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Conch shells hold the secret to impact-resistant armor

1 day 2 hours ago
The conch shell is made of the same material as chalk, but unlike the crumbly rock, it's one of the toughest materials out there. If we can understand why it's so tough, we can mimic it to create nearly unbreakable materials that can be used for safe...

Researchers Found Perfect Contraceptives In Traditional Chinese Medicine

1 day 2 hours ago
hackingbear writes: Researchers at U.C. Berkeley found a birth control that was hormone-free, 100 percent natural, resulted in no side effects, didn't harm either eggs nor sperm, could be used in the long-term or short-term, and -- perhaps the best part of all -- could be used either before or after conception, from ancient Chinese folk medicine... "Because these two plant compounds block fertilization at very, very low concentrations -- about 10 times lower than levels of levonorgestrel in Plan B -- they could be a new generation of emergency contraceptive we nicknamed 'molecular condoms,'" team leader Polina Lishko.

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EditorDavid

Sony's latest E Ink tablet comes to the US in June

1 day 3 hours ago
Did you see Sony's second-generation Digital Paper and realize you found your dream e-reader? If so, you'll get to do something about it very soon. Sony has announced that its latest 13.3-inch E Ink tablet (the DPT-RP1) will reach the US sometime in...

Is Amazon's AWS Hiring 'Demolishing The Cult Of Youth'?

1 day 3 hours ago
Tech analyst James Governor argues that Amazon's cloud business is "demolishing the cult of youth." It just announced it is hiring James Gosling, one of the original inventors of Java... Meanwhile James Hamilton continues to completely kick ass in compute, network, and data center design for AWS... He's in his 50s. Tim Bray, one of the inventors of XML, joined Amazon in 2014. He's another Sun alumni. He's 61 now. He still codes. When you sit down with one of the AWS engineering teams you're sitting down with grownups... Adrian Cockcroft joined AWS in October 2016. He graduated in 1982, not 2002. He is VP Cloud Architecture Strategy at AWS, a perfect role for someone that helped drive Netflix's transition from on-prem Java hairball to serious cloud leadership. Great engineering is not maths -- it involves tradeoffs, wisdom and experience... The company puts such a premium on independent groups working fast and making their own decisions it requires a particular skillset, which generally involves a great deal of field experience. A related trend is hiring seasoned marketing talent from the likes of IBM. Some other older companies have older distinguished engineers because they grew up with the company. AWS is explicitly bringing that experience in. It's refreshing to the see a different perspective on value. In a later post the analyst acknowledges engineering managers are generally older than their reports, but adds that "If AWS sees value in hiring engineering leadership from folks that are frankly a bit older than the norm in the industry, isn't that worth shining a light on?" In response to the article, XML inventor Tim Bray suggested a new acronym: GaaS. "Geezers as a service," while Amazon CTO Werner Vogels tweeted "There is no compression algorithm for experience."

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EditorDavid

New Details On Sergey Brin's Plan For The World's Largest Aircraft

1 day 4 hours ago
An anonymous reader shares The Guardian's report on plans for a new aircraft that's two-and-a-half times the size of a 747. Google co-founder Sergey Brin is building a hi-tech airship in Silicon Valley destined to be the largest aircraft in the world, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the project. "It's going to be massive on a grand scale," said one, adding that the airship is likely to be nearly 200 meters [656 feet] long... Brin wants the gargantuan airship, funded personally by the billionaire, to be able to deliver supplies and food on humanitarian missions to remote locations. However, it will also serve as a luxurious intercontinental "air yacht" for Brin's friends and family. One source put the project's price tag at $100m to $150m. Igor Pasternak, an airship designer who was involved in the early stages of the project, believes airships could be as revolutionary for the trillion-dollar global cargo market as the internet was for communications. "Sergey is pretty innovative and forward looking," he said. "Trucks are only as good as your roads, trains can only go where you have rails, and planes need airports. Airships can deliver from point A to point Z without stopping anywhere in between." The Guardian quips that while Brin's plans may stay secret for a while, "the good news is that the first flight test of such an enormous aircraft will be impossible to hide."

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EditorDavid

The best bike lock

1 day 4 hours ago
By Duncan Niederlitz This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer's guide to the best homewares. When readers choose to buy The Sweethome's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its wor...

Even For Businesses, Chrome Is The Top Browser

1 day 5 hours ago
An anonymous reader shares Computerworld's interview with David Michael Smith of Gartner. "Most enterprises still have a 'standard' browser, and most of the time, that's something from Microsoft. These days it's IE11. But we've found that people actually use Chrome more than IE... It's the most-used browser in enterprise," he said... IE retains a sizable share -- Smith called it "a significant presence" -- largely because it's still required in most companies. "There are a lot of [enterprise] applications that only work in IE, because [those apps] use plug-ins," Smith said, ticking off examples like Adobe Flash, Java and Microsoft's own Silverlight. "Anything that requires an ActiveX control needs IE." Many businesses have adopted the two-prong strategy that Gartner and others began recommending years ago: Keep a "legacy" browser to handle older sites, services and web apps, but offer another for everything else... Chrome, said Smith, is now the "overwhelming choice" as the modern enterprise browser... Smith wasn't optimistic that Edge would supplant Chrome, even when Windows 10 is widely deployed on corporate computers in the next few years. "Edge certainly will have opportunities" once Windows 10 is the enterprise-standard OS, "but I would say that Chrome has a lot of momentum, largely for the fact that it is so popular on the internet." While a year ago Chrome and Microsoft's browsers both held 41% of the browser market share, now Chrome holds 59% to just 24% for both IE and Edge combined.

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EditorDavid

After Math: That took long enough

1 day 5 hours ago
It's been a big week of things finally happening. Uber's making good on the backpay it owes its drivers, Target settled its data breach lawsuits and some semen that spent nearly a year in space proves to still be viable. Numbers, because how else wil...

Working Theory In Jet Crash: IPhone In Cockpit Is To Blame

1 day 6 hours ago
Apple Insider reports: Apple on Friday said that it's open to cooperation with French authorities, who are exploring the possibility that two of the company's devices were linked to the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804 in 2016. The flight's first officer may have plugged an iPhone 6s and an iPad mini 4 into the wrong socket in the jet's cockpit, French officials told Le Parisien. That may have triggered runaway heat, in turn sparking a fire. At the moment, the investigation is being helped by an engineer from the French National Center for Scientific Research, as well as two people fron the French defense ministry, including a physics professor and an engineer specializing in batteries. Results from the investigation should be submitted by Sept. 30. Apple told the Parisien that it wasn't aware of evidence linking its devices to the EgyptAir disaster.

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EditorDavid