Leckere Süßigkeiten, hübsche Deko, originelle Geschenkideen und mehr
Sequel to Red Rising. Listening is a new film about telepathic technology. They have smaller brains like Australopithecus but more developed hands and feet like Homo spp. The protocol indeed protected them from developing an allergic response. Amreican Canada and US box office by storm:
Phone home A serviceable glimpse at what's to come. Killer Sound A professional mic at an amateur price. Legionnaire A premium gaming notebook at an entry level price. Good Vibrations Haptic feedback on a headset? Speed Racer You'll get great performance, but at a steep price. CES The grand-daddy of consumer electronics shows starts next week.
Pixel pushers We've searched high and low for the best prices and deals on GPUs right now. Next steps The FCC repealed guidelines protecting net neutrality in June , but the fight continues in court and in Congress.
Stealth power We've tested numerous graphics cards, CPUs, and notebooks to find out what it takes to get the most out of Hitman 2. We show which settings impact performance the most in PUBG. Here it might be that publishers could provide a higher percentage of e-book revenue? So how does all this relate to authors' relationships with their publishers? The answer is that publishers seem to be relying on a combination of inertia together with a lack of author poaching from other publishers to retain their authors.
Here British Isles authors were more loyal than their N. Conversely, authors were both more trusting and more faithful to their agents. Authors also trusted their agents more than their publishers when it came to receiving writing career advice.
With regards to other matters, the Amazon question revealed a bifurcation of opinion. Of course whether it will be such a book if bookshops continue to close and publishers margins are squeezed to the detriment of encouraging new professional authors is a mute, moot point. There is a high concentration of earnings with a small number of writers earning most of the money. This means that a professional author is earning less than the minimum wage from his or her writing.
Self-publication appears to enable a number of writers to gain some financial return. A Society spokesperson said: The one truly irreplaceable link in the value chain is being stretched to breaking point. London Book Fayre has a successful move to Olympia. It will also be at Olympia next year It was previously at Earls Court. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will tell the "untold part" of the boy wizard's story, including the story of the lives of his murdered parents.
Rowling is adamant that it is not a prequel. It will have a run at the Palace Theatre next summer I am confident that when audiences see the play they will agree that it was the only proper medium for the story. Given that over 10, school libraries, bookshops and community groups organised an evening and in some cases all night Harry Potter related events and activities for the first Harry Potter Night, another is being organised for next year.
It will take place on Thursday 4th February More book trade news in our next seasonal news column in January Gene Rodenberry impeded the development of Star Trek: Now, there has already been much coverage of the origins of Next Generation , but what seems to come across here from some in the industry seems to be that Gene was so unhappy that it took so long for the studio to bring back the show that he di not like it that others were key in getting the re-boot.
Of additional interest is that the documentary, Chaos on the Bridge , is that it was produced, directed and narrated by William Shatner. The documentary is currently only available in N. America but expect it over here soon. Martin's Game of Thrones TV series season five finale was watched by almost 1.
For these days of over a hundred channels, this is an extremely good figure. Furthermore, Torrent Freak, an online publication which collates file-sharing news, said the episode "set a new piracy record", with 1. The episode saw one of the main characters die a George R. Jon Snow was murdered by men of the Night's Watch.
A number of others also died, including Stannis Baratheon: So strong has been the reception to the first series of the near-contemporary set, android thriller that the announcement was made before the final episode of the first series was broadcast.
Humans is based on the Swedish series Real Humans that also got a second series which was broadcasted in Fear the Walking Dead breaks US cable premiere viewing record! The first episode looks at the beginning of the outbreak from a Los Angles perspective. The first season is running for six episodes and a second season of 15 episodes will air in This follows our summer season item announcing the series' return as a mini-series.
Richard is not involved in the Fox project and is getting nothing out of it. The original Thunderbirds could be coming back for three new episodes! The Gerry Anderson series was the most successful of his puppet supermarionation shows, and was re-booted earlier this year in a CGI-model combo format. Now, some fans and those associated with the original series including the Gerry Anderson estate. ITV who broadcast the original series are supporting the project.
The three episodes include a prequel episode. Now, reportedly, Paramount are considering making the spoof show for real. The film's co-writer and co-producer are apparently discussing the possibility with the studio. Given that both now work quite successfully in television, it might just be that the notion has legs.
Having said that, a spoof of a spoof? There are other real s TV space opera series that could be re-made, as indeed is being considered with Britain's Blake's 7. The classic story concerns the missing children of a Nobel laureate physicist who developed a substance called ice-nine, an alternative structure of water that is solid at room temperature.
IM Global Television are adapting. The classic postulates a future whereby the world on one hand is divided into two with part of humanity living wild, but free, in the ruins of what might be our civilisation, and another part that has high-tech, genetically engineered humans living in a drug mediated society. SyFy now have acquired the rights to adapt as a continuation of their trawl of literary SF. It has twice previously been adapted for television first and more successfully in directed by Burt Brinkerhoff, and then again in with a cast that notably included Leonard Nimoy.
By the end of its penultimate day a total of 11, had registered of which 5, were physically present. There were just 84 one-day memberships on the final day affecting the final membership totals and some of these might have been previous one-day ticket holders. The majority over 9k were from N.
America, Europe had around 1 per hour video messages that were recorded and played at the convention. There was the usual good range of SF book-related panels covering many aspects of writing and publishing and in the mix a few items of self-publishing and agent pitch sessions for prospective writers.
This is decidedly worth a mention as Worldcons are not particularly known for their cinematic literacy. Last year's Worldcon's film programme was a good cut above the usual Worldcon fare and gave the Worldcon's excellent film programme a run for its money. While last year's film programme included a number of old, and thought lost, items as well as more recent works, this year's film programme was international and recent-offering focussed.
There was an excellent international selection of short films from countries such as: Feature films were also interesting choices but sparse.
On the international front there was Iron Cloud and Another World. Predestination trailer here from the host nation USA was also welcome, especially for us as back in the spring we had it included in our choices as to one of the Best Films of The usual gripe of no repeat screenings especially as many were shown in the small hours of the morning.
Films, as we have said before, are one of the few programme items that can easily be repeated. As usual, as Science Fact and Fiction Concateneers, we share with you the science-related items on the programme. This year's science programme was far smaller than last year's and its tsunami of astronomy and space science. Nonetheless there was a good range of subjects covered including: Finally, there was also a SuperScienceSaturday, a day of exhibits and talks in one of the exhibition halls.
Hugo Awards we covered earlier in the main SF news section. As usual, Kevin Standlee did an excellent job of Chairing matters. Many good points were made despite just a few obfuscators and trite pedants one clinician kept insisting on the use of their professional honorific title and before each person spoke there was, in effect, a cognitive function test in whether or not speakers had to be reminded to give their names and to speak into the directional microphone a small but still disturbing number had to be given such reminders by the Chair.
He is now seeking to hand on the task. Lets hope his successor keeps to both sites' straightforward and simple format. The proposal for 'Two-Year Eligibility' for the Hugo was killed on the grounds that if you could not read all the novels and stories in year one then you will be even more behind on year two. But the vote was sufficiently tight to warrant a hand count of voters.
The argument 'for' 'Two-Year Eligibility' is that some books are now self-published and only after a year do sufficiently well to attract the attention of a publisher who brings it to the attention of a wider potential readership. So the failure to pass 'Two-Year Eligibility' means that you will likely not see books like The Martian on the Hugo short-list ballot.
The arguments 'for' were greater democracy and to help Worldcon non-regulars mainly those from outside of N. America to participate in WSFS business. The arguments 'against' were that it would allow non-participants with a personal agenda such as happened with the Sad Puppies rather than one from actual Worldcon-goers to impose their will. Another argument 'against' was not mentioned and that is that the Worldcon is increasingly being held outside of N.
America and so is becoming more of a true 'World' event and so less a need for remote-voting. The basic message is this: Both the films I Remember the Future and Predestination had their Hugo eligibility extended to next year. Given Worldcon fandom has caught up with Predestination being based on a Heinlein novel it may do well at next year's Hugos. Of course one of a number of key problems with the Hugos is the film's Long Form Dramatic Presentation Hugo category year of eligibility.
Many very worthy films come from independents and spend a year or longer on the international Fantastic Film Fest circuit before getting their general theatre or DVD release and the attention of many Worldcon voters. The ' E Pluribus Hugo ' proposal was accepted subject to ratification next year.
This proposal changes the way Hugo nominations are counted and is too complex to explain concisely one argument against ratifying it. It aims to make crowding out a Hugo category with slate candidates difficult as happened this year with the Sad Puppies. Despite the proposal being controversial and there are worthy arguments both for and against it was passed subject to ratification by 3 to 1 by voting at the business meeting.
However, for ratification to occur, the proposers will have to convince the scientists and especially the mathematicians in fandom that it will statistically deliver. Also accepted at the business meeting subject to ratification next year was the move to restricting nominations to just four works in each category while increasing the number of works on the shortlist ballot to six per category.
This is arguably a good move that gives those voting on the final shortlist more choice as well as inhibiting those who want to lobby a particular slate at the earlier nominating stage as happened this year with the Sad Puppies.
This is something about which we have previously expressed concern. This proposal has gone to a specialist committee to address issues such as how many different episodes of the same series might be shortlisted and to devise suitable recommended wording for the constitution.
This committee will report next year with the possibility of a motion being discussed, voted and, if accepted, ratified in two years time. This was a very welcome move enabling those who could not attend the Worldcon to hear the arguments for and against various motions and also enabled many of those at the Worldcon to do other things, during the 11 hours of the three business meeting sessions, knowing that they can watch the business meeting later having returned home.
Also being on YouTube they could be easily downloaded to memory stick and so watched on pads and laptops on the journey home. At this early stage the PR1 contents are the usual to expect: There's a back-cover crossword with a healthy number of cross-clues and so the few Americanism clues there are can be deduced by those from the rest of the world working out the others, but they don't provide clue letter counts maybe that's the way they do it that side of the Pond.
The organisers are trying out various electronic methods of displaying their PR: The Worldcon's GoHs are: Craft and Tamora Pierce. The Guests of Honour are to be: The Worldcon will have a good venue: The venue and immediate surroundings have 21 places to eat and drink.
This means that travel is free for those staying at hotel not next to the site and also for Helsinki tourist activities. The local transit of trams and busses run albeit with a lower frequency in the small hours.
There is now a recently opened ring train that goes from the airport to the station closest to the convention centre. Socialising will in part have a fan-village focus as happened at the Loncon 3 London Worldcon , with stalls and tables for SF societies and conventions as well as a bar and food stalls.
