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Science

'Bizarre' Nanobubbles Found In Strained Graphene 84

Posted by timothy
from the put-them-in-very-small-asylums dept.
schliz writes "Physicists have observed 'bizarre' behaviour in graphene electrons that they say could make the material even more suitable to replace silicon in future electronic devices. When strained in a particular manner, nanobubbles formed on a sheet of graphene, within which electrons came to occupy particular, quantum energy levels rather than the usual, continuous range of energies in unstrained graphene. By controlling electrons' energy levels, researchers could control how easily they moved through graphene — in effect, controlling their conductivity, optical, or microwave properties."
Earth

1-in-1,000 Chance of Asteroid Impact In ... 2182? 326

Posted by timothy
from the sorry-kids dept.
astroengine writes "Sure, we're looking 172 years into the future, but an international collaboration of scientists have developed two mathematical models to help predict when a potentially hazardous asteroid (or PHA) may hit us, not in this century, but the next. The rationale is that to stand any hope in deflecting a civilization-ending or extinction-level impact, we need as much time as possible to deal with the threatening space rock. (Asteroid deflection can be a time-consuming venture, after all.) Enter '(101955) 1999 RQ36' — an Apollo class, Earth-crossing, 500 meter-wide space rock. The prediction is that 1999 RQ36 has a 1-in-1,000 chance of hitting us in the future, and according to one of the study's scientists, María Eugenia Sansaturio, half of those odds fall squarely on the year 2182."
The Internet

2 Chinese ISPs Serve 20% of World Broadband Users 110

Posted by timothy
from the easier-to-choke-down-on dept.
suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: "If you need a reminder of just how big China is—and just how important the Internet has become there—consider this stat: between them, two Chinese ISPs serve 20 percent of all broadband subscribers in the entire world and both companies continue to grow, even as growth slows significantly in more developed markets. Every other ISP trails dramatically. Japan's NTT comes in third with 17 million subscribers, and all US providers are smaller still. 'The gap between the top two operators and the world's remaining broadband service providers will continue to grow rapidly,' said TeleGeography Research Director Tania Harvey. 'Aside from the two Chinese companies, all of the top ten broadband ISPs operate in mature markets, with high levels of broadband penetration and rapidly slowing subscriber growth.'"
Piracy

Sometimes It's OK To Steal My Games 438

Posted by timothy
from the eternal-debate-continues dept.
spidweb writes "One Indie developer has written a nuanced article on a how software piracy affects him, approaching the issue from the opposite direction. He lists the ways in which the widespread piracy of PC games helps him. From the article: 'You don't get everything you want in this world. You can get piles of cool stuff for free. Or you can be an honorable, ethical being. You don't get both. Most of the time. Because, when I'm being honest with myself, which happens sometimes, I have to admit that piracy is not an absolute evil. That I do get things out of it, even when I'm the one being ripped off.' The article also tries to find a middle ground between the Piracy-Is-Always-Bad and Piracy-Is-Just-Fine sides of the argument that might enable single-player PC games to continue to exist."
KDE

KDE SC 4.7 May Use OpenGL 3 For Compositing 187

Posted by timothy
from the that's-software-compilation-to-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "KDE SC 4.5 is about to be released and KDE SC 4.6 is being discussed. However, Martin Graesslin has revealed some details about what they are planning for KDE 4.7. According to Martin's blog post, they are looking at OpenGL 3.0 to provide the compositing effects in KDE SC 4.7. OpenGL 3.0 provides support for frame buffer objects, hardware instancing, vertex array objects, and sRGB framebuffers."
Space

LCD 'Engine' For Spacecraft Attitude Control 95

Posted by kdawson
from the little-more-to-the-left dept.
Bruce Perens writes "Japan's IKAROS satellite, which earlier performed the first successful demonstration of a solar sail, has broken more new ground. Liquid-crystal displays — yes, like in your video monitor — were fabricated into strips on the edges of the solar sail. By energizing some of the LCDs and changing the reflective characteristics of parts of the sail from specular to diffuse, JAXA scientists successfully generated attitude control torque in the sail, changing the spacecraft's orientation."
Earth

+ - If the Earth Stood Still-> 1

Submitted by GrumblyStuff
GrumblyStuff (870046) writes "What would happen if the Earth stop rotating? Aside having a day that lasts 365 times longer, the approximately 8 km of water that is pushed to the equator would flow north and south, forming polar oceans separated entirely by a ring of land.

The geographic changes were modeled with ArcGIS and can be viewed here. There's no mention of possible weather patterns which would be interesting to try to model with both the geographical changes and year long day."

