News Stories


New system makes it harder to track Bitcoin transactions

Submitted by: Odio @ 10:03 AM | Thursday, February 9, 2017 | (url: https://phys.org/...)

Researchers from North Carolina State University, Boston University and George Mason University have developed a Bitcoin-compatible system that could make it significantly more difficult for observers to identify or track the parties involved in any given Bitcoin transaction.

Bitcoin was initially conceived as a way for people to exchange money anonymously. But then it was discovered that anyone could track all Bitcoin transactions and often identify the parties involved.

Bitcoin operates by giving each user a unique public key, which is a string of numbers. Users can transmit money in the form of digital bitcoins from one public key to another. This is made possible by a system that ensures a user has enough bitcoins in his or her account to make the transfer. The use of the public keys gave users a sense of anonymity, even though all of the transactions were visible on the public Bitcoin blockchain which lists all transactions. Over time, experts and private companies have developed highly effective methods of de-anonymizing those public keys.

Now researchers have developed a system called TumbleBit, which is a computer protocol that runs on top of Bitcoin.

TumbleBit takes advantage of an existing concept called "mixing service." The idea works like this: instead of Party A paying Party B directly, many different Parties A pay an intermdiary "tumbler," which then pays the Parties B. The more parties are involved, the harder it is to determine which Party A paid which Party B.

Category: Technology | 2 Comments
Tags: bitcoin

new form of matter discovered

Submitted by: Goshin @ 02:07 PM | Monday, January 30, 2017 | (url: http://www.popula...)

Crystals are structures in which a pattern of atoms or molecules repeats in space. Now, two teams of researchers have figured out that crystals' repeating patterns can also exist through time. These "time crystals," detailed in a new paper in Physical Review Letter, are an entirely new kind of matter, one that can never reach equilibrium.

To create the time crystals, researchers at University of Maryland hooked together 10 ytterbium atoms and hit them with two lasers multiple times to keep them out of equilibrium. Though the atoms did settle into a pattern, they could not reach equilibrium, meaning that the crystals perpetually remain in motion, though they don't contain any energy. Almost all of physics is based in studying matter that is at equilibrium, so the ability to create these non-equilibrium crystals is a huge deal for the future of physics.

This is a new phase of matter, period, but it is also really cool because it is one of the first examples of non-equilibrium matter," lead researcher Norman Yao from the University of California, Berkeley told EurekaAlert!.

The idea of time crystalsa form of matter that appears to move even at its energy-less ground statewas first proposed by Nobel-Prize winning theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek in 2012. Usually, if matter is in its ground state, movement should be impossible, because it contains no energy.

The researchers say that time crystals resemble Jell-O. When you tap Jell-O, it jiggles. The only difference is that the crystals are jiggling without using any energy, without any tap. By definition, time crystals can never stop oscillating, no matter how little energy they contain.

Right now, it's unclear what the practical use of this discovery will be, but it's possible that these crystals could serve a function in quantum computers.


also metallic hydrogen was created last week or somethin

Category: Technology | 27 Comments
Tags: science

Scientists Use Nanoparticles to Create a Universal Treatment for Allergies

Submitted by: Odio @ 10:28 PM | Saturday, January 7, 2017 | (url: https://futurism....)

ALLERGIES

Allergies are commonand depending on what you are allergic to and the severity of your allergies, it can be everything from a daily nuisance, to a debilitating handicap, to deadly.

Now, the promise of a universal treatment has just come to light. The method follows a system that could potentially end all allergies by using a Trojan horse concept that will allow our bodies to recognize common allergens as the harmless elements that they really are.

For years, scientists have tried in vain to prevent human immune systems from going haywire after being exposed to things such as pollen, animal fur, dust, etc. Their current efforts take a different approach. Instead of trying to calm the immune system, they are trying to use nanoparticles to carry these common allergens past the immune systems defenses so that it officially recognizes these elements as being harmless.

Category: Technology | 14 Comments
Tags: orbital123

[OFN]A new method to fuck up the Carbon Cycle has been invented.

Submitted by: Odio @ 10:38 PM | Thursday, January 5, 2017 | (url: http://www.bbc.co...)

The researchers say that soda is more effective than current methods and less damaging to the environment.

The team have already successfully trialled microcapsules filled with the substance.

They believe that the baking soda approach could be 40% cheaper than existing technology.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is believed by many scientists and politicians to be a critical element in global attempts to avoid dangerous levels of climate change caused by CO2 emissions.

The burning of coal, gas and oil for energy production remains the single biggest source of the gas.

Category: Technology | 23 Comments
Tags: co2

Avatar-style S. Korean manned robot takes first baby steps

Submitted by: Odio @ 03:58 PM | Wednesday, December 28, 2016 | (url: http://phys.org/n...)

