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+ - How to destroy the entire Universe

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "For all the aspiring supervillains out there, you may have heard that Stephen Hawking recently wrote about the possibility of the Higgs field destroying the Universe. As it turns out, that's not very likely to happen, not likely to affect us if it does happen, and not something we can control in any case. But there is something we can do if we were intent on destroying the Universe: restore the inflationary state that gave rise to the Universe (and the Big Bang) in the first place!"

+ - Curiosity Finds a Weird 'Ball' on Mars-> 3

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "This recent photographic example of the Martian surface by NASA rover Curiosity's Mastcam camera was uploaded to the mission’s photo archive on sol 746 (Sept. 11). While compiling a mosaic of images of the surrounding landscape, the rover captured a rather un-Mars-like shape atop a rocky outcrop. There’s a perfect-looking sphere sitting proudly on a flat rock surface. It’s dusty, but under that dust it appears a little darker than the surrounding rock. At first glance it looks like an old cannonball or possibly a dirty golf ball. But knowing that Mars is somewhat lacking in the 16th Century battleship and golf cart departments, there was likely another answer. According to MSL scientists based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., the ball isn’t as big as it looks — it’s approximately one centimeter wide. Their explanation is that it is most likely something known as a “concretion.” Other examples of concretions have been found on the Martian surface before — take, for example, the tiny haematite concretions, or “blueberries”, observed by Mars rover Opportunity in 2004 — and they were created during sedimentary rock formation when Mars was abundant in liquid water many millions of years ago."
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+ - Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Irish teenagers Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow, all 16, have won the Google Science Fair 2014. Their project, Combating the Global Food Crisis, aims to provide a solution to low crop yields by pairing a nitrogen-fixing bacteria that naturally occurs in the soil with cereal crops it does not normally associate with, such as barley and oats. The results were incredible: the girls found their test crops germinated in half the time and had a drymass yield up to 74 percent greater than usual."
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+ - Octopus-Inspired Robot Matches Real Octopus For Speed

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Underwater vehicles have never matched the extraordinary agility of marine creatures. While many types of fish can travel at speeds of up to 10 body lengths per second, a nuclear sub can manage a less than half a body length per second. Now a team of researchers has copied a trick used by octopuses to build an underwater robot capable of matching the agility of marine creatures. This trick is the way an octopus expands the size of its head as it fills with water and then squirts it out to generate propulsion. The team copied this by building a robot with a flexible membrane that also expands as it fills with water. The fluid then squirts out through a rear-facing nozzle as the membrane contracts. To the team's surprise, the robot reached speeds of 10 body lengths per second with a peak acceleration of 14 body lengths per second squared. That's unprecedented in an underwater vehicle of this kind. What's more, the peak force experienced by the robot was 30 per cent greater than the thrust generated by the jet. The team think they know why and say the new technique could be used to design bigger subs capable of even more impressive octopus-like feats."

+ - Apple's TouchID Fingerprint Scanner: Still Hackable-> 1

Submitted by electronic convict
electronic convict (3600551) writes "A year ago, security researcher Marc Rogers demonstrated how to spoof the TouchID sensor in the iPhone 5S using some Elmer's glue and glycerol — oh, and a high resolution camera and a laser printer.

Has TouchID security improved at all on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus? Not really, Rogers reports in his latest post, in which he again hacks the latest TouchID sensors using the same method as before. 'Fake fingerprints created using my previous technique were able to readily fool both devices,' he reports.

Rogers, however, says there's no reason to panic, as the attack requires substantial skill, patience and a good clear fingerprint. . As he writes: 'We use locks on our doors to keep criminals out not because they are perfect, but because they are both convenient and effective enough to meet most traditional threats.'"

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+ - Breaking: 'Big Bang Signal' Could All Be Dust->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Now, scientists have shown that the swirl pattern touted as evidence of primordial gravitational waves — ripples in space and time dating to the universe’s explosive birth — could instead all come from magnetically aligned dust. A new analysis of data from the Planck space telescope has concluded that the tiny silicate and carbonate particles spewed into interstellar space by dying stars could account for as much as 100 percent of the signal detected by the BICEP2 telescope and announced to great fanfare this spring.

The Planck analysis is “relatively definitive in that we can’t exclude that the entirety of our signal is from dust,” said Brian Keating, an astrophysicist at the University of California, San Diego, and a member of the BICEP2 collaboration."

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+ - Massive galaxies snacking on their tiny counterparts->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Massive galaxies in the universe have stopped making their own stars. Astronomers looked at more than 22,000 galaxies and found that while smaller galaxies are very efficient at creating stars from gas, the most massive galaxies are much less efficient at star formation, producing hardly any new stars themselves, and instead grow by 'eating' other galaxies

Dr Aaron Robotham, who is based at the University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), said smaller 'dwarf' galaxies were being eaten by their larger counterparts

Dr Robotham, who led the research, said our own Milky Way is at a tipping point and is expected to now grow mainly by eating smaller galaxies, rather than by collecting gas. "The Milky Way hasn't merged with another large galaxy for a long time but you can still see remnants of all the old galaxies we've cannibalised," he said. "We're also going to eat two nearby dwarf galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, in about four billion years"

But Dr Robotham said the Milky Way is eventually going to get its comeuppance when it merges with the nearby Andromeda Galaxy in about five billion years. "Technically, Andromeda will eat us because it's the more massive one," he said

Almost all of the data for the research was collected with the Anglo-Australian Telescope in New South Wales as part of the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, which is led by Professor Simon Driver at ICRAR. The GAMA survey involves more than 90 scientists and took seven years to complete. This study is one of over 60 publications to have come from the work, with another 180 currently in progress. Dr Robotham said as galaxies grow they have more gravity and can therefore more easily pull in their neighbours."

