To the Far Side of the Moon: China's Lunar Science Goals

Space.com - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 8:14am
China has a stated interest to send a lander to the moon's far side — the Chang'e-4 (CE-4) mission. New details about possible instruments of CE-4 are to be detailed in a forthcoming conference on Moon exploration.
Categories: Science

Russian Hacker Selling Information of 32 Million Twitter Accounts, Report Says

Slashdot - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 7:00am
An anonymous reader writes: The hacker who has links to the recent Myspace, LinkedIn, and Tumblr data breaches, is claiming to have obtained a database of millions of Twitter accounts. The data reportedly includes addresses, usernames, and plain-text passwords of 379 million Twitter accounts. The hacker, Tessa88, wants 10 bitcoins, or about $5,820 for the cache. On Wednesday, LeakedSource claimed that the real number of accounts was just under 33 million, which is more than 10 percent of Twitter's monthly active accounts. This follows the hacking of Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter and Pinterest accounts.

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Categories: Science

Mercury Transit 2016 As Seen From A Spacecraft | NASA UHD Video

Space.com - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 6:24am
On May 9, 2016, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the transit. The Goddard Space Flight Centers visualization studio has pulled together the multiple wavelength views and compiled them into this time-lapsed highlight reel.
Categories: Science

Qualcomm's Connected Car Reference Platform To Connect Smart Cars To Everything

Slashdot - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 3:30am
An anonymous reader writes: Qualcomm wants to supply the next generation of autonomous and connected cars with networking to connect everything inside and outside of the cars. That means 5G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GNSS, DSRC, V2X, OABR, CAN, etc. ... [Networkworld reports: "Qualcomm today announced its Connected Car Reference Platform intended for the car industry to use to build prototypes of the next-generation connected car. Every category from economy to luxury car will be much smarter than the connected luxury car of today, creating a big opportunity for Qualcomm to supply semiconductors to automakers and suppliers. Qualcomm described the following features of the Connected Car Reference Platform in its release: Scalability: Using a common framework that scales from a basic telematics control unit (TCU) up to a highly integrated wireless gateway, connecting multiple electronic control units (ECUs) within the car and supporting critical functions, such as over-the-air software upgrades and data collection and analytics. Future-proofing: Allowing the vehicleâ(TM)s connectivity hardware and software to be upgraded through its life cycle, providing automakers with a migration path from Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) to hybrid/cellular V2X and from 4G LTE to 5G. Wireless coexistence: Managing concurrent operation of multiple wireless technologies using the same spectrum frequencies, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy. OEM and third-party applications support: Providing a secure framework for the development and execution of custom applications."]

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Categories: Science

Built-in miniaturized micro-supercapacitor powers silicon chip

Kurzweil AI - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 2:22am

In-chip porous silicon-titanium nitride supercapacitor. (a) Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) inset of the trenches separating the electrodes (dark gray). (b) Rotated schematic illustration of the cross-section of two opposite electrodes of a device (titanium nitride-coated porous silicon layer with aluminum contact pads on the back side), with electrolyte shown in orange. (c) Higher-magnification SEM picture of the porous silicon regions. (d) Device trench side. (e) metallization side containing aluminum contacts for electrodes. (f) 3D illustration of two atomic-layer-deposition cycles of titanium-nitride growth. (credit: adapted from Kestutis Grigoras et al./Nano Energy)

Finnish researchers have developed a method for building highly efficient miniaturized micro-supercapacitor energy storage directly inside a silicon microcircuit chip, making it possible to power autonomous sensor networks, wearable electronics, and mobile internet-of-things (IoT) devices.

Supercapacitors function similar to standard batteries, but store electrostatic energy instead of chemical energy.

The researchers at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have developed a hybrid nano-electrode that’s only a few nanometers thick. It consists of porous silicon coated with a titanium nitride layer formed by atomic layer deposition.

The nano-electrode design features the highest-ever conductive surface-to-volume ratio. That combined with an ionic liquid (in a microchannel formed in between two electrodes), results in an extremely small form factor and efficient energy storage. That design makes it possible for a silicon-based micro-supercapacitor to achieve higher energy storage (energy density) and faster charge/discharge (power density) than the leading carbon- and graphene-based supercapacitors, according to the researchers.

The micro-supercapacitor can store 0.2 joule (55 microwatts of power for one hour) on a one-square-centimeter silicon chip. This design also leaves the surface of the chip available for active integrated microcircuits and sensors.

Micro-supercapacitors can also be integrated directly with active microelectronic devices to store electrical energy generated by thermal, light, and vibration energy harvesters to supply electrical energy (see, for example, Wireless device converts ‘lost’ microwave energy into electric power).

An open-access paper on the research has been published in Nano Energy journal.

Abstract of Conformal titanium nitride in a porous silicon matrix: A nanomaterial for in-chip supercapacitors

Today’s supercapacitor energy storages are typically discrete devices aimed for printed boards and power applications. The development of autonomous sensor networks and wearable electronics and the miniaturization of mobile devices would benefit substantially from solutions in which the energy storage is integrated with the active device. Nanostructures based on porous silicon (PS) provide a route towards integration due to the very high inherent surface area to volume ratio and compatibility with microelectronics fabrication processes. Unfortunately, pristine PS has limited wettability and poor chemical stability in electrolytes and the high resistance of the PS matrix severely limits the power efficiency. In this work, we demonstrate that excellent wettability and electro-chemical properties in aqueous and organic electrolytes can be obtained by coating the PS matrix with an ultra-thin layer of titanium nitride by atomic layer deposition. Our approach leads to very high specific capacitance (15 F cm−3), energy density (1.3 mWh cm−3), power density (up to 214 W cm−3) and excellent stability (more than 13,000 cycles). Furthermore, we show that the PS–TiN nanomaterial can be integrated inside a silicon chip monolithically by combining MEMS and nanofabrication techniques. This leads to realization of in-chip supercapacitor, i.e., it opens a new way to exploit the otherwise inactive volume of a silicon chip to store energy.

Categories: Science

EU Exploring Idea of Using Government ID Cards As Mandatory Online Logins

Slashdot - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 1:35am
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: Fears that fake online reviews might ruin the consumer market and damage legitimate businesses are making the European Commission consider the idea of forcing all EU citizens to log into online accounts using their government-issued ID cards. Details about these plans can be found in a proposal named "Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market Opportunities and Challenges," announced on May 25, 2016. According to this document, "online platforms should accept credentials issued or recognized by national public authorities, such as electronic or mobile IDs, national identity cards, or bank cards." The reasoning, according to the EU, is that "online ratings and reviews of goods and services are helpful and empowering to consumers, but they need to be trustworthy and free from any bias or manipulation. A prominent example is fake reviews."

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Categories: Science

New tool to track impact of climate change on heritage sites

Science Daily - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 1:25am
A new tool will enable conservation experts to monitor the impact of climate change on the fabric of historic buildings and other heritage sites for up to a century at a time.
Categories: Science

Most people don't sleep any worse when taking medicines with sleep disturbance warnings

Science Daily - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 1:21am
Medicines that carry warnings about sleep disturbances do not seem to contribute to the amount of sleep disturbances in the general population, according to new 'real world' research. The findings suggest that investigators may need to provide more careful reporting of side effects in clinical trials, and emphasizes the value of research into the safety of medicines once they are being taken by the general population.
Categories: Science

Yahoo Preps Auction For 3,000 Patents Worth $1 Billion

Slashdot - Thu, 09/06/2016 - 12:50am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Wall Street Journal reports that bids are being accepted for nearly 3,000 Yahoo patents and pending applications. In April, Yahoo moved 2,659 patents into a patent-holding company called Excalibur IP LLC, which was seen as a first step toward a patent sale. "This represents a unique opportunity for companies operating in the Internet industry to acquire some of the most pioneering and foundational patents related to Web search and advertising," Yahoo said in a statement. Those invited to join the auction include "strategic buyers, private-equity firms, and investment firms focused on intellectual property," according to the Journal. Preliminary bids are due by the middle of this month, and the patents are expected to fetch more than $1 billion, according to "people familiar with the matter" who spoke to the Journal. Bloomberg, which also reported on the patent sale, said there was no official reserve price or bidding guidelines. Yesterday, Verizon submitted a $3 billion bid for Yahoo's core internet business. The sale will include 500 U.S. patents and more than 600 pending applications, but will not include the larger collection of patents going in the patent sale.

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Categories: Science