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Star dust taken from comet tail excites scientists
Contra Costa Times
We're all made of star dust, as Carl Sagan famously observed. But the nature of that dust, long before it assembled into us, is a scientific mystery whose answer may lie in a box in a UC Berkeley lab. A team of scientists there say they've captured the first...
Scientists Find Dust Particles Likely From Outside Solar
First Specks Of Stardust Found After Years Of SearchingForbes
Stardust Grains May Reveal First Look at Interstellar SpaceNDTV
Reuters-Headlines & Global News
all 104 news articles

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+ - China Cracks Down On Mobile Messaging->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "China is tightening control over mobile messaging services with new rules that limit their role in spreading news. Under the new regulations, only news agencies and other groups with official approval can publish whatever the government considers political news via public accounts. 'All other public accounts that have not been approved cannot release or reprint political news,' the regulations said. Users of the instant messaging services will also have to register with their official IDs, and agree to follow relevant laws."
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+ - Crafting a Gameplan to End Age-Related Diseases->

Submitted by kkleiner
kkleiner (1468647) writes "The underlying reasons for aging in the body are known, so the focus now shifts to solutions, especially within biotechnology. This, according to Aubrey de Grey — cofounder and chief science officer of the SENS Research Foundation — is why the organization provides funding for research off the mainstream. While once the lone torch bearer for longevity extension, SENS is now joined by Google and other startups tackling the challenge through analysis of healthcare and genomic data."
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+ - Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To be

Submitted by samzenpus
samzenpus (5) writes "Bennett Haselton writes My LG Optimus F3Q was the lowest-end phone in the T-Mobile store, but a cheap phone is supposed to suck in specific ways that make you want to upgrade to a better model. This one is plagued with software bugs that have nothing to do with the cheap hardware, and thus lower one's confidence in the whole product line. Similar to the suckiness of the Stratosphere and Stratosphere 2 that I was subjected to before this one, the phone's shortcomings actually raise more interesting questions — about why the free-market system rewards companies for pulling off miracles at the hardware level, but not for fixing software bugs that should be easy to catch. Read below to see what Bennett has to say."

+ - Ask Dr. Andy Chun About Artificial Intelligence

Submitted by samzenpus
samzenpus (5) writes "Dr. Andy Chun is the CIO for City University of Hong Kong, and is instrumental in transforming the University to be one of the most technology-progressive in this region. He serves as an advisor on many government boards including the Digital 21 Strategy Advisory Committee, an advisory group on information technology matters in Hong Kong. His research work on the use of Artificial Intelligence has been honored with numerous awards, and his AI system keeps the subway in Hong Kong running and repaired with an amazing 99.9% uptime. Dr. Chun has agreed to give us some of his time in order to answer your questions. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post."

+ - Nearly 25 years ago, IBM helped save Macintosh->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Apple and IBM, which just announced partnership to bring iOS and cloud services to enterprises, have helped each other before. IBM played a key role in turning the Macintosh into a successful hardware platform at a point when it — and the company itself — were struggling. Nearly 25 years ago, IBM was a part of an alliance that gave Apple access to PowerPC chips for Macintosh systems that were competitive, if not better performing in some benchmarks, than the processors Intel was producing at the time for Windows PCs. In 1991, Apple was looking for a RISC-based processor to replace the Motorola 68K it had been using in its Macintosh line. "The PCs of the era were definitely outperforming the Macintoshes that were based on the 68K," he said. "Apple was definitely behind the power, performance curve," said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64. The PowerPC processor that emerged from that earlier pairing changed that. PowerPC processors were used in Macintoshes for more than a decade, until 2006, when Apple switched to Intel chips."
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+ - Book Review:Penetration Testing with bash shell by Keith Makan.

Submitted by gaurav63
gaurav63 (3730785) writes "It is a good book for linux beginners as it drives them from basic linux commands to the kali linux specific. Also it would be great it an in depth explanation of important options of the commands wher covered. But at the last it is good book as it introduce me to kali linux bash specific commands.
Loved it."

