Dyson Crams a Heater, Fan, and Air Purifier Into One Device

Wired News - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 10:38am
The Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link is one temperature-and-air-quality regulator to rule them all. The post Dyson Crams a Heater, Fan, and Air Purifier Into One Device appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Looking for Life on Saturn's Moon Enceladus: Send a Flyby or Lander?

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 10:00am
Scientists are mulling a variety of ways to hunt for life on Saturn's icy, ocean-harboring moon Enceladus.
Categories: Science

Microsoft Buys AI-Powered Scheduling App Genee

Slashdot - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 10:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Stack: Microsoft has announced that it has completed its acquisition of artificial intelligence-based scheduling app Genee for an undisclosed amount. The app, which was launched in beta last year, uses natural language processing tools and decision-making algorithms to allow users to schedule appointments without having to consult a calendar. Prior to the acquisition, Genee supported scheduling across Facebook, Twitter, Skype, email, and via SMS. From September 1, Genee will close its own service and will officially join Microsoft, supposedly the Office 365 team. Microsoft believes the addition will help it "further [its] ambition to bring intelligence into every digital experience."

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Categories: Science

How We Could Visit the Possibly Earth-Like Planet Proxima b

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 9:43am
A potentially Earth-like planet has been discovered orbiting a star located right next door to the sun. Should humanity try to send a probe there as soon as possible?
Categories: Science

Aliens Next Door: Does Proxima b Host Life?

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 9:22am
Astronomers discovered the closest alien planet to Earth: Proxima b, a terrestrial world just over 4 light-years away. But it's not clear if life exists there, or if scientists will be able to find it.
Categories: Science

New Planet 2016: Complete Coverage of Proxima b's Discovery

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 7:10am
See our complete coverage of planet Proxima b. This Earth-sized alien world, discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri, may be able to host life.
Categories: Science

NASA Reconnects With 'Lost' STEREO-B Satellite

Slashdot - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 7:00am
NASA lost contact with its STEREO-B spacecraft twenty-two months ago during a routine 72-hour test. On Sunday, the spacecraft reconnected with NASA roughly 189 million miles away from Earth. While that would seem like a cause for celebration, "the very hard and scary work is just the beginning, says Stereo project scientist Joe Gurman, as the agency has to turn on the computer to learn more about the current state of the spacecraft -- a process that may make the craft lose contact with them again. Slashdot user bongey writes: NASA may have only two minutes or less to fix a STEREO-B satellite before the computer causes it to lose contact again. NASA lost contact with their STEREO-B satellite nearly twenty-two months ago when performing a routine test. NASA scientists are afraid to turn on the computer at this point because it may cause them to lose contact again. A more detailed technical summary can be found here. "We have something like two minutes between when STEREO-B receives the command to boot up one of its computers and when it starts doing what we don't want it to do," Gurman said. Business Insider writes, "Making matters worse, it takes about 20 seconds to send commands to the spacecraft -- a data rate that makes a dial-up modem seem lightning fast."

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Categories: Science

NASA Will Join Starfleet at 'Star Trek: Mission New York'

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 6:38am
NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers will join "Star Trek" actors at NYC's Star Trek: Mission New York on Labor Day weekend for a series of talks about alien planets, the franchise's influence on space-age technology and how to make first contact.
Categories: Science

520 Days and Counting: Jeff Williams Tops US Record for Time in Space

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 6:29am
For the second time in less than one year, a NASA astronaut has floated past the record for the most time in space by an American. Jeff Williams, currently on his fourth mission, surpassed Scott Kelly's career record of 520 days and he still has two more
Categories: Science

Proxima b: Closest Earth-Like Planet Discovery in Pictures

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 5:01am
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-like exoplanet orbiting the closest star to the Sun.
Categories: Science

Found! Potentially Earth-Like Planet at Proxima Centauri Is Closest Ever

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 5:01am
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized alien world around the star Proxima Centauri, which lies just 4.2 light-years from our own solar system.
Categories: Science

Proxima b By the Numbers: Possibly Earth-Like World at the Next Star Over

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 5:01am
An Earth-like alien planet orbiting a star known as Proxima Centauri — Earth's closest stellar neighbor — has been identified by astronomers from the European Southern Observatory. See the newfound planet by the numbers.
Categories: Science

