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Submission + - Michael Mann: Swifboating comes to science (sagepub.com) 1

Lasrick writes: Michael Mann writes about the ad hominem attacks on scientists, especially climate scientists, that have become much more frequent over the last few decades. Mann should know: his work as a postdoc on the famed "hockey stick" graph led him to be vilified by Fox News and in the Wall Street Journal. Wealthy interests such as the Scaife Foundation and Koch Industries pressured Penn State University to fire him (they didn't). Right-wing elected officials attempted to have Mann's personal records and emails (and those of other climate scientists) subpoenaed and tried to have the "hockey stick" discredited in the media, despite the fact that the National Academy of Sciences reaffirmed the work, and that subsequent reports of the IPCC and the most recent peerreviewed research corroborates it. Even worse, Mann and his family were targets of death threats. Despite (or perhaps because of) the well-funded and ubiquitous attacks, Mann believes that flat-out climate change denialism is losing favor with the public, and he lays out how and why scientists should engage and not retreat to their labs to conduct research far from the public eye. 'We scientists must hold ourselves to a higher standard than the deniers-for-hire. We must be honest as we convey the threat posed by climate change to the public. But we must also be effective. The stakes are simply too great for us to fail to communicate the risks of inaction. The good news is that scientists have truth on their side, and truth will ultimately win out.'

Submission + - Canadian Government Steps in to Stop Misleading Infringement Notices (globalpost.com)

Dangerous_Minds writes: Recently, misleading notices were spotted being sent out by Rightscorp. Michael Geist posted the letter which, among other things, cites US laws, the Canadians could be on the hook for $150,000 (does not actually exist in the recent copyright reforms now in force) and that payments should be made directly to the company. Apparently, the Canadian government was not amused and has announced that they will be speaking with rightsholders and ISPs to address the concerns that were raised. The government says, "These notices are misleading and companies cannot use them to demand money from Canadians"

Submission + - Anonymous declares war over Charlie Hebdo attack (cnn.com) 2

mpicpp writes: Anonymous declared war on Islamic extremists Friday and promised to take revenge for the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo.
In a video posted on YouTube, the group of hackers said they would track down websites and social media networks linked to terrorists, and take them down.

"We, Anonymous around the world, have decided to declare war on you the terrorists," it said.

The video is described as a message for "al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other terrorists," and promises to avenge the killing of 12 people in Wednesday's attack.
"We intend to take revenge in their name, we are going to survey your activities on the net, we are going to shut down your accounts on all social networks," Anonymous said.

Submission + - How Data From The Kepler Space Telescope Is Changing The Drake Equation

KentuckyFC writes: The Drake equation describes how the number of other extraterrestrial civilisations in the galaxy depends on factors such as the percentage of stars with planets, the percentage of those that are capable of hosting life, the percentage of these on which life actually forms, and so on. It has been a famous rallying point for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence since the early 1960s when Frank Drake first formulated it. Since then, critics have argued that many of the parameters are unknown so the equation produces numbers that are little better than guesses. Now one astronomer points out that the Kepler Space Telescope is changing that. Kepler was specifically designed to find Earth-like planets around other stars, something it has done remarkably well. For example, the Kepler data suggests that up to 15 per cent of Sun-like stars have Earth-like planets in the habitable zone. These kinds of figures dramatically change that inferences that can be made using Drake's equation. For instance, the new data applied to the Drake equation suggests that the nearest life-bearing planet may be within 10 light years of here. But it also suggests that the nearest civilisation is likely to be thousands of light years away.

Submission + - France Wants To Get Rid Of Diesel Fuel

mrspoonsi writes: France wants to gradually phase out the use of diesel fuel for private passenger transport and will put in place a system to identify the most polluting vehicles, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday. Next year, the government will launch a car identification system that will rank vehicles by the amount of pollution they emit, Valls said in a speech. This will make it possible for local authorities to limit city access for the dirtiest cars. "In France, we have long favoured the diesel engine. This was a mistake, and we will progressively undo that, intelligently and pragmatically," Valls said. About 80 percent of French motorists drive diesel-powered cars. Valls said taxation would have to orient citizens towards more ecological choices, notably the 2015 state budget measures to reduce the tax advantage of diesel fuel versus gas.

Submission + - Scientists develop paint to help cool the planet (stanford.edu)

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 + - Viruses help keep the gut healthy (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Ebola, flu, and colds have given viruses a bad rap. But there may be a good side to these tiny packages of genetic material. Researchers studying mice have shown that a virus can help maintain and restore a healthy gut in much the same way that friendly bacteria do. The work "shows for the first time that a virus can functionally substitute for a bacterium and provide beneficial effects," says Julie Pfeiffer, a virologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas who was not involved with the study. "It's shocking."

