Atlas V Rocket Repaired and Ready for June 24 Return to Flight

Space.com - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 9:00am
United Launch Alliance says it has identified and resolved the problem on its most recent Atlas 5 launch, a March 22 flight for Orbital ATK that successfully delivered the unmanned Cygnus space station resupply vehicle to orbit.
Categories: Science

Jupiter Orbital Insertion: Juno's Dive Into the Unknown

Space.com - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 8:58am
The NASA mission will enter Jupiter orbit on July 4, but little is known of arguably the most dangerous region in the solar system.
Categories: Science

What Happens at the Summer Solstice?

Space.com - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 8:40am
The moment is a beautifully subtle celestial event.
Categories: Science

Hacker Who Stole Half-Life 2's Source Code Interviewed For New Book

Slashdot - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 7:30am
"Can you love a game so much you must take its sequel?" asks Ars Technica, posting an excerpt from the new book "Death By Video Game: Danger, Pleasure, and Obsession on the Virtual Frontline." At 6am on May 7, 2004, Axel Gembe awoke in the small German town of Schonau im Schwarzwald to find his bed surrounded by police officers bearing automatic weapons... "You are being charged with hacking into Valve Corporation's network, stealing the video game Half-Life 2, leaking it onto the Internet, and causing damages in excess of $250 million... Get dressed..." The corridors were lined by police, squeezed into his father's house... Gembe had tried creating homegrown keystroke-recorders specifically targeted at Valve, according to the book, but then poking around their servers he'd discovered one which wasn't firewalled from the internal network. Gembe spent several weeks discovering notes and design documents, until eventually he stumbled onto the latest version of the unreleased game's source code. He'd never meant for the code to be leaked onto the internet -- but he did share it with another person who did. ("I didn't think it through. The person I shared the source with assured me he would keep it to himself. He didn't...") Eventually Gembe contacted Valve, apologized, and asked them for a job -- which led to a fake 40-minute job interview designed to gather enough evidence to arrest him. But ultimately a judge sentenced him to two years probation -- and Half-Life 2 went on to sell 8.6 million copies.

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Categories: Science

'Baby' Super-Neptune Found Orbiting Close To Star | Video

Space.com - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 6:07am
Young star system K2-33 hosts a planet that orbits 10 times closer to it than Mercury does to the Sun. The planet, named K2-33b, is slightly larger than Neptune and is only 5-10 million years old.
Categories: Science

California Researchers Build The World's First 1,000-Processor Chip

Slashdot - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 3:35am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the University of California, Davis about the world's first microchip with 1,000 independent programmable processors: The 1,000 processors can execute 115 billion instructions per second while dissipating only 0.7 Watts, low enough to be powered by a single AA battery...more than 100 times more efficiently than a modern laptop processor... The energy-efficient "KiloCore" chip has a maximum computation rate of 1.78 trillion instructions per second and contains 621 million transistors. Programs get split across many processors (each running independently as needed with an average maximum clock frequency of 1.78 gigahertz), "and they transfer data directly to each other rather than using a pooled memory area that can become a bottleneck for data." Imagine how many mind-boggling things will become possible if this much processing power ultimately finds its way into new consumer technologies.

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Categories: Science

New 'Hardened' Tor Browser Protects Users From FBI Hacking

Slashdot - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 1:34am
An anonymous reader quotes an article from Motherboard: According to a new paper, security researchers are now working closely with the Tor Project to create a "hardened" version of the Tor Browser, implementing new anti-hacking techniques which could dramatically improve the anonymity of users and further frustrate the efforts of law enforcement... "Our solution significantly improves security over standard address space layout randomization (ASLR) techniques currently used by Firefox and other mainstream browsers," the researchers write in their paper, whose findings will be presented in July at the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium in Darmstadt, Germany. The researchers say Tor is currently field-testing their solution for an upcoming "hardened" release, making it harder for agencies like the FBI to crack the browser's security, according to Motherboard. "[W]hile that defensive advantage may not last for too long, it shows that some in the academic research community are still intent on patching the holes that their peers are helping government hackers exploit."

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Categories: Science

J.J. Abrams Reacts To Death of Star Trek Actor Anton 'Chekov' Yelchin

Slashdot - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 11:32pm
On Sunday morning 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin, who plays Chekov in the new Star Trek movies, was killed in a freak accident with his own car in the driveway of his home in Studio City. "It appears he momentarily exited his car and it rolled backward, causing trauma that led to his death," a police spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter. This afternoon J. J. Abrams tweeted a picture of a handwritten eulogy addressed to Anton. "You were brilliant. You were kind. You were funny as hell, and supremely talented. And you weren't here nearly long enough. Missing you..." Zachary Quinto, who plays Mr. Spock, also tweeted a link to a picture posted in memorial on Instagram, where he called Yelchin "one of the most open and intellectually curious people I have ever had the pleasure to know... wise beyond his years, and gone before his time..." Stephen King called him a "crazily talented actor gone too soon," remembering Yelchin from one of his last roles in a 10-episode adaptation of King's "Mr. Mercedes". Yelchin will play a mentally deranged ice cream truck driver who's also an IT worker for a Geek Squad-like company named "Cyber Patrol".