In addition they have a corkage waver for soft drinks and are currently negotiating a possible deal for alcoholic drinks. Finally, for those not aware, everyone in Finland speaks English.
The two current bids for the Worldcon are from the USA. Given that we had a non-N. American Worldcon in and will have with Helsinki in , and given that Dublin and New Zealand are bidding for and respectively with both bids currently unchallenged, and given that N. Currently, the two bids are for New Orleans and San Jose. Worldcons are chosen two years in advance.
America where most Worldcons are held, we are focussing on current bids elsewhere. However, for links to all Worldcon bid websites check out - http: Should it win, this would be the first Irish-venued Worldcon. The proposed venue is the Convention Centre Dublin one mile from the heart of the city.
There are 1, hotel beds within half a mile of the venue. However , the time has come when this Dublin Worldcon bid needs to make its Eurocon intentions clear. The Worldcon Dublin bid is thinking about making their Eurocon intentions clear. The time has come when it would be most helpful for the European Worldcon Dublin bid to signal clearly its Eurocon intentions!
The three key questions Dublin need to address are as follows. Will this European Worldcon bid also be bidding for a Eurocon? Secondly, if the Dublin Worldcon bid does decide to also bid to be a Eurocon, should that Worldcon bid fail perish the thought , will Dublin still continue bid to be a Eurocon regardless?
Or, third and alternatively, will it not bid to be a Eurocon at all? The reason the European con-running community needs this autumn or early spring to know Dublin's intentions is because Europeans have to decide whether or not another nation needs to put down a marker for the Eurocon at the next Eurocon in Spain, and then formally present that bid at the Eurocon in Germany.
Now, we have mentioned this concern before, a couple of seasons ago , but now the timing is beginning to get on for a formal announcement if another nation is to have good time form a Eurocon team, sort out the preliminaries and then place a firm marker at the Barcelona Eurocon next year The delay in the Dublin bid making clear their Eurocon intentions is a little worrying given that they are meant to be demonstrating their ability to engage with the international SF community.
The delay is also a little perplexing given recent European-venued Worldcon history. Cast your mind back to and SF2 Concatenation did point out the same concern to Britain's Worldcon bid. To their credit, the next season the London Worldcon bid helpfully made its Eurocon intentions clear and they did so in very good time: The delay in the Dublin bid making its intentions clear is further a tad baffling because the past Worldcon bid's helpfulness was instrumental in clearing the way for Dublin's own Eurocon in Of course it could be that the delay is due to an imminent, grand announcement.
Let's hope so and that Dublin builds on its recent Eurocon success. This brings us on to the actual question itself that some Eurocon regulars will undoubtedly be asking themselves: Well, the decision really is best made by the Dublin bid team, but it does not hurt to explore the alternatives briefly here.
Essentially, the Dublin bid has three options: Dealing with the boring option first: Dublin could have a Worldcon with largely Irish pros and fans as guests. This is obviously 'boring' because Irish pros and fans will anyway be attending an Irish Worldcon in numbers and be on the programme regardless, and anyone else can go to the Irish natcon any year to see them. Alternatively, interesting option number one would be to have guests from outside Europe: America, Australia and Asia a good mix from a number of continents would attract a range if international registrants.
Under this option also being a Eurocon would be neither here nor there. Interesting option number two, they could have Guests mainly from mainland continental Europe. Such fans and pros rarely get much profile at Worldcons and, which some might find surprising, other than a few exceptions do not even have that much profile at other British Isles conventions.
Under this option Dublin being a Eurocon would be a distinct advantage. It will be fascinating to see what the bid team decide there is no particularly 'right' or 'wrong' answer. By now the convention had hoped to have determined the exact venue, but the potential venue list has still narrowed from three to two: The downside is that the programming would have to be split between the venues with the main halls and a couple of nearby hotels.
Meanwhile a call for volunteers to run the con has received a very positive response with over a hundred affirming practical support. Pre-support for the Worldcon in France project is now officially available via the bid website see Worldcon bids link below if viewing before There are three levels of pre-supporting: For links to Worldcon bid websites check out http: The Eurocon was held in St Petersburg.
With only around a couple of hundred attending, it was one of the smallest Eurocons of recent years. Nonetheless 22 countries were represented so Eurocon's internationality was maintained; this, understandably given the military conflict, despite the absence of anyone currently living in Ukraine.
The programme was a step up from the Roskon Russian Eurocon in that there was a fair bit on the programme for non-Russian speakers. One of the hallmarks of a good Eurocon is when it manages to showcase SF simultaneously through the prisms of both the hosting nation and those of visitors. Such mixing and matching also helps integrate the social side as it gives something for most to talk about, whereas a segregated programme does not.
But there were highlights and one of these was the cosmonaut GoH, Pavel Vinogradov, former commander of the International Space Station. He was interviewed in Russian and there was an English translation. There was some international mixing and matching and specifically of interest a space panel with Britain's Gerry Webb included with Soviet nation panellists.
There was also a little east-west Russian mixing due to one of the St Petersburg committee members, who was also a programme panellist, being one of the organisers of the long-running Zilantkon: The weather was cool to be expected at that time of year and sunny very welcome.
And the Eurocon Awards were presented , though the continued move to award specific works films and plays , rather than just authors and ventures publishing houses, magazines and websites , proposed by one of the new officers as well as allowing repeat wins within categories still not allowed in Europe's Hall of Fame awards thankfully as that blocks other worthies is reprehensible given the small and diverse voting electorate low signal to noise ratio.
