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Italian appeal court clears seismologists of manslaughter

The pain remains, but at least not the crime. In a case watched by scientists around the world, six Italian seismologists who had been found guilty of manslaughter for failing to predict the L'Aquila earthquake have had their convictions overturned by an appeals court. They had been sentenced to six years in jail and a fine of € …
Uni of Texas Radio Wave Circulator

Texas boffins put radio waves in a spin

University of Texas researchers have developed an electronic “radio wave circulator” they say would enable full-duplex communications on mobile phones using a single frequency band. A circulator is a special application of a waveguide (using a magnetic material) that allows an RF signal to pass from one port to the next. They're …
ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) is one of six detector experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – image by Maximilien Brice CERN/Science photo library

GOD particle MAY NOT BE GOD particle: Scientists in shock claim

A new scholarly paper has raised suspicions in boffinry circles as to whether last year's breakthrough discovery by CERN was indeed the fabled, applecart-busting Higgs boson. The report from the University of Southern Denmark suggests that while physicists working with data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) did discover a new …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Nov 2014
Cameron Diaz

CAMERON DIAZ covers top BOFFINS in GOLD at Breakthrough Prizes

Cameron Diaz, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Zuckerberg were among the assembled luminaries at NASA's Ames campus in Silicon Valley over the weekend – where techbiz titans and people paid to pretend to be boffins in the movies distributed $36m at the Breakthrough Prize ceremony. The money was awarded by tech luminaries on the …

Boffin imagines Wi-Fi-defined no-shoot zones for wireless weapons

What if, instead of trying to control the sale of guns – a political impossibility in America – weapon use were enforced by a complex combination of electronics, WiFi communications and policy enforcement? That's what researchers from the University of Delaware are proposing, asking in essence whether technology offers a way to …

NASA floats million-dollar airship prize for 20-20-20 vision

NASA is toying with the idea of a million-dollar-plus prize to encourage people to develop high-altitude airships for atmospheric research. According to its request for expressions of interest, the aeronautical agency wants ideas from industry, individuals and educational institutions. The “20-20-20 Airship Challenge” requires …
comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Race is on to touch down on COMET 67P before WHIFFY SPACE DUCK breaks up

Vid Rosetta robot probe, Philae, is set to touch down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Wednesday, 12 November, when the craft's decade-long chase to reach the speeding, icy cosmic rock hits its target – if all goes to plan. But how long can we expect the comet to live? The European Space Agency's project scientist Matt Taylor …
Team Register, 9 Nov 2014
bees

Hot, horny bees swerve PLANET-SAVING DUTIES as climate warms, claim boffins

Boffins who believe that the world's climate is warming have uncovered new findings that they think could strike a serious blow to crop productivity: horny bees. Researchers from the University of East Anglia, Reg readers may want to take note, used Met Office climate records as part of their study. So we bring this information …
Team Register, 8 Nov 2014

HOT YOUNG STAR about to GIVE BIRTH, long range images show

Boffins have been left in shock after glimpsing the interstellar equivalent of a teenage pregnancy. Researchers used the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) to snap super-high resolution images of a young star in the process of giving birth to a series of planets. The team who took the candid shot were shocked to see such a …
Jasper Hamill, 7 Nov 2014

Lindsay Lohan ignores El Reg's tender twitterly advances

We're distraught to report that thesp Lindsay Lohan has ignored a recent Twitter request for a few words on our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission - the audacious namesake ballocket initiative which will see her moniker written gloriously across the stratosphere. Our tweet to Lindsay Lohan No doubt Ms Lohan …
Lester Haines, 7 Nov 2014
turbine

Wind farms make you sick claims blown away again

In certain parts of the world, campaigners against wind farms argue that clusters of giant turbines make nearby residents ill. Australian researcher Professor Simon Chapman's work in the field asserts that “wind turbine sickness” is a “ psychogenic” disease that only occurs when people are told that wind farms might make them …

