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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 33,757

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Chinese Hackers Infiltrate The New York Times, Steal Every Employee's Password

SAN FRANCISCO — For the last four months, Chinese hackers have persistently attacked The New York Times, infiltrating its computer systems and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees.

After surreptitiously tracking the intruders to study their movements and help erect better defenses to block them, The Times and computer security experts have expelled the attackers and kept them from breaking back in.

The timing of the attacks coincided with the reporting for a Times investigation, published online on Oct. 25, that found that the relatives of Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister, had accumulated a fortune worth several billion dollars through business dealings.

Security experts hired by The Times to detect and block the computer attacks gathered digital evidence that Chinese hackers, using methods that some consultants have associated with the Chinese military in the past, breached The Times’s network. They broke into the e-mail accounts of its Shanghai bureau chief, David Barboza, who wrote the reports on Mr. Wen’s relatives, and Jim Yardley, The Times’s South Asia bureau chief in India, who previously worked as bureau chief in Beijing.

more
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/technology/chinese-hackers-infiltrate-new-york-times-computers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

An Architect Gone Mad: Mysterious Buildings Assembled from Found Photographs by Jim Kazanjian







Without the use of a camera Portland-based artist Jim Kazanjian sifts through a library of some 25,000 images from which he carefully selects the perfect elements to digitally assemble mysterious buildings born from the mind of an architect gone mad. While the architectural and organic pieces seem wildly random and out of place, Kazanjian brings just enough cohesion to each structure to suggest a fictional purpose or story that begs to be told. You can see much more of his work over on Facebook, and prints are available at 23 Sandy Gallery.

more
http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/01/jim-kazanjian/

Rare pygmy elephants 'poisoned' in Borneo



A baby elephant was found next to the body of its dead mother



Ten endangered pygmy elephants have been found dead in a reserve in Malaysia, with officials saying they may have been poisoned.

The animals, which had all suffered internal bleeding, were found near each other over the space of three weeks.

In one instance, a three-month-old calf was found alongside the body of its mother, apparently trying to wake her.

Sabah Environmental Minister Masidi Manjun said it was "a sad day for conservation and Sabah".

Sen Nathan, head veterinarian at the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve in Malaysia's Sabah state on the island of Borneo, said the elephants were all thought to be part of the same family group, and were aged between four and 20.

more
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21241380

"It was actually a very sad sight to see all those dead elephants, especially one of the dead females who had a very young calf of about three months old. The calf was trying to wake the dead mother up," he said.

Engineers Solve a Biological Mystery and Boost Artificial Intelligence

Jan. 29, 2013 — By simulating 25,000 generations of evolution within computers, Cornell University engineering and robotics researchers have discovered why biological networks tend to be organized as modules -- a finding that will lead to a deeper understanding of the evolution of complexity.

The new insight also will help evolve artificial intelligence, so robot brains can acquire the grace and cunning of animals.

From brains to gene regulatory networks, many biological entities are organized into modules -- dense clusters of interconnected parts within a complex network. For decades biologists have wanted to know why humans, bacteria and other organisms evolved in a modular fashion. Like engineers, nature builds things modularly by building and combining distinct parts, but that does not explain how such modularity evolved in the first place. Renowned biologists Richard Dawkins, Günter P. Wagner, and the late Stephen Jay Gould identified the question of modularity as central to the debate over "the evolution of complexity."

For years, the prevailing assumption was simply that modules evolved because entities that were modular could respond to change more quickly, and therefore had an adaptive advantage over their non-modular competitors. But that may not be enough to explain the origin of the phenomena.

more
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130082300.htm

Revolutionary Cooling System Uses Lasers

Jan. 30, 2013 — With the latest discovery by scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), current cooling systems which uses refrigerant harmful to the ozone layer could be replaced by a revolutionary cooling system using lasers.

