New method to control quantum systems

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 6:12pm
Researchers have discovered a method to design faster pulses, offering a new way to accurately control quantum systems.
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A history of snowfall on Greenland, hidden in ancient leaf waxes

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 6:12pm
The history of Greenland's snowfall is chronicled in an unlikely place: the remains of aquatic plants that died long ago, collecting at the bottom of lakes in horizontal layers that document the passing years. Using this ancient record, scientists have determined that snowfall at one key location in western Greenland may have intensified from 6,000 to 4,000 years ago, a period when the planet's Northern Hemisphere was warmer than it is today.
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New technique controls autonomous vehicles on a dirt track

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 6:12pm
Researchers have a created racing, sliding, and jumping one-fifth-scale, fully autonomous auto-rally cars that runs at the equivalent of 90 mph. The technique uses advanced algorithms to keep the driverless vehicle under control at the edge of its handling limits.
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Why children confuse simple words

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 6:12pm
Imagine, for a moment, you are a parent trying to limit how much dessert your sugar-craving young children can eat. "You can have cake or ice cream," you say, confident a clear parental guideline has been laid out. But your children seem to ignore this firm ruling, and insist on having both cake and ice cream. Are they merely rebelling against a parental command? Perhaps. But they might be confusing "or" with "and," as children do at times, something studies have shown since the 1970s. What seems like a restriction to the parent sounds like an invitation to the child: Have both!
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Global data shows inverse relationship, shift in human use of fire

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 6:12pm
Humans use fire for heating, cooking, managing lands and, more recently, fueling industrial processes. Now, research has found that these various means of using fire are inversely related to one another, providing new insight into how people are changing the face of fire.
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Google Plans To Bring Password-Free Logins To Android Apps By Year-End

Slashdot - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 5:55pm
An anonymous reader shares a report on TechCrunch: Google's plan to eliminate passwords in favor of systems that take into account a combination of signals -- like your typing patterns, your walking patterns, your current location, and more -- will be available to Android developers by year-end, assuming all goes well in testing this year. In an under-the-radar announcement Friday afternoon at the Google I/O developer conference, the head of Google's research unit ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) Daniel Kaufman offered a brief update regarding the status of Project Abacus, the name for a system that opts for biometrics over two-factor authentication. With Project Abacus, users would unlock devices or sign into applications based on a cumulative "Trust Score." This score would be calculated using a variety of factors, including your typing patterns, current location, speed and voice patterns, facial recognition, and other things.The Trust API will be available to developers, who can then implement that into their apps. The company says that developers will have the option to adjust the threshold required for a trust score.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The trial, error of viral evolution: The difference between fading out, pandemic

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 5:23pm
Investigators are studying viral evolution with the aim of finding knowledge that might help prevent disease. The researchers analyzed multiple studies on three well-known and varied viral families, all of which have genomes that consist of segments of genetic material called RNA. RNA viruses are ubiquitous in nature, infecting most animals, including humans, plants, and bacteria.
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New research maps in unique detail the devastation of the Black Death on medieval England

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 5:19pm
An innovative new archaeological study has revealed in detail for the first time how individual towns, villages and hamlets across swathes of medieval England were decimated by the Black Death.
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A switch for light wave electronics

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 5:19pm
Light waves might be able to drive future transistors. The electromagnetic waves of light oscillate approximately one million times in a billionth of a second, hence with petahertz frequencies. In principle also future electronics could reach this speed and become 100,000 times faster than current digital electronics. This requires a better understanding of the sub-atomic electron motion induced by the ultrafast electric field of light. Now scientists combined novel experimental and theoretical techniques which provide direct access to this motion for the first time.
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Robot Ranchers Monitor Animals On Giant Australian Farms

Slashdot - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 5:15pm
An anonymous reader writes: Sheep and cattle farms in the Australian outback are vast as well as remote. For example, the country's most isolated cattle station, Suplejack Downs in the Northern Territory, extends across 4000 square kilometres and takes 13 hours to reach by car from the nearest major town, Alice Springs. But robots are coming to the rescue. A two-year trial, which starts next month, will train a 'farmbot' to herd livestock, keep an eye on their health, and check they have enough pasture to graze on. Sick and injured animals will be identified using thermal and vision sensors that detect changes in body temperature and walking gait, says Salah Sukkarieh of the University of Sydney, who will carry out the trial on several farms in central New South Wales. The robot, which has not yet been named, is a more sophisticated version of an earlier model, Shrimp, which was designed to herd groups of 20 to 150 dairy cows.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Yellow fever epidemic threatens to spread from Angola to China

