NASA's ARM Will Take a Boulder From an Asteroid and Put It In Lunar Orbit

Slashdot - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 11:03pm
coondoggie writes NASA officials today said they have picked the specific asteroid mission and offered new details for that mission which could launch in the 2020 timeframe. Specifically, NASA's associate administrator Robert Lightfoot said the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) will rendezvous with the target asteroid, land a robotic spacecraft on the surface, grab a 4 meter or so sized boulder and begin a six-year journey to redirect the boulder into orbit around the moon for exploration by astronauts.

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Categories: Science

Google Sends Reporter a GIF Instead of a ‘No Comment’

Wired News - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 10:31pm

The GIF was apparently the official answer Google sent to a reporter in response to his seeming scoop on a new YouTube livestreaming plan.

The post Google Sends Reporter a GIF Instead of a ‘No Comment’ appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

Amazon Robot Contest May Accelerate Warehouse Automation

Slashdot - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 10:19pm
moon_unit2 writes Amazon is organizing an event to spur the development of more nimble-fingered product-packing robots. Participating teams will earn points by locating products sitting somewhere on a stack of shelves, retrieving them safely, and then packing them into cardboard shipping boxes. Robots that accidentally crush a cookie or drop a toy will have points deducted. The contest is already driving new research on robot vision and manipulation, and it may offer a way to judge progress made in the past few years in machine intelligence and dexterity. Robots capable of advanced manipulation could eventually take on many simple jobs that are still done by hand.

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Categories: Science

Get Amazing Views of the First-Quarter Moon This Week

Space.com - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 10:14pm
Beginning skywatchers often think that the best time to look at the moon is when it is full, but experienced observers know that the moon is at its best for observing when it is around its first-quarter phase.
Categories: Science

Tech Luminaries Tackle Big Questions on Small Napkins

Wired News - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 9:41pm

NOKIA AND WIRED took the #maketechhuman conversation to TED, convening an all-star gathering of scientists, technologists, executives and thought leaders to ask: “How can we make sure tech serves humanity and not the other way around?” The evening debate addressed both the promise and peril of AI, as well as how to encode it with […]

The post Tech Luminaries Tackle Big Questions on Small Napkins appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

First Nuclear Power Plant Planned In Jordan

Slashdot - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 9:35pm
jones_supa writes Jordan has signed an agreement with Russia's state-owned nuclear power giant Rosatom, that sets the legal basis for building the kingdom's first nuclear power plant with a total capacity of 2,000 MW. The agreement is worth $10 billion and it envisages the construction of a two-unit power plant at Amra in the north of the kingdom by 2022. The deal provides for a feasibility study, site evaluation process and an environmental impact assessment. Currently Jordan imports nearly 98% of its energy from oil products and crude and is struggling to meet electricity demand, which is growing by more than 7% annually due to a rising population and industrial expansion. The kingdom hopes that eventually nuclear power could provide almost 40% of its total electricity generating capacity.

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Categories: Science

For Asteroid-Capture Mission, NASA Picks 'Option B' for Boulder

Space.com - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 9:11pm
NASA will pluck a boulder off a large asteroid and return it to lunar orbit, rather than target an entire near-Earth object for relocation, agency officials announced today (March 25).
Categories: Science

The Surprising Story Behind 1-Year-Mission Astronaut Scott Kelly's Space Patches

Space.com - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 9:05pm
Scott Kelly's name tags were intended to be on the space station by now. The two blue and gold badges were among the items that NASA had arranged to send to the orbiting outpost ahead of Kelly launching on a yearlong expedition.
Categories: Science

Dueling Home Automation Systems at SXSW (Video)

Slashdot - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 8:52pm
Austin has a strong western heritage and more country and western music than you can shake a fiddle bow at. So when Timothy came back from SXSW with video clips from two home automation companies with different approaches to this question: "How can you work with a whole bunch of lights and thermostats and other IoT home automation pieces that all have different OSes and control APIs?" we obviously had to call the resulting video 'Dueling Home Automation Systems.' The two companies shown in this video are called WigWag and Yonomi. WigWag sells you a "Relay," which they say "is a powerful mini computer that gives you control of your home's smart devices." The minimum pre-order buy-in for WigWag seems to be a $149 WigWag Relay. Their 'products' page his page shows the Relay -- and many other gadgets and kits that could easily run your total tab up to $1000 or more. Yonomi, on the other hand, "resides on your phone and in the Cloud. No need for a hub, controller box or other additional hardware. Yonomi magically finds and enhances your existing connected devices allowing them to interact with one another in ways never before possible." Yonomi may start with a free Android app (iOS coming soon), but you still need to buy lights, speakers, thermostats, and other things that are Internet-aware, so you're not going to save much (if anything) over buying a WigWag relay and the rest of what you need to create your own, private Internet of Things. And what about good old X10 and other home control systems? They're still out there, still doing their thing in millions of homes even if they aren't getting all the IoT buzz. In any case, it's nice to see new home automation alternatives coming down the pike, even if their cloudness may make them easier to hack than an old-fashioned appliance like this coffeemaker.

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Categories: Science

NSA Doesn’t Need to Spy on Your Calls to Learn Your Secrets

Wired News - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 8:22pm

When you're surveilling one person, the contents of conversations can be more important than metadata. But when you're surveilling an entire population, metadata is far more useful.

