News, Technology, Space, Science - Breaking News and interesting stories en-us Copyrighted information (c) 2017-11-20T05:43:37+01:00 U.S. Population Passes 300 Million U.S. Population Passes 300 Million WASHINGTON (AP)—The nation's population officially hit 300 million at 7:46 a.m. EDT Tuesday, when the Census Bureau's population clock rolled over to the big number. But there weren't any wild celebrations, fireworks or any other government-sponsored hoopla to mark the milestone. Why bother? Many experts think the population actually hit 300 million months ago. Spider Silk Could Repair Human Ligaments Spider web silk, the strongest natural fiber known, could possess untapped medical potential in artificial tendons or for regenerating ligaments, scientists now say. By Charles Q. Choi Frisbee - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Modular Disc-Wing (Frisbee) Urban Cruise Munitions, also called Lethal Frisbee UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), are under development by Triton Systems at the behest of the U.S. Air Force. Play Video Game Just By Thinking The days of attacking aliens with a joystick could soon be over thanks to a breakthrough technique where a teenager played Space Invaders using only signals from his brain. With a technique that takes data from the surface of the brain, a 14-year-old boy from St. Louis was able to play the two-dimensional Atari game without so much as lifting a finger More Oxygen Could Make Giant Bugs on Earth Giant insects might crawl on Earth or fly above it if there was just more oxygen in the air, scientists report. Roughly 300 million years ago, giant insects scuttled around and fluttered over the planet, with dragonflies bearing wingspans comparable to hawks at two-and-a-half feet. Back then, oxygen made up 35 percent of the air, compared to the 21 percent we breathe now. Not all the insects back then were giants, but still, "maybe 10 percent were big enough to be considered giant," insect physiologist Alexander Kaiser at Midwestern University in Glendale, Ariz . Polarrose search engine allows Searching for Friends in Photos Polar Rose is a new search engine now being tested that will allow you to find anyone in any photo on any site. Type in the name of a person you know, and find pictures of that person all over the web, on sites like MySpace or blog pages using face-recognition technology. Spectacular new images of Mars Spectacular new images of Mars Spectacular new images of Mars could reveal clues about tens of millions of years of the red planet's history. NASA has just released photos taken from above the planet by the spacecraft Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, showing the rover Opportunity perched next to the enormous Victoria Crater. Four or five football stadiums could fit inside the crater. "We've taken approximately 160,000 photographs from Spirit and Opportunity," said Jim Bell, lead scientist for the rover's panoramic camera. "The images that have come down just this week have instantly vaulted to my top 10 list," he said. Universe might be a bit stretched Universe might be a bit stretched Instead of being perfectly round like a globe, the universe might be a bit stretched in shape like a pill. The newly proposed shape could be caused by a magnetic field that pervades the entire cosmos or defects in the fabric of space and time, researchers said. Scientists in Italy base their proposal off data gathered by a NASA satellite known as the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). This spacecraft is designed to scan the sky and measure the temperature of the heat left over from the Big Bang and now present throughout the universe in the form of microwaves. What the Internet really looks like Behold the server farm They're ugly. They require a small city's worth of electricity. And they're where the Web happens. Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and others are spending billions to build them as fast as they can. (At the Equinix data center in Secaucus, N.J., the company keeps the server room dark so that clients can't peer into each others' cages.) Russia building nuke barge to power Arctic Russia building nuke barge to power Arctic While the U.S. hems and haws over reviving nuclear energy as a less expensive alternative to oil, Russia has dug back 30 years in our nuclear history to find a solution for some of its own energy woes: the floating nuclear power plant. String of pearls String of pearls Saturn's fascinating meteorology manifests itself as a "string of pearls" formation, spanning more than 60,000 kilometers (37,000 miles). Women gamers business 117 Million Active Gamers Play Online, and 64% Are Women Nielsen Entertainment today released its third annual Active Gamer Benchmark Study, which shows that the social elements of video games are becoming an increasingly important part of the overall gaming experience. The research found that among the roughly 117 million Active Gamers in the U.S. in 2006, more than half (56%) play games online, and that 64% of all online gamers are women. Moreover, while gaming has conventionally been thought of as a solitary experience, the new study reveals that Active Gamers spend upwards of 5 hours a week playing games socially, led by teenagers who are socially involved in gaming about 7 hours per week. The research also shows that although teenagers continue to comprise the largest percentage (40%) of Active Gamers, more than 15 million of these gamers (almost 8%) are now 45 years or older. While women make up nearly two- thirds of all online gamers, men still outnumber women in the overall video game universe by more than two-to-one. ASA Orbiter Reveals New Details of Mars, Young and Old,%20Young%20and%20Old-40.htm NASA Orbiter Reveals New Details of Mars During its first week of observations from low orbit, NASA's newest Mars spacecraft is already revealing new clues about both recent and ancient environments on the red planet. Scientists hope the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will answer questions about the history and distribution of Mars' water by combining data from the orbiter's high-resolution camera, imaging spectrometer, context camera, ground-penetrating radar, atmospheric sounder, global color camera, radio and accelerometers. Image right: This view shows diverse materials and morphologies in the region south of Mawrth Vallis on Mars. The color is composed of infrared, red, and blue-green color images, and has been enhanced to accentuate the color differences. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona Between Sept. 29 and Oct. 6, science instruments on the spacecraft viewed dozens of sites that reflect different episodes in Mars' history. The diverse sites provide a good test for the capabilities of the spacecraft instruments. The orbiter will begin its primary science mission phase in early November when Mars re-emerges from passing nearly behind the sun.,%20Young%20and%20Old-40.htm UFO Flies Over Ica and Huatyara UFO Flies Over Ica and Huatyara Engineers in Antapite Captured Image Showing Silvery Object Cordova-Huatyara/Pablo Mamani Quispe In the Huaytara Highlands on the border between Ica and Huancavelica, a group of engineers performing work for mining company Antapite managed to take a photo of an Unidentified Flying Object, commonly known as a UFO. As can be seen in the image, it was a silvery object that stands out against a clear blue sky and contrasts with the area's topography. Accoridng to Luis Alberto Villar Perez, identified with DNi 3057454, the photo was taken on September 22 from the Jatun Orcco mining project in the localities of Palmacancha, Huarpo and San Migel in the peasant district of Santiago de Chocorvos. The area is located at 4,300 meters above sea level in the province of Huaytara, Huancavelica. Said photos were taken by Wilber Manrique, a geologist from BISA Ingenieros. UFO Photographed over Capilla del Monte, Argentina,%20Argentina-43.htm UFO Photographed over Capilla del Monte, Argentina Location: Barrio La Banda - Capilla del Monte - Cordoba, Argentina Date Taken: January 16, 2006 11:15 am approximately Photo Taken by: Esteban Sebastiani,%20Argentina-43.htm China UFO UFO in China Nanjing – On August 17, 2006, a disc shaped object was filmed above an apartment building as it moved slowly across the top of the building. As the craft reached the highest point of the building, it suddenly showed seven white lights evenly displaced around the outer edge of the craft. These lights dimmed quickly as one large light lighted up and surrounded the craft before it abruptly disappeared. Sings in countries FUNNY SIGNS Are a lot of signs everywhere like this... Here is a list with them. 2006 Ozone Hole During its seasonal peak, the ozone hole set a record this year, scientists reported today. The ozone hole, which covers much of Antarctica, is thought to be caused by human-produced compounds which release chlorine and bromine. Chemical reactions high in the atmosphere cause these gases to destroy ozone. The presence of the hole—actually an area of significantly reduced ozone—means that the ultraviolet radiation from the sun reaches Earth's surface in greater amounts. Erotic and Violent Images Cloud Vision Erotic and Violent Images Cloud Vision When people see violent or erotic images, they fail to process whatever they see next, according to new research. Scientists are calling the effect "attentional rubbernecking." What Causes a Fever? What Causes a Fever? Fever occurs typically when a virus or bacteria invades the body. The immune system produces chemicals called pyrogens, which trick the brain's hypothalamus (where the body's thermostat resides) into sensing an artificially cool body temperature. Scientists Create Cloak of Partial Invisibility Scientists Create Cloak of Partial Invisibility Scientists have created a cloaking device that can reroute certain wavelengths of light, forcing them around objects like water flowing around boulders in a stream. To creatures or machines that see only in microwave light, the cloaked object would appear nearly invisible. Panda scared A funny video-clip with a panda.... :) Virus writers target web videos Virus writers target web videos Some malicious hackers exploit interest in Halloween The growing popularity of online video has caught the attention of malicious hackers and hi-tech criminals. Security firms are reporting more and more instances of booby-trapped Windows codecs - file compressors - required to play some video formats. Some of the