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Preview: The Register - Science

The Register - Science

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2016, Situation Publishing

DARPA does a podcast

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:48:09 GMT

2006 called, it wants its technology back

US military lunacy department DARPA has begun offering a podcast.…

Signs of recent tectonic activity found on cooling Mercury

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 01:58:12 GMT

Thought-to-be-lifeless hell-ball actually has a rich inner life

NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) craft has found evidence that Sol's innermost planet is tectonically active.…

Elon Musk: I'm gonna turn Mars into a $10bn death-dealing interplanetary gas station

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 22:01:39 GMT

Red Planet to be Elon-gated community-slash-graveyard

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has laid out an audacious multibillion-dollar plan to send colonists to probably die on Mars.…

Hubble spies on Europa shooting alien juice from its southern pole

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 20:58:01 GMT

What? It's what NASA said - what are you thinking of?

Pics and video Images from the Hubble Space Telescope of Jupiter's most intriguing moon, Europa, appear to show plumes of water being ejected from the surface into space.…

Turing, Hauser, Sinclair – haunt computing's Cambridge A-team stamping ground

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 09:59:12 GMT

From Acorns to bedrooms

Geek's Guide to Britain King’s Parade in Cambridge looks like the last street on earth to have anything to do with computing. On one side is an absurdly ornate college gatehouse in yellow stone and King’s College Chapel, which combines the barn-like shape of a tiny chapel with the scale and detail of a cathedral.…

SpaceX: Breach in liquid oxygen tank caused Falcon 9 fireball ... probably

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 16:12:20 GMT

Investigations team probed rocket debris and data from 1 September explosion

A large breach in the liquid oxygen tank of SpaceX’s Falcom 9 rocket likely caused the explosion during a test at the start of this month, investigators have said.…

Cosmology is safe and the Universe is one giant version of the Barbican

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:29:11 GMT

Whichever way you look it's all exactly the same, boffins confirm

Scientists have confirmed that the universe is very likely the same in every direction, showing that the assumption of the universe being isotropic can be safely used in cosmology.…

British unis mull offshore EU campuses in post-Brexit vote panic

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:57:08 GMT

Also told: ‘Don’t look at France... it’s a nightmare’

British universities are looking to deepen links with their continental counterparts or even open offshore campuses in order to maintain their EU ties.…

Pretending to be a badger wins Oxford Don 10 TRILLION DOLLARS

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 03:31:21 GMT

Volkswagen also scored one of last night's Ig Nobel Prizes, for software-defined chemistry

The annual Ig Nobel Prizes were handed out on Thursday night, as always “honoring achievements that make people laugh, then think”.…

Zuckerberg to spend $3bn+ to rid world of all disease by 2100 (Starting with Facebook, right?)

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 23:01:01 GMT

And yet WhatsApp cost $19bn?

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have promised at least $3bn in funding for a medical initiative to cure, prevent or manage all known diseases by the end of the century.…

Asian hornets are HERE... those honey bee murdering BASTARDS

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 15:34:10 GMT

Flying death spotted in the Cotswolds, boffins move in for the kill

A sleepy Cotswold town could be about to witness the genocide of local honey bees following the discovery of invasive predatory Asian hornets.…

Rosetta probe's final death dive planned for just after last call next Friday night

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 06:16:11 GMT

Tune in at 10:40PM UTC next Friday for a 'controlled crash'

The European Space Agency (ESA) has held an hour-long hangout to explain what's likely to happen when its Rosetta spacecraft touches down on Comet 67p.…

What's Chinese and crashing in flames? No, not its economy – its crocked space station

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 05:03:07 GMT

Expect fireworks late in 2017

The first space station lofted into orbit by China is coming down next year, the country's space agency has confirmed.…

2,000 year old man found dead near 2,000 year old computer

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 07:22:10 GMT

Antikythera mechanism shipwreck yields old bones

Video The ancient shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera has already yielded up archeological wonders but now marine archeologists have found a body buried in the wreck that could yield up some clues as to the ship’s origins.…

Pluto's emitting X-rays, and NASA doesn't quite know how

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 06:19:06 GMT

The best words in science: 'That's odd'

The Chandra space telescope has spotted X-rays emanating from Pluto.…

NASA starts countdown for Cassini probe's Saturn death dive

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 06:58:10 GMT

Keep Solar System Tidy message heeded despite plan for three probe dumps

NASA has revealed its final plans to crash the Cassini probe into Saturn next year.…

Map to the stars: Gaia's first data dump a piece of 3D Milky Way puzzle

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 16:04:13 GMT

Calibrating relationships between celestial objects

The European Space Agency has revealed the first catalogue of stars mapped during its Gaia mission today.…

