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Submission + - There are four quarks! (home.cern)

slew writes: Although last year saw the first LHC observations of pentaquark particles, apparently there are indeed tetraquark particles too! And the LHC found four of them (coincidence?) Even more interesting, although they apparently each have a unique internal structure, mass and their own sets of quantum numbers, all of the four particles apparently contain the same quark composition (charm,anti-charm,strange,anti-strange). Weird stuff ;^)

Submission + - Why cosmic inflation's last great prediction may fail

StartsWithABang writes: Cosmic inflation, our earliest theory of the Universe and the phenomenon that sets up the Big Bang, didn’t just explain a number of puzzles, but made a slew of new predictions for the Universe. In the subsequent 35 years, five of the six have been confirmed, with only primordial gravitational waves left to go. Inflation predicts that they could be large or small, but based on the simplest classes of models and the measured value of the density fluctuations, the gravitational waves must, according to cosmologist Mark Kamionkowski, be within the range of telescopes during the next decade. If we find them, either one of the two simplest models could be correct, but if we don’t, then the two simplest classes of inflationary models are all wrong, and gravitational waves from inflation may be invisible to us for the foreseeable future.

Submission + - Learning breakthrough - Returning the human brain to a child-like state (independent.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: It sounds like something out of a film, but scientists may have discovered a way to make you smarter – by reverting the brain to a “plastic” child-like state.

Researchers at Stanford University experimented by interfering with PirB, a protein expressed in animal brain cells that allows skills to be recalled but which also hampers the ability to learn new skills, and realised they could disrupt the receptor’s regular function, allowing the brain to make faster connections.

Submission + - Interviews: Ask Rachel Sussman About Photography and The oldest living things

samzenpus writes: Rachel Sussman is a photographer whose work covers the junction of art, science, and philosophy. Perhaps her most famous work is the "Oldest Living Things in the World" project. Working with biologists, she traveled all over the world to find and photograph organisms that are 2,000 years old and older. Sussman gave a TED talk highlighting parts of the project including a clonal colony of quaking aspen 80,000-years-old and 2,000-year-old brain coral off Tobago's coast. Rachel has agreed to put down her camera and answer any questions you may have about photography or any of her projects. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.

Submission + - 'Solid light' could compute previously unsolvable problems (scienceblog.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at Princeton University have begun crystallizing light as part of an effort to answer fundamental questions about the physics of matter. The researchers are not shining light through crystal – they are transforming light into crystal. As part of an effort to develop exotic materials such as room-temperature superconductors, the researchers have locked together photons, the basic element of light, so that they become fixed in place. “It’s something that we have never seen before,” said Andrew Houck, one of the researchers. “This is a new behavior for light.”

Submission + - Who is buried in the largest tomb ever found in northern Greece?

schwit1 writes: Excitement continues to build as archeologists dig deeper into a massive tomb discovered two years ago in northern Greece.

This past weekend the excavation team, led by Greek archaeologist Katerina Peristeri, announced the discovery of two elegant caryatids—large marble columns sculpted in the shape of women with outstretched arms—that may have been intended to bar intruders from entering the tomb’s main room. “I don’t know of anything quite like them,” says Philip Freeman, a professor of classics at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

The curly-haired caryatids are just part of the tomb’s remarkable furnishings. Guarding the door as sentinels were a pair of carved stone sphinxes, mythological creatures with the body of a lion and the head of a human. And when archaeologists finally entered the antechamber, they discovered faded remnants of frescoes as well as a mosaic floor made of white marble pieces inlaid in a red background.

Archeologists believe this tomb is connected somehow to Alexander the Great and could very well be the burial site of one of his relatives or close allies. They will not know more until they actually enter the tomb.