codecs let users play types of net-based video, but also have spyware and adware wrapped inside. Others, say experts, are outright fakes that just want to infect victims with data-stealing programs. How To: Dismantle #8201;an Atomic #8201;Bomb;an%20Atomic%20#8201;Bomb%20-53.htm How To: Dismantle an Atomic Bomb Sure, the odds are slim that you'd ever be faced with an atomic device ticking down to zero. But think of how Jack Bauer it'd be if you were. And then who're you going to trust? Us or some do-gooder rock band?;an%20Atomic%20#8201;Bomb%20-53.htm Are your Web surfing fingers getting tired? Are your Web surfing fingers getting tired? There may be a reason. Netcraft, an Internet monitoring company that has tracked Web growth since 1995, says a mammoth milestone was reached during the month of October. Borat the movie BORAT LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Sacha Baron Cohen's Kazakh alter-ego, Borat, made glorious returns at the box office, surprising Hollywood with a No. 1 debut. Bright Idea: Light Bulb Burns Away Tumors Light Bulb Burns Away Tumors By Charles Q. Choi Beams of light concentrated from a light bulb could soon help burn away tumors in surgical operations that are as effective as laser surgery but 100 times cheaper, scientists in Israel now report. Wireless recharging New Technology: Wireless Recharging In the future, we might recharge electronics the same way many people now surf the web: wirelessly. Die old age Do People Really Die of Old Age There are various ways of shuffling off this mortal coil, but people actually die from injury (such as a fall or car accident) or disease (such as cancer). No one dies of old age. Usually when a person is said to have died "of old age," it means that he or she succumbed to one of the diseases common in our later years. Why Music Gives Us the Chills Why Music Gives Us the Chills By Corey Binns For a willing music audience, the art of drawing emotion from notes is classic. Composers play with subtle, intricate changes and rates of change to try and elicit emotion. In recent studies, scientists found that people already familiar with the music are more likely to catch a chill at key moments: When a symphony turns from loud to quiet Upon entry of a solo voice or instrument When two singers have contrasting voices People covered in goose bumps also tend to be driven more by rewards, and less inclined to be thrill- and adventure-seekers, according to research conducted at the Institute for Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine in Hanover, Germany. Scientists Melt Diamond Scientists Melt Diamond By Andrea Thompson So much for “diamonds are forever.” Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories have taken diamond, the hardest known natural material on Earth, and melted it into a puddle. Diamond isn’t easy to melt, which is why the scientists used Sandia’s Z machine, the world’s largest X-ray generator, to subject tiny squares of diamond, only a few nanometers thick, to pressures more than 10 million times the atmosphere’s pressure at sea level. Biking women less sensitive Biking Can Make Women's Genitals Less Sensitive Women who bicycle frequently run the risk of decreased sensitivity in their genitals as well as pain, a new study suggests. Researchers compared 48 women competitive cyclists to 22 women runners. The bicyclists consistently rode at least 10 miles per week, and the runners logged at least five miles a week. The runners were used as a control group of active women not exposed to the direct pressure in the perineal region. Dark energy universe growth 'Dark energy' pushed universe's growth, astronomer says NEW YORK (AP) -- The Hubble Space Telescope has shown that a mysterious form of energy first conceived by Albert Einstein, then rejected by the famous physicist as his "greatest blunder," appears to have been fueling the expansion of the universe for most of its history. This so-called "dark energy" has been pushing the universe outward for at least 9 billion years, astronomers said Thursday. "This is the first time we have significant, discrete data from back then," said Adam Riess, a professor of astronomy at Johns Hopkins University and researcher at NASA's Space Telescope Science Institute. Magic Wardrobe Magic Wardrobe Tired of fighting it out with other shoppers at the store? Tired of slow e-commerce web sites? The Magic Wardrobe, a research prototype developed by Accenture, is a piece of smart furniture that would allow people to use their actual wardrobe as a starting point in online shopping. It engages in silent commerce, working in the background to help you find the next thing you want. Clouds Clues Scientists: Climate Change Clues in Sky By Beth Duff-Brown EUREKA, Nunavut Territory (AP) -- Scientists are peering into the clouds near the top of the world, trying to solve a mystery and learn something new about global warming. The mystery is the droplets of water in the clouds. With the North Pole just 685 miles away, they should be frozen, yet more of them are liquid than anyone expected. So the scientists working out of a converted blue cargo container are trying to determine whether the clouds are one of the causes -- or effects -- of Earth's warming atmosphere. Ancient Greek Macine Scientists Unravel Mystery of Ancient Greek Machine By Ker Than Scientists have finally demystified the incredible workings of a 2,000-year-old astronomical calculator built by ancient Greeks. A new analysis of the Antikythera Mechanism, a clock-like machine consisting of more than 30 precise, hand-cut bronze gears, show it to be more advanced than previously thought—so much so that nothing comparable was built for another thousand years. "This device is just extraordinary, the only thing of its kind," said study leader Mike Edmunds of Cardiff University in the UK. "The design is beautiful, the astronomy is exactly right…In terms of historical and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa." The researchers used three-dimensional X-ray scanners to reconstruct the workings of the device's gears and high-resolution surface imaging to enhance faded inscriptions on its surface. Cassini Images Featured in National Geographic Cassini Images Featured in National Geographic These breathtaking images and others from the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft are featured in the December 2006 issue of National Geographic magazine. The cover story, "Saturn As You've Never Seen It," explains how the Cassini mission is solving mysteries about the origin of the solar system. The magazine also features a special map supplement showing an updated view of the solar system, reflecting the new status of Pluto as a "dwarf planet." The Saturn cover got thousands of votes in an online poll asking readers to match wits with the editor to guess what the cover would be. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. All photos credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute. X-ray Airport X-RAY Sky Harbor International Airport here will test a new federal screening system that takes X-rays of passenger's bodies to detect concealed explosives and other weapons. Scientists Levitate Small Animals Scientists Levitate Small Animals Scientists have now levitated small live animals using sounds that are, well, uplifting. In the past, researchers at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an, China, used ultrasound fields to successfully levitate globs of the heaviest solid and liquid—iridium and mercury, respectively. The aim of their work is to learn how to manufacture everything from pharmaceuticals to alloys without the aid of containers. At times compounds are too corrosive for containers to hold, or they react with containers in other undesirable ways. Marine Species Collapse by 2048 Study: Marine Species Collapse by 2048 By Sara Goudarzi If the loss of marine species from over fishing and climate change continues at the current rate, all commercial fish and seafood species could collapse by 2048, scientists reported today. Analyzing all existing historical, experimental, and fishery data on ocean species and ecosystems, researchers found that in addition to distressing a major food supply for humans, the loss of marine life could disrupt biodiversity on a global scale. Orion new nasa vehicle Lockheed to Build Orion Crew Vehicle NASA has selected Lockheed Martin Corp. as the prime contractor to design, develop, and build Orion, America's spacecraft for a new generation of explorers. The Orion crew capsule will carry astronauts back to the moon and later to Mars. The first flight with astronauts aboard is planned for no later than 2014. Orion's first flight to the moon is planned for no later than 2020. Image above: An Orion crew vehicle in lunar orbit . Image Credit: Lockheed Martin Corp. Orion improves on the best features of Project Apollo and the Space Shuttle Program, increasing the likelihood of success. Versatility will be Orion's trademark. It is being designed to fly to the moon, but could also be used to service the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit. Viruses on food Viruses Approved for Treating Food A mix of bacteria-killing viruses can be safely sprayed on cold cuts, hot dogs and sausages to combat common microbes that kill hundreds of people a year, federal health officials said Friday in granting the first-ever approval of viruses as a food additive. The combination of six viruses is designed to be sprayed on ready-to-eat meat and poultry products, including sliced ham and turkey, said John Vazzana, president and chief executive officer of manufacturer Intralytix Inc. Asteroid 2036 SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) -- An asteroid may come uncomfortably close to Earth in 2036 and the United Nations should assume responsibility for a space mission to deflect it, a group of astronauts, engineers and scientists said on Saturday. Astronomers are monitoring an asteroid named Apophis, which has a 1 in 45,000 chance of striking Earth on April 13, 2036. Although the odds of an impact by this particular asteroid are low, a recent congressional mandate for NASA to upgrade its tracking of near-Earth asteroids is expected to uncover hundreds, if not thousands of threatening space rocks in the near future, former astronaut Rusty Schweickart said. Strange Martian crater IOS6 news and fixes A full comprehensive list of IOS6 fixes: Cassini near Saturn Cassini near Saturn Cassini Returns Never-Before-Seen Views of the Ringed Planet New Arctic Inhabitants: Trees New Arctic Inhabitants: Trees Andrea Thompson Rising temperatures fueled by global warming are causing forests of spruce trees to invade Arctic tundra faster than scientists originally thought, evicting and endangering the species that dwell there and only there, a new study concludes. Tundra is land area where tree growth is inhibited by low temperatures and a short growing season. In the Arctic, the tundra is dominated by permafrost, a layer of permanently frozen subsoil. The only vegetation that can grow in such conditions are grasses, mosses and lichens. Forests of spruce trees and shrubs neighbor these tundra areas, and the boundary where they meet is called the treeline. We cant time travel back You Can't Travel Back in Time Sara Goudarzi The urge to hug a departed loved one again or prevent atrocities are among the compelling reasons that keep the notion of time travel alive in the minds of many. While the idea makes for great fiction, some scientists now say traveling to the past is impossible. There are a handful of scenarios that theorists have suggested for how one might travel to the past, said Brian Greene, author of the bestseller, “The Elegant Universe” and a physicist at Columbia University.