An anonymous reader writes "NASA's 'Mohawk Guy' Bobak Ferdowsi, a flight director for the Mars Science Laboratory mission that lowered the Curiosity rover to the Martian surface in early August, will host a two-hour online broadcast on Internet radio station Third Rock Radio at 4 p.m. EDT, Thursday, August 30. The show, entitled 'Getting Curious with the Mohawk Guy,' will feature Ferdowsi discussing his experience with the landing of Curiosity, NASA’s evolving image, and renewed interest in science and exploration."
Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system
cylonlover writes "While still impressive, the capabilities of early 'tricorders,' such as the Scanadu and Dr Jansen's tricorder, fall well short of the Star Trek device that inspired them. But a new miniaturized version of a flow cytometer called the Microflow to be tested on the International Space Station (ISS) brings the age of instant diagnosis of medical conditions using a portable device a step closer. The Microflow could also make its way into doctor's offices here on Earth where it might help cut down on the number of follow up visits required after waiting to get results back from the lab."
MrSeb writes "Bioengineers at Harvard University have created the first examples of cyborg tissue: Neurons, heart cells, muscle, and blood vessels that are interwoven by nanowires and transistors. These cyborg tissues are half living cells, half electronics. As far as the cells are concerned, they're just normal cells that behave normally — but the electronic side actually acts as a sensor network, allowing a computer to interface directly with the cells. In the case of cyborg heart tissue, the researchers have already used the embedded nanowires to measure the contractions (heart rate) of the cells. So far, the researchers have only used the nanoelectric scaffolds to read data from the cells — but according to lead researcher Charles Lieber, the next step is to find a way of talking to the individual cells, to 'wire up tissue and communicate with it in the same way a biological system does.' Suffice it to say, if you can use a digital computer to read and write data to your body's cells, there are some awesome applications."
An anonymous reader writes "A roundtable at the Bulletin of the Atomic Sciences explores the notion of nuclear fuel banks which would offer nations a guaranteed supply of low-enriched uranium if they renounce the right to enrich on their own. From the article: 'The basic idea behind an international fuel bank is that it would, in a reliable and nondiscriminatory way, make emergency supplies of market-priced low-enriched uranium available to states that sign up to participate. States that opt for membership in a fuel bank would gain increased confidence that their access to reactor-grade fuel would not be interrupted. In return, they would renounce the right to enrich uranium and reprocess spent fuel on their own. Such an arrangement could be appropriate for a number of states. But for others, it might be less than ideal.'"
SmartAboutThings writes "In a recent survey performed by Wakefield Research, it has been discovered that the majority of the surveyed Americans are quite confused about the notion of Cloud, when it relates to Cloud Storage/Computing. The most interesting fact is that 51% of the surveyed persons thought that stormy weather interferes with cloud computing!"
New submitter spac writes "AllthingsD has an interesting story about how a startup called Wajam requires users of their service to download a script that sets up a proxy to handle all network requests for the purpose of providing 'Social Recommendations' within built-in apps. The privacy implications of using this profile script isn't clearly presented to users. Are we really to entrust our data to a company founded by a man who comes from the world of browser toolbars? And for social search?!" The company rushes to counter privacy concerns by pointing out that their service has "received security certifications from TRUSTe, McAfee and Norton."
Nerval's Lobster writes "AMD named John Gustafson as senior fellow and chief product architect of AMD's Graphics Business Unit, the former ATI graphics business unit. Gustafson, known for developing a key axiom governing parallel processing, will apply that knowledge to AMD's more traditional graphics units and GPGPUs, co-processors that have begun appearing in high-performance computing (HPC) systems to add more computational oomph via parallel processing. At the Hot Chips conference, AMD's chief technical officer, Mark Papermaster, also provided a more comprehensive look at AMD's future in the data center, claiming that APUs were the keystone of the 'surround computing era,' where a wealth of data — through sensors, gestures, voice, augmented reality, metadata, and HD video and graphics — will need to be contextualized, analyzed, and either encrypted or assigned privacy policies. That, of course, means the cloud must shoulder the computational burden."
MrSeb writes "Today Samsung joined Nikon in announcing an Android-powered camera. The Samsung Galaxy Camera weighs 305g, features a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, 21x super zoom lens, a quad-core 1.4GHz SoC (probably Exynos 4), 8GB of internal storage, and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This compares with the Nikon S800c which also has a 16MP CMOS sensor, along with a 7x zoom f/2 lens and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Since neither unit has shipped, we don't know anything yet about how good they are as cameras, but we do know that the companies are trying to regain some of the ground they've lost to smartphones by integrating sharing right into their cameras. For photographers, there are a couple of critical questions about these new models: First is whether these cameras will have enough additional functionality to justify the added cost and weight when most people already have a serviceable camera in their phone. Second, and more importantly, there is still a big question mark hanging over Nikon and Samsung's long-term intentions for Android. If Android cameras are just standard point-and-shoots with a smartphone OS bolted on for sharing, that'll be a wasted opportunity. It would have been easier to create a camera that instantly tethered to a smartphone instead, and let the phone do all the work. There is an exciting possibility, if Nikon and Samsung do this correctly and allow low-level access to the camera functions via Android, to really unleash the power of Android to enable new photographic solutions." Samsung has also taken the wraps off the ATIV S, the first smartphone running Windows Phone 8. It has a 4.8" screen, NFC support, and a microSD card slot. Samsung plans to start shipping them in Q4.
coondoggie writes "NASA today said its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer satellite has unearthed a 'bonanza of new-found supermassive black holes and extreme galaxies called hot DOGs, or dust-obscured galaxies.' NASA said the latest discoveries help astronomers better understand how galaxies and the behemoth black holes at their centers grow and evolve together." The news was released in a press conference, and io9 has a comprehensive write-up about everything that was covered, including the Q&A session. Pretty pictures here.