A giant South Korean-built manned robot that walks like a human but makes the ground shake under its weight has taken its first baby steps.

Designed by a veteran of science fiction blockbusters, the four-metre-tall (13-foot), 1.5 ton Method-2 towers over a room on the outskirts of Seoul.

The hulking human-like creation bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie "Avatar".

It is claimed as a world first by its creators at Hankook Mirae Technology, a South Korean robotics company, where about 30 engineers were hard at work conducting initial tests Tuesday afternoon.

"Our robot is the world's first manned bipedal robot and is built to work in extreme hazardous areas where humans cannot go (unprotected)," said company chairman Yang Jin-Ho.

A pilot sitting inside the robot's torso makes limb movements which are mimicked by Method-2, whose metal arms each weigh 130 kilograms (286 pounds).

The robot, more than twice the size of a tall man, is so heavy that it shakes the ground when it takes a step with a loud whirring of motors.


Category: Technology | 11 Comments
Tags: robots

New York officials report the first ever case of bird flu spread from cat to human

Submitted by: Odio @ 03:17 PM | Wednesday, December 28, 2016 | (url: http://www1.nyc.g...)

One person, of more than 350 people screened, has been found with H7N2; this person is a veterinarian who had prolonged close exposure to respiratory secretions of sick cats at Animal Care Centers of NYCs (ACC) Manhattan shelter and has recovered from mild illness

Precautionary guidance issued for people who recently adopted a cat from any NYC shelter or rescue group

December 22, 2016 The Health Department today announced that its ongoing investigation of an outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza H7N2, a strain of influenza A virus, among cats housed at Animal Care Centers of NYCs (ACC) shelters confirms that the risk to humans is low. One person has been found with a presumptive diagnosis of this virus, which was identified by Health Department lab testing and preliminarily confirmed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab testing yesterday. Further testing will be forthcoming in coming days.

The infected person is a veterinarian who was involved in obtaining respiratory specimens from sick cats at the Manhattan shelter. The illness was mild, short-lived, and has resolved. More than 160 ACC employees and volunteers, including several people who had similar exposure to sick cats, were screened by the Health Department and not found to have infection with the H7N2 virus. Additionally, the Health Department contacted more than 80% of the people who adopted cats from the Manhattan shelter, and none is suspected of having H7N2.

There have been two previous documented human cases of H7N2 infection in the United States one in a person managing an outbreak of the virus in turkeys and chickens in 2002 and the other with an unknown source in 2003. Both of these patients also had mild illness and recovered. This is the first reported case due to exposure to an infected cat. There has been no documented human-to-human transmission.



Category: Technology | 14 Comments
Tags: plague

Ocean temperatures faithfully recorded in mother-of-pearl

Submitted by: Odio @ 08:23 PM | Friday, December 16, 2016 | (url: http://phys.org/n...)

Mother-of-pearl or nacre (pronounced nay-ker), the lustrous, tough-as-nails biomineral that lines some seashells, has been shown to be a faithful record of ancient ocean temperature.
Writing online Thursday, Dec. 15, in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, a team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison physics Professor Pupa Gilbert describes studies of the physical attributes of nacre in modern and fossil shells showing that the biomineral provides an accurate record of temperature as the material is formed, layer upon layer, in a mollusk.
"We can very accurately correlate nacre tablet thickness with temperature," says Gilbert, explaining that mother-of-pearl is formed as mollusks lay down microscopic polygonal tablets of the mineral aragonite like brickwork to build layers of the shiny biomineral.
The work is important because it provides scientists with a new and potentially more accurate method of measuring ancient ocean temperatures, improving on methods now used with other biominerals to tease out the record of the environmental conditions at which the materials formed in the distant past.
"Everyone else measures temperatures in the ancient world using chemical proxies," says Gilbert, referencing methods that, for example, use ratios of isotopic oxygen locked into tiny fossil shells made by marine microorganisms known as Foraminifera to get a snapshot of ocean temperatures in the distant past.

Category: Technology | 2 Comments
Tags: science

Earths crust is getting thinner than ever, thanks to a rapidly cooling interior

Submitted by: Odio @ 08:35 PM | Wednesday, December 14, 2016 | (url: http://www.scienc...)

If you looked back at Earth 170 million years ago, youd find a very different planet. The worlds continents were all linked up into one vast 'supercontinent' called Pangaea, and according to a new study, the outermost layer of the planet was 1.7 km (1 mile) thicker than it is today.

Researchers have found that since the break-up of Pangaea, Earths inner mantle has been cooling twice as fast as we thought, and it looks like its crust has been thinning out ever since.

"Its important to note [that] Earth seems to be cooling a lot faster now than it has been over its lifetime," says geophysicist Van Avendonk from the University of Texas.

