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5 features an Amazon phone might offer

April 18, 2014 2:10 pm | by Mae Anderson - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | Comments

Rumors of an Amazon smartphone reached a fever pitch this week, with several tech blogs speculating that the device could be due out this year. Amazon hasn't confirmed that it has plans for a smartphone, and it isn't clear what such a device might offer in the way of distinctive features. Some...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

April 18, 2014 1:44 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team has found. The team successfully took thermal images of a person through a piece of the new plastic....

Bright points in sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior

April 18, 2014 1:40 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Like a balloon bobbing along in the air while tied to a child's hand, a tracer has been found in the sun's atmosphere to help track the flow of material coursing underneath the sun's surface. New research that uses data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, to track bright points in the solar atmosphere...

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Photos of the Day: Helicat 22 looks like hybrid between helicopter and boat

April 18, 2014 1:16 pm | by ECN Staff | Comments

The HeliCat 22 is a catamaran that looks like a helicopter but glides like a decadent boat. It’s able to cruise 0-30 mph in whitecap waves at 5 mpg. It features two independent motor/fuel/electrical systems for redundancy. The HeliCat 22 burns only 4-13 gph, getting 5 to 3.5 miles per gallon....

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First Earth-size planet is discovered in another star's habitable zone

April 18, 2014 12:53 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

A team of astronomers that includes Penn State scientists has discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery was made with NASA's Kepler Space Telescope....

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Impurity size affects performance of emerging superconductive material

April 18, 2014 12:50 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Research from North Carolina State University finds that impurities can hurt performance – or possibly provide benefits – in a key superconductive material that is expected to find use in a host of applications, including future particle colliders. The size of the impurities determines whether they help or hinder the material's performance....

UT Dallas professor to develop framework to protect computers' cores

April 18, 2014 12:46 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

UT Dallas cybersecurity expert Dr. Zhiqiang Lin has received funding from the U.S. Air Force to develop a defense framework that burrows deep into a computer system to protect its core. The Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) provides up to $360,000....

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'Dressed' laser aimed at clouds may be key to inducing rain, lightning

April 18, 2014 12:42 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

The adage "Everyone complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it," may one day be obsolete if researchers at the University of Central Florida's College of Optics & Photonics and the University of Arizona further develop a new technique to aim a high-energy laser beam into clouds....

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Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

April 18, 2014 12:37 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Asteroid and comet impacts can cause widespread ecological havoc, killing off plants and animals on regional or even global scales. But new research from Brown University shows that impacts can also preserve the signatures of ancient life at the time of an impact....

White House updating online privacy policy

April 18, 2014 12:34 pm | by MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer | Comments

A new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tributes, are in the open domain....

Under some LED bulbs, whites aren't 'whiter than white'

April 18, 2014 10:24 am | by A'ndrea Elyse Messer | Comments

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different degrees of whites may all look the same, according to experts in lighting....

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Scientists explain how memories stick together

April 18, 2014 8:21 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Scientists at the Salk Institute have created a new model of memory that explains how neurons retain select memories a few hours after an event. This new framework provides a more complete picture of how memory works, which can inform research into disorders liked Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, post-traumatic stress and learning disabilities....

Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find

April 17, 2014 1:10 pm | by Bree Fowler - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | Comments

Secret Service investigators say they are close to gaining a full understanding of the methods hackers used to breach Target's computer systems last December. But the agency says it could take years to identify the criminals who stole some 40,000 debit and credit card numbers of Target shoppers...

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Facebook rolls out location-sharing feature

April 17, 2014 1:10 pm | by Barbara Ortutay - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | Comments

Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to see which of their friends are in close proximity using a new feature the company is launching on Thursday. Called "Nearby Friends," the optional tool will only be available to people who choose to turn it on. The feature uses your smartphone's GPS...

Photos of the Day: A remote-controlled, fire-breathing dragon

April 17, 2014 12:59 pm | by ECN Staff | Comments

Hammacher Schlemmer has introduced possibly the coolest RC “toy” of all time: A remote-controlled, fire-breathing dragon. I put “toy” in quotations because of the obvious safety risk and the exorbitant price: This bad boy will set you back 60 grand. But it’d be money well-spent....

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