Page 6293

Feb 2, 2019

Boeing’s Starliner Spacecraft Will Be Ready for 1st Test Flight in March

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

WASHINGTON — Boeing is on track to launch its new astronaut taxi to the International Space Station (ISS) next month.

Along with SpaceX, the private spaceflight company was contracted by NASA to begin launching astronauts from U.S. soil again for the first time since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner won’t be taking any astronauts along for its first flight to the ISS, however. After docking robotically with the orbiting lab, it will return to Earth for a parachute landing in Texas.

If this test flight goes according to plan, Boeing will be ready to launch its first crew of astronauts to the space station in August, Boeing spokesperson Maribeth Davis told during a presentation of Boeing’s future vision for space travel here. [How Boeing’s Commercial CST-100 Starliner Spacecraft Works].

Continue reading “Boeing’s Starliner Spacecraft Will Be Ready for 1st Test Flight in March” »

Feb 2, 2019

See the SpaceX rocket engine that will zip Elon Musk’s Starship to moon

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

The Raptor engine is designed to power Starship to our lunar neighbor and beyond.


  • Amanda Kooser

Read more

Feb 2, 2019

‘Quiet’ light

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, quantum physics

Spectrally pure lasers lie at the heart of precision high-end scientific and commercial applications, thanks to their ability to produce near-perfect single-color light. A laser’s capacity to do so is measured in terms of its linewidth, or coherence, which is the ability to emit a constant frequency over a certain period of time before that frequency changes.

In practice, researchers go to great lengths to build highly coherent, near-single-frequency lasers for high-end systems such as atomic clocks. Today, however, because these lasers are large and occupy racks full of equipment, they are relegated to applications based on bench tops in the laboratory.

There is a push to move the performance of high-end lasers onto photonic micro-chips, dramatically reducing cost and size while making the technology available to a wide range of applications including spectroscopy, navigation, quantum computation and . Achieving such performance at the chip scale would also go a long way to address the challenge posed by the internet’s exploding data-capacity requirements and the resulting increase in worldwide energy consumption of data centers and their fiber-optic interconnects.

Read more

Feb 2, 2019

Why measles is back, in five charts

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Too many people have forgotten what it’s like to live in a time where everyone got the measles. The vaccine was invented in 1963, and by 1968 cases in the U.S. had already dropped. By the ’70s it was downright rare to get measles as a child, when just a decade or so earlier it had been uncommon not to get it. By 2000, the U.S. declared the disease eliminated—rare cases always came from outside the country. But 2019 has begun with some of the worst outbreaks we’ve seen in recent years, and it’s crystal clear to researchers why the measles is coming back: we got lax about vaccines.

Thanks in part to a famous, fraudulent study claiming to link the MMR vaccine (that’s for measles, mumps, and rubella) to autism, parents across the country have been dissuaded from fully vaccinating their children. The measles virus infects nearly everyone it comes in contact with, so our main protection from it comes from herd immunity—you need upwards of 95 percent of a population to be vaccinated against it to avoid harboring pockets of the virus.

But in recent years, thanks to state laws that allow parents religious and/or philosophical belief exemptions, those rates have been dropping. It’s only by a few percentage points, but remember: we need to stay above 95 percent. The same thing is happening in Europe, where several countries have dipped below that mark or even lower, into the high 80’s. Even a few percentage points can make a difference—Europe saw one of its worst years for measles cases on record, with tens of thousands falling ill from a completely preventable disease.

Read more

Feb 2, 2019

An Arkansas Teen Helped Turn Tea Leaves and Molasses Into a Supercapacitor

Posted by in categories: food, materials

In the search for people working on cheaper supercapacitors, she found herself in the lab of Noureen Siraj, Ph.D., an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. One of Siraj’s students, Samantha Macchi, had already been working on such a project for about a year and a half, figuring out how to make supercapacitor electrodes from common materials like used tea leaves, molasses, and a basic kitchen microwave oven — humble beginnings for a high-tech device. Siraj and Macchi brought Bollimpalli onto the project to learn about the work, which she later presented at ISEF. Meanwhile, Macchi and Siraj published the resulting research in January in the journal Chemistry Select.

Bollimpalli was initially assigned to a different project in the lab, but when she found out about the work on supercapacitors, she asked to switch tasks. Siraj, who is used to having high school students learn about her team’s work, quickly obliged.

“She quickly learned all the protocols, and she actually was able to explain. She brought an understanding that is missing in a lot of the high school students,” Siraj tells Inverse. “She really is good at absorbing the information.” They worked together tirelessly to help Bollimpalli nail the presentation she would later give at ISEF.

Continue reading “An Arkansas Teen Helped Turn Tea Leaves and Molasses Into a Supercapacitor” »

Feb 2, 2019

Tesla Competitor Traps Driver For an Hour While It Completes Software Update

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Don’t update and drive.

Read more

Feb 2, 2019

This Smart Pill Grows 100 Times Bigger Once It’s in Your Stomach

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

It expands in just 15 minutes.

Read more

Feb 2, 2019

How Emergent is the Brain?

Posted by in category: neuroscience

A new paper offers a broad challenge to a certain kind of ‘grand theory’ about the brain. According to the authors, Federico E. Turkheimer and colleagues, it is problematic to build models of brain function that rely on ‘strong emergence’.


Two popular theories, the Free Energy Principle aka Bayesian Brain and the Integrated Information Theory model, are singled out as examples of strong emergence-based work.

Continue reading “How Emergent is the Brain?” »

Feb 2, 2019

‘AI Farms’ Are at the Forefront of China’s Global Ambitions

Posted by in categories: climatology, information science, robotics/AI, sustainability

AI farms are well suited to impoverished regions like Guizhou, where land and labor are cheap and the climate temperate enough to enable the running of large machines without expensive cooling systems. It takes only two days to train workers like Yin in basic AI tagging, or a week for the more complicated task of labeling 3D pictures.

A battle for AI supremacy is being fought one algorithm at a time.

Read more

Feb 1, 2019

Israeli cyberexpert detects China hack in Ottawa, warns against using Huawei 5G

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, engineering, government, internet

OTTAWA — A Chinese telecommunication company secretly diverted Canadian internet traffic to China, particularly from Rogers subscribers in the Ottawa area, says an Israeli cybersecurity specialist.

The 2016 incident involved the surreptitious rerouting of the internet data of Rogers customers in and around Canada’s capital by China Telecom, a state-owned internet service provider that has two legally operating “points of presence” on Canadian soil, said Yuval Shavitt, an electrical-engineering expert at Tel Aviv University.

Shavitt told The Canadian Press that the China Telecom example should serve as a caution to the Canadian government not to do business with another Chinese telecommunications giant: Huawei Technologies, which is vying to build Canada’s next-generation 5G wireless communications networks.

Continue reading “Israeli cyberexpert detects China hack in Ottawa, warns against using Huawei 5G” »