Firefox looks to use HTML5 to run PDFs in the web browser

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — In the current generation of web browsers if you want to view a PDF in your web browser you are going to need the help of a plug-in to do it. While that may not sound like a major roadblock a growing number of users have expressed concerns over the security of using third party plug-ins on their systems, since they can also potentially be used to run malicious code. Explore further Firefox 4 has simpler design, more privacy control © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Firefox looks to use HTML5 to run PDFs in the web browser (2011, June 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-firefox-html5-pdfs-web-browser.html People working at the Firefox project are looking to change all of that. They are currently working on a PDF reader that is developed with HTML5 and JavaScript. This may be a realistic option because web browsers and PDFs do a lot of the same tasks, rendering text and images on an as needed basis. This means that adding a PDF reader function to a web browser is not a large leap forward in technology. The tool just needs a little bit more programming in order to do it.The project, which has been in development for about a month, has been dubbed pdf.js, and is available on the Mozilla.org site as a demo. The system does still have some glitches, since it is not even currently in its beta version, but users can get an idea of how the system may work once the bugs have been worked out of the code. While no release date has been given on the system the developers hope to be able to get the pdf.js project to render PDFs natively in the Firefox browser itself within the next three months.last_img read more

Austrian company debuts revolutionary wingless aircraft

first_img The new technology is actually based on old technology; it flies by means of rotating discs surrounded by blades whose angle of attack can be altered in flight. The discs are spun by means of a conventional airplane engine. What’s new is the computer and software that controls the blades, allowing for very precise flying. The company says D-Dalus can hover next to a wall, maneuver though buildings or even lay still atop a moving bobbing ship in bad weather by pushing itself down against the deck.The power comes from its four 2200-rpm turbines and can be thrust in any of 360 degrees, allowing the D-Dalus to launch vertically, hover, dart around and to remain stable even in turbulent conditions. The company also says the craft requires very little maintenance and would be cheaper than current vertical takeoff aircraft and because of its new “friction free bearing at the points of high G force” the craft should be, according to the company, as quiet as a whisper.So far, the D-Dalus is still just a prototype, and has been flown only in a laboratory near Salzburg as a pilotless drone. In its current configuration, it has five foot (about a meter and a half) long turbines and is capable of carrying 150 pounds (70kg) of cargo. Information on the company website indicates that the initial primary use for such a vehicle would be to assist in search and rescue operations at sea or after disasters, or possibly for surveillance; though it leaves open the door to the possibility of scaling the aircraft up enough in size to accommodate passengers.IAT21 has formed a partnership with Cranfield University in the UK to work through flight certification. If all goes according to plan, the D-Dalus should be ready for viewing by others very soon. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Puffin: the one-person electric aircraft (w/ Video) Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — A firm from Austria, Austrian Innovative Aeronautical Technology (IAT21) has unveiled a new type of aircraft that flies without wings or rotors, at the Paris Air Show. Though not actually flown at the show, spokesmen for the new aircraft, named D-Dalus (no doubt after the tragic Greek figure Daedalus, who lost his son Icarus when his wings melted as he flew too close to the sun) claim the aircraft is capable of both hovering and flying forward as fast as a jet, all with very little noise. Citation: Austrian company debuts revolutionary wingless aircraft (2011, June 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-austrian-company-debuts-revolutionary-wingless.htmllast_img read more

Aerospace engineer proposes armequipped satellite to affix propellant kits to space junk

first_img Explore further Citation: Aerospace engineer proposes arm-equipped satellite to affix propellant kits to space junk to send it back home (2011, August 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-aerospace-arm-equipped-satellite-affix-propellant.html (PhysOrg.com) — Over the past several years, many scientists and armchair enthusiasts alike have offered up a possible solution to the ever growing cloud of space junk circling the Earth; the result of leftover missions, collisions and inadvertent accidents. Image: NASA More information: Active space debris removal — A preliminary mission analysis and design, Acta Astronautica, Article in Press. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2011.04.017AbstractThe active removal of five to ten large objects per year from the low Earth orbit (LEO) region is the only way to prevent the debris collisions from cascading. Among the three orbital regions near the Earth where most catastrophic collisions are predicted to occur, the one corresponding to a sun-synchronous condition is considered the most relevant. Forty-one large rocket bodies orbiting in this belt have been identified as the priority targets for removal. As part of a more comprehensive system engineering solution, a space mission dedicated to the de-orbiting of five rocket bodies per year from this orbital regime has been designed. The selected concept of operations envisages the launch of a satellite carrying a number of de-orbiting devices, such as solid propellant kits. The satellite performs a rendezvous with an identified object and mates with it by means of a robotic arm. A de-orbiting device is attached to the object by means of a second robotic arm, the object is released and the device is activated. The spacecraft travels then to the next target. The present paper shows that an active debris removal mission capable of de-orbiting 35 large objects in 7 years is technically feasible, and the resulting propellant mass budget is compatible with many existing platforms. One such proposal even suggested a cloud of tungsten be sent up to coat the trash, causing it to grow heavy enough to fall to Earth. Now, a more practical approach is being offered by Italian aerospace engineer Marco Castronuovo of the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana. In his paper, published in the journal Acta Astronautica he suggests that a satellite carrying among other things a solid propellant that could be affixed to a large piece of space junk, be launched. The satellite would have two robotic arms he says; one to grab hold of the piece of junk (say a spent rocket part) the other to affix the propellant device that once activated, would guide the piece of junk towards Earth, where it would burn up (hopefully) in the atmosphere.Space junk is of growing concern to those who launch satellites and of course manned craft into space. Just last month evasive maneuvers had to be conducted to prevent the International Space Station from colliding with an object in its path. And while the amount already up there is of concern, what is even more troubling is the possibility of space and the debris up there falling prey to the Kessler Syndrome, a condition whereby pieces of space junk collide with one another, causing them to break into several smaller pieces. Those smaller pieces, because there would then be more of them would then have a greater chance of colliding with something else, thereby creating ever smaller pieces and on and on, until the number of minuscule pieces would total in the tens if not hundreds of millions of pieces, eventually creating such an inhospitable environment that functioning spacecraft couldn’t hope to survive. Castronuovo says such a satellite as he proposes, would be capable of de-orbiting 35 large objects over a 7 year period, which would be more practical than it sounds because it would target the forty-one large rocket bodies that are currently orbiting in the sun-synchronous orbital region near the Earth, which he says is where most of the catastrophic collisions in the near term are likely to occur. NASA proposes laser use to move space junk © 2011 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Interview What does the future hold for energy and lighting

