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Comment: Re:The article != the actual NASA press release (Score 1) 184

by Xinvoker (#35088702) Attached to: NASA Finds Family of Habitable Planets

This is the press release you are looking for: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/feb/HQ_11-030_Kepler_Update.html

5 Earth-sized *candidates* in the habitable zone. Not confirmed as planets, and not confirmed as habitable. But I seem to recall about 70% of the candidates are eventually confirmed as planets, so there is a good chance at least the 1st part will be true.

Comment: Re:Gates Foundation (Score 1) 286

by Xinvoker (#33414126) Attached to: Bill Gates Enrolls His Kids In Khan Academy

I had the same doubts as well. But if you watch Gates' TED speech, and also this speech http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_on_global_population_growth.html which includes a very nice moving bubble chart you will see that (apparently) as the child mortality improves, people have less children. In other words, when children die by the dozens, people overcompensate for that by having more of them. Gates is essentially trying to "hack" the system by improving child mortality and _fixing_ overpopulation.

BTW, in a recent conversation, i was said "skeptical guy", but after seeing that chart i changed my mind. Do watch that speech, it's very interesting.

Movies

+ - Mass Effect Movie Announced->

Submitted by PanzStrata
PanzStrata (1768658) writes "Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to a feature film adaptation of Mass Effect. Avi Arad will Produce from Legendary Pictures and Ray Muzyka, Greg Zeschuck and Casey Hudson from Bioware will serve as Executive Producers.

With such close work with Bioware, could this turn into the holy grail of game to movie adaptions? The story line already has a very cinematic feel, could this add to the experience?"

Link to Original Source
NASA

+ - NASA and GM partner on Robonaut project->

Submitted by LargePete007
LargePete007 (1737664) writes "NASA and General Motors are working together to accelerate development of the next generation of robots and related technologies for use in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Engineers and scientists from NASA and GM worked together through a Space Act Agreement at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston to build a new humanoid robot capable of working side by side with people. Using leading edge control, sensor and vision technologies, future robots could assist astronauts during hazardous space missions and help GM build safer cars and plants"

Link to Original Source
NASA

+ - SPAM: NASA satellite to send avalanche of Sun shots

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "NASA next week will launch a satellite that the space agency says will scrutinize the Sun and send back "a prodigious rush of pictures" about sunspots, solar flares and a variety of other never-before-seen astrophysical activities. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) will deliver high resolution images of the Sun ten times better than the average High-Definition television to help scientists understand more about the Sun and its disruptive influence on services like communications systems on Earth. Specifically, NASA says the SDO will beam back 150 million bits of data per second, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That's almost 50 times more science data than any other mission in NASA history. It's like downloading 500,000 iTunes a day, NASA stated."
Link to Original Source

+ - Facebook shuts down Moon Nazis->

Submitted by zanel
zanel (571806) writes "Facebook has done it again-- this time they've shut down the fan page for "Iron Sky", a comedy about Nazis on the moon. From the producer,Tero Kaukomaa :"I wonder when they are going to close down the page of Inglourious Basterds. Or Sound of Music, for that matter — that movie has Nazis too."

"Iron Sky" is a comedy from the same Finnish team that brought us "Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning""

Link to Original Source

+ - NYTimes Offers Look into Chinese Hacker Underworld

Submitted by beachels416
beachels416 (1275784) writes "The NYTimes has gained access to a Chinese hacker-for-profit, referred to as Majia, and observed him during one of his nightly "sessions." From the article: "Oddly, Majia said his parents did not know that he was hacking at night. But at one point, he explained the intricacies of computer hacking and stealing data while his mother stood nearby, listening silently, while offering a guest oranges and candy." Additionally, at one point he speaks about the recent Google attacks, and claims to have particular knowledge of the exact vector used. Nothing too new, but an interesting read nevertheless."

Comment: Robo-shark! (Score 1) 115

by Xinvoker (#30964242) Attached to: Evolving Robots Learn To Prey On Each Other
It's worth noting that the robot in the experiment where they evolved the bodies as well, in order to run faster, looks like a shark, with a tail and 2 fins. Fascinating. If they could do the same experiment with the ability to walk instead of only crawling (see video http://www.plosbiology.org/article/fetchSingleRepresentation.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000292.s006 to see what i'm talking about ) and make them do something that requires hands such as lifting something up, we could see if the optimal forms were humanoid, centaur-like, spider-like etc.

Comment: I know it's blasphemy but... (Score 1) 115

by Xinvoker (#30963792) Attached to: Evolving Robots Learn To Prey On Each Other
worth RTF'ing for a better idea of how this is done (btw, they are the same robots that were taught to "deceive" other robots about where the "food" is). Plus, the video of the Predator/Prey stalemate is just epic! As for the 3rd video (maze navigation), man, i would have blown these 1st gen robots to pieces before they could say Darwin!
Space

Astronomers Discover the Coolest Known Sub-Stellar Body 60

Posted by Soulskill
from the miles-davis's-home-planet dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Science Daily reports that using the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii, astronomers have discovered what may be the coolest sub-stellar body ever found outside our own solar system. Too small to be stars and with insufficient mass to maintain hydrogen-burning nuclear fusion reactions in their cores, 'brown dwarfs' have masses smaller than stars but larger than gas giant planets like Jupiter, with an upper limit in between 75 and 80 Jupiter masses. 'This looks like the fourth time in three years that the UKIRT has made a record breaking discovery of the coolest known brown dwarf, with an estimated temperature not far above 200 degrees Celsius,' says Dr. Philip Lucas at the University of Hertfordshire. Due to their low temperature these objects are very faint in visible light, and are detected by their glow at infrared wavelengths. The object known as SDSS1416+13B is in a wide orbit around a somewhat brighter and warmer brown dwarf, SDSS1416+13A, and the pair is located between 15 and 50 light years from the solar system, which is quite close in astronomical terms."
Power

+ - Obama to Triple Nuclear Power Loan Guarantees

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "When President Obama said in his State of the Union address on Wednesday that the country should build “a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants,” it was one of the few times he got bipartisan applause. Now the NY Times reports that administration officials have confirmed that their 2011 federal budget request next week will raise potential loan guarantees for nuclear projects to more than $54 billion, from $18.5 billion and a new Energy Department panel will examine a vastly expanded list of options for nuclear waste, including a new kind of nuclear reactor that would use some of it. "I personally think that nuclear power has a place" because "it is carbon-free," US Energy Secretary Steven Chu told reporters. "We will be able to solve the complete environmental concerns." The Energy Department appears to be getting close to offering its first nuclear loan guarantee. Earlier this week, Southern Co. Chief Executive David Ratcliffe said that the company expects to finalize an application for a loan guarantee "within the next couple months" while Scana Corp. which has also applied, is "a couple months behind Southern" and is "hopeful" of receiving a conditional award "sometime in the next months.""

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