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The Military

Submission + - SPAM: 15-ton bomb would become the Father Of All Bombs

coondoggie writes: "Now this is one big bomb. Published reports today say the Pentagon is rattling swords in the direction of North Korea and Iran by speeding the development a 20-foot, 30,000lb bomb known as Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) meant to annihilate underground bunkers and other hardened (re: long range missile or underground nuke development) sites. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency which has overseen the development of this monster since 2007, says it is designed to be carried aboard B-2 and B-52 bombers and deployed at high altitudes where it would strike the ground at speeds well beyond 2X the speed of sound to penetrate the below ground target. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source
United States

Submission + - US Senate Considering Ban On Texting While Driving (zdnet.com)

suraj.sun writes: Following recent reports on the dangers of drivers being preoccupied by their cell phones, the U.S. Senate is now considering legislation to ban text messaging while driving. This could even be a step toward a total of ban of using cell phones while driving.

Here are the big reports that recently came to light:

- Texting while driving increases crash risk 23-fold ( http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10296992-94.html ) based on a Virginia University study

- A Car and Driver study showed that texting-and-driving is far more dangerous than drinking-and-driving ( http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q2/texting_while_driving_how_dangerous_is_it_-feature )

There are already 14 U.S. states (plus Washington, D.C.) that ban drivers from text messaging.

The Washington Post reports ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/29/AR2009072902039.html ) that the ban in D.C. has made a significant impact: "A 2006 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed a significant decline in phone use by drivers in the District because of the ban. It fell 50 percent initially and remained at that level a year later."

ZDNet : http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=22132

Power

Submission + - Artificial Glass Leaves Sweat to Produce Energy (inhabitat.com)

Mike writes: "UC Berkeley researcher Michel Maharbiz has worked with other scientists to develop an alternative energy system based on transpiration, a natural process where trees pull water from roots to tops, with liquid eventually evaporating off of the leaves. Taking inspiration from this process, the team has created synthetic glass leaves that are essentially energy scavengers, deriving power from the evaporation-driven flow of water. Eventually the leaves could be implemented into whole artificial trees, providing a complementary technology to solar power."
Enlightenment

Submission + - People Emit Visible Light (aol.com)

Anonymous Coward writes: "The human body literally glows, emitting a visible light in extremely small quantities at levels that rise and fall with the day, scientists now reveal. Japanese researchers have shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive. In fact, virtually all living creatures emit very weak light, which is thought to be a byproduct of biochemical reactions involving free radicals."
Space

Submission + - Armadillo A. Flight Paves Way for Science Payloads (spacefellowship.com)

Matt_dk writes: "Armadillo Aerospace conducted two groundbreaking atmospheric test flights this weekend with their "Mod" vertical-takeoff-vertical-landing rocket, a vehicle familiar to anyone who has followed NASA's Lunar Lander Challenge competitions. Flying from their test facility in Caddo Mills, Texas, Armadillo Aerospace first completed a milestone flight under a NASA contract, using methane fuel and liquid oxygen as propellant. Later that same afternoon, a second successful low-altitude flight was performed using a "boosted hop" trajectory of the same type that will be used for suborbital flights to space."
Space

Submission + - NASA has the lost tapes (nasa.gov)

caffiend666 writes: "A Speculated a few weeks ago, NASA has found and is starting to restore the lost Apollo 11 tapes. A Briefing will be held July 16th "at the Newseum in Washington to release greatly improved video imagery from the July 1969 live broadcast of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. " "The original signals were recorded on high quality slow-scan TV (SSTV) tapes. What was released to the TV networks was reduced to lower quality commercial TV standards.""
Social Networks