Michael Ross writes "Of all the open source content management systems used for building websites, Drupal has a reputation for being one of the most flexible and powerful available, but not the easiest for web designers to use. Drupal version 7 has made some strides in alleviating those flaws, but there is still much progress to be made. During the past few years, a number of books have been published that explain how Drupal designers can do custom theming, but they tend to focus on the technical details of the theme layer, and not the practice of web design when using Drupal as a foundation. That rich yet neglected subject area is the focus of a new book, Drupal for Designers: The Context You Need Without the Jargon You Don't." Keep reading to see what Michael has to say about the book.
An anonymous reader writes "Malaysia's new internet law maybe simply the toughest on the planet. According to the new law which was amended because of protesters the originators of content are those who own, administer, and/or edit websites, blogs, and online forums. This means that a blogger or forum moderator who allows nasty comments against the government on their site can be held liable. An internet café manager is accountable if one of his or her customers sends illegal content online through the store's WiFi. A mobile phone user is the perpetrator if defamatory content is traced back to his or her electronic device. Critics of the new law contend also that a person is considered guilty until proven innocent."
An anonymous reader writes "For reasons that scientists have not conclusively determined, women are happier than men. And now, researchers think that they may have pinpointed one of the reasons for that. They have found a gene in women that predicts the level of happiness in women. 'After controlling for various factors, ranging from age and education to income, the researchers found that women with the low-expression type of MAOA were significantly happier than others. Compared to women with no copies of the low-expression version of the MAOA gene, women with one copy scored higher on the happiness scale and those with two copies increased their score even more. While a substantial number of men carried a copy of the "happy" version of the MAOA gene, they reported no more happiness than those without it.'"
One of the interesting tidbits that came out of last week's billion-dollar verdict in Apple v. Samsung was that the jury's foreman, a patent holder himself, was instrumental in leading the other members through the various complicated infringement claims. Now, Groklaw analyzes an interview the man gave with Bloomberg News (video), in which his statements reveal a basic misunderstanding of what qualifies as prior art. Quoting Groklaw: "In discussing the first patent on the list, he says they got into a discussion about the prior art that was presented at trial. Here's why they discounted it: 'The software on the Apple side could not be placed into the processor on the prior art and vice versa. That means they are not interchangeable. That changed everything right there.' That isn't disqualifying for prior art. It doesn't have to run on the same processor. It doesn't have to run at all. It can be words on a piece of paper. (If you don't believe little old me, here's a lawyer noticing the video too now.) ... The foreman, in answering criticisms, says that the jury paid close attention to the jury instructions. But looking at this one, did they? I'm sure they meant to, and I'm also sure they did their best according to what they understood. But this was an error, and it's one I don't think the judge can ignore, if anyone brings it to her attention."
derekmead writes "Hot on the heels of the U.S. Air Force's most recent failed test of an unmanned hypersonic vehicle, Russia now says it wants to jump into the hypersonic game with a long-range bomber. Will Russia's newest Bear fly at 4,500 miles an hour? The Russian military sure hopes so. 'I think we need to go down the route of hypersonic technology and we are moving in that direction and are not falling behind the Americans,' Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Russian television. 'The question is will we copy the Americans' 40-year experience and create a [Northrop] B-2 analog or will we go down a new, ultramodern technology route, looking to the horizon, and create a machine able to penetrate air defenses and carry out a strike on any aggressor.' The Russians want their plane operational by 2020, which doesn't seem particularly realistic — we are talking about five times the speed of sound here, and Russia is just starting engine development. The U.S., meanwhile, has been investing in its Waverider program since 2004, and the last test of the X-51A scramjet-powered missile failed after just 15 seconds."
alphadogg writes in with an excerpt from Network World:"Five leading Internet standards bodies have joined together to articulate a set of guidelines for the creation of open standards that they say will foster continued innovation, competition and interoperability in the Internet industry. The IEEE, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the IETF, the Internet Society and the World Wide Web Consortium hammered out the language for their five basic principles for standards development over the course of the last few months. Dubbed 'OpenStand,' these lofty principles are envisioned as a modern paradigm for global, open standards development processes. The OpenStand principles are in sharp contrast to the more formal, government-driven efforts of rival standards bodies such as the International Telecommunication Union, which is an arm of the United Nations, and the International Organization for Standardization, a group of national standards bodies." Although the principles generally seem reasonable, they made no stand against patents in standards: "Standards specifications are made accessible to all for implementation and deployment. Affirming standards organizations have defined procedures to develop specifications that can be implemented under fair terms. Given market diversity, fair terms may vary from royalty-free to fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND)."