Friday Tech Roundup (22 May 2014): Creating matter from light may only be a year away

light-to-matter

By on May 23, 2014 at 10:47 am

Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of the theory that matter can be created from light, the worldwide Blackshades hacking sting, and how explosives can be used to put out fires.

Scientists believe matter can be created from light using current technology

Led by Professor Steve Rose, a team of theoretical physicists from the Department of Physics at Imperial College in London has developed a two-step process for turning matter into light. In a paper published by the team in Nature Photonics, an experiment is documented which shows that by using a rig of lasers and gold, a photon stream can be combined with a thermal radiation shield, which would cause photons to slam into one another, yielding electrons and positrons. In a press release Rose said, “What was so surprising to us was the discovery of how we can create matter directly from light using the technology that we have today in the UK.” The theorists are working with another team to test the theory within 12 months.

More than 100 hackers arrested worldwide in “Blackshades” sting

An FBI-led anti-hacking sting has led to more than 100 arrests worldwide over the use of the easy-to-use hacking tool, Blackshades. The remote administration tool, once installed on a target computer, is capable of capturing images from attached webcams, stealing passwords and personal information, and self-propagating to further machines. Raids were conducted in more than a dozen countries, including Australia. Blackshades is easy to find, cheap to buy, simple to use, and isn’t inherently illegal to own, which makes the success of the sting quite impressive. Those arrested weren’t charged for owning the software, but for installing it on another person’s computer without their knowledge.

Wirelessly charged medical implants could seriously reduce major surgery

The batteries that power pacemakers, nerve stimulators and other medical implants last 5-7 years, necessitating surgery to replace of the entire implant in order to provide continuous service. This could become a problem of the past if the technology being worked on by Stanford electrical engineer Ada Poon makes its way into widespread production. Poon’s team is working on implants that can be charged wirelessly, thanks to the theory that electromagnetic waves travel different depending on the materials they encounter. By using a credit card-sized device, power can be delivered to the circuit while expending roughly as much power as a mobile phone, and subjecting the user to radiation levels well below the threshold for human safety. The technology has been successfully tested on animals, with human trials to come.

Image credit: The Verge

Using explosives to put out bushfires may not be as crazy as it sounds

University of New South Wales scientist Dr Graham Doig recently travelled to an explosives test site in New Mexico to test a theory. In an effort to almost literally fight fire with fire, Dr Doig believes that the shockwave from a controlled explosion could be used to dislodge a fire from its fuel source, in much the same way as one might blow out a candle. The ultimate aim for the technology would be to mount a cannon-like device to a helicopter and use it to blow bushfires out of tree-tops and down onto the forest floor. Once deprived of the fuel and oxygen-rich environment of the tree-tops, the fire would burn much more slowly and allow it to be fought using more traditional, water-based methods.

Smart guns stand to seriously improve firearm safety

Ernst Mauch, managing direct of Armatix GmbH outside Munich has developed a system he calls the “smart gun.” The Armatix iP1 is a pistol with a safety mechanism built in that will stop the weapon firing unless it is in proximity to a paired “Intelligent Watch.” The firing mechanism on the iP1 will be disabled without a nearby watch, which in turn requires a 5-digit code to have been correctly entered by the user. Mauch, who has designed and developed a string of well-known weapons currently in use by military forces around the world, believes that this is a necessary step for the firearm industry which hasn’t seen a meaningful improvement to safety measures in the past century. Read more over at The Washington Post, though prepare to be subjected to a lot of rhetoric and pandering to US gun culture apologists.

Featured image courtesy The Guardian.

17 comments (Leave your own)

Next step: Star Trek style transporters.

 

Issue of the weapon watch tech is that depending on how you grip a rifle it can impede stability of grip, accuracy and comfort.

 
MuscularTeeth

some gun seller in the us was going to sell those watch-locked guns and faced such a huge backlash he capitulated and issued an apology.
after all safety in guns is bad people.

 

the “smart gun” pistol that just came out in Europe costs 20k euro for basically what is a sub $500 USD gun.

its not hard to teach gun safety to adults or kids or use common sense to not leave loaded firearms around.

 

Just like metal gear solid!

 

So, the FBI arrested a bunch of script kiddies?

 

korten:
So, the FBI arrested a bunch of script kiddies?

i know right, i bet it was worth the effort

 

korten,

squishie,

Could you expect anything greater from them? They’re government employees.

 

This Dr Graham Doig really needs to do his homework. Using explosives to put out fires it not a theory but a tried and tested method that has been used for example to put out burning oil wells.

The name Red Adair should ring a bell.

 

jme:
korten,

squishie,

Could you expect anything greater from them? They’re government employees.

I know right just look at Operation Fast and Furious, how Obama didn’t get investigated or impeached for treason i don’t know.

 

tajin,

It’s amazing he didn’t even bother to Google this before testing his astounding theory. I’m pretty sure I’ve even seen it on Mythbusters well before now…

The ultimate aim for the technology would be to mount a cannon-like device to a helicopter and use it to blow bushfires out of tree-tops and down onto the forest floor.

Newton’s third law said wat? If the cannon is producing enough air, and forcefully enough, to put out anything larger than a match from a safe altitude then the helicopter will be getting one hell of a kick (e.g. flip, torn apart, kaboom) in return

 

squishie,

Corruption is a magical thing.

 

kekers:
tajin,

Newton’s third law said wat? If the cannon is producing enough air, and forcefully enough, to put out anything larger than a match from a safe altitude then the helicopter will be getting one hell of a kick (e.g. flip, torn apart, kaboom) in return

would make more sense to drop explosives to level the burning trees or destroy trees ahead of the fire while making them fire retardant.

or maybe we build a fire proof wall in the north to stop the firelings from coming

 

kekers,
tajin,

He mentioned at the end of the video that the techniques been used before, just not for bushfires.
He also has a messed up accent.

 

“I’m exploring whether that explosives rather than water can be used to put out a large, out of control booshfire”

It’s called Scottish btw korten.

 

Nawww look, the widdle gun has the American flag on it…….

 

tajin:
This Dr Graham Doig really needs to do his homework. Using explosives to put out fires it not a theory but a tried and tested method that has been used for example to put out burning oil wells.

The name Red Adair should ring a bell.

Oh the irony. Actually, he did do his homework and specifically noted the use of explosives in putting out oil rig fires in an interview. He also noted that very little academic research has been done into the technique since that time to better understand and improve upon the process.

You really need to do your homework, tajin. ;)

 
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