Cheap blow-up baby incubator bags James Dyson award

An inflatable incubator for use in poor countries has won this year's James Dyson Award, which celebrates university student inventions. James Roberts, a 23-year-old University of Loughborough graduate, won £30,000 to develop his prototype (called MOM) for mass production. The university will also receive £9,000. The invention …
Kat Hall, 6 Nov 2014

AT LAST! London gets BONKERS FLYING PRINTER TEST LAB

A £1.25m lab for testing drones that can swim and carry 3D printers will be built at Imperial College London's South Kensington campus. An artist's impression of what the lab will look like. The facilities will research a range of applications for drones from repair work in the nuclear, oil, gas, and energy sectors to their …
Kat Hall, 6 Nov 2014

First space Hasselblad goes under the hammer

The first Hasselblad camera to travel into space will go under the hammer next week, over 50 years after it was carried aloft by Walter M Schirra on the Mercury MA-8 mission. View of the first Hasselblad in space The first Hasselblad in space - yours for $10k+ Camera enthusiast Schirra bought the 500c and 80mm Zeiss lens at …
Lester Haines, 6 Nov 2014
ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) is one of six detector experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – image by Maximilien Brice CERN/Science photo library

CERN: 2015 restart causes tech rethink

Vid Going beyond “seeing” the Higgs boson to “understanding” it is going to cause a data flood for CERN researchers, and its infrastructure services manager Tim Bell says that's pushed the outfit to increasingly look beyond its own iron. Speaking to the OpenStack summit in Paris, Bell says the challenges even of the old Large Hadron …
Antares rocket fails

Antares apocalypse: Orbital points finger at turbopump FAIL

Orbital Sciences says it's probably going to ditch the Russian-made Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ26 engines it has been using for its Antares launchers. The company says preliminary analysis of the telemetry from its failed launch in late October suggests that a turbopump probably failed in one of the two first-stage main engines. That …
A storm is brewing (Mali, Sahel). Foto: F. Guichard & L. Kergoat, AMMA project, CNRS copyright.

Met Office: 2014 was FIFTEENTH WARMEST UK SUMMER on record

The UK experienced its fifteenth hottest summer since 1910 this year, according to the latest Met Office figures, with the raging heat unsurpassed except in the years 1911, 1947, 1955 and eleven other years over the past century. "People are not adapting their homes, particularly in cities, to make them cooler. For vulnerable …
Lewis Page, 5 Nov 2014

Spaceplane fan sips sweet nectar from LOHAN's copious cup

We're obliged to spaceplane fan Mike Kimber for sending over the first evidence we've received of our magnificent Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mug in the wild, and being put to extremely laudable use. Mike wrote: "A while ago you published a recipe for a super strength mead in honour of the LOHAN project... Well …
Lester Haines, 5 Nov 2014
UNSW's Michelle Simmons

Oz quantum researcher to head new journal

Prominent University of New South Wales quantum physicist Michelle Simmons has been tapped to take the reins of a new open access quantum physics publishing venture from Nature, as part of a partnership between the journal house and UNSW. Called npj Quantum Information, the journal is one of Nature's partner series, and the …

European SPACEMAN exposes EERIE snaps of ISS in Twitter feed

An astronaut has posted a series of eerie images showing the International Space Station after nightfall. Entitled "Spooky Space Station", the creepy shots show the claustrophobia and isolation of life in orbit. They were taken by the German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, who is taking part in a six-month mission called Blue …
Jasper Hamill, 3 Nov 2014
SpaceShipTwo crash

Virgin 'spaceship' pilot 'UNLOCKED tailbooms' going through SOUND BARRIER

The Virgin Galactic "spaceship" rocketplane which broke up in mid-air during a flight test on Friday deployed its unique "feather" atmospheric re-entry system far earlier than planned, according to federal investigators. VSS Enterprise in feathered descent testing. Credit: Clay Observatory/Virgin Galactic VSS Enterprise in …

