Security News This Week: A Coachella Smartphone Thief Forgot About ‘Find My iPhone’

Wired News - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 12:00pm
Each weekend we round up the news stories that we didn't break or cover in depth but that still deserve your attention. The post Security News This Week: A Coachella Smartphone Thief Forgot About 'Find My iPhone' appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

The Most Amazing Space Photos This Week!

Space.com - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 12:00pm
See the best photos on Space.com this week, including new views of Earth from space, a rare quadruple supernova, and Bart Simpson's face on Ceres.
Categories: Science

Cygnus Cargo Ship S.S. John Glenn Arrives at Space Station

Space.com - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 11:19am
The S.S. John Glenn, Orbital ATK's seventh Cygnus cargo ship to deliver supplies and science for the crew on board the International Space Station, completed a four-day rendezvous to the orbiting laboratory on Saturday morning (April 21).
Categories: Science

You Can Still Catch an Earth Day Meteor Shower

Space.com - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 11:01am
Top off your Earth Day celebrations by getting outside tonight (April 22) and watching a parade of falling stars: The Lyrid meteor shower is still visible tonight, according to NASA.
Categories: Science

Want to Stop Facebook Violence? You Won’t Like the Choices

Wired News - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 11:00am
No one wants murder videos on Facebook. But no one wants Facebook to censor their baby videos, either. The post Want to Stop Facebook Violence? You Won't Like the Choices appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Space Photos of the Week: Galaxies That Pass Gas Together, Stay Together

Wired News - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 11:00am
Bursts of energy from a black hole, lava on Mars, and Jupiter's cloud tops. The post Space Photos of the Week: Galaxies That Pass Gas Together, Stay Together appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Voyager Documentary 'The Farthest' Premieres at Tribeca Film Festival

Space.com - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 11:00am
A new documentary follows the making and epic journey of NASA's two Voyager probes, which set out in 1977 and gave humanity its first close-up views of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (and far-off view of Earth).
Categories: Science

Explore National Parks from Space on Earth Day with National Geographic

Space.com - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 10:54am
In celebration of Earth Day, National Geographic has released several pictures of national parks taken from space.
Categories: Science

Tens of Thousands Protest 'Alternative Facts' at March for Science

Space.com - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 10:37am
Scientists and science enthusiasts (along with their curious kids) turned out in droves to make their voices heard.
Categories: Science

Light Sail Propulsion Could Reach Sirius Sooner Than Alpha Centauri

Slashdot - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 10:00am
RockDoctor writes: A recent proposition to launch probes to other star systems driven by lasers which remain in the Solar system has garnered considerable attention. But recently published work suggests that there are unexpected complexities to the system. One would think that the closest star systems would be the easiest to reach. But unless you are content with a fly-by examination of the star system, with much reduced science returns, you will need to decelerate the probe at the far end, without any infrastructure to assist with the braking. By combining both light-pressure braking and gravitational slingshots, a team of German, French and Chilean astronomers discover that the brightness of the destination star can significantly increase deceleration, and thus travel time (because higher flight velocities can be used). Slingshotting around a companion star to lengthen deceleration times can help shed flight velocity to allow capture into a stable orbit. The 4.37 light year distant binary stars Alpha Centauri A and B could be reached in 75 years from Earth. Covering the 0.24 light year distance to Proxima Centauri depends on arriving at the correct relative orientations of Alpha Centauri A and B in their mutual 80 year orbit for the sling shot to work. Without a companion star, Proxima Centauri can only absorb a final leg velocity of about 1280km/s, so that leg of the trip would take an additional 46 years. Using the same performance characteristics for the light sail, the corresponding duration for an approach to the Sirius system, almost twice as far away (8.58 lightyears), is a mere 68.9 years, making it (and it's white dwarf companion) possibly a more attractive target. Of course, none of this addresses the question of how to get any data from there to here. Or, indeed, how to manage a project that will last longer than a working lifetime. There are also issues of aiming -- the motion of the Alpha Centauri system isn't well-enough known at the moment to achieve the precise maneuvering needed without course corrections (and so, data transmission from there to here) en route.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

EFF Says Google Chromebooks Are Still Spying On Students

Slashdot - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 7:00am
schwit1 quotes a report from Softpedia: In the past two years since a formal complaint was made against Google, not much has changed in the way they handle this. Google still hasn't shed its "bad guy" clothes when it comes to the data it collects on underage students. In fact, the Electronic Frontier Foundation says the company continues to massively collect and store information on children without their consent or their parents'. Not even school administrators fully understand the extent of this operation, the EFF says. According to the latest status report from the EFF, Google is still up to no good, trying to eliminate students privacy without their parents notice or consent and "without a real choice to opt out." This, they say, is done via the Chromebooks Google is selling to schools across the United States.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Scientists to Stage Protest Marches Around the World on Saturday

Space.com - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 6:26am
On April 22, people in hundreds of cities around the world will take part in the March for Science.
Categories: Science

‘Negative mass’ created at Washington State University

Kurzweil AI - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 3:36am

Experimental images of an expanding spin-orbit superfluid Bose-Einstein condensate at different expansion times (credit: M. A. Khamehchi et al./Physical Review Letters)

Washington State University (WSU) physicists have created a fluid with “negative mass,” which means that if you push it, it accelerates toward you instead of away, in apparent violation of Newton’s laws.

The phenomenon can be used to explore some of the more challenging concepts of the cosmos, said Michael Forbes, PhD, a WSU assistant professor of physics and astronomy and an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington. The research appeared Monday (April 17, 2017)  in the journal Physical Review Letters.