“And almost all of them, if you look at them closely, brush up right at the edge of physics as we understand it. Most of us think that almost all of them can be ruled out” Ocean Discovered Inside Earth Ocean Discovered Inside Earth Scientists scanning the deep interior of Earth have found evidence of a vast water reservoir beneath eastern Asia that is at least the volume of the Arctic Ocean. The discovery marks the first time such a large body of water has found in the planet’s deep mantle. The finding, made by Michael Wysession, a seismologist at Washington University in St. Louis, and his former graduate student Jesse Lawrence, now at the University of California, San Diego, will be detailed in a forthcoming monograph to be published by the American Geophysical Union. No internet A little under one-third of U.S. households have no Internet access and do not plan to get it, with most of the holdouts seeing little use for it in their lives, according to a survey released Friday. Park Associates, a Dallas-based technology market research firm, said 29 percent of U.S. households, or 31 million homes, do not have Internet access and do not intend to subscribe to an Internet service over the next 12 months. Hexagon on Saturn Hexagon on Saturn Cassini Images Bizarre Hexagon on Saturn Jupiter details Small moons are acting as shepherds using their gravity to herd dust and boulders in Jupiter's faint rings, NASA scientists reported Tuesday. The finding is one of several discoveries made from images captured in late February by the New Horizons probe in what NASA scientists called "a real-world fly-by" of Jupiter, 16 months into its mission to Pluto. They also got the closest look yet at the "Little Red Spot," an Earth-sized swir... Arctic melt Arctic sea ice is melting at a rate far quicker than predicted by climate change computer models and could disappear completely before the middle of the century, scientists have warned. The study, published in the latest edition of the journal Geophysical Research Letters, found that the actual rate at which summer sea ice had shrunk per decade during the past 50 years was more than three times faster than an average of 18 of the most highly regarded climate simulations. Retreating Arctic ice is considered a key indica Warming to Change Earth Days Length Global Warming to Change Earth Day's Length By Andrea Thompson In the next two centuries, global warming could cause the days to grow slightly shorter on Earth, a new study finds. Another effect of warming, however, might actually lengthen the day. As ocean water gets warmer due to climate, seawater expands thereby raising sea levels and changing the ocean’s circulation and even exerting more pressure on the ocean floor below in some areas, explained Jochem Marotzke of the Max Planck Institute in Germ... Southern Ocean saturated with CO2 Southern Ocean saturated with CO2 The Southern Ocean around Antarctica is so loaded with carbon dioxide that it can barely absorb any more, so more of the gas will stay in the atmosphere to warm up the planet, scientists reported Thursday. Human activity is the main culprit, said researcher Corinne Le Quere, who called the finding very alarming. The phenomenon wasn't expected to be apparent for decades, Le Quere said in a telephone interview from the University of East Anglia in Britain. "We thought we would be able to detect these only the second half of this century, say 2050 or so," she said. But data from 1981 through 2004 show the sink is already full of carbon dioxide. "So I find this really quite alarming." The Southern Ocean is one of the world's biggest reservoirs of carbon, known as a carbon sink. When carbon is in a sink -- whether it's an ocean or a forest, both of which can lock up carbon diox... Google unifies search results Google Inc. said on Wednesday it is combining its different Web search services into one "Universal Search" service that will present Web sites, news, video and other results on one page. The move, a significant overhaul of Google's most-used function, will take effect on Wednesday and be improved over time, executives told reporters at the company's "Googleplex" headquarters. "I think of it as a pretty natural evolution, with the one interesting thing being the video side of it," said Martin Pyykkonen, an analyst with Global Crown Capital. "The thing everyone is wondering right now is what will an advertiser be willing to pay for a video link," Pyykkonen said. "From the advertiser standpoint, I think they will be interested in how to hook their customer better." Universal Search means that standard Google searches will draw results from separate properties covering books, local information, images, news, and video, said Marissa Mayer, vice president of search and user experience. "It's breaking down the silos of information that have been built up. It's a broad, long-term vision that will unfold over the next few years," Mayer said. "We are really excited about what Universal Search could evolve to in the future." The combined search includes any site indexed by Google's services. On the video side, for example, it will include YouTube, Google Video and independent sites like Merging Black Holes Scientists have pinpointed the precise locations of a pair of supermassive black holes at the centers of two colliding galaxies 300 million light-years away. Infrared images made by the Keck II telescope in Hawaii reveal the two black holes at the center of the galaxy merger known as NGC 6240 are each surrounded by a rotating disk of stars and cloudy stellar nurseries. The new images are detailed in Science Express, an online publication of the journal Science. Second-Life market THE seven million or so inhabitants of Second Life, the three-dimensional online world, have spent millions of dollars on digital makeovers, clothing and other goods and services for their avatars. But will the game’s players buy anything for themselves? Self-Healing plastic Self-healing plastic Self-healer: Modeled on human skin, a new material that heals itself multiple times is made of two layers. The polymer coating on top contains tiny catalyst pieces scattered throughout. The substrate contains a network of microchannels carrying a liquid healing agent. When the coating cracks, the cracks spread downward and reach the underlying channels, which ooze out healing agent. The agent mixes with the catalyst and forms a polymer, filling in the cracks. Credit: J. Hanlon, Univ. of Illinois Beckman Institute Pressure on Yahoo Pressure builds on Yahoo CEO Just before Google Inc. went public nearly three years ago, Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Terry Semel assured a roomful of securities analysts and money managers that his company would remain the Internet's brightest star. Google has so thoroughly eclipsed its rival since then that a growing contingent of Yahoo shareholders believes the company would be better off without Semel, who could face a chorus of discontent when he takes the stage at Yahoo's annual shareholders meeting Tuesday. "The company is drifting," said Eric Jackson, who intends to confront Semel during the meeting on behalf of about 80 Yahoo stockholders who own a combined 2 million shares in the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company. "And its problems ultimately lie at Terry's feet." In the last year alone, Google has trumped Yahoo in the bidding for online video pioneer YouTube Inc. and Internet display ad service DoubleClick Inc. while widening its lead in the lucrative field of search. Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has established such a commanding advantage that it makes more profit in a single quarter than Yahoo does in a year. After Google completed its August 2004 initial public offering, Yahoo was still the larger and more valuable company. The IPO gave Google a market value of $23 billion compared with $39 billion for Yahoo at the time. Google's stock price has increased more than sixfold since then, however, creating about $140 billion in additional shareholder wealth. Meanwhile, Yahoo's stock price has fallen about 4% in the same period, leaving the company with a market value of $37 billion. Google lead in searches Google extends its lead in searches Google Inc. extended its lead over Yahoo Inc. in the global Internet-search market, according to ComScore Inc. Google accounted for 67% of queries worldwide in April, up from 66.3% the previous month, while Yahoo slipped to 18.8% from 19.2%, the research firm said. Microsoft Corp. remained at 7.7%. Google buys FeedBurner Google buys syndicator FeedBurner Internet juggernaut Google Inc. said it purchased FeedBurner, which helps bloggers and podcasters syndicate and make money from their online content, for an undisclosed sum. Samsung Unveils Mobile TV Chipset Multistandard support means handset users will be able to choose which broadcasting services they want to use without changing their mobile application. By Antone Gonsalves InformationWeek Jun 27, 2007 07:04 PM Samsung Electronics on Wednesday unveiled a multiband mobile TV chipset for use in cellular phones in Europe, Asia, and the United States. The chipset, built with a 65-nanometer manufacturing process, includes a multistandard channel decoder and a multiband radio frequency tuner. The hardware