Kenneth Petroski

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FYI: Could A Virgin Birth Ever Happen?

If you’re a mammal, no. But if you're not...<p>Virgin birth, known to scientists as parthenogenesis, appears to be rather common in the animal kingdom. Many insects and other invertebrates are capable of switching between sexual and clonal reproduction. Among the vertebrates, virgin births have been …

Biology

Apple is Way Ahead but I'm Staying with Android

Apple is still way ahead of the rest of the industry. <i>Particularly</i> in how it introduces new products.<p>I’m pretty disappointed that Tim Cook doesn’t talk about the role of mobile in bringing us the future. He has the tools sitting right in front of him to do that, with the new motion sensor in the …

These Are The 100 Most Endangered Species In The World

The most endangered species on the planet might come as a surprise.<p>From the spammily named BestCollegesOnline comes a pretty excellent interactive tool to check out the 100 most endangered species in the world--before they're gone. The list includes plants and fungi as well as animals, and you can …

First Images Of How A Molecule's Structure Changes In A Reaction

Visualizing chemistry is awesome!<p>Researchers have for the first time captured atomic-scale images of molecules before and after a chemical reaction--a breakthrough that will help researchers and students better visualize chemistry and could eventually lead to improved electronics.<p>Traditionally, …

Warp Factor

A NASA scientist claims to be on the verge of faster-than-light travel: is he for real?<p>Last September, a few hundred scientists, engineers and space enthusiasts gathered at the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Houston for the second public meeting of 100 Year Starship. The group is run by former astronaut …

This Weird Crafty Fish Can Make Itself Invisible--And We Don't Know How

It fools prey into thinking it's not even there. Is it using some kind of never-before-seen chemical camouflage?<p>The pirate perch, <i>Aphredoderus sayanus</i>, is a very strange creature: it's a small fish, only 5.5 inches long at most, that's the only species in its family. Its cloaca (sort of a …

New clues into the existence of dark matter

For Chris Hadfield and other astronauts aboard the International Space Station, the high-energy particles that come flying at them from deep space and pass through their equipment and their bodies like subatomic bullets are a hazard and a menace.<p>For scientists, they are cosmic gold.<p>Now researchers …

Dark Matter

Apple's iMessage encryption trips up feds' surveillance

Internal document from the Drug Enforcement Administration complains that messages sent with Apple's encrypted chat service are "impossible to intercept," even with a warrant.<p>Encryption used in Apple's iMessage chat service has stymied attempts by federal drug enforcement agents to eavesdrop on …

Privacy

The biggest cyber attack in the history of the Internet is happening right now

At this very moment, the largest cyber attack ever declared is emanating from a decommissioned, nuclear-war proof NATO bunker with five foot-thick concrete walls and a reputation for harboring spammers and cybercriminals. It’s all part of a dustup between CyberBunker—so named for the building just …

Cyber-attacks

Forget about the CyberBunker attack—here’s how to take an entire continent offline

At its peak, CyberBunker clogged up a mind-boggling 300 gigabits per second of the Internet in what’s being called the biggest cyber-attack in history. But what if you could switch off 1.28 terabits—four times as much bandwidth—with nothing more high-tech than an axe?<p>That’s what three men tried to …

Cybersecurity

Mobile computing pioneer Alan Kay not a fan of the iPad

Apple’s iPad may get outsold by Android tablets this year; according to mobile computing pioneer Alan Kay, the iPad isn’t even that impressive. Kay recently spoke at a Churchill Club event in Silicon Valley and shared his thoughts on Apple’s tablet. Here are a few of his choice words:<p>“The iPad’s …

Bill Gates