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Submission + - Hobbyists will try to revive old NASA probe for new crowdfunded mission ( 1

spineas writes: A space probe unused by NASA in the last 17 years will be given a new breath of life and a new mission, if a group of 'garage engineers' have their way.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the group has coordinated with NASA to revive a nearly 40-year-old probe. NASA is providing documents and schematics of the probe to assist the enthusiasts, but the engineers have turned to crowdfunding sites for the money needed to facilitate the project.

Submission + - BMW Created The Most Efficient Electric Car In the U.S.

cartechboy writes: You think of efficient electric car and you probably think of the Tesla Model S, right? Well, you'd be wrong as the Model S is only rated at 89 MPGe. As of today, BMW now has the most efficient electric car sold in the U.S., the 2014 i3. The ratings were just posted to the Internet via a window sticker, and at 124 MPGe combined (138 MPGe city, 111 MPGe highway), the i3 is currently king of the efficiency race. The nearest competitor? The 2013 Scion iQ-EV with a 38 mile range and 121 MPGe rating, but it's not even available to the general public. Other competitors are mostly compliance cars such as the Chevrolet Spark EV and Fiat 500e. So where does that leave us? Well, BMW just won the race, for now. But how long until a competitor takes away that top spot?

Submission + - XP Systems Getting Emergency IE Zero Day Patch (

msm1267 writes: Microsoft announced it will release an out-of-band security update today to patch a zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer, and that the patch will also be made available for Windows XP machines through Automatic Update. At the same time, researchers said they are now seeing attacks specifically targeting XP users.

Microsoft no longer supports XP as of April 8, and that includes the development and availability of security updates. But the about-face today speaks to the seriousness of the vulnerability, which is being exploited in limited targeted attacks, Microsoft said.

Researchers at FireEye, meanwhile, said multiple attackers are now using the exploit against XP machines, prompting the inclusion of XP systems in the patch.

Submission + - College professor develops new invisibility cloak technology (

spineas writes: A professor at the University of Central Florida has perfected a new method for fabricating light-bending materials, widely thought to be secret to unlocking invisibility technologies.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the new material has wide-ranging defense capabilities, such as enabling soldiers, vehicles, and even aircraft to remain invisible from visual detection.

Submission + - Florida newspaper says stop depending on Russia for human spaceflight (

spineas writes: The Orlando Sentinel published an editorial today saying that even though NASA and Roscosmos (the Russian Federal Space Agency) are still friendly for now even with the tensions between the two countries building over the future of Ukraine, it's foolish for the US to give $70 million per astronaut to the Russians to use their Soyuz vehicles to reach the ISS, since the United States paid half of the $100 billion price for the station.

Submission + - Astronomers catch meteorite striking moon on video (

spineas writes: A 4.5-foot-wide meteorite struck the moon in September 2013, and astronomers were lucky enough to catch the impact flash on video, now confirmed as the brightest ever witnessed from Earth.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the meteorite likely weighed nearly 900 pounds, and exploded on impact with the moon with the force of 15 tons of TNT.

Submission + - Elderly nun sentenced in Tennessee nuclear plant break-in

spineas writes: Anti-nuclear activist and elderly nun, 84-year-old Sister Megan Rice has been sentenced to 35 months in prison for breaking into a Tennessee facility which stores weapons-grade enriched uranium.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that at her sentencing, the Sister asked that her age not affect her sentence, stating "to remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest honor."

Submission + - App uses 'augmented reality' to point way to Japan's elusive free Wi-Fi (

alphadogg writes: Telecom carrier NTT and navigation service developer Navitime Japan are trying to make free Wi-Fi in Japan easier to find with an app featuring augmented reality guidance. Navitime for Japan Travel, available for free for iOS and Android devices, allows users to find the nearest free Wi-Fi providers through an offline search using location data. It also displays the locations of other facilities such as restaurants and tourist attractions. With Navitime for Japan Travel, users hold up the screen to their surroundings, hit "look in AR mode" and footage from the device's camera will be overlaid with the distance to a destination and an arrow pointing the way.

