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Preview: PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories



Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.



 



Inflammatory letter sheds light on Uber's alleged misconduct

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 06:28:27 EST

A former Uber security specialist accused the company of dispatching a team of spies to steal its rivals' trade secrets and using shady tactics to thwart its competition in the ride-hailing market, according an inflammatory letter unsealed Friday by a federal judge.



Disney-Fox deal may create a new nerdy nirvana

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 06:28:03 EST

The coming union of the Disney and Fox media empires is set to create a new nirvana for fanboys and -girls, one that reunites superheroes and sci-fi characters long separated by an energy barrier of corporate legalism.



Two rare sea lion attacks shut down cove in San Francisco Bay

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 06:27:35 EST

Two unusual sea lion attacks in a San Francisco Bay cove led authorities to close the popular area to swimmers Friday as officials try to determine the reason for the aggressive behavior.



Microsoft investing $50 million in AI climate-change program

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 18:20:01 EST

Microsoft announced recently that it would invest $50 million in a program that provides cloud-computing services and other resources to organizations working on climate change and environmental technology.



Italy says Amazon will pay $118 million to end tax dispute

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:22:01 EST

Italian tax authorities say Amazon will pay 100 million euros ($118 million) to end a dispute over its tax payments from 2011-2015.



With Christmas nearing, retailers feel pressure to deliver

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:21:06 EST

The pressure to deliver for online shoppers is on.



Report: NASA should develop US strategy for international space station beyond 2024

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:19:28 EST

Although NASA has made progress toward the overall space exploration science priorities recommended in a 2011 decadal survey by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the space agency should raise the priority of scientific research that addresses the risks and unknowns of human space exploration. This heightened priority is particularly important given the limited remaining lifetime of the International Space Station (ISS) - the most significant destination for microgravity research - and because the U.S. currently does not have a strategy for the station beyond 2024, says a new midterm assessment report by the National Academies.



Complex, old-growth forests may protect some bird species in a warming climate

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:18:54 EST

Old forests that contain large trees and a diversity of tree sizes and species may offer refuge to some types of birds facing threats in a warming climate, scientists have found.



Civil engineer patents integrated sensor and algorithm to monitor stiffness in soils

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:14:36 EST

Anand Puppala, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington and a civil engineering professor, recently was awarded a patent for developing a sensor system with an algorithm that will expedite field assessment of stabilization of high sulfate soils near bridges and roads.



Discovery could reduce cost, energy for high-speed Internet connections

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:13:05 EST

Breakthrough research from The University of Texas at Arlington and The University of Vermont could lead to a dramatic reduction in the cost and energy consumption of high-speed internet connections.



Single-photon detector can count to four

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:12:33 EST

Engineers have shown that a widely used method of detecting single photons can also count the presence of at least four photons at a time. The researchers say this discovery will unlock new capabilities in physics labs working in quantum information science around the world, while providing easier paths to developing quantum-based technologies.



Google hit with lawsuit alleging fraud in ad-scam refunds

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:10:02 EST

Online advertising agency AdTrader has sued Google in federal court, accusing it of fraud and deceit for not refunding or crediting advertisers whose ads were targeted in scams.



Wary of Trump, some foreign-born tech workers choose Canada, not Silicon Valley

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 14:00:01 EST

Petra Axolotl knew her chances of getting an H-1B visa were slim. She had an MBA from Wharton and a job offer at Twitter, but luck would decide the Dutch data scientist's fate—and in 2016, it did not fall in her favor.



Genetic instructions from mom set the pattern for embryonic development

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:31:10 EST

A new study indicates an essential role for a maternally inherited gene in embryonic development. The study found that zebrafish that failed to inherit specific genetic instructions from mom developed fatal defects earlier in development, even if the fish could make their own version of the gene. The study by researchers at Princeton University was published Nov. 15 in the journal eLife.



Companies turn your Facebook friends into a sales force

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:30:01 EST

Betsy Stover was 17 when her mother asked her to help fax strangers, hawking a service that had the markings of a pyramid scheme.



