Elon Musk Believes We Need to Build More Tunnels to Alleviate Traffic Congestion

Elon Musk is quite a vocal figure in the technology world and known for making some rather intriguing predictions.  Recently, Musk answered a number of questions during the Hyperloop Design Competition awards ceremony across a wide range of topics including Hyperloop, SpaceX, Tesla and Mars. On the Mars project, Musk said:

“I think the most important thing is to maintain a self-sustaining city on Mars,”  

“I think that’s the most important thing for humanity. If we have a self-sustaining city on Mars … that could ultimately lead us to go beyond the solar system.”

He also went onto discuss the current traffic congestion problems around the world and suggested a suitable fix:

“Tunnels are great. It’s just a hole in the ground” 

“It’s not that hard, but if you have tunnels in cities, it would massively alleviate congestion. You could have tunnels at all different levels, you could have 30 layers of tunnels and completely relieve the congestion problem in high-density cities. So, I highly suggest tunnels.”

This is an interesting theory and it could help reduce traffic congestion by a significant margin. As the population increases, and major cities become extremely packed, it’s vital to find new ways to reduce the stress on public transport. Musk’s concept is practical but it could take a long time to even be considered. In huge cities like London, commuters usually have to deal with large crowds, and it can be challenging to find a comfortable form of transport. Vehicles also have the problem of moving at a very pedestrian pace, as traffic jams become a regular occurrence.

Something has to be done, because the population density in major cities is increasing. I can’t really think of an alternative to Musk’s idea, but then again, it’s going to take an absurd amount of time to even analyse the potential for underground tunnels on a mass scale.

12-Year-Old Boy Breaks Fall by Smashing Into Painting Worth $1.5 Million

A 12-year-old boy in Taiwan has suffered a rather unfortunate accident and already become a viral sensation. While visiting a museum, he suddenly tripped into the path of a $1.5 million painting. The damage caused was quite substantial because he pierced a hole in the painting to break his fall. Unluckily, the Paolo Porpora oil painting is 350 years old and provided to the museum on a loan basis. Additionally, the piece was part of “The Face of Leonardo, Images of a Genius” exhibition, with 50 beautifully compiled paintings by Italian Renaissance artists on display.

CCTV footage recorded the incident which is fairly difficult to watch. Organizers of the event had to close the public gallery and assess the situation. However, it was reopened a few hours later. Focus Taiwan reported that the exhibition’s curator, Andrea Rossi does not want the boy’s family to pay for restoration costs. Obviously, how could they afford it? Thankfully, the painting was insured by the organizers and will be repaired in Taiwan before going back to Italy.

Also, the museum probably should have imposed greater restrictions and improved security. As you can see from the video, the boy is carrying a drink. He could have easily dropped the beverage and stained the painting. Whatever the case, you have to feel some sympathy for him.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information.

Bug in Bash Shell Creates Major Security Hole for Linux Users

A major security bug has been discovered in the GNU Borne Again Shell (Bash) – a  command-line shell that’s used across a wide array of Linux and Unix operating systems. The bug leaves systems running these OS’s open to the attack, and is centred around how Bash handles environmental variables that are passed by the operating system or through a program that calls a Bash-based script. What’s even more worrying is those who are running networks with these affected operating systems, as if Bash has been configured to be the default system shell – it’s capable that network-based attacks can be launched against servers and linked systems via web requests, secure shell, telnet sessions – or any other programs that utilises Bash to execute scripts.

This is a deep and widespread conundrum – one that’s potentially on the same scale as the Heartbleed bug that was discovered earlier this year. The global scale of systems and networks that are potentially compromised by the newly discovered security hole is enormous. Thankfully there is a rather easy method to determine if your particular Linux or Unix system is vulnerable. Simply open up your command line and enter:

env x='() { :;}; echo vulnerable’ bash -c “echo this is a test”
If the system is vulnerable, the output will be:

this is a test
An unaffected (or patched) system will output:

bash: warning: x: ignoring function definition attempt
bash: error importing function definition for `x’
this is a test

System administrators are urged to update their versions of Bash to the latest version to ensure resistance against the bug. Downloading the patched builds are available here for CentOS, Ubuntu and Debian.

Thanks to TheVerge for providing us with this information.

New ‘Super Black’ Material Developed By British Researchers

Hearing of a new material that can perform in ways that push the boundaries of what is actively known is typically heard from the heavily invested teams over at NASA, however a team from Surrey (not too far away from my home in the UK as it happens) known as Surrey NanoSystems have created a new material that is so black, it is supposed to be hard to see if it is actually there. Known as Vantablack, the material is made up of carbon nanotubes – a man-made hollow fibre which measures only 1 nanometre in diameter – hence the name ‘nanotube’. To create the Vantablack material, the team in Surrey build up the nanotubes on a layer of aluminium foil as seen above and as we can see, or not as the case may be, the material is so dark, we cannot tell that it is all crinkled up along with the foil.

The material is so absorbent to light that it has broken a world record, reflecting a mere 0.035% of light shone at it, with the possibility that it can absorb wave of light that sit outside of the range of ‘visible light’ that the naked eye can detect. The rest is the appearance of nothing being where the material is laid and thus giving a black hole effect. Furthermore, researchers state Vantablack is in the region of 10,000 times as strong as steel and it can also conduct heat very well with up to seven and half times the thermal conductivity of copper.

Having already met the requirements for their initial run of orders for this pioneering material, Vantablack has a number of projected uses in highly sensitive pieces of equipment such as space bound telescopes, where the use of current ‘dark’ materials still reflect a small amount of light, having the effect of adding noise to an image. Down here on earth the possible ability to absorb radio waves brings probable military uses in stealth planes and instrumentation, giving the military an advantage against detection.

The  new material will be getting its first public showing later on this week at the Farnborough International Airshow alongside many other bits of military hardware.

Source: Daily Mail