Oct 222016

The operations of several famed Internet websites, including Twitter, Spotify, CNN and Reddit were disrupted in the United States on Friday following a cyber attack that targeted Dyn DNS, an Internet performance management company.

worlds map

DDoS attack on Dyn disrupted Internet services

The “Distributed Denial-of-Service” (DDoS) attack, which is usually used to flood the bandwidth/resources of Internet hosting servers, took place at around 11:10 GMT and affected mainly the eastern coast of the US, according to a statement made by Dyn.

Sites like Airbnb, Box, Boston Globe, New York Times, Github, Reddit, Heroku, FreshBooks, Netflix, Etsy, Time Warner Cable, AT & T, SoundCloud, Amazon, Verizon, Skype, Quora, ESPN, Walmart are just a few of those affected.

As of 13:10 GMT, all Dyn’s Internet services resumed their normal operation and became available to users. According to TechCrunch, the source of the hack attack was also pinpointed in eastern US.

Downdetector.com unveils real-time problems faced by websites subjected to cyber attacks.

Update: …there have been apparently three waves of attack so far. The first was around 9 am, then around noon, and the third wave started around 5 pm (EST). The West coast was also affected heavily.

Oct 192016

Wednesday was supposed to be a historic day for the European Space Agency (ESA) whose Schiaparelli EDM lander was set to make an astounding Mars landing. Despite having the ExoMars Trace Gas orbiter correctly positioned, the mission has been a partial success so far as signal from Schiaparelli yet remains silent. The engineers will work overnight to figure out why probe’s signal failed prior to landing.

Schiaparelli landing on Mars

Schiaparelli landing on Mars (artistic impression: pic: wikimedia)

UPDATE: ESA’s landing module was scheduled to touch down in mid-afternoon, but still no words on its fate, “no good signs” coming in!!!

Schiaparelli is part of ExoMars, a mission originally thought as an independent project of ESA. NASA joined the project subsequently but retired due to financial issues back in 2012. ESA continued the mission in partnership with Russian Aerospace Corporation Roscosmos.

Scientists at the European Agency headquarters are now impatiently waiting for the stunning moment when the spacecraft will stop its engines on Mars. If successful, Schiaparelli will have a technical mission that aims to test various techniques that will be needed over 4 years, when a broader mission called ExoMars 2020 will be deployed.

Before touching down on Mars, Schiaparelli EDM module will face tough challenges as it has to travel 121 kilometers through planet’s atmosphere and slow down from a dazzling speed of 21,000 km/h to 0 km/h within only 6 minutes. During its descent, the probe will make use of a parachute that aims at reducing its speed to about 250 km/h, writes Foxcrawl.com.

UPDATE: ESA Mars landing: ESA’s orbiter revealed success, but there is no news coming from Schiaparelli spacecraft – live. The ExoMars mission was hoping to land the module at 3:48 pm GMT, but no signal from probe has come in so far.
Photo credits: By Rlevente [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Video: ExoMars Mission: Schiaparelli lander Martian descent in real time

Oct 112016

Samsung Electronics has permanently suspended production and sales of its flagship smartphone Galaxy Note 7.

galaxy note 7 fire burning

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 burned due to faulty battery (pic: CNN.com)

The South Korean giant seems to face serious management troubles after its decision to recall 2.5 million devices sold worldwide, while increasingly more reports of smartphones catching fire or exploding are coming in.

The move comes after the new Note 7s offered to customers as replacement for the problematic first model, also caught fire.

The halt in production shows how serious the situation is for Samsung, after the largest product recall in company’s history.

Samsung officials began to receive reports of phones catching fire in September just a month after Note 7 went on sale, and the incidents were called “isolated”.

The firm tried to fix the problem by switching battery suppliers and updating the smartphone’s software, according to CNN.

But when replacement smartphones were issued, a number of customers claimed that those devices also caught fire, including one aboard a Southwest Airlines flight from Louisville to Baltimore.

And that happened after Samsung answered reports of replacement phones having faulty batteries, saying it does not represent a health risk to users.

“If we determine that there are problems with the products, we will seek to resolve the situation,” said the electronics giant before failing to solve the problem.

Furthermore, mobile operators AT&T and T-Mobile have announced that they will no longer replace Note 7 after new reports of phone bursting into flames.

If you want to know why Galaxy Note 7 catches fire, you have to understand the mechanism behind the operation of a lithium-ion battery, therefore check out here for more info.

Oct 102016

One of the most commonly asked questions is probably: why don’t birds experience mid-air collisions? The answer is: they always veer right.


Budgies successfully passed collision tests (public domain)

A research study tried to find out why birds do not crash into each other when flying and the main hypothesis was that they acquired these skills after evolution of millions of years.

Researchers at University of Queensland analyzed 10 birds, especially budgerigars. The pairs of budgies were released from the opposite ends of a tunnel and flying towards one another. After 102 flights, it was discovered that there was no collision during the tests.

But the main observations were that the birds tried to avoid collisions head-on, always veering to the right or in other cases changing altitude.

“As air traffic becomes increasing busy, there is a pressing need for robust automatic systems for manned and unmanned aircraft, so there are real lessons to be learned from nature.” said study’s author, Mandyam Srinivasan.

You can have a glimpse at the experiment in the quick video below.

Oct 082016
VIDEO: Boeing 737 nearly crashing in extreme croswind at Prague Airport

A video footage shows breathtaking moments at Prague’s Václav Havel Airport where a Boeing 737 airplane narrowly avoided a dramatic crash right before touching down. As seen in the images below, the giant passenger jet is on the final approach and becomes almost uncontrollable because of the strong wind gusts. It banks from one side [Read more]

Oct 082016
Secret of Arctic City built under Greenland glacier. US military base Camp Century to be surfaced by global warming (VIDEO)

Global warming seems to reveal the hidden secrets of the Cold War. A US Army base unknown until recently and built under Greenland glaciers, is expected to surface in the near future with the risk of causing an environmental catastrophe. The top-secret Arctic City had been designed for hosting hundreds ballistic missile and supporting research [Read more]

Oct 082016
VIDEO: F-16 entry into service with Romanian Air Force: Fighting Falcon unveiled flight capabilities at 86th Air Base Borcea

Two F-16 fighter jets rumbled into the sky above 86th Air Base near Fetesti on Friday Oct. 7, 2016, marking the official entry into service of this type of aircraft for the Romanian Air Force (SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO). Besides the two jets that rocked the skies, three were lined-up on the runway while a [Read more]

Oct 062016
Throwing iPhone 7 Plus from the top of Burj Khalifa

A viral video shows a guy throwing an iPhone 7 Plus from the 148th floor of Burj Khalifa but his stunt sparked public concerns over the safety of those on the ground. It may sound like pure madness to drop intentionally an iPhone 7 off the world’s tallest building, but apparently there are people keen [Read more]

Oct 062016
Mitsubishi built world's fastest elevator for Shanghai skyscraper

A skyscraper in China boasts the fastest elevator in the world!!! (SCROLL FOR VIDEO) Built by Mitsubishi Electric, the elevator moves up and down inside Shanghai Tower, the second-tallest building in the world, at a record-breaking speed of 20.5 meters per second (67 ft/s), which means more than six floors per second. Thus, it will [Read more]

Oct 052016

British researchers David James Thouless (University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA, Frederick Duncan Michael Haldane (Princeton University, NJ, USA) and John Michael Kosterlitz (Brown University, Providence, RI, USA) won the Nobel Prize in Physics 2016 for their “theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter”. Such states of matter are usually met [Read more]