center_img Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Phys.org. Citation: Interview: What does the future hold for energy and lighting? (2012, December 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-future-energy.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Sperm whale clans found to change location in ways similar to humans

first_img Citation: Sperm whale clans found to change location in ways similar to humans (2016, October 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-10-sperm-whale-clans-ways-similar.html More information: Mauricio Cantor et al. Cultural turnover among Galápagos sperm whales, Royal Society Open Science (2016). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160615AbstractWhile populations may wax and wane, it is rare for an entire population to be replaced by a completely different set of individuals. We document the large-scale relocation of cultural groups of sperm whale off the Galápagos Islands, in which two sympatric vocal clans were entirely replaced by two different ones. Between 1985 and 1999, whales from two clans (called Regular and Plus-One) defined by cultural dialects in coda vocalizations were repeatedly photo-identified off Galápagos. Their occurrence in the area declined through the 1990s; by 2000, none remained. We reassessed Galápagos sperm whales in 2013–2014, identifying 463 new females. However, re-sighting rates were low, with no matches with the Galápagos 1985–1999 population, suggesting an eastward shift to coastal areas. Their vocal repertoires matched those of two other clans (called Short and Four-Plus) found across the Pacific but previously rare or absent around Galápagos. The mechanisms behind this cultural turnover may include large-scale environmental regime shifts favouring clan-specific foraging strategies, and a response to heavy whaling in the region involving redistribution of surviving whales into high-quality habitats. The fall and rise of sperm whale cultures off Galápagos reflect the structuring of the Pacific population into large, enduring clans with dynamic ranges. Long-lasting clan membership illustrates how culture can be bound up in the structure and dynamics of animal populations and so how tracking cultural traits can reveal large-scale population shifts. (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers with members from Dalhousie University, Aarhus University and the University of St. Andrews, has found that sperm whale clans living off the coast of the Galápagos Islands were replaced by two others over the course of a decade. In their paper uploaded to the open access site Royal Society Open Science, the team describes their study of the whales, what they learned and why they believe the behavior they observed suggests the whale clans have a form of culture. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A mother sperm whale and her calf off the coast of Mauritius. The calf has remoras attached to its body. Credit: Gabriel Barathieu/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.0 Explore furthercenter_img The researchers began studying the whales back in 1985, taking pictures of them to assist in identifying and tracking individual members and using sonar microphones to record the sounds they made to communicate with one another. After analyzing the recordings, the researchers concluded that the whales living in the area were actually two groups, or clans—each communicating in their own dialect, which the team calls their coda. They named the clans based on the recordings—the Regular Clan (because of their regular spaced clicks) and the Plus-One Clan (because their clicks were longer). The researchers continued to monitor the whales even they declined and then vanished altogether by 1999. The whales had not died, the researchers note; they simply emigrated to another part of the ocean off the coast of Chile and the Gulf of California. The researchers then began working on other projects until they heard reports in 2013 that the whales had returned. This caused the team to return to the islands to renew their study of the whales. But the group found that the whales living there were not the same ones that had been there before. There were two clans, but neither were members of the prior clans they had studied; both communicated with different dialects. As before, they named the clans based on their codas: the Short clan and the Four-Plus clan.The researchers do not know why the first two clans emigrated, but suggest it might have something to do with human hunting practices or changes in the food supply due to El Niño events. They also suggest that having one clan replace another that moved out of an area is a behavior that has only ever been seen before in humans. Journal information: Royal Society Open Science © 2016 Phys.org Study on Pacific sperm whales suggests culture isn’t just for humanslast_img read more

