LeadSongDog writes "Somebody check my numbers, this sounds too good to be true...
A new ACS paper on the theoretical structure of carbyne gives its breaking strength at 10nN for a single atomic chain of carbon. A single C12 atom weighs (at 1g) 2e-25 N, so the chain could support 5e24 atoms at that acceleration. If the atoms repeat 17 times for every 2.2 nm along the chain, the self-supporting chain could be 6e14 m long. This seems to be way longer than the space elevator would need, so I'm inclined to think I've missed something basic. What am I overlooking?"Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "The headline writers at PhysOrg report "New material gives visible light an infinite wavelength". Of course the details within are rather less spectacular: "Researchers from the FOM Institute AMOLF and the University of Pennsylvania have fabricated a material which gives visible light a nearly infinite wavelength". The original work uses language that makes clear they are speaking of the phase velocity of visible light, under the title "Experimental realization of an epsilon-near-zero metamaterial at visible wavelengths". Still, it's an interesting read. http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nphoton.2013.256.html"Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "It seems that Elron's followers want to be the only ones messing around in your brains..."Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "A piece in yesterday's Forbes offers arguments on why not all "Non-Practicing Entities" are "Patent Trolls". Comments here on such businesses are often critical. Is there a right way to trade in patents for profit without abusing the process?"Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "Space.com is reporting on a 60km comet-like body in Lagrangian orbit around the Sun, locked to Uranus. This means a distant, but fairly accessible supply of water-ice, hence reaction mass, hydrogen and oxygen for robotic miners if we can just get them there with an energy source."Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "From our Now-I've-Heard-Everything department, the Ottawa Citizen reports on an enterprising private contractor who's doing preemptive strikes on beach-waddling geese as a countermeasure against the evil denizens of guano."Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "El Reg tells us that the iOS app for Tumblr is sending passwords in cleartext..."Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "It seems that "few-layer graphene" based infrared optical switches will operate at about 100fs vice the turtle-esque multi picosecond devices seen today. Read all about it at http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v110/i21/e217406"Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "Germany's TerraSAR-X satellite is showing that the Antarctic's Pine Island ice shelf has calved a 'berg of 720 square kilometres, "the size of Hamburg".
Angelika Humbert says "The Western Antarctic land ice is on land which is deeper than sea level. Its "bed" tends towards the land. The danger therefore exists that these large ice masses will become unstable and will start to slide". The article extrapolates that "If the entire West Antarctic ice shield were to flow into the Ocean, this would lead to a global rise in sea level of around 3.3 metres."
"Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "James Tour, in Advanced Materials, advises that his team has learned how to knot and weave graphene oxide fiber without losing strength. By mixing in large flakes, it keeps its bend radius relatively large at the knots. The resultant product reaches a 47GPa tensile modulus, just as strong as the native fiber. So, can this lesson be applied to carbon nanotubes, to fulfill Arthur C. Clarke's vision of a space elevator?
The full paper is at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201301065/abstract"Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "A new paper, complete with pretty pictures, on the arXiv at http://arxiv.org/pdf/1305.7399v1.pdf details some remarkable lessons from a local (inside our galaxy) supernova circa 1900. The formal publication is due to be out in Astrophysical Journal Letters on July 1, and a popsci blurb is available at http://phys.org/news/2013-06-remarkable-supernova.html for the busy readers of /.
Studying the radio and x-ray emissions (synchrotron radiation from energetic electrons at the shockwave front) allowed researchers to find variations in metal distribution around the sphere. They estimate the event produced 10^20kg of electron/positron pairs, nearly all of which have since recombined.
I for one am rather glad I wasn't nearby that day."Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "The good folks at the American Automobile Association's Foundation for Traffic Safety have been funding the University of Utah to examine the distraction of hands-free controls. Fitted up with brain-monitor skullcaps, subjects were shown to be most distracted when they had to focus on voice commands, especially when drafting texts and emails. Once again, we find that multitasking is illusory, something always suffers."Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "The Beeb blurbs that MS will now be "giving" away Outlook, but it comes at a price: you have to run the (freebeer) Win8.1 update to get it. Other platforms still need to cough up the big bucks/pounds/Euros/yaddayadda. So how are they turning this into a revenue stream?"Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "From our wait-a-minute...that's-no-moon! department, the mother corps advises that today's giant asteroid 1998 QE2 is actually the primary of a binary system. Hiding close to the biggie is a smaller (but still dangerous) 600 m diameter secondary. Seems 16% of large asteroids are binaries..."Link to Original Source
LeadSongDog writes "The Globe and Mail is reporting that the "Pebble" smartwatch has matched the $15M record for Kickstarter funding after initially being panned by the VC crowd."Link to Original Source