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NASA Spots Possible Earth ‘Twin’ 600 Light-Years Away

NASA's Kepler mission on Monday confirmed the discovery of a small planet 600 light-years away from Earth in the "habitable zone" of a star not unlike our own sun. About 2.4 times the size of Earth, the newly confirmed planet -- called "Kepler-22b" -- is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle...

Can’t Find the Bathroom? Just Ask Google

Users of Google Maps are already accustomed to relying on the technology for directions to places like the airport or mall, but now they can also use it for help getting around inside once they've arrived. Google Maps 6.0 for Android gives mobile users a way to determine where they are inside a larg...

Next Kinect Could Be a Lot More Understanding

The next generation of Microsoft's Kinect input device may be able to read users' lips and emotions. The forthcoming device, which is expected to come bundled with Xbox consoles, reportedly will not just sense motions the way the current Kinect generation does, but will also allow games to read lips...

BEST OF ECT NEWS

Taking It to the Cybercrooks: Q&A With Security Guru Mikko Hypponen, Part 2

Mikko Hypponen has spent the past 20-plus years studying malicious software, including everything from "Brain" -- the first PC virus, dating back to 1986 -- all the way up to Stuxnet and today's most sophisticated global malware. He's widely considered one of the world's foremost experts on informat...

BEST OF ECT NEWS

Taking It to the Cybercrooks: Q&A With Security Guru Mikko Hypponen, Part 1

It was once the case that computer viruses and other malicious software were written primarily by hobbyist hackers. Their motivations, for the most part, were simply bragging rights and the respect of their peers -- desirable rewards, to be sure, but certainly not the sole focus of any career. The r...

SPACE

Fully Loaded Curiosity Rover Readies for Trek to Red Planet

Following a one-day delay, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission featuring its new Curiosity rover is now scheduled for launch on Saturday, Nov. 26, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Representing the largest and most advanced rover ever sent to the Red Planet, the automobile-sized C...

Android Malware Hits Record Heights, Report Warns

Android malware has increased 472 percent since July, a new report from Juniper Networks warned earlier this week, with the months of October and November shaping up to see the fastest jump in Android malware ever discovered, the company stated. The number of Android malware samples identified in Se...

Amazon’s Kindle Fire: First in a New Niche?

Amazon.com's Kindle Fire tablet will be arriving on consumers' doorsteps a day earlier than planned, the company announced Monday, and reviewers have wasted no time sharing their own early thoughts about the new device. Originally planned for shipment on Tuesday to those who preordered it, the 7-inc...

SCIENCE

Scientists Have Fun With Quantum Levitation

"Quantum levitation" may not be a household term, but one look at a YouTube video now nearing 3 million views, and you'll soon get the gist of what's going on. In essence, it's a thin but solid disc floating in mid-air. Magic and science fiction might be what spring to mind, but in fact what's being...

SPACE

Virgin Galactic Spacecraft Triumphs in Hair-Raising Test Flight

A recent test flight of Virgin Galactic's private SpaceShipTwo spacecraft caused some tense moments for those participating and observing, but ultimately a new safety feature on the suborbital craft allowed its three-person crew to regain control and bring it safely back down to Earth. After being c...

Tech World Mourns Loss of Dennis Ritchie, Father of C and Unix

Legendary computer scientist and creator of the C programming language Dennis Ritchie has died at the age of 70, leaving behind a legacy that touches virtually every aspect of modern life. News of Ritchie's death was apparently first revealed to the world on Google+ by Rob Pike, a distinguished engi...

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Fighting the Good Global Cybercrime Fight: Q&A With Security Guru Mikko Hypponen, Part 2

Mikko Hypponen has spent the past 20-plus years studying malicious software, including everything from "Brain" -- the first PC virus, dating back to 1986 -- all the way up to Stuxnet and today's most sophisticated global malware. He's widely considered one of the world's foremost experts on informat...

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Fighting the Good Global Cybercrime Fight: Q&A With Security Guru Mikko Hypponen, Part 1

It was once the case that computer viruses and other malicious software were written primarily by hobbyist hackers. Their motivations, for the most part, were simply bragging rights and the respect of their peers -- desirable rewards, to be sure, but certainly not the sole focus of any career. The r...

The Holographic Universe: Is Our 3D World Just an Illusion?

It's difficult enough for most humans to grasp the idea that our planet is just one of countless others in our galaxy -- and a pretty small one, at that. Then, of course, there's the concept that our galaxy is just one of billions of others in the universe -- sure to compound any confusion considera...

Guess What’s Coming to Dinner

Beef may often be "what's for dinner" throughout many parts of the world, but there's no doubt the habit comes at a heavy price. In addition to taking the lives of 16 billion or so animals each year in the United States alone -- yes, that's billion -- meat takes a significant toll on the environment...

Hidden in Plain Sight: A Missing Branch on the Tree of Life

It must have been a heart-stopping moment four centuries ago when the earliest users of the original optical microscope first peered through the device at a drop of pond water. Although that water had surely appeared clear to the naked eye, a virtual parade of unfamiliar and even sinister-looking bl...

Heavens on Earth: 3 Planetariums on the Cutting Edge

Planetariums may date back to the far reaches of recorded time, but the first widely known example -- an ancient cast-metal globe made by Archimedes to predict the movements of the planets -- now seems to have little in common with the technological marvels that have become widespread today. Rather ...

SPACE

Beyond the Point of No Return: Is There Life in Black Holes?

Few ideas convey the mystery and awe-inspiring nature of space better than the black hole. Dark, vast and little understood, black holes in many ways represent all that we still don't know about the universe. With their seemingly infinite emptiness and general unexplorability, they're also more than...

Cosmic Fireworks Erupt When Black Hole in Dragon’s Belly Swallows Star

A mysterious cosmic blast in the constellation Draco has astronomers scrambling to try to understand its cause, so unlike is it to anything ever observed before. Rather than the short-lived gamma-ray bursts typically associated with the death of a massive star -- most last no more than a few hours -...

Virgin Oceanic Sub Will ‘Fly’ to Ocean Depths

Space may be the final frontier in many senses of the word, but it's by no means the only one facing mankind. Targeting one of the great mysteries that still exist here on Earth, entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson on Tuesday announced his plans to begin a series of deep-sea explorations through Virgin...

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