Submission + - Deforestation Depletes Fish Stocks

Rambo Tribble writes: Adding to the well-known fish-killing effects deforestation has in increasing turbidity and temperature in streams, a study published in Nature Communications, (abstract, PDF access), demonstrates deforestation causes a depletion of nutrients in associated lake aquatic ecosystems and, as a consequence, impacted fish stocks. Lead author Andrew Tanentzap is quoted as saying, 'We found fish that had almost 70% of their biomass made from carbon that came from trees and leaves instead of aquatic food chain sources.' This has troubling implications as, 'It's estimated that freshwater fishes make up more than 6% of the world's annual animal protein supplies for humans ...' Additionally, this may have significance in regard to anadromous species, such as salmon, which help power ocean ecosystems. The BBC offers more approachable coverage.

Submission + - AskSlashdot: Android on PC's (Intel and AMD)

An anonymous reader writes: I had seen there is an open source project (Android X86) and it even was endorsed by Intel on this article. My question is how practical is Android used against any other desktop operating system running on PC's? Will it make sense to PC makers to start bundling Android as an alternative plaform for desktop computers?
Firefox

Submission + - Mozilla releases Firefox 8, adds new security feat (winbeta.org) 1

BogenDorpher writes: Mozilla has just released Firefox 8, which now offers several new security features to the popular web browser. Firefox 8 users will have better add-on management, faster browser loading, new history window, and several other cool new features.
GNOME

Submission + - Linux Mint 12 tries to appeal to users disappointe (linuxmint.com)

gshegosh writes: "The disappointed part of Ubuntu and Gnome user community is quite vocal. Both Unity and Gnome Shell break "compatibility" with user old habits of having window-oriented, customizable desktop environment instead of Apple-style app-oriented, locked one.
There are some that try to hold on to Gnome 2 (there's even a fork) but it will get harder while time passes by and more and more applications use GTK3.
Linux Mint developers have recently revealed that they are working on extensions that will make new Gnome look and feel more traditional way. Will it make disgruntled users happy? Will Mint replace Ubuntu as #1 distribution? I for one am sure going to try it out."

Open Source

Submission + - Visual Language for Arduino - Minibloq (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: A colorful and easy-to-use open source language for programming has reached v0.8. Minibloq is fast and compact and a great way to program the Arduino productively even if you are an adult!
Programming hardware can be difficult but Minibloq reduces it so dragging and dropping colored functional blocks. It targets almost any type of Arduino and a number of robotic systems as well. It is also easy to extend.
Now all you have to do is learn to solder....

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Google's patent attorney on legal reforms, Microsoft and more - San Francisco Ch (google.com)


ITProPortal

Google's patent attorney on legal reforms, Microsoft and more
San Francisco Chronicle (blog)
Google stands at the center of the escalating mobile patent wars, as the developer of the Android operating system that triggered scores of lawsuits and countersuits. Depending on whom you ask, the company is either the high-minded adult in the debate ...
Rogue app posing as MSN app found in Android marketGMANews.TV
The week Google really 'messed up'CNN
iOS vs. Android Battle Repeats Mac vs. PC Clash: What's Next?PCWorld (blog)
ITProPortal-Trefis (subscription)-Cult of Mac
all 13 news articles

Robotics

Submission + - Pocket sized drones wins £20 mil contract fr (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: "Developments in micro electronics, especially in mobile phone and battery technologies, have made it feasible to develop advanced flying platforms that weigh just a few grams. Teaming up specialists in video and signal processing, hardware design and operational know how created the necessary foundation for the company. During 2009 the company more than doubled in size creating the largest UAS Company in Norway.

The PD-100 Black Hornet is the first airborne Personal Reconnaissance System to be developed. It will provide soldiers with their own immediate Intelligence,Surveillance and Reconnaissance capability for operations in confined areas and outdoors."

Education

Submission + - Khan Academy Receives $5M to Expand, Create Physic (hackeducation.com)

mayberry42 writes:

Khan Academy announced this morning that it has raised $5 million from the O’Sullivan Foundation (a foundation created by Irish engineer and investor Sean O’Sullivan). The money is earmarked for several initiatives: expanding the Khan Academy faculty, creating a content management system so that others can use the program’s learning analytics system, and building an actual brick-and-mortar school, beginning with a summer camp program.


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