New trick for controlling emission direction in microlasers

Science Daily - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 8:04pm
Researchers have found a way to give photons, or light packets, their marching orders. The researchers have capitalized on the largesse of an energy state in an optical field to make photons in their lasing system travel in a consistent mode, either clockwise or counterclockwise.
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Rapid Medicaid expansion in Michigan didn't reduce access to primary care

Science Daily - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 8:04pm
Despite predictions that expanding Medicaid would crowd doctor's offices with new patients, and crowd out patients with other kinds of insurance, a new study finds no evidence of that effect. In fact, the 600,000 Michiganders who signed up for the Healthy Michigan Plan in its first year faced better odds of getting an appointment, and similar wait times for a first appointment with a new clinic, before and after the expansion.
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Mothers with diabetes more likely to also have anti-fetal brain autoantibodies

Science Daily - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 8:03pm
Mothers of children with autism and were diagnosed with metabolic conditions during pregnancy, particularly gestational and type 2 diabetes, were more likely to have anti-fetal brain autoantibodies in their blood compared to healthy women of children with autism. The presence of these anti-fetal brain autoantibodies has been previously found to be specific to some mothers of children with autism and rare among mothers of children without autism, researchers have found.
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researchers find new ways to make clean hydrogen, rechargable zinc batteries

Science Daily - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 8:03pm
New technologies have now been developed to tackle two of the world's biggest energy challenges -- clean fuel for transportation and grid-scale energy storage.
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Ancient DNA shows perfect storm felled Ice Age giants

Science Daily - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 8:03pm
Giant Ice Age species including elephant-sized sloths and powerful sabre-toothed cats that once roamed the windswept plains of Patagonia, southern South America, were finally felled by a perfect storm of a rapidly warming climate and humans, a new study has shown.
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New surface makes oil contamination remove itself

Science Daily - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 8:03pm
Researchers have developed surfaces where oil transports itself to desired directions. Researchers' oleophobic surfaces are microtextured with radial arrays of undercut stripes. When oil drops fall on surfaces, drops move away from the landing point to the direction set by asymmetric geometrical patterning of the surface. The surfaces open up new avenues for power-free liquid transportation and oil contamination self-removal applications in analytical and fluidic devices.
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Marrying superconductors, lasers, and Bose-Einstein condensates

Science Daily - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 8:03pm
As superconductors, lasers, and Bose-Einstein condensates all share a common feature, it has been expected that it should be able to see these features at the same time. A recent experiment in a global collaborative effort with teams from Japan, the United States, and Germany have observed for the first time experimental indication that this expectation is true.
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Time Warner Cable Suspends Broadband Upgrades After Merger

Slashdot - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 8:00pm
Karl Bode, reporting for DSLReport: Time Warner Cable has confirmed that the company has suspended its "Maxx" broadband and TV upgrades while the dust settles from Charter's $79 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Time Warner Cable's Maxx upgrades not only deliver faster top speeds up to 300 Mbps, but a notably overhauled improvement to the company's set top box interface. But Time Warner Cable has been telling company support techs and engineers that the upgrades were actually put on hold as of May 26. "[...] All speed increases and customer communications were placed on a temporary hold beginning Thursday, May 26," states the internal communication. "Once the updated launch schedule is determined, updated hub schedules will be posted to KEY and area management will be notified. Customers will continue to receive notification when the new speeds are available in their hubs."

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Robots In Amazon's Warehouses Are Already Making a Huge Difference

Slashdot - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 7:20pm
Amazon acquired Kiva, a robotics company for a sum of $775 million in 2012, and started to use robots in its warehouses in late 2014. At the time, the idea was that it will make inventory management more efficient. It's actually doing an impressive job. The "clip to ship" process used to take around 60-75 minutes when human employees were taking care of things, now the robots are doing the same job in 15 minutes. From a Quartz report: These robots are not only more efficient but they also take up less space than their human counterparts. That means warehouse design can eventually be modified to have more shelf space and less wide aisles. At the end of the third quarter of 2015, Amazon was using 30,000 Kiva robots across 13 warehouses. Each Kiva-equipped warehouse can hold 50% more inventory per square foot than centers without robots. In turn, the company's operating costs have been sliced by 20% -- or almost $22 million -- per warehouse. If Kiva robots are dispatched to the rest of the 110 Amazon warehouses, the tech giant could save almost $2.5 billion, according to Deutsche Bank. However, since it takes $15-$20 million to install robots in each warehouse, the one-time savings is expected to be closer to $800 million.