How to create negative mass

The researchers created the conditions for negative mass by cooling about 10,000 rubidium atoms to just above absolute zero, creating a Bose-Einstein condensate (in which individual atoms move as one object). In this state, particles move extremely slowly and, following the principles of quantum mechanics, behave like waves. They also synchronize and move in unison as a “superfluid” that flows without losing energy.

The lasers trapped the atoms as if they were in a bowl measuring less than a hundred micrometers across. At this point, the rubidium superfluid has regular mass. Breaking the bowl will allow the rubidium to rush out, expanding as the rubidium in the center pushes outward.

To create negative mass, the researchers applied a second set of lasers that kicked the atoms back and forth and changed the way they spin. Now when the rubidium rushes out fast enough, if behaves as if it has negative mass.

The technique used by the WSU researchers avoids some of the underlying defects encountered in previous attempts to create negative mass. It could hold clues to the behavior occurring in the heart of ultracold neutron stars, which also act as superfluids, and cosmological phenomena like black holes and dark energy, said Forbes.

The work was supported in part by a WSU New Faculty Seed Grant and the National Science Foundation.

Abstract of Negative-Mass Hydrodynamics in a Spin-Orbit–Coupled Bose-Einstein Condensate

A negative effective mass can be realized in quantum systems by engineering the dispersion relation. A powerful method is provided by spin-orbit coupling, which is currently at the center of intense research efforts. Here we measure an expanding spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensate whose dispersion features a region of negative effective mass. We observe a range of dynamical phenomena, including the breaking of parity and of Galilean covariance, dynamical instabilities, and self-trapping. The experimental findings are reproduced by a single-band Gross-Pitaevskii simulation, demonstrating that the emerging features—shock waves, soliton trains, self-trapping, etc.—originate from a modified dispersion. Our work also sheds new light on related phenomena in optical lattices, where the underlying periodic structure often complicates their interpretation.

Categories: Science

Britain Set For First Coal-Free Day Since Industrial Revolution

Slashdot - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 3:30am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The UK is set to have its first ever working day without coal power generation since the Industrial Revolution, according to the National Grid. The control room tweeted the predicted milestone on Friday, adding that it is also set to be the first 24-hour coal-free period in Britain. The UK has had shorter coal-free periods in 2016, as gas and renewables such as wind and solar play an increasing role in the power mix. The longest continuous period until now was 19 hours -- first achieved on a weekend last May, and matched on Thursday. Hannah Martin, head of energy at Greenpeace UK, said: "The first day without coal in Britain since the Industrial Revolution marks a watershed in the energy transition. A decade ago, a day without coal would have been unimaginable, and in 10 years' time our energy system will have radically transformed again." Britain became the first country to use coal for electricity when Thomas Edison opened the Holborn Viaduct power station in London in 1882. It was reported in the Observer at the time that "a hundred weight of coal properly used will yield 50 horse power for an hour." And that each horse power "will supply at least a light equivalent to 150 candles."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

All-Electric 'Flying Car' Takes Its First Test Flight In Germany

Slashdot - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 1:50am
Today, Munich-based Lilium Aviation conducted the first test flight of its all-electric, two-seater, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) prototype. "In a video provided by the Munich-based startup, the aircraft can be seen taking off vertically like a helicopter, and then accelerating into forward flight using wing-borne lift," reports The Verge. From the report: The craft is powered by 36 separate jet engines mounted on its 10-meter long wings via 12 movable flaps. At take-off, the flaps are pointed downwards to provide vertical lift. And once airborne, the flaps gradually tilt into a horizontal position, providing forward thrust. During the tests, the jet was piloted remotely, but its operators say their first manned flight is close-at-hand. And Lilium claims that its electric battery "consumes around 90 percent less energy than drone-style aircraft," enabling the aircraft to achieve a range of 300 kilometers (183 miles) with a maximum cruising speed of 300 kph (183 mph). "It's the same battery that you can find in any Tesla," Nathen told The Verge. "The concept is that we are lifting with our wings as soon as we progress into the air with velocity, which makes our airplane very efficient. Compared to other flights, we have extremely low power consumption." The plan is to eventually build a 5-passenger version of the jet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Developer of BrickerBot Malware Claims He Destroyed Over Two Million Devices

Slashdot - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 1:20am
An anonymous reader writes: In an interview today, the author of BrickerBot, a malware that bricks IoT and networking devices, claimed he destroyed over 2 million devices, but he never intended to do so in the first place. His intentions were to fight the rising number of IoT botnets that were used to launch DDoS attacks last year, such as Gafgyt and Mirai. He says he created BrickerBot with 84 routines that try to secure devices so they can't be taken over by Mirai and other malware. Nevertheless, he realized that some devices are so badly designed that he could never protect them. He says that for these, he created a "Plan B," which meant deleting the device's storage, effectively bricking the device. His identity was revealed after a reporter received an anonymous tip about a HackForum users claiming he was destroying IoT devices since last November, just after BrickerBot appeared. When contacted, BrickerBot's author revealed that the malware is a personal project which he calls "Internet Chemotherapy" and he's "the doctor" who will kill all the cancerous unsecured IoT devices.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Study of bacteria's DNA fingerprint suggests it could be spreading via food distribution

Science Daily - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 1:08am
Foods should be investigated as a potential source of spread of Clostridium difficile, according to research.
Categories: Science

Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years

Science Daily - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 1:08am
Experimental evidence of melting in two-dimensional substances has finally been gained by researchers. Findings from the study could be used to support technological improvements to thin film materials such as graphene.
Categories: Science

When liver immune cells turn bad

Science Daily - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 1:08am
A high-fat diet and obesity turn 'hero' virus-fighting liver immune cells 'rogue,' leading to insulin resistance, a condition that often results in type 2 diabetes, according to research.
Categories: Science

Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Science Daily - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 1:08am
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
Categories: Science