Science & Technology
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 20:58 UTC
In partnership with Alphabet subsidiary Jigsaw, Google has launched Perspective, a tool intended to identify toxic online comments. It's available as an API, so news organizations and publishers can use it to weed out abuse.
Perspective will score comments on how likely they are to be abusive, comparing them to comments that have been rated by human reviewers. "Each time Perspective finds new examples of potentially toxic comments, or is provided with corrections from users, it can get better at scoring future comments," Jigsaw President Jared Cohen wrote in a blog post.
Publishers that use Perspective can decide how to handle comments the system identifies as toxic.
Comment: A double edged sword that will also likely be used to minimize the probability that readers will see dissenting opinions or anything publishers deem threatening.
Tokyo Tech News
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:54 UTC
The Earth's core consists mostly of a huge ball of liquid metal lying at 3,000 km beneath its surface, surrounded by a mantle of hot rock. Notably, at such great depths, both the core and mantle are subject to extremely high pressures and temperatures. Furthermore, research indicates that the slow creeping flow of hot buoyant rocks—moving several centimeters per year—carries heat away from the core to the surface, resulting in a very gradual cooling of the core over geological time. However, the degree to which the Earth's core has cooled since its formation is an area of intense debate amongst Earth scientists.
In 2013 Kei Hirose, now Director of the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), reported that the Earth's core may have cooled by as much as 1,000 ℃ since its formation 4.5 billion years ago. This large amount of cooling would be necessary to sustain the geomagnetic field, unless there was another as yet undiscovered source of energy. These results were a major surprise to the deep Earth community, and created what Peter Olson of Johns Hopkins University referred to as, "the New Core Heat Paradox", in an article published in Science.
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:11 UTC
While bees have already been shown to be able to learn how to pull on strings, push caps and even rotate a lever to access food, researchers say the new study shows that bees are better at problem solving than we thought.
"Previous [research] has found that bumblebees can do complex tasks but those tasks have always been really close to natural behaviour," said Olli Loukola, first author of the research from Queen Mary University of London, pointing out that bees often have to manipulate different parts of a flower to access nectar. "Now we have shown that they can learn something that is totally unnatural, like moving balls."
In the first part of the study, published in the journal Science, bees were presented with a platform, a yellow ball and a target area containing a concealed reservoir of sucrose.
The bees were repeatedly shown how to manoeuvre the ball over the target area to gain access to the sweet treat by means of fake bee on a stick. They were then tested on their abilities. While 10 bees who were not shown a demonstration almost never managed to succeed in the task, the nine that were all succeeded. What's more, they improved over test trials, taking less time and shorter paths.
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:26 UTC
Taken from outside the International Space Station (ISS), the photo shows the French astronaut conducting a space walk. Speaking directly to those who believe "we are in a hangar, on a fake Space Station," Pesquet admitted they would also probably dispute the veracity of this image.
One theory - as far out there as the ISS itself - claims the station is a hoax, nicknaming it the "International Fake Station". Some theorists believe the ISS does exist but is an empty orbiting tin can with space walks faked on Earth inside a swimming pool.
Comment: See also: The real conspiracy: Flat earth is a psyop
UC Santa Cruz
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 04:49 UTC
ELANs are huge blobs of gas surrounding and extending between galaxies in the intergalactic medium. They are thought to be parts of the network of filaments connecting galaxies in a vast cosmic web. Previously discovered ELANs are likely illuminated by the intense radiation from quasars, but it's not clear what is causing the hydrogen gas in the newly discovered nebula to emit Lyman-alpha radiation (a characteristic wavelength of light absorbed and emitted by hydrogen atoms).
The newly discovered nebula was found at a distance of 10 billion light years in the middle of a region with an extraordinary concentration of galaxies. Researchers found this massive overdensity of early galaxies, called a "protocluster," through a novel survey project led by Zheng Cai, a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Santa Cruz.
"Our survey was not trying to find nebulae. We're looking for the most overdense environments in the early universe, the big cities where there are lots of galaxies," said Cai. "We found this enormous nebula in the middle of the protocluster, near the peak density."
The study was published on Feb. 23 by JCI Insight.
Fructose is a simple sugar found in fruits, vegetables, table sugar, and many processed foods. Excess consumption of fructose contributes to high blood sugar and chronic diseases like obesity. The Yale research team had demonstrated in a prior study that fructose and another simple sugar, glucose, had different effects on brain activity. But it was not known whether fructose was produced in the brain or crossed over from the bloodstream.
To investigate, the research team gave eight healthy, lean individuals infusions of glucose over a four-hour period. They measured sugar concentrations in the brains of the study participants using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a noninvasive neuroimaging technique. Sugar concentrations in the blood were also assessed.
The researchers found cerebral fructose levels rose significantly in response to a glucose infusion, with minimal changes in fructose levels in the blood. They surmised that the high concentration of fructose in the brain was due to a metabolic pathway called the polyol pathway that converts glucose to fructose.
"In this study, we show for the first time that fructose can be produced in the human brain," said first author Dr. Janice Hwang, assistant professor of medicine.
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:24 UTC
The technique specifically targets so-called "air-gapped" computers, which are cut off from the Internet and company networks, making them the most challenging targets for hackers. Consequently, they typically carry the most sensitive information.
The LED control method, which makes it possible to steal data from isolated computers while raising minimum suspicion, was devised by researchers of the Negev (BGU) Cyber Security Research Center at Ben-Gurion University.
The path of this month's eclipse will begin off the coast of Chile and pass through southern Chile and southern Argentina, across the southern Atlantic Ocean, and into Angola and Congo in Africa. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout parts of southern South America and southwestern Africa.
Asteroid 2017 DG16 to fly by Earth at 0.34 LD - 5th known NEA to flyby Earth within 1 lunar distance since January 8, 2017
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 14:22 UTC
2017 DG16 was first observed by Mt. Lemmon Survey on February 21. The estimated size of this asteroid is between 2 and 8 m (6.5 - 26.2 feet). It will flyby Earth at a speed (relative to the Earth) of 6.91 km/s.
This object belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids, Earth-crossing asteroids that have an orbital semi-major axis greater than that of the Earth (> 1 AU) but perihelion distances less than the Earth's aphelion distance (q < 1.017 AU).
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 23:00 UTC
Over the course of four nights, Fallen has been attempting to create and study the artificial aurora.
"The more we understand about the artificial aurora, it helps us understand the natural aurora and vice versa," says Fallen.
Natural aurora occurs because high speed electrons hit the upper atmosphere and collide with gases there. The resulting light appears as aurora to the human eye and camera lens.
Fallen is trying to reproduce that using radio waves from HAARP as the energy source. "We're accelerating the electrons with radio waves through processes that are not fully understood and those electrons are accelerated to high velocities and collide with the gases in the atmosphere and create air-glow in basically the same colors as the natural aurora."
Comment: Uhm, didn't they say they were shutting down HAARP in 2014?
So now it's in civilian hands. Or so they say...