+ - FCC Public Comment Period For Net Neutrality Ends Tomorrow, July 15

Submitted by samzenpus
samzenpus (5) writes "The deadline for the FCC’s public comment period on their proposed net neutrality rule is coming up fast. The deadline to let the FCC know what you think is tomorrow, July 15. A total of 647,000 comments have already been sent. Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and other tech companies are making a final push for net neutrality saying that the FCC decision, "shifts the balance from the consumers' freedom of choice to the broadband Internet access providers' gatekeeping decisions." The Consumerist has a guide to help you through the comment process, so make sure your voice is heard."

+ - Microsoft kills off MapPoint and Streets & Trips in favor of Bing Maps 1

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft has killed off two of its mapping products, MapPoint and Streets & Trips. Both of these services have received their last update and will soon be retired in favor of Microsoft's premier mapping product, Bing Maps. The company has yet to go public with a press release announcing the retirement of these two mapping services, but the Redmond giant has quietly mentioned the fate on both the services' websites. MapPoint was first released back in 1999 and made it easier to view, edit, and integrate maps into software. Streets & Trips was a route planning package. Microsoft is now pushing Bing Maps as the service that can do all this and more."

+ - How An Intelligent Thimble Could Replace the Mouse In 3D Virtual Reality Worlds->

Submitted by anguyen8
anguyen8 (3736553) writes "The way in which humans interact with computers has been dominated by the mouse since it was invented in the 1960s by Doug Engelbert. A mouse uses a flat two-dimensional surface as a proxy for a computer screen. Any movements of the mouse over the surface are then translated into movements on the screen. These days, a mouse also has a number of buttons, and often scroll wheel, that allow interaction with on-screen objects.

The mouse is a hugely useful device but it is also a two-dimensional one. But what of the three-dimensional world and the long-standing, but growing, promise of virtual reality. What kind of device will take the place of the mouse when we begin to interact in three-dimensions?

Today, we get to see one idea developed at the University of Wyoming in Laramie by Anh Nguyen and Amy Banic. These guys have created an intelligent thimble that can sense its position accurately in three-dimensions and respond to a set of preprogrammed gestures that allow the user to interact with objects in a virtual three-dimensional world..."

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+ - Interview: Edward Stone talks about JPL and space exploration

Submitted by samzenpus
samzenpus (5) writes "We recently had a chance to sit down with Former Director of JPL, Edward Stone, and ask him about his time as a project scientist for the Voyager program and the future of space exploration. In addition to our questions, we asked him a number of yours. Read below to see what professor Stone had to say. Samzenpus: I'm sure you had great hopes for Voyager but did you or others working on the program dream that it would be so successful or travel so far?

Stone: Well, Voyager One is in interstellar space today. The date that we're using as the time when it left the solar bubble was August 25, 2012. Voyager 2 is coming along behind; and we don't know exactly when [it will enter interstellar space] because it's going through a somewhat different location from what Voyager 1 did. So it may be several more years, it really could be sooner, or it could be later. We had hopes, of course that we would reach interstellar space, but none of us knew how big the bubble is or was and none of us knew that the spacecraft could survive for so many decades that it took to get there. But we had hoped and we had planned for this day.

Samzepus: How would you structure the space program now to support long-term goals of interstellar flights like this? Do you think this is as important as studying things closer to home?

Stone: Well, I think there are clearly a number of important frontiers still to be explored in the solar system. The ones, which are easiest to talk about, are those which involve liquid water because here on Earth wherever there is liquid water, there is microbial life. We know that there's liquid water underneath the icy crust of Europa. We know there is liquid water under the icy crust of Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. We know that the atmosphere of Titan doesn't have liquid water but it has a chemical constituency similar to what was here on Earth before life evolved. So there are really key places in the solar system. Mars, we know, had water at one time. The only question is there still water somewhere on the planet or how deep is it? And is there any evidence of past life? if we could find the liquid water then we would want to know is there any evidence of extant life.

Samzenpus: Speaking of Europa, there's been all sorts of numbers thrown about with the proposed Europa mission. Do you think that mission will actually happen in my lifetime?

