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Submission + - John Goodenough responds to skeptics of his new lithium-on battery (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: John Goodenough, the University of Texas researcher who this week demonstrated new battery cells that are safer and have at least three times as much energy density as today's standard Li-on batteries, responded to skeptics who said the technology described in research published in a peer-reviewed journal, appear to defy the laws of thermodynamics. In an article published Monday by Quartz , various energy experts took exception to Goodenough's claims, even calling them "unbelievable." Goodenough is also co-inventor of the original lithium-ion battery. In an email to Computerworld, Goodenough said "any new discovery invites strong skepticism." In this case, the skeptical scientists wondered how it is possible to strip lithium from the anode and plate it on a cathode current collector to obtain a battery voltage since the voltage is the difference in the chemical potentials (Fermi energies) between the two metallic electrodes,. "The answer is that if the lithium plated on the cathode current collector is thin enough for its reaction with the current collector to have its Fermi energy lowered to that of the current collector, the Fermi energy of the lithium anode is higher than that of the thin lithium plated on the cathode current collector," Goodenough said.

Submission + - Hadoop has failed us, tech expert say (datanami.com)

atcclears writes: Hadoop is great if you’re a data scientist who knows how to code in MapReduce or Pig, Johnson says, but as you go higher up the stack, the abstraction layers have mostly failed to deliver on the promise of enabling business analysts to get at the data.

Submission + - Biological version of malware reverses antibiotic resistance in TB (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: As the mycobacterium that causes tuberculosis has frighteningly become resistant to one drug after another, scientists for years have searched for new compounds that will stop the pathogen before it kills. Now, in a novel twist, researchers have found a way to recruit help from none other than Mycobacterium tuberculosis itself to make the deadly pathogen susceptible to an existing tuberculosis (TB) drug that it has learned to dodge. It's like a biological version of “malware,” says co–senior author Benoit Déprez of the University of Lille in France. In effect, he says, the approach activates a previously silent system that, when coupled with a TB drug, instructs the bacteria to self-destruct.

Submission + - Chinese police armed with high-tech anti-drone rifles to combat illegal UAVs (ibtimes.co.uk) 2

drunkdrone writes: Police in China are being equipped with new high-tech weaponry to help them fight back against illegal drone use. Officers in the central Chinese city of Wuhan have been issued rifles that emit radio-jamming signals to knock quadcopters and similar unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) out of the sky.

Rather than disabling the drones completely — which would cause them to fall out of the sky and potentially injure people on the ground — the scoped rifles put the drones into a controlled decent so they can land without being damaged.

It does this by emitting radio frequencies that are the same as the ones drones use to communicate with the operator's control unit, commonly in the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz ranges.

Submission + - US Dept of Veterans Affairs to dump freely-available electronic health record sy

dmr001 writes: US Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, MD announced to Ongress plans to transition from VistA to a commercial EHR. Despite the fact that physicians typically find VistA sensible and relatively easy to use, Shulkin feels the VA should get out of the software business and buy a "commercially tested" product. The US Department of Defense recently contracted with Cerner though that transition is already beset with delays. There's no word yet how the VA might ensure any new system will be compatible with DOD's solution. Recent attempts to upgrade VistA (originally developed in house) using outside contractors have not been clearly successful.

Submission + - SPAM: Why Your Dad's 30-Year-Old Stereo System Sounds Better Than Your New One

schwit1 writes: The receiver engineers have to devote the lion’s share of their design skills and budget to making the features work. Every year receiver manufacturers pay out more and more money (in the form of royalties and licensing fees) to Apple, Audyssey, Bluetooth, HD Radio, XM-Sirius, Dolby, DTS and other companies, and those dollars consume an ever bigger chunk of the design budget. The engineers have to make do with whatever is left to make the receiver sound good.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Physicists Find That as Clocks Get More Precise, Time Gets More Fuzzy (sciencealert.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Time is weird – in spite of what we think, the Universe doesn't have a master clock to run by, making it possible for us to experience time differently depending on how we're moving or how much gravity is pulling on us.

