Author Brian Lavery has a new book out which is now available in hardcover, Empire of the Seas.
For four centuries, the Navy made Britain the most powerful nation on earth – the true ruler of the waves. But its impact goes way beyond battles on the high seas. This new book, a tie-in to a major BBC TV series presented by Dan Snow, is written by one of the nation’s foremost naval historians, and tells the story of how the Royal Navy shaped the politics, culture and economy of Britain, leaving its imprint on everything from our landscape, to our democracy and even our very identity.
Read More.. Empire of the Seas (HC).
A new simulation of deciduous tree expansion into the Arctic region shows that the trees would block the highly reflective snow and increase cloud cover, causing the area to warm even faster than it already is.
Although temperatures have risen throughout the globe, they’ve gone up most dramatically in the Arctic. Past warm periods indicate that deciduous tree expansion into the Arctic is a common occurrence when the region warms up, so a new study has looked into the impact trees could have on the regional climate. As expected, the increase of the leafy trees would result in less reflective ground, but the study suggests they could also induce more cloud cover and an increasingly warm surface and ocean that have more turbulent weather patterns.
via Expansion of deciduous trees could make Arctic warm faster.
Microsoft has denied claims of a new vulnerability in Internet Information Services (IIS) 6, putting the blame instead on poorly-configured Web servers.
In a blog post Tuesday, Redmond said it had completed an investigation into claims that a flaw in how the IIS interprets file extensions in uniform resource locators (URLs) can enable an attacker to bypass content filtering software to upload and execute code on an IIS server. The company found “no vulnerability” in IIS.
via Microsoft refutes IIS vulnerability claims : News : Security – ZDNet Asia.
Social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can expect more attention from cybercriminals in 2010, according to a new report (PDF) released Tuesday by McAfee Labs. Also at risk are users of Adobe Systems products including Acrobat Reader and Flash. And move over Microsoft; the security firm predicts that Google’s Chrome OS will “create another opportunity for malware writers to prey on users.”
The company also anticipates smarter and more dangerous Trojans that “follow the money,” as well as a “significant trend toward a more distributed and resilient botnet infrastructure that relies much more on peer-to-peer technologies.”
via More attacks expected on Facebook, Twitter in 2010 | Safe and Secure – CNET News.
Highways, train stations, and even dance floors: the world is full of vibrating surfaces that could yield a rich trove of clean, sustainable energy. It’s called piezoelectric energy, formed by the conversion of mechanical strain into electrical current. Now a team of researchers in Europe has developed a micro-scaled piezoelectric device that could harvest energy from machinery as well as from infrastructure and buildings.
The tiny devices are ideal for use in powering remote sensing equipment, for example to monitor bridges or machines for early signs of deterioration. In that case they could play a key role in more energy efficient maintenance for wind turbines and other renewable energy infrastructure, while lowering human risk.
via New Micro-Machine Harvests Energy from Vibrations : CleanTechnica.
It happens only once in a blue moon — and scientists say a blue moon is exactly what we’ll see in the skies this New Year’s Eve.
Don’t expect an azure glow over our lunar satellite, however. The term “blue moon” simply refers to the second full moon in a calendar month, something that hasn’t happened on a New Year’s Eve for nearly 20 years, NASA says.
via Blue moon to shine on New Year’s Eve – CNN.com.
HELSINKI (Reuters) – The world’s top mobile phone maker Nokia launched a new patent broadside against Apple, escalating a battle for control of the smartphone market that has already led to a flurry of lawsuits.
Nokia filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on Tuesday alleging that Apple infringes Nokia patents in “virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players, and computers” sold.
The seven patents at issue relate to Nokia technology being used by Apple to create features in user interface, camera, antenna and power management technologies, it said in a statement.
via Nokia opens new front in Apple patent battle – Yahoo! Finance.
This year provided plenty of cosmic eye-openers for astronomers and casual stargazers alike. Neighborhood planets such as Mercury and Jupiter received makeovers in both a scientific and literal sense. The discovery of water on the moon and Mars provided clues to the past, not to mention hints for the future of space exploration. And a class of newly-detected “Super-Earth” planets around alien stars may ultimately prove more habitable than Earth. Here are the stories that stood out:
Read more SPACE.com — 9 Astronomy Milestones in 2009.
Thousands of tons of earth dug from under the streets of London are being used to create a new island haven for rare birds off the coast of Kent.
Thousands of tons of earth will be deposted on Hoo Island, an abandoned military site in the Medway estuary near Chatham Photo: CLEM RUTTER
A massive project to replace the capital’s leaky Victorian water mains has created a growing mountain of leftover soil and clay.
Faced with the prospect of having to dump the material in landfill sites, Thames Water engineers came up with the idea of shipping it to Hoo Island, an abandoned military site in the Medway estuary near Chatham.
via Mountain of leftover soil from London roadworks creating new bird island at sea – Telegraph.
Google has an ad banner in their search home page for their Chrome browser. Can it eventually change the course of the browser wars? And what can happen if it does?
Google’s search home page has stayed clean forever, with no clutter or advertising banners of any kind. They broke their self-imposed rule to promote their browser, using their most powerful nuke—the most popular home page in the world—in an effort to change the course of the Browser War. Who knows, maybe this is the first step towards victory, even if it would be a long way till they catch up with Firefox and Explorer (they already beat Safari).
via Can Google’s Chrome Banner Change the Course of the Browser Wars? – Google – Gizmodo.