NASA sees Tropical Storm Kai-Tak moving over the Philippines

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:27:50 EST

NASA's Aqua satellite provided infrared imagery of Tropical Storm Kai-Tak that revealed the western side of storm had moved into the southern and central Philippines. Infrared data revealed very cold cloud top temperatures with the potential for heavy rainfall.



Graphene in zero G promises success in space

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:27:35 EST

In a successful collaboration between the Graphene Flagship and the European Space Agency, experiments testing graphene for two different space-related applications have shown extremely promising results. Based on these results, the Flagship are continuing to develop graphene devices for use in space.



How much can late Permian ecosystems tell us about modern Earth? A lot.

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:26:14 EST

A whopping two hundred and fifty-two million years ago, Earth was crawling with bizarre animals, including dinosaur cousins resembling Komodo dragons and bulky early mammal-relatives, millions of years before dinosaurs even existed. New research shows us that the Permian equator was both a literal and figurative hotspot: it was, for the most part, a scorching hot desert, on top of having a concentration of unique animals. Here, you could find ancient crocodile-sized amphibians right next to newly evolved dinosaur and croc relatives. Many of these species were wiped out after an extinction which changed life on the planet forever.



How much soil goes down the drain—new data on soil lost due to water

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:24:58 EST

According to a new study by the University of Basel, the European Commission - Joint Research Centre and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH, UK), almost 36 billion tons of soil is lost every year due to water, and deforestation and other changes in land use make the problem worse. The study also offers ideas on how agriculture can change to become a part of the solution from being part of the problem



Heavy oils and petroleum coke raising vanadium emissions

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:23:15 EST

Human emissions of the potentially harmful trace metal vanadium into Earth's atmosphere have spiked sharply since the start of the 21st century due in large part to industry's growing use of heavy oils, tar sands, bitumen and petroleum coke for energy, a new Duke University study finds.



Error-free into the quantum computer age

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:22:06 EST

A study led by physicists at Swansea University in Wales, carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.



A shoe-box-sized chemical detector

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:10:20 EST

A chemical sensor prototype developed at the University of Michigan will be able to detect "single-fingerprint quantities" of substances from a distance of more than 100 feet away, and its developers are working to shrink it to the size of a shoebox.



Space station research explorer on NASA.gov launches phase one

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:05:40 EST

Researchers, prospective partners, media professionals, students, and space enthusiasts now have more space station science at their fingertips with Space Station Research Explorer on NASA.gov (SSRE on NASA.gov). The new information exploration tool enables researchers, practiced and amateur alike, to stay up-to-date with the science being conducted aboard the International Space Station.



'Last Jedi' will play a big role as Disney takes on Netflix

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:00:01 EST

Few would dare underestimate the cultural and commercial power of "Star Wars." The latest movie in the Skywalker saga, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," is sure to have one of the biggest opening weekends of the year, with an estimated $425 million in its global premiere.



This home-sharing startup is taking on Airbnb, using cryptocurrency instead of dollars

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:10:01 EST

Airbnb may be the biggest home-sharing game in town, but a new startup is trying to push its way into the market.



Review: Apple Watch Series 3 has LTE to stay connected without a nearby iPhone

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:00:01 EST

Apple has conquered the smart watch market.



Tech support scams hitting more computer users online

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:50:01 EST

For consumers who turn over control of their computers to remote technicians online, the fix may already be in.



Twitch will stream NBA G League games and let its livestreamers do play-by-play

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:40:02 EST

Twitch made its mark as the place to watch video gamers in action. But over the past two years, the Amazon-owned property has expanded its offerings to include livestreams of artists, musicians and even knitters.



Seattle imposes new limits on Airbnb, other short-term rentals

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:30:01 EST

By limiting the number of homes that property owners can operate as short-term rentals for visitors, can Seattle preserve its housing stock for locals?



Fast lanes may be coming to web: End of net neutrality could bring new fees for speed, reliability

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:20:01 EST

With federal regulators poised to repeal net neutrality rules this week, your internet service provider would be allowed to speed up delivery of some online content to your home or phone.