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Submission + - Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, dies at 85 (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: According to a story in the Palm Beach Post, Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, has died at the age of 85. He flew as lunar module pilot on board Apollo 14, which flew to and from the moon between January 31, 1971 and February 9, 1971. His crewmates were Alan Shepard and Stuart Roosa. Apollo 14 was the return to flight for the moon landing program after the near disaster of Apollo 13 in April 1970 and explored the Fra Mauro highlands on the lunar surface

Submission + - Bethesda To Unleash The Hounds Of Hell On May 13th, Doom Release Date Confirmed (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Bethesda and id Software are in the process rebooting the Doom franchise and it seems like it's been in development for ages. When we last visited the upcoming Doom remake, Bethesda had posted a giblet-filled trailer which showed some pretty impressive gameplay visuals, killer hand-to-hand combat and plenty of head stomping. Today, Bethesda clued gamers in on something that Doom fans have been anticipating for years, an actual release date. http://hothardware.com/news/be...">Mark your calendars for May 13th, because that's when Doom will be available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and of course, the PC platform. Bethesda also dropped a new http://hothardware.com/news/be...">campaign trailer for you to ogle.

Submission + - Email stokes rumor that gravitational waves have been spotted (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: t's just a rumor, but if specificity is any measure of credibility, it might just be right. For weeks, gossip has spread around the Internet that researchers with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) have spotted gravitational waves—ripples in space itself set off by violent astrophysical events. In particular, rumor has it that LIGO physicists have seen two black holes spiraling into each other and merging. But now, an email message that ended up on Twitter adds some specific numbers to those rumors. The author says he got the details from people who have seen the manuscript of the LIGO paper that will describe the discovery.

Submission + - Kid kicked out of school for having bad DNA.

MouseTheLuckyDog writes: Colman Chadam turns out to be one unlucky kid. He turns out to be born with a congenital heart disease, During treatment he was tested genetically and found to have several marker genes for cystic fibrosis. However, he did not have the disease itself.

Eventually his school found out and kicked him out. Kids with cystic fibrosis are not supposed to be near each other due to the increased risk of spreading contagious diseases.

In some sense this story is old, because the school let him back in. The parents sued and their case was dismissed. Now the case is working it's way through the federal court system and could become a major case for determining how genetic information can be used.

Submission + - Physicists mean five different things when they say "Multiverse"

StartsWithABang writes: When you think about the Multiverse, everyone thinks about the Universe beyond what’s accessible to us. But whether you think about more Universe like our own, multiple Universe that are disconnected from ours, an infinite number of parallel Universes, where possibly multiple copies of identical “yous” are entangled, or where the laws of physics are different from our own depends on what type of Multiverse you’re talking about. As it turns out, our standard picture of inflation, the Big Bang and quantum physics leads to some of these being quite likely, with others being grossly disfavored. Before you follow the speculations of a great many others down whatever rabbit-hole of thought they’d lead you, come learn about what’s known, what’s expected and what’s highly speculative (and unobservable) based on our current knowledge.

Submission + - France to build 1000km of road with solar panels (solarcrunch.org)

An anonymous reader writes: France is planning on a project to build 1000 kilometers of road with specially designed solar panels. This project will supply 5 million people in France with electricity if it is successful. Though many solar experts are skeptical of this project, the french government has given the go ahead to this venture.

  According to France’s minister of ecology and energy, Ségolène Royal, the tender for this project is already issued under the “Positive Energy” initiative and the test for the solar panels will begin by this spring.The photo voltaic solar panels called "Wattway" which will be used in the project is jointly developed by the French infrastructure firm "Colas" and the National Institute for Solar Energy. The specialty of "Wattway" is that its very sturdy and can let heavy trucks pass through it, also offering a good grip to avoid an accident. Interestingly, this project will not remove road surfaces but instead, the solar panels will be glued to the existing pavement.

Submission + - Laid-off IT workers muzzled as H-1B debate heats up (computerworld.com)

walterbyrd writes: The utility employees left their jobs with a severance package that included this sentence: "Employee agrees that he/she shall make no statements to anyone, spoken or written, that would tend to disparage or discredit the Company or any of the Company's officers, directors, employees, or agents."

That clause has kept former Eversource employees from speaking out because of fears the utility will sue them if they say anything about their experience. The IT firms that Eversource uses, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, are major users of the H-1B visa.

Submission + - VGA in Memoriam (hackaday.com) 1

szczys writes: VGA is going away. It has been for a long time but the final nails in the coffin are being driven home this year. It was the first standard for video, and is by far the longest-lived port on the PC. The extra pins made computers monitor-aware; allowing data about the screen type and resolution to be queried whenever a display was connected. But the connector is big and looks antiquated. There's no place for it in today's thin, design minded devices. It is also a mechanism for analog signaling in our world that has embraced high-speed digital for ever increasing pixels and integration of more data passing through one connection. Most motherboards no longer have the connector, and Intel's new Skylake processors have removed native VGA functionality. Even online retailers have stopped including it as a filter option when choosing hardware.

