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Showing posts from March, 2017

IBM Q brings quantum computing to the cloud for businesses

IBM recently unveiled Q, a new service that will allows users to leverage quantum computing power through its cloud platform.


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'Angry' Australian summer weather smashes records

Australia endured a summer of record-breaking extremes, scientists said on Wednesday, with climate change tipped to increase the frequency and severity of such phenomena. Intense heatwaves, bushfires and flooding plagued the December-February summer season with more than 200 records broken over 90 days, the independent Climate Council said in a report. "Climate change -- driven largely by the burning of coal, oil and gas -- is cranking up the intensity of extreme weather events," the "Angry Summer" report said.


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Google is acquiring data science community Kaggle

Sources tell us that Google is acquiring Kaggle, a platform that hosts data science and machine learning competitions. Details about the transaction remain somewhat vague, but given that Google is hosting its Cloud Next conference in San Francisco this week, the official announcement could come as early as tomorrow.Reached by phone,...


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Why Jeff Bezos wants millions of people to go to space

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos spoke at the Satellite 2017 conference in Washington.


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Scientists figure out a way to correct a robot's mistakes via brain waves

Computer scientists at MIT and Boston University have developed a system that uses human brain activity data to correct a robot’s mistakes in real time. Here's why it could be useful.


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Singapore unveils transformation map for the farming sector

Minister Koh Poh Koon enumerates 4 key areas of transformation. With the aim of helping Singapore farmers raise their production levels, Singapore has laid out the Farm Transformation Map which identifies four key areas for development. In a speech by Minister Koh Poh Koon, one of the issues raised was the space constraints.


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China to develop space rockets to launch from planes - state paper

China will develop rockets that can be launched into space from aircraft, a senior official told the state-run China Daily newspaper, as Beijing aims to send hundreds of satellites into orbit for military, commercial and scientific aims. The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology has designed a solid-fuel rocket that could carry a 100 kg (220 lb) payload into low Earth orbit, said Li Tongyu, the head of the agency's carrier rocket development. Chinese President Xi Jinping has prioritised advancing China's space programme, saying it was needed to enhance national security and defence, although its progress still lags behind the United States and Russia.


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Here's why Jeff Bezos wants millions of people to go to s...

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos has unveiled the rocket engine that will power his space company's giant spacecraft to take people and satellites into orbit.


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Rare and elusive True's beaked whale filmed for first time

A group of True's beaked whales – an elusive species that spends the vast majority of its time deep underwater – has been filmed for the first time. True's beaked whales don't tend to follow boats and are rarely seen performing aerial acrobatics like dolphins. As a result they're extremely hard to spot and there have been only a handful of confirmed sightings of them.


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European Space agency launches latest satellite

European Space Agency's launches its latest satellite Sentinel 2-B to provide accurate images of the Earth for the Copernicus environmental monitoring programme. Rough cut (no reporter narration).


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These 4 jobs will keep you safe from robots

Machines will soon do almost everything that workers do today.


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Meet the new tiny Peruvian frog named after David Attenborough

For the first time, Sir David Attenborough has given his name to a new species of amphibians – a little frog discovered in the Peruvian Andes. The famous British broadcaster and naturalist has already had many wildlife species named after him, both living and extinct, including mammals, reptiles, plants (a flower known as Sirdavidia Solannona) and invertebrates. The new Peruvian fleshbelly frog is described in the journal ZooKeys and will commonly be referred as the Attenborough's rubber frog.


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Discovery of huge mysterious megalithic tomb rewrites history of Israel's 'Dark Ages'

On the western foothills of the Golan Heights, in Israel, archaeologists have uncovered the remains of two adults and a child in one of the largest dolmens ever discovered in the region. This monumental megalithic burial dates back to around 4,000 years ago and could rewrite a period of history in the Levant known as the 'Dark Ages' (between 2350 and 2000 BCE). Not much is known today about the communities that lived there at this time, between the collapse of the Early Bronze Age urban society and before the establishment of Middle Bronze Age cities.


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Taxpayers May Be on the Hook for the Next SpaceX or Orbital Rocket Failure

NASA would partially indemnify private launch service providers from liability for some operations under legislation the House passed today by voice vote.


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Infrared Vision Turns the Northwest Into an Alien Planet

Everything looks different in infrared.


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Strange New Nebula Is Missing Its Light Source

The discovery of a new and rarely seen nebula 10 billion light-years away has created a cosmic mystery: What is lighting up this dusty cloud of gases? Researchers led by Zheng Cai, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have discovered an "enormous Lyman-alpha nebula," or ELAN, only the third of these vast cosmic structures ever seen.


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European Space agency launches latest satellite

European Space Agency's launches its latest satellite Sentinel 2-B to provide accurate images of the Earth for the Copernicus environmental monitoring programme. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).


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Europe launches fifth Sentinel Earth observation satellite

The Sentinel-2B satellite, part of a system of satellites that is to monitor Earth, blasted off on board a Vega rocket from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana at 8:49 p.m. EST (0149 GMT on Tuesday). It will join its twin Sentinel-2A, which has been in orbit since 2015, to take high-resolution, color and infrared images for a wide array of environmental initiatives, including crop forecasting and monitoring natural disasters. The two satellites will orbit 488 miles (786 km) above Earth, on opposite sides of the planet.


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Massive Hong Kong shark fin seizure as ban flouted

Hong Kong authorities have seized more than a tonne of shark fins as activists warn traders are sneaking the sought-after delicacy into the city by mislabelling shipments to get around bans by major transporters. The city is one of the world's biggest markets for shark fin -- often served as a soup at expensive Chinese banquets -- but it prohibits the trade in products taken from endangered species. Companies including airlines Cathay Pacific and Virgin and shipping company Maersk have barred the transportation of shark fins following public outcry over the trade, which is blamed for the deaths of tens of millions of sharks every year.


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Chess players on drugs win more matches

Cognitive-enhancing drugs help chess players to win more games. Researchers found that modafinil and methylphenidate –also known as Ritalin – significantly enhanced players' performances, while caffeine was also have to have a modest effect. The team of scientists, led by Klaus Lieb, from the University of Mainz, Germany, were looking at how certain drugs would alter and/or improve the way the brain processes complex information.


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China to develop space rockets to launch from planes - state paper

China will develop rockets that can be launched into space from aircraft, a senior official told the state-run China Daily newspaper, as Beijing aims to send hundreds of satellites into orbit for military, commercial and scientific aims. The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology has designed a solid-fuel rocket that could carry a 100 kg (220 lb) payload into low Earth orbit, said Li Tongyu, the head of the agency's carrier rocket development. Chinese President Xi Jinping has prioritised advancing China's space programme, saying it was needed to enhance national security and defence, although its progress still lags behind the United States and Russia.


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Breaking the bank: Thai vets remove 915 coins from turtle

A sea turtle dubbed 'Piggy Bank' has had her fortunes restored after Thai vets removed 915 coins from her stomach -- a deposit built up after years of gulping down good luck pennies tossed into its pond. "There were 915 coins in her stomach, we removed them one by one," said Nantrika Chansue, a veterinarian in charge of Chulalongkorn hospital's aquatic research centre told AFP. "Piggy Bank is okay now but she will have to remain at the centre for up to two weeks," the vet added, saying it was the first surgery of its kind.


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Yellow taxis are safer than blue ones, scientists say

If you want to avoid being injured in a car accident you should take a yellow taxi rather than a blue one, scientists have said. A study by researchers in Singapore found yellow vehicles were 9 per cent less likely to be involved in crashes than their blue equivalents, and were involved in six fewer crashes per thousand taxis. It is thought the bright colour increases the car’s visibility, making it easier for other drivers to see and avoid it.


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A Visual Search Engine for the Entire Planet

At this moment in history, there are more satellites photographing Earth from orbit than just about anyone knows what to do with. Planet, Inc., has more than 150 orbiting cameras, each the size of a shoebox. DigitalGlobe has five dump-truck-sized sensors. And more startups are planning to launch their own.


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Why Some Scientists Won't March for Science

A heated debate sheds light on how scientists see their role in society.


