Friday, January 6, 2012

‘Time Cloaking’ remarkable experiment hides event in time Read more:

Cloaking used to be one of my favorite SciFi themes. James Bond supercars that would show up or disappear instantly at the flick of an alarm key, the hallow man, objects rendered completely invisible to the human eye and lost in the surroundings. I say used to be because spatial cloaking has transcended for some time now in the realm of reality, after researchers successfully created an invisibility cloak from metamaterialsCornell University physicists have taken this concept, however, to a whole new level – temporal cloaking.
Remarkably, the Cornell scientists managed to basically create a wrinkle in time in which, albeit for a trillionth of a second, any objects that passed through it became invisible and events went unrecorded. Now this is far from being magic, of course, and like spatial cloaking, the time cloak experiment is based on the same principles of physics which discuss the manipulation of light.
Its hard to find a working analogy, but you could view this as a video tape with a missing frame, only that missing millisecond in video isn’t lost in the time cloak experiment, but hidden – physical information can never be lost, maybe except for black holes.
The team of researchers used a system of two half time-lenses connected with one another at their tips, thus forming a split time lens. A continuous beam of green light was fired from a laser which became slowed down when it passed through the first half lens, and sped up when it went through the second – a 50 picosecond gap in the beam was thus opened. During this exact window the researchers shot a stream or red light though through fiber optical cables thinner than a human hair which went on to be undetected.
“You kind of create a hole in time where an event takes place,” said study co-author Alexander Gaeta, director of Cornell’s School of Applied and Engineering Physics. “You just don’t know that anything ever happened.”
Sure using this tech won’t give you enough time to pull the perfect museum heist, however it’s truly an amazing first step. According to Cornell scientists, it’d take a machine 18,600 miles long to produce a time mask that lasts a single second. When data transmissions are concerned, this kind of temporal cloaking might prove to be incredibly useful for information security, as high speed packets of information might be able to travel undetected without disrupting the actual flow.
“We think of time in the way that other people think of space. What other people are doing in space, we can do it in time,” said Moti Fridman, a researcher at the School of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University .
“I think it’s a big step forward,” said Vladimir M. Shalaev, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University, who has worked on spatial cloaking. “It’s another example of the beauty of ‘transformational optics,’ which is behind all these ideas.”

Read more:

A few other funnies


Australian 'stolen car' parks itself in closed garage

Car parkThe car had been left in the wrong gear so rolled down an incline in the car park
A car reported as stolen from an Australian car park has been reunited with its owner, after apparently parking itself in a closed garage.
Adelaide police say they think the car rolled down an incline in the car park, across a street and into a garage forcing itself under the roller doors.
The door closed behind it and the car remained undetected for 17 days until the home-owners returned from holiday.
Fearing a burglary, they called police, who deduced the curious turn of events.
"Although the roller door was closed, it had been damaged slightly and pushed out of its tracks," a police spokesman is quoted in Australian media as saying.
Police believe that the car had not been left in the parking gear and so rolled though the car park and eventually "forced itself under the roller door, parking perfectly inside the garage where it remained safely under cover for 17 days".
The owner reported the car stolen after he parked it outside a shop in a suburb of Adelaide. Reports say that he had only bought the car two days earlier and only left it for a few minutes.
He told the police that he now recalls hearing a "bang", which may have been the car hitting the garage door, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Japan working on powerful cyber weapon, knows best defense is a good offense

By   posted Jan 6th 2012 7:48AM

cyber war
The Japanese government has been (relatively) quietly churning away on an advanced new cyber weapon. In the post Stuxnet age it's no surprise that a government would be working on powerful new tools to defend its digital borders, but this particular virus (developed with help from Fujitsu) is raising eyebrows with some over how it accomplishes its goals. Essentially, when it detects an intruding piece of malware, the program follows the virtual trail left behind back to the attack's source -- disabling every machine it encounters along the way. The goal, obviously, is to stop the spread of a malicious piece of code by finding and shutting down, not just the source, but all middleman PCs that are also now potential hosts. In some admitedly extreme scenarios this weapon could potentially spiral out of control, taking out far more computers than intended. Nightmarish hellscapes dominated by computers run amok aside, its definitely interesting and we understand how it might cause some concern. Check out the source for a few more details.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Leap Second Coming In June, 2012

Posted by timothy  

from the they're-calling-it-a-time-step dept.
Zoxed writes"IERS have just announced a leap second due at midnight, June 30th this year. Are your systems ready?"The last leap second added was at the end of 2008.

Unemployment for specific degrees

Top 10 Majors With Least Unemployment

(Rank, Major, Unemployment Percent, Median Earnings)

1.  Actuarial Science  0.0%  $81,000

2.  Pharmacology  0.0%  $101,000

3.  Educational Administration and Supervision  0.0%  $89,000

4.  School Student Counseling  0.0%  $42,000

5.  Geological and Geophysical Engineering  0.0%  $101,000

6.  Astronomy and Astrophysics  0.0%  $101,000

7.  Teacher Education: Multiple Levels  1.1%  $48,000

8.  Agricultural Economics  1.3%  $99.000

9.  Medical Technologies Technician  1.4%  $74,000

10.  Atmospheric Sciences and Meterology  1.6%  $101,000

California State Senator Proposes Funding Open-Source Textbooks

Posted by timothy  

from the benefit-the-commonwealth dept.
bcrowell writes"Although former Governor Schwarzenegger's free digital textbook initiative for K-12 education was a failure, state senator Darrell Steinberg has a new idea for the state-subsidized publication of college textbooks (details in the PDF links at the bottom). Newspaper editorials seem positive. It will be interesting to see if this works any better at the college level than it did for K-12, where textbook selection has traditionally been very bureaucratic. This is also different from Schwarzenegger's FDTI because Steinberg proposes spending state money to help create the books. The K-12 version suffered from legal uncertainty about the Williams case, which requires equal access to books for all students — many of whom might not have computers at home. At thesymposium where the results of the FDTI's first round were announced, it became apparent that the only businesses interested in participating actively were not the publishers but computer manufacturers like Dell and Apple, who wanted to sell lots of hardware to schools."