UK Science Museum will reconsider its 'sexist' brain quiz

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 15:07:08 GMT

Apparently, it was designed to be 'tongue in cheek'

The Science Museum in London has announced it will reconsider its exhibition on sex and gender – after it faced criticism over a quiz that tested whether a brain was male or female.…

Post-Brexit must keep EU scientists coming, say boffins

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 15:33:05 GMT

Top profs and R&D bod make plea to Parliament

Attracting and retaining EU talent remains a top concern for UK science following Brexit, according to today’s House of Lords Select Committee meeting about EU membership and UK science.…

Jeff Bezos' thrusting cylinder makes Elon Musk's look minuscule

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 05:24:24 GMT

Amazon CEO's rocket company reveals its orbit-and-beyond-capable boosters

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' space company Blue Origin has revealed designs for its first orbit-and-beyond-capable boosters.…

Upstart AI dreams of 'disrupting' digital marketing – with sex

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 17:03:09 GMT

Natural selection algorithms to weed out web's crap design

Silicon Valley machine-learning biz Sentient Technologies promises to bring the power of natural selection to marketing via AI, rather than digital marketers.…

Microsoft thinks time crystals may be viable after all

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 12:29:18 GMT

Movement without energy? Redmond puts its money where its mouth is

Microsoft researchers have teamed up with physicists from the University of California, Santa Barbara, to show how time crystals might be possible.…

Curiosity rover likes big buttes but it cannot lie around

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 02:31:38 GMT

Mars' layered rocks look just like the American southwest, says Yanquiphile NASA

Mars looks just like the American southwest, says NASA after landing images of some big buttes on Mars.…

NASA's OSIRIS-REx is off to nick some rocks from asteroid Bennu

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 16:01:08 GMT

Did space rocks bring us life? Just 7 years and we'll know!

NASA has successfully launched its first mission sending a spacecraft to an asteroid with the aim of returning samples of space rocks back to Earth.…

Elon Musk says SpaceX Falcon 9 fireball investigation is 'biggest challenge yet'

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:57:08 GMT

'Anomaly' wasn't rocket engine's fault, he claims

SpaceX are still investigating the explosion that caused its Falcon 9 rocket, and the Facebook satellite it was carrying, to erupt into flames last week.…

Boffins ID bug behind London's Great Plague of 1665

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 04:51:32 GMT

Yersinia pestis fingered as slayer of 10,000 victims

Scientists have revealed Yersinia pestis as the bacteria that caused London's 1665 Great Plague.…

Star Trek's Enterprise turns 50 and still no sign of a warp drive. Sigh

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 06:04:11 GMT

Realistic tech or lazy plot device – what do you think?

Star Trek @ 50 Zooming through space faster than the speed of light is integral in science fiction if the story unfolds over different planets, galaxies and universes.…

It's time for humanity to embrace SEX ROBOTS. For, uh, science, of course

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 10:02:10 GMT

Not just mankind: Ladies love 'em too, we're told

Humankind is still considering whether we could create sex robots – but should we, considering the ethical and legal questions arising from the creation of sex data and non-adult sex robots?…

Retired Philae lander slouches on Comet 67P

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 09:35:04 GMT

Chilling on –70°C comet, leg stuck in the air... Fancy a beer, friend?

The European Space Agency's (ESA) obsolete robotic lander Philae has been spotted lying on its side in the dark depths of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as the Rosetta mission nears completion.…

Second 'dimmer switch' star spotted

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 01:05:26 GMT

'Tabby's Star' gets a friend and it's even stranger, but let's not do the 'alien megastructure' thing again okay?

One curious case of “what's that?” in astronomy is a puzzle: two gets astrophysicists on the way to an answer. An oddly-dimming star called EPIC 204278916 (EPIC in this article) might help boffins understand the “Dyson sphere” (no, it's not) Tabby's star.…

International Space Station astros prepare to rejoin us Earthlings

Mon, 05 Sep 2016 15:56:11 GMT

Human guinea pigs to be subjected to more testing after arrival

Three astronauts from the International Space Station are expected to fly home tomorrow after spending 172 days floating in space.…

Next Mars landing scheduled for Monday, November 26th, 2018

Mon, 05 Sep 2016 07:32:59 GMT

Better late than never for Mars InSight and its thermo-hammer plan to drill 5 metres into Mars

We're going back to Mars, quite probably on Monday, November 26th, 2018.…

What the hex is up with Jupiter's North Pole?