Now physicists have combined two grand theories of physics to conclude not only is time not universally consistent, any clock we use to measure it will blur the flow of time in its surrounding space.

Submission + - NCWIT Adviser Calls on Tech CEOs to Meet With Ivanka Trump, Make K-12 CS Happen

theodp writes: In an op-ed for The Hill, Paula Stern calls for President Trump and Tech CEOs to convene a second meeting, this time to "commit to bold solutions that funnel domestic talent into the tech pipeline" that would reduce their companies' reliance on H-1B visas. Stern writes, "The group should include a few more women — starting with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos — and rally state and local school boards to champion computer science in the K-12 curriculum. Ivanka Trump should also attend, adding this issue to her work/life agenda for both women and men in digital America. This meeting should also invite groups like the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) — for whom I am a senior adviser — to highlight the practices that prepare, attract and retain American talent." Last April, many of the tech leaders present in the first sit-down with the Trumps put their names to a Change.org petition calling for the Federal government to fund K-12 CS education that still hasn't been able to meet its 150,000-signature target despite widespread publicity and claims of a "groundswell" of support.

Submission + - New 360 Video Inside Bertha, World's Largest Tunnel Boring Machine (fastcompany.com)

tedlistens writes: Bertha, the huge machine currently boring a two-mile tunnel 200 feet beneath Seattle, returned to work this week after surveyors discovered that it was "several inches" off course. But that's not completely unusual, apparently, and at least it sounds pretty tiny compared to the scale of the project. Just look at this thing.

Submission + - Apache Servers Under Attack Through Easily Exploitable Struts 2 Flaw (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: A critical vulnerability in Apache Struts 2 is being actively and heavily exploited, even though the patch for it has been released on Monday. The vulnerability (CVE-2017-5638) affects the Jakarta file upload Multipart parser in Apache Struts 2. It allows attackers to include code in the “Content-Type” header of an HTTP request, so that it is executed by the web server. Almost concurrently with the release of the security update that plugs the hole, a Metasploit module for targeting it has been made available. Unfortunately, the vulnerability can be easily exploited as it requires no authentication, and two very reliable exploits have already been published online. Also, vulnerable servers are easy to discover through simple web scanning.

Submission + - SPAM: Neanderthals ate vegetables, gave themselves medicine

phantomfive writes: A DNA analysis of tarter (hardened plaque) on Neanderthal teeth shows that some of them were mainly vegetarian. It also shows that they self-medicated with natural occurring aspirin, and possibly even penicillin. According to the study they a,so shared food with, or even kissed, homo-sapiens. There is also evidence of cannibalism.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Scientists take first peek inside the inner workings of neural networks (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Last month, Facebook announced software that could simply look at a photo and tell, for example, whether it was a picture of a cat or a dog. A related program identifies cancerous skin lesions as well as trained dermatologists can. Both technologies are based on neural networks, sophisticated computer algorithms at the cutting edge of artificial intelligence (AI)—but even their developers aren’t sure exactly how they work. Now, researchers have found a way to "look" at neural networks in action and see how they draw conclusions.

Submission + - Researchers discover several potential solar-hydrogen fuel production catalysts (lbl.gov)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers reported this week the discovery of a dozen potential catalysts that could feasibly produce hydrogen fuel using only sunlight, water, and CO2. The paper, published Monday in PNAS, describes a dozen new vanadate based photoanodes that meet the required energy bandgaps to produce hydrogen fuel. Traditional hydrogen fuel production is an energetically costly technique, but the work here potentially allows for vastly more efficient and renewable hydrogen production. While the research is encouraging, what’s more impressive is the researchers nearly doubled the number of candidate materials for cheap hydrogen production in only 2 years. Per the Lab press release: “Over the past four decades, researchers identified only 16 of these photoanode materials Now researchers have found 12 promising new photoanodes.”

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