writes "Scientists from the Carnegie Institution for Science and Rutgers University have found a missing link that proves the original 1930s metal physics theory that thermal convection can drive magnetic-field generation is correct.
Recently, new studies have challenged the 80-year-old theory about thermal convection causing the Earth's magnetic field.
New calculations state that the resistivity of the molten metal at the Earth's core would be too low, thus generating a thermal conductivity that is too high.
If the thermal conductivity is too high, the liquid would not be able to rise, and thus thermal convection would not be possible, and therefore couldn't be the cause of the Earth's magnetic field."Link to Original Source
writes "For the last several days, some users of Ubisoft's uPlay system have been complaining that copies of games they purchased have been revoked from their libraries. According to a statement issued to a number of gaming websites, Ubisoft believes that the digital keys revoked have been "fraudulently obtained". What this means in practice is unclear; while some of the keys may have been obtained using stolen credit card details, others appear to have been purchased from unofficial third-party resellers, who often undercut official stores by purchasing cheaper boxed retail copies of games and selling their key-codes online, or by exploiting regional price differences, buying codes in regions where games are cheaper to sell them elsewhere in the world. The latest round of revocations appears to have triggered an overdue debate into the fragility of customer rights in respect of digital games stores."Link to Original Source
writes "In Microsoft's latest Windows 10 preview build released last week, Cortana made an entrance, but the much-anticipated Spartan browser did not. However, little did we realize that some of Spartan made the cut, in the form of an experimental rendering engine hidden under IE's hood. Microsoft has separated its Trident rendering engine into two separate versions: one is for Spartan, called EdgeHTML, while the other remains under its legacy naming with Internet Explorer. The reason Microsoft doesn't simply forego the older version is due to compatibility concerns. If you're running the Windows 10 9926 build, chances are good that you're automatically taking advantage of the new EdgeHTML engine in IE. To check, you can type 'about:flags' into the address bar. "Automatic" means that the non-Spartan Trident engine will be called-upon only if needed. In all other cases, you'll be taking advantage of the future Spartan web rendering engine. Performance-wise, the results with IE are like night and day in certain spots. Some of the improvements are significant. IE's Sunspider result already outperforms the competition, but it has been further improved. And with Kraken, the latency with the Spartan-powered Trident engine dropped 40%. Similar results are seen with a boost in the Octane web browser test as well."Link to Original Source
writes "It looks like America's favorite non-scientist science authority has weighed in on the physics of the NE Patriots Deflate-Gate "scandal", saying that to change the pressure in a football, you need to have a needle to either let air in our out. This, of course, completely ignores the Ideal Gas Law and the effect that changing temperature would have on the pressure of the gas within the ball. MIT did a "slightly" more scientific look at the physics here and found a pretty significant effect.
I didn't realize that Bill Nye had so little science background, but from his wikipedia page: "Nye began his professional entertainment career as a writer/actor on a local sketch comedy television show in Seattle, Washington, called Almost Live!. The host of the show, Ross Shafer, suggested he do some scientific demonstrations in a six-minute segment, and take on the nickname "The Science Guy". His other main recurring role on Almost Live! was as Speedwalker, a speedwalking Seattle superhero.""
writes "The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is set to detail a program the agency wants to come up with software and algorithms that would let unmanned military aircraft hunt in packs like wolves."Link to Original Source
writes "Astrophysicist Adam Frank has an interesting article in the NYT postulating one answer to the Fermi paradox — that the human evolution into a globe-spanning industrial culture is forcing us through the narrow bottleneck of a sustainability crisis and that civilization inevitably leads to catastrophic planetary changes. According to Frank, our current sustainability crisis may be neither politically contingent nor unique, but a natural consequence of laws governing how planets and life of any kind, anywhere, must interact. Some excerpts:
The defining feature of a technological civilization is the capacity to intensively “harvest” energy. But the basic physics of energy, heat and work known as thermodynamics tell us that waste, or what we physicists call entropy, must be generated and dumped back into the environment in the process. Human civilization currently harvests around 100 billion megawatt hours of energy each year and dumps 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the planetary system, which is why the atmosphere is holding more heat and the oceans are acidifying.
All forms of intensive energy-harvesting will have feedbacks, even if some are more powerful than others. A study by scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany, found that extracting energy from wind power on a huge scale can cause its own global climate consequences. When it comes to building world-girdling civilizations, there are no planetary free lunches.
By studying these nearby planets, we’ve discovered general rules for both climate and climate change (PDF). These rules, based in physics and chemistry, must apply to any species, anywhere, taking up energy-harvesting and civilization-building in a big way. For example, any species climbing up the technological ladder by harvesting energy through combustion must alter the chemical makeup of its atmosphere to some degree. Combustion always produces chemical byproducts, and those byproducts can’t just disappear
writes "Since I uploaded the public domain movie The night of the living dead to YouTube I got 18 different complaints of copyright infrigment on it.
Actually, I have a channel of Public Domain movies in which monetization has been disabled "due to repeated community guidelines and/or copyright issues".
The problem is that 99% of the complaints are false, they are from companies that have no rights over the movies but by issuing millions of take downs, manage to control a good number of videos in YouTube.
Is there any way to fight back ? Is there a way to "probe" public domain ?"
writes "A story is circulating around the internet that a new Illinois anti-cyberbullying law has a provision requiring students to hand over their Facebook and other social media accounts to school officials on demand.
