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Category: Sci-Tech

Shortcut to space: Earth to International Space Station in 6 hours

Moscow/Cape Canaveral: Two Russian cosmonauts and a U.S. astronaut took a shortcut to the International Space Station on Thursday, arriving at the orbital outpost less than six hours after their Soyuz capsule blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The express route, used for the first time to fly a crew to the station, shaved about 45 hours off the usual ride, allowing NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin to get a jumpstart on their planned 5.5-month mission. The crew’s Soyuz capsule parked itself at the station’s Poisk module at 10:28 p.m. EDT (0228 GMT Friday), just five hours and 45 minutes after launch. Most Recent New York court upholds sales tax for online retailers Nvidia introduces GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST GPU for an affordable gaming experience Also See 17:11 Sunita Williams and crew talk to family and friends from space 1:20 Sunita Williams’ second space mission: Prayers for safe journey All previous station crews, whether flying aboard NASA’s now-retired space shuttles or on Russian Soyuz capsules, took at least two days to reach the station, a $100 billion research laboratory that flies about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth. “The closer the station, the better we feel. Everything is going good,” the cosmonauts radioed to flight controllers outside of Moscow as the Soyuz capsule approached the orbital outpost, a project...

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Summer melt season ‘getting longer on Antarctic Peninsula’

Washington: A new research from the Antarctic Peninsula has shown that the summer melt season has been getting longer over the last 60 years. And the increased summer melting has been linked to the rapid break-up of ice shelves in the area and rising sea level. Antarctic Peninsula’s longer summer melt season has been linked to the rapid break-up of ice shelves in the area and rising sea level. New research from the Antarctic Peninsula shows that the summer melt season has been getting longer over the last 60 years. The Antarctic Peninsula – a mountainous region extending northwards towards South America – is warming much faster than the rest of Antarctica. As a result of strengthening of local westerly winds, which causes warmer air from the sea to be pushed up and over the peninsula, temperatures have risen by up to 3 degree celsius since the 1950s – three times more than the global average. This melting may have important effects as meltwater may enlarge cracks in floating ice shelves which can contribute to their retreat or collapse. As a result, the speed at which glaciers flow towards the sea will be increased. Also, melting and refreezing causes snow layers to become thinner and more dense, affecting the height of the snow surface above sea level. Dr Nick Barrand, who carried out the research while working for the...

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New technique discovered to make fuel from CO2 in air

Washington: Researchers have found a way to transform the carbon dioxide (CO2) trapped in the atmosphere into useful industrial products. The discovery may soon lead to the development of biofuels made directly from the CO2 in the air – responsible for global warming. “Basically, what we have done is create a microorganism that does with carbon dioxide exactly what plants do-absorb it and generate something useful,” Michael Adams, member of UGA’s Bioenergy Systems Research Institute, Georgia Power professor of biotechnology and Distinguished Research Professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Science, said. “What this discovery means is that we can remove plants as the middleman,” said Adams, co-author of the study. “We can take carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and turn it into useful products like fuels and chemicals without having to go through the inefficient process of growing plants and extracting sugars from biomass,” he said. The process is made possible by a unique microorganism called Pyrococcus furiosus, or “rushing fireball,” which thrives by feeding on carbohydrates in the super-heated ocean waters near geothermal vents. By manipulating its genetic material, Adams and his team created a kind of P. furiosus, capable of feeding at much lower temperatures on CO2. The research team then used hydrogen gas to create a chemical reaction in the microorganism that incorporates CO2 into 3-hydroxypropionic acid, a...

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This smartphone knows when you’re going to die — and could save your life

Heart attack coming on? Yep, you guessed it: There’s an app for that. A new medical device could turn your phone into a lifesaver; the tiny implant monitors your blood and can send a warning to your smartphone if it detects potentially life-saving problems. The device, developed by a team of scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland is the world’s smallest such implement ever; using Bluetooth, it transmits data to your phone and could even warn you if you’re about to have a heart attack. Often in the moments before a heart attack, fatigued or oxygen starved muscles begin to break down, and fragments of a heart-specific smooth muscle protein — triponin — are dumped into the blood. If this can be detected before disruption of the heart rhythm or an actual heart attack, lifesaving pre-emptive treatment can arrive in time to save a life. The device can also track levels of glucose, lactate and ATP providing valuable data for physiological monitoring. Outside the body, a battery patch provides the 100 milliwatts of power the device needs, sucking juice via wireless inductive charging off the skin. Dr. Leigh Vinocur, from LSU Health Science Center, told Fox News the implant has many potential uses, including monitor glucose levels for diabetics and helping prevent deaths from heart disease. But the connection to the smartphone may prove problematic....

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What does ‘red equal sign’ all over Facebook stand for?

Washington: Are you wondering what are those red equal-sign on Facebook and Twitter all about? This is a symbol being spread by the Human Rights Campaign, an organization in support of gay marriage that is running a particularly successful social media initiative as the US Supreme Court discusses the issue over the next two days. In a Facebook, the HRC asked gay marriage supporters to “paint the town red,” wearing red in their wardrobe as well on their Facebook pages. Supporters have also been asked to change profile photos over to the HRC “=” logo, ABC news reports. According to the report, the campaign has left many on Twitter wondering what changing a profile picture will accomplish. The HRC initiative has seen a few spin-offs since this morning, with several profile picture explanation posts seeing high numbers of shares, in an attempt to clarify what the red profile pictures stand for, the report added....