Stone: I certainly hope that there will be another mission to Europa which can fly by perhaps a number of times rather than going into orbit, which is flying by and then zipping out to get out of the radiation environment and then dive back in so that one can look at Europa. As you know, the Hubble space telescope has shown evidence that there are actually plumes in the South Polar Region of Europa, which is not really a surprise. It's just that they had never been seen before.

by symbolset

If Dawn finds Ceres as water rich as we expect, do you think that will kick off an asteroid mining gold rush?

Stone: Yeah, I don't know that, but I think the mining aspects are probably longer off. What I think it will do is further increase interest and understanding of these bodies, which are out there. And obviously, in the long run, protecting the Earth from them. So I think that there is still a lot that still can be done about asteroids. We're just beginning to explore them.

Samzenpus: Do you think we'll see a Uranus or Neptune orbiter?

Stone: Well, I hope so, but that's certainly not in the next couple of decades because we know there's Mars and then there's Europa. Titan is a very, as I say, a very important opportunity, and Enceladus is something people are talking about. I think they will tend to take priority if one can develop a mission that looks feasible.

by icer1024

During each era of space exploration, going back to the mid-1970's, a manned mission to Mars has been "just 20 years away". At many points over the past 40 years, a variety of factors have converged ensure that a manned Mars mission remained just over the horizon. Even this past month, in NASA Chief Bolden's recent statements, Mars continues to be "just 20 years away", citing a need to stop at an Asteroid on the path to Mars", and budget constraints as reasons that a manned Mars mission remains an unrealized dream. Given Dr. Robert Zubrin's Mars Direct reference mission, and his more recent "transorbital railroad" concept combined with private industry, a manned Mars mission appears to be technically & economically viable — at least more so than at any point in the past 40 years. What's your assessment of Dr. Zubrin's Mars "ecosystem", as it pertains to a manned Mars mission during this 20-year time horizon?

Stone: Well, Mars, I think, is actually is being explored. It's a whole planet. You know, there's as much solid surface area on Mars as there is on Earth. And you can't imagine landing one place on the Earth and claiming to understand Earth as a planet. Once you leave Earth's orbit, it's whole different engineering problem and life is a different problem [out there] than it is in Earth orbit. The moon is in Earth orbit. When you're in Earth orbit, you can get help and you can get home. When you're in the solar orbit, you can't get any help and you can't get home. So, it's a much more challenging activity. And that's the reason it's going to take some time before that's realized. But it's taking the steps to learn how to do it that is important.

Role of human spaceflight
by thor4217

As a national leader in robotic exploration of the solar system, what do you think is the role of human spaceflight in the future? Should NASA be developing a human mission to the Moon, Mars, Europa, and beyond? How should the NASA balance the needs of good science and cost/safety issues versus the romance of human exploration?

Stone: Well, I think the two programs really drive themselves and of course, they drive each other. I think the robotic program clearly has momentum and partly, that's because in the case of Mars, it's there as a precursor to future human space flight. But, it's obviously not an immediate issue. Human space flight is still some decades off before there is a Mars mission. And exactly what the nature of leaving Earth orbit is, is something which will evolve as we learn more about the challenges of building systems to operate for long durations in space and support life, and also the effects of space on humans. I mean, there are really five frontiers of space. There is the physical frontier that's going somewhere, sending something somewhere where nothing has been before. There's the knowledge frontier that's understanding what's out there. There is the technology frontier that is developing the systems you need to do things in space. There's the applications frontier that is using space to better life here on Earth. And then there's the human frontier, which is effective and efficient functioning of humans in the space environment. And that's another huge frontier, which we are just really still beginning to explore. I think there is more we need to learn. We are learning things and there is more that we need to learn in terms of the engineering aspects, that is the technology frontier. It's challenging to leave Earth orbit.

Samzenpus: In your time at JPL, what would you say was the program you're most proud of?

Stone: I think the thing during the 90's was launching Cassini, another large flagship mission, which is doing a great job of exploring Saturn, Saturn's rings, and Titan. But at the same time, we developed the program, which allowed us to get back to Mars every two years rather than every 20 years. And that really has opened up not only Mars, but it's opened up asteroid missions and other missions, which can be done on a smaller scale and done more often.

Samzenpus: What project turned out to be the most difficult for you?

Stone: From a project point of view?