"The current state of Earth, where we have a lot of plate tectonic events, this allows Earth to cool much more efficiently than it did in the past."

To be clear, when we say Earth has been cooling at an unprecedented rate over the past 170 million years, were not talking about the climate, which has definitely not been cooling.

What Avendonk and his team have been investigating is the international temperatures of Earth over time, and theyve found that the planet today is producing far less magma than it was during the time of the dinosaurs.

To trace the changes in Earths outer layer over the past 2.5 billion years, they analysed 234 measurements of crust thickness from around the world over a number of geological ages.

They found that oceanic crust formed in the mid-Jurassic 170 million years ago was 1.7 km (1 mile) thicker than the crust thats being produced today, and since then, the mantle below has been cooling much more rapidly than expected.

So why is Earths crust thinning out?

The outermost crust of Earth is formed by the mantle, which sits between the scorching hot core and the crust, spanning some 2,900 km (1,802 miles), and making up a whopping 84 percent of the planet's total volume.

Magma produced in the mantle forms the outer oceanic crust when it rises to the surface and cools into rock.


Non-OPEC countries agree to cut oil production by 558,000 barrels per day

Submitted by: Odio @ 03:13 PM | Saturday, December 10, 2016 | (url: https://www.rt.co...)

Non-OPEC countries agreed to cut oil production by 558,000 barrels per day (b/d) during a meeting with members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna.


Among the non-OPEC participants at the meeting were 12 oil exporting countries Azerbaijan, Oman, Mexico, Sudan, South Sudan, Bahrain, Malaysia, Equatorial Guinea, Bolivia, Kazakhstan and Russia.

The 558,000 b/d figure was voiced by Qatar's energy minister at a press conference following the six hour long talks.

OPEC members also confirmed their commitment to the plan to reduce the oil supply by 1.2 million b/d. This, together with the commitments made by non-OPEC states, would lead to the total reduction of oil production by about 1.7-1.8 million b/d, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said at the press conference.

Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih told the press conference that 2017 would be a good year for the global oil market.

The parties to the negotiations also agreed to form a special group to monitor the observance of the agreement both by the OPEC and non-OPEC countries. The group would consist of three OPEC members and two non-OPEC countries, Novak said.

"This agreement cements and prepares us for long-term cooperation," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters after the meeting, calling the deal "historic".

"Today's deal will speed up the oil market stabilisation, reduce volatility, attract new investments," Novak said.

The deal became the first such agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC countries since 2001. In April, OPEC and Russia tried to reach a deal on oil production which was cut during negotiations in Doha, but failed to come to an agreement, as Saudi Arabia sunk the deal at the last moment.

OPEC made a decision to cut its own output on November 30.


Category: Technology | 38 Comments
Tags: oil

Early explorer logbooks reveal Antarctic sea ice has barely changed in 100 years

Submitted by: Odio @ 08:46 AM | Friday, November 25, 2016 | (url: http://www.scienc...)

Logbooks from the likes of Captain Robert Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton - key figures in the 'Heroic Age' of Antarctic exploration - have revealed that sea ice levels in Antarctica have barely changed over the past century, despite global temperatures hitting record highs year after year.

That finding might seem counterintuitive, especially given that sea ice in the Arctic has never been so depleted. But it might actually help us explain one of the biggest mysteries surrounding climate change: how Antarctica appears to be thriving - and sometimes even expanding - despite all odds.

"The missions of Scott and Shackleton are remembered in history as heroic failures, yet the data collected by these and other explorers could profoundly change the way we view the ebb and flow of Antarctic sea ice," says lead researcher Jonathan Day from the University of Reading in the UK.

Day and his team examined observations of sea ice recorded in the official logbooks from 11 voyages that took place between 1897 and 1917, including three missions led by Captain Scott, two by Shackleton, and sea-ice records from French, German, and Belgian explorers.

These logbooks include observations of many environmental and meteorological phenomena, recorded several times a day throughout each mission by the explorers and their crew.

Many of the logbooks had been recently digitised as part of the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set initiative, but others were digitised especially for this study, and the information within was collated into a dataset of 191 observations of sea ice positions spanning two decades.

These observations were then compared to satellite data from 1989 to 2014, and other than the sea ice edge in the Weddell Sea declining by about 14 percent over the past century, the team found that ice conditions during the golden age of exploration were surprisingly similar to those in Antarctica today.


The IRS Just Declared War on Bitcoin Privacy

Submitted by: Odio @ 05:54 PM | Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | (url: https://fee.org/a...)

