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Education

Submission + - Why are blue feathers blue? [pics] (scienceblogs.com)

grrlscientist writes: "How birds grow colored plumages, especially violet, blue and white.

From the story: Because blue light have very short wavelengths, it is reflected more easily than other colors of light with longer wavelengths. This was first understood in 1869, when scientist John Tyndall noted that miniscule particles in earth's atmosphere preferentially scattered blue light resulting in the familiar "sky blue" of a clear summer day. Shortly afterward, Rayleigh demonstrated that Tyndall's "fine particles" are actually gas molecules in Earth's atmosphere, specifically, nitrogen and oxygen. Tyndall's contribution is widely recognized by describing this phenomenon as "Tyndall scattering" and referring to structural blue colors as "Tyndall Blues.""

The Internet

Submission + - How to Take Down the Power Grid

An anonymous reader writes: Ira Winkler, a security expert, writes about how hacking into the control systems set up by utility companies is frighteningly easy on the recently launched Website Internet Evolution. In his article he describes how he broke into a power company's internal network through a vulnerability on its Website, and proceeded to gain access to everything on its internal network, from the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system that controls the grid, to the personnel records of the CIO and CEO. Winkler's suggested solution to the problem is legislation from Congress forcing power companies to enforce more rigid security. However, he says he's not holding his breath for such laws to be passed. "Congress is impotent, as the power grid remains incredibly vulnerable, and people need to be outraged," he says. Is Winkler really right about how laughably easy it is to hack to grid? Should we be worried?

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