Still, it is early days for the new ESFS officers who have yet to get to grips with ESFS history let alone understand the relevance and implications of the way other awards have developed cf Sad Puppies. But the new ESFS team does need to consider the new trajectory it has inherited and come to a sober assessment. B-Con, the Eurocon in Barcelona, will be announcing its hotel details this month September The announcement will be included in their next on-line Progress Report.
Previous news about this Eurocon was covered in last season's news here. The Eurocon will be held in Dortmund, Germany. The organising committee met initially in May following winning the site selection bid at the Eurocon, St Petersburg for initial preliminary purposes, and is meeting in September as we post this page to address strategic matters. In between these two meetings, the convention also bid at WetzKon and won the right to hold Germany's national convention and so the Eurocon will be both a natcon and a Eurocon.
The organising team also attended Archipelacon the lightweight testing run for the Worldcon [then bid] team and took a good number of memberships at that con. France's bid to host the Eurocon is still strong.
The bid chair, Pierre Gevart, gave a presentation during the French national convention, in Les Valayans near Avignon , in August and announced the con's name, 'Nemo '. And so, if the bid wins, Eurocon members will be able to visit Verne's house which is now a museum. Wells actually met in Amiens. The play will be translated into English by Ian Watson.
Amiens is situated halfway between Paris an Brussels and also between Paris to Calais, with three international airports at less than an hour away.
As is common with a number of Eurocons, the French convention may also be that year's French natcon. The idea is for the natcon to be largely in French and the Eurocon largely in English. Here the problem the bid organisers will have is to ensure that there is good crossover between the two: Whether or not the proposed French Eurocon will also be that year's French natcon will be determined at to be voted at the French natcon, in Bordeaux, a month before the Barcelona Eurocon which itself will see the site selection vote for Eurocon -- Nothing on the cards as yet as plans for bids for the Eurocon cannot easily progress until the Dublin bid lets the Eurocon conrunning community know of their Eurocon intentions.
Now, as explained earlier , the Dublin bid is thinking about making its Eurocon intentions clear and so what follows is as much to foster interest among those elsewhere active on the Eurocon scene as it is to cover a Worldcon-Eurocon-running news item.
If Dublin does decide to go the European route then clearly there is no point anyone else mounting a Eurocon bid elsewhere that year and we can all focus on Dublin including in its convention's mix a strong international European dimension. Conversely, if Dublin announces that it has no intention of being a Eurocon then that frees up the option for a Eurocon elsewhere. The first would be to have a Eurocon elsewhere earlier in the year.
The advantage of this would be that those active in international fandom could meet with the Irish Worldcon team if it wins their Worldcon bid.
And if Ireland doesn't win their bid it can still be a Eurocon as usual. The second option would be to have a Eurocon the weekend immediately before or after the Irish Worldcon. New Zealand in did an excellent, as Concatenation encouraged, weekend before convention with Au Contraire prior to that year's Australian Worldcon.
A Eurocon the weekend after would also make for an excellent relaxacon as did Dublin's own Shamrokon following the London Loncon3 Worldcon.
We have been told that they are due to make an announcement shortly. For a list of national and major conventions, check out our convention diary. Poland's Pyrkon saw a reported attendance of 31, The international Guests were: At it the Eurocon organising team bid and won the right for the Eurocon also to be Germany's natcon.
German SF Prizes were also presented. DUFF was founded in to strengthen links between North American and Australasian fandom by an exchange of elected delegates. Both sides are currently re-building the fund's financial base. Both the Waterstone venues will see twin programme streams of activities that will include many of Gollancz's authors and there will also be book signing opportunities.
Headline authors will include, amongst others: Tickets for the Waterstones venues are available at gollanczfestival. All current convention members will have their memberships refunded. New Zealand goes for another Aucontraire with its Natcon.
Many attendees of AussieCon 4 Worldcon in might remember a pleasant little stopover on the way, in Wellington, New Zealand, for that country's natcon of that year. That was Au Contraire , the first in a series of national conventions which aimed to drag New Zealand's comfy, hobbit-like convention scene kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruitbat.
A new team of con-runners will be building on the Au Contraire 3-point manifesto: Fitzwater, a Vogel winner. If you cannot wait for the NZ Worldcon assuming that bid wins then this just might keep the wolf from the door and Wellington has much to offer the tourist. A library endowment for Northern Illinois University is being provided by a new Peggy Rae Sapienza fan funded endowment.
It will provide support University Library's Special Collections, and here specifically for the procurement, preservation, and promotion of materials germane to the study of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror and fandom. She sadly sadly died in the spring Sad and Rabid Puppies vs.
Worldcon fandom Hugo feeding frenzy continues. See previous season's news for the back-story. Abusive comments and name-calling from both sides continued. One notable incident was a Tor US staff member's offensive comment: American SF publisher not to be confused with Tor in Britain. Tor US quickly apologised, as did the commentator concerned, but someone on the Puppies side called for a boycott of Tor and this was quickly promulgated by Puppy supporters.
Commendably, Jason Sandford backed up his conclusion with actual sales data from BookScan. Could this just possibly be because few outside of the strident feuders both sides are sufficiently interested? The majority of those into SF enjoy the genre without overly-heated scandals, but as author Mike Resnick points out see the earlier 'People' item fandom has always had its ugly side.
