Cassini Probe Will Have Busy Final Year at Titan

Space.com - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 11:55am
Saturn's moon Titan is being used by scientists to better understand the Earth's atmosphere. One day, it could give scientist a clue about the likelihood of non-Earthlike lifeforms evolving in the universe.
Categories: Science

18 Boho-Chic Gifts for the Hipster in Your Life

Wired News - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 11:04am
What to buy for the back-to-land, cooler-than-thou, anti-establishment hipster in your life? The post 18 Boho-Chic Gifts for the Hipster in Your Life appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Dive Into the Serene, Magical World of the Humpback Whale

Wired News - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 10:00am
Not even Dory got this close. The post Dive Into the Serene, Magical World of the Humpback Whale appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Vega Rocket Launches Turkish Earth-Observation Satellite

Space.com - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 9:25am
Arianespace lofted Turkey’s Göktürk-1 Earth-observation satellite into a sun-synchronous orbit today (Dec. 5) aboard a Vega rocket, marking the eighth success for the European light-lift vehicle.
Categories: Science

BMW Traps A Car Thief By Remotely Locking His Doors

Slashdot - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 8:30am
An anonymous reader quotes CNET: Seattle police caught an alleged car thief by enlisting the help of car maker BMW to both track and then remotely lock the luckless criminal in the very car he was trying to steal... Turns out if you're inside a stolen car, it's perhaps not the best time to take a nap. "A car thief awoke from a sound slumber Sunday morning (November 27) to find he had been remotely locked inside a stolen BMW, just as Seattle police officers were bearing down on him," wrote Jonah Spangenthal-Lee [deputy director of communications for the Seattle Police Department]. The suspect found a key fob mistakenly left inside the BMW by a friend who'd borrowed the car from the owner and the alleged crime was on. But technology triumphed. When the owner, who'd just gotten married a day earlier, discovered the theft, the police contacted BMW corporate, who tracked the car to Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood. The 38-year-old inside was then booked for both auto theft and possession of methamphetamine.

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Categories: Science

Galactic 'Spiderweb' Has Unusual Feeding Habits

Space.com - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 8:00am
A giant spider's web of young galaxies may reveal the secrets of how massive galaxies form.
Categories: Science

Anti-Matter Drive To Alpha Centauri? New Short-Documentary Explores | Video

Space.com - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 8:00am
In "Reaching for the Stars: Traveling to Alpha Centauri," the CEO from Positron Dynamics briefly explains how their new propulsion system works. This type of new tech could make the "Project Blue" campaign a possibility.
Categories: Science

Get a Skywatching Grant to Watch the 'Great American Eclipse'

Space.com - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 6:43am
On Aug. 21, 2017, the first total solar eclipse to cross over the continental United States in nearly four decades will occur — and the American Astronomical Society has launched a new website and grant program to engage skywatchers in the event.
Categories: Science

Interstellar Glitz: Designing the 'Passengers' Starship, Inside and Out

Space.com - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 6:09am
Famed production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas discusses the incredible starship design for the film "Passengers" (2016).
Categories: Science

In OpenAI’s Universe, Computers Learn to Use Apps Like Humans Do

Wired News - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 6:00am
OpenAI's hope is that its new tool can drive the development of machines with the same kind of flexible brain power humans have. The post In OpenAI's Universe, Computers Learn to Use Apps Like Humans Do appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Supermoon December 2016: When, Where & How to See It

Space.com - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 6:00am
Skywatchers were treated to extra-bright "supermoons" in October and November, and they'll have a chance to see another one before the year is out. Here's how to see the supermoon of Dec. 13, 2016.
Categories: Science

Tech Billionaires Award Top Scientists $25 Million In 'Breakthrough' Prizes

Slashdot - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 4:39am
Tonight at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, Morgan Freeman emceed a glamorous, Oscars-style celebration that recognizes scientific achievements with money from tech billionaires. An anonymous reader writes: Donors for the Breakthrough Prize included Google's Sergey Brin, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, Alibaba founder Jack Ma and his wife Cathy Zhang, and billionaire venture capitalist Yuri Milner, according to an article in Fortune. TechCrunch has a list of the winners, which included Princeton math professor Jean Bourgain, who won a $3 million prize "for his many contributions to high-dimensional geometry, number theory, and many other theoretical contributions." Three more physics researchers -- two from Harvard, and one from U.C. Santa Barbara -- will share a $3 million prize recognizing "meaningful advances in string theory, quantum field theory, and quantum gravity." And another $1 million prize honored the leaders of three teams responsible for "collaborative research on gravitational waves and its implications for physics and astronomy," with another $2 million to be shared among the 1,012 members of their research groups. 17-year-old Deanna See from Singapore also won the $250,000 "Breakthrough Junior Challenge" prize -- and more money for her teachers and school -- for her video about antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Google has created a special page where you can read more about some of the other winners.