LOHAN test flight: Results in from Oz jury

Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) brain surgeons Linus Penzlien and Andrew Tridgell* have scrutinised the log flies from the recent test flight which saw a Pixhawk autopilot, batteries and servos (pictured below) sent aloft to 27,700m to determine in real-world conditions how the Vulture 2 spaceplane's bulging …
Lester Haines, 3 Nov 2014
Rosetta

Rosetta reaches perfect position to get touchy Philae

The European Space Agency's (ESA's) comet-catching Rosetta probe is “lined up for lander delivery”, after a couple of rocket nudges placed it into its penultimate pre-launch orbit for the attempt to release the Philae lander and send it to comet 67P/C-G. ESA boffins report that late last week Rosetta fired a thruster for 90 …
News team, 3 Nov 2014
Our shock image of the Tenerife sex dangle

Bona-fide SCIENCE: Which forms of unusual sex are, um, mainstream?

It's not often, here on the Register sexy psychology desk, that we are genuinely bowled over by a press release. But we are today. The press release in question is this one from Montreal uni. It begins: Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a …
Lewis Page, 3 Nov 2014
DHS-supplied pic of an unidentified female sneezing

Google hopes to cure its 'flu sneezes

Google has responded to criticism of its Flu Trends, and decided that as well as big data, it needs real data. As noted earlier this year, search data alone overpredicts influenza outbreaks, because there are so many symptoms that can lead people to ask the all-seeing eye “do I have the 'flu?” The response, announced by the …

UN: Fossil fuels should be TERMINATED 86 years from now

The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report alarmingly warned today that it was vital for the world to phase out fossil fuels by 2100. The committee claimed that cutting greenhouse gas emissions by between 40 per cent and 70 per cent by 2050, and to near or below zero emissions in 2100 "would likely …
Team Register, 2 Nov 2014

Spooky GHOST LIGHT reveals DEAD GALAXIES torn apart over 6 BEEELLION years

Pic Astro boffins have observed a faded, ghostly glow of stars belched from ancient galaxies that NASA said were gravitationally ripped apart several billion years ago. The chaotic, straying stars were spotted by the US and European space agency's Hubble telescope – which is the only instrument capable of making such an observation …
Team Register, 1 Nov 2014
SpaceShipTwo crash

Branson on Virgin Galactic fatal crash: 'Space is hard – but worth it'

Richard Branson raced to the scene of a Virgin Galactic test flight tragedy last night, after the company's SpaceShipTwo crashed killing one pilot and left another seriously injured. In a blog post, the British billionaire businessman said he want to be in Mojave, California "with the dedicated and hard-working people who are …
Kelly Fiveash, 1 Nov 2014
Musk Deer -from WCS

Oh, dear! Scientists uncover Afghan VAMPIRE DEER

Just as the kids in the US are taking to the streets for spooky fun and sugar overloads on Halloween, scientists have rediscovered a long-forgotten species of deer that might just freak you out. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said its researchers had documented a species of musk deer continues to live in remote parts of …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Nov 2014
SpaceShipTwo crash

Virgin's SpaceShipTwo crashes in Mojave Desert during test flight

Updated Richard Branson's commercial space company Virgin Galactic suffered a serious setback on Friday when a test flight of its SpaceShipTwo aircraft crashed during the testing of its rocket motor. SpaceShipTwo crash This doesn't look good "Virgin Galactic’s partner Scaled Composites conducted a powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo …
Iain Thomson, 31 Oct 2014

DR LIPS warns: DON'T KISS that NEWT - it's got FLESH-EATING PLAGUE

Planning to snog a frog, a newt or a salamander and turn it into Prince Charming? Well, think again, princess, because a deadly skin-eating fungus is wiping them out across the world. The deadly fungus is called Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans and has already devastated wild populations of fire salamanders in the Netherlands …
Jasper Hamill, 31 Oct 2014

