A Guide To the 5 Cybersecurity Bills Now Before Congress

Slashdot - 35 min 19 sec ago
blottsie writes: At press time, the House had passed two cybersecurity bills, one Senate bill had been passed out of committee and reported to the full chamber for a final vote, and a third House bill and a second Senate bill were awaiting review by the appropriate committee. The two House bills that passed earlier this week will be combined and sent to the Senate, but the Senate won't take up them up directly; instead, it will vote on its own two bills. It's complicated, so here's a quick breakdown of the key details.

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Categories: Science

Giant Survival Ball Will Help Explorer Survive a Year On an Iceberg

Slashdot - 1 hour 36 min ago
HughPickens.com writes: Ben Yeager reports in Outside Magazine that Italian explorer Alex Bellini plans to travel to Greenland's west coast, pick an iceberg, and live on it for a year as it melts out in the Atlantic. It's a precarious idea. Bellini will be completely isolated, and his adopted dwelling is liable to roll or fall apart at any moment, thrusting him into the icy sea or crushing him under hundreds of tons of ice. His solution: an indestructible survival capsule built by an aeronautics company that specializes in tsunami-proof escape pods. "I knew since the beginning I needed to minimize the risk. An iceberg can flip over, and those events can be catastrophic." Bellini plans to use a lightweight, indestructible floating capsules, or "personal safety systems" made from aircraft-grade aluminum in what's called a continuous monocoque structure, an interlocking frame of aluminum spars that evenly distribute force, underneath a brightly painted and highly visible aluminum shell. The inner frame can be stationary or mounted on roller balls so it rotates, allowing the passengers to remain upright at all times. Aeronautical engineer Julian Sharpe, founder of Survival Capsule, got the idea for his capsules after the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. He believes fewer people would have died had some sort of escape pod existed. Sharpe hopes the products will be universal—in schools, retirement homes, and private residences, anywhere there is severe weather. The product appeals to Bellini because it's strong enough to survive a storm at sea or getting crushed between two icebergs. Bellini will spend almost all of his time in the capsule with the hatch closed, which will pose major challenges because he'll have to stay active without venturing out onto a slippery, unstable iceberg. If it flips, he'll have no time to react. "Any step away from [the iceberg] will be in unknown territory," says Bellini. "You want to stretch your body. But then you risk your life."

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Categories: Science

Mountain Monsters: Bigfoot of Ashe County: AIMS Erupts

Cryptomundo - 1 hour 38 min ago
The AIMS team go back to Ashe County, NC to hunt the "Cherokee Devil" a savage Bigfoot that has already scarred members of the team. As the mission continues the biggest rift in AIMS history erupts and some members debate hanging up their gear for good.
Categories: Fortean

Turning a Smartphone Display Into a Biometric Scanner

Slashdot - 2 hours 40 min ago
New submitter jan_jes writes: Recent mobile phones integrate fingerprint scanners to authenticate users biometrically and replace passwords, making authentication more convenient. Researchers at Yahoo Labs have created a new technology called "Bodyprint," which turns your smartphone's touchscreen display into a biometric scanner. It allows the touch sensor to scan users' body parts (PDF) such as ears, fingers, fists, and palms by pressing them against the display. Bodyprint implements the four-eye principle for locking sensitive documents — accessing the document can require the presence of two or more people involved with the project. Another application is authenticating a user to answer a call by scanning their ear pressed against the phone.

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Categories: Science

Microsoft Increases Android Patent Licensing Reach

Slashdot - 3 hours 47 min ago
BrianFagioli writes: Microsoft may not be winning in the mobile arena, but they're still making tons of money from those who are. Patent licensing agreements net the company billions each year from device makers like Samsung, Foxconn, and ZTE. Now, Microsoft has added another company to that list: Qisda Corp. They make a number of Android and Chrome-based devices under the Qisda brand and the BenQ brand, and now Microsoft will be making money off those, too.

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Categories: Science

7.8 Earthquake Rocks Nepal, Hundreds Dead

Slashdot - 4 hours 51 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Nepal was struck by an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 today, with an epicenter 80 km east of the country's second biggest city, Pokhara. Its effects were also strongly felt in the capital, Kathmandu. Casualty reports conflict, but authorities have indicated at least 500 are dead and many more are feared to be trapped. Nepal has declared a state of emergency for the affected areas, and asked for international humanitarian assistance. India and Pakistan have both offered help. Some Indian cities were affected by the earthquake as well, and there are reports of avalanches on Mt. Everest, which has many climbers at any given time.

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Categories: Science

The Oregon Bigfoot Highway

Cryptomundo - 5 hours 4 min ago
A travel book celebrating adventure and history along Oregon’s National Scenic Byway No. 5 The Oregon Bigfoot Highway
Categories: Fortean

Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Slashdot - 5 hours 53 min ago
Okian Warrior writes: Billionaire Elon Musk will announce next week that Tesla will begin offering battery-based energy storage for residential and commercial customers. The batteries power up overnight when energy companies typically charge less for electricity, then are used during the day to power a home. In a pilot project, Tesla has already begun offering home batteries to SolarCity (SCTY) customers, a solar power company for which Musk serves as chairman. Currently 330 U.S. households are running on Tesla's batteries in California. The batteries start at about $13,000, though California's Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PCG) offers customers a 50% rebate. The batteries are three-feet high by 2.5-feet wide, and need to be installed at least a foot and a half off the ground. They can be controlled with a Web app and a smartphone app.

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Categories: Science

25 Years of the Hubble Space Telescope: A Story of Redemption

Space.com - 6 hours 11 min ago
This week, NASA and the space science community celebrated 25 years since the launch and deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope, an instrument with one of the greatest redemption stories in science history.
Categories: Science

The Plan to Bring Nature Back to the Los Angeles River

Wired News - 7 hours 15 min ago

Los Angeles' river, a long-neglected wasteland, is about to become an urban oasis: a linear, riparian Central Park.

The post The Plan to Bring Nature Back to the Los Angeles River appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

Webmonkey Podcast: Go Behind the Scenes With WIRED’s Coders

Wired News - 7 hours 15 min ago

WIRED announces the rebirth of Webmonkey, with a new podcast on what happens behind the scenes at WIRED, and what's happening in the greater web community.

The post Webmonkey Podcast: Go Behind the Scenes With WIRED’s Coders appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

While You Were Offline: The Avengers Disassemble in Press Junket Hell

Wired News - 7 hours 15 min ago

If there's a running theme to this week's online stories, it's the idea that being a celebrity is fairly weird.

The post While You Were Offline: The Avengers Disassemble in Press Junket Hell appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

Sci-Fi Films Need More Big Ideas Like Ex Machina’s

Wired News - 7 hours 15 min ago

In this Geek's Guide to the Galaxy author and Ex Machina director Alex Garland discusses why sci-fi films need more big ideas.

The post Sci-Fi Films Need More Big Ideas Like Ex Machina’s appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

You Should Google Everyone, Even Your Therapist

Wired News - 7 hours 16 min ago

Googling and Facebooking allows us to expedite intimacy when we need it most. We should embrace it.

The post You Should Google Everyone, Even Your Therapist appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

Subject: Help, Dammit

Wired News - 7 hours 45 min ago

About a month ago, I bought a car. Unlike the average person, I didn't have to face the dealer alone. I had access to the writers behind WIRED's automotive coverage.

The post Subject: Help, Dammit appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

Amp Up Movie Night With This Essential Home Theater Gear

Wired News - 8 hours 21 min ago

An auteur-worthy home theater is easy to achieve–just cast the right gear.

The post Amp Up Movie Night With This Essential Home Theater Gear appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

Mystery of the Coldest Spot In the CMB Solved

Slashdot - 8 hours 54 min ago
StartsWithABang writes: The cosmic microwave background is a thing of beauty, as not only does its uniform, cold temperature reveal a hot, dense past that began with the hot Big Bang, but its fluctuations reveal a pattern of overdensities and underdensities in the very early stages of the Universe. It's fluctuations just like these that give rise to the stars, galaxies, groups and clusters that exist today, as well as the voids in the vast cosmic web. But effects at the surface of last scattering are not the only ones that affect the CMB's temperature; if we want to make sure we've got an accurate map of what the Universe was born with, we have to take everything into account, including the effects of matter as it gravitationally grows and shrinks. As we do exactly this, we find ourselves discovering the causes behind the biggest anomalies in the sky, and it turns out that the standard cosmological model can explain it all.