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+ - Torvalds says he has no strong opinions on systemd ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Linux creator Linus Torvalds is well-known for his strong opinions on many technical things. But when it comes to systemd, the init system that has caused a fair degree of angst in the Linux world, Torvalds is neutral.

"When it comes to systemd, you may expect me to have lots of colourful opinions, and I just don't," Torvalds says. "I don't personally mind systemd, and in fact my main desktop and laptop both run it.""

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+ - SPAM: The purpose of Educational Illustrations

Submitted by maaillustrations
maaillustrations (3819857) writes "This illustrations show to help the students to learn faster and enhances their understanding. Most of us might be never forget the pictorial books that we loved as children. These colourful pictorial books definitely played their role in our overall intellectual development and learning processes. There are various benefits that illustrations offer us. They help to motivate the reader, improve creativity and nurtures aesthetic appreciation. Picture illustrations express the story in a better way, both verbally and visually.In the present day world the television, internet and video games occupy the minds of young children. There is an ever-growing need to produce colourfully illustrated books which can capture the imagination of the children. Children are often attracted to brightly coloured images of simple things. Younger children like brilliant colours, tales and repetitive text that emphasizes on familiar objects. Pre-schoolers like a good rhythm and repetitive texts with colourful images. Pre-schoolers must have exposure to multiplicity of various types of books with fairy tales, nonfiction and titles that interest them."
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+ - Court Rules The "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

Submitted by ericgoldman
ericgoldman (1250206) writes "Even though "googling" and "Google it" are now common phrases, a federal court ruled that the "Google" trademark is still a valid trademark instead of a generic term (unlike former trademarks such as escalator, aspirin or yo-yo). The court distinguished between consumers using Google as a verb (such as "google it"), which didn't automatically make the term generic, and consumers using Google to describe one player in the market, which 90%+ of consumers still do."

+ - Master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock helps reveal flicker of consciousness->

Submitted by bmahersciwriter
bmahersciwriter (2955569) writes "A 34 year old man in an apparent vegetative state for more than 16 years was presented with video from "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" while in an fMRI scanner. His brain showed activity in regions associated with executive function, similar to that of fully conscious subjects, suggesting that he was at some level following the plot. “It was actually indistinguishable from a healthy participant watching the movie,” says Adrian Owen, a neuroscientist in Ontario who goes by the cheeky Twitter handle @comadork. Owen hopes that studies like his could help improve the lives of patients who are unable to express their wishes. To that end, it's fortuitous perhaps that the man's father had been taking him to watch movies every Wednesday."
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+ - Matrox Returns With Graphic Card That Can Drive Six 4K Displays->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "If you were a gamer in the '90s, you remember the time when owning a Matrox Millennium card meant you were hardcore. Since then, the company has retreated into specialized niches, supporting high-end applications on desktops and owning only a tiny market share, but it's making a bold bid for a comback: a passively cooled AMD-based graphics card that can support up to six 4K displays simultaneously."
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+ - How Astrophysicists Hope To Turn The Entire Moon Into A Cosmic Ray Detector

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "One of the great mysteries in astrophysics surrounds the origin of ultra-high energy cosmic rays, which can have energies of 10^20 electron volts and beyond. To put that in context, that’s a single proton with the same energy as a baseball flying at 100 kilometres per hour. Nobody knows where ultra-high energy cosmic rays come from or how they get their enormous energies. That's largely because they are so rare--physicists detect them on Earth at a rate of less than one particle per square kilometre per century. So astronomers have come up with a plan to see vastly more ultra high energy cosmic rays by using the Moon as a giant cosmic ray detector. When these particles hit the lunar surface, they generate brief bursts of radio waves that a highly sensitive radio telescope can pick up. No radio telescope on Earth is currently capable of this but astronomers are about to start work on a new one that will be able to pick up these signals for the first time. That should help them finally tease apart the origins of these most energetic particles in the Universe ."

+ - Disused nuclear barge to be scrapped in Galveston->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "A World War II-era Liberty ship converted to a barge-mounted nuclear reactor will be towed from Virginia to Galveston to be scrapped.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to have a public hearing Tuesday in Galveston to detail the plan for the scrapping of the USS Sturgis.

Galveston was chosen for the scrapping because of its proximity to facilities that accept the sort of low-level radioactive waste and other toxic, discarded material to be removed from the ship, said Hans Honerlah, a Corps of Engineers program manager and health physicist.

Towing the ship to Galveston to be broken up is safer than removing the waste at its present berth at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in the James River of Virginia, he said.

“The higher risk is trucking, followed by rail. Towing it here (to Galveston) is safer than having a lot of trucks traveling across the country,” Honerlah told the Galveston County Daily News

According to the Corps of Engineers, the Sturgis was outfitted with a nuclear reactor to generate electric power for military and civilian operations in the Panama Canal Zone in the 1960s. The reactor was shut down in 1976, the fuel was removed and it was mothballed in 1978."

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