Submission + - Britney Spears's Guide to Physics Is Still the Best Science Website (From 1999) (vice.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Motherboard reports, "At the dawn of the millennium, something beautiful and weird emerged from the era’s cultural detritus and made it onto the then-burgeoning internet: Britney Spears’ Guide to Semiconductor Physics, found via the unassuming URL britneyspears.ac. The site featured pages of information on everything from the basics of how semiconductors work—for example, how materials like silicon can be “doped” with impurities to carry an electrical current, and are the basis of modern electronics—to entries on the “finite barrier quantum well” and “photolithography”. All of it is allegedly written by Britney Spears, whom the site casts as being a physics genius as well as a pop star. But in reality, the site was was created by a young theoretical physics post-grad at the University of Essex named Carl Hepburn. It’s sort of like InfoSec Taylor Swift, but for physics instead of cybersecurity, and from a time when we thought wearing neckties like belts was a good idea. ... “I have no regrets about setting up the site,” Hepburn wrote me in an email. “Unless I have some brilliant idea in physics or do something else that becomes as well known it will probably be the only thing that people remember about me.”" — More at BBC

Submission + - Admiral in charge of Navy intel has not been allowed to see secrets for years (washingtonpost.com)

schwit1 writes: This is not an onion article.

For more than two years, the Navy's intelligence chief has been stuck with a major handicap: He's not allowed to know any secrets.

Vice Adm. Ted "Twig" Branch has been barred from reading, seeing or hearing classified information since November 2013, when the Navy learned from the Justice Department that his name had surfaced in a giant corruption investigation involving a foreign defense contractor and scores of Navy personnel.

Worried that Branch was on the verge of being indicted, Navy leaders suspended his access to classified materials. They did the same to one of his deputies, Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless, the Navy's director of intelligence operations.

More than 800 days later, neither Branch nor Loveless has been charged. But neither has been cleared, either. Their access to classified information remains blocked.

Submission + - Desktop 3D printers shown to emit hazardous gases and particles (acs.org)

An anonymous reader writes: A new study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology by researchers at Illinois Institute of Technology and The University of Texas at Austin sheds more light on potentially harmful emissions from desktop FDM 3D printers. The researchers measured emissions of both ultrafine particles (UFPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from 5 commercially available polymer-extrusion 3D printers using up to 9 different filaments. Their estimates of time-varying UFP emission rates ranged from ~10^8 to ~10^11 particles per minute across all tested combinations, varying primarily by filament material. They also found that the individual VOCs emitted in the largest quantities included caprolactam from nylon-based and imitation wood and brick filaments (ranging from ~2 to ~180 g/min), styrene from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) filaments (ranging from ~10 to ~110 g/min), and lactide from polylactic acid (PLA) filaments (ranging from ~4 to ~5 g/min). Styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC classification group 2B). While caprolactam is classified as probably not carcinogenic to humans, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) maintains low acute, 8-hour, and chronic reference exposure levels (RELs) of only 50, 7, and 2.2 g per cubic meters, respectively, all of which would likely be exceeded with just one of the higher emitting printers operating in a small office.

Submission + - Warrantless Wiretaps Whistleblower Facing Misconduct Charges 12 Years Later (usnews.com)

cold fjord writes: Former Justice Department attorney Thomas Tamm sparked an intense public debate about warrantless surveillance nearly a decade before Edward Snowden. Tamm tipped reporters in 2004 about the use of nonstandard warrantless procedures under the Bush administration for intercepting international phone calls and emails of Americans. New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau used Tamm's revelations to help them win a Pulitzer Prize. Barack Obama criticized the program and the Obama administration Justice Department announced in 2011 that it would not bring criminal charges against him. Unfortunately Tamm is now facing disciplinary hearings before the D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel which prosecutes the D.C. Bar's disciplinary cases. Tamm is facing ethics charges that could result is his disbarment, revoking his law license. Tamm is alleged to have "failed to refer information in his possession that persons within the Department of Justice were violating their legal obligations to higher authority within the Department” and “revealed to a newspaper reporter confidences or secrets of his client, the Department of Justice.” Tamm currently resides in Maryland where he is a public defender. The effect of the D.C. case on him there is unclear. Tamm's attorney, Georgetown University law professor Michael Frisch, says the delays seen in this case are not unusual in D.C., it can take years for matters to play out. Another of Frisch's clients, who exposed the interrogation of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh, believes the prosecution is political persecution.

Submission + - Taming Superconductors With String Theory (quantamagazine.org)

An anonymous reader writes: String theory was devised as a way to unite the laws of quantum mechanics with those of gravity, with the goal of creating the vaunted “theory of everything.”

Subir Sachdev is taking the “everything” literally. He’s applying the mathematics of string theory to a major problem at the other end of physics — the behavior of a potentially revolutionary class of materials known as high-temperature superconductors.

Submission + - More Air Force drones are crashing than ever as mysterious new problems emerge (washingtonpost.com)

schwit1 writes: A record number of Air Force drones crashed in major accidents last year, documents show, straining the U.S. military's fleet of robotic aircraft when it is in more demand than ever for counterterrorism missions in an expanding array of war zones.

Driving the increase was a mysterious surge in mishaps involving the Air Force's newest and most advanced "hunter-killer" drone, the Reaper, which has become the Pentagon's favored weapon for conducting surveillance and airstrikes against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other militant groups.

The Reaper has been bedeviled by a rash of sudden electrical failures that have caused the 21/2-ton drone to lose power and drop from the sky, according to accident-investigation documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Investigators have traced the problem to a faulty starter-generator,but have been unable to pinpoint why it goes haywire or devise a permanent fix.

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