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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 80 declined, 80 accepted (160 total, 50.00% accepted)

+ - Boeing Told to Replace Cockpit Screens Affected by Wi-Fi

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered Boeing to replace Honeywell-built cockpit screens that could be affected by wi-fi transmissions. Additionally, the FAA has expressed concerns that other frequencies, such as used by air surveillance and weather radar, could disrupt the displays. The systems involved report airspeed, altitude, heading and pitch and roll to the crew, and the agency stated that a failure could cause a crash.

Meanwhile, the order is said to affect over 1,300 aircraft, and some airlines are baulking, since the problem has never been seen in operation, that the order presents "a high, and unnecessary, financial burden on operators"."

+ - Researchers Develop Purely Optical Cloaking

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Researchers, at the University of Rochester, have developed a remarkably effective visual cloak using a relatively simple arrangement of optical lenses. The method is unique in that it uses off-the-shelf components and provides cloaking through the visible spectrum. Also, it works in 3-D. As one researcher put it, "This is the first device that we know of that can do three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking, which works for transmitting rays in the visible spectrum." Bonus: The article includes instructions to build your own."

+ - Widespread Chernobyl Radiation Risk From Forest Detritus

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "It is being reported that forest detritus, contaminated in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster [abstract], is decaying at a much slower rate than normal, building up and creating a significant fire risk. This, in turn, is creating a real potential for the residual radioactive material to be distributed, through smoke, over a broad area of Europe and Russia. Looking at different possible fire intensities, researchers speculate, "20 to 240 people would likely develop cancer, of which 10 to 170 cases may be fatal". These figures are similar to those hypothesized for Fukushima."

+ - Google Partners With HTC for Latest Nexus Tablet

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is partnering with HTC for its upcoming 9-inch Nexus tablet. Shunning larger manufacturers like Samsung, speculation is that Google is trying to mitigate the effects of market dominance by one firm. When asked for comment, a Google spokesperson only responded, "There’s room for many partners to do well and to innovate with Android.”"

+ - Natural Born Killers: Chimpanzees and Murder Explored

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Our fellow members of the family Hominidae, chimpanzees, have long been known to engage in murder far more frequently than most of our primate cousins. The reasons for this have been much debated, with many seeking to point blame for the phenomenon on humans, for a variety of reasons. New research suggests that the proclivity for this intra-species killing is innate [Nature abstract]. Quoting one researcher, "It's a natural behaviour — it's not something that we've induced by disturbance or intervention." The BBC also reports on the findings and the controversy."

+ - Browser to Facilitate Text Browsing in Emergencies

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Programmers at Fast Company are developing the Cosmos browser to allow text browsing from Android phones when networks are buckling under the load of local disasters. A common phenomenon when disaster strikes is the overloading of cell and data networks by massively increased traffic. The Cosmos browser is intended to facilitate using SMS text messages, which often still get through in such circumstances. To quote one developer, "We want this to be a way for people to get information when they're in dire need of it." Sort of a Lynx comes to Android affair. The Smithsonian contemplates the possibilities, here."

+ - Trout and Eels Form Reef-hunting "Dream Team"

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Researchers are reporting on investigations into interspecies cooperation to hunt prey in coral reefs. Using behavior observations in the wild and in controlled, aquarium environments, scientists have found a high level of communication and cooperation between coral trout and moray eels in hunting prey fish. The result is a mutually beneficial boost in hunting success. "This shows that a big mammalian brain is not necessarily required to undertake these sophisticated forms of communication," said study leader, Alexander Vail ."

+ - Critters Got Game: Animals Love Touchscreens

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Across a broad range of animals, from reptiles to apes, researchers have found our fellow fauna are attracted to performing tasks on touchscreens. The implications are broad, from studying animal perception and learning, to keeping zoo-bound creatures mentally active. Interestingly, much as with humans, it is the young who seem most attracted and engaged with the devices. Did you just lose at WoW to a bonobo?"

+ - Researchers Harness E. Coli to Produce Propane

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "A team of British and Finnish scientists have used the common bacteria, Escherichia coli, to produce the environmentally-friendly fuel, propane. By introducing enzymes to modify the bacteria's process for producing cell membranes, they were able directly produce fuel-grade propane. While commercial application is some years off, the process is being hailed as a cheap, sustainable alternative to deriving the gas from fossil fuel production. As researcher, Patrik Jones, is quoted as saying, "Fossil fuels are a finite resource and...we are going to have to come up with new ways to meet increasing energy demands.""

+ - Google Serves Old Browsers Old Search Page

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "In an apparent move to push those using older browsers to update, Google is reported to be serving outdated search pages to said browsers. The older pages lack features available on the newer versions, and this policy compounds with the limits announced in 2011 on Gmail support for older web clients. As a Google engineer put it, "We're continually making improvements to Search, so we can only provide limited support for some outdated browsers." The BBC offers a fairly comprehensive analysis, here."

+ - Youth Arrested for "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "In South Carolina a 16-year old boy, Alex Stone, was arrested and charged with creating a disturbance at his school, as well as suspended, for choosing to write: "I killed my neighbor's pet dinosaur. I bought the gun to take care of the business," in response to a class writing assignment. The story has attracted international attention."

+ - Pollinators Thwarted by Scent Pollution

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "At the same time that bee populations are crashing, researchers have found that another pollinator group, moths, is being adversely affected by chemicals in the air. The moths' ability to discern the floral species they need to target is diminished by other scents from a variety of human-imposed sources. These range from non-native plants to vehicle exhaust. As one researcher succinctly puts it, "The total combination of dynamic odors, including floral signature odors as well as anthropogenic pollutants, can affect the success of olfactory-based resource finding." Link to Science abstract."

+ - Seattle Gets Takeout by Amazon

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "In their ongoing effort to capitalize on local business, Amazon has unveiled a “VERY gradual expansion unless things go gangbusters,” of their Amazon Local services, namely takeout food ordering in Seattle. Rivalling smaller, more focused firms in the space, it appears the online giant is trying to wrap recommendations, ordering, and payments in a convenient Amazon bundle. And to think, "word of mouth" used to involve actual mouths."

+ - Endorphins Make Tanning Addictive

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Research published in the journal Cell describes a mechanism whereby exposure to UV light leads to endorphin production in the skin. Additionally, they show that rodents exhibit the characteristics of addiction to those substances. This adds to earlier studies which demonstrated withdrawal-like symptoms in frequent tanners One of the researchers, Dr. David Fisher, commented, 'It sounds like a cruel joke to be addicted the most ubiquitous carcinogen in the world,' The researchers conclusions are subject to some scepticism, however. Addiction researcher, Dr David Belin, is quoted as opining, '... their study is going to be seminal even though their conclusions are not supported by their results.' The BBC offers nicely rounded coverage, as well."

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