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Europe launches fifth Sentinel Earth observation satellite

(Reuters) - Europe launched the fifth of its Sentinel Earth observation satellites on Monday as part of its multi-billion-euro Copernicus program to provide speedy images of land, oceans and waterways. The Sentinel-2B satellite, part of a system of satellites that is to monitor Earth, blasted off on board a Vega rocket from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana at 8:49 p.m. EST (0149 GMT on Tuesday). It will join its twin Sentinel-2A, which has been in orbit since 2015, to take high-resolution, color and infrared images for a wide array of environmental initiatives, including crop forecasting and monitoring natural disasters.


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Scientists tweak seat cushion material to clean oil spills

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal researchers have created a new tool to clean up oil spills by tinkering with the kind of foam found in seat cushions.


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China to develop space rockets to launch from planes - state paper

China will develop rockets that can be launched into space from aircraft, a senior official told the state-run China Daily newspaper, as Beijing aims to send hundreds of satellites into orbit for military, commercial and scientific aims. The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology has designed a solid-fuel rocket that could carry a 100 kg (220 lb) payload into low Earth orbit, said Li Tongyu, the head of the agency's carrier rocket development. Chinese President Xi Jinping has prioritised advancing China's space programme, saying it was needed to enhance national security and defence, although its progress still lags behind the United States and Russia.


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Discovery of huge mysterious megalithic tomb rewrites history of Israel's 'Dark Ages'

On the western foothills of the Golan Heights, in Israel, archaeologists have uncovered the remains of two adults and a child in one of the largest dolmens ever discovered in the region. This monumental megalithic burial dates back to around 4,000 years ago and could rewrite a period of history in the Levant known as the 'Dark Ages' (between 2350 and 2000 BCE). Not much is known today about the communities that lived there at this time, between the collapse of the Early Bronze Age urban society and before the establishment of Middle Bronze Age cities.


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From death's arena to lush botanical garden, new exhibition reveals hidden history of the Colosseum

The Colosseum is best known as the legendary Roman amphitheatre where gruesome blood sport thrived and gladiators became legends from the Flavian dynasty to the 6th century AD following which it was repurposed for housing, shops and a quarry. Archaeologists have now opened a new exhibition of unpublished findings from recent studies that unveil a hidden history to the heritage site. According to the findings, around the 12th century, the Colosseum housed a fortress built by the Frangipane family.


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Chess players on drugs win more matches

Cognitive-enhancing drugs help chess players to win more games. Researchers found that modafinil and methylphenidate –also known as Ritalin – significantly enhanced players' performances, while caffeine was also have to have a modest effect. The team of scientists, led by Klaus Lieb, from the University of Mainz, Germany, were looking at how certain drugs would alter and/or improve the way the brain processes complex information.


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Elusive whale caught on video for the first time

A rare whale species has finally made its cinematic debut. Science students captured two True's beaked whales on camera during an expedition in Portugal's Azores Islands. Their video is the first-ever recording of these elusive whales in the wild.  SEE ALSO: Scientists are now spotting whales from outer space using satellites Such live sightings are extremely rare events. Marine experts know so little about these elephant-sized whales that the species is among the least-understood large mammals on the planet. For example, scientists don't know enough about these whales to estimate the population size. That's why researchers in Scotland decided to publish one of the most comprehensive surveys yet on True's beaked whales.  Their study, published Tuesday in the journal PeerJ, pulls together much of what we know so far about the torpedo-shaped whales. Their report includes the first-ever video, rare photos of a whale calf (!), as well as data collected from strandings …

Amazon's Bezos tweets out photos of new rocket engine

The Amazon and Blue Origin founder shows off his shiny new rocket engine and promises two more are on the way.


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Are Any Fad Diets Actually Healthy? What the Research Shows

The bottom line: A heart-healthy diet is one that's high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, and includes nuts in moderation. Heart-healthy diets may also include limited amounts of lean meat, fish, low-fat and nonfat dairy products, and liquid vegetable oils, the researchers said. On the other hand, "there is a great amount of misinformation about nutrition fads, including antioxidant pills, juicing and gluten-free diets," Freeman said.


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Study: California fault could cause magnitude-7.4 quake

SAN DIEGO (AP) — An earthquake fault running from San Diego Bay to Los Angeles is capable of producing a magnitude-7.4 earthquake that could affect some of the region's most densely populated areas, according to a study released Tuesday.


