Lanxon writes: A team of Russian researchers say that they have found an entirely new type of bacteria in the subglacial lake Vostok in Antarctica. Lake Vostok is 3.5 kilometres below the icy surface and has been sealed off from the world for 14 million years. It's been completely isolated from the 150 other subglacial lakes on the content for an extremely long time. A team from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St Petersburg in Russia has been trying to drill into the lake since 1990 and has finally succeeded.
Lanxon writes: Meanwhile, in sphincters, clinical trial results have shown that a magnetic sphincter device may help relieve the symptoms of chronic heartburn, Wired reports. The device — called the Linx Reflux Management System — looks like a bracelet made out of magnetic titanium beads. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps the lower oesophageal sphincter to resist opening under gastric pressures, preventing reflux.
Lanxon writes: In late 2011, Zhang Yue's company Broad built a 30-storey building in 15 days; now he intends to use similar methods to erect the world's tallest building in just seven months. Perhaps you're already familiar with Zhang's handiwork: on New Year's Day 2012, Broad released a time-lapse video of its 30-storey achievement that quickly went viral: construction workers buzzing around like flies while a clock in the corner of the screen marks the time. In just 360 hours, a 100-metre tower called the T30 rises from an empty site to overlook Hunan's Xiang River. At the end of the video, the camera spirals around the building as the Broad logo appears on the screen: a lower-case b curled up like an @ symbol. Broad has built 16 structures in China, plus another in Cancun. They are fabricated in sections at two factories in Hunan, roughly an hour's drive from Broad Town. From there, the modules — complete with pre-installed ducts and plumbing for electricity, water and other infrastructure — are shipped to the site and assembled like LEGO.
Lanxon writes: Five ISPs in the United States are reportedly preparing to roll out their Copyright Alert System over the next few days. The CAS is part of anti-piracy efforts in the US by the Centre for Copyright Information and will monitor activity by users, intervening if it detects illegal activity and doing helpful things like slowing their internet speeds and providing educational videos to watch.
The satellite — built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and the Surrey Space Centre (SSC) — is the UK's first CubeSat to launch and will also be the first mission to place a smartphone into orbit. It weighs just 4.3kg and measures 10cm x 30cm.
The campaign, which was first mooted in November 2012 after Human Rights Watch published a report into the practice, asks that robotic warfare and autonomous weapons be banned before they begin to be used widely in warfare. It's being led by Noel Sharkey, a robotics and AI professor at Sheffield University.
Lanxon writes: An in-depth feature in Wired explores the reason science may be failing us. "For too long, we've pretended that the old problem of causality can be cured by our shiny new knowledge. If only we devote more resources to research or dissect the system at a more fundamental level or search for ever more subtle correlations, we can discover how it all works. But a cause is not a fact, and it never will be; the things we can see will always be bracketed by what we cannot. And this is why, even when we know everything about everything, we'll still be telling stories about why it happened. It's mystery all the way down.
The movement has been trying to gain official recognition for their beliefs in sharing and data copying since 2010. The church's name comes from "Kopimi", pronounced "copy me". The organisation believes that communication and sharing is sacred and needs to be respected.
Lanxon writes: Hideyuki Sawada reckons his robotic mouth — which pumps out a nasal rendition of Japanese playground song, Kagome Kagome — beats out synthesised voice software at creating realistic speech sounds, reports Wired. It uses human-inspired organs to (arguably) produce a more organic sound for speaking, or singing, humanoids
Lanxon writes: After a week of frenzied speculation, JK Rowling has revealed that she will release the long-awaited e-books of her mind-bogglingly popular fantasy series through her own ecommerce store and interactive online experience, Pottermore. Crucially, Rowling will sell the e-books through a proprietary platform, she revealed at a press conference this morning. Because of a shrewd arrangement with her publishers Bloomsbury and Scholastic (or possibly just a short-sighted one on the publishers' side), Rowling retains the digital rights to the seven Harry Potter novels.
Lanxon writes: Usually, the only constraint on building a Lego creation is your imagination. Unless, that is, you build a giant structure which demands its own "Lego Room". One Lego fan has done just that: say hello to the Garrison of Moriah, and the 50 metre square room it inhabits. Inspired by the fantastic buildings featured likes of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, Garrison-creator Gerry Burrows has built a detailed (and huge) sculpture to scale of the tiny Lego people who have the honour of inhabiting it.
Lanxon writes: Scientists have given the world's oldest spider a terrifying facelift. Researchers from the UK used X-ray imaging to take a closer look at ancient spider specimens, which have existed blurrily in amber since their deaths hundreds of thousands of years ago. However, tomography, the process of creating an image by dividing it into sections through a penetrating wave, computed by X-ray, has allowed researchers to see past the gloop and study spiders and other insects up close and personal for the first time.
Lanxon writes: The Hargreaves review of the UK's copyright laws, commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron over concerns that the law has become increasingly out of touch with modern consumer behaviour, has been published.
It suggests a number of tweaks to the existing laws, but doesn't propose the dramatic overhaul that some had hoped for. Nonetheless, it's managed the impressive feat of being welcomed by both sides of the copyright chasm.
Lanxon writes: Designer Dominic Wilcox has come up with a Pinocchio-style "finger-nose stylus" that lets you use your phone hands free, reports Wired. He came up with the design after he found that he wanted to use his touchphone in the bath. A wet hand is not a good touchscreen navigation device, so he found himself using his nose to scroll, but found it hard to see precisely where his nose was touching the screen. The solution was to create a nose extension "finger" that would allow for navigation while holding the phone firmly in his one dry hand.