Samzenpus: Yeah.

Stone: Well, it's clear that Voyager has been the most important project and also in many ways, the most challenging because it was the first automated spacecraft that could fly itself and integrate the whole set of instruments we had. It was a challenge to do that in five years. Fortunately, I was just part of a big team that did it and we've been lucky to have both spacecrafts still operational almost 37 years since launch now.

Samzenpus: What do you see as the most promising tech on the horizon and how do you prioritize which breakthroughs are the most promising?

Stone: These frontiers I mentioned are immense. There's not just one thing in each of those frontiers. There are many things. The challenge we have is deciding which ones to do because we can't do everything. We can't even do a little bit of everything. We can just do some things. And the challenge is designing a set of things to do, which step by step we learn how we expand those frontiers and we learn how to do things in space. There are decadal surveys done by the scientific community, which are informed by the state of technology development or the possibility of technology development. They develop a set of recommendations for what to do in planetary science, what to do in astronomy, what to do in Earth sciences, and what to do in heliospheric sciences. Those are four decadal surveys that the community does every 10 years to try to update for the new technology, update for the new knowledge and lay out a plan for the coming decade. And that's the way it's done in the science area.

Next mission?
by thor4217

If you could choose one robotic exploration mission that is not currently in the works, what would it be and why?

Stone: Well, there are many missions, which NASA's trying to do but in the Planetary program, I think the next major mission will be a rover on Mars which will start caching, that is collecting samples and securing them for eventual return. Because ultimately, one does want to return samples from Mars to be able to apply the full technology of Earth-based laboratories to analyzing them.

Samzenpus: Lastly, there's been a lot of political issues with the international space station recently. Do you think we should plan to have our own space station eventually or do you think the politics will work themselves out?

Stone: Well, I'm not really that close to it, but I think we already have a space station; it's a major investment that the world has made. The human frontier really is an important frontier as I have mentioned, and the space station can do a lot with helping understand the effects of space on the human system, if there are any sorts of protocols, which can compensate or counteract those effects. Obviously, there are certain fundamental physics things that can be done in space that you can't easily do when you're on the surface of the Earth. There may well be some observations, which can benefit from being on the station having to do with Astronomy for instance, or high-energy particles."

+ - University of Illinois Demonstrates "Walking" Bio-robot->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "If you're going to deploy robots in biological settings – for example, inside the body – it makes a lot of sense to build those robots out of actual biological body parts. Muscle, for example, is a very effective, biodegradable replacement for an electric actuator that can run in a nutrient-rich fluid without the need for any other power source. Bio-robotics experts in Illinois have demonstrated a bio-bot built from 3-D printed hydrogel and spinal muscle tissue that can "walk" in response to an electrical signal. Their next step will be trying to incorporate neurons that can get the bot walking in different directions when faced with different stimuli."
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+ - Microsoft Kills Security Update Emails, Blames Canada->

Submitted by tsu doh nimh
tsu doh nimh (609154) writes "In a move that may wind up helping spammers, Microsoft is blaming a new Canadian anti-spam law for the company’s recent decision to stop sending regular emails about security updates for its Windows operating system and other Microsoft software. Some anti-spam experts who worked very closely on Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) say they are baffled by Microsoft’s response to a law which has been almost a decade in the making. Indeed, an exception in the law says it does not apply to commercial electronic messages that solely provide “warranty information, product recall information or safety or security information about a product, goods or a service that the person to whom the message is sent uses, has used or has purchased.” Several people have observed that Microsoft likely is using the law as a convenient excuse for dumping an expensive delivery channel."
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+ - Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

Submitted by samzenpus
samzenpus (5) writes "Co-founder of Creative Commons, Lawrence Lessig's list of achievements and areas of influence is not small. It is his Mayday PAC however that has garnered the most attention recently. The crowdfunded "Super PAC to end all Super PACs" was launched in May with the goal of raising money in order to elect candidates to Congress who would pass campaign finance reform. It raised over $1 million in the first 13 days and has the support of some influential people. With the help of matching contributions, Mayday hopes to raise $12 million by the end of June. Lessig has agreed to answer any questions about the PAC that you might have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post."

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre