Thursday, December 22, 2011

Paint-On Solar Cells Developed

ScienceDaily (Dec. 21, 2011) — Imagine if the next coat of paint you put on the outside of your home generates electricity from light -- electricity that can be used to power the appliances and equipment on the inside.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

US Chamber of Commerce Infiltrated By Chinese Hackers

Posted by Unknown Lamer  

from the security-through-insecurity dept.

SpzToid writes"The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that a group of hackers in China breached the computer defenses of the United States Chamber of Commerce. The intrusion was quietly shut down in May 2010, while FBI investigations continue. 'A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Geng Shuang, said cyberattacks are prohibited by Chinese law and China itself is a victim of attacks. ... Still, the Chamber continues to see suspicious activity, they say. A thermostat at a town house the Chamber owns on Capitol Hill at one point was communicating with an Internet address in China, they say, and, in March, a printer used by Chamber executives spontaneously started printing pages with Chinese characters.'"According the article, the group "gained access to everything stored on its systems" and may have "had access to the network for more than a year before the breach was uncovered."

The Hobbit Trailer posted!

Superannuated Scientists Still Productive

Posted by timothy  

from the anonymous-ice-floe-pictures-help dept.
An anonymous reader writes"Modern corporations seem to have devalued older scientists. They are all to happy to have their veteran employees, scientists included, take an early retirement so that they can be replaced by younger people who expect fewer benefits and will work for lower pay. Thomas Kuhn, philosopher of science and author of the influential book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, believed that revolution in science was forged only by younger scientists. Some older studies of small academic groups seemed to show that scientific productivity peaks at middle age and declines thereafter. A newer study of 13,680 university professors found that scientific productivity still increases up to age 50, and it then stabilizes from age fifty to retirement for the more industrious researchers. When 'high impact' publications are considered, researchers older than 55 still hold their own. A recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the majority of Nobel Laureates in Chemistry from 1901 to 1960 did their prize-winning work by age 40. After 1960, chemistry laureates were more likely to have done their prize-winning work after age 40."

20 most popular Christmas songs graphed by decade of release


New State of Metal Theorized To Be In the Earth's Lower Mantle

Posted by Soulskill  

from the does-it-burn-as-well-as-dead-dinosaurs dept.
slew writes"This article talks about a study accepted to Physical Review Letters which theorizes that iron oxide goes through an insulator/metal phase change with high temperature and pressure. Originally it was thought to be a crystalline structure change, but now apparently it is theorized to be a new type of metallic state. This discovery might offer new insight on how the earth's magnetic field operates."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NASA finds smallest ever black hole by its 'heartbeat' (video)

By   posted Dec 19th 2011 3:07PM

NASA's found the smallest black hole it's ever seen, thanks to the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) -- weighing three times less than our own sun, it's near the bottom weight limit for the super-heavy phenomena. It was discovered by its unique "heartbeat", an X-Ray emission that takes place when gas sucked from a nearby star is swirled around the event horizon until friction causes it to super-heat. The disc then repeats the process every 40 seconds and when examined, looks just like the readout on anECG machine. After the break we've got a video that talks you through it all and we won't mind if you start booming "Space... the final frontier..." halfway through -- we did too.

Is Jupiter Dissolving Its Rocky Core?

Posted by Soulskill  

from the told-you-not-to-drink-all-that-soda-pop dept.
sciencehabit writes"Jupiter is the victim of its own success. Sophisticated new calculations indicate that our solar system's largest planet, which weighs more than twice as much as all of the others put together, has destroyed part of its central core. The culprit is the very hydrogen and helium that made Jupiter a gas giant, when the core's gravity attracted these elements as the planet formed. The finding suggests that the most massive extrasolar planetshave no cores at all."

NASA Considers Sending Telescope To the Outer Solar System

Posted by Unknown Lamer  

from the research-base-on-ganymede dept.
Nancy_A writes"A mission that astronomers and cosmologists have only dreamed about — until now. A team at JPL and Caltech has been looking into the possibility of hitching an optical telescope to a survey spacecraft on a mission to the outer solar system. Light pollution in our inner solar system, from both the nearby glow of the Sun and the hazy zodiacal glow from dust ground up in the asteroid belt, has long stymied cosmologists looking for a clearer take on the early Universe."

Middle-Age Blood Pressure Changes Affect Lifetime Heart Disease, Stroke Risk

ScienceDaily (Dec. 19, 2011) — An increase or decrease in your blood pressure during middle age can significantly impact your lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to research in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Trends in hit songs

The study found some interesting trends, such as:
  • Before the eighties, the danceability of a song was not very relevant to its hit potential. From then on, danceable songs were more likely to become a hit. Also the average danceability of all songs on the charts suddenly increased in the late seventies.
  • In the eighties slower musical styles (tempo 70-89 beats per minute), such as ballads, were more likely to become a hit.
  • The prediction accuracy of the researchers' hit potential equation varies over time. It was particularly difficult to predict hits around 1980. The equation performed best in the first half of the nineties and from the year 2000. This suggests that the late seventies and early eighties were particularly creative and innovative periods of pop music.
  • Up until the early nineties, hits were typically harmonically simpler than other songs of the era. On the other hand, from the nineties onward hits more commonly have simpler, binary, rhythms such as 4/4 time.
  • On average all songs on the chart are becoming louder. Additionally, the hits are relatively louder than the songs that dangle at the bottom of the charts, reflected by a strong weight for the loudness feature.

Can Science Predict a Hit Song?

ScienceDaily (Dec. 16, 2011) — Most people remember listening to the official UK top 40 singles chart and watching the countdown on Top of the Pops, but can science work out which songs are more likely to 'make it' in the chart?

Scientists create first solar cell with over 100 percent quantum efficiency

By   posted Dec 19th 2011 6:01AM

Researchers over at the National Renewable Energy Lab have reportedly made the first solar cell with an external quantum efficiency over 100 percent. Quantum efficiency relates to the number of electrons-per-second flowing in a solar cell circuit, divided by the number of photons from the energy entering. The NREL team recorded an efficiency topping out at 114 percent, by creating the first working multiple exciton generation (MEG) cell. Using MEG, a single high energy photon can produce more than one electron-hole pair per absorbed photon. The extra efficiency comes from quantum dots 'harvesting' energy that would otherwise be lost as heat. The cell itself uses anti-reflection coating on a transparent conductor, layered with zinc oxide, lead selenide, and gold. NREL scientist Arthur J. Nozik predicted as far back as 2001 that MEG would do the job, but it's taken until now for the concept to leap over from theory. The hope is, of course, that this will lead to more competitively priced solar power, fueling thetransport of the future.

Neat Christmas vid of Handal's Hallelujah chorus

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Heart Drug May Be Effective for Managing Certain Cancers, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Dec. 14, 2011) — Researchers at Queen's University have identified a new mechanism that could potentially explain why the body's immune system sometimes fails to eliminate cancer. The new findings shed light on the possible cause of immune resistance in cancer cells, and indicate that nitroglycerin, a relatively safe and low-cost drug used for more than a century to treat angina, may be effective for managing certain cancers.

Cheap electronic skin edges us closer to cyberpunk future

By   posted Dec 15th 2011 6:13AM

Researchers working for the Department of Energy's Berkeley Lab have figured out how to create relatively inexpensive "electronic skin" comprising carbon nanotubes enriched with semiconductors. Their process involves an enriched single walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) solution embedded in a honeycomb pattern of hexagonal holes to make it more flexible and stretchable - it's so limber, they wrapped it around a baseball, as you can see in the photo above. Combined with inkjet printing of electrical contacts, the technology paves the way for making flexible, wearable computers and a host of other cool things that William Gibson and other cyberpunk authors thought of back in the 1980s: smart bandages, flexible solar cells and electronic skin that can sense touch. Bring on the Zeiss eye implants and neural interface jacks!

Astronomers Find Gas Cloud About To Fall Into Black Hole

Posted by samzenpus  

from the a-light-snack dept.
First time accepted submitter pigrabbitbear writes"Black holes are basically celestial Cookie Monsters, gobbling anything and everything in sight. But because that appetite includes light itself, it's incredibly rare for us to actually see a black hole suck back an interstellar treat. Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope have found just that: a mysterious, giant gas cloud that's rapidly been pulled into the maw of a supermassive black hole. The researchers, led by Reinhard Genzel of the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany, discovered the cloud as part of a now 20-year ESO program tasked with tracking stars as they whirl around the supermassive black hole, known as Sgr A*, at the center of our galaxy."

Funny Quotes

Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, 'Lillian, you should have remained a virgin...'
- Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)
I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: - 'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.'
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement..
- Mark Twain
The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible
- George Burns
Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
- Victor Borge
Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
- Mark Twain
By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
- Socrates
I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
- Groucho Marx
My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.
- Jimmy Durante
I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor
Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat..
- Alex Levine
My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying.
- Rodney Dangerfield
Money can't buy you happiness ... But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.
- Spike Milligan
Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was SHUT UP .
- Joe Namath
I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap.
- Bob Hope
I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it..
- W. C. Fields
We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.
- Will Rogers
Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill
Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty .. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out..
- Phyllis Diller
By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere.
- Billy Crystal
And the cardiologist's diet: - If it tastes good spit it out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Undeclared "Cyber Cold War" With China

Posted by samzenpus  

from the consider-yourself-off-my-friends-list dept.
First time accepted submitter lacaprup writes"Chinese-based hacking of 760 different corporations reflects a growing,undeclared cyber war. From giants like Intel and Google to unknowns like iBahn, the Chinese hackers are accused of stealing everything isn't nailed down. Simply put, it is easier and cheaper to steal rather than develop the legal way. China has consistently denied it has any responsibility for hacking that originated from servers on its soil, but — based on what is known of attacks from China, Russia and other countries — a declassified estimate of the value of the blueprints, chemical formulas and other material stolen from U.S. corporate computers in the last year reached almost $500 billion"

'Green Routing' Can Cut Car Emissions Without Significantly Slowing Travel Time

ScienceDaily (Dec. 14, 2011) — The path of least emissions may not always be the fastest way to drive somewhere. But according to new research from the University at Buffalo, it's possible for drivers to cut their tailpipe emissions without significantly slowing travel time.

Channel Master TV review

By   posted Dec 14th 2011 4:00PM

If you prefer your DVR with no strings attached, your choices are pretty limited these days. You can of course roll your own, but admittedly, that isn't for everyone. Channel Master does plan to change that, though, as it's currently accepting pre-orders for its over-the-air DVR with over-the-top features that doesn't require a subscription. The Channel Master TV ($399) should be hitting retailers and homes this week, and since we love DVRs, especially when they're free from commitments, we decided to take it for a spin. Click through to see how it stacks up. 

The Ability to Love Takes Root in Earliest Infancy

ScienceDaily (Dec. 14, 2011) — The ability to trust, love, and resolve conflict with loved ones starts in childhood -- way earlier than you may think. That is one message of a new review of the literature in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science. "Your interpersonal experiences with your mother during the first 12 to 18 months of life predict your behavior in romantic relationships 20 years later," says psychologist Jeffry A. Simpson, the author, with University of Minnesota colleagues W. Andrew Collins and Jessica E. Salvatore. "Before you can remember, before you have language to describe it, and in ways you aren't aware of, implicit attitudes get encoded into the mind," about how you'll be treated or how worthy you are of love and affection.

Judge Orders Man To Delete Revenge Blog

Posted by Soulskill  

from the do-you-take-requests-your-honor dept.
nonprofiteer writes"A Minnesota man violated a restraining order obtained by his ex-girlfriend by blogging about her mental health and sexual issues, and sending links to posts on the blog to her family, friends, and co-workers. The judge then extended the restraining order by 50 years, ordered the guy never to write about his ex on the Internet and ordered him to delete the blog he created. Even though there was no evidence that what he had written was false, the judge said the ex-girlfriend's 'right to be free from harassment' outweighed the guy's 'right to free speech.' 'I believe it's rare, if not unprecedented, for a court to order an entire blog deleted,' says technology law professor Eric Goldman."

NASA Developing Comet Harpoon For Sample Return

Posted by Soulskill  

from the thar-she-blows dept.
An anonymous reader writes"NASA appears to have decided that the best way to grab a sample of a rotating comet that is racing through the inner solar system at up to 150,000 miles per hour while spewing chunks of ice, rock and dust may be to avoid the risky business of landing on it. Instead, researchers want to send a spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet, then fire a harpoon to rapidly acquire samples from specific locations with surgical precisionwhile hovering above the target."