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Categories: Science

Outlander Recap: Die, Villains, Die

Wired News - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 10:49pm
Taking a break from war, everyone's favorite time-travel historical romance fantasy confronts demons from the past. The post Outlander Recap: Die, Villains, Die appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

One Million IP Addresses Used In Brute-Force Attack On A Bank

Slashdot - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 10:34pm
Cisco says in just one week in February they detected 1,127,818 different IP addresses being used to launch 744,361,093 login attempts on 220,758,340 different email addresses -- and that 93% of those attacks were directed at two financial institutions in a massive Account Takeover (ATO) campaign. An anonymous reader writes: Crooks used 993,547 distinct IPs to check login credentials for 427,444,261 accounts. For most of these attacks, the crooks used proxy servers, but also two botnets, one of compromised Arris cable modems, and one of ZyXel routers/modems. Most of these credentials have been acquired from public breaches or underground hacking forums. This happened before the recent huge data breaches such as MySpace, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and VK.com. It's apparently similar to the stolen-credentials-from-other-sites attack that was launched against GitHub earlier this week.

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Categories: Science

IBM Engineer Builds a Harry Potter Sorting Hat Using 'Watson' AI

Slashdot - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 9:33pm
An anonymous reader writes: As America celebrates Father's Day, The Next Web reports on an IBM engineer who found a way to combine his daughters' interest in the Harry Potter series with an educational home technology project. Together they built a Hogwarts-style sorting hat -- which assigns its wearer into an appropriate residence house at the school of magic -- and it does it using IBM's cognitive computing platform Watson. "The hat uses Watson's Natural Language Classifier and Speech to Text to let the wearer simply talk to the hat, then be sorted according to what he or she says..." reports The Next Web. "Anderson coded the hat to pick up on words that fit the characteristics of each Hogwarts house, with brainy and cleverness going right into Ravenclaw's territory and honesty a recognized Hufflepuff attribute." The hat's algorithm would place Stephen Hawking and Hillary Clinton into Ravenclaw, according to the article, while Donald Trump "was assigned to Gryffindor for his boldness -- but only with a 48 percent certainty." The sorting hat talks, drawing its data directly from the IBM Cloud, and if you're interested in building your own, the IBM engineer has shared a tutorial online.

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Categories: Science

New Ransomware Written Entirely In JavaScript

Slashdot - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 8:35pm
An anonymous reader writes: Security researchers have discovered a new form of ransomware written entirely in JavaScript and using the CryptoJS library to encode a user's files. Researchers say the file is being distributed through email attachments, according to SC Magazine, which reports that "Opening the attachment kicks off a series of steps that not only locks up the victim's files, but also downloads some additional malware onto the target computer. The attachment does not visibly do anything, but appears to the victim as a corrupted file. However, in fact it is busy doing its dirty work in the background. This includes deleting the Windows Volume Shadow Copy so the encrypted files cannot be recovered and the ransomware is set to run every time Windows starts up so it can capture any new information." "It's a little bit unusual to see an actual piece of ransomware powered by a scripting language," one security executive tells the magazine, which suggests disabling e-mail attachments that contain a JavaScript file.

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Categories: Science

Star Trek Actor Anton Yelchin Dead at 27

Wired News - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 7:53pm
The actor recently completed work on director Justin Lin's upcoming Star Trek film. The post Star Trek Actor Anton Yelchin Dead at 27 appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Will Self-Driving Cars Destroy the Auto Insurance Industry?

Slashdot - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 7:37pm
An anonymous reader quotes an article from the Bay Area News Group: Imagine your fully autonomous self-driving car totals a minivan. Who pays for the damages? "There wouldn't be any liability on you, because you're just like a passenger in a taxi," says Santa Clara University law professor Robert Peterson. Instead, the manufacturer of your car or its software would probably be on the hook... Virtually everything around car insurance is expected to change, from who owns the vehicles to who must carry insurance to who -- or what -- is held responsible for causing damage, injuries and death in an accident." Ironically, if you're only driving a semi-autonomous car, "you could end up in court fighting to prove the car did wrong, not you," according to the article. Will human drivers be considered a liability -- by insurers, and even by car owners? The article notes that Google is already testing a car with no user-controlled brake pedal or steering wheel. Of course, one consumer analyst warns the newspaper that "hackers will remain a risk, necessitating insurance coverage for hostile takeover of automated systems..."

