In an old Soviet-era aircraft museum at Finowfurt, a small town just north of Berlin, hackers have gathered this week for the Chaos Communication Camp 2011, hosted by Germany's oldest hackers, the Chaos Computer Club. From August 10-14, 3,500 attendees lived in thousands of tents next to the grass-covered hangars and in amongst the rusting planes in the fields, they came to indulge all their usual computer urges, and then go a little further. Amongst a wide range of workshops on technology mods, innovations and encryption techniques, alternatives to Facebook, e-waste and digital rights, a few have brainstormed a new three-phase space program. Announced on Wednesday, the Hacker Space Program's organizers laid out a three-stage plan: In phase one, hackers want to launch an open, free and globally accessible satellite-based network to defend terrestrial censorship of the Internet. Phase two is to put a hacker into orbit, while phase three of the plan is go one better and put a … [Read more...] about Hackers aim for the final frontier
New frontier data
The international tobacco concern, manufacturer of brands like Camel and Winston, acquired the licenses two lung cancer vaccines from two American biotechnology firms, according to the British non-profit, GeneWatch. The acquisition has thrown health organizations and anti-tobacco groups into a fit. "Even for the tobacco industry, the attempt to integrate smoking and sickness marks a new frontier in cynicism and greed," said Clive Bates, Director of Action on Smoking and Health. "While they’re frantically promoting the image of a carefree smoking lifestyle, they’re planning to cash in on a dreadful illness." The acquisition of exclusive rights to the two vaccines, was the second by Japan Tobacco in three years. In June 1999, the Seattle-based Corixa Corporation granted Japan Tobacco a 3-year exclusive license to develop and sell vaccine products aimed at preventing or treating lung cancer in North America, according to GeneWatch. Company spokesman Roy Tsuji said Japan … [Read more...] about Tobacco Company Acquires Rights to Lung Cancer Vaccines
The year 2005 could not have started better for the European Space Agency. Not only did the space probe Huygens successfully land on Saturn moon Titan's surface, it was able to send back breathtaking photos from the surface along with valuable data. In the week since it landed, ESA has had time to analyze the data Huygens sent back to earth and the results are exciting, according to the experts at the Space Agency, who held a celebration press conference in Paris on Friday. Earth-like processes? "There is liquid on Titan. It has rained long ago; there is liquid methane," said Jean-Pierre Leberton, director of the Huygens mission at ESA. In order for methane to exist in a liquid form, temperatures on Titan's surface must be below -179 degrees Celsius. In addition to finding traces of methane on both the moon's surface and in its atmosphere, Huygens also found evidence of nitrogen. Oxygen, however was not found on Titan, which is probably a good thing, as atmospheric … [Read more...] about ESA Hails Huygens, Plans New Missions
On Friday, Kate Rubins became the 12th woman overall, 11th US woman and first microbiologist to walk in space. Rubins and four-timer Jeff Williams routed a cable for an under-construction docking port at the International Space Station to allow commercial crafts to dock at the ISS by early 2018. "Great view," Rubins said. Rubins and Williams, who share the ISS with a Japanese astronaut and three Russian cosmonauts, spent two hours tying down the adaptor, and robotic machinery made the attachment permanent. During the rest of the spacewalk, they connected power and data cables for the adaptor. The fittings will enable the space station to share power and data with visiting spaceships. The US had been paying Russia to take its astronauts to the ISS. NASA had intended to have the first of two new docking ports installed last year, but a takeoff accident in June 2015 left the launch equipment destroyed. 'In commercial space' The adapter that Williams and Rubins attached to the … [Read more...] about At the ISS, NASA gives big aerospace another frontier
The data sent back to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) center indicates a plain no more than 100 million years old. It is still possibly being shaped by geologic processes. NASA scientists have informally named the plain Sputnik Planum after the Earth's first artificial satellite. The plain lies north of Pluto's icy mountains and shows irregular shaped segments ringed by narrow troughs as well as features appearing to be groups of mounds as well as fields of small pits. "This terrain is not easy to explain," said Jeff Moore, leader of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Team in Moffett Field, California. "The discovery of vast, craterless, very young plains on Pluto exceeds all pre-flyby expectations." The images were taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on July 14 from a distance of 48,000 miles (77,000 kilometers). Pluto's icy plains also display dark streaks that are a few miles long, aligned in the same direction. They may … [Read more...] about NASA releases new images of frozen plain on planet Pluto