supports multiple digital standards, including DVB-H/T, DAB-IP, ISDB-T, and terrestrial DMB. Atlantis from space Backdropped by a cloud-covered part of Earth, Space Shuttle Atlantis was photographed by the Expedition 15 crew after it undocked from the International Space Station on June 19, 2007, in preparation for the journey home. The STS-117 astronauts completed about eight days of joint operations with the station crew. The docked Soyuz spacecraft is visible at left. Image credit: NASA Super Computer The world's fastest commercial supercomputer has been launched by computer giant IBM. Blue Gene/P is three times more potent than the current fastest machine, BlueGene/L, also built by IBM. The latest number cruncher is capable of operating at so called "petaflop" speeds - the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second. Approximately 100,000 times more powerful than a PC, the first machine has been bought by the US government. Plastic back to oil A US company is taking plastics recycling to another level – turning them back into the oil they were made from, and gas. All that is needed, claims Global Resource Corporation (GRC), is a finely tuned microwave and a mix of materials that were made from oil can be reduced back to oil and combustible gas (and a few leftovers). Jupiter stripes changes Jupiter is changing its stripes, perhaps because its seasons are changing, scientists reported Thursday. The orbiting Hubble Space Telescope is capturing some of the most dramatic atmospheric changes ever documented, the team at NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore reported. var CNN_ArticleChanger = new CNN_imageChanger('cnnImgChngr','/2007/TECH/space/06/29/jupiter.stripes.reut/imgChng/p1-0.init.exclude.html',1,1); //CNN.imageChanger.load('cnnImgChngr','imgChng/p1-0.exclude.html'); White areas of the planet's cloud bands are turning brown and brownish areas are lightening up, the researchers said. "It does this every once in a while," planetary scientist Amy Simon-Miller of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center said in a telephone interview. "Jupiter doesn't stay the same color all the time. We are just lucky -- it is going through what we call a global upheaval, meaning the belts and bands are changing color at the same time." The changes might be due to seasonal effects, Simon-Miller said. "Jupiter's year is much longer than an Earth year -- it's 12 years," she said. Changes in the heat from the sun may be affecting the gas giant's atmosphere, she said. As planets orbit, their angle from the sun varies, changing how directly the sun's rays hit and in turn causing the seasons. WTC UFO World Trade Center UFO No sun link to climate change A new scientific study concludes that changes in the Sun's output cannot be causing modern-day climate change. It shows that for the last 20 years, the Sun's output has declined, yet temperatures on Earth have risen. It also shows that modern temperatures are not determined by the Sun's effect on cosmic rays, as has been claimed. Writing in the Royal Society's journal Proceedings A, the researchers say cosmic rays may have affected climate in the past, but not the present. New Material Heals Itself New Material Heals Itself Everywhere you look, exposed surfaces are cracking. Asphalt streets are cracked, building facades are cracked, the paint on your house is cracked and flaking - the list is endless. What if you could have a surface that repaired itself? Windows Vista failures Chris Pirillo leaned away from his webcam and pointed to his printer/scanner/fax machine, which stopped scanning and faxing after he installed Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows Vista operating system. Vista interacts differently with programs and peripherals than previous versions of Windows. "I can't live in Vista if the software that I use in my life for productivity does not work," said Pirillo, in the third minute of a 52-minute video he posted on YouTube. Flying Saucer Air Travel Flying Saucer Designed for Greener Air Travel Eco-conscious travelers buy off their global warming guilt with carbon offsets that promote wind farms and reforestation. Meanwhile, aviation engineers are taking another route, designing a more environmentally sustainable airplane that may overturn long-held notions of flight engineering. "I want to get rid of the image of a cylindrical body with wings," said Etnel Straatsma of Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. By Michael Schirber Full Moons and Injuries Study: Full Moons Don't Spur Injuries Ever whacked your thumb with a hammer, or wrenched your back after lifting a heavy box, and blamed the full moon? It's a popular notion, but there's no cosmic connection, Austrian government researchers said Tuesday. Robert Seeberger, a physicist and astronomer at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said a team of experts analyzed 500,000 industrial accidents in Austria between 2000 and 2004 and found no link to lunar activity. China aims to map the Moon China aims to map the whole Moon China, which plans to launch a lunar orbiter called "Chang'e One" in the second half of 2007 to take 3D images, would aim to land an unmanned vehicle on its surface by 2010, official news portal quoted Ouyang Ziyuan as saying. Google Sky Google SKY Popular mapping service Google Earth will launch a new feature called Sky, a "virtual telescope" that the search engine hopes will turn millions of Internet users into stargazers. Google, which created Google Earth to give Internet users an astronaut's view that can zoom to street level, said the service would be a playground for learning about space. "Never before has a roadmap of the entire sky been made so readily available," said Dr. Carol Christian of the Space Telescope Science Institute, who co-led the institute's Sky team. Laptop best battery Scientists Invent 30 Year Continuous Power Laptop Battery Your next laptop could have a continuous power battery that lasts for 30 years without a single recharge thanks to work being funded by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. The breakthrough betavoltaic power cells are constructed from semiconductors and use radioisotopes as the energy source. As the radioactive material decays it emits beta particles that transform into electric power capable of fueling an electrical device like a laptop for years. Although betavoltaic batteries sound Nuclear they’re not, they neither use fission/fusion or chemical processes to produce energy and so (do not produce any radioactive or hazardous waste). Betavoltaics generate power when an electron strikes a particular interface between two layers of material. The Process uses beta electron emissions that occur when a neutron decays into a proton which causes a forward bias in the semiconductor. This makes the betavoltaic cell a forward bias diode of sorts, similar in some respects to a photovoltaic (solar) cell. Electrons scatter out of their normal orbits in the semiconductor and into the circuit creating a usable electric current. Scammer jailed Scammer Jailed United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced today that GILBERT VARTANIAN, 37, formerly of Sacramento, was sentenced to 24 months in prison. The sentencing follows his conviction by a jury on August 7, 2007, of committing fraud on eBay, a popular Internet auction house. The jury found the defendant guilty of nine counts of mail fraud for selling sporting tickets and Rolex watches, which he failed to deliver. The defendant was ordered to make restitution to the victims of the fraud. Prior to sentencing, the defendant liquidated his retirement account and deposited approximately $27,500 with the district court to pay restitution. NASA Orion Test Pad NASA to Break Ground for Orion Test Pad at White Sands, N.M. HOUSTON - NASA will break ground for a new test launch pad at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range, N.M., at 8:30 a.m. CST, Wednesday, Nov. 14. The pad will be the site of a series of tests of a launch abort system that will help ensure the safety of astronauts aboard the new Orion spacecraft. NASA's Constellation Program is developing Orion to carry astronauts to the International Space Station, the moon and beyond. Engineers will use the test results to help design Orion's launch abort system. Venus lightning NASA Scientist Confirms Light Show on Venus Venus is a hellish place of high temperatures and crushing air pressure. The European Space Agency's Venus Express mission adds into this mix the first confirmation that the Venusian atmosphere generates its own lightning. The discovery is part of the Venus Express science findings that appear in a special section of the Nov. 29 issue of the journal Nature. "In addition to all the pressure and heat, we can confirm there is lightning on Venus -- maybe even more activity than there is here on Earth," said Christopher Russell, a NASA-sponsored scientist on Venus Express from the University of California, Los Angeles, and lead author of one of the Nature papers. "Not a very good place to vacation, that is for sure." Arctic changes NASA Sees Arctic Ocean Circulation Do an About-Face PASADENA, Calif. – A team of NASA and university scientists has detected an ongoing reversal in Arctic Ocean circulation triggered by atmospheric circulation changes that vary on decade-long time scales. The results suggest not all the large changes seen in Arctic climate in recent years are a result of long-term trends associated with global warming. The team, led by James Morison of the University of Washington's Polar Science Center Applied Physics Laboratory, Seattle, used data from an Earth-observing satellite and from deep-sea pressure gauges to monitor Arctic Ocean circulation from 2002 to 2006. They measured changes in the weight of columns of Arctic Ocean water, from the surface to the ocean bottom. That weight is influenced by factors such as the height of the ocean's surface, and its salinity. A saltier ocean is heavier and circulates differently than one with less salt. This shows contours of the trend in ocean bottom pressure from 2002 to 2006 Image left: This shows contours of the trend in ocean bottom pressure from 2002 to 2006 as measured by GRACE along with hypothetical trends that would apply at the circles if ocean salinity reverted from 1990s values to climatological conditions over the same period. Laser Zaps Viruses Laser Zaps Viruses Is it possible to shine a light on infected tissue, and only kill the viruses, leaving healthy