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Categories: Science

Pirate Bay Blockade Censors CloudFlare Customers

Slashdot - 11 hours 47 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: The blockade of the Pirate Bay by UK ISPs is causing trouble for CloudFlare customers. Several websites have been inadvertently blocked by Sky because a Pirate Bay proxy is hosted behind the same IP-addresses. In a response, CloudFlare threatened to disconnect the proxy site from its network. Like any form of censorship web blockades can sometime lead to overblocking, targeting perfectly legitimate websites by mistake. This is also happening in the UK where Sky's blocking technology is inadvertently blocking sites that have nothing to do with piracy.

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Categories: Science

Why declining investment in basic research threatens a US innovation deficit

Kurzweil AI - 14 hours 28 min ago

Declining U.S. federal government research investment — from just under 10 percent in 1968 to less than 4 percent in 2015 — in critical fields such as cybersecurity, infectious disease, plant biology, and Alzheimer’s are threatening an “innovation deficit,” according to a new MIT report to be released Monday, April 27.

U.S. competitors are increasing their investment in basic research. The European Space Agency successfully landed the first spacecraft on a comet. China developed the world’s fastest supercomputer and has done research in plant biology uncovering new ways to meet global food demand and address malnutrition. Meanwhile, U.S. investment in basic plant-related research and development is far below that of many other scientific disciplines, despite the fact that the agricultural sector is responsible for more than 2 million U.S. jobs and is a major source of export earnings.

The report, entitled “The Future Postponed: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation Deficit,” highlights opportunities in basic research that could help shape and maintain U.S. economic power and benefit society.

In the report, MIT faculty members provide examples of critical fields in which investment is required, highlighting potential opportunities and areas where U.S. government support is needed. The authors explain that the FDA has approved 19 new cancer drugs in the past two years, thanks to more than four decades of basic research on the biology of cancer.

Among the recommendations of the report to expand research:

  • Research in neurobiology, brain chemistry, and the science of aging to develop new treatments for Alzheimer’s.
  • New antibiotics could tackle the growing health threat posed by the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, an area where commercial incentives to invest are lacking.
  • Synthetic biology research could lead to such developments as customized treatments for genetic diseases, engineered viruses that can identify and kill cancer cells, and climate-friendly fuels; however, a lack of investment in laboratory facilities is leading to a migration of top talent and research leadership overseas.
  • The U.S. has an opportunity to take a leadership role in a number of areas including fusion energy research, robotics, and quantum information technologies.

The report was prepared by the MIT Committee to Evaluate the Innovation Deficit to examine how research cutbacks will affect the future of scientific research in the U.S.

The event will feature talks by Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); Katrine Bosley, CEO of Editas Medicine; MIT Professor Marc Kastner, president of the Science Philanthropy Alliance; and select MIT faculty. The event is co-sponsored by AAAS, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, The Science Coalition, and MIT.

Other speakers:

  • Maria Zuber, vice president for research at MIT
  • Karl Berggren, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and director of the Nanostructures Laboratory
  • Chris Kaiser, professor of biology at MIT
  • Ron Weiss, professor of biological engineering and electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and director of the Synthetic Biology Center
  • Anne White, professor of nuclear engineering at MIT

Full schedule: http://dc.mit.edu/innovation-deficit/event

 

Categories: Science

Microsoft Opens Vulnerability Bounty Program For Spartan Browser

Slashdot - 14 hours 49 min ago
jones_supa writes: As it did in the past when it tried to make Internet Explorer more secure, Microsoft has launched a new bug bounty program for Spartan browser, the default application of Windows 10 for surfing the information highway. A typical remote code execution flaw can bring between $1,500 and $15,000, and for the top payment you also need to provide a functioning exploit. The company says that it could pay even more than that, if you convince the jury on the entry quality and complexity. Sandbox escape vulnerabilities with Enhanced Protected Mode enabled, important or higher severity vulnerabilities in Spartan or its engine, and ASLR info disclosure vulnerabilities are also eligible. If you want to accept the challenge, Microsoft provides more information on how to participate.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science