Physicists Have Created the Brightest Light Ever Recorded

Slashdot - Tue, 27/06/2017 - 7:00am
Jason Koebler writes: A group of physicists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Extreme Light Laboratory announced Monday that they have created the brightest light ever produced on Earth using Diocles, one of the most powerful lasers in the United States. When this high intensity laser pulse, which is one billion times brighter than the surface of the sun, strikes the electron, it causes it to behave differently. By firing this laser at individual electrons, the researchers found that past a certain threshold, the brightness of light will actually change an object's appearance rather than simply making it brighter. The x-rays that are produced in this fashion have an extremely high amount of energy, and Umstadter and his colleagues think this could end up being applied in a number of ways. For starters, it could allow doctors to produce x-ray medical images on the nanoscale, which would allow them to detect tumors and other anomalies that regular x-rays might have missed. Moreover, it could also be used for more sophisticated x-ray scanning at airports and other security checkpoints.

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Categories: Science

White Dwarf's Pull on Red Giant Triggers Thermonuclear Blasts (Video)

Space.com - Tue, 27/06/2017 - 6:26am
A new video shows the explosive reaction when a dense stellar corpse sucks up material from a pulsating dead star.
Categories: Science

Social Media Giants Step Up Joint Fight Against Extremist Content

Slashdot - Tue, 27/06/2017 - 3:33am
Social media giants Facebook, Google's YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft said on Monday they were forming a global working group to combine their efforts to remove terrorist content from their platforms. From a report: Responding to pressure from governments in Europe and the United States after a spate of militant attacks, the companies said they would share technical solutions for removing terrorist content, commission research to inform their counter-speech efforts and work more with counter-terrorism experts. The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism "will formalize and structure existing and future areas of collaboration between our companies and foster cooperation with smaller tech companies, civil society groups and academics, governments and supra-national bodies such as the EU and the UN," the companies said in a statement.

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Categories: Science

New Study Explains Why Trump's 'Sad' Tweets Are So Effective

Slashdot - Tue, 27/06/2017 - 2:05am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: During his campaign and presidency, Donald Trump has used Twitter to circumvent traditional media broadcasters and speak directly to the masses. He is particularly known for one specific tweet construction: he sets up a situation that he feels should inspire anger or outrage, then punctuates it with "Sad!" New research from New York University suggests a reason why this style is so effective: a tweet containing moral and emotional language spreads farther among people with similar political persuasion. The study offered up "duty" as an example of a purely moral word, "fear" as a purely emotional one, and "hate" as word that combined the two categories. The research found that the use of purely moral or purely emotional language had a limited impact on the spread of a tweet, but the "presence of moral-emotional words in messages increased their diffusion by a factor of 20% for each additional word." The impact of this language cut both ways. Tweets with moral-emotional words spread further among those with a similar political outlook, and they spread less with those who held opposing views, according to the research published in the journal PNAS. The study looked at 563,312 tweets on the topics of gun control, same-sex marriage, and climate change, and rated their impact by the number of retweets each one received.

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Categories: Science

Zillow Threatens To Sue Blogger For Using Its Photos For Parody

Slashdot - Tue, 27/06/2017 - 1:25am
Kate Wagner is facing potential legal charges by real estate Zillow for allegedly violating the site's terms of service by reproducing images from their site on her blog. Wagner's blog is called McMansion Hell -- a Tumblr blog that "highlights the absurdity of giant real estate properties and the ridiculous staging and photography that are omnipresent in their sales listings," writes Natt Garun via The Verge. From the report: A typical McMansion Hell blog post will have a professional photo of a home and / or its interior, along with captions scattered throughout by Wagner. She also adds information about the history and characteristics of various architecture styles, and uses photos from the likes of Zillow and Redfin to illustrate how so many real estate listings inaccurately use the terms. Under each post, Wagner adds a disclaimer that credits the original source of the images and cites Fair Use for the parody, which allows for use of copyrighted material for "criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research." In a cease and desist letter to Wagner, Zillow claims Wagner's reproduction of these images do not apply under the Copyright Act. Additionally, the company claims McMansion Hell may "[interfere] with Zillow's business expectations and interests." As a result of the potential lawsuit, Wagner has temporarily taken McMansionHell.com down. In a statement to The Verge, Zillow said: "Zillow has a legal obligation to honor the agreements we make with our listing providers about how photos can be used. We are asking this blogger to take down the photos that are protected by copyright rules, but we did not demand she shut down her blog and hope she can find a way to continue her work."