Submission + - Up-front seats for tonight's near-Earth Asteroid (

spineas writes: In case you're not in a prime viewing position for tonight's fly-by of Asteroid 2000 EM26, never fear, for the event will be webcast live for all around the world to see.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Slooh Space Camera will be broadcasting the 3-football-field-long asteroid as it zips by us at nearly 27,000 miles per hour. Astronomer Bob Berman will be answering questions during the broadcast, submitted via Twitter with the hashtag #Asteroid.

Submission + - Is Social Media Souring Americans on Animal Research? (

sciencehabit writes: Support for medical testing on animals has declined 12% since 2001 in the United States, and the Internet may be responsible, according to a new analysis. 41% of American adults considered animal testing “morally wrong” in 2013, up from 29% in 2001. Opposition to such testing has risen among all demographic groups, but the biggest jump has been among people aged 18 to 29; 54% of them found animal testing morally wrong in 2013, versus just 31% in 2001. The team says the surge in Internet use during this period may explain the trend. Animal rights and animal welfare organizations have a much stronger presence on social media than do pro-animal testing groups—PETA has more than 2 million followers on Facebook and nearly a half million on Twitter, for example, versus 130,000 and 1700, respectively, for the Foundation for Biomedical Research. As a result, the researchers speculate, these organizations may getting their message out more effectively, especially among young people.

Comment Re:So they should be working 24/7? (Score 1) 4

I did do the math. They have 1008 man-hours total, of which (presumably) a third goes to sleeping, a third to generalities (such as eating, relaxation, and mandated exercise), and a third to working. As you stated, they have ~240 working hours (probably more, seeing as there isn't much in the way of entertainment up there (except for Internet access). 50 hours out of the ~240 they have for work means that still, only a little more than 20% of their WORK time is going to scientific research, the primary purpose of the station. If I tried to tell my boss that he could only get 20% efficiency out of my work situation, that situation wouldn't continue very long. I'd either receive new equipment, be switched over to another job, or, if it was a personnel problem (which, in the case of the ISS, it obviously isn't,) I'd be let go. Also, please refrain from name-calling. We're all people, we all have feelings.

Comment Re:Keeping a multinational spacestation in orbit (Score 1) 4

Agreed. The main problem seems to be, though, that very little of the resource is being used for scientific endeavors. Only 5% of their time is used on scientific research and exploration, and at some point, a cost-benefit analysis will need to be done to see if we are doing work that is worthy of the huge costs.

Submission + - NASA extends ISS missions to 2024, but is the science worth it? ( 4

spineas writes: The Orlando Sentinel reports that even though the crew aborad the International Space Station has 1,008 man-hours per week available to them, only 50 man-hours per week is actually used on scientific research, the main purpose of the ISS. The recent decision to extend the life of the ISS to 2024 may not be the best use of funds, especially when the money can be put into future projects, such as manned missions to Mars.

Submission + - Anti-mining activists using social media to coordinate protests, attacks (

spineas writes: The use of social media, especially on relatively low-cost mobile devices, is allowing large, sophisticated protests to form in countries in which communication can be limited by a lack of access to technology.

In an industry where civil unrest can cause billions of dollars in losses if an investment fails, the shutdown of even a single project can have massive, rippling economic effects on the nation in which the project takes place.

Submission + - International Space Station life extended (

An anonymous reader writes: Times reports "Instead of splashing into the Pacific Ocean in 2020 as planned, the International Space Station will continue circling Earth for at least an additional four years, NASA announced on Wednesday. The cost of operating the station, about $3 billion a year, could then be devoted to the moon program.

However, it always seemed unlikely that the station, which was built at a cost of $100 billion and completed just three years ago, would be discarded that soon, and when the Obama administration announced it wanted to cancel the moon program, it gave the first extension, stretching the life of the station to 2020."

"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'." --John Sladek