from the worth-it-at-any-price dept.
MarkWhittington writes "According to a July 26, 2013 story in Space News, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver mused about what appeared to be a change to the space agency's asteroid snatching mission at the NewSpace 2013 conference. Apparently the idea is to send a robot to a larger asteroid than originally planned, carve out a chunk of it, and then bring it to lunar orbit for an crew of astronauts to visit in an Orion space ship. Garver's proposed change would widen the number of target asteroids and would test technologies important for asteroid mining. But it would also increase the complexity and certainly the cost of the asteroid mission. There are a lot of unanswered questions, such as what kind of mechanism would be involved in taking a piece of an asteroid and moving it? At the same conference Garver had hinted at a willingness to consider mounting a program of "sustainable" lunar exploration, as some in Congress have demanded, concurrent with the asteroid mission."
iONiUM writes "From the article: 'Many are only just getting their heads around the idea of 3D printing but scientists at MIT are already working on an upgrade: 4D printing. At the TED conference in Los Angeles, architect and computer scientist Skylar Tibbits showed how the process allows objects to self-assemble.' There could be many applications for this. Definitely a cool step forward."Pictures and video of the process.
from the federal-amateur-hour dept.
New submitter StueyNZ writes "Justice Helen Winkelmann of New Zealand's High Court (non-appellate court) has ruled that the search warrants used to search and seize property from Kim Dotcom's Coatsville residence did not properly describe the offenses under which the search was being made. In particular, warrants did not make it clear that the breach of copyright law and money laundering offenses were U.S. federal offenses rather than NZ offenses. Therefore the search and seizure was illegal. I hope this means Mr. Dotcom gets his security footage back, which should shed some light on how many tourists from the FBI were present at the NZ police raid, and how many firearms those tourists were waving around as they joined in."
cold fjord writes "Red wine is a popular marinade for meat, but it also may become a popular treatment for creating iron-based superconductors as well (Link to academic paper): 'Last year, a group of Japanese physicists grabbed headlines around the world by announcing that they could induce superconductivity in a sample of iron telluride by soaking it in red wine. They found that other alcoholic drinks also worked — white wine, beer, sake and so on — but red wine was by far the best. The question, of course, is why. What is it about red wine that does the trick? Today, these guys provide an answer — at least in part. Keita Deguchi at the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan, and a few buddies, say the mystery ingredient is tartaric acid and have the experimental data to show that it plays an important role in the process. ... It turns out the best performer is a wine made from the gamay grape — for the connoisseurs, that's a 2009 Beajoulais from the Paul Beaudet winery in central France.'"
cold fjord writes: Red wine is a popular marinade for meat, but it turns out that it may become a popular treatment for creating iron based superconductors as well: "Last year, a group of Japanese physicists grabbed headlines around the world by announcing that they could induce superconductivity in a sample of iron telluride by soaking it in red wine. They found that other alcoholic drinks also worked--white wine, beer, sake and so on--but red wine was by far the best. The question, of course, is why. What is it about red wine that does the trick? Today, these guys provide an answer, at least in part. Keita Deguchi at the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan, and a few buddies, say the mystery ingredient is tartaric acid and have the experimental data to show that it plays an important role in the process. . . It turns out that the best performer is a wine made from the gamay grape--for the connoisseurs, that's a 2009 Beajoulais from the Paul Beaudet winery in central France."Link to academic paper Link to Original Source
hackingbear writes: Reports from oversea (in Chinese) and Hongkong-based Chinese media report that China appears to have unblocked several sensitive political keywords. Using Baidu.com the country's leading search engine, users within the mainland border find, in Chinese, uncensored web page links and images using keywords like Tiananmen and "June 4". (Readers can click on the first one to view the images.) Given that the unblocking of these most sensitive keywords (of all) comes one week after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao publicly denounced left-wing leader Bo Xilai's movement of "striking down the ganster while reviving the red culture" as going down the path of Cultural Revolution, it could signal the silent start of a major political change. Separately, the Financial Times reports that the Premier has proposed the rehabilitation and re-evaluation of the 1989 Tiananmen Incident, but he met strong resistance from the left-wing fraction led by Bo. Bo has been sacked following the denouncement. Also the linked sites of the search result appear still being blocked and that other keywords, such as "Dalai Lama", are still being censored. Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: Astronomers have begun to blast 3 million cubic feet of rock from a mountaintop in the Chilean Andes to make room for what will be the world's largest telescope when completed near the end of the decade. The telescope will be located at the Carnegie Institution's Las Campanas Observatory-one of the world's premier astronomical sites, known for its pristine conditions and clear, dark skies. Over the next few months, more than 70 controlled blasts will break up the rock while leaving a solid bedrock foundation for the telescope and its precision scientific instruments. Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: The Seattle PI has news about a Seattle start-up training neural networks to predict human behaivor that results in parking tickets and auto theft. It's interesting to see technical folks using big data to open up the panopticon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon) instead of creating new ones. Link to Original Source
pigrabbitbear writes with an excerpt from an article at Motherboard: "Earlier last week we heard about the strange blob-bot, an amoeba-mimicking, pulsating, little horror of a robot. But that's nothing in the face of news that engineers at Virginia Tech have built a robotic jellyfish. As if the threat of the oceans being taken over by deadly stinging jelly cyborgs isn't scary enough, there's this: the researchers claim that, because their Robojelly is powered by a hydrogen-based catalytic reaction, rather than electricity, it could 'theoretically' power itself indefinitely. When you consider our best options for powering underwater craft are currently batteries, nuclear reactors, or tethers to the surface, a chemically-powered propulsion system is groundbreaking (and, well, a bit nerve-wracking)."
The full paper is available for free (at least for 30 days; registration required).
from the sorry-dad's-television dept.
New submitter offsafely writes "Scientists in Australia have discovered the oldest living life-form to date: a small patch of Ancient Seagrass, dated through DNA sequencing at 200,000 years old."
Says the linked article: "This is far older than the current known oldest species, a Tasmanian plant that is believed to be 43,000 years old." What I want to know is, How does it taste?
from the that's-gonna-leave-a-mark dept.
redletterdave writes "In mid-November, a hollow space ball fell from the sky and crashed into the earth in Namibia, the African nation situated above South Africa and west of Botswana and Zimbabwe. Authorities recovered the sphere in a grassy village north of Windhoek, the country's capital. The hollow ball, which appears to be made of 'two halves welded together,' has a rough surface, a 14-inch diameter and measures 43 inches around. The strange globe created a crater 13 inches deep and almost 12.5 feet wide, but was found almost 60 feet from the landing spot. Paul Ludik, the police forensics director investigating the case, says the dense ball weighs 13 pounds and is made of a 'metal alloy known to man.' NASA and the European Space Agency will both help investigate the strange occurrence."
netchaos writes: Bhagavad Gita As It Is, the ISKON version of Bhagavad Gita one of the holiest Hindu scriptures, is facing a legal ban in Tomsk, Russia on charges of religious extremism. The prosecutor's office requested the court to include the book in the Federal List of Extremist Materials along with Hitler's Mein Kampf and other literatures illegal in Russia,and to ban its printing, possession, and distribution. Link to Original Source
dell623 writes: Google is rolling out an OTA upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich for the Nexus S. GSM versions can already be updated manually. An early review is largely positive and comments on the significant visual and performance improvements. The Nexus S upgrade allows for a direct comparison against Gingerbread on the same hardware, and the likely improvement in current phones that will receive the upgrade. Link to Original Source