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Comment neutrino speed through dense mattter (Score 1) 442

mangu: "if there's an effect here, it should probably be related to neutrinos-through-matter vs neutrinos-through-vacuum"

Cerenkov radiation shows ordinary matter can travel faster than light in a non-vacuum. This would be different but not that different. indicates another experiment is possibly coming soon

This also would imply that the gravitational radius of a black hole is smaller for a neutrino than for light, so it might imply that black holes could evaporate a bit quicker than previous estimates.

Comment Re:Fine. You find an asymmetric primitive (Score 1) 262

These folks crack a 150-bit elliptic curve in one month (NOT one of the NIST curves...yet) with relatively inexpensive hardware.
Down form hundreds of years. This is non-quantum.

Cover and Decomposition Attacks on Elliptic Curves
Vanessa VITSE
Joint work with Antoine JOUX
Universite de Versailles Saint-Quentin, Laboratoire PRiSM
Elliptic Curve Cryptography – ECC 2011
Cover and Decomposition Attacks on Elliptic Curves

Submission + - Molecular Pentafoil knot

Med-trump writes: Scientists now report that they have made a non-DNA molecular knot.
They created a 160-atom-loop with five crossing points, a molecular pentafoil knot. The researchers used a technique known as "self-assembly" to prepare the knot in a chemical reaction. Apparently 85% of the elasticity of natural rubber is due to knot-like entanglements in the rubber molecules chains.

Comment Big downside to humans on Mars (Score 1) 172

Let's forget about the dead heroes in the epic quest to get men to Mars and back (See the race for the South Pole for how it goes.) Lets forget about the quadrillions of dollars. Let's forget about the speed of advances in robotics that have made it possible to explore the Titanic and the deepest points in the ocean with no risk and at low cost.
We do not know what kind of life may still exist on Mars. It may be anywhere in the top couple hundred kilometers of the surface.
I went to Antarctica and saw first-hand what even a bunch of careful scientists can do to trash a place, and it is entirely possible we could destroy all life on Mars before we even knew it was there, if we go in person.
We might also bring back something that we did not consider alive. Andromeda Strain, Alien, etc.
We are being more careful to avoid corrupting Lake Vostok (google it) than we are planning to be with a far more exotic place. There could be entirely new approaches to DNA-based and non-DNA-based life on Mars. The last thing we want to do is go charging in there with guns blazing.
If you want to spend some money, build a huge solar array and send a humongous laser beam to an unmanned vehicle to get it going really fast and lets get something in orbit around a nearby star in the next hundred years or so. Make up some really long-baseline interferometry telescopy application for it when it gets there.
Or play around on the moon. slightly less deadly, get to work on solar powered self-replicating robots to build massive underground habitats for us where we'll be a little safer from impacts and radiation. Start growing a stockpile of food. And then send people up there if you really have to.

Submission + - NASA peddling science fiction to minors (

tbonefrog writes: NASA plans to hire propagandists (sci-fi novelists) to subject impressionable young minds to story lines calculated to inflate the Agency's budget over time. I'm willing to bet there won't be a lot of stories about how cool it is do to science with robots as opposed to human exploration. Maybe we'll even throw in some space aliens, and 70 virgins to all the heroes who get snookered into flying on a death trap to die on Mars.

Submission + - fake amazon login page

tbonefrog writes: has a link to amazon to buy their book on hacking web applications. When on the real-looking amazon web page i clicked on 'add to wish list' and proceeded to enter my email and password. After I got done I was asked to enable popups, which amazon does not do. I also noticed that instead of the lock icon in the lower right corner of the screen there was a lock with a diagonal line across it. I'm just wondering how much damage was done in the minute or so it took me to change my amazon password.

Comment computers and mathematics research (Score 1) 630

"Proofs and Confirmations" by Bressoud doesn't seem to have gotten on the list yet, nor has "A=B" by Petkovsek and Zeilberger. These books introduce a student to the growing impact of computers in advancing theoretical mathematics, and don't require much background for most of the subject matter. If the school has a Maple or other math package, this would allow experimentation.

Comment missing the big picture (Score 1) 223

Assume the shuttle is inspected and after reentry has just started, a tile breaks off. Is there any way of altering the trajectory so that the shuttle bounces back up to a higher altitude, cools off, and then falls back again, repeat as necessary, until the reentry temperatures remain nonlethal to the shuttle airframe? The idea is to limit the worst-case outcome to be a splashdown in an ocean or a crash landing, by actively controlling the trajectory before the temperatures cause the airframe to break up. There's also the possibility of using plasma fields surrounding the vehicle rather than ceramic tiles, to thermally protect future vehicles.

Submission + - space shuttle

tbonefrog writes: "Has the possibility for preventing another Columbia disaster during certain stages of reentry by utilizing the flight controls to reduce the dive angle, resulting in surviving reentry even if reaching the earth's surface wildly off course. This would have to be planned for in advance and by the use of simulations. I'm not sure any action would have saved Columbia but if there was an opportunity to save the astronauts, even if the shuttle sank in the ocean, it should be available for future shuttle missions"

Comment Re:tbonefrog (Score 1) 431

Just call me old fashioned. I don't care who owns the other end of my lifeline, I'd like to be untethered. If I lived on the moon I wouldn't want to be dependent on Earth for my daily needs. Wars and other stuff happen on earth. I'd want to have the capability of feeding myself, generating oxygen, and generating power without technology that I couldn't maintain for myself. Building a solar collector from lunar materials isn't easy but it should be the highest priority. I don't see the need for a nuke on the moon, and I don't think NASA would own my solar panels any more than I think I am a subject of Ferdinand and Isabella just because Columbus 'discovered' America. One key point of going to the moon is to perpetuate the human race if/when a dictator with nukes starts WWIII.

Submission + - is down

tbonefrog writes: is down, for over 12 hours. Does anyone have any information on when, why, where?

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