Submission + - SPAM: Facebook tell-all shines harsh light on friendship

alphadogg writes: The moral I took away from Ben Mezrich's new book about social network site Facebook, The Accidental Billionaires, is that it's pretty darn hard these days to figure out who your real friends are. That's only fitting since Facebook, along with MySpace and other social networks, has popularized the concept of "friending" people you don't always know so well. Mezrich's story documents the rise of Facebook from a geeky dorm room project at Harvard University in 2004 inspired by hard-to-penetrate social clubs to its current state as a gathering place for a couple hundred million people and a business that Facebook board member Marc Andreessen recently said could generate $1 billion in revenue this year if it pushed harder on selling ads. Unfortuntely for Mezrich, he doesn't get to talk to Facebook mastermind Mark Zuckerberg, though he does base a lot of it on Zuckerberg's jilted business partner, giving the book a predictable slant.
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Biotech

Submission + - Sequencing a Human Genome in a Week (oreilly.com) 2

blackbearnh writes: The Human Genome Project took 13 years to fully sequence a single human's genetic information. At Washington University's Genome Center, they can now do one in a week. But when you're generating that much data, just keeping track of it can become a major challenge in itself. David Dooling is in charge of managing the massive output of the Center's herd of gene sequencing machines, and making it available to researchers inside the Center and around the world. He'll be talking about his work at OSCON in a session titled The Freedom to Cure Cancer: Open Source Software in Genomics, and gave O'Reilly Radar a sense of where the state of the art in genome sequencing is heading. "Now the difficulty is pushing further and further down the pipeline, if you will. Now we can run these instruments. We can generate a lot of data. We can align it to the human reference. We can detect the variance. We can determine which variance exists in one genome versus another genome. Those variances that are cancerous, specific to the cancer genome, we can annotate those and say these are in genes. These ones that are in genes change the protein that that gene is encoding. These ones are in regulatory regions. These ones are in non-repetitive regions. So we can do all of those things relatively easily. Now the difficulty is following up on all of those and figuring out what they mean for the cancer. And, okay, we know they're different. We know that they exist in the cancer genome, but which ones are drivers and which ones are passengers? And what that means is which are the ones that were the cancer initiating events and which are the ones that are just coming along for the ride and don't really have anything to do with the tumor genesis or the disease itself but, just because cancer is so out of control and lots of things have gone wrong in the cell, finding which ones are actually causative is becoming more and more the challenge now."
Security

Submission + - ATMs Armed with Pepper Spray (wired.com)

fysdt writes: A South African bank has outfitted its ATMs with pepper spray to prevent criminals from bombing or tampering with the machines. But the system still has some bugs: One of the machines released its stinging payload on three maintenance workers last week.
Censorship

Submission + - Australian Minister named Internet Villain of the (taragana.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy has been named the Internet Villain of the Year at the 11th annual UK Internet Industry Awards for his for his Internet censorship plans. The award recognises individuals or organizations, who may have hampered the development or in a way disappointed the Internet industry — those whom the industry loves to hate, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Conroy was awarded as the Internet Villain 'for continuing to promote network-level blocking despite significant national and international opposition'.
Power

Submission + - Sleek Solar and Wind Powered Hybrid Street Lamps (inhabitat.com)

Mike writes: "Why choose between solar power and wind turbines when you can have both? That's the approach behind a recently unveiled hybrid wind/solar street lamp, which is completely powered by a 300W wind turbine and an 80W set of solar panels. These stylish street lamps are capable of operating completely off grid and can be easily scaled to accommodate a wide range of components (LED lights, solar panels, wind turbine, tower height, and battery storage) to suit various projects. Designer and manufacturer Urban Green Energy has announced that they just signed an agreement with an undisclosed city in China to outfit their streets with these new hybrid lamps."
Space

Submission + - Tomorrow's Science Heroes?

An anonymous reader writes: As a kid (and still now) I was heavily influenced by Carl Sagan and a little later by Stephen Hawking. Now as I have started a family with two kids (currently age 5 and 2) I am wondering who out there is popularizing science. Currently, my wife and I can get the kids excited about the world around them, but I'd like to find someone inspiring from outside the family as they get older. Sure, we'll always have 'Cosmos,' but are there any contemporaries who are trying to bring science into the public view in such a fun and intriguing way? Someone the kids can look up to and be inspired by? Where is the next Science hero?

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