The Daily Flash -Sci, Space, Tech (1/31)

Fabric Fingerprints on fabrics could now solve crimes

Picture the scene: a body is found dead after falling from a high balcony. As forensics teams gather at the scene they need to understand whether it was an accident or something more sinister. Now, the dead man's shirt might hold the answer. A new technique developed by scientists at the University of Abertay in Dundee, UK, and The Scottish Police Services Authority can detect fingerprints on fabrics. The technique, which uses fine layers of gold and zinc in a vacuum to detect the print, is already used on hard surfaces, but has now been developed to work on fabrics too. 

Egypt Tutankhamun relics escape looters again

Tutankhamun is famed the world over. Not because he abandoned the contentious religious experiments of his father, Akhenaten, but because his grave was not robbed in antiquity. Last week, his grave goods appear to have survived the looters once more. A week of turmoil in Egypt that has reportedly left more than 100 people dead drew the country's cultural heritage into the conflict on Friday. Riot police withdrew from the area around the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, giving looters the opportunity to break in.

Twitter-logo Egypt Shut Down Its Net With a Series of Phone Calls

Egypt’s largest ISPs shut off their networks Thursday, making it impossible for traffic to get to websites hosted in Egypt or for Egyptians to use e-mail, Twitter or Facebook. The regime of President Hosni Mubarak also ordered the shut down of mobile phone networks, including one run by the U.K.-based Vodafone, all in an attempt to undermine the growing protests over Mubarak’s autocratic rule of the country. What’s different with Egypt is the scale,” said Craig Labovitz, the chief scientist at Arbor Networks.“By that I mean that Egypt has fairly significant internet infrastructure with a diversity of paths — satellite, microwave and fiber links — a number of large providers and hundreds of smaller providers. It is one of the more significant internet infrastructures in the Middle East and certainly within Africa. Egypt has a very well-developed economy with a significant reliance on the internet, this is very different from Burma.”

Egypt-protest-blackberry-rim-topfea How Egyptians Protestors Use BlackBerrys in a Tech Blackout

While mobile phone service to much of Egypt was shut off this past weekend, BlackBerry devices quietly continued to work (mostly), offering a crucial portal to the outside world. Will other countries pressure RIM to slam shut the access?Egyptian protestors have discovered a powerful tool: BlackBerry devices. Stellar encryption appears to have allowed users of the devices to escape (for the most part) the Egyptian government's crackdown on communications with the outside world.

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