Παρασκευή, 20 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News


How does a soccer ball swerve? Smoothness of a ball's surface, in addition to playing technique, is a critical factor

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 06:06 PM PDT

It happens every four years: The World Cup begins and some of the world's most skilled players carefully line up free kicks, take aim -- and shoot way over the goal. The players are all trying to bend the ball into a top corner of the goal, often over a wall of defensive players and away from the reach of a lunging goalkeeper.

NASA's swift satellite tallies water production of Mars-bound comet

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 05:54 PM PDT

In late May, NASA's Swift satellite imaged comet Siding Spring, which will brush astonishingly close to Mars later this year. These optical and ultraviolet observations are the first to reveal how rapidly the comet is producing water and allow astronomers to better estimate its size.

Can we see the arrow of time? Algorithm can determine, with 80 percent accuracy, whether video is running forward or backward

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 02:26 PM PDT

Einstein's theory of relativity envisions time as a spatial dimension, like height, width, and depth. But unlike those other dimensions, time seems to permit motion in only one direction: forward. This directional asymmetry -- the "arrow of time" -- is something of a conundrum for theoretical physics.

Protecting laptops on the move: Theoretical model for vibrations in laptops provides design strategies for reducing hard drive failures

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:59 AM PDT

Laptops have the advantages of being more versatile and portable than their desktop counterparts. But these attributes impose considerable demands on the electronic components in a laptop -- particularly the hard drive. The magnetic disk inside a hard drive rotates at a rate of several thousand revolutions a minute. At the same time, a read/write head moves only a few nanometers above the disk surface to access information on the disk. At such high speeds, large vibrations can permanently damage the hard drive.

Microscope maps surfaces at resolutions below 100 nanometers: Microparticles get the whole picture

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:59 AM PDT

Microscopes are conventionally used to image tiny features. However, their resolution is inherently limited by the wavelength of light. This limitation means that they can resolve only structures larger than a few hundred nanometers. Now scientists have demonstrated an alternative optical approach capable of mapping surfaces at resolutions below 100 nanometers.

Grid computing resources: Schedule algorithms based on game theory

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:59 AM PDT

Grid computing is a powerful form of distributed computing wherein a network of loosely coupled and geographically separated computers, typically of different computational powers, work together to perform data-intensive calculations. The technology uses numerical simulations to help investigate a variety of challenging scientific problems, including the subatomic world revealed by particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider.

Cracks emerge in the cloud: Security weakness of cloud storage services

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:59 AM PDT

As individual computer users increasingly access the Internet from different smartphones, tablets and laptops, many are choosing to use online cloud services to store and synchronize their digital content. Cloud storage allows consumers to retrieve their data from any location using any device and can provide critical backups in the case of hard disk failure. But while people are usually vigilant about enacting security measures on personal computers, they often neglect to consider how safe their files are in the cloud.

Unexpected findings: Small asteroids can be flying rock clusters or even clouds of dust surrouding solid rocks

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:46 AM PDT

What seemed to be rock-solid assumptions about the nature of small asteroids may end in rubble or even a cloud of dust. New findings suggest small asteroids can be a flying cluster of rocks or a cloud of dust with a solid rock at its nucleus.

Android security weaknesses caused by performance design identified

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:46 AM PDT

Researchers have identified a weakness in one of Android's security features. The research identifies an Android performance feature that weakens a software protection called Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR), leaving software components vulnerable to attacks that bypass the protection.

New ultrastiff, ultralight material developed

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:22 AM PDT

What's the difference between the Eiffel Tower and the Washington Monument? Both structures soar to impressive heights, and each was the world's tallest building when completed. But the Washington Monument is a massive stone structure, while the Eiffel Tower achieves similar strength using a lattice of steel beams and struts that is mostly open air, gaining its strength from the geometric arrangement of those elements. Now engineers have devised a way to translate that airy, yet remarkably strong, structure down to the microscale -- designing a system that could be fabricated from a variety of materials, such as metals or polymers, and that may set new records for stiffness for a given weight. Nanostructured material, based on repeating units, has record stiffness at low density.

Swiftly moving gas streamer eclipses supermassive black hole

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:20 AM PDT

An international team of astronomers has discovered unexpected behavior from the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy NGC 5548. Their findings may provide new insights into the interactions of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies.

