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Submission + - Kentucky considering banning some social media comments (digitaltrends.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: A bill targeting social media content that is already being labelled unconstitutional has been put before the Kentucky General Assembly

If passed, the bill would prohibit social media users to wait an hour before posting content related to a “traumatic event” or “accident” online. Those who violate the proposed bill would face a fine anywhere between $20 to $100 depending on the incident. The bill would not apply to members of the news media, victims of the event, and emergency responders at the site of the accident

According to the sponsor of the bill, Republican State Representative John “Bam” Carney of Campbellsville, the speed at which users can access social media to post about a tragic event can be both disruptive for police officers and insensitive to the families of the victims

Carney believes that abstaining from social platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter in the wake of a serious accident would allow the police and first responders time to notify families of those involved in the incident before they find out elsewhere

Legal experts argue that the bill won’t stand up to scrutiny under the First Amendment, regarding freedom of speech. And, apparently, Carney agrees, stating, “this probably would have First Amendment problems”

Submission + - "Metallic Hydrogen" realized, finally (spacedaily.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: Scientists have recreated an elusive form of the material that makes up much of the giant planets in our solar system, and the sun

A team of physicists at the University of Edinburgh, researchers used a pair of diamonds to squeeze hydrogen molecules to pressures equivalent to 3.25 million times that of Earth's atmosphere, hydrogen entered a new solid phase — named phase V — and started to show some interesting and unusual properties. Its molecules began to separate into single atoms, while the atoms' electrons began to behave like those of a metal

Hydrogen — which is among the most abundant elements in the Universe — is thought to be found in this high-pressure form in the interiors of Jupiter and Saturn

The metallic and atomic form of hydrogen, formed at elevated pressures, was first theorised to exist 80 years ago

Researchers around the world have been trying for years to create this form of the element, known as the metallic state, which is considered to be the holy grail of this field of physics

Submission + - 60% of R&D funds misappropriated ! (www.ecns.cn)

Taco Cowboy writes: We often hear misappropriation of public funds, including those which has been allotted for R&D

China has been increasing research and development (R&D) investment at an annual rate of 20 percent in the past few years, however, about 60 percent of funding has been spent on meetings and business trips, China Enterprise News reported on Tuesday

According to official statistics, China's R&D expenditure totaled 1.33 trillion yuan ($203 billion) in 2014, the paper said. In 2012, Xu Heping, an official with the Ministry of Science and Technology told reporters that the country's R&D investment will not be less than 1.5 trillion yuan in 2015, which means China's investment in R&D based on purchasing power parity will be close to that of the United States this year, and the misappropriation of R&D funds is on the increase as well

Last year the Ministry of Education disclosed four major cases of R&D funding fraud involving five university teachers and more than 16 million yuan and in another case, 283,600 yuan involving 1,505 one-way train tickets from various places to Jiamusi in the name of business trips were reimbursed, taking up nearly half of the allocated 570,000-yuan funding for two tourism research programs from 2008 to 2011

Li Ping, a Beijing-based lawyer said that fabricated budgets, false invoices and accounting fraud were used in the embezzlement of funds, "Which was not wise at all." The paper blames loopholes in fund management and insufficient supervision

Sun Hua, a researcher in the coal industry, also told the paper R&D fund allocation is not transparent and that relevant rules are not always well implemented

Submission + - China challenges US's space dominance (uscc.gov)

Taco Cowboy writes: The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) recently released its 2015 annual report to Congress, and it includes an intriguing look at the China's space and counterspace programs

The report is rich in factoids and citations about China's aspirations in space – both for civil and military purposes, including that country's expanding deep-space exploration agenda

n an introduction to Section 2, which includes the analysis on China's space program, the report notes that China "has become one of the top space powers in the world" after decades of high prioritization and steady investment

"China's aspirations are driven by its assessment that space power enables the country's military modernization and would allow it to challenge U.S. information superiority during a conflict," the report states

China's space and counterspace programs are designed to support its conduct as part of its antiaccess/area denial strategy to prevent or impede U.S. intervention in a potential conflict

