sciencehabit writes "A new analysis reveals the intricacies of spider web design, showing how the unique properties of its silk turn webs into flexible yet strong traps. Computer simulations reveal that heavy forces spread over the entire net rather than stay local. Real spider silk can be either stretchy or stiff at different times, which produces threads that flex and then snap in just the right way to avoid wrecking nearby spokes."
littlekorea writes "New South Wales Police have arrested a man selling USB keys bearing the Apple logo, which offered access to over a thousand Pay TV channels, another thousand movies on demand and several hundred adult films. A forensic analysis of the device revealed the content was hosted in China but streamed via US servers and domains."
MrSeb writes "You've heard of smart cars, and now, rolling out in San Francisco, is a smart parking system that promises to eliminate the arduous process of finding a parking spot. SFpark is a network of magnetic sensors that have been installed under 8,200 street parking spaces, along with additional information from parking garages and parking meters. These sensors are all linked together in a mesh network, and ultimately link back to a central command center. Drivers can access this parking data via the SFpark website or smartphone app, and see in real-time where parking spaces are available. At any one time, a third of cars on the road in urban areas are looking for parking spots, consuming more fuel, creating more pollution, and causing more accidents. With SFpark, you can see at a glance where there's a parking spot — but in the future, you'll be able to hit a button and have your smartphone direct you to the nearest parking spot."
Hugh Pickens writes "As millions of fans sit glued to their sets next Sunday, one part of the game they will not see is the massive deployment of federal and local law enforcement resources to achieve what is being called the most technologically secure Super Bowl in history, an event that has been officially designated as a National Security Special Event (PDF). At the top of the list are gamma-ray cargo and vehicles scanners that can reportedly see through six inches of steel to reveal the contents of large vehicles. 'We can detect people, handguns and rifles,' says Customs and Border Protection Officer Brian Bell. 'You'd be a fool to bring something into that stadium that you shouldn't. We're going to catch it. Our goal is to look at every vehicle that makes a delivery inside the stadium and inside the secure perimeter.' Next is the 51-foot Featherlite mobile command center for disaster response that will support the newly constructed $18 million Regional Operations Center (ROC) for the Marion County Department of Homeland Security that will serve as a fusion center for coordinating the various federal agencies involved in providing security for the Super Bowl. One interesting security measure are the 'Swiveloc' explosion-proof manhole covers (video) that Indianapolis has spent $150,000 installing that are locked down during the Super Bowl. In case of an underground explosion, the covers lift a couple of inches off the ground — enough to vent gas out without feeding in oxygen to make an explosion bigger — before falling back into place. Finally the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI has installed a network of cameras that will be just a click away for government officials. 'If you had the right (Internet) address, you could set up a laptop anywhere and you could watch the camera from there,' says Brigadier General Stewart Goodwin."
ananyo writes "In its battle against a sluggish economy, Japan's government is gearing up to make cost savings through a root-and-branch reform of the country's science system, merging some of its most prominent research organizations. Plans approved by the government's cabinet would consolidate the RIKEN network of basic-research laboratories with the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) — the national funding body. But with few details about the timing, potential cost savings or full implications of the change, many researchers are concerned that it could be a recipe for harsh funding cuts and even greater bureaucracy."
therufus writes "Sweden's Supreme Court announced its decision not to grant leave to appeal in the long-running Pirate Bay criminal trial. This means that the previously determined jail sentences and fines handed out to Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström will stand."
redletterdave writes "Singaporean researchers have created a miniature robot with a pincer and a hook that can remove early-stage stomach cancers without leaving any scars. Mounted on an endoscope, it enters the patient's gut through the mouth. It has a pincer to hold cancerous tissues, and a hook that slices them off and coagulates blood to stop bleeding. With the help of a tiny camera attached to the endoscope, the surgeon sees what's inside the gut and controls the robotic arms remotely while sitting in front of a monitor screen. The robot has already helped remove early-stage stomach cancers in five patients in Hong Kong and India, using a fraction of the time normally taken in open and keyhole surgeries that put patients at higher risk of infection and leave behind scars."
bonch writes "Google will begin redirecting blogs to country-specific URLs. Blog visitors will be redirected to a URL specific to their location, with content subject to their country's censorship laws. A support post on Blogger explains the change: 'Over the coming weeks you might notice that the URL of a blog you're reading has been redirected to a country-code top level domain, or "ccTLD." For example, if you're in Australia and viewing [blogname].blogspot.com, you might be redirected to [blogname].blogspot.com.au. A ccTLD, when it appears, corresponds with the country of the reader's current location.'"
Zothecula writes "Last year, NASA announced it was seeking proposals for mission concept studies of a high-power solar electric propulsion (SEP) system that could be used in a 'space tugboat.' Such a ship would be used to ferry payloads in low Earth orbit (LEO) into higher energy orbits, including geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) and Lagrange point one (L1) — saving on fuel and the use of expensive secondary boosters. NASA also anticipates an SEP system could be used to propel spacecraft into deep space for science missions and for the placement, service, resupply, repositioning and salvaging of space assets by commercial operators."
nk497 writes "Microsoft has released Kinect for Windows, featuring a new "near mode" that lets the gesture control tech be used as close as 40cm. The Kinect for Windows hardware will retail at $249 — well above the price of the version for Xbox 360 consoles. Microsoft defended the price difference, saying sales of games and Xbox Live subscriptions help subsidize the console version. The new version will support Windows 7 and the Windows 8 developer preview, as well as Windows Embedded 7 devices."
hypnosec writes "Today is the day when Facebook may be submitting all required paperwork to regulators for its $5 billion initial public offering. According to the source close to the deal, Facebook has selected Morgan Stanley along with four others — Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Barclay's Capital to handle this IPO. Morgan Stanley will be taking "lead left" role in this supposedly biggest IPO from Silicon Valley. According to International Financing Review, the preliminary target of $5 billion will be increased by many folds in coming few months as a response to the demands of investors. Sources close to this matter disclosed that this might turn out to be defining moment for current web investments. The deal might rise to $10 billion which eventually will make Facebook a social networking empire valued between $75 billion to $100 billion. In fact, $75 billion is definitely an undervaluation compared to previous expectations."
eldavojohn writes "Currently DC Comics' site has a banner announcing a new series called "Before Watchmen." Unfortunately the blog pages for this new series appear to be experiencing high traffic and are unreachable. But a number of sites are breaking down these new endeavors that will be giving backstories to the seven characters and who will be creating each of those series. There's also speculation ranging from how much this must upset Alan Moore (egg frying on his forehead seems to be the popular guess) to the theory that this is simply for more movie material. There's an abundance of information from interviews released today."
sciencehabit writes with this excerpt from Science: "The first plants to colonize land didn't merely supply a dash of green to a drab landscape. They dramatically accelerated the natural breakdown of exposed rocks, according to a new study, drawing so much planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere that they sent Earth's climate spiraling into a major ice age."
New submitter whyloginwhysubscribe writes "A technical blog post describes how the BBC has rolled out the latest changes to its sports website in anticipation of the Summer Olympics in London. The innovative content management system extends the already available dynamic semantic publishing, which enables their journalists 'to spend more time creating great content and less time managing that content.' The post covers some of the technical and lots of the HCI / UI design decisions and is accompanied by a non-technical overview of the re-design."