Radar images reveal Mars is coming out of an ice age

2016-05-27 04:13:12

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. An analysis of radar images that peered inside the polar ice caps of Mars shows that Earth's neighbor is coming out of an ice age that is part of an ongoing cycle of climate change, scientists said on Thursday. The Martian ice began its retreat about 370,000 years ago, marking the end of the last ice age, according to the research published in the journal Science. Using images taken by satellites orbiting Mars, the researchers determined that about 20,872 cubic miles (87,000 cubic km) of ice has accumulated at its poles since the end of the ice age, mostly in the northern polar cap. Scientists are keenly interested in piecing together the climate history of Mars, which contains strong evidence that oceans and lakes once pooled on its surface, bolstering the prospects for life. Scientists can now use the new ice measurements in computer simulations to more accurately model the Martian climate, said planetary scientist Isaac Smith of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, who led the study."Previously those models were unconstrained by observations so they started with guesses. Now they have more to run on," Smith said.The study also was the first to tie a specific layer of Martian ice with a specific period of time. "Eventually we'd like to be able to do this for every layer," Smith said. From the perspective of an Earthling, every day on Mars may feel like an ice age. According to NASA, temperatures on Mars may hit a high at noon at the equator in the summer of roughly 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius), or a low of about minus-225 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-153 degrees Celsius) at the poles.Unlike Earth, ice ages on Mars occur when its poles are warmer than average and frozen water is more stable at lower latitudes. Transitions between lengthy climate phases can leave telltale features in the ice, the research showed. For example, Smith and colleagues found dramatic slopes in layers of ice within the Martian northern ice cap. Other layers reveal ice flowing in reverse direction. The climate cycles are triggered by changes in Mars' orbit and tilt, which affect how much sunlight reaches the planet's surface.The shifts are particularly dramatic on Mars because theplanet's tilt changes by as much as 60 degrees, compared to variations in Earth's tilt of about 2 degrees. (Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by Will Dunham)

Dinosaur duo sported exotic spikes and horns

2016-05-19 09:13:04

WASHINGTON Two newly discovered dinosaurs unearthed in the western U.S. states of Montana and Utah are illustrating the exotic appearance some of these beasts developed, with fanciful horns and spikes, toward the end of their reign on Earth.Scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of fossils of two species that provide new insights into an important group of truck-sized, four-legged, plant-munching, horned dinosaurs that roamed the landscape late in the Cretaceous Period.Both dinosaurs were members of a group called ceratopsians that included the well-known Triceratops, typically possessing parrot-like beaks to crop low-growing herbs and shrubs, a bony neck shield, or frill, and forward-pointing facial horns. Fossils of Machairoceratops cronusi, which lived about 77 million years ago, were found in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.Machairoceratops, up to 26 feet (8 meters) long, had two large, forward-curving spikes coming out of the back of its shield, each marked by a peculiar groove extending from the base of the spike to the tip, Ohio University paleontologist Eric Lund said. Machairoceratops also had two horns over its eyes and probably one over its nose, although the incomplete fossils did not show that. Fossils of Spiclypeus shipporum, which lived about 76 million years ago, were discovered near the town of Winifred, Montana.Spiclypeus, about 15 feet (4.5 meters) long, boasted brow horns sticking out sideways rather than pointing forward, paleontologist Jordan Mallon of the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa said. It had spikes at the back of its frill that pointed in different directions: some curling forward and others projecting outward, Mallon said. "We think the horns and frills were probably used for display of some sort, either for sexual or species recognition," Mallon said.This Spiclypeus individual was dubbed "Judith" because the fossils came from the Judith River rock formation. Judith apparently lived a painful life. The upper bone in its left front leg bore signs of disease: arthritis near the shoulder joint and a hole near the elbow caused by a bone infection."I think Spiclypeus wins top prize for being the most aesthetically pleasing horned dinosaur, but that's my bias talking," Mallon said. "I think a visitor to the Late Cretaceous would have been immediately intimidated by standing in the shadow of Judith's spiky skull, but then overcome with sympathy after noting the animal ambling about painfully on only three legs."The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE. (Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Apple falls below $90 as iPhone worries fester