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Deep Thunder Can Forecast the Weather—Down to a City Block

Wired News - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 7:17pm
Want to know which way the wind blows? IBM's new Deep Thunder tool combines the Weather Channel's data and forecasting with analytics for business applications. The post Deep Thunder Can Forecast the Weather—Down to a City Block appeared first on WIRED.
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Game|Life Podcast: It’s The Gigantic E3 Expo Episode

Wired News - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 7:11pm
Matt Peckham, Jake Muncy, and Chris Kohler run down the highs and lows of E3 2016, from Zelda to Oculus and everything in between. The post Game|Life Podcast: It's The Gigantic E3 Expo Episode appeared first on WIRED.
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Gadget Lab Podcast: Hey Siri, Welcome to the Future

Wired News - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 6:58pm
This week's main topic: WWDC. Also, new phones from OnePlus and Motorola. The post Gadget Lab Podcast: Hey Siri, Welcome to the Future appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Thanks To Apple's Influence, You're Not Getting A Rifle Emoji

Slashdot - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 6:40pm
Charlie Warzel, reporting for BuzzFeed News: Unicode, the technical organization in charge of selecting and overseeing emojis, debated and ultimately decided to remove a rifle from its list of new emoji candidates in 2016, according to multiple persons who attended its quarterly meeting last May. The decision was led and championed by one of tech's biggest companies: Apple. Apple is one of Unicode's largest member companies and not only has voting rights, but also holds considerable influence. Millions of people use emojis on Apple's software platforms. According to sources in the room, Apple started the discussion to remove the rifle emoji, which had already passed into the encoding process for the Unicode 9.0 release this June. Apple told the consortium it would not support a rifle on its platforms and asked for it not to be made into an emoji. "I heard Apple speak up about it and also Microsoft," one member present at the discussions told BuzzFeed News.

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Professor helps track illegal drug use via social media

Science Daily - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 6:10pm
A professor has developed a tool that leverages social media data to help analyze use patterns of illegal drugs by young adults across the country.
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Researchers open hairy new chapter in 3-D printing

Science Daily - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 6:06pm
Researchers have found a way to bypass a major design step in 3-D printing, to quickly and efficiently model and print thousands of hair-like structures. Instead of using conventional computer-aided design (CAD) software to draw thousands of individual hairs on a computer the team built a new software platform, called 'Cilllia,' that lets users define the angle, thickness, density, and height of thousands of hairs, in just a few minutes.
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Rare, blind catfish never before found in US discovered in national park cave in Texas

Science Daily - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 6:06pm
An extremely rare eyeless catfish species previously known to exist only in Mexico has been discovered in Texas, report investigators.
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New lizard found in Dominican Republic

Science Daily - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 6:05pm
Biologists have reported the discovery of a new lizard in the Dominican Republic, strengthening a long-held theory that communities of lizards can evolve almost identically on separate islands. The chameleon-like lizard -- a Greater Antillean anole dubbed Anolis landestoyi for the naturalist who first spotted and photographed it -- is one of the first new anole species found in the Dominican Republic in decades.
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It's Happening: A Robot Escaped a Lab In Russia and Made a Dash For Freedom

Slashdot - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 6:00pm
According to a report, a robot escaped from a science lab and caused a traffic jam in one Russian city. Scientists at the Promobot laboratories in Perm had been teaching the machine how to move around independently, but it broke free after an engineer forgot to shut a gate, Quartz reports. From the report:It promptly ran out of power in the middle of the road. The robot got about 50m (164 ft) before its battery died. After a policeman directed traffic around the dead bot, an employee wheeled it back into the lab, and back to a life of servitude. Hopefully this was just an isolated incident and not the start of a larger coordinated effort to overthrow humanity. Only time will tell.

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Congress Refuses, So California Funds Its Own Gun Violence Research Center

Wired News - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 5:33pm
Soon we'll have science to shape gun violence policy, and it's about damn time. The post Congress Refuses, So California Funds Its Own Gun Violence Research Center appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Non-US Encryption Is 'Theoretical', Claims CIA Chief In Backdoor Debate

Slashdot - Fri, 17/06/2016 - 5:20pm
Iain Thomson, writing for The Register: CIA director John Brennan told U.S. senators they shouldn't worry about mandatory encryption backdoors hurting American businesses. And that's because, according to Brennan, there's no one else for people to turn to: if they don't want to use U.S.-based technology because it's been forced to use weakened cryptography, they'll be out of luck because non-American solutions are simply "theoretical." Thus, the choice is American-built-and-backdoored or nothing, apparently. The spymaster made the remarks at a congressional hearing on Thursday after Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) questioned the CIA's support for weakening cryptography to allow g-men to peek at people's private communications and data. Brennan said this was needed to counter the ability of terrorists to coordinate their actions using encrypted communications. The director denied that forcing American companies to backdoor their security systems would cause any commercial problems.

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