So long, thanks for all the ...er, FISH BRIGHTER than boffins thought

Smug humans tend to think fish are the stupidest of all beasties. But that belief has turned out to be a load of barnacles after boffins revealed the true intellect of our fishy friends. Researchers from the University of Bath joined forces with London's Queen Mary University to work out how zebrafish perceive their deep sea …
Jasper Hamill, 31 Oct 2014
Laser ablation to speed rockets

Plasma-spaffing boffins plan spaceships driven by FRIKKIN' LASERS

Russian boffins reckon with the right configuration, lasers can help make rockets more efficient, and could even herald an era of Mach 10 aircraft. Laser-driven propulsion isn't just the domain of the sci-fi fan. The aim of any rocket propulsion system is to take some kind of mass, and heat it up to generate thrust. The amount …
Antares rocket fails

Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST

Speculation is rife that the Antares rocket accident at Wallops on Tuesday evening was caused by the 1960s-era Russian engines powering the craft, though the official investigations have only just begun. Aerial view of Wallops after Antares catastrophic launch failure Private space firm Orbital Sciences has already faced …

NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM

NASA boffins are chuffed as ninepence this week to announce that they have discovered unmistakable signs of a crashed spacecraft far away from the Apollo landing sites on the far side of the Moon. Now you see my ejecta, now you don't The boffins believe that the wrecked craft was the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment …
Lewis Page, 30 Oct 2014
Yepp_YPP2_girls

MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer

A surefire way of holding off that scourge of male health, prostate cancer, is to sleep with lots of women - according to the latest research. However, perhaps unfortunately for those gentlemen inclined that way, sleeping with a lot of other men has quite the opposite effect. These bombshells originate in a study from Canadian …
Lewis Page, 29 Oct 2014
Earth and moon from Chang'e 5t1

China lunar mission readies for return to Earth

China's Chang'e 5T1 mission has passed its half-way point, rounding the far side of the Moon and beginning its brief trip to Earth for its scheduled October 31 return. The mission is a test run for a 2017 trip that will drop a lander on the Moon and collect samples for return to Earth. The current mission is slated to touch down …
Antares rocket fails

BONFIRE of the MEGA-BUCKS: $200m+ BURNED in SECONDS in Antares launch blast

Vid Reps from NASA and Orbital Sciences have been furiously explaining themselves at a press conference in the wake of the destruction of Orbital's Antares rocket – and possibly the partial loss of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Youtube Video "It's a really tough business," said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate …
Iain Thomson, 29 Oct 2014
Google sign outside Mountain View headquarters

OK Google, do I have CANCER?

Google says it is looking to develop a pill that could help detect the early stages of cancer or heart disease. A researcher with the company's Google X project said that the Chocolate Factory's skunkworks is examining how nanoparticles could be used to detect the two potentially fatal illnesses before they get too serious. …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2014
Antares rocket fails

KRAKKOOOM! Space Station supply mission in PODULE PRANG EXPLOSION CHAOS

Pics+Vid Orbital Sciences just can't seem to catch a break. Monday's launch of its Antares rocket was scrubbed by a rogue sailboat and on Tuesday the rocket exploded just seconds after launching from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Antares rocket fails There has been a vehicle anomaly. We will update as soon as we are …
Iain Thomson, 29 Oct 2014
Ardbeg head distiller Dr Bill Lumsden in his lab

Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth

A Scottish distillery is celebrating the return of the first ever space-matured batch of whisky. Back in 2011, the Islay-based Ardbeg distillery sent several vials of whisky to the International Space Station, where they were spun around the earth at 17,227 mph, orbiting 15 times a day for almost three years. The astronauts up …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Oct 2014

ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff

Orbital Sciences was forced to scrub the launch of a Cygnus cargo-craft to the International Space Station yesterday when a sailboat wandered into the area. The Antares rocket was scheduled to blast off at 6.45pm EDT (10.45pm GMT), but had to abort when the boat couldn’t get out of the restricted area in time for the 10-minute …