Rigel Kentaurus (Alpha Centauri): Third-Brightest Star

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 5:00am
Rigel Kentaurus (better known as Alpha Centauri) is in the closest star system to Earth and is one of the brightest stars in our sky.
Categories: Science

Alpha Centauri: Nearest Star System to the Sun

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 5:00am
Three stars in this system are the sun's nearest stellar neighbors.
Categories: Science

Proxima Centauri's Alien Planet Closer Than You Think - With Right Spacecraft | Video

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 5:00am
Our search for life beyond Earth has a new target - Proxima Centauri b. The potentially Earth-like planet in the habitable zone of our closest stellar neighbor could be reached in a little over 20 years by Breakthrough Starshot's nanocrafts.
Categories: Science

Exoplanets: Worlds Beyond Our Solar System

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 5:00am
Astronomers have discovered thousands of extrasolar planets. Researchers hope to find a habitable planet someday.
Categories: Science

Proxima b: 6 Strange Facts About a Potentially Earth-Like Exoplanet

Space.com - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 5:00am
Astronomers have just announced the detection of a potentially Earth-like planet orbiting the star closest to the sun. Here are 6 weird facts about the newfound alien world.
Categories: Science

20% of Scientific Papers On Genes Contain Conversion Errors Caused By Excel, Says Report

Slashdot - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 3:30am
An anonymous reader writes from a report via WinBeta: A new report from scientists Mark Ziemann, Yotam Eren, and Assam El-Osta says that 20% of scientific papers on genes contain gene name conversion errors caused by Excel. In the scientific article, titled "Gene name errors are widespread in the scientific literature," article's abstract section, the scientists explain: "The spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel, when used with default settings, is known to convert gene names to dates and floating-point numbers. A programmatic scan of leading genomics journals reveals that approximately one-fifth of papers with supplementary Excel gene lists contain erroneous gene name conversions." It's easy to see why Excel might have problems with certain gene names when you see the "gene symbols" that the scientists use as examples: "For example, gene symbols such as SEPT2 (Septin 2) and MARCH1 [Membrane-Associated Ring Finger (C3HC4) 1, E3 Ubiquitin Protein Ligase] are converted by default to '2-Sep' and '1-Mar', respectively. Furthermore, RIKEN identifiers were described to be automatically converted to floating point numbers (i.e. from accession '2310009E13' to '2.31E+13'). Since that report, we have uncovered further instances where gene symbols were converted to dates in supplementary data of recently published papers (e.g. 'SEPT2' converted to '2006/09/02'). This suggests that gene name errors continue to be a problem in supplementary files accompanying articles. Inadvertent gene symbol conversion is problematic because these supplementary files are an important resource in the genomics community that are frequently reused. Our aim here is to raise awareness of the problem." You can view the scientific paper in its entirety here.

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Categories: Science

Microsoft Details Its 24-Core 'Holographic Processor' Used In HoloLens

Slashdot - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 1:45am
The processor powering Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality headset has been a mystery -- until now. During the annual Hot Chips conference in Cupertino, California, Microsoft revealed some juicy details about the secretive chip. PCWorld reports: "The HoloLens' HPU is a custom 28nm coprocessor designed by TSMC, The Register reports. The chip packs 24 Tensilica digital signal processor (DSP) cores. As opposed to more general-purpose CPU cores, DSPs are a specialized technology designed for rapidly processing data flowing in from the world -- a no doubt invaluable asset while rendering augmented reality environments in real time. Microsoft's HPU also contains roughly 65 million logic gates, 8MB of SDRAM, and 1GB of traditional DDR3 RAM. It draws less than 10W of power, and features PCIe and standard serial interfaces. The HPU's dedicated hardware is up to 200 times faster than performing the same calculations via software on the less-specialized 14nm Intel Cherry Trail CPU. Microsoft added custom instructions to the DSP cores that allow the HPU to churn through HoloLens-specific tasks even faster, The Register reports. The HPU can perform roughly 1 trillion calculations per second, and the data it passes to the CPU requires little additional processing."

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Categories: Science

Evidence of changes to children's brain rhythms following 'brain training'

Science Daily - Wed, 24/08/2016 - 1:29am
New research questions the strong claims that have been made about the benefits of 'brain training' -- enhanced mental skills, a boost to education, improved clinical outcomes and sharper everyday functioning. This new study found evidence that 'brain training' changed brain signalling but no indication of other benefits.
Categories: Science