tissue intact? A father-son team combined physics and biology to prove that it is indeed possible. Kong-Thon Tsen, a physics professor at Arizona State University, was talking with his son Shaw-Wei Tsen, a pathology student at Johns Hopkins, about antiviral treatments. If a vaccine is not available for a viral illness, treatment options are extremely limited. "We have demonstrated a technique of using a laser to excite vibrations on the shield of a virus and damage it, so that it's no longer functional," said Tsen senior. "We're testing it on HIV and hepatitis right now." Diabetes tattoo A diabetes "tattoo" might be just the thing to relieve diabetes sufferers of the constant pain of needle sticks A diabetes "tattoo" might be just the thing to relieve diabetes sufferers of the constant pain of needle sticks. Most glucose-monitoring methods require that a blood sample be taken using a needle; researchers have long sought a non-invasive test method. Finding a less painful way of monitoring blood sugar could make a real difference to the 6.7 percent of Americans who have diabetes. Gerard Cote, biomedical engineering professor in the Dwight Look College of Engineering, is testing an experimental system using fluorescent polymer microbeads implanted just under a patient's skin. Glucose levels affect how much light the beads emit when exposed to laser light; the blood glucose level could be measured with a wristwatch-like monitor. When injected under the skin, the microbeads cannot enter cells - unlike tattooing, in which cells absorb the pigment. The beads remain in the spaces between the cells; these interstitial spaces are filled with water and glucose molecules. According to Dr. Cote, the level of glucose in interstitial fluid is directly related to the blood glucose level measured by the traditional needle-stick method. The glucose in the fluid binds to the microbeads; when the beads are illuminated with a small laser, the fluorescent color of the beads changes in proportion to the amount of glucose present. In preliminary studies, the researchers injected the microbeads under the skin of a laboratory rat, and found that the rat tolerated the implant. The beads did in fact fluoresce under the rat's skin; the fluorescent response changed when there was a change in glucose level in the rat. Active tattoos can be found in various science-fictional works; consider the subdermal microchannels from the 1985 cyberpunk classic Stone Lives by Paul Di Filippo: June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry in the core of Mao/K'ung Fu-Tzu. Following the current craze, she has had a subdermal pattern of micro-channels implanted. The channels are filled with synthetic luciferase, the biochemical responsible for the glow of fireflies. How Cells Store Fat Research Reveals How Cells Store Fat Researchers say they've spotted the genes that cells use to store fats, a discovery that might someday lead to new weight-loss therapies. The genes produce proteins that are key to fat storage, the U.S. researchers report in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "We know from our studies that if you reduce the level of these proteins in cells, the cells lose the ability to store fat," said senior researcher David Silver, an assistant professor of biochemistry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. As Silver explained, the genes "store fat in the form of droplets as an energy reserve for later use. These make proteins involved in fundamental processes, and they are conserved throughout evolution." Searching databases, Silver and his colleagues have established that the two genes they identified -- dubbed FIT1 and FIT2 -- are present in the most primitive members of the advanced cell type called eukaryotes, which make up the human body. "One ancient gene goes all the way back to yeast," Silver said. Other scientists had already identified genes responsible for synthesizing fat within cells, he noted. The new discovery describes the genes that pack... Astrological Sign May be Wrong Your Astrological Sign May Not Be What You Think It Is It's a great conversation starter: "What's your sign?" But before you ask or answer that question, consider this: your zodiac sign corresponds to the position of the sun relative to constellations as they appeared over 2200 years ago! The science behind astrology may have its roots in astronomy but don’t confuse these two disciplines. Astronomy can explain the position of the stars in the sky but it’s up to you to determine what, if anything, their alignment signifies. The Constellations of the Zodiac The ecliptic, or the position of the Sun as it’s perceived from the revolving Earth, passes through the constell... New Wiki Collaborative Wikia Search Set to Go Public Engineers at Google and other search companies continually tweak their complex software algorithms to improve results and fight spammers -- those who try to artificially boost the rankings of their own sites. Search companies have not disclosed many details to avoid tipping off competitors and spammers. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales' Wikia Search approach would open that process. The founder of Wikipedia says taking the online encyclopedia's collaborative approach into the field of search won't dethrone Google or another major search engine -- at least not soon. Youtube still growing YouTube’s Traffic Continues to Snowball By Miguel Helft More content begets more viewers, which, in turn, beget more content. That’s the virtuous cycle — the network effect — that has propelled Google-owned YouTube to the No. 1 spot in online video. Those network effects are helping YouTube outperform the growth of the overall market for online video, which itself is growing at a rapid clip. In September, Google sites accounted for 28.3 percent of all videos watched online, according to comScore. By November, Google’s share had grown by another 3 percentage points, to 31.3 percent, comScore said in a report Thursday. Google’s nearest rival, Fox Interactive Media, which includes MySpace, accounted for just 4.4 percent of the market. Interestingly, the top 10 video sites accounted for less than half of all videos viewed online. That means people are watching video here, there and everywhere on the Web. And they’re doing so more every day. During November, 138 million people, or about three-quarters of Internet users in the United States, watched on average 3 hours and 15 minutes of online video, or 45 minutes more than they watched in January. That’s still less than the amount of time average Americans spend in front of their TVs each day. But the data are likely to be skewed by the smaller number of people who watch online video “for absurd amounts of time,” said Josh Bernoff, an analyst with Forrester Research. “If you are CBS, the fact that people are watching a few hours of online video a month is of some concern,” Mr. Bernoff said. “But if there is some member of your audience who is there for one or two hours a day, you’ve lost them. They are never coming back.” Those that have been lost by TV are likely to be found on YouTube, where 74 million people watched 39 videos each on average in November, according to comScore. Mercury detailed images MERCURY DETAILED IMAGES FROM NASA NASA's Messenger spacecraft has captured a new view of the planet Mercury. During a flyby on Monday, cameras onboard snapped images of the cratered surface that had not been previously observed. In the 1970s, NASA's Mariner 10 flew past Mercury three times and made observations, but the same hemisphere was always facing the sun. Asteroid TU24 Asteroid to Make Rare Close Flyby of Earth Scientists are monitoring the orbit of asteroid 2007 TU24. The asteroid, believed to be between 150 meters (500 feet) and 610 meters (2,000 feet) in size, is expected to fly past Earth on Jan. 29, with its closest distance being about 537,500 kilometers (334,000 miles) at 12:33 a.m. Pacific time (3:33 a.m. Eastern time). It should be observable that night by amateur astronomers with modest-sized telescopes. Asteroid 2007 TU24 was discovered by the NASA-sponsored Catalina Sky Survey on Oct. 11, 2007. Scientists at NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., have determined that there is no possibility of an impact with Earth in the foreseeable future. "This will be the closest approach by a known asteroid of this size or larger until 2027," said Don Yeomans, manager of the Near Earth Object Program Office at JPL. "As its closest approach is about one-and-a-half times the distance of Earth to the moon, there is no reason for concern. On the contrary, Mother Nature is providing us an excellent opportunity to perform scientific observations." illustration shows the asteroid's track on the sky for 3 days near the time of the close Earth approach as seen from the city of Philadelphia The illustration from an amateur astronomer shows the asteroid's track on the sky for 3 days near the time of the close Earth approach as seen from the city of Philadelphia. Kidney Thefts Kidney Thefts An Indian doctor named Amit Kumar was arrested in Nepal earlier this month, accused of being the leader of a "kidney theft ring" that supposedly took up to 500 kidneys from unwilling donors over the past nine years. Stories circulated that some poor and uneducated Indian peasants were even forced to give up their organs at gunpoint. Stories of organ theft proliferate on the Internet, and surface once in a while in the mass media. There are two basic types of organ-snatching stories: One involves a traveling businessman who meets up with a femme fatale, is drugged, and wakes up with an organ missing. The other involves vulnerable people (usually children and the poor) from Third World countries who are forcibly taken for their organs. A typical claim is that children in India, the Philippines, and Latin America are kidnapped (or killed) and their organs sold to rich Americans or Europeans. Scary, huh? But is it true? While newspapers and magazines profit from sensational headlines about vampiric organ thieves, the truth is that there is little evidence to suggest that organ theft rings operate in India or anywhere else. Consent vs. force As with many legal and criminal issues (for example, rape or abduction) the crux of the issue comes down to consent. Dr. Kumar claims that all the organs were willingly offered, and the logistics of organ transplant supports his defense. It is virtually impossible to remove a usable organ from an uncooperative donor and place it in a