This discovery, published and featured on the cover of the 24 January 2013 issue of Nature, could also potentially lead to a host of other innovations. This includes making huge Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines, unwieldy night vision goggles and satellite cameras -- all of which require extreme cooling systems -- even more compact and energy saving.

This breakthrough in laser cooling technology can even lead to the development of almost sci-fi like computer chips that cool on their own, minimising heat and thus prolonging battery life for portable devices like tablets and smart phones.

Assistant Professor Xiong Qihua from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering had cooled down a semiconductor from 20 degrees Celsius down to minus 20 degrees Celsius. Before this, the cooling of semiconductors by laser has never been proven.

more

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130101932.htm

It's unclear where the heat goes, or how energy efficient this is, but if it can be put on a chip, then it could really change some tech areas.

New England fishermen face grim vote on cuts

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — New England's fishing fleet faced grim news Wednesday as regulators meet to consider steep cuts in catch limits that fishermen warn will trigger industry collapse.

The New England Fishery Management Council was meeting in Portsmouth to decide 2013 limits on stocks including cod on Georges Bank and in the Gulf of Maine. Fishermen are facing a year-to-year 81 percent cut on the Gulf of Maine cod catch limit, to 1,249 metric tons, and 61 percent on Georges Bank cod, to 5,103 metric tons.

Fishermen who chase the region's bottom-dwelling groundfish, such as cod and flounder, say the cuts will hollow out what remains of a struggling fleet, leaving it with too few fish to make a living.

The low limit reduces the catch on a storied New England species to just a fraction of what it once was, and it also prevents fishermen from landing more plentiful species, such as haddock and pollock. That's because fishermen can't pull up the healthier groundfish without catching too much of the cod that swim among them.


Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/us/article/New-England-fishermen-face-grim-vote-on-cuts-4234340.php

Scientists figure out what makes beer good for you


The configuration of a humulone molecule is superimposed on a hops vine and a glass of beer.

Our understanding of how hops becomes the molecules that give beer its flavor and the shape those molecules take has been wrong for 40 years, say scientists from the University of Washington.

Using a century-old technique, they've nailed down the precise structure of those molecules for the first time, overturning the long-standing assumptions. And, while beer brewers the world over are unlikely to change their recipes, the scientists hope to use the discovery to create new medicines.

"Now that we have the right results, what happens to the bitter hops in the beer-brewing process makes a lot more sense," Werner Kaminsky, a UW research associate professor of chemistry, said in a press release.

And, because beer and its bittering acids – in moderation (the school emphasizes) – have beneficial effects on diabetes, some forms of cancer, inflammation and perhaps even weight loss, knowing exactly what they become in beer means they can be used to make new pharmaceuticals.


Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/national/article/Scientists-nail-down-what-makes-beer-good-for-you-4232757.php

TOM THE DANCING BUG: YOU Are a Computer Criminal!

The Real, and Simple, Equation That Killed Wall Street

“If it weren’t for those meddling kids!” That was the punch line for every Scooby Doo episode. It also is the overly simple narrative that many in the media have spun about the last financial crisis. Smart meddling kids armed with math hoodwinked us all.

One article, from the March 2009 Wired magazine, even pinpointed an equation and a mathematician. The article “Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street,” accused the Gaussian Copula Function.

...

The reality is much simpler and less sexy. Wall Street killed itself in a time-honored fashion: Cheap money, excessive borrowing, and greed. And yes, there is an equation one can point to and blame. This equation, however, requires nothing more than middle school algebra to understand and is taught to every new Wall Street employee. It is leveraged return.

What is leveraged return? It’s the return on assets using borrowed money.

The equation for the leveraged return, L, is:

Where Y is the return of the asset, R is the cost to borrow money, and N is the “haircut,” or the percentage of money the investor must put down to secure the loan (the down payment).

more

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/01/30/leveraged-yield/

Wednesday Toon Roundup 3-The rest


Guns





War









Fracking







1%






Higher Ed


Scouts






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