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Categories: Science

Ask Slashdot: Have You Read 'The Art of Computer Programming'?

Slashdot - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 2:09am
In 1962, 24-year-old Donald Knuth began writing The Art of Computer Programming, publishing three volumes by 1973, with volume 4 arriving in 2005. (Volume 4A appeared in 2011, with new paperback fascicles planned for every two years, and fascicle 6, "Satisfiability," arriving last December). "You should definitely send me a resume if you can read the whole thing," Bill Gates once said, in a column where he described working through the book. "If somebody is so brash that they think they know everything, Knuth will help them understand that the world is deep and complicated." But now long-time Slashdot reader Qbertino has a question: I've had The Art of Computer Programming on my book-buying list for just about two decades now and I'm still torn...about actually getting it. I sometimes believe I would mutate into some programming demi-god if I actually worked through this beast, but maybe I'm just fooling myself... Have any of you worked through or with TAOCP or are you perhaps working through it? And is it worthwhile? I mean not just for bragging rights. And how long can it reasonably take? A few years? Share your answers and experiences in the comments. Have you read The Art of Computer Programming?

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Categories: Science

Does Windows 10's Data Collection Trade Privacy For Microsoft's Security?

Slashdot - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 12:09am
jader3rd shares an article from PC World arguing that Windows 10's data collection "trades your privacy for Microsoft's security." [Anonymized] usage data lets Microsoft beef up threat protection, says Rob Lefferts, Microsoft's director of program management for Windows Enterprise and Security. The information collected is used to improve various components in Windows Defender... For example, Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge will put the Edge browser into a lightweight virtual machine to make it harder to break out of the browser and attack the operating system. With telemetry, Microsoft can see when infections get past Application Guard defenses and improve the security controls to reduce recurrences. Microsoft also pulls signals from other areas of the Windows ecosystem, such as Active Directory, with information from the Windows 10 device to look for patterns that can indicate a problem like ransomware infections and other attacks. To detect those patterns, Microsoft needs access to technical data, such as what processes are consuming system resources, hardware diagnostics, and file-level information like which applications had which files open, Lefferts says. Taken together, the hardware information, application details, and device driver data can be used to identify parts of the operating system are exposed and should be isolated into virtual containers. The article points out that unlike home users, enterprise users of Windows 10 can select a lower level of data-sharing, but argues that enterprises "need to think twice before turning off Windows telemetry to increase corporate privacy" because Windows Update won't work without information about whether previous updates succeeded or failed.

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Categories: Science

Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' BETA Ubuntu-based Operating System Now Available For Download

Slashdot - Sun, 04/12/2016 - 11:09pm
BrianFagioli shares his story on Beta News: Feeling fatigued by Windows 10 and its constant updates and privacy concerns? Can't afford one of those beautiful new MacBook Pro laptops? Don't forget, Linux-based desktop operating systems are just a free download away, folks! If you do decide to jump on the open source bandwagon, a good place to start is Linux Mint. Both the Mate and Cinnamon desktop environments should prove familiar to Windows converts, and since it is based on Ubuntu, there is a ton of compatible packages. Today, the first beta of Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' becomes available for download. Here's the release notes for both Cinammon and MATE.

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Categories: Science

Canonical Sues Cloud Provider Over 'Unofficial' Ubuntu Images

Slashdot - Sun, 04/12/2016 - 10:39pm
An anonymous reader quotes OStatic's update on Canonical's lawsuit against a cloud provider: Canonical posted Thursday that they've been in a dispute with "a European cloud provider" over the use of their own homespun version of Ubuntu on their cloud servers. Their implementation disables even the most basic of security features and Canonical is worried something bad could happen and it'd reflect badly back on them... They said they've spent months trying to get the unnamed provider to use the standard Ubuntu as delivered to other commercial operations to no avail. Canonical feels they have no choice but to "take legal steps to remove these images." They're sure Red Hat and Microsoft wouldn't be treated like this. Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, wrote in his blog post that Ubuntu is "the leading cloud OS, running most workloads in public clouds today," whereas these homegrown images "are likely to behave unpredictably on update in weirdly creative and mysterious ways... We hear about these issues all the time, because users assume there is a problem with Ubuntu on that cloud; users expect that 'all things that claim to be Ubuntu are genuine', and they have a right to expect that... "To count some of the ways we have seen home-grown images create operational and security nightmares for users: clouds have baked private keys into their public images, so that any user could SSH into any machine; clouds have made changes that then blocked security updates for over a week... When things like this happen, users are left feeling let down. As the company behind Ubuntu, it falls to Canonical to take action."