Sat, 03 Sep 2016 04:58:12 GMT

No Hexagon like on Saturn, but still the joy of six: half a dozen megabytes of Juno data took 62 hours to download

Jupiter doesn't have a colossal hexagon at its North Pole, unlike it celestial cousin Saturn.…

Dwarf planet Ceres has a watery secret: An 11 mile wide ice volcano

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 14:59:45 GMT

Geology, space-style

Ahuna Mons, the 13,000 foot high, 11 mile wide volcano on dwarf planet Ceres is made entirely out of ice – and provides evidence that water may have once existed beneath the planet's surface.…

London's Francis Crick Institute will house 1,250 cancer-fighting boffins

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 07:54:13 GMT

Biomed brainboxes have already begun moving in

The first scientists are moving into the Francis Crick Institute, the biggest biomedical research institute under one roof, costing £650m.…

SETI searchers: We still haven't found what we're looking for

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 05:30:13 GMT

Say 'interesting radio signal' probably from boring old Earth

Stand down, one and all: there's not even cool new science in this week's “alien signal”, let alone a SETI success: the signal seems to have come from "terrestrial origins".…

That Public Health study? No, it didn't say 'don't do chemo'

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 03:05:05 GMT

When big media goes clueless about big data

“Chemotherapy kills” was bound to pique our interest, especially since in the best traditions of modern research, its source was a badly-reported scientific study.…

Watch SpaceX's rocket dramatically detonate, destroying a $200m Facebook satellite

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 18:34:51 GMT

That'll buff right out, no worries

Updated Elon Musk has confirmed that today's SpaceX rocket explosion – which destroyed a $200m satellite – was caused by a cockup during fueling.…

Drama in orbit: Brazen UFO attacks Earth's Sentinel-1A satellite

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 20:22:30 GMT

Plucky climate-change probe fends off cosmic intruder

The European Space Agency's Sentinel-1A satellite has been hit by an unidentified flying object while in orbit. Panic not: the probe remains fully operational.…

Australian geoboffin discovers 3.7 billion year old fossils after ice melts

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 17:01:29 GMT

Stromatolites are evidence of changing chemistry on Earth

The world’s oldest fossils have been discovered in Greenland after a layer of snow on ancient rocks melted, revealing stromatolites embedded in the Isua supracrustal belt.…

African Ring of Fire to show up at annular solar eclipse

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 12:27:11 GMT

Set your watches for tomorrow's skylight extravaganza

Tomorrow’s morning sky will be temporarily blotted by an inky blackness as the Sun disappears behind the moon, leaving a dazzling ‘ring of fire’ in an annular solar eclipse over Africa.…

Astronauts sequence DNA in space for the first time

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 08:02:12 GMT

Microgravity does little to life's secret sauce, experiment confirms

DNA has been sequenced in space for the first time during a series of experiments performed last weekend by biologist-turned-NASA astronaut, Kate Rubins.…

Blink and you missed it: Asteroid came within 90,000 km, only one sky-watcher saw it

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 07:27:05 GMT

SONEAR sees 25-metre-plus rock when it was, well, so near

A small asteroid made a rare, close pass between Earth and the moon on August 28.…

SpaceX's used flight-proven rocket to loft Euro satellite this year

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 22:12:41 GMT

First real test for second-hand reusable Falcon

European satellite operator SES will trust its latest hardware to a SpaceX Falcon rocket that has already made it into space once.…

Missing Milky Way mass blown away by bingeing supermassive black hole

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 15:55:13 GMT

Mystery of the missing baryons leads to a surprising find

The supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy was bursting with nuclear activity when humans' first ancestors roamed the Earth, according to a team of astrophysicists.…

Li-Fi with my little eye … a vulnerability

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 08:06:12 GMT

Fooling around with VLC systems

Proponents of visible light communications (VLC) like “Li-Fi” love reminding us of the bonkers speeds they can get (200 Gbps last year, for example), but just like its radio-spectrum counterpart, it needs protection against eavesdropping and jamming.…

Pump-priming the new ampere: NIST works to count electrons in silicon

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 07:05:07 GMT

Show me the way to go Ohm

The ampere, a perpetual embarrassment to the world of scientific standardisation, is due to get a measurable physical standard in 2018, and America's National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) hopes to help provide its definition.…

SETI Institute damps down 'wow!' signal report from Russia

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 05:05:11 GMT

Settle, SETI-fans: One radio spike does not a civilisation make

The killjoys at the SETI Institute -- killjoys all over the world, really -- are damping down wild speculation that a Russian instrument has seen a “possible” alien transmission.…

Jovial NASA says Juno flyby a success

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 02:03:05 GMT

Downloads will take days

It was a hats-in-the-air weekend at NASA, with the agency announcing its Juno probe's first close-up Jupiter fly-by was a success.…

SpaceX Dragon capsule lands in Pacific carrying 12 moustronauts

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 19:56:08 GMT

NASA to watch Musketeer relatives carefully

The SpaceX team has successfully recovered its Dragon capsule which was sent back to Earth by the International Space Station.…