Flatworms found to regenerate faster or slower when exposed to weak magnetic

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A planarian flatworm four hours after losing both its head (on the left) and its tail (on the right), stained for the actively-dividing stem cell response that follows injury. Credit: Wendy Scott Beane, Western Michigan University Flatworms are known for their regenerative capabilities—amputated parts will grow right back. In this new effort, the researchers wondered what would happen if they cut off parts of a flatworm’s body and then exposed it to a weak magnetic field (more than Earth’s field, but less than that exerted by strong magnets).Some in the biological community have theorized that exposure to weak magnetic fields could result in a process called radical pair recombination. This process could conceivably alter the spin direction of electrons located in the outer parts of atoms, disturbing molecular pairings and leading to the formation of free radicals. This could lead to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS—chemically reactive species that contain oxygen), which might cause processes like faster wound healing or slowing cancer cell growth. To test the theory, the researchers used flatworms. In their lab, they sliced flatworms below and above their feeding tubes and then put the pieces in culture dishes that were placed inside a chamber shielded from outside magnetic interference. Inside the chamber, they placed a device capable of producing weak magnetic fields. They subjected the pieces to a variety of magnetic field intensities and observed the impact on regeneration times. A Schmidtea mediterranea planarian flatworm, the species used in this study. Credit: Alanna Van Huizen, Western Michigan University The researchers report that growth was slowed in blastema, cells that grow into new parts, when subjected to 100 to 400 µT magnetic fields. Growth sped up in fields greater than 500 µT. They also found ROS levels were altered—they were lower than they would have been under normal conditions in blastema exposed to the lower doses of magnetism, and higher in those exposed to fields greater than 500 µT. The researchers were unable to explain the different impacts they saw, but noted that a reduction in blastema growth was accompanied by reduced stem cell growth. A team of researchers from Western Michigan University and the University of Colorado Boulder has found that the regeneration rate for planaria flatworms can be impacted by a weak magnetic field. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes experiments they conducted with flatworms exposed to weak magnetic fields and what they found. Following injury, planarians undergo a stem cell response (labeled in green) that leads to new tissue growth and the regeneration of missing structures (such as the head). Weak static magnetic fields can change stem cell responses to injury, as seen following exposure to a 200 μT field, which blocks stem cell activity and therefore regeneration. Credit: Luke Kinsey, Alanna Van Huizen, Marine Bolliet, and Wendy Beane, Western Michigan University Journal information: Science Advances Citation: Flatworms found to regenerate faster or slower when exposed to weak magnetic field (2019, January 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-flatworms-regenerate-faster-slower-exposed.html Explore further © 2019 Science X Network More information: Alanna V. Van Huizen et al. Weak magnetic fields alter stem cell–mediated growth, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau7201 The effects of weak magnetic fields on cancer cells and other aspects of biologylast_img read more

Study results suggest cannabis originated in the Tibetan Plateau

first_img More information: John M. McPartland et al. Cannabis in Asia: its center of origin and early cultivation, based on a synthesis of subfossil pollen and archaeobotanical studies, Vegetation History and Archaeobotany (2019). DOI: 10.1007/s00334-019-00731-8 Switzerland mulls studies on legal sale of cannabis © 2019 Science X Network Explore further Credit: CC0 Public Domain Cannabis is likely one of the most well-known plants on Earth because it produces cannabinoids—chemicals that have a pronounced impact on the human brain. Prior studies have suggested the plant likely originated somewhere in central Asia approximately 28 million years ago—the point where it diverged from an ancestor, the common hop. In this new effort, the researchers sought to more precisely pin down the most likely place where the plant got its start.The approach used by the researchers was to pore through prior studies, whether archaeological or geological, looking for mention of the famed plant—most notations referenced pollen because it is the part of the plant that can survive the longest. The researchers point out that identifying cannabis pollen at dig sites was not a trivial task, because in most tests, it appears identical to hop pollen. To get around that problem, they took note of other types of pollen that were found with the cannabis candidates. If the other pollen came from woodland plants, the researchers assumed they were hops, whereas if they came from steppes, the pollen was assumed to be from a cannabis plant—modern cannabis plants prefer the type of climate found in steppes. When the researchers zeroed in on the studies that mentioned cannabis (found with other steppe pollen) the earliest, they found references to parts of southern Russia and northern China. Further analysis led them to believe that the most likely place of origin was the Tibetan Plateau, perhaps near Qinghai Lake, which, the trio notes, is approximately 3200 meters above sea level. Interestingly, the researchers also note that the site is also near the place where evidence of Denisovans has been found—along with cannabis pollen. A trio of researchers with the University of Vermont, Middlebury College and the University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China, has found evidence that suggests cannabis originated in the Tibetan Plateau. In their paper published in the journal Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, John McPartland, William Hegman and Tengwen Long describe their analysis of prior studies of the plant and how they narrowed down the likely place where it first developed. Citation: Study results suggest cannabis originated in the Tibetan Plateau (2019, May 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-results-cannabis-tibetan-plateau.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more