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Connecting your home with Glass

The discovery of a patent application has revealed another potential use for Google Glass — managing a connected home. The application, filed on September 21, 2011, published on March 21 and first discovered by Engadget, details how the headset could be used to identify an related stories Google demonstrates first third-party apps for Glass Google Glass will work with prescription lense appliance or gadget in the home and when it does, overlay a control interface or a list of relevant information in the headset wearer’s screen. This would give the wearer the sense that the information or control buttons are floating in mid-air in front of that person’s eyes. Google reveals what users of ‘Glass’ will see Google also details how this type of interaction would only be possible if Glass could identify the device in question — either through Bluetooth connection, wi-fi, RFID tags or a QR code — and if the object — be it the lighting system, an oven or TV — was connected to the internet. Although some writers have already dismissed Google Glass as ‘jetpack technology’ (that is, something that sounds amazing in theory but is pretty much useless in practice), the patent application actually outlines a valid use case for the headset. As every device in the modern home starts to suffer from feature creep, understanding what they do and how to make...

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7 biggest moments of ‘seven-year’ old Twitter revealed

New York: Microblogging platform Twitter, which is now seven years old, has some biggest moments that helped propel it as a social networking powerhouse. From presidential death threats, to spontaneous social uprisings, to salacious celebrity self-portraits, Twitter has proven itself an addictive form of self-expression, as well as an efficient means for distributing information. According to the New York Daily News, the first biggest moment was on March 21, 2006, when Twitter founder Jack Dorsey fired up the world’s first, and rather unassuming, tweet on the nascent site. “Just setting up my twitter,” Dorsey wrote. Seven years later, Twitter boasts 200 million active users who fire off more than 400 million tweets per day. Second is the uprising in Iran. It sparked a wave protests that eventually became known as the Green Movement erupted across the country, the paper said. Also dubbed the “Twitter Revolution,” the sudden uprising drew millions of Iranians into the streets and elicited an unprecedented number of tweets about a political election. Third is Haiti earthquake response. With communication infrastructure badly damaged in the 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, journalists utilized mobile networks to post Twitter messages and photos that helped spread news about the disaster. Fourth is Osama bin Laden raid leak. On May 1, 2011, a 33-year-old IT consultant in Pakistan named Sohaib Athar unwittingly scooped the world press...

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Earth Hour’ to be observed on Saturday across 150 countries

Paris: From Sydney Harbour Bridge, Buckingham Palace and the Brandenburg Gate to the Burj Khalifa tower, the Empire State Building, the Taj Mahal and Table Mountain, some of the world’s greatest landmarks will briefly darken on Saturday night for Earth Hour, a campaign now becoming a broader vehicle for green activism. Earth Hour originated in Sydney in 2007 with an appeal to people and businesses to turn off their lights for an hour to heighten awareness about climate change, driven by carbon-emitting fossil fuels. The annual switch-off is now being followed in locations in three-quarters of the world’s nations and has the potential to touch hundreds of millions of lives, say its organisers. Most Recent New Samsung Galaxy Note II lockscreen vulnerability surfaces: Report India’s Mohd Asab shoots world record but misses out on bronze Also See 23:47 The 9 O’clock News: The biggest stories (Mar 31, 2012) 0:51 Lights off for Earth Hour Promoted through social media, Earth Hour has also mutated in some countries into a potent tool to lobby on local issues unconnected with global warming, they add. Switch-off events this Saturday at the local time of 8:30 pm are planned in more than 150 countries, including for the first time the Palestinian territories, Tunisia, Galapagos, Suriname, French Guiana, St. Helena and Rwanda. Newcomers to the campaign include Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid, the Statue of David in...

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Nokia Lumia 520 Windows 8 Phone launched

New Delhi: Expanding its Lumia portfolio, Finnish handset maker Nokia Wednesday launched two new mobile phones including a Windows 8 phone priced at Rs 10,500. Lumia 520, Nokia’s most affordable Windows Phone 8 smartphone, with the same digital camera lenses as on Lumia 920, will be available in the market within a week. Lumia 720, which has a high-end camera, will be available by Mid-April. The company did not disclose the price of Lumia 720 but said it will be priced at around 249 euro, excluding taxes. “The launch of Nokia Lumia 720 and Nokia Lumia 520 reflects our commitment to build a winning ecosystem that will enrich people’s mobile experience and help them connect with each other at newer price points,” Nokia Director Smart Devices (India Middle East Africa) Vipul Mehrotra told reporters here. Nokia had unveiled both the handsets during the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona in February. Lumia 520, which comes in five colours, has a 4-inch display, 5 megapixel camera and has a 1GHz dual-core processor and 512MB RAM, while Lumia 720 has a 4.3-inch display, 6.7 megapixel camera and a 1GHz dual-core processor. “These power-packed devices are developed for young and socially active consumers who demand a stylish power-packed smartphone with a wide range of features to enhance their on-the-go experience,” Nokia VP Smart Devices (UX Design) Nikki Barton said....

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Russian watchdog slams Google over suicide videos

Moscow: Russian consumer rights watchdog has hit out at search engine Google and YouTube over what it called online suicide instruction videos. “Google Russia and YouTube LLC express their position based solely on a threat to the freedom of access to information on the Internet,” the Rospotrebnadzor watchdog said in a statement. The watchdog’s statement came after YouTube, Google’s video sharing unit, filed a lawsuit against Rospotrebnadzor over a decision to block a video containing alleged “harmful” material. A preliminary hearing into the case began Friday. The watchdog said the video contained instructions on how to commit suicide and violated Russian law on the protection of children from harmful material. Google said the law could be used to limit access to other forms of content. Rospotrebnadzor also stressed while the production and promotion of videos promoting drugs and pornography is punishable under Russia’s Criminal Code, the distribution of videos encouraging suicide is not a criminal offence. The watchdog has cracked down recently on websites containing suicide-related materials, blaming them for the alarmingly high numbers of suicides among Russian teens. The UN says around 1,700 Russian teenagers aged 15-19 take their lives every year. Google Russia and YouTube LLC could not be immediately reached for comment Monday morning....

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