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Space

Using Pulsars As GPS For Starships 103

cold fjord writes with an excerpt from Science Codex: "CSIRO scientists have written software that could guide spacecraft to Alpha Centauri ... Dr George Hobbs (CSIRO) and his colleagues study pulsars — small spinning stars that deliver regular 'blips' or 'pulses' of radio waves and, sometimes, X-rays. Usually the astronomers are interested in measuring, very precisely, when the pulsar pulses arrive in the solar system. Slight deviations from the expected arrival times can give clues about the behaviour of a pulsar itself ... 'But we can also work backwards,' said Dr Hobbs. 'We can use information from pulsars to very precisely determine the position of our telescopes.' 'If the telescopes were on board a spacecraft, then we could get the position of the spacecraft.' Observations of at least four pulsars, every seven days, would be required. ... A paper (paywalled) describing in detail how the system would work has been accepted for publication by the journal Advances in Space Research." (Here is a related story from the same source.)
Social Networks

Data Analyst Spoils the World's Biggest Song Vote 165

littlekorea writes "A data analyst has successfully predicted the top ten songs of the world's biggest song contest — the Triple J Hottest 100 — by extrapolating voting intentions fans had posted on Twitter and Facebook. Nick Drewe's Warmest 100 list closely mimicked the Hottest 100 results, predicting the top three in correct order and predicting 92 of the most popular 100 songs."
Science

Physicists Create a Working Transistor From a Single Atom 127

stupendou writes "Australian and American physicists have built a working transistor from a single phosphorus atom embedded in a silicon crystal. The group of physicists, based at the University of New South Wales and Purdue University, said they had laid the groundwork for a futuristic quantum computer that might one day function in a nanoscale world and would be orders of magnitude smaller and quicker than today's silicon-based machines."
Security

Aussie Researcher Cracks OS X Lion Passwords 165

daria42 writes "Thought your Mac was secure running Apple's latest operating system? Think again. Turns out that in some respects Lion is actually less secure than previous version of Mac OS X, due to some permission-tweaking by Apple that has opened up a way for an attacker to crack your password on your Lion box. The flaw was discovered by an Australian researcher who has previously published a guide to cracking Mac OS X passwords. Sounds like Apple had better get a patch out for this."
Australia

Bees Reveal Nature-Nurture Secrets 84

NoFear writes "The nature-nurture debate is a 'giant step' closer to being resolved after scientists studying bees documented how environmental inputs can modify our genetic hardware. The researchers uncovered extensive molecular differences in the brains of worker bees and queen bees which develop along very different paths when put on different diets. The research was led by Professor Ryszard Maleszka of The Australian National University's College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, working with colleagues from the German Cancer Institute in Heidelberg, Germany and will be published next week in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology."
Australia

Immune System Killer Mechanism Identified 88

traveller.ct writes "Researchers from Melbourne and London have identified the mechanism by which the immune system destroys malignant cells. The notion of killer cells puncturing a malignant cell to inject toxic enzymes has been understood for over a century, but now, using the Australian Synchrotron, researchers have identified the protein which is responsible for forming a pore in the malignant cell: perforin. Perforin resembles the cellular weaponry employed by bacteria such as anthrax, but may have been appropriated by our immune system in our evolutionary past to fight against them. The researchers are now investigating ways to boost perforin for more effective cancer protection and therapy for acute diseases such as cerebral malaria."
Australia

New Zealand Joins Aussie Bid For Vast Radio Telescope Array 60

schliz writes "A radio telescope in New Zealand has joined five in Australia to challenge Southern Africa to host the international Square Kilometer Array (SKA) in 2012. The newly connected telescope in Warkworth, New Zealand (PDF), is connected to an Australian data processing facility via a 1 Gbps network. Each telescope reportedly produces up to 1 Tb of data per hour of observation. IBM expects the whole of the SKA to produce an exabyte of data per day."
Australia

Researchers Create 4nm Transistor With Seven Atoms 120

EmagGeek writes "University researchers have created a transistor by replacing just seven atoms of silicon with phosphorous. The seven-atom transistor has hopeful implications for the future of quantum cryptography, nuclear and weather modeling, and other applications. 'The significance of this achievement is that we are not just moving atoms around or looking at them through a microscope,' says Professor Michelle Simmons, a co-author of a paper on the subject that is being published by Nature Nanotechnology. The paper is entitled 'Spectroscopy of Few-Electron Single-Crystal Silicon Quantum Dots'."
Australia

Man-Made Atomic Clocks the Best In the Universe 267

An anonymous reader writes "The widespread belief by astrophysicists that pulsars and white dwarfs are the best clocks in the universe is wrong, say two Australian physicists. John Hartnett and Andre Luiten from the University of Western Australia have recently shown that man-made terrestrial atomic clocks take the crown, contrary to numerous claims in astrophysical literature that the natural timing provided by pulsars and white dwarfs is the most precise. The preprint of their paper, available on the arXiv, shows that terrestrial clocks exceed the accuracy and stability of the astrophysical 'clocks' by all sensible measures, in some cases by several orders of magnitude."
Australia

Pirate Party Pillages Private Papers 210

David Crafti writes "Pirate Party Australia has made the move to host the recently leaked ACTA document in order to highlight the lack of government transparency in the negotiation process. We believe that the document is not under copyright, and we are not party to any NDAs, so there should be no restriction on us posting it. We would like to see what the government (any government) tries to do about it. If it turns out that there is some reason that we have to take it down, then we will, but if this happens, it will only validate the document's authenticity."
Patents

Wi-Fi Patent Victory Earns CSIRO $200 Million 267

bennyboy64 writes "iTnews reports the patent battle between Australia's CSIRO and 14 of the world's largest technology companies has gained the research organization $200 million from out of court settlements. CSIRO executive director of commercial, Nigel Poole, said the CSIRO were wanting to license their technology further, stating that he 'urged' companies using it to come forward and seek a license. 'We believe that there are many more companies that are using CSIRO's technology and it's our desire to license the technology further,' Poole said.'We would urge companies that are currently selling devices that have 802.11 a,g or n to contact CSIRO and to seek a license because we believe they are using our technology.'"
Supercomputing

Light-based Quantum Circuit Does Basic Maths 198

Stochastism writes "In yet another small step toward realistic quantum computing Australian researchers have developed a light based 4-qubit quantum computer. It has already calculated the prime roots of fifteen, three and five. 'The quantum circuit pioneered by the Queensland researchers involves using a laser to send "entangled" photons through a linear optical circuit ... The Queensland research group acknowledged that the theorised code cracking ability of quantum computers may be why Australian quantum computer research is in part funded by a US government defence intelligence agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).'"
Wireless Networking

CSIRO Demonstrates Fastest Wireless Link Yet 94

rob101 writes "The CSIRO yesterday demonstrated the world's 'fastest' wireless radio link by transmitting sixteen full quality DVD streams over a 250m link and only using a quarter of the available bandwidth. 'The CSIRO ICT Centre today announced that it has achieved over six gigabits per second over a point to point wireless connection with the highest efficiency (2.4bits/s/Hz) ever achieved for such a system.'" CSIRO hopes to double the speed of this connection in the future, pushing twelve gigabits a second.

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