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Science

Submission + - Anatomy of a boondoggle: the Airborne Laser (thebulletin.org)

__aaqpaq9254 writes: A distressing article on the boondoggle that was the Airborne Laser (ABL). Over 8 years behind and $4 billion dollars over budget, this article describes "A classic defense boondoggle, the ABL is also a frightening example of how committed military officials, scientists, and defense contractors can persuade Congress to keep a defense program alive against, seemingly, all reason."
Hardware

Submission + - Airdrop Irrigation System Wins James Dyson Award (jamesdysonaward.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The innovative Airdrop Irrigation System is capable of transforming drought-stricken areas into fertile farmland, and it just took home the top prize in this year's James Dyson Awards. The device harvests tiny amounts of moisture from even the driest climate and then pushes the moisture through a network of piping that funnels it directly to the roots of crops.
Android

Submission + - Image Analysis and Verification to Track Pictures (gizmag.com) 1

kodiaktau writes: Landon Cox, a Computer Scientist, and students at Duke University are working in conjunction researchers at Microsoft and Technicolor Research to design and develop image analysis tools to identify changes to pictures and videos.

The technology called YouProve, compares original images to create a trust certificate that can be compared against derivative images and produce a heat-map of changes between the original and derivative images. This can be of particular importance when reviewing large amounts of crowd-sourced content to see if image tampering has occurred. The intent is to deploy this technology on smartphones, particularly Android, and . The ACM recieved Cox's presentation earlier this month in the Embedded Networked Sensor Systems meetings. A video demo of the technology can be found at this link.

Science

Submission + - Voyager 2 Has Accepted The Commands! (messagetoeagle.com)

laejoh writes: NASA's Deep Space Network personnel sent commands to the Voyager 2 spacecraft Nov. 4 to switch to the backup set of thrusters that controls the roll of the spacecraft. Confirmation was received today november the 7th that the spacecraft accepted the commands.
Music

Submission + - The Sound of Pipe Organs on Mars (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "According to acoustics professor Tim Leighton: "The atmosphere on Venus shifts the pitch up dramatically (from D Minor to F Minor), making the children sound like Smurfs, while the atmospheres of Mars and Titan transpose the music down (to keys of G-sharp minor and F-sharp minor, respectively), transforming my ten-year old daughter’s voice to that of a large adult. However, while the sound on Titan carries even better than it does on Earth, on Mars the atmosphere absorbs the sound so much that almost nothing is audible when you are only 20 meters from the organ. The calculations indicate what the instrument would sound like at various locations in open — 'air' — concert halls on the various planets. One thing’s for sure — you wouldn’t sell many tickets on Mars!"

In his Discovery News article, science writer Robert Lamb also links to some mp3s with samples of "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" in Martian, Venusian and Titanian atmospheres."

News

Submission + - Murdoch hacking story "ain't over yet," (fullchannel.net)

lee317 writes: "Reuters is reporting that Rupert Murdoch's headache over the alleged phone hacking by his News Corp's reporters could be small compared to what is ahead. So far, around 20 public figures who believe their voicemail messages were intercepted by journalists at the popular News of the World tabloid are suing News International, the UK newspaper arm of News Corp. After a public apology from the newspaper aimed at "put(ting) this problem into a box", a UK judge eluded to the fact that civil cases against the firm could run into next year at least."
Botnet

Submission + - Vengeful programmer gets two years in prison (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "Putting a finishing punch on what was a nasty online retribution attack, a federal court in New Jersey has sentenced a former programmer to two years in prison, plus three years of supervised release for building a botnet-based virus that infected about 100,000 PCs and attacked a number of media outlets such as Rolling Stone and Radar."
Power

Submission + - Turning windows into powerplants (mit.edu)

An anonymous reader writes: New technology from MIT could enable a building’s windows to generate power, without blocking the view.

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