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Categories: Science

China, Canada Vow Not To Conduct Cyberattacks On Private Sector

Slashdot - Tue, 27/06/2017 - 12:45am
New submitter tychoS writes from a report via Reuters: China and Canada have signed an agreement vowing not to conduct state-sponsored cyberattacks against each other aimed at stealing trade secrets or other confidential business information. The new agreement was reached during talks between Canada's national security and intelligence adviser, Daniel Jean, and senior communist party official Wang Yongqing, a statement dated June 22 on the Canadian government's website showed. "This is something that three or four years ago (Beijing) would not even have entertained in the conversation," an unnamed Canadian government official told the Globe and Mail, which first reported the agreement. The new agreement only covers economic cyber-espionage, which includes hacking corporate secrets and proprietary technology, but does not deal with state-sponsored cyber spying for intelligence gathering.

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Categories: Science

'Infarm' Startup Wants To Put a Farm In Every Grocery Store

Slashdot - Tue, 27/06/2017 - 12:05am
Infarm, a 40-plus person startup based in Berlin, imagines a future where every grocery store has its own farm packed with herbs, vegetables and fruit. "The plants themselves are being monitored by multiple sensors and fed by an internet-controlled irrigation and nutrition system," reports TechCrunch. "Growing out from the center, the basil is at ascending stages of its life, with the most outer positioned ready for you, the customer, to harvest." From the report: The concept might not be entirely new -- Japan has been an early pioneer in vertical farming, where the lack of space for farming and very high demand from a large population has encouraged innovation -- but what potentially sets Infarm apart, including from other startups, is the modular approach and go-to-market strategy it is taking. This means that the company can do vertical farming on a small but infinitely expandable scale, and is seeing Infarm place farms not in offsite warehouses but in customer-facing city locations, such as grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls, and schools, enabling the end-customer to actually pick the produce themselves. In contrast, the Infarm system is chemical pesticide-free and can prioritize food grown for taste, color and nutritional value rather than shelf life or its ability to sustain mass production. Its indoor nature means it isn't restricted to seasonality either and by completely eliminating the distance between farmer and consumer, food doesn't get much fresher. When a new type of herb or plant is introduced, Infarm's plant experts and engineers create a recipe or algorithm for the produce type, factoring in nutrition, humidity, temperature, light intensity and spectrum, which is different from system to system depending on what is grown. The resulting combination of IoT, Big Data and cloud analytics is akin to "Farming-as-a-Service," whilst , space permitting, Infarm's modular approach affords the ability to keep adding more farming capacity in a not entirely dissimilar way to how cloud computing can be ramped up at the push of a button.

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Categories: Science

Google Home Is 6 Times More Likely To Answer Your Question Than Amazon Alexa

Slashdot - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 11:43pm
According to software developed by New York-based 360i, Google Home is six times more likely to answer your question than Amazon Alexa -- its biggest competitor. Adweek reports: It's relatively surprising, considering that RBC Capital Markets projects Alexa will drive $10 billion of revenue to Amazon by 2020 -- not to mention the artificial intelligence-based system currently owns 70 percent of the voice market. 360i's proprietary software asked both devices 3,000 questions to come to the figure. While Amazon Alexa has shown considerable strength in retail search during the agency's research, Google won the day thanks to its unmatched search abilities.

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Categories: Science

'I'm Suing New York City To Loosen Verizon's Iron Grip'

