28 August 2011

#NASA #moon mission in final preparations for September launch > 9 months in #space !

NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission to study the moon is in final launch preparations for a scheduled Sept. 8 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. 

GRAIL's twin spacecraft are tasked for a nine-month mission to explore Earth's nearest neighbor in unprecedented detail. They will determine the structure of the lunar interior from crust to core and advance our understanding of the thermal evolution of the moon.

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25 August 2011

Climate cycles are driving wars, says study

(click to enlarge)

El Nino drought cycles heavily affecting some 90 countries (red) appear to be helping drive modern civil wars.
Courtesy Hsiang et al./Nature
The long war leading to South Sudan's recent independence kicked off during the powerful El Nino drought of 1983. In continuing hostilities, southern fighters display a grenade launcher captured from the northern Sudan Armed Forces, July 2011.
Trevor Snapp

In the first study of its kind, researchers have linked a natural global climate cycle to periodic increases in warfare. The arrival of El Niño, which every three to seven years boosts temperatures and cuts rainfall, doubles the risk of civil wars across 90 affected tropical countries, and may help account for a fifth of worldwide conflicts during the past half-century, say the authors. The paper, written by an interdisciplinary team at Columbia University's Earth Institute, appears in the current issue of the leading scientific journal Nature.

In recent years, historians and climatologists have built evidence that past societies suffered and fell due in connection with heat or droughts that damaged agriculture and shook governments. This is the first study to make the case for such destabilization in the present day, using statistics to link global weather observations and well-documented outbreaks of violence. The study does not blame specific wars on El Niño, nor does it directly address the issue of long-term climate change. However, it raises potent questions, as many scientists think natural weather cycles will become more extreme with warming climate, and some suggest ongoing chaos in places like Somalia are already being stoked by warming climate.

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24 August 2011

Handsome annual reports cause investors to value company higher - #design #PR #branding

As firms begin the 2011 annual report process, which many do at this time of year, they may want to pay closer attention to the way those reports look. A recent study out of the University of Miami School of Business Administration found that investors, regardless of their experience, place a higher value on firms with attractive annual reports than they do on those that produce less attractive reports. 

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19 August 2011

Gamification: Why Playing #Games Could Be the Next Big Thing for #Business

Article Image

Gamification -- the application of online game design techniques in non-game settings -- has been quickly gaining the attention of leaders in business, education, policy and even terrorist communities. But gamification also has plenty of critics, and the debate over its future could become an epic battle in the same vein of many online game favorites. 

This special report includes coverage of a recent Wharton conference titled, "For the Win: Serious Gamification," in addition to interviews with conference participants who discuss the use of gamification in business, government and other arenas.

Published: August 17, 2011 in Knowledge@Wharton

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15 August 2011

How the #Internet #architecture got its hourglass shape and what that means for the #future #web

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This illustration of the hourglass Internet architecture shows the six layers, from top to bottom: specific applications, application protocols, transport protocols, network protocols, data-link protocols and physical layer protocols.
(Credit: Constantine Dovrolis)
Illustration showing the number and age of protocols in each layer of the Internet architecture. In the middle layers, there are only a few protocols that are old and conserved.
(Credit: Constantine Dovrolis)
In the natural world, species that share the same ecosystem often compete for resources, resulting in the extinction of weaker competitors. A new computer model that describes the evolution of the Internet's architecture suggests something similar has happened among the layers of protocols that have survived -- and become extinct -- on the worldwide network. 
Understanding this evolutionary process may help computer scientists as they develop protocols to help the Internet accommodate new uses and protect it from a wide range of threats. But the model suggests that unless the new Internet avoids such competition, it will evolve an hourglass shape much like today's Internet.

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#Designers, create a #web site with no code - #Adobe #Muse now in beta

Adobe Muse, now in beta, is a new tool for traditional designers to create HTML websites without having to deal with code. 

If you spend more time in InDesign and Photoshop than you do on the Internet, Muse (the code name for Adobe’s soon-to-be-officially-launched new product) might be a godsend for you. And if you feel marginally more competent in the aforementioned tools than in a code editor, Muse is still something you’ll want to check out for yourself. 

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10 August 2011

New #science discovery > #DNA found in meteorites - adding more to story of #life on #Earth

"The components of DNA have now been confirmed to exist in extraterrestrial meteorites. Meteorites hold a record of the chemicals that existed in the early Solar System and that may have been a crucial source of the organic compounds that gave rise to life on Earth. Since the 1960s, scientists have been trying to find proof that nucleobases, the building blocks of our genetic material, came to Earth on meteorites.

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New research, published next week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicates that certain nucleobases do reach the Earth from extraterrestrial sources, by way of certain meteorites, and in greater diversity and quantity than previously thought."

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2 August 2011

In the future #data will be transferred to laptops with help of light #LED's. #innovation

Just imagine the following scenario: four people are comfortably ensconced in a room. Each one of them can watch a film from the Internet on his or her laptop, in HD quality. 

This is made possible thanks to optical WLAN. Light from the LEDs in the overhead lights serves as the transfer medium. 

For a long time, this was just a vision for the future. However, since scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI in Berlin, Germany, have developed this possibility into reality. 

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