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Submission + - NASA makes it official: It wants a big new rocket (

coondoggie writes: NASA today issued the official announcement that it wants a new heavy-lift rocket to help it get deep into outer space. NASA said it will spend $8 million on the project with no individual contract exceeding $625,000. The deadline for submitting proposals is July 29, 2010.

In May NASA said it would soon begin looking for a next generation heavy lift rocket that could be used around 2015 — the earliest date that the currently envisioned heavy-lift system could begin work.


Submission + - Build guide outlines cheap quad-, six-core PCs (

J. Dzhugashvili writes: Slapping together a lean, mean gaming machine has never been easier, especially with the trend of bargain-basement pricing in the CPU market. The latest edition of The Tech Report's build guide outlines a hexa-core gaming rig that costs only $850 to put together, not to mention a quad-core hot rod for $550. Both configurations have DirectX 11 graphics, bells and whistles like 6Gbps Serial ATA and USB 3.0, and quiet, highly efficient power supplies with equally discreet enclosures. Considering what you can get with careful component selection, a Phillips-head screwdriver, and some elbow grease, it's a wonder anyone still buys overpriced gaming PCs from Dell or HP.

Submission + - Why Google, Bing, Yahoo should fear ACTA (

littlekorea writes: A top US intellectual property law expert has warned that Silicon Valley's search engines, hosting companies and e-commerce giants have much to fear from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), negotiations for which continued in Switzerland today. The fear for search engines in particular is the erosion of 'fair use' protections and introduction of statutory damages, both of which could lead to more copyright claims from rights holders.

Submission + - LHC smashes beam collision record ( 2

siloko writes: The world's highest-energy particle accelerator has produced a record-breaking particle collision rate — about double the previous record. The collider is now generating around 10,000 particle collisions per second, according to physicist Andrei Golutvin. Ramping up the funding rhetoric Mike Lamont told BBC News "It's clear that the LHC is the new boy in town, but in two years running we're going to put Fermilab out of business". As a neutral all I can say is the more collisions the better!

Submission + - New drug protects from radiation ( 1

fergus07 writes: Radiation is a frontline treatment for many cancers, but it can also damage the bone marrow which produces all of the body's normal blood cells. A study by the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center has shown that the drug PQ can successfully protect mice from lethal doses of radiation, even when given after exposure. Researchers hope PQ will be able to protect humans who are exposed to high doses of radiation, either intentionally, such as cancer patients, or accidentally.

Submission + - Quantum Entanglement May Hold DNA Together ( 1

KentuckyFC writes: The weird laws of quantum mechanics may be more important for life than biologists have imagined, according to a group of physicists who have calculated that DNA is held together by quantum entanglement. They've constructed a simplified theoretical model of DNA in which each nucleotide consists of a cloud of electrons around a central positive nucleus. This negative cloud can move relative to the nucleus, creating a dipole. And the movement of the cloud back and forth is a harmonic oscillator. When the nucleotides bond to form a base pair, these clouds become entangled and oscillate in opposite directions to ensure the stability of the helical stucture. Because these oscillations are quantum in nature, they occur in a superposition of states, so that the overall movement of the helix is zero. In a purely classical model, however, this cannot happen. If the helix were purely classical, it would vibrate and shake itself apart. So in this sense, the quantum entanglement holds the strands together. The work is purely theoretical at the moment but raises interesting questions about whether the entanglement can be exploited for other purposes, such as the transmission and processing of information.

Submission + - VPN flaw shows users ip ( 1

AHuxley writes: A VPN flaw announced at Cipher conference in Sweden allows individual users to be identified.
When using IPv6 and PPTP the hidden IP address of a user can be found, as well as the MAC.
The Swedish anti-piracy bureau could already be gathering data using the exploit.


Submission + - Adobe Warns of Flash, Reader, Acrobat 0day

An anonymous reader writes: Adobe Systems Inc. warned late Friday that malicious hackers are exploiting a previously unknown security hole present in current versions of its Adobe Reader, Acrobat and Flash Player software, writes Adobe said the vulnerability exists in Flash Player and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris operating systems, and a component (authplay.dll) of Adobe Reader and Acrobat versions 9.x for Windows, Mac and UNIX operating systems. The Adobe advisory is light on details but suggests Flash users upgrade to new release candidate 10 and to disable or delete the vulnerable component in Reader and/or Acrobat.

Submission + - Neutrinos can change appearance (

barutiwa writes: ...after three years of monitoring multiple billions of muon neutrinos beamed to them through the earth from CERN 730 kms (456 miles) away, they had spotted one that had turned into a tau neutrino. Behind that scientific terminology lies the long-sought proof that the three varieties of neutrinos — sub-atomic particles that with others form the universe's basic elements — can switch appearance, like the chameleon lizard...In its turn, specialists say, this could help shed light on what is the dark matter that makes up about a quarter of the universe alongside the some 5 percent that is observable and the remaining 70 percent invisible dark energy.

Submission + - ‘Green’ decontaminant cleans terror si (

An anonymous reader writes: But can it clean your bathroom? Chemists with the U.S. military have developed a set of ultra-strength cleaners to be used in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. The formulas are reportedly tough enough to get rid of nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax. But they are also non-toxic, based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products.

Submission + - NASA satellites see comet death dive into the Sun (

coondoggie writes: The collision of a comet with the Sun has been captured by instruments onboard NASA's twin Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) satellites. Solar physicists at the University of California, Berkeley said the comet was probably one from what's known as the Kreutz family of comets, a swarm of comets ejected from their orbit in 2004 by Jupiter, that typically orbit close to the Sun. Astronomers said this one was making its first and only loop by the Sun.

Submission + - Kevin Costner built it, BP might just come (

toomanyairmiles writes: ABC News reports that a company funded by Kevin Costner and headed by his brother has been working on a solution for cleaning up oil spills for some years now. They have produced a device which, according to the company, can clean up to 99% of the oil from the water. Their largest device can process up to 200 gallons of sea water per minute. "The machines are basically sophisticated centrifuge devices that can handle a huge volume of water and separate at unprecedented rates," said Ocean Therapy Solutions CEO John Houghtaling. Six of the devices are currently being tested by BP.

ABC also reports "Costner has been funding a team of scientists for 15 years in hopes of developing a technology to clean up massive oil spills".


Submission + - Cassandra By Example (

abartels writes: Cassandra has received a lot of attention and many people are evaluating it for their organization. Eric Evans, Cassandra Committer and Rackspace Developer, has recognized the shortcomings in the documentation explaining Cassandra. The problem is that Cassandra’s data model is different enough from traditional databases to readily cause confusion. In this article, Eric explains Cassandra by example, using the Twitter use case.

Submission + - Trumped-Up JFK Emergency? (

An anonymous reader writes: A write-up from AVWeb about a recent disagreement between ATC and the pilot of an American Airlines 767 that was on approach to land. Here's the summary : "An American Airlines 767 enroute into JFK from Los Angeles arrived to be assigned runway 22L as the landing runway. The wind was out of 310 at 22 knots, gusting to 34 knots—a direct crosswind that might have had a slight tailwind component. The Captain refused the landing runway and, when ATC declined to assign 31R, he declared an emergency and landed on it anyway"

Make sure to listen to the audio recording of the discussion between the pilot and ATC:

An analysis of the event can be read here:

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.