The ACLU and the state legislator who wrote the bill both say this is wrong."Link to Original Source
writes "In January of 1870, John Hampden proposed a wager that challenged "all the philosophers, divines and scientific professors in the United Kingdom to prove the rotundity and revolution of the world from Scripture, from reason, or from fact. He will acknowledge that he has forfeited his deposit, if his opponent can exhibit, to the satisfaction of any intelligent referee, a convex railway, river, canal, or lake."
To Alfred Russel Wallace this sounded like easy money. Poor Wallace thought that Hampden only needed to be shown some proof in order to accept the plain fact that the earth is round. He knew nothing of Hampden and his ilk, or he may never have accepted the wager. But in addition to wanting to win a cool £500, he believed “that a practical demonstration would be more convincing than the ridicule with which such views are usually met.” He was about to find out that practical demonstrations have absolutely no effect on these truest of true believers.
Scientific American describes the events that followed. In the end Wallace and his family were subjected to death threats, and the wager cost him several hundred pounds and no end of trouble."Link to Original Source
writes "In 1973, an obscure company which had been making electronic cash registers looked for a new business opportunity. It ended up inventing the game cartridge--an innovation which kickstarted a billion-dollar industry and helped establish videogames as a creative medium. The story has never been told until now, but over at Fast Company, Benj Edwards chronicles the fascinating tale, based on interviews with the engineers responsible for the feat back in the mid-1970s."Link to Original Source
writes "Revolutions in science often come from the study of seemingly unresolvable paradoxes. So an interesting exercise is to list the paradoxes associated with current ideas in science. One cosmologist has done just that by exploring the paradoxes associated with well-established ideas and observations about the structure and origin of the universe. Perhaps the most dramatic of these paradoxes comes from the idea that the universe must be expanding. What’s curious about this expansion is that space, and the vacuum associated with it, must somehow be created in this process. And yet nobody knows how this can occur. What’s more, there is an energy associated with any given volume of the universe. If that volume increases, the inescapable conclusion is that the energy must increase as well. So much for conservation of energy. And even the amount of energy associated with the vacuum is a puzzle with different calculations contradicting each other by 120 orders of magnitude. Clearly, anybody who can resolve these problems has a bright future in science but may also end up tearing modern cosmology apart."
writes "Oracle has pushed out a massive security update, including critical fixes for Java SE and the Oracle Sun Systems Products Suite. Overall, the update contains nearly 170 new security vulnerability fixes, including 36 for Oracle Fusion Middleware. Twenty-eight of these may be remotely exploitable without authentication and can possibly be exploited over a network without the need for a username and password."Link to Original Source
Presto Vivace (882157)
writes "Biologists discover electric bacteria that eat pure electrons rather than sugar, redefining the tenacity of life
Some intrepid biologists at the University of Southern California (USC) have discovered bacteria that survives on nothing but electricity — rather than food, they eat and excrete pure electrons. These bacteria yet again prove the almost miraculous tenacity of life — but, from a technology standpoint, they might also prove to be useful in enabling the creation of self-powered nanoscale devices that clean up pollution. Some of these bacteria also have the curious ability to form into ‘biocables,’ microbial nanowires that are centimeters long and conduct electricity as well as copper wires — a capability that might one day be tapped to build long, self-assembling subsurface networks for human use.
writes "Microsoft just took another big step toward the release of Windows 10 and revealed it will be free for many current Windows users.
The company unveiled the Windows 10 consumer preview on Wednesday, showcasing some of the new features in the latest version of the operating system that powers the vast majority of the world's desktop PCs. The developer preview has been available since Microsoft first announced Windows 10 in the fall, but it was buggy, limited in scope and very light on new features.
Importantly, Windows 10 will be free for existing Windows users running versions of Windows back to Windows 7. That includes Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows Phone. Microsoft specified it would only be free for the first year, indicating Windows would be software that users subscribe to, rather than buy outright.
Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the Operating Systems Group Joe Belfiore showed off some of the new features in Windows 10. While Microsoft had already announced it would bring back the much-missed Start Menu, Belfiore revealed it would also have a full-screen mode that includes more of the Windows 8 Start screen. He said Windows machines would go back and forth between to two menus in a way that wouldn't confuse people.
Belfiore also showed a new notification center for Windows, which puts a user's notifications in an Action Center menu that can appear along the right side, similar to how notifications work in Apple OS X.
Microsoft Executive Vice President of Operating Systems Terry Myerson revealed that 1.7 million people had downloaded the Windows 10 developer preview, giving Microsoft over 800,000 individual piece of feedback.
Myerson explained that Windows 10 has several main intents: the give users a mobility of experience from device to device, instill a sense of trust in users, and provide the most natural ways to interact with devices."Link to Original Source
writes "Local Albuquerque, NM Hackerspace, Quelab, created and unintentionally launched a solar-powered tetroon over the city, prompting several calls to the FAA, Kirtland AFB, and news organizations, describing it as a "floating tortilla chip." The tetroon allows sunlight to pass through the top layer, heating the inner black layers, creating a hot-air balloon as the interior gas expands.
Besides the well-known "Roswell" incident, New Mexico often has many UFO sightings due to the prevalence of technology and military groups, good weather, and clear skies."