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Welcome to the malware-industrial complex

February 13, 2013

(Credit: iStockphoto)

The U.S. government is developing new computer weapons and driving a black market in “zero-day” bugs. The result could be a more dangerous Web for everyone, says MIT Technology Review.

A freshly discovered weakness in a popular piece of software, known in the trade as a “zero-day” vulnerability, can be cashed in for much more than a reputation boost and some free drinks at the bar. Information about such flaws can command prices in… read more

Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books.

September 7, 2009

Electronic readers made by and Sony and Internet-connected laptops are replacing books at the Cushing Academy prep school in New England.

Welcome to the genomic revolution

September 27, 2011

Richard Resnick: Welcome to the genomic revolution

In this talk from TEDxBoston, GenomeQuest CEO Richard Resnick shows how cheap and fast genome sequencing is about to turn health care (and insurance, and politics) upside down.

“The price to sequence a base has fallen 100 million times,” Resnick said. “The world-wide capacity to sequence human genomes is something between 50,000 and 100,000 genomes this year, and this is expected to double, triple or maybe quadruple… read more

Welcome To The Blogosphere: Population 27.2 Million And Growing

February 7, 2006

A new blog is created every second and the phenomenon has grown 60 times larger than it was three years ago, according to Dave Sifry at Technorati.

In “State of the Blogosphere,” published most recently on Monday, Sifry said there are about 27.2 million blogs and 75,000 new ones created each day. At that rate, the blogosphere doubles about every 5.5 months, with about 1.2 million new posts daily,… read more

Welcome to the biobank

March 30, 2012


Anyone interested in combing through 20 terabytes of data on more than half a million aging Brits will have their chance beginning today, when the UK Biobank throws open its databanks to researchers, Nature News Blog reports.

The bank should help scientists to identify the genetic and environmental causes of diabetes, obesity, cancer, depression and many other diseases, based on testing of more than 500,000 participants aged… read more

Welcome to the Age of Robot Reporters

January 6, 2010

Nozzl Media has introduced a widget intended for newspaper websites seeking to display real-time local information derived from Twitter messages, blog posts and automatically extracted public records.

Welcome to Mars express: only a three hour trip

January 6, 2006

A “hyperspace” engine that could make interstellar space travel a reality by flying into other dimensions is being investigated by the United States Air Force and Department of Energy.

The theoretical engine works by creating an intense magnetic field that, according to ideas first developed by the late scientist Burkhard Heim in the 1950s, would produce a gravitational field and result in thrust for a spacecraft.

Also, if… read more

Welcome to Cyberwar Country, USA

February 13, 2008
Air Force Network Operations Center at Barksdale Air Force Base

The US Air Force has launched the Cyber Command, dedicated to the proposition that the next war will be fought in the electromagnetic spectrum, and that computers are military weapons.

Weird Web Data Foxes Experts

July 15, 2003

Strange packets of data found on the Internet are worrying net security experts. Some believe the packets are part of a new scanning tool that maps networks and reports vulnerabilities that it finds. Efforts to track down the source of the large data packets have proved largely fruitless.

Weird Object Zooming by Earth Wednesday is Likely an Asteroid

January 13, 2010

An 11-meters-wide space rock will make its closest approach at 7:45 a.m. EST (1245 GMT) Wednesday when it comes within 80,000 miles (130,000 km) of our planet.

Weighing molecules one at a time

Caltech-led physicists create first-ever mechanical device that measures the mass of a single molecule
August 28, 2012

This scanning electron micrograph shows one of the molecule-weighing devices. The bridge-like section at the center vibrates sideways. The scale bar at the bottom is two microns (millionths of a meter). (Credit: Caltech / Scott Kelberg and Michael Roukes)

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) scientists have made the first-ever mechanical device that can measure the mass of individual molecules one at a time.

This new technology, the researchers say, will eventually help doctors diagnose diseases, enable biologists to study viruses and probe the molecular machinery of cells, and even allow scientists to better measure nanoparticles and air pollution.

The device — which is only… read more

Weeding out problem stem cells for safer therapy

September 28, 2012

Human induced pluripotent stem cells (credit: UCSD)

Mayo Clinic researchers have found a way to detect and eliminate potentially troublemaking stem cells to make stem cell therapy safer.

Induced Pluripotent Stem cells, also known as iPS cells, are bioengineered from adult tissues to have properties of embryonic stem cells, which have the unlimited capacity to differentiate and grow into any desired types of cells, such as skin, brain, lung and heart cells.… read more

Weed sequenced. No really — weed.

August 23, 2011

(Credit: iStockphoto)

DNA sequencing hit a new high with the release of the Cannabis sativa genome, says Nature News.

The raw sequence, done in Amsterdam (where else?), was posted on Amazon’s EC2 public cloud computing service by a young company called Medicinal Genomics, which aims to explore the genomes of therapeutic plants.

Medicinal Genomics founder Kevin McKernan says he estimates the size of the… read more

Website turns tables on government officials

July 6, 2003

MIT researchers have created the Government Information Awareness (GIA) project as a response to the US government’s Total Information Awareness program.

Internet users can submit their own intelligence reports on government officials; they will be published with no effort to verify their accuracy. Software similar to Google also gleans information from Internet sites that store information about politicians. Users can also access information compiled from various real-time… read more

Webcast: Robots in Space

November 2, 2002

Dr. Richard Terrile, NASA JPL Mars Scout Program Scientist, will present “Rise of the Machines: Intelligent Robots and Space Exploration,” an overview of the current and future plans for exploring the solar system with robotic spacecraft, on Nov. 21 and 22 in Pasadena, CA. The Nov. 21 event will also be webcast.

“The science and science fiction of computer intelligence will be explored by comparing our technological and scientific… read more

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