hypnosec writes: A multi-university effort has culminated into a tree of life for birds developed using a massive Yale University-led genomic analysis of 198 species of birds. Published in the journal Nature, the tree of life and the underlying research sheds new light on how all modern birds evolved from the only three dinosaur lineages to survive the great extinction event 66 million years ago. The tree of life of birds is expected to take another 5 to 10 years to complete.
hypnosec writes: A video showcasing circus trick abilities of the astronauts on ISS has been posted online wherein astronauts are seen performing the good old juggling trick. While the trick isn't easy to perform on Earth, imagine how tough it would be to juggle a few oranges and have them obey the laws of gravitation in zero gravity. Initially it feels that the astronauts have got around the laws of gravity and somehow got the oranges to obey the rules of gravity and come back down in astronaut's hands. However, that's not the case. When the camera pans up, it turns out that another astronaut is sitting right opposite to the first astronaut, catching the oranges and throwing them back down. In another trick one of the astronauts is seen playing with what seems to empty boxes.
hypnosec writes: Kepler Space Telescope has allowed astronomers to detect and catalog thousands of exoplanets and exoplanet candidates and with more powerful telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope scheduled for launch, scientists will be able to check if any of these exoplanets is habitable. However, when it comes to using space telescopes, there is a lot of time, and money that are required and so pointing the telescope at random to any of the exoplanets isn’t a practical proposition. That’s why researchers have created what they call a ‘habitability index for transiting planets’ using which astronomers will be able to prioritize the use of space telescope for finding habitable planets.
hypnosec writes: A multi-agency effort will see a spacecraft being crashed into an asteroid in 2022 providing us the opportunity to gauge our abilities to impact potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroid and to measure and characterize the deflection caused by the impact. The Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission is being developed through a collaboration between NASA, ESA, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Observatoire de la Côte dAzur (OCA), and John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), scientists were told at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) in Nantes, France. According to the plan, two spacecrafts will be launched in October 2020 for an encounter with binary asteroid 65803 Didymos (1996 GT) in October 2022. ESA says that the asteroid provides the optimal target for such mission allowing an impact on Didymos’ secondary body to change its orbital period around the primary by an amount measurable both from ground observatories and from a rendezvous spacecraft. Out of the two spacecrafts – one will be an asteroid impactor that will be from NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission led by the John Hopkins’ Applied Physics Laboratory in the United States, while the other will be the an asteroid rendezvous spacecraft part of ESA Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM).
hypnosec writes: Security experts have revealed that a Linux botnet using XOR DDoS malware has grown so powerful that it can virtually bring any victim’s network to a grinding halt by bombarding them with up to 179 Gbps data. Believed to be of Asian origin, the botnet is known to target as many as 20 victims per day 90 per cent of which are believed to be companies located in Asia. Security response team from Akamai Technologies have observed several such attacks recently and most of them are being targeted at online gaming companies and the education sector. Unlike typical vulnerability exploiting mechanism, this botnet is spreading by targeting Linux devices of all flavours – even embedded – by guessing their SSH root passwords employing brute force mechanism. Researchers have found that once the root password is guessed, a bash script is run on the target device which downloads the Trojan and other necessary files. The botnet is also said to be using rootkit techniques to evade detection.
hypnosec writes: For the past eleven years, a team of international scientists is busy looking for gravitational waves by monitoring a set of ‘millisecond pulsars’ using CSIRO's Parkes Telescope. The idea is to record the arrival times of the highly regular trains of radio pulses on Earth to an accuracy of ten billionths of a second. Merging of a pair of black hole produces gravitational waves according to Einstein's theory of relativity. When these gravitational waves pass between Earth and a millisecond pulsar, the squeeze and stretch of space causes a change in distance Earth and the pulsar in tune of about 10 metres — a tiny fraction of the pulsar’s distance from Earth. This changes, very slightly, the time that the pulsar’s signals arrive on Earth. Researchers have been trying to detect this change as a proof of existence of gravitational waves, but to no avail raising questions on our understanding of black holes and on the theory of relativity as well.
hypnosec writes: A YouTuber named Tom Scott has built a 1,000-key keyboard with each key representing an emoji! Scott made the emoji keyboard using 14 keyboards and over 1,000 individually placed stickers. While he himself admits that it is one of the craziest things he has built, the work he has put in does warrant appreciation. On the keyboard are individually placed emojis for food items, animals, plants, transport, national flags, and time among others.