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Categories: Science

Ethereum Debate Marred By Second Digital Currency Heist

Slashdot - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 6:38pm
Thursday's news of a $50 million heist of digital currency at Ethereum. was followed today by reports of a second heist from the DAO, according to the Bitcoin News Service -- this one for just 22 Ether. "It appears this is just someone who wanted to test the exploit and see if they could use it to their advantage... " Slashdot reader Patrick O'Neill writes: The currency's community is currently debating a course forward for a currency who is built on the idea that it is governed by software and not human beings. One option is to fork the code, another is to do absolutely nothing at all." Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, posted Sunday that "Over the last day with the community's help we have crowdsourced a list of all of the major bugs with smart contracts on Ethereum so far, including both the DAO as well as various smaller 100-10000 ETH thefts and losses in games and token contracts." The list begins by including "The DAO (obviously)," but is followed by a warning that "progress in smart contract safety is necessarily going to be layered, incremental, and necessarily dependent on defense-in-depth. There will be further bugs, and we will learn further lessons; there will not be a single magic technology that solves everything." The Daily Dot wrote Friday that "Because of the way the code in question is written, Etherum's developers and community have 27 days to decide what to do before the hackers are able to move the money and cash out... What's happening now amounts to a political campaign. But the debate is far from over. The clock is ticking now, the world is watching, and the next step of the cryptocurrency experiment is unfolding under a spotlight burning hotter every day."

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Categories: Science

Slashdot Asks: Does Your Company Have A Breach Response Team?

Slashdot - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 5:35pm
This week HelpNetSecurity reported on a study that found that "the average data breach cost has grown to $4 million, representing a 29 percent increase since 2013.. 'The amount of time, effort and costs that companies face in the wake of a data breach can be devastating, and unfortunately most companies still don't have a plan in place to deal with this process efficiently," said Caleb Barlow, Vice President, of IBM Security." But the most stunning part of the study was that each compromised record costs a company $158 (on average), and up to $355 per record in more highly-regulated industries like healthcare, according to the study -- $100 more than in 2013. And yet it also found that having an "incident response team" greatly reduces the cost of a data breach. So I'd be curious how many Slashdot readers work for a company that actually has a team in place to handle data breaches. Leave your answers in the comments. Does your company have an incident response team ?

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Categories: Science

Big Tech Squashes New York's 'Right To Repair' Bill

Slashdot - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 4:30pm
Damon Beres, writing for The Huffington Post: Major tech companies like Apple have trampled legislation that would have helped consumers and small businesses fix broken gadgets. New York state legislation that would have required manufacturers to provide information about how to repair devices like the iPhone failed to get a vote, ending any chance of passage this legislative session. Similar measures have met the same fate in Minnesota, Nebraska, Massachusetts and, yes, even previously in New York. Essentially, politicians never get to vote on so-called right to repair legislation because groups petitioning on behalf of the electronics industry gum up the proceedings. "We were disappointed that it wasn't brought to the floor, but we were successful in bringing more attention to the issue," New York state Sen. Phil Boyle (R), a sponsor of the bill, told The Huffington Post.

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Categories: Science

KDE Bug Fixed After 13 Years

Slashdot - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 3:30pm
About 50 KDE developers met this week in the Swiss Alps for the annual Randa Meetings, "seven days of intense in-person work, pushing KDE technologies forward and discussing how to address the next-generation demands for software systems." Christoph Cullmann, who maintains the Kate editor, blogs that during this year's sprint, they finally fixed a 13-year-old bug. He'd filed the bug report himself -- back in 2003 -- and writes that over the next 13 years, no one ever found the time to fix it. (Even though the bug received 333 "importance" votes...) After finally being marked Resolved, the bug's tracking page at KDE.org began receiving additional comments marveling at how much time had passed. Just think, when this bug was first reported: -- The current Linux Kernel was 2.6.31... -- Windows XP was the most current desktop verison. Vista was still 3 years away. -- Top 2 Linux verions? Mandrake and Redhat (Fedora wouldn't be released for another 2 months, Ubuntu's first was more than a year away.)

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Categories: Science

Blue Origin Capsule Lands With Only 2 Parachutes In Test | Video

Space.com - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 3:21pm
After successfully being lofted into suborbital space with three student payloads aboard, the capsule returned to Earth. The private spaceflight company tested a failure of one of the 3 main parachutes during descent.
Categories: Science

Touchdown! Blue Origin Rocket Lands After Launching Capsule | Video

Space.com - Sun, 19/06/2016 - 3:06pm
The "New Shepard" rocket successfully landed shortly after launching three student payloads into suborbital space. This was the 4th flight of the same hardware, proving its re-usability once again.
Categories: Science