China is testing increasingly complex co-orbital proximity capabilities. Although it may not develop or operationally deploy all of these coorbital technologies for counterspace missions, China is setting a strong foundation for future co-orbital antisatellite systems that could include jammers, robotic arms, kinetic kill vehicles, and lasers

China's rise as a major space power challenges decades of U.S. dominance in space—an arena in which the United States has substantial military, civilian, and commercial interests

Submission + - China plans to launch carbon tracking satellites (reuters.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: China plans to launch satellites to monitor its greenhouse gas emissions as the country, estimated to be the world's top carbon emitter

The satellites would improve China's emissions data collection, which many experts say is inaccurate

The country's emissions are estimates based on how much raw energy is consumed, and calculations are derived from proxy data consisting mostly of energy consumption as well as industry, agriculture, land use changes and waste. Currently, China is only able to collect data from the ground, whereas the probes will also monitor oceans, which make up 71 percent of the world's surface.

According to the Xinhau report, the country's first two carbon-monitoring satellites will be ready by next May after four years of development led by Changchun Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics and Physics, part of China's Academy of Sciences

If the launch is successful, it would be the world's third country to send satellites into orbit to monitor greenhouse gases, coming after Japan which was the first country to do so in 2009, followed by the United States last year

Submission + - Microphone 32 X more sensitive has been invented (arxiv.org)

Taco Cowboy writes: A microphone which is 32 X more sensitive than regular microphone has recently been invented

Most microphones have the same componentry as a loudspeaker – in fact, they’re loudspeakers working in reverse, turning sound into electrical currents. When you speak, the sound waves travel towards the microphone, which impact a membrane that then vibrates. These vibrations are transferred to a metallic coil that then moves back and forth across a permanent magnet. A temporary electromagnet is created by the interaction of the magnetic field with the coil, and an electrical current is generated, which travels to an amplifier or a sound recording device. Nickel is normally used in the construction of the membrane

Replacing the Nickel with a graphine based membrane 30n carbon-atom thick, showed a remarkable 32-fold increase in sensitivity across a significant part of the audio spectrum: up to 11 kilohertz, across a dizzying array of amplitudes

The researchers also simulated a 300-layer thick graphene membrane, which has the potential to be even more sensitive; it could hypothetically detect frequencies of up to one megahertz, which is in the ultrasonic part of the spectrum. This has yet to be tested experimentally, though

This research shows that it is demonstrably possible for graphene to be used in a new generation of highly sensitive microphones, which will pick up far more sound detail than regular microphones do at present. Excitingly, highly sensitive ultrasonic microphones may also be on the cards

Submission + - Diamond Nanothreads Could Support Space Elevator (space.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: Researchers in Penn State University discovered a way to produce ultra-thin diamond nanothreads that could be ideal for a space elevator

The team, led by chemistry professor John Badding, applied alternating cycles of pressure to isolated, liquid-state benzene molecules and were amazed to find that rings of carbon atoms assembled into neat and orderly chains

While they were expecting the benzene molecules to react in a disorganized way, they instead created a neat thread 20,000 times smaller than a strand of human hair but perhaps the strongest material ever made

Just recently, a team from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia modeled the diamond nanothreads using large-scale molecular dynamics simulations and concluded that the material is far more versatile than previously thought and has great promise for aerospace properties. The simulation was published in early November

Submission + - US and China setting up 'space hotline' (ft.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: Washington and Beijing have established an emergency “space hotline” to reduce the risk of accidental conflict

Several international initiatives are already in train to seal a space treaty to avoid a further build-up of weapons beyond the atmosphere. However, security experts say the initiatives have little chance of success

A joint Russia-China proposal wending its way through the UN was not acceptable to the US

An EU proposal, for a 'code of conduct' in space, was having diplomatic 'difficulties' but was closer to Washington's position

Submission + - NASA - Oct 2015 obliterates all other Octobers (discovermagazine.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: NASA is out with its monthly analysis of global surface temperatures, and the verdict is unsettling: This past month positively obliterated the previous record for warmest October

The global average temperature in October according to NASA’s analysis was 1.04 degrees C warmer than the long-term average for the month. The previous record of 0.86 degrees C was set in October of last year

The jump in global temperatures in October was also the greatest departure from average — by far — for any month in NASA’s entire record, which dates back to 1880

Submission + - Paris under islamic terrorism attack ! (telegraph.co.uk)

Taco Cowboy writes: A coordinated series of attack is happening in Paris, including shooting, bomb exploding and hostage taking

In at least one of the cases shooters were heard yelling "Allahu Akhbar" while carrying out the slaughtering of innocent people

With the rapid increase of moslem population in Europe more episodes of islamic terrorism are going to take place and more people will die!