hypnosec writes: Astronomers have managed to capture the motion of an exoplanet around its host star using the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) instrument. Stitching together images captured over a period of 1.5 years from November 2013 to April 2015, researchers have created a video that provides an amazing view of motion of the exoplanet " Pic b" around its star. First discovered in 2008, " Pic b" orbits its star over 22 years and is said to be a gas giant like Jupiter.
hypnosec writes: Using redshifts, fast radio bursts and state of the art technology, researchers at University of British Columbia propose a new method of calculating distance between celestial objects in the universe and mapping the cosmos in 3D. Published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the research describes the proposal of how the scientists intend to use fast radio bursts to calculate cosmological distances as well as map out the positions of distant galaxies in 3D. Though only 10 or so of these FRBs have been detected so far, UBC scientists are of the opinion that thousands of these FRBs must be happening each day.
hypnosec writes: Researchers have developed a novel way of manufacturing proteins using which it will become easier for students to learn how proteins work and how to fix them when they are broken and also pave way for novel drugs that could target a myriad of diseases, including cancer. Researchers at Northwestern University and Yale University used a special strain of E. coli bacteria to build a cell-free protein synthesis platform technology that can manufacture large quantities of human phosphoproteins for scientific study. The technology holds promise of letting scientists learn in greater detail the structure of phosphoproteins, how they function, and which ones are involved with diseases.
hypnosec writes: Researchers at Queen's University, Canada have discovered, for the first ever, massive binary star, epsilon Lupi, wherein both the stars are having their own magnetic fields — a discovery that researchers say could point them in the direction of finding out how magnetic fields are generated in massive stars. Discovered using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the massive binary star is a system comprising of two stars, orbiting around their common centre of mass. The finding is a result of the continuous efforts by the BinaMIcS (Binarity and Magnetic Interactions in various classes of Stars) collaboration.
hypnosec writes: Slinky has been a humble toy since 70 years and despite its simplistic design, almost every other person in the world would have played with it once in their lifetime. Now the humble toy, which has its roots in the 1940s, has found itself in a midst of researchers and seismologists who are employing it in earthquake research. Senior instructor in the University of Oregon’s Department of Physics Dean Livelybrooks is helping out instructors in Thailand teach math and physics through the use of seismometers made using slinky — inexpensive instruments that measure vibrations in the earth. The “Slinky Seismometer” is essentially a few magnets suspended in a clear tube by a section of an actual Slinky-brand spring toy. This simplistic seismometer is set on the floor and moves whenever the earth does. The magnets hang inside copper coils mounted inside the housing, generating an electric signal when ground motion causes the tube to move even imperceptibly up and down. Because Slinky Seismometers are a well-known, do-it-yourself device, there’s even an international network where data from instruments around the world can be uploaded and viewed in real time.
hypnosec writes: Blue Coat Systems has released a report highlighting the top-level domains (TLDs) which are associated with suspicious websites. The company found that more than 95 per cent of websites in 10 different TLDs are rated as suspicious, with that percentage increasing to 100 per cent for the top two highest ranking TLDs,.zip and.review. Blue Coat analysed hundreds of millions of Web requests from more than 15,000 businesses and 75 million users to create “The Web’s Shadiest Neighborhoods,” a new report that combines research with tips and tricks for Web users and enterprise security and IT departments looking to avoid viruses and other malicious activity.
hypnosec writes: In a biggest of its kind security incident, as many as 225,000 Apple accounts have been hijacked by the authors of an iOS malware dubbed KeyRaider, security experts have revealed. The incident was brought to light by an investigation carried out by security experts at Palo Alto Networks in collaboration with an amateur technical group in China called WeipTech. Experts at the two companies unearthed the iOS malware and its mechanism of working providing vital clues about its creator. The attack was first discovered by i_82, a student from Yangzhou University and member of WeipTech. KeyRaider is capable of infected only jailbroken Apple devices as the security of such devices have already been weakened by the jailbreak patch. Researchers say that during the course of investigation, they identified 92 samples of the new iOS malware family in the wild.
hypnosec writes: One of the biggest hurdles in adoption of LED lighting is the cost involved and the inability of energy savings to offset these high costs. This is about to change as a new research has shown promise of a efficient yet cheaper LED technology. The new LED technology, which is said to have the potential of revolutionising lighting technology, has been developed by Zhibin Yu, Assistant Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Florida State University. The new technology involves a combination of organic and inorganic materials. The newly developed material, which dissolve easily and can be applied like paint to light bulbs, shines a blue, green or red light. This is not its selling point though as what makes this technology special is the fact that it only requires one laying unlike traditional LED lights which require four or five layers of material on top of each other to create a product with desired effects.