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+ - Yes, Virginia, Black Holes Exist!

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes ""And so what these three papers, in tandem, have done, is demonstrate that there is no firewall and that the resolution to the firewall paradox is that the first assumption, that Hawking radiation is in a pure state, is the one that’s flawed.

You won’t read about this in the popular write-ups because it doesn’t have a catchy headline, it’s complex, and it’s not work by someone that’s already very famous for other work. But it’s right. Hawking radiation is not in a pure state, and without that pure state, there’s no firewall, and no paradox.

There is still an incredible amount to learn and understand about black holes, event horizons, and the behavior of quantum systems in strongly curved spacetime, to be sure, and there’s lots of very interesting research ahead. These findings arguably raise more questions than they answer, although at least we know that black holes won’t fry you when you fall in; it will still be death by spaghettification, not by incineration!"

Listen to what the best science has to say, not just to the most prominent scientist who says things."

+ - World's First Geothermal Energy System Created By Drilling into Earth's Mantle->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "The Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) announced it broke through to the Mantle and created a superheated steam pipe capable of producing power at the nearby Krafla Power Plant in Northern Iceland. The system was operational for several months until a malfunctioning valve forced its closure. The IDDP, however, plans to either reopen its first magma-based geothermal bore hole — IDDP-1 — or drill another one at Reykjanes. While the IDDP-1 is not the first bore hole to reach the planet's magma, it is the first time an operation has been able to harness the mantle's heat to produce a steam pipe that could power a plant."
Link to Original Source

+ - Cooperation with GCHQ well beyond what is legally required ..->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "GCHQ lobbied furiously to keep secret the fact that telecoms firms had gone "well beyond" what they were legally required to do to help intelligence agencies' mass interception of communications, both in the UK and overseas.

  GCHQ feared a legal challenge under the right to privacy in the Human Rights Act if evidence of its surveillance methods became admissable in court.

  GCHQ assisted the Home Office in lining up sympathetic people to help with "press handling", including the Liberal Democrat peer and former intelligence services commissioner Lord Carlile, who this week criticised the Guardian for its coverage of mass surveillance by GCHQ and the US National Security Agency."

Link to Original Source

+ - Web users can track companies spying on them with new Mozilla app->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla have released an add-on for Firefox that breaks down all of the third party services that are tracking you on websites. The Lightbeam add-on is the next version of its Collusion tool, and allows users to watch services tracking them from site to site and block them if they wish. Mozilla's executive director says the tool is designed to make the public better informed about privacy online by revealing the extent to which web users are monitored by advertisers and other companies using tracking cookies."
Link to Original Source

+ - TSA Doesn't Think Terrorists Are Plotting To Attack Airplanes-> 2

Submitted by Mikkeles
Mikkeles (698461) writes "Jonathan Corbett has been engaged in a lawsuit against the government concerning the constitutionality of scanners in the course of which, the TSA gave him classified documents. Thus he needed to file two copies of his brief: a public one with classified stuff redacted, and the full brief under seal. Someone over at Infowars noticed that apparently a clerk at the 11th Circuit appeals court forgot to file the document under seal, allowing them to find out what was under the redacts, including: "As of mid-2011, terrorist threat groups present in the Homeland are not known to be actively plotting against civil aviation targets or airports; instead, their focus is on fundraising, recruiting, and propagandizing.""
Link to Original Source

+ - NSA hacked Email Account of Mexican President

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "The National Security Agency (NSA ) of United States hacked into the Mexican president’s public email account and gained deep insight into policymaking and the political system. The news is likely to hurt ties between the US and Mexico.

This operation, dubbed “Flatliquid,” is described in a document leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Meanwhile U.S President Barack Obama’s administration is urging the Supreme Court not to take up the first case it has received on controversial National Security Agency cybersnooping."

+ - The Goleden Age of Microsoft Windows Is Over->

Submitted by ChannelGonzo
ChannelGonzo (2689107) writes "Larry Walsh at Channelnomics gives Redmond the rough treatment saying the once ubiquitous OS Windows "ain’t what it used to be" and not even the launch of Windows 8.1 will help get its mojo back. While Microsoft may not be entirely responsible for the decline of the PC market, the contention is that the commercial market really didn’t need another operating system. Businesses are reticent to change and consumers have too many choices to allow Windows to maintain its market leadership. The problem is exacerbated by Microsoft's late entry into the tablet wars and a host of not insignificant defections by major OEMs like HP, which recently inked a reseller partnership with Google."
Link to Original Source

+ - Germany :Remote-Control Model Plane Attack 'Foiled'->

Submitted by garymortimer
garymortimer (1882326) writes "Two aeronautics students planned to use remote-controlled model planes packed with explosives to carry out terrorist attacks in Germany, according to prosecutors.

German authorities are holding two men of Tunisian origin who they say are facing possible charges for the “preparation of a serious, state-threatening act of violence”.

Prosecutors say the men are suspected of “procuring information and objects to commit Islamic extremist explosive attacks with remote-controlled model airplanes,” prosecutors added.