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Ubuntu Fountain-of-Youth for Aging Windows PCs

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "When Slate's Farhad Manjoo reviewed Ubuntu 8.04 two years ago, he didn't find much to like. But that was then. This is now. Having gotten his hands on version 10.04, Manjoo now highly recommends giving your creaky old Windows computer an Ubuntu makeover, calling it a pretty fantastic way to get an instantly new computer. 'Thanks to Ubuntu,' says Manjoo, 'a four-year-old machine that I'd been ready to throw out now works amazingly well. It can run multiple tabs, it can play YouTube videos, and it can most certainly let me stream NPR.' Time for Ubuntu Ponce de Leon Edition?"
Math

Data Sorting World Record — 1 Terabyte, 1 Minute 129

Posted by kdawson
from the out-of-sorts dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Computer scientists from the University of California, San Diego have broken the 'terabyte barrier' — and a world record — when they sorted more than a trillion bytes of data in 60 seconds. During this 2010 'Sort Benchmark' competition, a sort of 'World Cup of data sorting,' the UCSD team also tied a world record for fastest data sorting rate, sifting through one trillion data records in 172 minutes — and did so using just a quarter of the computing resources of the other record holder."
Science

Possible Room Temperature Superconductor Achieved 264

Posted by kdawson
from the beware-of-puppeteer-breeding-experiments dept.
TechkNighT_1337 sends news that surfaced on the Next Big Future blog, concerning research out of the University of Bengal, in India. The report is of a possible superconducting effect at ambient room temperatures. Here is the paper on the ArXiv. (Note that this research has not been peer-reviewed or published yet.) "We report the observation of an exceptionally large room-temperature electrical conductivity in silver and aluminum layers deposited on a lead zirconate titanate (PZT) substrate. The surface resistance of the silver-coated samples also shows a sharp change near 313 K. The results are strongly suggestive of a superconductive interfacial layer, and have been interpreted in the framework of Bose-Einstein condensation of bipolarons as the suggested mechanism for high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates. ... The fact that the results described above have been obtained from very simply-fabricated systems, without the use of any sophisticated set-up and any special attention being given to crystal purity, atomic perfection, lattice matching, etc. suggests that the physical process is a universal one, involving only an interface between a metal and an insulator with a large low-frequency dielectric constant. We note in passing that PZT and the cuprates have similar (perovskite or perovskite-based) crystal structures. This resemblance may provide an added insight into the basic mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity."
Open Source

Free Software, a Matter of Life and Death 197

Posted by kdawson
from the serious-as-it-gets dept.
ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes "Software on medical implants is not open to scrutiny by regulatory bodies. Glyn Moody writes: 'Software with the ability to harm as well as help us in the physical world needs to be open to scrutiny to minimise safety issues. Medical devices may be the most extreme manifestation of this, but with the move of embedded software into planes, cars and other large and not-so-large devices with potentially lethal side-effects, the need to inspect software there too becomes increasingly urgent.' A new report 'Killed by Code: Software Transparency in Implantable Medical Devices' from the Software Freedom Law Center points out that, as patients grow more reliant on computerized devices, the dependability of software is a life-or-death issue. 'The need to address software vulnerability is especially pressing for Implantable Medical Devices, which are commonly used by millions of patients to treat chronic heart conditions, epilepsy, diabetes, obesity, and even depression.' Will making the source code free to scrutiny address the issue of faulty devices?"
Image

Plastic Bottle Catamaran Crosses The Pacific Ocean 56

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-your-usual-trash-barge dept.
The Plastiki, a catamaran made with plastic bottles, has completed a 8,000 mile trip between San Francisco and Sydney. Captain David de Rothschild said, "The Plastiki is literally a metaphorical message in a bottle about beating waste and reducing our human fingerprints on our natural environment." The boat will go on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum for the next month.
The Media

Interview With the Man Behind WikiLeaks 489

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the balls-of-steel dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Julian Assange, the man behind WikiLeaks, explains why he feels it is right to encourage the leaking of secret information. He maintains that the more money an organisation spends on trying to conceal information, the more good it is likely to do if leaked. For Assange, leaked intelligence reveals the true state of governments, their human rights abuses, and their activities, it's what the 'history of journalism is.' On the media's role in making information available to the public, Assange maintains that 'the rest of the world's media is doing such a bad job that a little group of activists is able to release more of that type of information [classified documents] than the rest of the world press combined.'"
Image

Australian Cave Offers Klingon Audio Tour 54

Posted by samzenpus
from the enjoy-the-tour-you-filthy-targ dept.
schliz writes "An Australian cave system visited by 200,000 tourists a year is expanding its range of audio guides to support Klingon. Cave operators reportedly engaged the services of two 'Klingon scholars' from the US, following Star Trek's naming of a 'Sydney Class' Starship, the USS Jenolan."
Apple

iPad Owners Are 'Selfish Elites' 780

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sounds-about-right dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It's not exactly official, but should also surprise no one: According to a new study the psychological profile of iPad owners can be summed up as 'selfish elites' while have-not critics are 'independent geeks.' Consumer research firm MyType conducted the study, in which opinions of 20,000 people were analyzed between March and May. The firm's conclusion was that iPad owners tend to be wealthy, sophisticated, highly educated and disproportionately interested in business and finance, while they scored terribly in the areas of altruism and kindness. In other words, 'selfish elites.'"

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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