Σάββατο, 26 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News


Star is discovered to be a close neighbor of the Sun and the coldest of its kind

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 01:23 PM PDT

A 'brown dwarf' star that appears to be the coldest of its kind -- as frosty as Earth's North Pole -- has been discovered by astronomers. The object's distance at 7.2 light-years away, making it the fourth closest system to our Sun.

Traces of recent water on Mars: Liquid water on Mars as recently as 200,000 years ago

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 04:50 AM PDT

New research has shown that there was liquid water on Mars as recently as 200,000 years ago. The southern hemisphere of Mars is home to a crater that contains very well-preserved gullies and debris flow deposits. The geomorphological attributes of these landforms provide evidence that they were formed by the action of liquid water in geologically recent time.

Strong software protection needed for mobile devices

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 04:50 AM PDT

The massive adoption of mobile computing platforms creates the urgent need for secure application execution on such platforms. Unfortunately, today's mobile platforms do not support strong security solutions equivalent to smartcards in set-top boxes or to dongles to reliably control licensing terms. Furthermore, many of these mobile devices are shared for professional and private applications, and are thus intrinsically hard to control and secure.

New high-detail atlas offers tool to explore local environment, health

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:30 PM PDT

A detailed atlas with environment and health maps at a fine scale across England and Wales has been developed and launched by researchers. This is the first time in the UK that researchers have produced these maps at such high spatial resolution. By inputting a postcode to the online version of the atlas, users can zoom into a neighborhood (around 6,000 people) and toggle between the health and environment maps for that local area.

Chernobyl's birds adapting to ionizing radiation

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:30 PM PDT

Birds in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl are adapting to -- and may even be benefiting from -- long-term exposure to radiation, ecologists have found. The study is the first evidence that wild animals adapt to ionizing radiation, and the first to show that birds which produce most pheomelanin, a pigment in feathers, have greatest problems coping with radiation exposure.

High-voltage transmission lines to act as antenna in first-of-its-kind NASA space-weather project

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 04:44 PM PDT

A NASA scientist is launching a one-to-two-year pilot project this summer that takes advantage of U.S. high-voltage power transmission lines to measure a phenomenon that has caused widespread power outages in the past.

Asteroids as seen from Mars -- A Curiosity rover first

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 04:41 PM PDT

A new image from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is the first ever from the surface of Mars to show an asteroid, and it shows two: Ceres and Vesta. These two -- the largest and third-largest bodies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter -- are the destinations of NASA's Dawn mission. Dawn orbited Vesta in 2011 and 2012, and is on its way to begin orbiting Ceres next year. Ceres is a dwarf planet, as well as an asteroid.

Computer program could help solve arson cases

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 02:05 PM PDT

Sifting through the chemical clues left behind by arson is delicate, time-consuming work, but researchers teaming with police scientists have found a way to speed the process. A computer program can cut the need for extra levels of human analysis, reducing the waiting time to find out the cause of a deliberately set fire.

Controlling brain waves to improve vision

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 02:05 PM PDT

A novel technique to test brain waves is being used to see how the brain processes external stimuli that do and don't reach our awareness. "When we have different things competing for our attention, we can only be aware of so much of what we see," said a researcher on the study. "For example, when you're driving, you might really be concentrating on obeying traffic signals." But say there's an unexpected event: an emergency vehicle, a pedestrian -- will you actually see the unexpected, or will you be so focused on your initial task that you don't notice?

Ancient Maya and virtual worlds: Different perspectives on material meanings

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 12:18 PM PDT

The Mayan perspective on the material world has been explored in science, and begins to uncover parallels with today's online culture. The Maya believed that part of your identity could inhabit material objects. Maya might even name these objects, talk to them or take them to special events. They considered these items to be alive. The practice of sharing your identity with material possessions might seem unusual in a modern context. But is it that different from today's selfie-snapping, candy-crushing online culture, where social media profiles can be as important to a person's identity as his or her real-world interactions?

Key to enjoying massive online photo files may be giving up some control

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 08:15 AM PDT

People who have massive online photo collections might actually enjoy their archives more by giving up a bit of control, research suggests. The 14-month study showed that people reflected more on past events and developed a renewed interest in their online photos when a device called Photobox would randomly print four or five of those photos at varying intervals each month.

Physicist demonstrates dictionary definition of siphon was dodgy

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 07:22 AM PDT

A physicist sparked controversy over how a humble siphon worked when he noticed an incorrect definition in the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary. In 2010, the eagle-eyed researcher spotted the mistake, which went unnoticed for 99 years, which incorrectly described atmospheric pressure, rather than gravity, as the operating force in a siphon.

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