Worldcon-fandom's the Hugo Award voters reaction was, as we predicted , simply not to vote for those on the Puppy slates and this in turn led to a record number of 'No Awards' in various categories of this year's Hugo Awards see the end of the Hugo Award piece for Puppy and other reactions. And one of the measures has the added value of providing more choice for Hugo short-list voters, and that can in itself be no bad thing.
As for the legacy of this Puppy-Worldcon fandom conflict, well perhaps a final word view outside of fandom might provide a different perspective and a POC view at that on diversity gender politics, Bechdel test, and the Hugo Awards in this 9 min YouTube vid.
Meanwhile this is likely not the end of the matter: For a list of current national and major conventions and their web links check out our convention diary.
At the end of the year 3. However it needs to be remembered that 'in some form' includes using wi-fi provided by others and so may not be as secure as owner's own wi-fi. In addition to affecting on-line financial transactions, everyone providing such services including SF convention organisers relying on online accessible databases, or event organisers relying on on-line registrations via third part websites need to realise that at least a quarter of the population do not have secure personal online access.
The Hugo-winning author recently revealed that she no longer has the stamina to write another novel. New Richard Morgan fantasy app. The game-book, A Land Fit For Heroes , will be produced in collaboration with Richard Morgan and the story will run parallel to that of the first volume in his book trilogy, The Steel Remains.
Britain's Publishers' Association wins court case to get book piracy sites blocked. The Publishers Association obtained a High Court order that has required Britain's leading internet service providers ISPs to block seven piracy websites. The sites targeted are: The Association is also asking Google to remove more than 1.
The data is thought to include individuals details such as names, addresses, dates of birth and bank details. The encrypted credit card details of up to 90, people may have been accessed. Customers were urged to: The message is clear. Be careful about your PC and smartphone as well as when transacting online. SF fan event organisers, do provide an alternate to on-line registration for those who understandably are reluctant to engage with online data exchange. Unknown e-commerce firm loses customers details affecting British Airways' Air Miles and Uber the taxi-booking site.
The scale is substantial and Uber alone has seen fraudulent books made in the names of thousands of its users. What seems to have happened is that a major e-commerce firm has had its customer database stolen which in turn has been sold on to other thieves who then make purchases using the stolen IDs.
Details of four million US government current and former employees have been compromised by hacker. The US government believes that the cyber attack originated in China, thought he Chinese government denies official involvement. The US government is offering all those infected with 18 months of free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance. This is not the first time this has happened. For example, a Chinese cyber attack breached US personnel databases in July Robocop is being made into a webseries.
Machinima is behind the move. At which point one has to ask why? The original cinematic release, directed by Paul Verhoeven, was shortlisted for a Hugo Award, though its television airings suffered from censorship. Two fairly poor sequels followed especially the third film , together with a tame TV series. And then last year we had an unnecessary re-make that failed to ignite fans enthusiasm or do well at the box-office. Not much as yet is known about the new web series but we understand that it will have an officers-in-the-field-web-cam-feel to it.
Still, we should give it the benefit of the doubt to see if it re-kindles the original's magic. And its look has elements of Windows 7 and the return of the Start Menu.
Indeed, Windows 8's full-display Start Screen can still be turned on via settings, and it appears by default on tablets when no keyboard is attached. Importantly, Windows 10 can be used on tablets and smartphones. Other new features include: Windows Hello - a biometric authentication facility that lets people unlock their computers and specific applications by providing a fingerprint or facial recognition scan; Edge - a successor to Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser that loads sites faster, lets users scribble over and share web pages, and brings up contextual information about selected words, saving the need to type queries into a search engine; and a notifications sidebar - clicking on the Action Centre taskbar button now lets users review recent notifications.
This takes care of a common complaint that once notifications had slid off the screen in earlier versions of the OS, they were gone for good. Windows 8 was not much liked by some who preferred Windows 7. As to why the new system is not called Windows 9? Well, it could be a joke: Or it could be that Windows 8 was so unpopular that Microsoft is trying to distance itself from Windows 8.
Smartphones beat laptops for the first time as the means to connect to the net. The survey of British users was conducted by the governmental watchdog ombudsman Ofcom. Samsung, LG and Google have worked on a security flaw found over the summer in smartphones running the Android operating system. The bug, called Stagefright, was discovered in the software that could let hijackers access data on up to a billion phones. Bitcoin exchange dealer arrested. MtGox later filed for bankruptcy.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency made in limited amounts by a complex computer code. Forsaken pentaquark particle found by CERN. A particle comprising of five quarks has been found even though a decade ago experimental evidence seemed to rule out its existence. Now, protons and neutrons are made up of three quarks bound together but theoretically five quarks could make a particle.
Indeed, in researchers at Japan's Spring-8 synchrotron announced that they had discovered such a pentaquark roughly 1. Though around a dozen labs reported similar evidence but many others did not. At that point the physics community largely seems to view pentaquarks as a curios theoretical notion.
The new particle consists of two 'up' quarks, a 'down' quark and a 'charm' quark and anti-quark pair. As such it is different from the presumed pentaquark.
There could be more to find. Quantum entanglement action-at-a-distance gets most rigorous test yet. Albert Einstein disliked quantum theory God does not play dice and especially 'spooky' entanglement as that conferred theoretically instantaneous action-at-a-distance faster than the speed of light.