New mobile app provides faster, more accurate measurement of respiratory rate

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:55 AM PDT

A new mobile app can reliably measure respiratory rate in an average of 9.9 seconds. Currently, health care workers typically measure respiratory rate by counting a patient's breaths for 60 seconds using a stop watch.

Possibly primordial gravitational waves, but galactic dust not ruled out: Nuanced account of stunning patterns in the microwave sky

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:55 AM PDT

Following a thorough peer-review process, the researchers who previously announced the detection of B-mode polarization in a patch of the microwave sky have published their findings. Their research provides some evidence that the signals they have found may be the result of gravitational waves from the earliest moments of the universe's existence and thus might constitute the first observation of phenomena from the rapid expansion of the universe known as the inflationary period.

One step to solar-cell efficiency: Chemical process may improve manufacturing

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:55 AM PDT

Scientists have created a one-step process for producing highly efficient materials that let the maximum amount of sunlight reach a solar cell. Scientists found a simple way to etch nanoscale spikes into silicon that allows more than 99 percent of sunlight to reach the cells' active elements, where it can be turned into electricity.

Seeing the inner workings of brain made easier by new technique

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:53 AM PDT

Scientists have improved on their original technique for peering into the intact brain, making it more reliable and safer, researchers report. The results could help scientists unravel the inner connections of how thoughts, memories or diseases arise. When you look at the brain, what you see is the fatty outer covering of the nerve cells within, which blocks microscopes from taking images of the intricate connections between deep brain cells. The idea behind this study was to eliminate that fatty covering while keeping the brain intact, complete with all its intricate inner wiring.

NEMO closes in on neutrino mass

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:51 AM PDT

The NEMO (Neutrino Ettore Majorana Observatory) experiment, whose goal was to elucidate the nature of neutrinos and measure their mass, yielded very positive results. The observation, in seven different isotopes, of an extremely rare radioactive decay event, the so-called 'allowed' double-beta decay, helped improve our understanding of the atomic nucleus. In addition, the data collected during the search for the so-called 'forbidden' double-beta decay enabled the researchers to establish a range (0.3-0.9 eV) for the upper limit on the mass of the neutrino.

Longer battery life, more memory in electronics? Rare materials perform at near-room temperature

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 08:14 AM PDT

New theoretical physics research reveals rare materials that possess both controllable magnetic and electric polarization properties at near-room temperatures.

Astronomers use Hubble to study bursts of star formation in the dwarf galaxies of the early Universe

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 06:59 AM PDT

They may only be little, but they pack a star-forming punch: new observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope show that starbursts in dwarf galaxies played a bigger role than expected in the early history of the universe.

Two low-cost, car battery-sized space telescopes launched

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 06:19 AM PDT

Two nanosatellites were launched from Russia by a Canadian research and technology team. Costing a fraction of conventional space telescopes and similar in size and weight to a car battery, the satellites are two of six that will work together to shed light on the structures and life stories of some of the brightest stars in the sky, uncovering unique clues as to the origins of our own Sun and Earth.

Re-routing flights could reduce climate impact, research suggests

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 07:06 PM PDT

Aircraft can become more environmentally friendly by choosing flight paths that reduce the formation of their distinctive condensation trails, new research suggests.

'Smart glass' micro-iris for smartphone cameras

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 07:06 PM PDT

A small, low-powered camera component made from a 'smart glass' material has been created by a group of researchers in Germany with the hope of inspiring the next generation of smartphone cameras. The micro-iris is an electro-chemical equivalent to the bulky, mechanical blades that are usually found in cameras and has very low power consumption, making it an ideal component for a wide-range of camera-integrated consumer devices.

Winds of change for the shipping sector

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 07:06 PM PDT

Wind propulsion such as kites and Flettner rotors could offer a viable route to help cut carbon dioxide emissions in the shipping sector, according to researchers.

Achilles' heel in antibiotic-resistant bacteria discovered

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 11:00 AM PDT

A breakthrough in the race to solve antibiotic resistance has been made by scientists. New research reveals an Achilles' heel in the defensive barrier that surrounds drug-resistant bacterial cells. The findings pave the way for a new wave of drugs that kill superbugs by bringing down their defensive walls rather than attacking the bacteria itself. It means that in future, bacteria may not develop drug-resistance at all.

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