NASA Seeks Concepts for Commercial Lunar Lander Instruments

Space.com - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 10:10am
NASA announced Nov. 1 that it is seeking information regarding instruments that could be flown to the moon on future commercial spacecraft, with one company that is developing a lander offering financial support for their development.
Categories: Science

SpaceX Finds Rocket Explosion 'Smoking Gun'

Space.com - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 9:55am
And it's made of solid oxygen.
Categories: Science

Galactic 'Eyelids' Show Space Gas 'Tsunami' (Photo)

Space.com - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 8:38am
Look out! A "tsunami" of gas is crashing through a spiral galaxy, creating an image that bears a striking resemblance to a pair of eyelids.
Categories: Science

Elon Musk Predicts Automation Will Lead To A Universal Basic Income

Slashdot - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 8:34am
An anonymous reader quotes Mashable's new article about Tesla/SpaceX founder Elon Musk: Tech innovators in the self-driving car and AI industries talk a lot about how many human jobs will be innovated out of existence, but they rarely explain what will happen to all those newly jobless humans. In an interview with CNBC on Friday, Musk said that he believes the solution to taking care of human workers who are displaced by robots and software is creating a (presumably government-backed) universal basic income for all. "There's a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation," said Musk. "I'm not sure what else one would do. That's what I think would happen." And what will this world look like? "People will have time to do other things, more complex things, more interesting things," Musk told CNBC's interviewer. "Certainly more leisure time." President Obama has also talked about "redesigning the social compact" with MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito, and in August predicted the question of whether there's support for the Universal Basic Income is "a debate that we'll be having over the next 10 or 20 years."

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Martian Samples Risk Earth Contamination in Search for Life

Space.com - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 8:30am
The people building the Mars 2020 rover are confronting the challenges of collecting samples from the Red Planet without contaminating them with organic molecules from Earth.
Categories: Science

High-Flying NASA Mission Sets New GPS World Record

Space.com - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 8:26am
A NASA mission's GPS prowess is now part of the record books: The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission just broke a Guinness World Record for highest altitude fix of a GPS signal.
Categories: Science

Voting From Space? NASA Astronaut Explains From ISS | Video

Space.com - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 7:54am
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins explains how American astronauts vote from the International Space Station. The video is an excerpt of NASA's Johnson Space Center's 'Space To Ground' weekly video series.
Categories: Science

'Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet' Examines Exploration Issues | Video

Space.com - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 7:09am
Leonard David, author of the companion book for the new National Geographic Channel show "Mars," talks to Space.com's Tariq Malik about what to expect from his new book. It's available now on Amazon.
Categories: Science

Ask Slashdot: Why Are American Tech Workers Paid So Well?

Slashdot - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 4:45am
Slashdot reader davidwr is "an American-born, American-educated mid-career IT professional." But he's still curious about why American geeks earn more than their IT counterparts overseas: If I'm a mid-career programmer looking for a job, why should I expect to be paid a whole lot more than my peer in India when applying for a job that could easily be outsourced to India? If I do get the job, why should I expect to keep it more than a year or two instead of being told "your job is being outsourced" before 2020? Is my American education and 5-25 years of experience in the American workplace really worth it to an employer? Should we, as an industry, lower our salary expectations -- and that of students entering the field -- to make us more competitive with our peers in India and similar "much cheaper labor than first world" economies? If not, what should we be doing to make ourselves competitive in ways that our peers overseas cannot duplicate? What's the secret ingredient that justifies those higher salaries? Leave your answers in the comments. Why are American tech workers paid so well?

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Yes, Donald Trump, the FBI Can Vet 650,000 Emails in Eight Days

Wired News - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 3:37am
That's what computers are for. The post Yes, Donald Trump, the FBI Can Vet 650,000 Emails in Eight Days appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Gawker Pays $750,000 To That Guy Who Didn't Invent Email

Slashdot - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 2:45am
Shiva Ayyadurai still claims he invented email -- rather than the late ARPANET pioneer Ray Tomlinson. Now Gizmodo reports that Ayyadurai "will receive a $750,000 settlement from Gawker Media, the bankrupt publisher that he sued for defamation earlier this year." As part of the settlement, Gawker Media has agreed to delete three stories from the archive of Gawker.com, including one about Ayyadurai. Univision, which purchased most of Gawker Media's assets [including Gizmodo] out of bankruptcy in September, deleted two Gizmodo posts concerning Ayyadurai -- over the objections of the editorial staff -- immediately after closing the transaction... The offending Gizmodo articles made the case that "a lot of people don't believe that Ayyadurai invented email," and that "networked communication actually predates [his] computer program by a few years." As Tomlinson told Gizmodo in one of the stories Ayyadurai succeeded in getting unpublished, the email formats that are so familiar today -- to:, from:, etc. -- were in use years before Ayyadurai "invented" them. The third post was titled, "If Fran Drescher Read Gizmodo She Would Not Have Married This Fraud."

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Microsoft Promises To Defend World Chess Champion From Russian Hackers

Slashdot - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 1:14am
"World chess champion Magnus Carlsen has asked Microsoft to protect him against Russian hackers, as he expects to become the target of cyber attacks launched before the match with grandmaster Sergey Karjakin next week," reports Softpedia. An anonymous reader shares more details from The Telegraph: The man dubbed the 'Mozart of chess' has spent months using high-powered chess computers to meticulously prepare moves for his grueling 12-game match against challenger Sergey Karjakin. But any leak of his analysis would hand a significant advantage to Crimean-born Karjakin, the fiercely-patriotic darling of Russian president Vladimir Putin... "The element of surprise is vitally important in chess," explained the Vibeke Hansen, from Microsoft Norway... She said Microsoft Norway will "ensure that he has a safe training environment and secure communication and collaboration tools".

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Scientists at De Beers Fight the Growing Threat of Man-Made Diamonds

Slashdot - Sun, 06/11/2016 - 11:44pm
"In the past few years, lab-grown diamonds have become indistinguishable from natural diamonds to the naked eye..." reports the Wall Street Journal. This creates a problem for diamond-mining company De Beers. HughPickens.com writes: While synthetics make up just a fraction of the market, they have growing appeal to younger buyers -- a headache for mine owners, who are under pressure to cut supply and lower prices, because traders, cutters and polishers are struggling to profit amid a credit squeeze and languishing jewelry sales... "Martin Roscheisen, chief executive of Diamond Foundry Inc., a San Francisco synthetic-diamond producer with a capacity of 24,000 carats, says he believes nearly all diamonds consumers purchase will be man-made in a few decades," reports the Journal. "To counter the threat, last year De Beers helped launch a trade association with other producers to market the attraction of natural diamonds. It also started marketing a new, cheap detector called PhosView, that uses ultraviolet light to detect lab-grown stones that quickly screens tiny synthetic diamonds. It always seemed like a waste of money to me. After all, it's literally raining diamonds on Saturn.

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New Paper Explores The Prospects For Life Around M-Class Stars

Slashdot - Sun, 06/11/2016 - 10:14pm
Long-time Slashdot reader RockDoctor summarizes the significance of a new paper describing "The Habitability of Planets Orbiting M-Dwarf Stars": Although Star Trek had a minor smattering of "M-class planets" -- a designation that tells one nothing of substance -- "M-class star" is a much more meaningful designation of color, with two size classes, the dwarfs and the red giants... an M-dwarf of 1/10 the mass of the Sun will burn for around 1000 times the time that the Sun does... Therefore, if humanity ever meets an alien species, the odds of them coming from an M-dwarf [system] are already high. If humanity ever meets an alien species that has been around a billion years longer than us and has technology we can't even dream of, then the odds of it coming from an M-dwarf are overwhelmingly high. This new paper offers "a comprehensive picture of the current knowledge of M-dwarf planet occurrence and habitability," pointing out that most of these stars are apparently orbited by planets packed closely together, with "a paucity of Jupiter-mass planets and the presence of multiple rocky planets." And more importantly, roughly a third of those rocky planets are orbiting in a "habitable zone" -- far enough away from their stars to support liquid water.

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FBI Completes New Review of Clinton Emails, Finds Nothing

Wired News - Sun, 06/11/2016 - 9:59pm
Good thing no one got carried away or anything. The post FBI Completes New Review of Clinton Emails, Finds Nothing appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

FBI: Review of New Emails Doesn't Change Conclusion on Clinton

Slashdot - Sun, 06/11/2016 - 9:04pm
FBI director James Comey told Congress Sunday that the new scrutiny of emails related to Hillary Clinton has turned up nothing that would cause the bureau to recommend charges against her. The conclusion comes nine days after rocking the presidential race with word that a new trove of emails had been discovered. "During that process, we have reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of State," Comey wrote. "Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton." From a report on CNN:"We were always confident nothing would cause the July decision to be revisited. Now Director Comey has confirmed it," tweeted Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon. Comey's last-minute announcement gives Clinton an opportunity for an I-told-you-so moment -- but it's unlikely to undo the political damage of his initial announcement. Trump and his allies have seized on that announcement, using it claim Clinton is likely to face criminal charges. "If she were to win, it would create an unprecedented constitutional crisis," Trump claimed Saturday night in Reno, Nevada. "In that situation we could very well have a sitting president under felony indictment and ultimately a criminal trial. It would grind government to a halt." The political benefit for Trump has been that Republicans who'd been skeptical of their party's nominee have largely followed vice presidential nominee Mike Pence's calls to "come home" to the party -- finding Trump less objectionable than Clinton.

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How I Freed My Android Tablet: A Journey in Reverse Engineering

Slashdot - Sun, 06/11/2016 - 8:34pm
Slashdot reader ttsiod is an embedded software engineer at the European Space Agency, and shares this story about his quest to "dominate" his new tablet: Just like it's predecessor, I wanted to run a Debian chroot inside it -- that would allow me to apt-get install and run things like Privoxy, SSH SOCKS/VPN tunnels, Flask mini-servers, etc; and in general allow me to stay in control. But there was no open-source way to do this... and I could never trust "one-click roots" that communicate with servers in China... It took me weeks to reverse engineer my tablet -- and finally succeed in becoming root. The journey was quite interesting, and included both hardware and software tinkering. I learned a lot while doing it -- and wanted to share the experience with my fellow Slashdotters... He writes that "I trust Debian. Far more than I trust the Android ecosystem," and describes everything from how he probed the boot process and created his own boot image to hunting for a way "to tell SELinux to get off my lawn".

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Categories: Science

How to Follow Election Night Online (If You Can Stomach It)

Wired News - Sun, 06/11/2016 - 8:00pm
For this election, your second screen needs a second screen. The post How to Follow Election Night Online (If You Can Stomach It) appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Chrome Now Accounts For 55% of All Web Browsing

Slashdot - Sun, 06/11/2016 - 7:34pm
Google's Chrome browser "now accounts for more than half of all desktop browser usage and has nearly double the market share of Edge and Internet Explorer combined," reports Hot Hardware: Market research firm Net Applications has Chrome sitting pretty with a 54.99% share of the desktop browser market, up from 31.12% at this moment a year ago, while Internet Explorer and Edge combine for 28.39 percent and Firefox stuck at around 11%. Even more interesting is that when Windows 10 launched to the public at the end of July 2015, Chrome had a 27.82% share of the market while IE still dominated the landscape with a 54% share. Now the script has flipped. Just six months ago, the same research firm reported Chrome with a 41.66%, share barely beating Microsoft's 41.35%.

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