2016-05-12 20:13:04

SAN FRANCISCO Shares of Apple dropped below $90 on Thursday for the first time since 2014 as Wall Street worried about slow demand ahead of the anticipated launch of a new iPhone later this year.A mainstay of many Wall Street portfolios, Apple fell to as low as $89.47 before recovering slightly to $90.13, a 2.55 percent loss.Component suppliers in Taiwan will receive fewer orders from Apple in the second half of 2016 than in the same period last year, the Nikkei Asia Review reported on Thursday, citing sources. Apple typically launches its high-end phones in September."People are getting negative data points about component orders and production forecasts, and the features on the new iPhone do not seem to be a big change from the 6S," said Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang.At its session low, Apple briefly relinquished its position as the world's largest company by market capitalization to Alphabet Inc.At current prices, Apple's market value is about $494 billion, while Alphabet's is about $457 billion, a difference of roughly $36.5 billion. In the past year, Apple's market capitalization has fallen by more than $200 billion - roughly the size of Verizon Communications or Wal-Mart Stores. Suppliers of iPhone components also fell, with Skyworks Solutions off 4.8 percent, Broadcom down 2.46 percent and Qorvo declining 1.9 percent.Confidence in Cupertino, California-based Apple was shaken after it posted its first-ever quarterly decline in iPhone sales and first revenue drop in 13 years in April. Wall Street is worried about demand for Apple's next iPhone. Faced with lackluster sales of smartphones in the United States, Apple has bet on China as a major new growth engine. But progress there has been disappointing. Revenue from China slumped 26 percent during the March quarter. Apple faces increasing competition from Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi and Huawei selling phones priced below $200, Rosenblatt's Zhang said. Last week, Dialog Semiconductor, which sells chips used in iPhones and other smartphones, cut its revenue outlook due to ongoing softness in the smartphone market. The recent sell-off has left Apple trading at about 10 times its expected 12-month earnings, cheap compared with its average of 17.5 over the past 10 years. It also has a dividend yield of about 2.46 percent. "The market is saturated and they have no massive growth drivers outside of the iPhone," said Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves, who still recommends buying the stock. "Generally speaking, I just think it's a little too cheap." (Additional reporting by Savio D'Souza and Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Linda Stern and Dan Grebler)

Japan Display warns of bigger year-on-year loss on slow iPhone sales

2016-05-10 13:29:05

TOKYO Apple Inc (AAPL.O) supplier Japan Display Inc (6740.T) warned on Tuesday of a bigger loss in the just-ended business year compared to the previous year as sluggish demand for iPhones dragged down sales of its display panels.Japan Display estimated a net loss of 31.8 billion yen ($291.96 million) for the year ended March, wider than the 12.3 billion yen loss it reported for the previous year. The company, which generates about 40 percent of sales from Apple, also cut its full-year operating profit estimate to 16.7 billion yen from the 22.0 billion yen it forecast in February.Japan Display, Sharp Corp (6753.T) and South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd (034220.KS) are currently the three major display suppliers for the iPhone. Apple reported in late April its first-ever decline in iPhone sales.Aiming to reduce exposure to swings in the smartphone market, Japan Display in March announced consolidation of domestic liquid crystal display (LCD) production lines. The company will announce actual results for the year ended March 31 on Thursday. (Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Mixin Class Composition in Scala

2016-05-09 13:15:07

As opposed to languages that only support single inheritance, Scala has a more general notion of class reuse. Scala makes it possible to reuse the new member definitions of a class (i.e. the delta in relationship to the superclass) in the definition of a new class.Abstract Class abstract class AbsInfo { def isSpecialTrain: Boolean } Trait Object trait MyTrain { def printTrainInfo = { println("Train Number : 12675") println("Train Name : KOVAI EXPRESS") } } Normal Class class GeneralQuota { def printQuotaDetail = println("General Quota") }Abstract Class With Interface Method Implementation class TatkalQuota extends AbsInfo { def printQuotaDetail = println("Tatkal Quota") def isSpecialTrain:Boolean = false } Mixin Class Composition class LadiesQuota extends AbsInfo with MyTrain { def printQuotaDetail = println("Ladies Quota") def isSpecialTrain:Boolean = false }The LadiesQuota class is constructed from a mixin composition of the parents AbsInfo and MyTrain with the keyword with. The first parent is called the abstract class of LadiesQuotaclass, whereas the second (and every other, if present) parent is called a mixin.Overall Codeobject Mixin { def main(a: Array[String]) = { val gQuota = new GeneralQuota gQuota.printQuotaDetail val tQuota = new TatkalQuota tQuota.printQuotaDetail println("Is it Special train : "+tQuota.isSpecialTrain) val lQuota = new LadiesQuota lQuota.printQuotaDetail println("Is it Special train : "+lQuota.isSpecialTrain) lQuota.printTrainInfo } // Abstract Class abstract class AbsInfo { def isSpecialTrain: Boolean } // Trait Object trait MyTrain { def printTrainInfo = { println("Train Number : 12675") println("Train Name : KOVAI EXPRESS") } } // Normal Class class GeneralQuota { def printQuotaDetail = println("General Quota") } // Abstract class with interface method implementation class TatkalQuota extends AbsInfo { def printQuotaDetail = println("Tatkal Quota") def isSpecialTrain:Boolean = false } // Mixin Class composition class LadiesQuota extends AbsInfo with MyTrain { def printQuotaDetail = println("Ladies Quota") def isSpecialTrain:Boolean = false } }Result:

Older Post
Audi, BMW and Daimler buy Nokia's digital mapping business
Camera trap system could help fight against poaching
Exclusive: U.S. states pass laws backing Uber's view of drivers as contractors