Invisibility Cloak Works for Particles Too
A new approach that allows objects to become “invisible” has now been applied to an entirely different area: letting particles “hide” from passing electrons, which could lead to more efficient thermoelectric devices and new kinds of electronics.
Normally, electrons travel through a material in a way that is similar to the motion of electromagnetic waves, including light; their behavior can be described by wave equations. That led the MIT researchers to the idea of harnessing the cloaking mechanisms developed to shield objects from view — but applying it to the movement of electrons, which is key to electronic and thermoelectric devices.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/10/invisibility-cloak-works-particles-too
Israeli inventor creates cardboard bicycle that can ‘change the world’
A bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard has the potential to change transportation habits from the world’s most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa, its Israeli inventor says.
Izhar Gafni, 50, is an expert in designing automated mass-production lines. He is an amateur cycling enthusiast who for years toyed with an idea of making a bicycle from cardboard.
“Making a cardboard box is easy and it can be very strong and durable, but to make a bicycle was extremely difficult and I had to find the right way to fold the cardboard in several different directions. It took a year and a half, with lots of testing and failure until I got it right,” he said. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner)
Someone needs to invent a computer program that works like a virus, so it’s on the down-low - people won’t even know that they’ve downloaded it. Using the microphone, it will wait for the person to sneeze - then the program activates a creepy voice to say ‘Bless you. God can’t help you now.’
Before that, I was a human cannonball. Then I was fired.
Gorram cheating robot beats you at Rock, Paper, Scissors every time.
The Virus That Might Kill Your Computer on July 9th (And How to Stop It!)
It sounds like one of those annoying chain e-mails that show up from technically-challenged acquaintances: “The FBI Will Take Your Computer Offline July 9 If It Has A Virus! Visit This Site Immediately To Check!! Forward This To Everyone You Know!!!”
But the Federal Bureau of Investigation really has posted a warning on its site about the risk of “DNSChanger” malware, which really will result in your computer getting disconnected from the Web on July 9, if you don’t clean it up.
The story began last November when the Bureau announced it had busted a four-year-old Estonia-based conspiracy. The suspects had infected about 4 million computers — some 500,000 in the United States — with malware called DNSChanger (also referred to as Alureon) that diverted victims to scam sites.
This “rootkit” malware was usually delivered as a fake download for Windows or Mac OS X that then silently altered the Domain Name System (DNS) settings on computers and even some wireless routers. That’s about the most serious compromise an Internet-connected machine can suffer; when DNS stops correctly translating domain names like discovery.com to machine-readable Internet Protocol addresses like 188.8.131.52, you no longer know what sites you’re dealing with.
But once an infected machine had been cuffed to DNSChanger’s rogue servers, shutting it off would effectively unplug it from the Internet. To give unaware victims time to clean up their systems, the FBI secured a court order requiring the Internet Systems Consortium, a non-profit Net-architecture firm, to take over and sanitize those servers.
But all bad things must end; after one stay of execution, ISC is now set to turn off the DNSChanger servers on July 9. At that point, any infected machine will only be able to connect to numerical IP addresses, essentially, a rotary-dial version of the Internet.
Early advice on checking for a DNSChanger infection required a fair degree of technical skill, but now you just need to be able to read one line of text or know the difference between green and red. Visit www.dns-ok.us; if you see a green background to the image on that page and the words “DNS Resolution = GREEN,” you’re safe. (Your Internet provider may also offer a similar service; Comcast subscribers, for example, can check their computers at amibotted.comcast.net.)
If you see otherwise, you have a month and change to fix the problem. Since DNSChanger can disable security programs, you may not be able to do this the easy way, by clicking a “scan” button in your anti-virus app. You can try specialized DNSChanger-removal tools from such firms as SecureMac or run general-purpose anti-rootkit software like MalwareBytes’ Anti-Malware or Kaspersky Labs’ TDSSKiller.
The DNS Changer Working Group, created by Internet-security experts to help clean up the problem, has also set up a page with links to manual malware-cleanup instructions from Microsoft and others. In a worst-case scenario, you may need to reinstall your computer’s operating system and software from scratch, using either the discs that came with the computer or the recovery partition on its hard drive.
But that still beats having a computer that can only navigate the Internet by numbers. So if you have friends or family members online who might not know to check for this problem, please forward this post to them. But hold the exclamation points.
I don’t expect anyone I know to have this….but maybe their parents might. If you’re iffy about the links on here, you can actually go to the FBI’s website and search for DNSChanger and it says roughly the same stuff.
In 2009, a German Engineering Firm, Festo, developed two colonies of bionic penguins that are able to demonstrate collective behavior. The penguins can utilize their flippers and swim smoothly through the water just like real ones, and larger models filled with helium are able to fly and “swim” through the sky. The penguins contain a 3D sonar system, which is used to monitor its surroundings and avoid collisions.
Flexible glass fibre rods were used to control the heads, which enables graceful, smooth head turns. “The fibres are arranged around the side of each penguin’s head, while motors inside the body pull on one or more of them to twist the penguin’s neck in any direction and guide the swimmer, says Markus Fischer, who heads Festo’s corporate design team.”
The penguins are also able to collectively work together in a group, exhibiting what psychologists know as “crowd behavior,” in which one member can respond and react to what another does.
You can watch the video here.
It is, however, a great way to remove yourself as someone’s friend.
My mother-in-law got “one of those smart andro-phones.” She was trying to figure out how to set up her voicemail but couldn’t figure out how to display the on-screen number pad. What resulted was a voicemail greeting that says “Debbie….. (long pause)….. That’s not what i wanted!!”
I love her.