The post NSA Doesn’t Need to Spy on Your Calls to Learn Your Secrets appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

RadioShack Puts Customer Data Up For Sale In Bankruptcy Auction

Slashdot - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 8:05pm
itwbennett writes For years, RadioShack made a habit of collecting customers' contact information at checkout. Now, the bankrupt retailer is putting that data on the auction block. A list of RadioShack assets for sale includes more than 65 million customer names and physical addresses, and 13 million email addresses. Bloomberg reports that the asset sale may include phone numbers and information on shopping habits as well. New York's Attorney General says his office will take 'appropriate action' if the data is handed over.

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Categories: Science

One Year In Space: Preparing For Mars | Video

Space.com - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 7:50pm
Human bodies change on long-duration missions. NASA's Scott Kelly and Roscomos' Mikhail Kornienko will spend a year aboard the ISS to understand how to better keep future crews healthy.
Categories: Science

Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

Slashdot - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 7:42pm
Grymalkin writes A controversial religious freedom bill has passed the Indianapolis Senate and is now awaiting Governor Mike Pence's signature to become law. Supporters claim that this bill will protect business owners from excessive government control while opponents argue it is just a veiled attempt to allow those same business owners to deny services to individuals because of their sexual orientation. Now, Gen Con has released a statement saying this bill will influence their decision to keep the convention in Indiana. This announcement has tourism officials worried as Gen Con brings in roughly 50,000 visitors each year, contributing $50 million to the local economy. So far Gen Con's announcement has not swayed the Governor who says he is looking forward to signing the bill into law. Gen Con currently has a contract with the Indy Convention Center through 2020. No word yet as to exactly when the convention would be moved should the bill become law.

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Categories: Science

30 new species discovered in Los Angeles in first-ever intensive urban biodiversity survey

Science Daily - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 7:23pm
Thirty new insect species of the fly family Phoridae have been discovered in the LA region of California. Describing 30 species in a single paper is rare, but what's especially striking is that all these come from urban Los Angeles.
Categories: Science

Coastal property values could erode if nourishment subsidies end

Science Daily - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 7:23pm
The value of many oceanfront properties on the East Coast could drop dramatically if Congress were to suddenly end federal beach nourishment subsidies. Values could fall by as much as 17 percent in towns with high property values and almost 34 percent in towns with low property values. A gradual reduction of the subsidies, in contrast, is more likely to smooth the transition to more climate-resilient coastal communities.
Categories: Science

A mile deep, ocean fish facing health impacts from human pollution

Science Daily - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 7:23pm
Deep-water marine fish living on the continental slopes at depths from 2,000 feet to one mile have liver pathologies, tumors and other health problems that may be linked to human-caused pollution, one of the first studies of its type has found. Fish have been found with a blend of male and female sex organs including. The findings appear to reflect general ocean conditions.
Categories: Science

A new spin on Saturn's peculiar rotation

Science Daily - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 7:23pm
The precise measurement of Saturn's rotation has presented a great challenge to scientists, as different parts of this sweltering ball of hydrogen and helium rotate at different speeds whereas its rotation axis and magnetic pole are aligned. A new method leads to a new determination of Saturn's rotation period and offers insight into the internal structure of the planet, its weather patterns, and the way it formed.
Categories: Science

Climate refuges found where corals survive, grow

Science Daily - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 7:23pm
As rising ocean temperatures continue to fuel the disappearance of reef-building corals, a new study finds there may be some climate refuges where corals will survive in the future.
Categories: Science

Scientists Create Permanently Slick Surface So Ketchup Won't Stay In Bottle

Slashdot - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 7:22pm
HughPickens.com writes Much of what we buy never makes it out of the container and is instead thrown away — up to a quarter of skin lotion, 16 percent of laundry detergent and 15 percent of condiments like mustard and ketchup. Now Kenneth Chang reports at the NYT that scientists have just solved one of life's little problems — how to get that last little bit of ketchup (or glue) out of a bottle. Using a coating that makes the inside of the bottle permanently wet and slippery, glue quickly slides to the nozzle or back down to the bottom. The technology could have major environmental payoffs by reducing waste. Superhydrophobic surfaces work similar to air hockey tables. Tiny peaks and valleys on the surface create a thin layer of air between the liquid and the coating. The air decreases friction, so the liquid almost levitates above the surface, just like the hockey puck floats above the table. LiquiGlide's approach is similar, but it uses a liquid lubricant, not a gas. "What could be a solution that provides sort of universal slipperiness?" says Dr. Varanasi. "The idea we had was, Why not think about trapping a liquid in these features?" Dr. Varanasi and Mr. Smith worked out a theory to predict interactions among the surface, the lubricant and air. Essentially, the lubricant binds more strongly to the textured surface than to the liquid, and that allows the liquid to slide on a layer of lubricant instead of being pinned against the surface, and the textured surface keeps the lubricant from slipping out. "We're not defying physics, but effectively, we are," says Smith.

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Categories: Science

Thousands of atoms entangled with a single photon

Science Daily - Wed, 25/03/2015 - 7:19pm
Physicists have developed a new technique that can successfully entangle 3,000 atoms using only a single photon. The results represent the largest number of particles that have ever been mutually entangled experimentally.
Categories: Science