Submission + - There are probably tiny pieces of plastic waste in your table salt (qz.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: A research carried out in China found traces of waste plastics in table salt. While the salt they use in the report came from China (and the surrounding seas) it does not mean that salt from other places are not contaminated

According to the picture ( @ https://qzprod.files.wordpress... ) even salt mined from rock mines were found to be contaminated with traceable amount of plastics

As TFA puts it —

" Although the oceans close to China appear to be a “hotspot” for microplastic pollutants, it is unlikely Chinese table salt is the only salt that is contaminated with plastics "

An American researcher also chimed in —

" Plastics have become such a ubiquitous contaminant, I doubt it matters whether you look for plastic in sea salt on Chinese or American supermarket shelves," Sherri Mason, an environmental science researcher at the State University of New York Fredonia told Scientific American. "I'd like to see some 'me-too' studies,” she added "


Submission + - Sunscreen is killing Coral Reefs (theguardian.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: Next time if you intend to swim near coral reefs please remember to not put on any sun screen

An ingredient commonly used in sun screen lotion / sun tan cream is oxybenzone, which, in even very diluted form, kills baby corals

An international research team that conducted the study, led by Craig Downs, found the highest concentrations of oxybenzone around coral reefs popular with tourists, particularly those in Hawaii and the Caribbean

Oxybenzone, even in very diluted form, alters coral DNA, makes coral more susceptible to potentially fatal bleaching and acts as an endocrine disruptor, causing baby coral to encase itself in its own skeleton and die, according to the findings

Between 6,000 and 14,000 tonnes of sunscreen lotion winds up in coral reef areas each year, much of which contains oxybenzone

In Hawaii and the Caribbean, concentrations were 12 times higher, according to the sea water testing

The damaging effects were seen in coral in concentrations of oxybenzone as low as 62 parts per trillion, which is equivalent to a drop of water in six and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools, according to the researchers

Another link is at http://link.springer.com/artic...

Submission + - Helium airship that can fly 6 months at a time, flies (sciencealert.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: Its length is 75 meter long

It relies on solar power for all the on board electronics

It can fly, at a near-space altitude of 20 kilometres, 6 month at a time, embarked upon its maiden flight this month, launching from Xilinhot in Inner Mongolia of China, a few days ago

The massive length of the ship corresponds to an equally vast size when the Yuanmeng is fully inflated, with a volume of approximately 18,000 cubic metres. The aircraft stands at 22 metres high, and can carry a payload of between 4.5 and 6.3 metric tonnes

A report in the People’s Daily suggests that it might be used for communications purposes, as the ship is said to be loaded with systems for wideband communication, data relay, high-definition observation, and spatial imaging

The sedentary nature of the airship allows it to sit up at the edge of space and watch. It can surveil the ground, and it can also act as a base station to command fleets of military planes. In a pinch, the Yuanmeng airship could act as a stand-in for communications satellites

Operating higher in near space means that the Yuanmeng would have constant line of sight over a hundred thousand square miles—an important requirement for radar and imaging

The airship still has some kinks to be ironed out. The People’s Daily spoke to Yu Quan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, who told them that "The biggest challenge for the near-space airship is the big temperature difference in the day and night." Because the airship is so close to space, it experiences space-like extremes of weather as it is baked by the sun and then frozen by the night

Submission + - Crowdfunding folly (popularmechanics.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: Lazer-Razor, a crowd-funded project which generated millions, is set to crashing down blazing

The project that supposed to come up with the razor that purported to be using laser had a very professionally produced demo, the only unfortunate part is that no one dares to use it to carry out an actual shaving yet

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