Among the raft of new anti-terror measures up for discussion at the two-day informal meeting, which began Monday, Oct. 1, was the use of new technology and the sharing of travelers' data in the fight against terrorism. The scheme would operate alongside an airline passenger data recording system apparently modeled on one developed by the US. Officials said they were still debating whether to adopt the system for flights within EU as well as those to and from countries outside the union. Technological crackdown Should radical Web sites be blocked? Much of the discussion was geared to finding ways of countering the use of the Internet by militants, with participants debating issues such as censorship and freedom of expression. Such Web sites "have nothing to do with freedom of expression," retaliated Frattini, who said he was also considering proposing broader legal definition of conspiracy that would include people who support terrorist acts. Extending the … [Read more...] about New Proposals Let More People Into EU, Keep Others Out
Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), just outside of Geneva, on Monday said that they had succeeded in creating a mini Big Bang by changing the particles they use for their high-speed collisions from protons to heavier lead ions. These types of ultra-high-speed smash-ups at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are an attempt to re-create the explosion, known as the Big Bang, which is believed to have begun the universe. As spokeswoman Barbara Warmbein told the Associated Press, the CERN experiment over the weekend produced "a very, very, very small bang." Lead ions are lead atoms whose electrons have been removed, and are much heavier than the protons that the researchers had been using. That may be beneficial, as the energy required to smash them is higher, and thus may be closer to the conditions the scientists are trying to analyze. As the research continues, scientists are trying to create "quark-gluon plasma," an extremely hot and dense type of … [Read more...] about CERN scientists create ‘very small bang’ in search for universe’s origins
In August, YouTube personality Taryn Southern celebrated the commercial release of her debut pop album "I AM AI," which she produced entirely with artificial intelligence (AI) software. She mainly used a program called Amper, an open-source AI music composer and producer. With a creative process that consists of giving information such as song length, tempo and key, Southern let the software do the actual composing and producing for her before re-arranging the various parts that it provided in order to create a structured song. Her debut was hailed as the "first album to be made entirely with AI software." Revolutionary technology? As exciting as that may sound, some algorithmic composing experts are less impressed. "People have been experimenting with computer-generated music since Push Button Bertha in 1956," says Dr. Nick Collins, author of a number of books on computer-generated music and co-founder of Chord Punch, an independent record label that releases algorithm-based works. … [Read more...] about Will AI change the future of music?
When people talk about Europe's troubles, Estonian Klen Jaarats looks back at the cataclysmic upheavals that shook his own life. At 41, he's gone from collectivism to free economy, dictatorship to democracy and lived through three currencies. He was a twentysomething lawyer when, the Iron Curtain gone, he helped negotiate his country's entry into the European Union, paving the way for a journey culminating with Estonia adopting the euro. "Estonia still remembers the time when it was already great if nothing bad happened," said Jaarats, the Estonian government's head of European Union affairs. Young talent like him rebuilt Estonia into one of the world's most connected - and firmly pro-European - societies. It's home to both Skype and a cyber army. Now, as the country prepares for six months as the head of the rotating EU Council Presidency, which starts Friday, Jaarats said he feels his country has what it takes to inject a bit of this optimism into a battered … [Read more...] about Estonia takes EU’s helm with focus on digitalization, cyberdefense
China appears to be increasing its cross-border trade with North Korea, despite United Nations sanctions imposed in March in response to Pyongyang's fifth underground nuclear test, in January, and the subsequent test launch of a rocket. Instead of demonstrating a new-found fondness for the regime of Kim Jong Un, however, analysts believe Beijing's decision to relax its sanctions is more of a warning to Seoul and Washington. "China is sending a clear message that if other countries want its cooperation in ensuring that North Korea scales back its nuclear weapons and missile programs, then those nations will have to accommodate China's interests," said Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies at the Japan campus of Temple University. Uppermost in the minds of the politburo in Beijing, he told DW, will be the planned deployment of the US military's Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea to counter the estimated 1,000 missiles that North Korea is capable of … [Read more...] about Is China letting sanctions slide on North Korean trade?