recipient. Kidney transplants are not simple procedures that can be done in someone's kitchen. Sophisticated medical equipment must be used, and donors and recipients must be carefully matched. Blood and tissue typing and histocompatibility tests must be done in advance (thus with the "victim's" cooperation). The operation would take between fou... Moon total eclipse Next Moon eclipse is in 11 years... T-Ray Camera A camera that can "see" explosives, drugs and weapons hidden under clothing from 25 metres has been invented. The ThruVision system could be deployed at airports, railway stations or other public spaces. It is based on so-called "terahertz", or T-ray, technology, normally used by astronomers to study dying stars. Although it is able to see through clothes it does not reveal "body detail" or subject people to "harmful radiation", according to the designers. "It is totally and utterly passive - it receives only," said a spokesperson for Thruvision. The portable camera, which has already been sold to the Dubai Mercantile Exchange and Canary Wharf in London, will be shown off at the Home Office scientific development branch's annual exhibition later this week. God particle is near Scientist: 'God Particle' Likely To Be Found Soon By Alexander G. Higgins, Associated Press Writer Eds. Note: The subatomic particle that is the focus of this story is sometimes referred to as the "God particle," after the title of Nobel laureate Leon Lederman's lighthearted 1993 popular particle physics book "The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question?" GENEVA (AP) -- The “father” of an elusive subatomic particle said Monday he is almost sure it will be discovered in the next year in a race between powerful research equipment in the United States and Europe. British physicist Peter Higgs, who more than 40 years ago postulated the existence of the particle in the makeup of the atom, said his visit to a new accelerator in Geneva over the weekend encouraged him that the so-called Higgs boson will soon be seen. The euro1.3 billion (US$2 billion) Large Hadron Collider, under construction since 2003, is expected to start operating by June at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, which is known as CERN. It likely will take several months before the hundreds of scientists from all over the world at the laboratory are ready to start smashing together protons to study their composition. But Higgs said the particle may already have been created at the rival Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory outside Chicago, where the Tevatron is currently the world's most powerful particle accelerator. X Prize Car X Prize Announces New Challenge: A 'Green' Car By Andrea Thompson NEW YORK - And they're off! A new challenge to build an eco-friendly, efficient car - for a $10 million purse - began today with an announcement of the details of the Automotive X Prize at the New York Auto Show. The latest X Prize Foundation challenge for aspiring innovators is to design a "viable, clean and super-efficient" car that people actually want to buy and that will "help break our addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change," according to the Foundation. So far, 64 international teams have signed up for the challenge, sponsored by Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. Their rolling inventions will compete for a $10 million prize in the culmination of the challenge: two long-distance stage races that reflect real driving conditions, to be held in 2009 – the Qualifying Race and the Grand Prize Final. "This is a race for the future; it is a race we must win," said Peter Diamandis, X Prize Foundation chief executive officer and chairman. In the races, the cars will have to hit a minimum speed and achieve a fuel efficiency of at least 100 miles per gallon of gasoline energy equivalent. They must also be ready for production on the market. No flashy concept cars please. Disposable Credit Card Numbers Anti-Fraud Scheme: Disposable Credit Card Numbers By Lamont Wood Each time you give your credit card details to a phone agent or Web site, it can feel like you die a little — after all, you've just given away the keys to your personal kingdom. Security experts nowadays are trying to help address this fear by developing disposable credit card numbers (DCCNs). Under one new proposal, the disposable digits would be good only for a single transaction. As detailed in a recent edition of the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics, researchers at Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K. suggest a scheme whereby consumers submit a DCCN instead of their regular card number when making online purchases. Researchers Mohammed Assora, James Kadirire and Ayoub Shirvani suggest that the customer would get the secret code number from the credit card company. Using a simple calculation, the code would be a combination of a number from the e-commerce site (probably the sale price) and the credit card number to create a "hash" of the credit card details. This hash — which would resemble a long random number — would be stored by the merchant instead of the usual credit card details. Neither the merchant nor any malicious eavesdropper or hacker would be able to read it, but the credit card company could read it, since it knows the customer's code number. Jet stream is weakening Earth jet stream is creeping northward and weakening The jet stream — America's stormy weather maker — is creeping northward and weakening, new research shows. That potentially means less rain in the already dry South and Southwest and more storms in the North. And it could also translate into more and stronger hurricanes since the jet stream suppresses their formation. The study's authors said they have to do more research to pinpoint specific consequences. From 1979 to 2001, the Northern Hemisphere's jet stream moved northward on average at a rate of about 1.25 miles a year, according to the paper published Friday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The authors suspect global warming is the cause, but have yet to prove it. The jet stream is a high-speed, constantly shifting river of air about 30,000 feet above the ground that guides storm systems and cool air around the globe. And when it moves away from a region, high pressure and clear skies predominate. Two other jet streams in the Southern Hemisphere are also shifting poleward, the study found. Galaxy Collision The object known as Arp 148 - at first sight the flowering of a cosmic firework - is a collision, apparently ongoing, between two galaxies. The pattern, 500 million light-years away in Ursa Major, comes from the shockwave produced by the collision. The image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. New tehnology Memristors Details of an entirely new kind of electronic device, which could make chips smaller and far more efficient, have been outlined by scientists. The new components, described by scientists at Hewlett-Packard, are known as "memristors". The devices were proposed 40 years ago but have only recently been fabricated, the team wrote in the journal Nature. They have already been used to build novel transistors - tiny switches that are the building blocks of all chips. "Now we have this type of device we have a broader palette with which to paint our circuits," Professor Stan Williams, one of the team, told the BBC last year. Total recall Memristors were first proposed in 1971 by Professor Leon Chua, a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. They are the "fourth" basic building block of circuits, after capacitors, resistors and inductors. "I never thought I'd live long enough to see this happen," Professor Chua told the Associated Press. "I'm thrilled because it's almost like vindication. Something I did is not just in my imagination, it's fundamental." The memristors are so called because they have the ability to "remember" the amount of charge that has flowed through them after the power has been switched off.This could allow researchers to build new kinds of computer memory that would would not require powering up. Today, most PCs use dynamic random access memory (DRAM) which loses data when the power is turned off. But a computer built with memristors could allow PCs that start up instantly, laptops that retain sessions after the battery dies, or mobile phones that can last for weeks without needing a charge."If you turn on your computer it will come up instantly where it was when you turned it off," Professor Williams told Reuters. "That is a very interesting potential application, and one that is very realistic." Vatican says aliens could exist The Pope's chief astronomer says that life on Mars cannot be ruled out. Writing in the Vatican newspaper, the astronomer, Father Gabriel Funes, said intelligent beings created by God could exist in outer space. Father Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory near Rome, is a respected scientist who collaborates with universities around the world. The search for forms of extraterrestrial life, he says, does not contradict belief in God. The official Vatican newspaper headlines his article 'Aliens Are My Brother'. Keys for multiple items Number keys promise safer data The system hinges on multiple keys for multiple items Sensitive computer files are to become both more secure and more flexible thanks to advanced mathematics. Mathematicians at the University of California in Los Angeles have applied a fundamental rethink to improve the "one lock - one key" method that current encryption technologies such as RSA and AES operate on. Amit Sahai, associate professor at UCLA, told BBC World Service's Digital Planet programme that they had decided to "rebuild the idea from the ground up," and developed the idea of multiple keys giving access to selected pieces of data. "In our vision, we'll have some data that can be locked - but now that one lock is openable by many different keys in many different ways," he expl Volkswagen parking without driver Volkswagen parking without driver New tiniest extrasolar planet New tiniest extrasolar planet Astronomers have sighted the smallest extrasolar planet yet orbiting a normal star - a distant world just three times the size of our own. Discovering a planet with a similar mass to that of Earth is considered the "holy grail" of research into planets that lie outside our Solar System. It is vital because researchers want to find other worlds that could host life. The planet orbits a star which is itself of such low