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Categories: Science

70 Laptops Got Left Behind At An Airport Security Checkpoint In One Month

Slashdot - Sun, 04/12/2016 - 9:39pm
America's Transportation Security Administration has been making some surprising announcements on social media. An anonymous reader writes: A TSA spokesperson says 70 laptops were left behind in just one month at an airport security checkpoint in Newark. "And yes, there are plenty of shiny MacBooks in that pile," reported BravoTV, "which can cost in the $2,000 range new." The TSA shared an image of the 70 laptops on their Instagram page and on Twitter, prompting at least one mobile project designer to reclaim his laptop. "The most common way laptops are forgotten is when traveler's stack a bin on top of the bin their laptop is in," the TSA warns. "Out of sight out of mind." The TSA is also sharing pictures on social media of the 70 guns they confiscated at security checkpoints in one week in November, reporting they've also confiscated a blowtorch, batarangs, and a replica of that baseball bat from "The Walking Dead". They're reporting they found 33 loaded firearms in carry-on luggage in one week, and remind readers that gun-carrying passengers "can face a penalty as high as $11,000. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home."

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Categories: Science

How Microsoft Lost In Court Over Windows 10 Upgrades

Slashdot - Sun, 04/12/2016 - 8:39pm
In June a California woman successfully sued Microsoft for $10,000 over forced Windows 10 upgrades, and she's now written a 58-page ebook about her battle (which she's selling for $9.99). But an anonymous Slashdot reader shares another inspiring story about a Texas IT worker and Linux geek who got Microsoft to pay him $650 for all the time that he lost. "Worley built a Windows 7 machine for his grandfather, who has Alzheimer's Disease, [customized] to look like Windows XP, an operating system his grandfather still remembered well..." writes Digital Trends. "But thanks to Microsoft's persistent Windows 10 upgrade program, Worley's grandfather unknowingly initiated the Win 10 upgrade by clicking the 'X' to close an upgrade window." After Worley filed a legal "Notice of Dispute," Microsoft quickly agreed to his demand for $650, which he donated to a non-profit focusing on Alzheimer's patients. But according to the article, that's just the beginning, since Worley now "hopes people impacted by the forced Windows 10 upgrade will write a complaint to Microsoft demanding a settlement for their wasted time and money in repairing the device," and on his web page suggests that if people don't need the money, they should give it to charities fighting Alzheimer's. "If Microsoft isn't going to wake up and realize that lobbing intentionally-tricky updates at people who don't need and can't use them actively damages not only the lives of the Alzheimer's sufferer, but those of their whole family, then let's cure the disease on Microsoft's dime so their tactics and those of companies that will follow their reckless example aren't as damaging." Worley suggests each Notice of Dispute should demand at least $50 per hour from Microsoft, adding "If recent history holds steady they might just write you a check!"

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Categories: Science

Sysadmin Gets Two Years In Prison For Sabotaging ISP

Slashdot - Sun, 04/12/2016 - 7:39pm
After being let go over a series of "personal issues" with his employer, things got worse for 26-year-old network administrator Dariusz J. Prugar, who will now have to spend two years in prison for hacking the ISP where he'd worked. An anonymous reader writes: Prugar had used his old credentials to log into the ISP's network and "take back" some of the scripts and software he wrote... "Seeking to hide his tracks, Prugar used an automated script that deleted various logs," reports Bleeping Computer. "As a side effect of removing some of these files, the ISP's systems crashed, affecting over 500 businesses and over 5,000 residential customers." When the former ISP couldn't fix the issue, they asked Prugar to help. "During negotiations, instead of requesting money as payment, Prugar insisted that he'd be paid using the rights to the software and scripts he wrote while at the company, software which was now malfunctioning, a week after he left." This tipped off the company, who detected foul play, contacted the FBI and rebuilt its entire network. Six years later, Prugar was found guilty after a one-week jury trial, and was ordered by the judge to pay $26,000 in restitution to the ISP (which went out of business in October of 2015). Prugar's two-year prison sentence begins December 27.

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Categories: Science

Virginia Police Spent $500K For An Ineffective Cellphone Surveillance System

Slashdot - Sun, 04/12/2016 - 6:39pm
Cell-site simulators can intercept phone calls and even provide locations (using GPS data). But Virginia's state police force just revealed details about their actual use of the device -- and it's not pretty. Long-time Slashdot reader v3rgEz writes: In 2014, the Virginia State Police spent $585,265 on a specially modified Suburban outfitted with the latest and greatest in cell phone surveillance: the DRT 1183C, affectionately known as the DRTbox. But according to logs uncovered by public records website MuckRock, the pricey ride was only used 12 times — and only worked seven of those times. According to Virginia's ACLU director, "each of the 12 uses cost almost $50,000, and only 4 of them resulted in an arrest [raising] a significant question whether the more than half million dollars spent on the device and the vehicle...was a wise investment of public funds."

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Categories: Science