Latest Front Page News

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

Nauseating': Google profits from Holocaust denial websites, Jewish museum says

Submitted by: Odio @ 09:57 PM | Friday, December 23, 2016 | (url: https://www.rt.co...)

A Jewish heritage museum has become the latest to criticize Google over its search hits, accusing it of profiting from Holocaust denial. The search giant accepted money from the museum to stop a neo-Nazi website from appearing at the top of the results.
David Schendowich, marketing director of the Breman Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, says the facility pays Google up to $2 a click via AdWords to direct internet users to its own website when a person types in "did the Holocaust happen. This is to stop internet users from being directed to a white supremacist site by the name of Stormfront, which lists the "top 10 reasons why the Holocaust didn't happen."

Category: Tribes | 7 Comments
Tags: jews

Dylann Roof says not to consider his mental health in trial because psychology is a J

Submitted by: Odio @ 02:21 PM | Monday, December 19, 2016 | (url: http://metro.co.u...)

Roof, 22, was found guilty this week of the racist massacre of nine black worshippers as they prayed in a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Now, his trial is moving on to consider whether or not he should be given the death penalty.

According to a motion he filed, handwritten, the white supremacist killer said he wouldnt be calling on mental health experts to testify because he doesnt believe in psychology.

It is a Jewish invention and does nothing but invent diseases and tell people they have problems when they dont, he wrote separately in a journal.

He also fired his entire legal team and is now going to act as his own lawyer during the death penalty phase of his trial, which starts on January 3.

Roof opened fire on an historic African-American church, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church, on June 17, 2015.

The same jury that convicted Roof of 33 charges related to the massacre including hate crime and obstruction of religion will soon decide if he is sentenced to life in prison without parole, or death.

In his handwritten note, he said: I will not be calling mental health experts or presenting mental health evidence.

Roofs lawyers unsuccessfully tried to stop him from acting as his own lawyer, warning that he was a high-school dropout and was therefore not best placed to present his own mitigation.

They reportedly feared Roof fired them because he was afraid that embarrassing details relating to himself and his family would be presented in court as evidence, even though it would have been done so in an attempt to spare him a death sentence.

Category: Entertainment | 26 Comments
Tags: jews

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

Dino tail in amber has feathers

Submitted by: Goshin @ 02:31 PM | Thursday, December 8, 2016 | (url: http://www.nytime...)

time to remake jurassic park

While most paleontologists dig up prehistoric bones from the ground, Lida Xing hunts for fossils in the amber markets of Myanmar. In 2015, he made a remarkable find: Trapped in what looked like golden glass was the feathered tail of a dinosaur.

Along with the primitive plumage, the 99-million-year-old amber also preserved soft tissue and eight complete vertebrae. The tail bones indicated that the specimen belonged to a dinosaur that was not a prehistoric bird and also provided researchers with insight into the evolution of feathers.

This is the first time that skeletal material from a dinosaur has been found in amber, Dr. Xing, who is a paleontologist at China University of Geosciences in Beijing, said in an email. He and his colleagues published their findings Thursday in the journal Current Biology.

After performing a CT scan and microscopic analysis, Dr. Xing and his colleagues realized that the feathers did not belong to a bird because the specimens tail vertebrae were not fused into a rod, as they are in modern birds. The feathers most likely belonged to a baby nonavian theropod, meaning it looked more similar to a velociraptor or Tyrannosaurus rex than to a modern bird. That said, it was probably only about the size of a sparrow.

Category: General | 16 Comments
Tags: dinobird

Amy Schumer to Headline Sonys Live-Action Barbie Movie

Submitted by: Odio @ 04:29 PM | Friday, December 2, 2016 | (url: http://www.coming...)

First announced for the big screen in 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Mattel and Parkes+MacDonald/Image Nations upcoming live-action Barbie movie has finally landed a leading lady in Amy Schumer (Trainwreck, Inside Amy Schumer).

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Schumer will play a misfit living in a land of perfect Barbies who comes to the real world where her being/looking different turns into an asset. The film is said by the trade to be, a contemporary spin on beauty, feminism and identity in the comedic-fantasy vein of Splash, Enchanted or Big.

Although Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult) was previously attached to write the film, the current screenplay comes from Hilary Winston (The LEGO Ninjago Movie, the Bad Teacher TV series). Schumer and her sister Kim Caramele are expected to rewrite the script, and a director is currently being sought.

From princess to president, mermaid to movie star, Barbie has done it all through her more than 150 careers, she has gained valuable experiences and shown her fans that anything is possible for a modern woman. The toy line launched in 1959, and brings in $2 billion dollars annually. The comedic and contemporary film marks the second collaboration between Sony Pictures and Mattel, which are currently developing a film adaptation of Masters of the Universe, based on Mattels popular action figures.

Barbie is being produced by Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Amy Pascal.


These 2.5-billion-year-old bacteria predate the rise of oxygen on Earth

Submitted by: Odio @ 10:23 PM | Tuesday, November 29, 2016 | (url: http://geology.gs...)

Fossilised bacteria have been uncovered in two separate locations in South Africa, and theyve been dated to 2.52 billion years ago - long before oxygen started to saturate Earths atmosphere.

Instead of thriving in oxygen, like the trees and multicellular organisms that came after them did, these bacteria oxidised sulphur to survive, suggesting that life could be sustained on a planet with less than one-thousandth of a percent of Earths current oxygen levels.

The fossils were uncovered in a layer of hard, silica-rich rock in the Kaapvaal Craton of the Limpopo Province in South Africa - one of the two remaining areas in the world where Earths crust from 3.6 to 2.5 million years ago is still accessible.

The sulphur-oxidising bacteria they revealed were "exceptionally large", according to the University of Cincinnati team that uncovered them, indicating that these life forms had no problem living in the absence of oxygen.

"These are the oldest reported fossil sulphur bacteria to date," says one of the researchers, Andrew Czaja.

"And this discovery is helping us reveal a diversity of life and ecosystems that existed just prior to the Great Oxidation Event, a time of major atmospheric evolution."

Category: Politics | 15 Comments
Tags: science

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