mass it may in fact be a "failed star", or brown dwarf. Astronomers found the new world using a technique called gravitational microlensing. This takes advantage of the fact that light is bent as the rays pass close to a massive object, like a star. The planet, called MOA-2007-BLG-192Lb, is about 3.3 times the size of Earth. Some researchers have suggested the planet could have a thick atmosphere and have even speculated there could be a liquid ocean on its surface. Nasa's planned James Webb Space Telescope, due to launch in 2013, could search for signatures of life on Earth-mass planets orbiting low-mass stars in the vicinity of the Sun. A smaller planet than this one has been found orbiting a pulsar, a spinning neutron star which produces powerful beams of radiation. Lead author David Bennett, from the University of Notre Dame, commented: "This is leading the way to finding lower mass planets, including Earth-mass planets, by microlensing. He added: "It also encourages astronomers who search for planets in the habitable zones of very low-mass stars." Water world? The planet orbits its host star, or brown dwarf, with an orbital radius similar to that of Venus. But the host is likely to be between 3,000 and one million times fainter than the Sun, so the top of the planet's atmosphere is likely to be colder than Pluto. It would also be extremely dim if one were to stand on its surface. Nicholas Rattenbury, a co-author from the University of Manchester and Jodrell Bank, told BBC News: "Our best ideas about how planets form suggests the planet could have quite a thick atmosphere. This atmosphere could act like a big blanket, keeping the planet warm. "So even though there's very little energy coming from its host star, hitting the planet and warming it up that way, internal heat coming from within the planet could be warming up the surface. "This has led to some speculation that there could, possibly, be a liquid ocean on the surface of this planet. The reason why that's exciting, is one of the properties we'd like to have on a habitable planet is liquid water on the surface." MOA-2007-BLG-192Lb was found with the new MOA-II telescope at New Zealand's Mount John Observatory. The technique employed to find the new planet uses the gravitational field of a star like a lens - magnifying the light from a distant background star. This effect occurs only when the two stars are in almost perfect alignment. Astronomers are able to detect planets orbiting the lens star if the light from the background star is warped by one or more planets. The team's measurements cannot distinguish whether the planet's host is a brown dwarf or a very low-mass hydrogen burning star called a red dwarf. Honda first hydrogen cars Japanese car manufacturer Honda has begun the first commercial production of a zero-emission, hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle. The four-seater, called FCX Clarity, runs on hydrogen and electricity, emitting only water vapour. Honda claims the vehicle offers three times better fuel efficiency than a traditional, gasoline-powered car. Honda plans to produce 200 of the cars, which are initially only available to lease, over the next three years. One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of wider adoption of fuel cell vehicles is the lack of hydrogen fuelling stations. Malaria new hope Australian scientists have identified a potential treatment to combat malaria by pinpointing the process that helps the disease hijack red blood cells. They have found the key to an adhesive that stops the parasite being flushed out of the body by the immune system. The removal of just one of these compounds is enough to bring the process to a halt. Researchers in Melbourne believe their discovery could be a major breakthrough in the fight against the disease. British UFO fan hacks US military British UFO fan in 'biggest US military hack of all time' faces 60 years in jail after losing extradition fight Gary MacKinnon can still appeal to the European Court Of Human Rights, in which his chances of success are likely to be far better than in the British House Of Lords, which is much too beholden to U$ interests to turn down extradition requests by the U$ Dept. of (In)Justice, no matter how ill-founded they are. The alleged "terrorism" argument put up by U$ prosecutors is totally false. Hopefully, there will be a change of régime in the U$A before such an appeal is heard, which could result in a Presidential Executive Order effectively abandoning the prosecution. Defeat: Gary McKinnon will now be extradited to the US to face charges he sabotaged vital military computers A UFO fanatic who hacked into hundreds of American military computers faces a 60-year jail sentence in the U.S. after the Law Lords rejected his appeal against extradition. Gary McKinnon, 44, who was first arrested six years ago, now plans to take his case to the European Court. A self- confessed 'bumbling nerd', he became a hacker after watching the film WarGames, in a which a teenager almost starts a war by accessing Pentagon secrets. Convinced that the U.S. Government had made contact with aliens, McKinnon spent years seeking evidence by hacking into official computers from a North London bedroom. He claims he was caught while trying to download a photograph of a UFO. But he also concern when, calling himself Solo, he left a threatening message on an army computer suggesting the September 11 attacks were an 'inside job'. Midori new operating system Computer virus in space A computer virus is alive and well on the International Space Station (ISS). Nasa has confirmed that laptops carried to the ISS in July were infected with a virus known as Gammima.AG. The worm was first detected on Earth in August 2007 and lurks on infected machines waiting to steal login names for popular online games. Nasa said it was not the first time computer viruses had travelled into space and it was investigating how the machines were infected. Orbital outbreak Space news website SpaceRef broke the story about the virus on the laptops that astronauts took to the ISS. Nasa told SpaceRef that no command or control systems of the ISS were at risk from the malicious program. The laptops infected with the virus were used to run nutritional programs and let the astronauts periodically send e-mail back to Earth. CERN Pictures CERN - LCH Launch Pictures v LCH stopped The fault that has shut down the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be hugely disappointing for scientists and engineers following the successful "start-up" of the experiment. It is now over a week since the first beams were fired around the accelerator's 27km (16.7 miles) underground ring. The crucial next step is to collide those beams head on. But hopes that the first trial collisions would be carried out before the machine's official inauguration on 21 October now seem to have been dashed. It even looks uncertain whether this can be achieved before 2009. The failure on 19 September - described as a "massive" magnet quench - certainly seems dramatic: it caused the temperatures in about 100 of the LHC's super-cooled magnets to soar by as much as 100C. Saturns moon like ocean floor A US space agency (Nasa) probe has witnessed a moon of Saturn do something very unusual and Earth-like. Pictures of the icy satellite Enceladus suggest its surface splits and spreads apart - just like the ocean floor on our planet splits to create new crust. The information was released at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The data from the Cassini spacecraft is said to strengthen the idea that Enceladus harbours a sub-surface sea. "Bit by bit, we're accumulating the evidence that there is liquid water on Enceladus," said Carolyn Porco, team leader of the Cassini imaging group and one of the senior scientists on the mission. The observation on Earth that the sea floor is splitting at mid-ocean ridges and moving apart was one of the great scientific discoveries of the 20th Century; and became a key feature in the theory of plate tectonics - the idea that massive slabs of the Earth's surface move around and are recycled. Cassini sees something very similar on Enceladus. The surface of this snow-white moon is riven with cracks - dubbed tiger stripes - at its south pole. Dr Paul Helfenstein from Cornell University used digital maps of this region to reconstruct a history of the stripes, pushing the fractures around on a computer screen until they fitted together like pieces in a puzzle. He found that sections of the cracks had clearly moved from their original locations. Crop with Google Earth Google Earth coordinates 37.401437,-116.86773 Google under water Google goes under water Google Ocean expands this map to include large swathes of the ocean floor and abyssal plain. Users can dive beneath a dynamic water surface to explore the 3D sea floor terrain. The map also includes 20 content layers, containing information from the world's leading scientists, researchers, and ocean explorers. Al Gore was at the launch event in San Francisco which, Google hopes, will take its mapping software a step closer towards total coverage of the entire globe. In a statement, Mr Gore said that the update would make Google Earth a "magical experience". "You can not only zoom into whatever part of our planet's surface you wish to examine in closer detail, you can now dive into the world's ocean that covers almost three-quarters of the planet and discover new wonders that had not been accessible in previous versions". Approximately 70% of the worlds surface is covered by water and contains nearly 80% of all life, yet less than 5% of it has actually been explored. Google Oceans aims to let users visit some of the more interesting locations, including underwater volcanoes, as well as running videos on marine life, shipwrecks and clips of favourite surf and dive spots. The new features were developed in close collaboration with oceanographer, Sylvia Earle, and an advisory council of more than 25 ocean advocates and scientists. Sylvia Earle, the National Geographic Society's explorer in residence, said the new features would bring the blue planet to life. "I cannot imagine a more effective way to inspire awareness and caring for the blue heart of the planet than the new Ocean in Google Earth." "For the first time, everyone from curious kids to serious researchers can see the world, the whole world, with new eyes," she added. There are also updates on the terrestrial side, including GPS tracking, virtual time travel (where users can observe