A hatred that was ironic as Einstein's Nobel was for work on quantum theory the photo-electric effect. Supporters of Einstein have reluctantly come to admit that entanglement does occur but that as they say no information can be conveyed it does not disrupt cause-and-effect from a purely Einsteinien perspective. Supporters of the potential of entanglement point out that cause an effect is not violated as though the action may be instant, being instant is not the same as travelling back in time.
Along the way quantum entanglement has been demonstrated a number of time but there has always been a get-out-of-jail clause in that some 'hidden variables' might be responsible. In John Bell proposed a theoretical way to discriminate between hidden variables and true entanglement effects and the speed of the effect has even been measured to faster than the speed of light.
Even since the first entanglement was demonstrated that satisfied some of Bell's conditions in and recently we have got round the no-cloning problem , not all of Bells constraints have been met. Now Ronald Hanson of the University of Delft has gotton round two of the biggest constraints at the same time.
First, there is the 'detection loophole' in that you entangle a lot of photons but then fail to measure all the photons which means that the sample you do measure might not be representative of the entire group.
So instead of photons you can use atoms but the problem here is moving the atoms: What Hanson has done is to take two unentangled electrons in two labs over a kilometre apart and entangle each with a photon. Both photons were then shone to the same point and entangled with each other. This in turn caused the two electrons to become entangled.
The entangled electrons were far enough apart to prevent 'communication' problems, and distinct enough a quantum particle to solve the 'detection' problem. And it looks like the experiment has worked we are now waiting for other labs to reproduce the work for confirmation. The problem with the experiment is the practicality in that the process entangles at a slow rate but it does seem to work and could have major implications for providing foolproof quantum keys for message encryption.
Having said that, there is one Bell limitation not covered and that there is the theoretical possibility that a hidden variable could manipulate experimenters.
However, if this is a genuine problem then you can kiss free will goodbye. Meanwhile, if this work is reproduced then expect Hanson and colleagues to get major science prizes. The neutron-proton mass difference has been theoretically calculated and it is not what you might think.
Now, at school-level chemistry we tend to think if neutrons and protons having the same mass and electrons being a lot one two-thousandths lighter. However there is a mass difference between protons and neutrons. At the school-science level you might think that the proton is slightly heavier as it carries a charge hence energy, hence through Einstein, more mass and the neutron does not. Using electromagnetism in the context of the quark hadron model leads us to a similar conclusion.
What the researchers have done is to calculate the theoretical masses through both quantum chromodynamics and also quantum electrodynamics.
This is no small feat in itself. And then there is the technical feat of this calculation which necessitates using a supercomputer. This way, it transpires that the neutron mass is However looking at just the quark model through quantum chromodynamics and then taking into account quantum electrodynamics gives us this different picture.
See Borsanyi et al , , Science vol. This calculation could well lead us to a future in which our understanding of nuclear physics becomes a good as our late 20th century understanding of atomic physics that has given us such mastery over chemistry.
A more complete understanding of nuclear physics has cosmology implications supernovae: A molecule that hops, or shuttles, between two sites in a porous crystal has been developed.
The research published in Nature Chemistry is that of the first molecular shuttle to operate in a solid-state substance.
Molecular shuttles could one day act as electronic storage devices and they would have a tremendously high capacity.
More future grist for Moore's Law. Atomospheric carbon dioxide passes ppm. Now, you may have heard this news before as part of the northern hemisphere annual cycle passed parts per million in in the Arctic.
This time 40 sites worldwide saw an annual global average for March at To put this in perspective, atmospheric carbon dioxide was just ppm in the late 18th century before the start of the Industrial Revolution. At the end of the last glacial 'ice age' it was around ppm. New Horizons interplanetary probe reaches the Pluto minor planet system: New Horizons launched in January and then got a slingshot gravity assist from Jupiter in February that shaved three years of its journey but, such are the distances involved, took seven and a half years to reach Pluto, five light hours from Earth: This error in size is due to previous gravity based estimates that assumed Pluto was largely rock, but it now seems that ice, and possibly water, makes up a substantive part of the minor planet.
Ice mountains are seen. Methane and some of its nitrogen is frozen on the surface, and there are signs of some geological activity: At Pluto's temperature water ice is in a rock-hard form but nitrogen and methane ices flow like glacier ice on Earth.
Models suggest that at its current position the atmosphere should have completely frozen out. This has not happened; there is gaseous nitrogen at 10 millionths of the pressure of Earth's atmosphere at sea level! There are also hint of haze probably due to the breakdown of methane in the atmosphere into other organics. However it is losing its atmosphere at a rate of a few hundred tonnes an hour due to its low gravity with the gas then whisked away by Solar wind.
By comparison Mars with its higher gravity is losing atmosphere at the rate of around a tonne an hour. There therefore remains the possibility of a liquid ocean beneath the ice. Images of Charon reveal a chasm miles km deep and also further evidence of active resurfacing.
Now that the fly-by is over all the stored data gathered will begin to be transmitted and will not be completed until late Type Ia supernovae now seem to come in two flavours with implications for cosmological expansion of the Universe.
Type Ia supernovae occur at the end of the life of large, main sequence stars and seem to have similar luminosities. However astronomers at Arizona University have looked at Hubble supernovae data beyond the visible spectrum in the ultra violet and found that they fall into two different categories, each brighter than the other in different parts of the ultra violet spectrum.
Furthermore, the relative abundances of the two subfamilies seem to have changed over the past several billion years. Because type Ia supernovae had been presumed to have identical luminosities, they have been used as standard candles to ascertain astronomical distance.
