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Science

Biological Computer Created at Stanford 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the meat-machine dept.
sciencehabit writes "For the first time, synthetic biologists have created a genetic device that mimics one of the widgets on which all of modern electronics is based, the three-terminal transistor. Like standard electronic transistors, the new biological transistor is expected to work in many different biological circuit designs. This should make it easier for scientists to program cells to do everything from monitor pollutants and the progression of disease to turning on the output of medicines and biofuels."
Google

Google Releases Street View Images From Fukushima Ghost Town 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-fallout-map dept.
mdsolar writes in with news that Goolge has released Street View pictures from inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima disaster. "Google Inc. (GOOG) today released images taken by its Street View service from the town of Namie, Japan, inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. Google, operator of the world's biggest Web search engine, entered Namie this month at the invitation of the town's mayor, Tamotsu Baba, and produced the 360-degree imagery for the Google Maps and Google Earth services, it said in an e-mailed statement. All of Namie's 21,000 residents were forced to flee after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the town, causing the world's worst nuclear accident after Chernobyl. Baba asked Mountain View, California-based Google to map the town to create a permanent record of its state two years after the evacuation, he said in a Google blog post."
The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

Posted by samzenpus
from the nice-day-for-a-flight dept.
skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."
Mars

4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-a-look dept.
SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."

Comment: Re:I'm on the edge of my seat... (Score 1) 544

by samriel (#42049207) Attached to: What "Earth-Shaking" Discovery Has Curiosity Made on Mars?

Now honestly, even if it's organic matter that made it over with the rover, if it's reproducing and surviving on the planet, that's plenty interesting news.

You're exactly right - the "exciting" news might not be that life still exists on Mars, but that it easily could. This might have very interesting implications for terraforming.

Comment: No, because that's not the point (Score 5, Insightful) 348

by samriel (#38961645) Attached to: Should Next-Gen Game Consoles Be Upgradeable?
The entire point of game consoles is that developers at least have a chance at a homogenous platform where they can make sure the game mostly runs the same everywhere. If you allow upgrading CPU, GPU, etc. then it's just PC gaming with a weird OS and components that will most likely cost more just because they can.
Digital

+ - The Universe is Digital, not Quantum->

Submitted by xkr
xkr (786629) writes "Professor Craig Hogan, at Fermilab, says the universe is filled with intrinsic jitter. This jitter comes not from quantum physics, but rather space is made of "tiny chunks." "Hogan's noise would imply the universe is digital." So it appears we are in the Matrix after all, and the Matrix is a digital computer. His work is published in the Feb 2012 issue of Scientific American, available on line."
Link to Original Source
GNOME

+ - Unicode Character-of-Death crashes GTK apps on Win->

Submitted by Olipro
Olipro (1531021) writes "A long-standing, but until yesterday undiscovered bug in GTK for Windows has revealed that any application using GTK (such as X-Chat, Pidgin and Wireshark to name but a few) can be made to crash if any non-BMP character is sent for display resulting in much malicious fun across IRC and IM networks. As yet, no word from the GTK devs has been heard."
Link to Original Source
Piracy

+ - Is it stealing if you don't keep it?

Submitted by pyrothebouncer
pyrothebouncer (1595641) writes "I've been thinking about the idea of piracy with the recent SOPA and PIPA news and came up with a curious question. If I download a movie, watch it and then discard it, isn't that the same as going to a bookstore reading a book/magazine, putting it back on the shelf and then leaving?

I've just read the WHOLE book/magazine. I now contain the knowledge or information in my head that is contained in the item. But, I have not purchased or rented the item. I don't have a copy of it.

In the same way describing the film, I've just watched the WHOLE movie. I now contain the knowledge or information in my head that is contained in the item. But, I have not purchased or rented the item. I don't have a copy of it (I just deleted it).

I haven't stolen a purse, or a car, as is often shown in the "anti-piracy" campaign ads."
Mars

+ - Did Someone Put Out a Cosmic Hit on Russia's Mars -> 1

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "It’s been more than two months since Russia’s Phobos-Grunt spacecraft failed to complete its mission of landing on Mars’ moon Phobos and returning with a soil sample. It first went silent in orbit; it’s since crashed into the Pacific. Now, the director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin, is suggesting that something, or someone, sabotaged the mission."
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Space

+ - Any Exoplanet Possible in a 'Compulsive' Universe-> 1

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes ""Exoplanet discoveries have shown us that if it isn't forbidden by the laws of thermodynamics and Newtonian physics, then it is compulsive," said Virginia Trimble of the University of California at Irvine during the American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin, Texas, last week. It appears that if you can imagine it, without breaking any laws of physics, then any kind of alien world is possible. Does this go for alien life too? "We will ultimately reach that summit with the eventual discovery that life is a condition of the universe," hypothesizes Discovery News' Ray Villard. "In other words, that self-replicating matter is nature's favorite form of self-expression.""
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He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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