Police investigating the terror plot on Tuesday launched a series of raids in Stuttgart and Munich in southern Germany and Saxony in the east. They also carried out one raid in Belgium. No-one was arrested.

The suspects had been under surveillance for more than a year and authorities had recently detected “an increased interest in explosives and model aircraft”, according to an unnamed security source quoted by a German news agency."

Link to Original Source

+ - Unlikely Planets Found in Violent Star Clusters->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "When it comes to forming planets, Mother Nature isn’t very picky. Despite horrific conditions inside densely packed open clusters, stars apparently have no problem forming and hanging on to an orbital brood. That’s the conclusion from a new study that used data collected by NASA’s now-dormant Kepler space telescope to hunt for planets in a one-billion-year old open cluster called NGC 6811, a collection of about 70 stars located about 3,400 light years away in the constellation Cygnus."
Link to Original Source

+ - Astronomers Discover Three Super-Earths Orbiting Nearby Star Gliese 667C

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The search for life on other planets continues. Now, astronomers may be just a bit closer to accomplishing that goal. They've discovered a system with at least six planets--and a record-breaking three of these planets are super-Earths that lie in the zone around the star where liquid water could exist. This makes them possible candidates for the presence of life. The star that hosts these planets is called Gliese 667C. A well-studied star, it possesses just over one third of the mass of the Sun. It's actually part of a triple star system known as Gliese 667, also known as GJ 667, located 22 light-years away from the constellation Scorpius."

+ - Two mutations triggered an evolutionary leap 500 million years ago->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes ""Changes in just two letters of the genetic code in our deep evolutionary past caused a massive shift in the function of one protein and set in motion the evolution of our present-day hormonal and reproductive systems," said Joe Thornton, PhD, professor of human genetics and ecology & evolution at the University of Chicago

In a feat of "molecular time travel" the researchers resurrected and analyzed the functions of the ancestors of genes that play key roles in modern human reproduction, development, immunity and cancer. By re-creating the same DNA changes that occurred during those genes' ancient history, the team showed that two mutations set the stage for hormones like estrogen, testosterone and cortisol to take on their crucial present-day roles

"If those two mutations had not happened, our bodies today would have to use different mechanisms to regulate pregnancy, libido, the response to stress, kidney function, inflammation, and the development of male and female characteristics at puberty," Thornton said

Understanding how the genetic code of a protein determines its functions would allow biochemists to better design drugs and predict the effects of mutations on disease. Thornton said the discovery shows how evolutionary analysis of proteins' histories can advance this goal, Before the group's work, it was not previously known how the various steroid receptors in modern species distinguish estrogens from other hormones

They found that just two changes in the ancient receptor's gene sequence caused a 70,000-fold shift in preference away from estrogens toward other steroid hormones. The researchers also used biophysical techniques to identify the precise atomic-level mechanisms by which the mutations affected the protein's functions. Although only a few atoms in the protein were changed, this radically rewired the network of interactions between the receptor and the hormone, leading to a massive change in function


Link to Original Source

+ - Was Michael Hastings being investigated by the FBI?->

Submitted by Kris Clark
Kris Clark (2962077) writes "Michael Hastings was a reporter known for his work in the Iraq War and for exposing General McChrystal of denouncing President Obama and his White House staff. He was killed in a car crash on June 18th, 2013. Was Hastings being followed and investigated by the FBI? His final email was to the WikiLeaks attorneys, announcing he had a big story and needed to be of the radar for a while."
Link to Original Source

+ - Snowden discloses US hacked Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator

Submitted by Camael
Camael (1048726) writes "In an exclusive provided to the South China Morning Post, a newspaper based in Hong Kong, Snowden revealed that computers at the Hong Kong headquarters of Pacnet – owner of one of the biggest fibre-optic networks in the Asia-Pacific region – were hacked by US spies in 2009. Accoding to their corporate website, Pacnet owns and operates the leading pan-Asian fiber optic submarine cable network spanning 36,800 kilometers that lands in 19 cable landing stations and extends from India to the US."

+ - Aging of our Nuclear Power Plants is not so Graceful->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "This is a very thoughtful article on nuclear power plant aging: how operators use early retirement of plants to extract concessions from rate-payers and a discussion on how California's "forward-looking planning process" has probably mitigated disruption from the closing of San Onofre. This is a good read about nuclear energy."
Link to Original Source

+ - A new genetic code found->

Submitted by Shipud
Shipud (685171) writes "A group from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Yale University and the Joint Genome Institute have isolated single cells of otherwise elusive and unculturable SR1 bacteria and sequenced their genomes. They found that SR1 deviate from the genetic code in a way previously unknown: what codes for "stop making proteins" in most organisms, is used differently in SR1, to actually continue making them. This study shows the power of a new technology, single-cell DNA sequencing, to reveal genetic information. SR1 bacteria are found in our mouths, and are suspected to cause periodontitis."
Link to Original Source

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