It was comparing these distances with red-shift early this millennium that led to the conclusion that the Universe's expansion was accelerating hence the hypothesis dark energy driving this increased expansion. So now astronomers need to check that only visible light was used in standard-candle distance surveys to check whether or not earlier surveys correctly deduced cosmic expansion. See Astrophysics Journal vol , An Earth-like exo-planet has been detected.
Also Keplerb's star is reasonably similar to our Sun and so, Keplerb theoretically capable of having liquid water on its surface. It is around 1, light years away parsecs away from Earth. What we do not yet know is whether it is a gaseous or a rocky planet like Earth.
But this further distance may not be enough to cool it. Being older, Keplerb's sun is brighter than it would have been in the past. When the Earth is over a billion years older than now, the Sun will be warmer and begin to warm the oceans. If Keplerb is rocky with water, it could be that its oceans are beginning to evaporate. So there are still some key questions to answer. However these stars are cool and dim which means that their orbits are close to their star and so may be near-tidally locked with long baking days and freezing cold nights.
Exoplanet reflected light elucidated. The light was calculated from deviations from its sun's black body radiation curve.
The amount of light reflected relates to the exoplanet's size which has been estimated to be about half that of Jupiter's. Europe's Venus Express dies but not before confirming volcanoes.
Venus Express ran out of fuel in November last year before falling into its atmosphere earlier this year. Now, researchers have just revealed having analysed a mountain of data that previously revealed in four 'hotspots' in a rift region of the planet's northern hemisphere were seen to rise and fall dramatically in temperature over several days, suggesting an active lava flow.
Previously in Venus Express detected a spike in the sulphur dioxide content of the Venusian atmosphere, suggestive of a massive eruption. Venus Express arrived at the planet in and so has had an 8-year run observing the planet.
A five-star system has been found. Announced at the UK National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales, the system consists of two pairs of binaries orbiting each other with a fifth star orbiting one of the binaries at more than the distance of Pluto's orbit around the Sun.
One of the two binaries is a 'contact binary' consisting of two stars orbiting so closely that the outer parts of their respective coronas touch. One of the researchers, Markus Lohr from the Open University, hypothesises that in principle the binaries could have planets orbiting them. The earliest stars theoretically formed when the Universe was just a few million years old. These were giants made up only of hydrogen, helium and some lithium from the Big Bang. They detected light from ionised helium which suggests it had a very hot origin, but at such temperatures carbon and oxygen would also have ionised presenting their spectra but these were not there.
The study was presented in The Astrophysical Journal. The array is under construction and is a network of more than , antennas that together covers around a square kilometre to obtain a good strength of signal and will be in effect the world's largest radio telescope.
But the SKA's telescopes are dispersed across countries including Australia and South Africa to provide good resolution hence detail in the pictures they generate. The first genome editing of a human embryo was conducted in China. The work has sparked controversy.
Furthermore, many of the embryos suffered off-target editing. It could also be used to engineer specific disease-related mutations which could be used to produce embryonic stem cells that could act as models for testing pharmaceuticals. At least four other research teams in China are working on gene editing in human embryos. Pandemic ends in Liberia. The World Health Organisation made the official proclamation after there had been no new cases for 42 days; twice the maximum incubation period of the deadly disease.
In the week up to 26th July there were just four cases in Guinea and three in Sierra Leone. See also previous news. Ebola vaccine shows great promise.
After 10 days from vaccination immunity becomes effective. Of 2, close contacts to ebola cases vaccinated immediately there were no subsequent cases of Ebola. While in those vaccinated later there were 16 cases. The vaccine consist of a combination of a fragment of the Ebola virus with another, safer, virus. New MERS emergence sparks fear of epidemic. Following a death, just four northern white rhinos Ceratotherium simum cottoni remain in the world. The northern white is a subspecies of the white rhino which themselves only number 20, A female northern white has died in a Czech zoo this leaves just two males and two females extant: Exposure to farm dust protects against asthma.
It has been known that growing up on a dairy farm protects children from allergy, hay fever, and asthma. Now, a European from Belgium, France, Netherlands and Germany team chronically exposed mice to bacterial endotoxin found in farm dust before the mice received an allergic stimulus.
The protocol indeed protected them from developing an allergic response. Protection relied on a particular enzyme: The study offers new support for the so-called hygiene hypothesis, a year-old idea that posits that our modern zeal for cleanliness and widespread use of antibiotics have purged the environment of microorganisms that once taught a child's developing immune system not to overreact to foreign substances.
Stone tool making began 3. Tool use and tool making are known in a number of species including orang-utans and gorillas. But, other than chimpanzee nut-cracking stones, stone tool making is unique to hominins. Up to now the oldest manufactured stone tools date from 2. Now researchers working on the western side of Lake Turkana, Kenya, have found manufactured all be they rough and ready stone tools dating to 3.
However the earliest hominin the genus Homo dates from 2. Australopithecus afarensis or Kenyanthropus platyops are possible candidates for these early stone tool makers. Researchers will now begin to focus more on 2. New species of human discovered. The remains of 15 Homo naledi , a previously-unknown species of extinct hominin, have been discovered within the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa.
This species is characterized by body mass and stature similar to small-bodied human populations but a small endocranial volume similar to australopiths. The research was conducted by an international team of palaeoscientists led by S. Africans and pulished in e-Life DOI: They do though seem to be an intermediate stage between the more ape-like Australopithecus and early humans such as Homo habilis. They have smaller brains like Australopithecus but more developed hands and feet like Homo spp.
