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Comment: Re:I'll believe it when I see... (Score 4, Insightful) 867

by SciBrad (#41369373) Attached to: Warp Drive Might Be Less Impossible Than Previously Thought
That's only true in special relativity. In general relativity where you are dealing with the expansion or warping of space this constraint is not there globally. For example, objects that recede past our cosmic event horizon are moving away from us faster than the speed of light, but only because the space between us is expanding such that it appears that way. Locally nobody is traveling faster than light, but on a global scale this is essentially what is happening. That is why we have a cosmic event horizon. However the necessity of exotic matter, as alluded to in a previous comment puts a dampener on the whole thing sadly.

+ - Researcher's proof-of-concept malware infects BIOS, network cards without trace->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""Security researcher Jonathan Brossard created a proof-of-concept hardware backdoor called Rakshasa that replaces a computer's BIOS (Basic Input Output System) and can compromise the operating system at boot time without leaving traces on the hard drive. Brossard, who is CEO and security research engineer at French security company Toucan System, demonstrated how the malware works at the Defcon hacker conference on Saturday, after also presenting it at the Black Hat security conference on Thursday. Rakshasa, is not the first malware to target the BIOS — the low-level motherboard firmware that initialises other hardware components. However, it differentiates itself from similar threats by using new tricks to achieve persistency and evade detection. Rakshasa replaces the motherboard BIOS, but can also infect the PCI firmware of other peripheral devices like network cards or CD-ROMs, in order to achieve a high degree of redundancy." PDF entitled, "Hardware backdooring is practical""
Link to Original Source
Linux

+ - First Bedrock Linux release, combines benefits of most other Linux distros

Submitted by Paradigm_Complex
Paradigm_Complex (968558) writes "From the distro's front page:
"Bedrock Linux is a Linux distribution created with the aim of making most of the (often seemingly mutually-exclusive) benefits of various other Linux distributions available simultaneously and transparently.

If one would like a rock-solid stable base (for example, from Debian or a RHEL clone) yet still have easy access to cutting-edge packages (from, say, Arch Linux), automate compiling packages with Gentoo's portage, and ensure that software aimed only for the ever popular Ubuntu will run smoothly — all at the same time, in the same distribution — Bedrock Linux will provide a means to achieve this."

The timing of this release is particularly nice for those who were excited to hear that Valve was bringing Steam to Linux, but were disappointed that it was targeting Ubuntu as Ubuntu was not their distro of choice. If it works on Ubuntu, it should work fine on Bedrock Linux, while still ensuring the majority of the system feel very, very similar to Fedora or Slackware or whatever you prefer."

Comment: Re:Holding a broadcast antenna against (Score 1) 80

by SciBrad (#40343361) Attached to: FCC Revisiting Mobile Device Radiation Standards
If I recall cell phones operate somewhere between 0.8 - 3 GHz. This is a wavelength range of 10cm - 37cm. Not entirely small. Additionally the only likely effect would be some localized heating which is more than easily compensated for by our body's natural ability to dissipate and regulate heat.

+ - NASA Scientist Claims Evidence of Alien Life->

Submitted by nametaken
nametaken (610866) writes "We are not alone in the universe — and alien life forms may have a lot more in common with life on Earth than we had previously thought.
That's the stunning conclusion one NASA scientist has come to, releasing his groundbreaking revelations in a new study in the March edition of the Journal of Cosmology."

Link to Original Source

Comment: CPT = Lorentz Invariance (Score 5, Informative) 279

by SciBrad (#32712756) Attached to: Neutrino Data Could Spell Trouble For Relativity
If I recall correctly CPT presumes the correctness of Lorentz invariance. And Lorentz invariance is one of the bedrocks of relativity. In other words CPT comes about from assuming your theory is Lorentz invariant and if CPT were violated it would mean Lorentz invariance is violated as well (check out Physical Review Letters 89: 231602 by Greenberg, O.W, which shows CPT violation implies Lorentz violation).
Biotech

Foldit Player May Have Created a Useful Protein 144

Posted by kdawson
from the know-when-to-hold-'em dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The organizers of the game Foldit, where you fold proteins for scientific research, announced that a user has found a protein that may be able to bind influenza viruses. Researchers plan to test the protein in a lab over the next few weeks to see if it might be medically useful."

+ - Virgin Media blocking Rapidshare and Megaupload?->

Submitted by teh31337one
teh31337one (1590023) writes "UK ISP Virgin Media may be blocking users from access to the Megaupload and Rapidshare sites. Details are scarce at the moment, and it is not clear if this is a temporary glitch, or if Virgin have indeed blocked the sites, but many people are complaining over on the Virgin Media forums. I myself being a Virgin Media customer, cannot at the moment access the Rapidshare or Megaupload websites."
Link to Original Source
Media

+ - No HTML5 Hulu Anytime Soon->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "The Hulu Website briefly contained a comment the other day (since removed) explaining why they would not be implementing HTML5 video for their service:

"We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers' needs... Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren't necessarily visible to the end user."