The Internal Revenue Service has filed a John Doe summons seeking to require U.S. Bitcoin exchange Coinbase to turn over records about every transaction of every user from 2013 to 2015. That demand is shocking in sweep, and it includes: complete user profile, history of changes to user profile from account inception, complete user preferences, complete user security settings and history (including confirmed devices and account activity), complete user payment methods, and any other information related to the funding sources for the account/wallet/vault, regardless of date. And every single transaction:

All records of account/wallet/vault activity including transaction logs or other records identifying the date, amount, and type of transaction (purchase/sale/exchange), the post transaction balance, the names or other identifiers of counterparties to the transaction; requests or instructions to send or receive bitcoin; and, where counterparties transact through their own Coinbase accounts/wallets/vaults, all available information identifying the users of such accounts and their contact information.


Category: Technology | 18 Comments
Tags: fuck irs

Scientists Are Bringing Back Vacuum Tubes for Computers of the Future

Submitted by: Odio @ 04:21 PM | Tuesday, November 8, 2016 | (url: http://www.popula...)

Researchers from UC San Diego are using vacuum tube technology to develop more efficient computer processors. The research could result in faster microelectronic devices and better solar panels. Their results are published in a paper in the journal Nature Communications.

Commonly thought of as a primitive precursor to the modern transistor, vacuum tubes were the building blocks of computers in the early 20th century, and computers built using them filled entire rooms or buildings.

The invention of the transistor in the mid 20th century allowed computers to be built much smaller, and paved the way for the computing revolution of the late 20th century. That being the case, the transistor is arguably the greatest invention in history.

[Youtube]pDllfr4udlU[/youtube]

Category: Technology | 16 Comments
Tags: computers

Space! EM Drive really does work

Submitted by: Goshin @ 02:41 PM | Monday, November 7, 2016 | (url: http://www.nextbi...)

MAN, it's fun being right

I posted about this in my giant space thread in the first few pages and you guys called me a crack pot! Well you can crack your own pot!

1.2 millinewtons per kilowatt in a vacuum
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40959.2480 has a ton of posts regarding stuff

propellant-less space flight
that means mars in 70 days whenever we want + more

Category: Technology | 24 Comments
Tags: space

Injections might help prevent genital herpes transmission for months: study

Submitted by: Odio @ 04:29 AM | Thursday, November 3, 2016 | (url: http://medicalxpr...)

(HealthDay)Three injections of a therapeutic vaccine may control genital herpes as effectively as daily pills for at least a year, a new study suggests.
Researchers tested the experimental vaccine in 310 people with herpes from 17 centers around the United States. The three shots, administered three weeks apart, appeared to reduce patients' genital lesions and the process of "viral shedding" in which they can spread the disease through sexual contact.
Infectious disease experts hailed the vaccine as a promising development in the treatment of genital herpes. The incurable disease affects about one in every six people ages 14 to 49 in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"In general terms, people receiving [the vaccine] have greater than 50 percent fewer days in which virus is present in their genital tracts, which in theory may reduce transmission," said study author Jessica Baker Flechtner. She's chief scientific officer at Genocea Biosciences, the Cambridge, Mass., manufacturer of the vaccine.
"However, this would need to be proven in a well-powered clinical trial," she added. "Our trials have included both men and women, and to date, we have not seen a difference in the vaccine impact between genders."
Currently named GEN-003, the vaccine is believed to work by prompting a type of white blood cell known as a T-cell to recognize and kill cells in which the virus lives, Flechtner explained.
Patients were randomly split into seven dosing groups, including a placebo group.
Testing was repeated periodically for 12 months after dosing and included analyzing genital swab samples for the presence of the herpes virus. The days when genital lesions were present were also recorded.

Category: Technology | 3 Comments
Tags: ender

Add-on Will Make Your Car Semi-Autonomous for Just $999

Submitted by: Odio @ 04:40 AM | Wednesday, October 5, 2016 | (url: http://futurism.c...)

Similar to Teslas Autopilot, Comma One claims to be able to safely drive you from Mountain View to San Francisco without having to steer the wheel or step on the gas and brake. It can be installed on a small range of selected vehicles, but the creating startup, Comma.ai aims to make it compatible with more models in the future.

George Hotz, Comma.ai founder, stresses that this kit will not make a car fully autonomous, its about on par with Tesla Autopilot. Comma one takes advantage of a cars built-on front radars and is equipped with a camera. The key sensors that were getting back is the cam. Were actually getting back the video, even Tesla isnt doing that. We have all the video data.

The affordable price at $999 was possible because the add-on is made of inexpensive materials. The company plans to have the product available for shipping before the end of the year in very limited quantities.

In the end, this could fuel some healthy competition for autonomous driving. If this tech turns out to be as effective as any car manufacturers offerings, it could open up the possibilities for greater benefits and innovation in the field. If customers can buy affordable kits to give their current vehicles autopilot, car manufacturers are going to have to give greater incentives to get customers to buy into their offerings.

Category: Technology | 9 Comments
Tags: tesla