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Sun Safety: Students, and Schools, Could Be Doing More

One study found that fewer high school students are using indoor tanning, but the practice is still common in some groups. The new studies "continue the conversation about sun safety by demonstrating the decreasing prevalence of indoor tanning and the lack of sun-safety practices in schools, respectively," Drs. Henry W. Lim and Samantha L. Schneider, dermatologists at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, who were not involved in either of the new studies, wrote in a related editorial published today (March 3) along with the studies in the journal JAMA Dermatology. In the study on indoor tanning, researchers at the CDC looked at how common indoor tanning was among high school students in the U.S. between 2009 to 2015.


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This new study helps prove the reality of ADHD, and will hopefully improve the way people with the disorder are treated

In what is now the largest study on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, scientists have concluded ADHD is not a behavioral disorder, but rather…


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Norway says half of new cars now electric or hybrid

Norway, which already boasts the world's highest number of electric cars per capita, said Monday that electric or hybrid cars represented half of new registrations in the country so far this year. "This is a milestone on Norway's road to an electric car fleet," Climate and Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen said. "The transport sector is the biggest challenge for climate policy in the decade ahead.


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Hedge Funds Opt for Open Source and AI Goes 'Fintech'

It makes sense for large technology companies like Google and Microsoft to open source AI and machine learning solutions because they have overlapping vertical interests in providing vast cloud services. It's interesting that hedge funds, traditionally thought to be the most secretive of financial institutions, have been proactive in pushing an open source software agenda. AQR Capital Management was probably patient zero when it came to opening up their code around data storage—and this move, shepherded by software engineer Wes McKinney, kickstarted the popular Pandas libraries project.


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Researchers use brain waves to correct robot mistakes

Baxter the robot is blushing. It made yet another embarrassing mistake by placing a spray paint can in the wrong bin. A moment later, the big, red bot makes the right choice, placing a bundle of wire in the wire bin. Baxter smiles at the researcher in front of it, a young woman who’s wearing a rather unattractive electroencephalography (EEG) cap. We’re witnessing a visibly symbiotic relationship between metal and flesh. That’s because Baxter, from Rethink Robotics, and the researcher are connected. Every time the hulking, two-armed robot with a face made out of an animated screen makes a mistake, it’s the researcher’s brainwaves that let it know. SEE ALSO: I moved this robot hand by flexing my arm “We have the EEG cap connected to a laptop that’s processing the signals,” Joseph DelPreto, of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), said in an interview. DelPreto is a part of a small team of researchers who have figured out how to tap into one of our most r…

Why Some Scientists Won't March for Science

A heated debate sheds light on how scientists see their role in society.


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'Inflammatory Diet' May Boost Breast Cancer Risk

Eating an "inflammatory diet" as a teen may increase a woman's risk of breast cancer, a new study suggests. Researchers studied women who, as high schoolers, had consumed diets thought to increase levels of inflammation in the body. Results showed that these women were more likely to develop breast cancer as adults prior to menopause, compared with women who ate a different type of diet as high schoolers.


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IBM Q brings quantum computing to the cloud for businesses

IBM recently unveiled Q, a new service that will allows users to leverage quantum computing power through its cloud platform.


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A NASA Satellite Almost Collided Into a Martian Moon

A close call for MAVEN and the study of Mars' atmosphere.


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Scientists tweak seat cushion material to clean oil spills

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal researchers have created a new tool to clean up oil spills by tinkering with the kind of foam found in seat cushions.


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Jeff Bezos shows off Blue Origin’s new rocket engine, fully assembled for the first time

Private spaceflight company Blue Origin has finally assembled its first full-scale BE-4 rocket engine — the main engine the company plans to use to propel its future orbital rocket. It’s a major milestone for Blue Origin, which has been working on this crucial piece of hardware since 2011. This morning, CEO Jeff Bezos tweeted out two pictures of the finished engine, noting that two more fully assembled BE-4s will be ready soon.


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A Visual Search Engine for the Entire Planet

At this moment in history, there are more satellites photographing Earth from orbit than just about anyone knows what to do with. Planet, Inc., has more than 150 orbiting cameras, each the size of a shoebox. DigitalGlobe has five dump-truck-sized sensors. And more startups are planning to launch their own.


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