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Comment: One Photon Return Per Laser Pulse? (Score 1) 43

by Fleetie (#45215287) Attached to: Laser Communication System Sets Record With Data Transmissions From Moon
Conventional wisdom was that the lunar distance ranging, using the lunar retroreflector arrays, averaged 1 photon or less returned to the Earth detector, per outbound laser pulse.

Now presumably, this 622 Mbit/sec was outbound only (Earth to Moon) and not a return trip. So that will help quite a lot.

But to get these remarkable bandwidths, the Earth-based laser and beam expander/collimator must be pretty special.

Does anyone know the juicy figures like: Laser wavelength, energy per pulse, pulse rep rate, and so on? Oh, and the strength of the signal received at the moon, in (I dunno) photons-per-bit or something?
Privacy

EU Data Protection Proposal Taken Word For Word From US Lobbyists 108

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the better-than-real-people dept.
Qedward writes "Glyn Moody looks at the proposed EU directive on Data Protection — and how some of the proposed amendments seem to be cut and pasted directly from the American Chamber of Commerce — that well-known European organisation... You might ask, Glyn writes, who are these MEPs representing — some 500 million EU citizens that pay their salary or a bunch of extremely rich U.S. companies intent on taking away our privacy?" Lobbyplag lets you look at which lobbyist wrote each part of the bill. Fears of the U.S. exerting undue influence seem to be justified.
Privacy

How the Cool Stuff At CES Will Ruin Your Life 171

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the clippy-killed-my-cryptocat dept.
jfruh writes "Another CES has come and gone, and as usual the press has presented rather uncritically a list of super-cool gadgets that were unveiled at the show and that will make our world better. Let's leave aside the fact that many products shown at CES never make it to market; Paul Roberts provides the pessimistic case on the big CES news, explaining how all these gewgaws will strip away privacy, unleash an army of Clippys onto the world, and maybe even change human brains for the worse."
Australia

Researchers Seek to Use Drones For Brushfire Forecasting 52

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the protect-the-law dept.
schliz writes "Australian researchers expect to use unmanned aircraft in bushfire surveillance and search and rescue scenarios within two years. The news comes as New South Wales faces 'catastrophic' fire danger ratings and what firefighters say could be the worst conditions in the state's history."

Comment: Re:Still sceptical (Score 5, Insightful) 168

by Fleetie (#42284931) Attached to: Electrical Grid Hum Used To Time Locate Any Digital Recording
Re: Location: Wrong. The entire UK grid is "locked together" and it all runs at the same frequency. Necessarily. Also: Recorder doesn't need to be plugged into the mains. 50Hz hum permeates the space around us. Try grabbing hold of an oscilloscope lead and look at how much 50Hz hum you are "carrying". Unless you're a long way from mains outlets, it's a lot.
Cellphones

Jolla Mobile Set To Launch Its Sailfish OS Today, Signs Deal with Finnish Telco 74

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the getting-crowded-in-here dept.
New submitter zzats writes "The Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Jolla, started by ex-Nokia Meego engineers, is showing it's Linux-based Sailfish OS for the public for the first time today. The first keynote speech aired at 9:15 GMT, with an UI-focused presentation starting later, 15:00 GMT. In addition to using the OS on their own devices, Jolla is planning to license it to third party manufacturers. The company has previously stated their initial focus for creating an ecosystem is in the Chinese market." sfcrazy adds: "Jolla has signed a deal with Finland's 3rd largest mobile operator DNA to market the MeeGo based smartphones in the Finnish market."
Medicine

Scientists Move Closer To a Universal Flu Vaccine 205

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the and-then-came-the-ultra-flu dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Vaccines for most diseases typically work for years or decades but with the flu, next fall it will be time to get another dose. Now Carl Zimmer writes that a flurry of recent studies on the virus has brought some hope for a change as flu experts foresee a time when seasonal flu shots are a thing of the past, replaced by long-lasting vaccines. 'That's the goal: two shots when you're young, and then boosters later in life' says Dr. Gary Nabel, predicting that scientists would reach that goal before long: 'in our lifetime, for sure, unless you're 90 years old.' Today's flu vaccines protect people from the virus by letting them make antibodies in advance but a traditional flu vaccine can protect against only flu viruses with a matching hemagglutinin protein. If a virus evolves a different shape, the antibodies cannot latch on, and it escapes destruction. Scientists have long wondered whether they could escape this evolutionary cycle with a universal flu vaccine that would to attack a part of the virus that changes little from year to year so now researchers are focusing on target antigens which are highly conserved between different influenza A virus subtypes. 'Universal vaccination with universal vaccines would put an end to the threat of global disaster that pandemic influenza can cause,' says Dr. Sara Gilbert."
Android

