François Englert and Peter Higgs just received the Nobel Prize in Physics for laying the groundwork for the discovery of the Higgs boson. But can someone please explain what a Higgs is? Like, really simply.
The New York Times published an article this morning saying that the newspaper has been the victim of persistent and, it must be said, not entirely unsuccessful cyberattacks originating in China. The attacks apparently started shortly after the Times published this report about the relatives of Wen Jiabao, China's prime minister, who have accumulated a "hidden fortune" to the tune of billions of dollars.
The New York Times published a little trend piece that argues "social media and science found each other in 2012." Evidence cited: there were scientific or science-related events that broke through to become part of the general public conversation, which includes Twitter and Facebook, like Felix Baumgartner's near-space jump and the Mars rover Curiosity's landing. And, yes, true! But we'd argue that social media is more a reflection of popular culture (with, yes, a slightly nerdy bent), and those events were easy-to-grasp, universally awesome things. Still, great to see more people talking about science. [NYTimes]
Here at PopSci we frequently talk about genetic modification, the process of interrupting or editing gene sequences to introduce new traits that nature by itself does not. Far less often do we talk about the other option — let's call it morphologic modification, for the process of unnaturally selecting and breeding for those desired traits. Take, for example, the dog.
By Gregory MonePosted 07.23.2007 at 3:33 pm 1 Comment
It had to happen at some point. A group of security experts from a company called Independent Security Evaluators figured out a way to sneak past the iPhones defenses and pull off the users personal information. To do so, the group set up a web page with malicious code. In the experiment they ran, if someone accesses this page through a Safari browser, the code grabs the persons text messages, the call log, address book, and voicemail data, then makes it all available to the hacker. But the group added that it could tweak the code to swipe passwords, too—it can essentially pull out anything they want. Dont go switching off your iPhone, though. The group has warned Apple already, and suggested a possible fix. Theres also no evidence that anyone has tried this with bad intentions. For those of you who are concerned, Independent Security Evaluators suggest taking the same precautions you would with a laptop. Use only secure WiFi, and dont visit suspicious Web pages, and dont click through links in shady emails. Computer scientist Charlie Miller, one of the team members, will be presenting the detailed results of their study at the BlackHat computer security conference in Las Vegas on August 2.—Gregory Mone
Wildfires rage across the West, earlier than usual this year Lori Morris; nytimes.com
While the Angora fire raging near Lake Tahoe is getting all the attention, more than a dozen other major wildfires are also burning around the drought-stricken West. They're the result of a perfect storm of fuel accumulation (thanks to years of fire suppression), climate change and rural sprawl.
An article in today's New York Times reports that, according to research done by Volker C. Radeloff at the University of Wisconsin, more than 8.6 million new homes have been constructed within 30 miles of a national forest since 1982. Many of the people occupying these homes are new to the rural West—and unaware of the danger they're facing. They haven't taken the necessary steps to protect their homes from forest fires.
The rest of us are paying the price. With firefighting efforts focused on saving scenic homes, there are fewer resources available for protecting public lands. And the fire season has just begun.—Dawn Stover