The Stuxnet worm has generated plenty of commentary from computer industry experts and security pundits, but yesterday the U.S. government’s senior cybersecurity expert at the Department of Homeland Security weighed in, calling the malicious program a “game changer” in cyber warfare. The head of the DHS’s Cybersecurity Center, Sean McGurk, made the statement to the Senate Homeland Security Committee Wednesday.
With all the exoplanet hunting going these days, astronomers have now logged more than 500 planets orbiting other stars in the Milky Way. Detecting planets in other galaxies, however, is still beyond the reach of scientific technology. But researchers have now discovered the next best thing – a planet of extragalactic origins orbiting a star within our galaxy that was deposited there billions of years ago when the Milky Way swallowed up a smaller dwarf galaxy.
Since early man fashioned that first stone tool, technology has been a cumulative process – we had to have stone tools to get to metals to get to spaceships to get to Facebook. Or something like that. The point is, every field of technological inquiry has its waypoints and milestones, and robotics – a field that notches mind-blowing advances with increased regularity – has just hit upon another monumental breakthrough: teat detection.
A few weeks ago, a train glided out of a station in Hangzhou, China, bound for Shanghai some 125 miles to the northeast. It arrived less than an hour later, cutting the usual commute time in half. Some trains on the line average 220 miles per hour, making it the fastest daily train in the world.
The next generation of Mars rovers may not rove at all, instead bouncing around the planet while harvesting carbon dioxide for fuel.
A new Mars hopper concept involves a carbon dioxide collection and compression system, which would take advantage of CO2 phase changes to produce thrust. The Martian atmosphere is rich in CO2, so a robotic hopper that can harvest indigenous fuels would provide greater range while also solving the problem of fuel transport.
To most of us, seeing what’s around the corner before rounding the bend is known as premonition. For students and professors at MIT’s Media Lab, it’s called physics. The lab is working on a laser-based camera that can snap images around corners, imaging scenery that is beyond direct line of sight.
All art is introspective – or so it is said – but a New York University photography professor is taking the idea of turning the lens around on himself to a literal extreme. Assistant professor Wafaa Bilal is implanting a camera in the back of his head as part of a project commissioned by a new museum in Qatar. Cue the teacher-with-eyes-in-the-back-of-his-head jokes.
Ever since Japan’s asteroid exploring spacecraft Hyabusa crash-landed in the Australian outback this summer after a seven year round trip through space, astronomers and space geeks the world over have been waiting to hear confirmation from JAXA (the Japanese space agency) that the troubled mission did indeed bring back samples of asteroid dust. Today they got it. For the first time, scientists have collected dust from an extraterrestrial asteroid and returned it to Earth for study.
The real-life housing market might be in the dumps, but a Hollywood real estate mogul is making a killing in the virtual world. Jon Jacobs, aka "Neverdie" in the massively multiplayer Entropia Universe, just sold a virtual nightclub for the actual price of $635,000.
Proceeds from the sale will fund Jacobs' virtual planet-building ventures, which could in turn create actual revenue streams for Hollywood, the recording industry and traditional media sources. Really.