Apr 06 2012

Scientists create quantum computer in a diamond

“The team at USC was able to prove that they had indeed built a solid-state quantum computer by supplying it with a simple data set, and applying Grover’s algorithm, which is a mathematical proof demonstrating the potential power of quantum computers…. …This diamond-encrusted computer was able to find the correct choice on the first try …

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Apr 06 2012

The most complex mass of protoplasm in the Milky Way?

Our data may open up entirely new ways of analyzing, understanding, and, eventually, imitating the network architecture of the brain, which according to Marian C. Diamond and Arnold B. Scheibel is “the most complex mass of protoplasm on earth—perhaps even in our galaxy.” via The Human Brain

Apr 06 2012

12-mile-high martian dust devil caught in act

A Martian dust devil roughly 12 miles high 20 kilometers was captured whirling its way along the Amazonis Planitia region of Northern Mars on March 14…They are spinning columns of air, made visible by the dust they pull off the ground. Unlike a tornado, a dust devil typically forms on a clear day when the …

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Apr 02 2012

1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of astronomical data per day

Thunderbolt SSD RAIDs, anyone? …the SKA represents a new step in terms of data management and the complexities of project coordination.  The instrument will generate an exabyte of data every day – that would be 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes – more than twice the information sent around the internet on a daily basis and 100 times more …

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Mar 30 2012

The $30 billion Social Security hack

I, Cringely

SScardSometime last year computers at the U.S. Social Security Administration were hacked and the identities of millions of Americans were compromised. What, you didn’t hear about that?  Nobody did. The extent of damage is only just now coming to light in the form of millions of false 2011 income tax returns filed in the names […]

Mar 28 2012

Habitable planets everywhere

…researchers estimate that tens of billions of these planets are to be found in the Milky Way, and about 100 should lie in the immediate neighborhood of the sun. via Search for Life on Alien Planets

Mar 24 2012

Einstein archives, online

Read. Browse. Possibly some of it will rub off.

Mar 22 2012

27 of history’s strangest inventions

…here come some of history’s most weird and wonderful inventions, from wooden swimwear to spectacles for reading in bed… via 27 of History’s Strangest Inventions | Brain Pickings

Mar 22 2012

Planet Mercury even weirder than we thought

  …two new papers show that the planet had active geologic and tectonic processes occurring until at least the planet’s middle age, around 2 billion years ago. via Planet Mercury Even Weirder Than We Thought | Wired Science | Wired.com.  

Mar 22 2012

The Titanic in high def

Great article from the Mail on new high definition photos of the Titanic wreckage taken by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Mar 22 2012

The Stuxnet worm: beginnings of the new warfare

Stuxnet is almost certainly part of a new generation of state-created cyber-weapons. It is too sophisticated to be the work of hackers, too specific to a one type of industrial equipment to have been crafted by profit-seeking criminals. And it updates itself periodically. Wired has a great article about how it was discovered and tracked …

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Mar 19 2012

Best rope swing ever

Phew. My stomach’s in my throat.

Mar 19 2012

Shoelace breaking and entering…

Mar 19 2012

Mayan doom teaches climate lesson

…these droughts may not have been strong enough to cause by themselves the collapse of the civilization, but they were likely strong enough and persistent enough … to cause major sociopolitical disruptions that ultimately led to the final outcome. via Cosmic Log – Maya doom teaches climate lesson

Mar 19 2012

Autonomous quadrotors perform music

Now the invasion of the quadrotors turns artsy. Bohemian buzzing bees.

Mar 19 2012

Trike drifting

Thought wheelies were fun? Try trike drifting.

Mar 18 2012

Calculated Risk website

This is a terrific site with dozens of revealing economic and financial charts.

Mar 18 2012

Apollo 12 lunar surface activity checklist: hot action on the Moon

The cuff checklists that were worn by the Apollo astronauts as they left the lunar module for “EVA” on the Moon’s surface contained a little, well, extra something.

Mar 18 2012

List of “hello world” programs in 200 programming languages

“Hello world” is the basic test program to teach the elemental syntax of a programming language. It’s like learning to say “hello, my name is …” in a foreign language.  

Mar 17 2012

The infrared sky

NASA unveiled a new atlas and catalog of the entire infrared sky today showing more than a half billion stars, galaxies and other objects captured by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission.