sciencehabit writes: For the past century, physicists have puzzled over cosmic rays, particles (mostly protons) that hurtle through space at high speed and seem to come from all directions equally. What's the source of these galactic projectiles? And how do they come to be traveling so fast? Today, an international team announced a major step toward answering those questions: conclusive evidence that at least some of the cosmic rays come from supernova remnants—expanding shells of matter from exploded stars—that are acting as natural particle accelerators.
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An anonymous reader writes: While a DragonEye LIDAR sounds like a subplot to a James Bond movie, it is what the Dragon spacecraft uses to approach and position itself to dock with the International Space Station. Laser precision comes in handy when trying to attach the 1.3-meter hatch of the Dragon to the football-field-sized space station which travels at an astounding speed of 4.71 miles per second. Once the Dragon capsule passes the R-Bar, it has to preform a series of staggered maneuvers to gradually approach the ISS Keep out Zone, a 200-meter border around the ISS, and get ready for the Canada Arm to grab it at 10-meters out.
An anonymous reader writes: Valve on Thursday announced the release of its Steam for Linux client. You can download the client now for free from the Ubuntu Software Center. In typical Steam fashion, the company is celebrating the big day with a sale: over 50 Linux titles are now 50 percent to 75 percent off until 10:00AM PST on Wednesday, February 21. This means you have just under a week to take advantage, and should be plenty of time for Valve to set a new record in Steam for Linux downloads.
alphadogg writes: Just as Internet users in general have defected in huge numbers from Microsoft Internet Explorer over the past several years, the business world, as well, is becoming less dependent on the venerable browser. Companies that used to mandate the use of IE for access to web resources are beginning to embrace a far more heterodox attitude toward web browsers. While it hasn't gone away, the experience of having to use IE 6 to access some legacy in-house web app is becoming less common. "A lot of it has to do with the emergence of the modern web and the popularity of mobile. They have made it very different for companies to truly standardize on a browser," says Gartner Research analyst David Mitchell Smith.
coondoggie writes: "The US Food and Drug Administration today approved what it says is the first bionic eye, or retinal prosthesis, that can partially restore the sight of blind individuals after surgical implantation. pecifically the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System includes a small video camera, transmitter mounted on a pair of eyeglasses, video processing unit (VPU) and an implanted artificial retina. The VPU transforms images from the video camera into electronic data that is wirelessly transmitted to the retinal prosthesis."
Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Guardian reports that Frank Lecerf was driving his Renault Laguna in Northern France when the car's speed jammed at 60mph. Then each time he tried to brake, the car accelerated, eventually reaching 125mph and sticking there. While uncontrollably speeding through the fast lane as other cars swerved out of his way, he managed to call emergency services who immediately dispatched a platoon of police cars. Realizing Lecerf had no choice but to keep racing along until his fuel ran out, they escorted him at high speed across almost 125 miles of French motorway, past Calais and Dunkirk, and over the Belgian border. After about an hour, Lecerf's tank spluttered empty and he managed to swerve into a ditch in Alveringem in Belgium, about 125 miles from his home. "My life flashed before me," says Lecerf. "I just wanted it to stop." His lawyer says Lecerf will file a legal complaint over "endangerment of a person's life"."
drdread66 writes: Research In Motion co-founder Jim Balsillie confirms what Slashdotters have suspected for quite some time: RIM (now BlackBerry) is doomed. Reuters reports today that Balsillie dumped his entire stake in BlackBerry at the end of 2012. While it's common to see high-level executives sell some of their shares to gain some liquidity, it's unusual to see them exit their positions completely. This has to be seen as a massive vote of "no confidence" from someone who was on the inside long enough to know what's going on in the company.
MTorrice writes: "Heart attacks kill muscle cells called cardiomyocytes, leaving behind irreparable tissue damage. If scientists could grow cardiac tissue in the lab, they could perhaps graft patches of healthy tissue onto a patient’s damaged heart. A new carbon nanotube-studded hydrogel mimics heart tissue’s electrical and mechanical properties and serves as a scaffold for lab-grown cardiac tissue that beats spontaneously. Short video of beating tissue included."
jscheib writes: According to Will Oremus in Slate, a study released today finds that "New York City could slash its emissions by a whopping 90 percent by 2050 without any radical new technologies, without cutting back on creature comforts, and maybe even without breaking its budget." The key elements are insulating buildings to cut energy needs, converting to (mostly) electric equipment, and then using carbon-free electricity to supply the small amount of energy still needed. Oremus notes that including energy savings "would reduce the net price tag to something more like $20 billion. The cleanup from Hurricane Sandy, meanwhile, is estimated to cost $50 billion.
The full report is here.
The full report is here.
Onymous Hero writes: With the printing and distribution of pornography already banned in Iceland, further measures to stop internet porn are being considered by Iceland's Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson. From the article: "Iceland is taking a very progressive approach that no other democratic country has tried," said Professor Gail Dines, an expert on pornography and speaker at a recent conference at Reykjavik University. "It is looking a pornography from a new position — from the perspective of the harm it does to the women who appear in it and as a violation of their civil rights."
mykepredko writes: "Tesla Motors CEO and founder Elon Musk definitely isn’t the best guy to try to pull a fast one on. The visionary entrepreneur set Twitter a titter when he claimed earlier this week that New York Times writer John Broder had fudged details about the Tesla Models S car’s range in cold weather, resulting in what he termed a “fake” article. Musk promised evidence, and now he has delivered, via the official Tesla blog."
An anonymous reader writes: With the release of NetBSD 7, it will be possible to extend kernel sub-systems and write device drivers in the Lua scripting language. A Lua interpreter is being added to the NetBSD kernel, a proper programming kernel interface, and a user-space interface for loading Lua scripts into the NetBSD kernel in real-time. Reasons expressed for adding Lua support to the NetBSD kernel is "modifying software written in C is hard for users", providing a rapid application development approach to drivers and the kernel, and better configuring of kernel sub-systems. Python and Java script support was looked at too, but they ended up settling for Lua. Lua scripting support for the kernel has been worked on since 2010.
sciencehabit writes: Think potty training a child is hard? Try teaching a cow when and where to do its business. The bovines can defecate nine to 16 times daily, and pee seven to nine times, creating big hygiene problems on dairy and beef farms. So cueing the animals to go in the right place would be a big help for managing manure. But past techniques—including training cows to respond to mild electric shocks—have proven ineffective or impractical for wide use. To see if they could come up with a better potty prompt, the scientists tested a series of stimuli on a dozen Holstein cows. The milkers stood in or walked through a footbath filled with water, for example, or had air or water sprayed on their feet. Alas, "[n]one of our tests reliably stimulated defecation," the team reports. Maybe bovine diapers instead?
ananyo writes: "When influenza hit early and hard in the United States this year, it quietly claimed an unacknowledged victim: one of the cutting-edge techniques being used to monitor the outbreak. A comparison with traditional surveillance data showed that Google Flu Trends, which estimates prevalence from flu-related Internet searches, had drastically overestimated peak flu levels. The glitch is no more than a temporary setback for a promising strategy, experts say, and Google is sure to refine its algorithms. But with flu-tracking techniques based on mining of web data and on social media taking off, Nature looks at how these potentially cheaper, faster methods measure up against traditional epidemiological surveillance networks."
karijes writes: Evil is a new Emacs major mode intended to implement full Vim emulation for Emacs editor and it reached first stable release. Evil implements many Vim features and has support for plugins, so there is port for rails.vim, NERDCommenter and mapleader among others. Details about this release you can find on mailing list.