changes in satellite images, such as the 2006 World Cup stadium or the desertification of Africa's Lake Chad) and narrated tours of imagery and content in Google Earth. There are also updates to the Mars 3D section, so if users have had enough of the blue planet, they can always look at the red one. UFO Wormhole footage UFO Wormhole footage (or anti-gravity tests) Asteroid near earth An asteroid which may be as big as a ten-storey building has passed close by the Earth, astronomers say. The object, known as 2009 DD45, thought to be 21-47m (68-152ft) across, raced by our planet at 1344 GMT on Monday. The gap was just 72,000 km (44,750 miles); a fifth of the distance between our planet and the Moon. It is in the same size range as a rock which exploded over Siberia in 1908 with the force of 1,000 atomic bombs. The object was first reported on Saturday by the Siding Spring Survey, a near-Earth object search programme in Australia. It was confirmed by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Centre (MPC), which catalogues Solar System objects. The closest recent flyby listed by the MPC is 2004 FU162, a small asteroid about 6m (20ft) across which came within about 6,500km (4,000 miles) of our planet in March 2004. The latest object, 2009 DD45, passed by our planet at only twice the altitude of satellites in geosynchronous orbit. In 1908, an object with a similar size exploded over Siberia, flattening 80 million trees over an area of 2,000 square km (800 square miles) near the Tunguska river. "There is still a lot of debate over how big the Tunguska object was," Professor Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer at Queens University Belfast, told BBC News. "It was always thought to be 50 or 70m across. But some recent calculations have implied it may have been even smaller than that - maybe down to 30m in size. There's a large uncertainty there, but it puts (this object) in the same ballpark." A United Nations working group on near-Earth objects (NEOs) met last month to discuss drafting international procedures for handling the asteroid threat. Dr Richard Crowther, chair of the UN Working Group on Near-Earth Objects, commented: "Although we will meet formally again in June of this year to advance our work on this important issue, I am sure we will discuss the implications of the 2009 DD45 close approach informally before then. He told BBC News: "Such unanticipated near-misses - at least in astronomical terms - from objects such as 2009 DD45... demonstrate the need for the global community to establish the means to mitigate this impact threat." As had been shown with the Tunguska object, asteroids of this size could potentially unleash a destructive power equivalent to about 10 to 15 megatonnes of TNT, Dr Crowther explained. This is about 1,000 times more powerful than the blast from the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Professor Fitzsimmons added that the destructive potential of an object such as 2009 DD45 depended on what it was made of and the angle at which it hit the Earth's atmosphere. 500Gb optical A disc that can store 500 gigabytes (GB) of data, equivalent to 100 DVDs, has been unveiled by General Electric. The micro-holographic disc, which is the same size as existing DVD discs, is aimed at the archive industry. But the company believes it can eventually be used in the consumer market place and home players. Blu-ray discs, which are used to store high definition movies and games, can currently hold between 25GB and 50GB. Micro-holographic discs can store more data than DVDs or Blu-ray because they store information on the disc in three dimensions, rather than just pits on the surface of the disc. The challenge for this area of technology has been to increase the reflectivity of the holograms that are stored on the discs so that players can be used to both read and write to the discs. Brian Lawrence, who leads GE's Holographic Storage said on the GE Research blog: "Very recently, the team at GE has made dramatic improvements in the materials enabling significant increases in the amount of light that can be reflected by the holograms." Epassports RFID danger The Risk of ePassports and RFID Let's take a look at a few other things now possible with ePassports: ePassports aid Data Theft: The 3 meter barrier has recently been broken for reading RFID data (e.g. your ePassport data) from a distance 3 meters away. Attacks always get better. They never get worse. The next barrier is 5, 10 and 20 meters. An attacker can read the data from your ePassport (while you walk in the street!) and can use your credentials to authenticate himself or duplicate your passport. ePassports aid Terrorism: Thanks to the ePassports is it now possible to build Smart-IED's. A Smart-IED waits until a specific person passes by before detonating or let's say until there are more than 10 americans in the room. Boom. Do ePassports make you feel more safe now as the government says they would do? Breaking in? The weakness is in the way the system has been rolled out. The terminal accepts self-signed data. This attack is different to the grundwalk attack. VonJeek's attack makes it possible to copy, forge and modify the data so that it is still accepted as a genuine valid passport by the terminal. Using a Certification Authority (CA) could solve the attack but at the same time introduces a new set of attack vectors: 1. The CA becomes a single point of failure. It becomes the juicy/high-value target for the attacker. Single point of failures are not good. Attractive targets are not good. Any person with access to the CA key can undetectably fake passports. Direct attacks, virus, misplacing the key by accident (the UK government is good at this!) or bribery are just a few ways of getting the CA key. 2. The single CA would need to be trusted by all governments. This is not practical as this means that passports would no longer be a national matter. 3. Multiple CA's would not work either. Any country could use its own CA to create a valid passport of any other country. Read this sentence again: Country A can create a passport data set of Country B and sign it with Country A's CA key. The terminal will validate and display the information as data from Country B. This option also multiplies the number of 'juicy' targets. It makes it also more likely for a CA key to leak. Revocation lists for certificates only work when a leak/loss is detected. In most cases it will not be detected. Note: The last item received some comments. Some readers suggested that this can be fixed. Yes, of course, any system can be fixed. Indeed it would be a first good step by the terminal to check that a passport from country A is also signed with the CA key of country A and not by the CA key of country B. The current implementation and plans make it unlikely that this will be implemented securely. In the end we are trusted those people who gave out ePassports that can be read by anyone and not just authorized terminals. We are trusting those people who say that good security practice to verify the validity of a passport is optional and not mandatory. So what's the solution? We know that humans are good at Border Control. In the end they protected us well for the last 120 years. We also know that humans are good at pattern matching and image recognition. Humans also do an excellent job 'assessing' the person and not just the passport. Take the human part away and passport security falls apart. Moon buildings Buildings on Moon The former manager of the Data and Photo Control Department at NASA’s Lunar Receiving Laboratory during the manned Apollo Lunar Program, Ken Johnston, has released quite a number of sensational statements recently in the USA. The specialist said that U.S. astronauts found ancient ruins of artificial origin and a previously unknown technology to control gravitation when then landed on the Moon. Astronauts took pictures of the objects that they found, but NASA ordered Johnston to destroy the images. Johnston did not follow the order. He said that the U.S. government had been keeping this information a secret for 40 years. Johnston's startling Apollo allegations have recently appeared in a new book, "Dark Mission: the Secret History of NASA," co-authored by former NASA consultant and CBS Science Advisor, Richard C. Hoagland and Mike Bara, an aerospace engineering consultant. According to Kay Ferrari, JPL Director of the SSA Program (in a phone call to Johnston last week), it was Johnston "being quoted [as] criticizing NASA in Hoagland's new book, 'Dark Mission,'" that prompted her to ask for Johnston's resignation from the SSA Program. When Johnston refused, citing First Amendment protections of free speech afforded all NASA employees, even those at JPL, Ferrari apparently decided to remove him arbitrarily from the SSA Program this week without cause. The low quality pictures included in the book depict ruins of buildings, huge dome-like objects made of glass, stone towers and castled hanging in the air. “I have nothing to lose. I have quarreled with NASA and I got fired,” Ken Johnston said. Indeed, NASA believes that allegations of the ancient civilization found on the Moon are not serious. The authors of the controversial book also say that President John F. Kennedy, who launched the lunar race with the Soviet Union, actually intended to share extraterrestrial technologies with Moscow. Making a speech at the United Nations Organizations in September of 1963, Kennedy supposedly offered the USSR to organize a joint mission to the Moon. Richard Hoagland believes that Washington’s interest in the Moon exploration that suddenly appeared after 30 years of silence is based on the lunar findings that the U.S. government has been keeping a secret for 40 years. Russia, China, Japan and even India have publicly announced their plans to work on the exploration of the Moon. The USA, Hoagland said, wants to be the first at this point. Universal phone charger 10 Failed Doomsday Predictions Space rock contains organic molecular feast Artificial life created The researchers constructed a bacterium's "genetic software" and transplanted it into a host cell. The resulting microbe then looked and behaved like the species "dictated" by the synthetic DNA. The advance, published in Science, has been hailed as a scientific landmark, but critics say there are dangers posed by synthetic organisms. The researchers hope eventually to design bacterial cells that will produce medicines and fuels and even absorb greenhouse gases. 100 Petabits per second