China Cuts 'Excessive Entertainment' From TV

Posted by samzenpus  

from the not-too-much dept.
An anonymous reader writes"Chinese broadcasters have axed two-thirds of popular TV shows in line with a government directive to curb 'excessive entertainment.' From the article: 'The rule, first announced in October, is targeted at what Chinese regulators have called "excessive entertainment and a trend toward low taste," to address the rise of talent shows, dating shows and other such programming aired by China's tightly regulated, but increasingly competitive, regional satellite broadcasters. Authorities also encouraged broadcasters to air more news and educational programming.' according to local media reports."

Fish Mimics Octopus That Mimics Fish

ScienceDaily (Jan. 4, 2012) — Nature's game of intimidation and imitation comes full circle in the waters of Indonesia, where scientists have recorded for the first time an association between the black-marble jawfish (Stalix cf. histrio) and the mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dumb if it is true

Nap-Deprived Tots May Be Missing out On More Than Sleep

ScienceDaily (Jan. 3, 2012) — A new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder could be a wake-up call for parents of toddlers: Daytime naps for your kids may be more important than you think.

'Lost World' Discovered Around Antarctic Vents

ScienceDaily (Jan. 3, 2012) — Communities of species previously unknown to science have been discovered on the seafloor near Antarctica, clustered in the hot, dark environment surrounding hydrothermal vents.

Nokia: the Sun Can't Charge Your Phone

Posted by Soulskill  

from the well-what-am-i-going-to-do-with-this-93M-mile-cord dept.
itwbennett writes"Nokia's research into solar-powered cell phones ended with a (barely audible) thud. Under the best of conditions researchers were able 'to harvest enough energy to keep the phone on standby mode but with a very restricted amount of talk time,' Nokia wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. Not surprisingly, the prototype phone, which had a solar panel on the back cover, performed better in Kenya than in other testing locations, like southern Sweden and the Arctic Circle."

Genetically Modifying Silk Worms For Super Silk

Posted by Soulskill  

from the does-whatever-a-spider-can dept.
New submitter davidshenba sends this quote from the BBC:"U.S. researchers have created silkworms that are genetically modified to spin much stronger silk (abstract). In weight-for-weight terms, spider silk is stronger than steel. ... Researchers have been trying to reproduce such silk for decades. But it is unfeasible to 'farm' spiders for the commercial production of their silk because the arachnids don't produce enough of it — coupled with their proclivity for eating each other. Silk worms, however, are easy to farm and produce vast amounts of silk — but the material is fragile. Researchers have tried for years to get the best of both worlds — super-strong silk in industrial quantities — by transplanting genes from spiders into worms. But the resulting genetically modified worms have not produced enough spider silk until now. GM worms produced by a team led by Professor Don Jarvis of Wyoming University seem to be producing a composite of worm and spider silk in large amounts — which the researchers say is just as tough as spider silk."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Instead of a Wheel Chair, How About an Exoskeleton?

Posted by timothy  

from the yes-please dept.
New submitter the_newsbeagle writes"This year, Ekso Bionics will roll out its most sophisticated exoskeleton ever. The company's robotic walking suit, called the Ekso, allows paraplegics to get back on their feet and walk on their own. The first commercial model will be sold to rehab hospitals for on-site physical therapy, but the company plans to have a model ready for at-home physical therapy by the end of 2012. In a few years, they plan to sell an Ekso that a paraplegic person can wear to the post office, to work, etc."

Good anonymous quote

"Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever."
  • Fictional attribution in the movie The Emperor's Club (2002), given by Kevin Kline (as William Hundert);[2] also attributed to Diogenes, without sources;[3] no published occurrences of this statement prior to the movie have been located in any of the Aristophanes Plays or Fragments.

Physical Activity, School Performance May Be Linked

ScienceDaily (Jan. 2, 2012) — A systematic review of previous studies suggests that there may be a positive relationship between physical activity and the academic performance of children, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of theJAMA/Archives journals.

The Car of Tomorrow Recognizes Your Butt

Engineers from the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology in Tokyo have developed a novel biometric automotive anti-theft system that uses the unique shape of your butt to identify you.
The driver’s seat is fitted with 360 sensors that measure pressure according to a scale of zero to 256. Each reading is plotted to create a 3-D image — essentially a topographic map of your ass — used as a personal identifier. Anytime someone gets behind the wheel, the system analyzes the shape of their behind. If it isn’t your rear end in the seat, the car isn’t going anywhere.
The engineers behind the gadget say it was able to identify six different testers with 98 percent accuracy. We can’t read the report (.pdf) because it’s in Japanese, so we don’t know how the system might react to, say, having a wallet in your pocket or packing on a few pounds during the holidays.
Business newspaper Nikkei says the researchers hope to commercialize “a highly reliable anti-theft system” through a collaboration with automakers within two or three years.
Image: Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology