How does a soccer ball swerve? Smoothness of a ball's surface, in addition to playing technique, is a critical factor

Science Daily - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 1:06am
It happens every four years: The World Cup begins and some of the world's most skilled players carefully line up free kicks, take aim -- and shoot way over the goal. The players are all trying to bend the ball into a top corner of the goal, often over a wall of defensive players and away from the reach of a lunging goalkeeper.
Categories: Science

NASA's swift satellite tallies water production of Mars-bound comet

Science Daily - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:54am
In late May, NASA's Swift satellite imaged comet Siding Spring, which will brush astonishingly close to Mars later this year. These optical and ultraviolet observations are the first to reveal how rapidly the comet is producing water and allow astronomers to better estimate its size.
Categories: Science

Ovarian cancer treatment discovered by researchers

Science Daily - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:54am
A new treatment for ovarian cancer can improve response rates (increase the rate of tumor shrinkage) and prolong the time until cancers recur, research shows. In addition, this breakthrough showed a trend in improving survival although these data are not yet mature. "This is an exciting new targeted medication in treating recurrent ovarian cancer. Recurrent ovarian cancer is almost always fatal and new treatments are desperately needed," said one researcher.
Categories: Science

Oldest ever schistosomiasis egg found may be first proof of early human technology exacerbating disease burden

Science Daily - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:54am
The discovery of a schistosomiasis parasite egg in a 6200-year-old grave at a prehistoric town by the Euphrates river in Syria may be the first evidence that agricultural irrigation systems in the Middle East contributed to disease burden, according to new research. Schistosomiasis is a disease caused by several species of flatworm parasites that live in the blood vessels of the bladder and intestines.
Categories: Science

Strict diet suspends development, doubles lifespan of worms

Science Daily - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:54am
Taking food away from C. elegans triggers a state of arrested development: while the organism continues to wriggle about, foraging for food, its cells and organs are suspended in an ageless, quiescent state. When food becomes plentiful again, the worm develops as planned, but can live twice as long as normal.
Categories: Science

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Slashdot - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:09am
sciencehabit writes The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described in Science, the fairest comparison yet. "...to test D-Wave’s machine, Matthias Troyer, a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and colleagues didn't just race it against an ordinary computer. Instead, they measured how the time needed to solve a problem increases with the problem's size. That's key because the whole idea behind quantum computing is that the time will grow much more slowly for a quantum computer than for an ordinary one. In particular, a full-fledged 'universal' quantum computer should be able to factor huge numbers ever faster than an ordinary computer as the size of the numbers grow." D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Slashdot - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:09am
sciencehabit writes The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described in Science, the fairest comparison yet. "...to test D-Wave’s machine, Matthias Troyer, a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and colleagues didn't just race it against an ordinary computer. Instead, they measured how the time needed to solve a problem increases with the problem's size. That's key because the whole idea behind quantum computing is that the time will grow much more slowly for a quantum computer than for an ordinary one. In particular, a full-fledged 'universal' quantum computer should be able to factor huge numbers ever faster than an ordinary computer as the size of the numbers grow." D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Slashdot - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:09am
sciencehabit writes The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described in Science, the fairest comparison yet. "...to test D-Wave’s machine, Matthias Troyer, a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and colleagues didn't just race it against an ordinary computer. Instead, they measured how the time needed to solve a problem increases with the problem's size. That's key because the whole idea behind quantum computing is that the time will grow much more slowly for a quantum computer than for an ordinary one. In particular, a full-fledged 'universal' quantum computer should be able to factor huge numbers ever faster than an ordinary computer as the size of the numbers grow." D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Slashdot - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:09am
sciencehabit writes The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described in Science, the fairest comparison yet. "...to test D-Wave’s machine, Matthias Troyer, a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and colleagues didn't just race it against an ordinary computer. Instead, they measured how the time needed to solve a problem increases with the problem's size. That's key because the whole idea behind quantum computing is that the time will grow much more slowly for a quantum computer than for an ordinary one. In particular, a full-fledged 'universal' quantum computer should be able to factor huge numbers ever faster than an ordinary computer as the size of the numbers grow." D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Slashdot - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:09am
sciencehabit writes The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described in Science, the fairest comparison yet. "...to test D-Wave’s machine, Matthias Troyer, a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and colleagues didn't just race it against an ordinary computer. Instead, they measured how the time needed to solve a problem increases with the problem's size. That's key because the whole idea behind quantum computing is that the time will grow much more slowly for a quantum computer than for an ordinary one. In particular, a full-fledged 'universal' quantum computer should be able to factor huge numbers ever faster than an ordinary computer as the size of the numbers grow." D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Slashdot - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:09am
sciencehabit writes The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described in Science, the fairest comparison yet. "...to test D-Wave’s machine, Matthias Troyer, a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and colleagues didn't just race it against an ordinary computer. Instead, they measured how the time needed to solve a problem increases with the problem's size. That's key because the whole idea behind quantum computing is that the time will grow much more slowly for a quantum computer than for an ordinary one. In particular, a full-fledged 'universal' quantum computer should be able to factor huge numbers ever faster than an ordinary computer as the size of the numbers grow." D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Slashdot - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:09am
sciencehabit writes The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described in Science, the fairest comparison yet. "...to test D-Wave’s machine, Matthias Troyer, a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and colleagues didn't just race it against an ordinary computer. Instead, they measured how the time needed to solve a problem increases with the problem's size. That's key because the whole idea behind quantum computing is that the time will grow much more slowly for a quantum computer than for an ordinary one. In particular, a full-fledged 'universal' quantum computer should be able to factor huge numbers ever faster than an ordinary computer as the size of the numbers grow." D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Slashdot - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:09am
sciencehabit writes The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described in Science, the fairest comparison yet. "...to test D-Wave’s machine, Matthias Troyer, a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and colleagues didn't just race it against an ordinary computer. Instead, they measured how the time needed to solve a problem increases with the problem's size. That's key because the whole idea behind quantum computing is that the time will grow much more slowly for a quantum computer than for an ordinary one. In particular, a full-fledged 'universal' quantum computer should be able to factor huge numbers ever faster than an ordinary computer as the size of the numbers grow." D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Slashdot - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:09am
sciencehabit writes The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described in Science, the fairest comparison yet. "...to test D-Wave’s machine, Matthias Troyer, a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and colleagues didn't just race it against an ordinary computer. Instead, they measured how the time needed to solve a problem increases with the problem's size. That's key because the whole idea behind quantum computing is that the time will grow much more slowly for a quantum computer than for an ordinary one. In particular, a full-fledged 'universal' quantum computer should be able to factor huge numbers ever faster than an ordinary computer as the size of the numbers grow." D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Slashdot - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:09am
sciencehabit writes The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described in Science, the fairest comparison yet. "...to test D-Wave’s machine, Matthias Troyer, a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and colleagues didn't just race it against an ordinary computer. Instead, they measured how the time needed to solve a problem increases with the problem's size. That's key because the whole idea behind quantum computing is that the time will grow much more slowly for a quantum computer than for an ordinary one. In particular, a full-fledged 'universal' quantum computer should be able to factor huge numbers ever faster than an ordinary computer as the size of the numbers grow." D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Slashdot - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:09am
sciencehabit writes The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described in Science, the fairest comparison yet. "...to test D-Wave’s machine, Matthias Troyer, a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and colleagues didn't just race it against an ordinary computer. Instead, they measured how the time needed to solve a problem increases with the problem's size. That's key because the whole idea behind quantum computing is that the time will grow much more slowly for a quantum computer than for an ordinary one. In particular, a full-fledged 'universal' quantum computer should be able to factor huge numbers ever faster than an ordinary computer as the size of the numbers grow." D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Slashdot - Fri, 20/06/2014 - 12:09am
sciencehabit writes The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described in Science, the fairest comparison yet. "...to test D-Wave’s machine, Matthias Troyer, a physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and colleagues didn't just race it against an ordinary computer. Instead, they measured how the time needed to solve a problem increases with the problem's size. That's key because the whole idea behind quantum computing is that the time will grow much more slowly for a quantum computer than for an ordinary one. In particular, a full-fledged 'universal' quantum computer should be able to factor huge numbers ever faster than an ordinary computer as the size of the numbers grow." D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

How to see around a corner without a mirror

Kurzweil AI - Thu, 19/06/2014 - 11:55pm

A laser projects a beam on a diffuse (rough) wall. The scattered light is reflected back to the wall and sensed by a “time of flight” camera, which correlates the time of arrival and brightness with the time sent to infer the shape and albedo (reflectance) of the object (credit: Felix Heide et al.)

A novel camera system that can detect objects hidden by obstructions — without using a mirror — has been developed by scientists at the University of Bonn and the University of British Columbia.

It uses diffusely reflected, time-coded light to reconstruct the shape of objects outside of the field of view.

Scattered light as a source of information

In the researchers’ prototype system, a laser dot on the wall is a source of scattered light, which serves as the crucial source of information. Some of this light, in a roundabout way, falls back onto the wall and finally into the camera.

“We are recording a kind of light echo, that is, time-resolved data, from which we can reconstruct the object,” explains research team leader Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias B. Hullin of the Institute of Computer Science II at the University of Bonn.

“Part of the light has also come into contact with the unknown object and it thus brings valuable information with it about its shape and appearance.”

Reconstruction (right) of the projected image (left) from time-of-flight measurement and computation (credit: Felix Heide et al.)

Unlike conventional cameras, and time-of-flight camera records both the direction from which the light is coming but also how long it took the light to get from the source to the camera.


Prof. Hullin explains how light echo makes the invisible visible (credit: Bonn University and UniBonn TV) (in German; YouTube closed-caption translation option suggested)

Dealing with multipath interference

However, the challenge is to decode the time-of-flight data. The problem is “multipath interference” — like talking in a room that reverberates so much you can’t sustain a conversation. “In principle, we are measuring nothing other than the sum of numerous light reflections which reached the camera through many different paths and which are superimposed on each other on the image sensor,” explains Hullin.

Traditionally, one would attempt to remove the undesired multipath scatter and only use the direct portion of the signal, he says. However, based on an advanced mathematical model, Hullin and his colleagues developed a method that can derive the information from the noise, rather than just the signal, since multipath light also originates from objects not in the field of view.

“The accuracy of our method has its limits, of course,” admits Hullin — the results are still limited to rough outlines. But based on the rapid development of technical components and mathematical models, better results can be achieved soon, he suggests.

Hullin hopes similar approaches can be used in applications such as telecommunications, remote sensing, medical imaging, rescue operations, and traffic safety (especially for self-driving cars).

Lower-cost options

There have been several systems developed to do this detection, such as one developed by researchers at MIT, Harvard, the University of Wisconsin, and Rice University, as reported by KurzweilAI. “We draw inspiration from [the MIT et al. researchers], who were the first to demonstrate the use of multipath for shape reconstruction around the corner using ultrashort laser pulses and a streak camera,” Hullin explained to KurzweilAI in an email interview.

“Our contribution is to use computation to get rid of this extremely expensive (half a million dollars) and sensitive equipment (needs to be operated in total darkness) that can only image a single scanline at a time. Our reconstructions are based on data captured by an ordinary time-of-flight camera, which brings several advantages: three orders of magnitude cheaper, insensitive to ambient light, full-frame capture. The reconstruction process is based on a generative model (time-resolved radiosity), rather than [the MIT et al.] backprojection/filtering approach.

“The hardware for this system is already widely available in the form of time-of-flight cameras like the latest Microsoft Kinect. As we showed in earlier work, these types of sensors can be used to reconstruct transient images, or videos of light in flight, by solving a big linear system. Likewise, the step of making these systems look around the corner is software-only, so it could technically be deployed immediately.”

One other step  in that direction: a small, cheap, power-efficient depth camera using time-of-flight measurements and that could be incorporated into a future cellphone has already been developed at MIT’s Research Lab of Electronics, as KurzweilAI has reported.

The researchers will present their results at the Conference for Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) June 24–27 in Columbus, Ohio.

Abstract of IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition presentation

The functional difference between a diffuse wall and a mirror is well understood: one scatters back into all directions, and the other one preserves the directionality of reflected light. The temporal structure of the light, however, is left intact by both: assuming simple surface reflection, photons that arrive first are reflected first. In this paper, we exploit this insight to recover objects outside the line of sight from second-order diffuse reflections, effectively turn- ing walls into mirrors. We formulate the reconstruction task as a linear inverse problem on the transient response of a scene, which we acquire using an affordable setup consisting of a modulated light source and a time-of-flight image sensor. By exploiting sparsity in the reconstruction domain, we achieve resolutions in the order of a few centimeters for object shape (depth and laterally) and albedo. Our method is robust to ambient light and works for large room-sized scenes. It is drastically faster and less expensive than previous approaches using femtosecond lasers and streak cameras, and does not require any moving parts.

Categories: Science

Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Slashdot - Thu, 19/06/2014 - 11:24pm
An anonymous reader writes Mark Karpeles doesn't seem to understand how much anger and trouble the $400 million Mt. Gox fiasco caused his customers. According to Wired: "After a long absence, the Mt Gox CEO has returned to Twitter with a bizarre string of tone-deaf tweets that were either written by a Turing test chat bot, or by a man completely oblivious to the economic chaos he has wrought. His first message after losing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoins? 'What would we do without busybox?'—a reference to a slimmed-down Linux operating system used on devices such as routers. He's also Tweeted about a noodle dish called yakisoba and Japanese transportation systems." Andreas Antonopoulos, the CSO with Blockchain says, "He continues to be oblivious about his own failure and the pain he has caused others. He is confirming that he is a self-absorbed narcissist with an inflated sense of self-confidence who has no remorse."

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Categories: Science

Chinese Vendor Could Pay $34.9M FCC Fine In Signal-Jammer Sting

Slashdot - Thu, 19/06/2014 - 10:40pm
alphadogg writes A Chinese electronics vendor accused of selling signal jammers to U.S. consumers could end up leading the market in one dubious measure: the largest fine ever imposed by the Federal Communications Commission. The agency wants to fine CTS Technology $34,912,500 for allegedly marketing 285 models of jammers over more than two years. CTS boldly—and falsely—claimed that some of its jammers were approved by the FCC, according to the agency's enforcement action released Thursday. Conveniently, CTS' product detail pages also include a button to "report suspicious activity." The proposed fine, which would be bigger than any the FCC has levied for anti-competitive behavior, or a wardrobe malfunction, comes from adding up the maximum fines for each model of jammer the company allegedly sold in the U.S. The agency also ordered CTS, based in Shenzhen, China, to stop marketing illegal jammers to U.S. consumers and identify the buyer of each jammer it sold in the U.S.

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Categories: Science