Submission + - China eyes first space station around 2022 (voanews.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: According to the Voice of America, China is planning to get its first space station off the ground by around 2022

China's leaders have set a priority on advancing its space program, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power

China is taking it by the step-by-step approach:

Yang Liwei, deputy head of China's Manned Space Agency and also the country's first man in space, said the follow-up Tiangong 2 was likely to be launched in about 2016

Then, in around 2018, the core of the space station would be launched with completion set for four years later, the official Xinhua news agency cited Yang as saying

The country insists that its space program is for peaceful purposes

Despite considerable advances, China's space program still lags behind those of the United States and Russia

As the Voice of America being the official propaganda mouthpiece of the government of the United States of America, it is thus no surprising to read the following paragraph from VoA's report:

" The U.S. Defense Department has highlighted China's increasing space capabilities, however, saying China was pursuing activities aimed at preventing its adversaries from using space-based assets during a crisis "

Submission + - Scientists race to save Miami coral doomed by dredging

An anonymous reader writes: Miami scientists are scrambling to rescue a crop of coral at the bottom of one of the world’s busiest shipping channels that they say could hold clues about climate change. 'The coral, which may hold clues about how sea life adapts to climate change, is growing in Government Cut. The channel, created more than a century ago, leads to PortMiami and is undergoing a $205 million dredging project — scheduled to begin Saturday — to deepen the sea floor by about 10 feet in time for a wave of new monster cargo ships cruising through an expanded Panama Canal starting in 2015. Endangered coral and larger coral have already been removed by a team hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the dredging work. But the remaining coral, deemed “corals of opportunity” in Corps lingo, can be retrieved with a permit. The problem, scientists say, is they only had 12 days between when the permits were issued last month and the start of dredging, not nearly enough time to save the unusual colonies thriving in Government Cut.'

Submission + - Google leapfrogs Apple as world's most valuable brand (cnn.com)

mpicpp writes: Well, guess that argument's settled for now. Google is a more valuable brand than Apple.

At least that's the assessment of an annual study by Millward Brown, a communications company that ranks Google as the world's most popular brand, topping Apple, which had held the top spot for the past three years.

And, yes, we realize the report will change virtually no minds in the tech world's long-running battle of fan loyalty. But it's fun to talk about.

According to the 2014 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand ranking, Google's brand value rose 40% last year, to $159 billion. Apple, meanwhile, slipped 20% to $148 billion.

According to the report, it was Google's spirit of innovation, and Apple's perceived lack of it, that led to the flip-flop.

Submission + - The Newest Organized Labor Group: Start-up Employees (ieee.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Last Friday may turn out to have marked the beginning of Silicon Valley's organized labor movement--startup employees met in Palo Alto "to share war stories and to start developing what organizers called a 'Startup Employee Equity Bill of Rights'".

Submission + - Theresa May warns Yahoo that its move to Dublin is a security worry (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Theresa May summoned the internet giant Yahoo for an urgent meeting on Thursday to raise security concerns after the company announced plans to move to Dublin where it is beyond the reach of Britain's surveillance laws.

By making the Irish capital rather than London the centre of its European, Middle East and Africa operations, Yahoo cannot be forced to hand over information demanded by Scotland Yard and the intelligence agencies through "warrants" issued under Britain's controversial anti-terror laws.

"There are concerns in the Home Office about how Ripa will apply to Yahoo once it has moved its headquarters to Dublin," said a Whitehall source. "The home secretary asked to see officials from Yahoo because in Dublin they don't have equivalent laws to Ripa. This could particularly affect investigations led by Scotland Yard and the national crime agency. They regard this as a very serious issue."

Submission + - Untrackable cellphone?

gurps_npc writes: We all know how easy it is for the NSA to bug and track your cellphone.

Does anyone sell a cellphone with:

1) Hard wired bright light that always comes on when the cellphone has power.

2) With a physical power on/off that connects and disconnects the battery?

Submission + - NASA Wants Developers To Simulate Coastal Floods

rjmarvin writes: NASA has challenged developers to build software that improves life on Earth and advances space exploration before, but now they're asking them to simulate cataclysmic natural disaster http://sdt.bz/68958. The space agency is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the third annual International Space Apps Challenge https://2014.spaceappschalleng.... Participants are tasked to create and deploy data-driven visualizations and simulations charting the impact of sea level rise and erosion on future coastal flooding.

Submission + - Einstein's 'Lost' Model Of the Universe Discovered 'Hiding in Plain Sight'

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Dick Ahlstrom reports that Irish researchers have discovered a previously unknown model of the universe written in 1931 by physicist Albert Einstein that had been misfiled and effectively “lost” until its discovery last August while researchers been searching through a collection of Einstein’s papers put online by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “I was looking through drafts, but then slowly realised it was a draft of something very different,” says Dr O’Raifeartaigh. “I nearly fell off my chair. It was hidden in perfect plain sight. This particular manuscript was misfiled as a draft of something else.” In his paper, radically different from his previously known models of the universe, Einstein speculated the expanding universe could remain unchanged and in a “ steady state” because new matter was being continuously created from space. “It is what Einstein is attempting to do that would surprise most historians, because nobody had known this idea. It was later proposed by Fred Hoyle in 1948 and became controversial in the 1950s, the steady state model of the cosmos,” says O’Raifeartaigh. Hoyle argued that space could be expanding eternally and keeping a roughly constant density. It could do this by continually adding new matter, with elementary particles spontaneously popping up from space. Particles would then coalesce to form galaxies and stars, and these would appear at just the right rate to take up the extra room created by the expansion of space. Hoyle’s Universe was always infinite, so its size did not change as it expanded. It was in a ‘steady state’. “This finding confirms that Hoyle was not a crank,” says Simon Mitton. “If only Hoyle had known, he would certainly have used it to punch his opponents." Although Hoyle’s model was eventually ruled out by astronomical observations, it was at least mathematically consistent, tweaking the equations of Einstein’s general theory of relativity to provide a possible mechanism for the spontaneous generation of matter. Einstein's paper attracted no attention because Einstein abandoned it after he spotted a mistake and then didn’t publish it but the fact that Einstein experimented with the steady-state concept demonstrates Einstein's continued resistance to the idea of a Big Bang, which he at first found “abominable”, even though other theoreticians had shown it to be a natural consequence of his general theory of relativity.

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