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Submission + - Cluster of 35 Ancient Pyramids and Graves Discovered in Sudan

An anonymous reader writes: About 2,000 years ago, a kingdom named Kush flourished in what is now known as Sudan. Sharing a border with Egypt, the people of Kush were highly influenced by the other civilization. The result was that they built pyramids: lots of them. At one particular site known as Sedeinga, pyramid building continued for centuries. Now archaeologists have unearthed at least 35 of these small pyramids along with graves.

Submission + - Ants Use Sound to Communicate (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: A new study shows that even ant pupae—a stage between larvae and adult—can communicate via sound, and that this communication can be crucial to their survival. The young insects have a specialized spike along their abdomen that they stroke with one of their hind legs, similar to dragging the teeth of a comb along the edge of a table. This noise serves primarily as an emergency beacon, allowing the ants to shout for help when being threatened by a predator.

Submission + - Grad Student Wins Alan Alda's Flame Challenge (flamechallenge.org)

eldavojohn writes: Scientists have long been criticized of their inability to communicate complex ideas adequately to the rest of society. Similar to his questions on PBS' Scientific American Frontiers, actor Alan Alda wrote to the Journal of Science with a proposition called The Flame Challenge. Contestants would have to explain a flame to an eleven year old kid and the entries would be judged by thousands of children across the country. The winner of The Flame Challenge is quantum physics grad student Ben Ames whose animated video covers concepts like pyrolysis, chemiluminescence, oxidation and incandescence boiled into a humorous video complete with song. Now they are asking children age 10-12 to suggest the next question for the Flame Challenge. Kids out there, what would you like scientists to explain?

Submission + - Video: Huge Dust Devil Prowling Mars (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: A camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured a stunning example of a swirling funnel of dust spinning up to an altitude of 20 kilometers. On Earth, tornadoes often reach such heights, but dust devils seldom reach up more than a few hundred meters. That's because dust devils only draw their energy from the solar heating of the surface; tornadoes also tap the heat energy from the condensation of water vapor in a tornadic storm. Mars is too dry for that, but the thinness of its air allows dust devils to soar, even on their restricted energy diet.

Submission + - First Android Bootkit discovered in 3rd Party Appstores (nq.com)

EliSowash writes: "Researchers at NQ Mobile have uncovered what they say may be the first Google Android bootkit. Dubbed DKFBootKit, the malware was spotted on third-party app stores.

"DKFBootKit is able to steal personal information from user devices," notes Xuxian Jiang, NQ Mobile's chief scientist. "More alarmingly, it is a bot client that can retrieve and run commands from remote C&C servers." In the past two weeks, DKFBootKit has infected more than 1,657 Android devices."

Submission + - Maps in Fiction; Yay or Nay? (suvudu.com) 1

ryzvonusef writes: How do you feel about maps as a reader of fantasy fiction? Does a good map make the world feel more believable? Does it ground it in reality for you? Or do you feel like firm boundaries limit your own imagination as a reader?

Do you prefer the detailed maps of Tolkein and LoTR, or do you prefer to your own imaginations, as with Pratchett and Discworld?

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C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]