They plan to release a dedicated application for the iPad and iPhone instead, likely a paid subscription service. Perhaps this is a good sign for Web based television as it will move more users away from the single locked down channel from the networks and to more diverse options less interested in extracting subscription fees (like YouTube)."
Link to Original Source

Science

+ - Sylvania takes on 60-watt bulb with LED light | Gr-> 1

Submitted by tugfoigel
tugfoigel (80286) writes "LED makers are introducing replacements for the popular 60-watt incandescent bulb that use about 80 percent less electricity and that could last for years and years.

The popular 60-watt incandescent light bulb is officially under attack from LED lighting technology.

Osram Sylvania on Thursday introduced a general-purpose LED light designed to replace screw-in incandescent, halogen, or compact fluorescent bulbs. It also said that it is working on a 75-watt replacement which is an LED."

Link to Original Source
Canada

Cheap Cancer Drug Finally Tested In Humans 363

Posted by timothy
from the good-enough-for-the-likes-of-you dept.
John Bayko writes "Mentioned on Slashdot a couple of years ago, the drug dichloroacetate (DCA) has finally finished its first clinical trial against brain tumors in humans. Drug companies weren't willing to test a drug they could not patent, so money was raised in the community through donations, auctions, and finally government support, but the study was still limited to five patients. It showed extremely positive results in four of them. This episode raises the question of what happens to all the money donated to Canadian and other cancer societies, and especially the billions spent buying merchandise with little pink ribbons on it, if not to actual cancer research like this."

Comment: Re:Non-Ionizing radiation (Score 1) 109

by SciBrad (#31962194) Attached to: Biggest Study On Cellphone Health Effects Launched in Europe
Some replies: 1)This is basic quantum physics. The energy of a photon depends upon its frequency. Simple as that. Microwave photons in any quantity just don't have enough energy to ionize anything. The highest frequency I can think of for a cell would be around 2700MHz. That means the energy of 1 photon is only about 1e-5 eV. 2)Regarding the heat effects: The minuscule heating that would result from a cell phone (these aren't exactly things that carry lots of power, often less than 3 W) will fall off as you go into the body following a skin-depth relation. Any heating from these is going to be small compared to that of a heat press. Yes one is outside but given the much larger amount of thermal radiation it throws off you'll get more heating deeper than a cell phone. Indeed the primary heating is going to be on the surface of the skin right by the phone and that is shown to be far less than heating that occurs from just being out in the sun. 3)A molecular resonance would be the last likely thing to remain, however if it were likely to happen then it should happen to everybody and mess things up. Overall if this effect was present and causing problems (indeed any problems) then given the rapid rise and prevalence of cell-phones now if they caused cancers we'd expect to see a large uptick in brain cancer rates. The rates have remained more or less flat as far as I've ever seen. There just doesn't seem to be any physics based reason to expect cell phones to cause problems based on what what is known. I suspect the study will confirm that, but I guess it is good to check because as said our knowledge is not ever 100% correct. If they were to show an effect then I'd be curious to know what the mechanism was because the most likely ways (above) are easily ruled out.

Comment: Non-Ionizing radiation (Score 4, Interesting) 109

by SciBrad (#31954882) Attached to: Biggest Study On Cellphone Health Effects Launched in Europe
Cannot break apart molecules. How exactly would an electromagnetic wave that can't ionize anything cause cancer? Usually to cause a cancer from radiation you need to cause some sort of ionization damage as far as I'm aware. Physics quite strongly says that these microwaves do not have the proper energy to do this, even if you have a lot of them. People can go on about 'heating effects' which is a common response I see to the non-ionizing radiation bit, but if that were the case, prolonged exposure to heat packs should also cause cancer. Luckily the body is quite good at dissipating heat. Based on physics there is no plausible mechanism for a cell phone to cause a cancer. The radiation just isn't energetic enough to break any bonds, and that is what counts.
Earth

An Animal That Lives Without Oxygen 166

Posted by timothy
from the besides-me dept.
Julie188 writes "Scientists have found the first multicellular animals that apparently live entirely without oxygen. The creatures reside deep in one of the harshest environments on earth: the Mediterranean Ocean's L'Atalante basin, which contains salt brine so dense that it doesn't mix with the oxygen-containing waters above."
Medicine

High Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Bigger Weight Gain In Rats 542

Posted by timothy
from the subsidies-cause-fatter-corn-farmers dept.
krou writes "In an experiment conducted by a Princeton University team, 'Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.' Long-term consumption also 'led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.' Psychology professor Bart Hoebel commented that 'When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight.'"

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