The remains may have been a burial site. If so, then this represents the earliest deliberate burial found. A new species of proto-human has been discovered. Up to recently it had been thought that Australopithecus afarensis 'Lucy' discovered in was the single Australopithecine from which all subsequent hominina lineages' were descended.
Then came in the discovery of Kenyanthropus platyops and Australopithecus bahrelghazali though some debate whether these are in fact truly different species. Now an international team of Europeans and US researchers have discovered the remains of a new species they call Australopithecus deyiremedaI in Afar, Ethiopia, which date from 3. It now seems that instead of a single precursor species ancestor, that proto-humans were as diverse as humans Homo habilis, H. See Haile-Selassie et al , , Nature vol.
Human-dog co-evolution could be hardwired through oxytocin in both species. Japanese researchers have shown that human-like modes of communication, including mutual gaze, in dogs may have been acquired during domestication with humans.
Oxytocin is a hormone from the pituitary body. Further, nasally administered oxytocin increased gazing behaviour in dogs, which in turn increased urinary oxytocin concentrations in owners. These findings support the existence of an interspecies oxytocin-mediated positive loop facilitated and modulated by gazing, which may have supported the co-evolution of human-dog bonding.
See Nagasawa et al , Science vol. Archaeological evidence suggests chickens first economically used in Middle East 2, years ago. Domestic chickens originated in South East Asia but until now we had no notion as to when the practice spread from that region. Now, sites have been found in southern Israel that have many chicken bones dating from 2, years ago. Female chicken bones outnumbered males two to one suggesting egg production was being facilitated.
Conversely, chickens only began to make an impact in Europe a century later. The LINGO-1 protein inhibits the production of myelin, the white fatty substance that coats insulates nerves.
The antibody has performed well in animal models as well as human tissue grown in culture. If human trials go well then it will be the first antibody myelin-regeneration therapy. However this is not a cure for MS. What this therapy could do is work with other therapeutic measures on those showing early signs of MS to further slow the progression of the disease.
The first high definition map of a part of a brain has been created. A 3-D digital map has been created of a small piece of mouse brain measuring1, cubic micrometres. Yes, this is small and a long way from a map of the or so billion cells that make up the human brain. The research team is now embarking on mapping a piece of the brain , times larger, but this will still only be a cubic millimetre of brain.
One result of the work so far has been to overturn the notion that a neuron does not form a synapse a junction between neurons with another just because it is a neighbour: Such is the convoluted structure of the brain that he 1, cubic micrometres mapped is not large enough to contain a whole neuron but does contain fragments of 1, neurons and about 1, synapses: Other than neurons, the map revealled at least six other different cell types.
Different genes both spur mutation and, in humans, boost height, intelligence and lung function. Two papers in Nature have measured the importance of heterozygosity to evolution. In the first Chinese and British researchers led by Sihia Yang measured the mutation rates in three species Arabidopsis a plant , rice, and the honey bee.
They found that mutation rates were higher in individual genomes with high heterozygosity. So in addition to high heterozygosity meaning an individual has more types of genes so spurring evolution one can have more combinations , mutation is also higher resulting in new genes and this also spurs evolution Nature vol. It is a mammoth survey of the genomes of , individual humans looking at the heterozygosity of genes relating to 16 health-related traits.
High heterozygosity is associated with an individual's parents being distantly related not closely related, which leads to high homozygosity. The study shows that high heterozygosity is linked to height, lung function, higher cognitive function and educational attainment. This suggests that these traits have been positively selected for in evolution. Conversely, late-onset cardiovascular disease saw no such relationship. Together, both papers demonstrate the importance of heterozygosity in evolution; hence the importance of sex.
It aims to let you know the main English language genre and popular science books currently coming out for the European market.
It is not a complete listing and depends on us being given details. We only occasionally include titles from N. American major publishers and only where we know there is European distribution. If you wish for a more complete listing then Locus publishes occasional British listings in its magazine.
The 20th century charted as seen through the eyes of the fielding family. The conclusion to the 'Machine Dynasty' trilogy. First in a new trilogy set in Asher's 'Polity' universe. A man is brought back from the dead after a century. He had died in a war with aliens and is understandably miffed. Also by Asher reviewed elsewhere on this site: Charmaine and Stan agree to take part in a social experiment.
For every other month they will live un absolute luxury in a home of their own in return for the alternate months living in prison. But who lives in their house when they are not in it? A series of shorts and novelettes set in Baxter's alien Xeelee timeline and presented in chronological order. These fit in with the other Xeelee and Quax stories Baxter has published over the ages but is sufficiently self-contained and self-explanatory to be read as a standalone body of work.
This is widescreen space opera that readers of people like Alastair Reynolds will enjoy: Also by Baxter reviewed elsewhere on this site: Hard SF, widescreen space opera. The sequel to Proxima. Click on the title link for a standalone review of the hardback. This is the mass market paperback release of last year's hardback. Set largely on Mars, this follows an astronaut soldier take on aliens. Alas Greg has not been well so the follow-up books have not been progressed as quickly as they might.
But do check this one out. It is a military SF story but not one that was on the Puppies slate. Maybe this was because Greg writes more thoughtful SF and has previously won a number of awards including the Hugo for Blood Music. This follows on from War Dogs.