Nexus 7 and Android Convertibles Drive Massive Asus Profit 232

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the king-of-the-hill dept.
rtfa-troll writes "The collapse of the PC market has had much discussion on Slashdot with a common opinion that, now that Apple is the largest personal computer manufacturer, a loss of sales combined with Apple's iPad will completely eliminate most of them. Now Asustek's most recent results show that there may be a way out for those that can move away from their standard markets. Concentrating on Android tablet devices, the Google Nexus 7, with a help from ASUS transformer tablets has driven the company to massive $230 million profits. Asus gross revenue also climbed 9 percent to around $3.8 billion. We have discussed related issues recently: Where companies like HTC have lost their focus on open Android devices and suffered from devastating collapses, ASUS has managed to differentiate it's tablets by providing the most open tablet experience possible via with Google's Nexus program and branding."

Comment: Stop Calling Mars "The Red Planet"! (Score 0, Flamebait) 228

by Fleetie (#40943075) Attached to: Upgrading Software From 350 Million Miles Away

There is this global media obsession with referring to Mars as "The Red Planet". It is really irritating.

Mars has a name, just like all the other planets in our solar system: Its name is "Mars". So use it, and respect the planet and its name.

It's so irritating and "media lovvie". Also, the planet it not really "red" at all. It's brown. It belongs in exactly the same category as media types referring to scientists as "boffins". It's RUDE and DISRESPECTFUL.

I wish the media would shed this ridiculous obsession with ignoring the name of the planet MARS.

Hardware Hacking

Researchers Turn Home Wi-Fi Router Into Spy Device 108

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the no-warrant-required dept.
hypnosec writes "Researchers at University College of London have applied principles of radar used in defense and designed a detector using home based Wi-Fi routers to spy on people across walls. Using the principles behind the Doppler effect ... Karl Woodbridge and Kevin Chetty, at University College London, have built a prototype unit that uses Wi-Fi signals and recognizes frequency changes to detect moving objects. The size of the prototype unit is more or less the size of a suitcase. The unit contains a radio receiver comprising of two antennas and a signal-processing unit. The duo carried out test runs and ... they managed to determine a person's location, speed, and direction (even through a one foot thick brick wall). The device could be used to spot intruders, monitor children or the elderly, and could even be used in military applications."
Security

Boeing Preparing an Ultra-Secure Smartphone 101

Posted by samzenpus
from the secret-security-phone dept.
bobwrit writes in with a story about Boeing's new secure government phones project. "Earlier this week, it was revealed that aerospace firm Boeing was working on a high security mobile device for the various intelligence departments. This device will most likely be released later this year, and at a lower price point than other mobile phones targeted at the same communities. Typically, phones in this range cost about 15,000-20,000 per phone, and use custom hardware and software to get the job done. This phone will most likely use Android as it's main operating system of choice, which lowers the cost per phone, since Boeing's developers don't have to write their own operating system from scratch."
Transportation

What To Do With a 1,000 Foot Wrecked Cruise Ship? 416

Posted by samzenpus
from the discount-cruises dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "What do you do with a 1,000-foot wreck that's full of fuel and half-submerged on a rocky ledge in the middle of an Italian marine sanctuary? Remove it. Very carefully. Stuck on a rocky shoal off the Tuscan island of Giglio, leaving the wreck where it is probably isn't an option but removing a massive ship that's run hard aground and incurred major damage to the hull involves logistical and environmental issues that are just as large. First there's the fuel. A half a million gallons of fuel could wreak havoc on the marine ecosystem — the ship is smack in the middle of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals. Engineers may need to go in from the side using a special drill to cut through the fuel tanks in a process called hot tapping. 'You fasten a flange with a valve on it, you drill through, access the tank, pull the drill back out, close the valve, and then attach a pumping apparatus to that,' says Tim Beaver, president of the American Salvage Association. 'It's a difficult task, but it's doable.' Then if it's determined that the Costa Concordia can be saved, engineers could try to refloat the ship and tug it back to dry dock for refurbishing. The job will likely require 'a combination of barges equipped with winches and cranes' to pull the cruise liner off its side then once the Concordia is off the rocks, 'they are going to have to fight to keep it afloat, just like you would a battle-damaged ship.' Another alternative is to cut the vessel into smaller, manageable parts using a giant cutting wire coated with a material as hard as diamonds called a cheese wire in a method was used to dismember the 55,000-ton Norwegian-flagged MV Tricolor. Regardless of how the Concordia is removed, it's going to be a difficult, expensive and drawn-out process. 'I don't see it taking much less than a year, and I think it could take longer,' says Bob Umbdenstock, director of planning at Resolve Marine Group."

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy

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