Frans Faase writes: "The Ping Pong gun or Ping Pong bazooka has been a popular and compelling tool for physics education. However, the design necessarily means the ball emerges at subsonic speed. The design has been modified to include a pressure chamber and a convergent-divergent nozzle, similar to the design of some supersonic wind tunnels. This modification results in supersonic speeds. The current design has achieved a launch speed of 406 m/sec, about Mach 1.23." Link to Original Source
Frans Faase writes: "By basing its strategies on the text of a manual, a computer infers the meanings of words without human supervision. The paper Learning toWin by Reading Manuals in a Monte-Carlo Framework explains how a computer program succeeds in playing Civilization II using the official game manual as a strategy guide. This manual uses a large vocabulary of 3638 words, and is composed of 2083 sentences, each on average 16.9 words long. By this the program improves it succes rate from 45% to 78% in playing the game. No prior knowledge of the language is used." Link to Original Source
Frans Faase writes: "A new computer model of the way heat is emitted by various parts of the Pioneer spacecraft, and reflected off others, finally solves one of the biggest mysteries in astrophysics. Previous calculations have only estimated the effect of reflections. A computer modeling technique called Phong shading was used to work out exactly how the the emitted heat is reflected and in which direction it ends up travelling. Taking into account the reflections on the antenna seem to make the anomaly disappear." Link to Original Source
Frans Faase writes: Today, a 27 year old Armenian has been arrested on the airport of Jerevan, as suspected owner of the Bredolab botnet, which was taken down yesterday by Dutch officials. Fox-IT, the security firm that helped dismanteling the botnet, used the botnet itself to alert infected victims that there was a problem with their machines, directing them to a notice here
The High Tech Crime Team (THTC) of the National Crime Squad today announced the takedown of a dangerous botnet. The botnet had infected at least 30 million computers worldwide. The botnet was part of the Bredolab network, used by cybercriminals to distribute malware to unsuspecting users’ computers.