NASA finds moon of Saturn has chemical that could form 'membranes'

NASA scientists have definitively detected the chemical acrylonitrile, also known as vinyl cyanide, in the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan, a place that has long intrigued scientists investigating the chemical precursors of life.

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Hacker Cracks Smart Gun Security To Shoot It Without Approval

An anonymous reader shares a CNN report:Smart guns are supposed to be safer than traditional weapons. They’re designed to only fire when paired with a second piece of technology that identifies the shooter, like an electronic chip or a fingerprint. Supporters say they could stop accidental shootings or misfires. And they’ve been lauded by law enforcement to prevent criminals from using stolen or misplaced guns. However, like any technology, they’re not unhackable. A hacker known by the pseudonym Plore doesn’t want to put a stop to smart guns, but he wants the firearm industry that’s increasingly manufacturing these devices to know that they can be hacked. The model Plore hacked is called the Armatix IPI. It pairs electronically with a smart watch so that only the person wearing the watch can fire it. The devices authenticate users via radio signals, electronically talking to each other within a small range. Plore broke the security features in three different ways, including jamming radio signals in the weapon and watch so the gun couldn’t be fired, and shooting the gun with no watch nearby by placing strong magnets next to the weapon.

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See Joss Whedon work on the record he co-wrote with Shawnee Kilgore


You probably know Joss Whedon best for writing groundbreaking empowerment narratives for the fictional women of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and the upcoming Batgirl. But he’s also helping female talents off the screen find their power and voice. 

In this footage debuting on Mashable, Whedon joins singer-songwriter Shawnee Kilgore for an intimate recording session.

This past January, you might’ve caught the duo’s other musical collaboration, Back to Eden, in a video directed by Whedon. The latest footage provides an intimate look at their recording and creative process, as Kilgore shows off her earnest, folksy soprano acoustics. Read more…

More about Bob Dylan, Joss Whedon, Behind The Scenes, Folk Music, and Shawnee Kilgore

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Scientists discover new magnet with nearly massless charge carriers

Advances in modern electronics has demanded the requisite hardware, transistors, to be smaller in each new iteration. Recent progress in nanotechnology has reduced the size of silicon transistors down to the order of 10 nanometers. However, for such small transistors, other physical effects set in, which limit their functionality. The recent discoveries of topological materials — a new class of relativistic quantum materials — hold great promise for use in energy saving electronics.

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ALMA confirms complex chemistry in Titan's atmosphere

Saturn’s frigid moon Titan has a curious atmosphere. In addition to a hazy mixture of nitrogen and hydrocarbons, like methane and ethane, Titan’s atmosphere also contains an array of more complex organic molecules, including vinyl cyanide, which astronomers recently uncovered in archival ALMA data. Under the right conditions, like those found on the surface of Titan, vinyl cyanide may naturally coalesce into microscopic spheres resembling cell membranes.

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Reddit's “penmanship porn” is loaded with stunning handwriting examples

Over at the Penmanship Porn subreddit, Eschermer showed his or her page of a transcription from Oscar Wilde’s “The Ballad of Reading Gaol.”

Another example:

Elegant hostility:

거친 말일 수록 부드럽게…222

— 캘리와 손장난의 꽃겆 (@point_calli) June 6, 2016

[via Core 77]

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This public toilet scans your face to make sure you don't use too much toilet paper

Beijing’s Temple of Heaven is one of the world’s most popular tourist spots. As such, it has a busy public restroom. The administrators felt that people were using too much toilet paper so they installed a toilet paper dispenser with facial recognition. If you received your 2-foot-long segment of toilet paper in the last 9 minutes, you’ll have to wait to get more.

From Mashable:

In the short time it’s been up, the system has already cut down usage to a fraction, temple staff said. According to the Beijing Evening News, each washroom average four rolls of toilet paper, compared to 20 rolls before.

But some have reported that the facial recognition process — which is supposed to take three seconds — can take up to a few minutes, and that it has not been reliable.

Some Weibo users have also responded with incredulity.

“To be honest, 60cm is a bit too little,” said a user.

[via Clive Thompson]

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Gentleman attempts to steal police car with policeman in it

Fort Pierce, Florida police officer Robie Troutman was sitting in his patrol car parked at the police station when he noticed someone trying to open his car doors. He spotted Aaron Orlando Rodriguez III running away. Troutman caught him hiding behind another car.

According to Troutman’s police report, “Rodriguez said he saw my vehicle was running so he attempted to steal the vehicle so he had a ride home.”

(TCPalm via Fark)

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Slug mucus-like adhesive could be the next surgical glue

Slug mucus sticks well to wet tissues, which appeals to surgeons. David J. Mooney of Harvard University made a glue similar to slug snot, and “tested the adhesive on pig skin, liver, heart, and cartilage and found that it was stronger than both cyanoacrylate (superglue) and a surgical sealant called CoSeal,” reports Chemical and Engineering News.

Mooney and his colleagues came across a paper analyzing the material properties of mucus from a type of slug (Arion subfuscus). The sticky mucus has two components: polycations that help the mucus adhere to surfaces through electrostatic interactions and covalent bonding, and a tough matrix that absorbs and dissipates stress. This combination allows the slug to stick strongly to a surface by resisting forces—such as those from wind, rain, or the beak of a hungry bird—that could dislodge it.

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Unhack the vote

 Voting is the free world’s Achilles heel and/or Trojan horse. Valid voters are suppressed. Vote audits are suppressed. Voter registration systems are hacked. And the worst-case scenario of all looms before us all like a monster in a horror movie: what if voting machines themselves are hacked, the “results” are faked, and democracy is quietly cancelled without the general… Read More

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