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 5:08pm
The spread of yellow fever is a global health threat. In response to current outbreaks in Angola, other African countries, and China, WHO convened an emergency committee on May 19, 2016 to underscore the severity of the outbreak. Infectious disease authorities from South Africa and Singapore explain the epidemiology and ecology of YF and discuss the factors that can increase and decrease the likelihood of progression from outbreak to epidemic.
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Can legumes solve environmental issues?

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 5:08pm
It's a win-win situation for the environment and the economy when it comes to introducing legumes into agricultural systems, says new research.
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Single enzyme with the power of three could offer shortcut to therapeutic target

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 5:08pm
Researchers identified a single enzyme doing the work of a trio thought necessary to control a common cellular signaling process being pursued as a therapeutic target. The work was done through a study of Legionella pneumophila, the bacterium that causes Legionnaires' disease.
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Proteins key to unlocking cancer for National Cancer Moonshot

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 5:08pm
The National Cancer Moonshot initiative needs to move beyond genomics to target the proteins that are driving cancer, according to a new paper.
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Low- and high-birthweight babies appear at increased risk for cardiovascular disease

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 4:59pm
Babies born at both low and high birthweights appear to be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes by the time they become adolescents, researchers report.
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New research confirms continued, unabated and large-scale amphibian declines

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 4:59pm
New research suggests that even though amphibians are severely declining worldwide, there is no smoking gun -- and thus no simple solution -- to halting or reversing these declines.
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Using drones without disturbing wildlife

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 4:58pm
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more popularly known as drones, are increasingly employed to monitor and protect wildlife. But researchers say that steps should be taken to ensure that UAV operations are not causing undue stress to animals.
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In changing oceans, cephalopods are booming

Science Daily - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 4:58pm
Humans have changed the world's oceans in ways that have been devastating to many marine species. But, according to new evidence, it appears that the change has so far been good for cephalopods, the group including octopuses, cuttlefish, and squid. The study shows that cephalopods' numbers have increased significantly over the last six decades.
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Xiaomi Revenues Were Flat in 2015

Slashdot - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 4:35pm
Scott Cendrowski, reporting for Fortune: Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker and second highest-valued startup in the world at $45 billion, barely grew sales at all last year. Revenue for 2015 reached 78 billion yuan ($12.5 billion), a 5% rise from 2014's 74.3 billion yuan. Taking into account the falling value of the Chinese currency, the yuan, sales rose 3% in U.S. dollar terms. Xiaomi has been mum about the 2015 sales total since founder Lei Jun gave a revenue target of 100 billion yuan ($16 billion at the time) at a government meeting in March last year. Flat sales growth represents a dramatic change of fortune for Xiaomi, which until recently appeared to be enjoying the momentum befitting China's hottest startup. It was coming off sales growth of 135% in 2014, and in early 2015 founder Lei Jun said at a press conference that Xiaomi's new smartphone was even better than Apple's iPhone. However the phone, the Mi Note, amassed early user complaints about hot temperatures and didn't become the mega-seller the company might have hoped.CNBC's Jay Yarrow said "The Apple-killer is dying." For the uninitiated, Xiaomi rose to fame in 2013-14 when the company took the world by storm with its cheap-priced handsets, TVs, speakers, power banks, and cameras. These devices offered top-of-the-line specifications for their respective echelon. The company has been called out before for allegedly copying Apple's iOS design in its MIUI Android-based operating system. In the past two years, Xiaomi has expanded its business to several Asian regions, and intends to sell a number of gadgets in the United States and Europe among other regions starting later this year. The company has also expanded its product portfolio, making weighing scale, rice cooker, suitcase and a range of other items.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Brewing Life On Earth - Violent Sun, Weak Shielding May Have Contributed | Video

Space.com - Mon, 23/05/2016 - 3:59pm
4 billion years ago, the Sun was cooler than it was today, but much more active. Earth's weaker magnetosphere allowed particles from solar flares to seep into the atmosphere, contributing to the creation of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.
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