tough guy tweeter, replaced by the "I’m so sorry apology used by those only sorry because they got caught.'"

+ - Dropping the TSA: A Growing Trend->

Submitted by tiberus
tiberus (258517) writes "Amid a growing number of customer service complaints and delays, over a dozen airports have dropped TSA screeners in favor of cheaper and friendlier private screeners.

Tired of long lines at TSA airport checkpoints? Today, the Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) began a transition to private security screeners rather than Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners in a change that promises more efficient security measures.

"

Link to Original Source

+ - Why I'm Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft->

Submitted by DrJimbo
DrJimbo (594231) writes "Dan Gillmore says; "When I became a technology columnist in the mid-1990s, the public Internet was just beginning its first big surge. Back then, I advised my readers to avoid the semi-political, even religious battles that advocates of this or that technology platform seemed to enjoy. Appreciate technology, I urged, for what it is—a tool—and use what works best.

So why am I typing this on a laptop running GNU/Linux, the free software operating system, not an Apple or Windows machine? And why are my phones and tablets running a privacy-enhanced offshoot of Android called Cyanogenmod, not Apple’s iOS or standard Android?""

Link to Original Source

+ - You Might Be Surprised By The Tabs Your Smartphone Keeps On You

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "It should come as a surprise to no one that the amount of data scraped from our digital lives each and every day is immense. But could there still be room to be wowed — or even a little concerned? At reddit, user FallenMyst claimed that everything we've ever spoken to our phones, either via Siri, Cortana, or what-have-you, has been recorded — and in some cases, we can go back and listen to it. Techgage went on to investigate, and found proof of that claim. Further, it was also discovered that Google could be tracking a lot more data than you were even aware of, such as where you were a couple of years ago. Fortunately, this tracking can be turned off, but there's something to be said about the fact that it's on by default, and is so incredibly subtle."

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.

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