Slashdot - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 11:20pm
New submitter mirandakatz writes: New York City is lagging far behind when it comes to ensuring ubiquitous, reasonably priced fiber optic internet access for every resident. There's a jaw-dropping digital divide in the city, and more than a quarter of households are still using dial-up. The city could be doing more to fix that -- but it's not. That's why Susan Crawford, a professor at Harvard Law School and fierce advocate for nationwide fiber, is suing the city. At Backchannel, Crawford writes that "the city's intransigence should be embarrassing to it. Instead of a plan, instead of exercising power and acting coherently, all we've got is shuffling and nay-saying. Getting information regarding access is the key to transforming telecommunications policy in the U.S. -- as well as in New York City. We must do better." "New York City is the regulator of all the underground conduit in those two boroughs -- meaning the pipes running under the streets through which fiber optic lines are threaded," Crawford writes. "At any moment, it could require that additional conduit be built where it doesn't now exist. It could require that choked-up conduit that is now decades old be cleaned and repaired. And it could require that that conduit run to every building in the city, and require that all new buildings have neutral connection points in their basements allowing many competitors to hawk their services to tenants. If the city took these steps [...] it would foster a vibrantly competitive marketplace for retail fiber-based services for everyone. Dozens of competitors. Low prices for data transmission. But the problem is that, as far as I can tell, the city that never sleeps is, in fact, asleep: It is not taking advantage of its powers. That is why I sued the city five years ago seeking information about its regulatory efforts."

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Categories: Science

Could humans ever regenerate a heart? A new study suggests the answer is 'yes'

Science Daily - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 11:06pm
A new study's findings point to potential for tweaking communication between human genes and advancing our ability to treat heart conditions and stimulate regenerative healing.
Categories: Science

Sequencing finds rare genetic disease risk in one out of five healthy adults

Science Daily - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 11:06pm
Whole-genome sequencing found risk for rare genetic disease in 1 out of 5 generally healthy patients in primary care. The majority of those findings were not associated with clinical features of the disease in the patients, but prompted some increased costs for evaluation. While some primary care physicians may be able to manage genomic information appropriately, findings could prompt increased health care use with limited clinical value.
Categories: Science

Night shifts may hinder body's ability to repair DNA damage

Science Daily - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 11:06pm
Night shift work may hinder the body's ability to repair DNA damage caused by normal cellular processes, suggests a small study.
Categories: Science

Odd properties of water and ice explained: Water exists as two different liquids

Science Daily - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 11:06pm
Scientists have discovered two phases of liquid water with large differences in structure and density. The results are based on experimental studies using X-rays.
Categories: Science

Persistent mental distress linked to higher risk of death in heart patients

Science Daily - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 11:06pm
Persistent moderate to severe mental distress is linked to a significantly heightened risk of death among patients with stable coronary heart disease, finds research.
Categories: Science

Exposure to light causes emotional and physical responses in migraine sufferers

Science Daily - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 10:11pm
Light makes migraine headaches more painful and induces negative emotions and unpleasant physical sensations, new research confirms. Laboratory studies identify previously unknown connections between nerve cells in the eye and neurons in the brain that regulate physiological, autonomic, endocrine and emotional responses. These findings offer promising path forward for researchers in treatment of migraines.
Categories: Science

Could this strategy bring high-speed communications to the deep sea?

Science Daily - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 10:10pm
A new strategy for sending acoustic waves through water could potentially open up the world of high-speed communications to divers, marine research vessels, remote ocean monitors, deep sea robots, and submarines. By taking advantage of the dynamic rotation generated as the acoustic wave travels, also known as its orbital angular momentum, researchers were able to pack more channels onto a single frequency, effectively increasing the amount of information capable of being transmitted.
Categories: Science

Thwarting metastasis by breaking cancer's legs with gold rods

Science Daily - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 10:10pm
Your cancer has metastasized. No one wants to ever hear that. Now researchers have found a way to virtually halt cell migration, a key component in metastasis, in vitro, in human cells. In past in vivo studies in mice, treated cancer did not appear to recur. No significant side effects were observed.
Categories: Science

New class of 'soft' semiconductors could transform HD displays

Science Daily - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 10:10pm
New research could help usher in a new generation of high-definition displays, optoelectronic devices, photodetectors, and more. They have shown that a class of “soft” semiconductors can be used to emit multiple, bright colors from a single nanowire at resolutions as small as 500 nanometers. The work could challenge quantum dot displays that rely upon traditional semiconductor nanocrystals to emit light.
Categories: Science

Blocking cancer: Scientists find new way to combat disease

Science Daily - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 10:10pm
A newly developed compound shows promise for blocking cancer-causing proteins on a cellular level, outlines a new report.
Categories: Science

Tracking bacterial movement between humans, animals key to understanding antibiotic resistance

Science Daily - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 10:09pm
In a new study, researchers treated bacteria the way they would any ecosystem, using genomic "tags" to track bacterial transmission.
Categories: Science