Los Angeles Tests Reflective 'Cool Pavement' On Streets

Slashdot - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 3:34pm
mikeebbbd writes: As reported in the Los Angeles Daily News, during the current heatwave various officials swooped down on streets coated with an experimental light-gray sealer that makes the old asphalt into a "cool street" -- and it works, with average temperature differences between coated streets and adjacent old asphalt around 10F. At a large parking lot, the temperature reduction was over 20F. If the material holds up and continues to meet other criteria, LA plans to use it on more pavement rehab projects, which could eventually make a difference in the heat island effect. The "CoolSeal" coating is apparently proprietary to a company named GuardTop LLC, costs $25-40K/mile, and lasts 5-7 years. At that price, it's might not be used a lot, at least at first; typical slurry seals run $15-30K/mile.

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Categories: Science

Software Developer Explains Why The Ubuntu Phone Failed

Slashdot - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 2:28pm
troublemaker_23 quotes ITWire: A developer who worked with the Ubuntu Phone project has outlined the reasons for its failure, painting a picture of confusion, poor communication and lack of technical and marketing foresight. Simon Raffeiner stopped working with the project in mid-2016, about 10 months before Canonical owner Mark Shuttleworth announced that development of the phone and the tablet were being stopped. Raffeiner says, for example, that "despite so many bugs being present, developers were not concentrating on fixing them, but rather on adding support for more devices." But he says he doesn't regret the time he spent on the project -- though now he spends his free time "traveling the world, taking photographs and creating bad card games, bad comics and bad games." "Please note that this post does not apply to the UBPorts project, which continues to work on the phone operating system, Unity 8 and other components."

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Categories: Science

How A Contractor Exploited A Vulnerability In The FCC Website

Slashdot - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 1:24pm
RendonWI writes: A Wisconsin wireless contractor discovered a flaw in the FCC's Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) database, and changed the ownership of more than 40 towers from multiple carriers and tower owners into his company's name during the past five months without the rightful owners being notified by the agency, according to FCC documents and sources knowledgeable of the illegal transfers. Sprint, AT&T and key tower companies were targeted in the wide-ranging thefts... Changing ASR ownership is an easy process by applying online for an FCC Registration Number (FRN) which is instantly granted whether the factual or inaccurate information is provided. Then, once logged in, an FRN holder can submit a form stating that they are the new owner of any or multiple structures in the database. As soon as it is submitted, the change is immediately reflected in the ASR.

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Categories: Science

The Internet Has Feelings About the Ken Doll's New Man Bun, Plus More Memes of the Week

Wired News - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 1:00pm
Ken, meet Twitter. Twitter, meet the new Ken. You two are going to have a lot of fun together.
Categories: Science

Airbus' High-Speed Racer Helicopter Cruises at a Wild 250 MPH

Wired News - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 12:00pm
The helicopter-plane hybrid uses rotors and triangular wings to overcome some pesky physics.
Categories: Science

Colorful Clouds on Jupiter by Juno

Space.com - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 11:45am
During Juno's seventh of 37 expected orbits, JunoCam captured this fantastical image showing many details of Jupiter's atmosphere.
Categories: Science

SpaceX to Launch 10 Communications Satellites Today: Watch Live

Space.com - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 11:30am
SpaceX is poised to launched 10 communications satellites into low-Earth orbit today (June 25), and you can watch it live here on Space.com.
Categories: Science

SpaceX Dragon and Falcon 9 Rocket Photobomb Each Other's Selfies in Space

Space.com - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 11:30am
It's official: SpaceX's rockets and spaceships have caught the selfie bug in the final frontier.
Categories: Science

What Happens When Geoengineers 'Hack The Planet'?

Slashdot - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 11:14am
Dan Drollette shares an article by an Oxford physics professor who's concerned about the popularity of radical new proposals to fight global warming. The Christian Science Monitor wonders if it's time to re-engineer our climate. MIT's Technology Review basically thinks the answer is "yes," having described it earlier as "cheap and easy." The Atlantic seems quite smitten with Economist writer Oliver Morton's vision of remaking the planet, which geoengineering booster Jane Long breathlessly called "geopoetry." The idea received recent coverage (much of it favorable) by New Scientist, NBC, and in TED talks; I myself have recently participated in an NPR panel discussion on the subject... But what has really catapulted the idea into the public eye is Harvard's reckless plan for a privately-funded field trial testing some of the key elements needed... Proceeding to field experimentation crosses a thin red line beyond which lies the slippery slope down to ever-larger field trials and ultimately deployment. Harvard's experiment -- which is partially funded by Bill Gates -- is "subject to no governance save what Harvard chooses to impose upon itself," according to the article. The experiment involves "putting something in the atmosphere to reflect more sunlight back out into space," which the article warns will create "enduring" effects -- and require humanity to commit to maintaining the same atmospheric conditions forever.

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Categories: Science

Two Conjectures Collide, Endangering the Naked Singularity

Wired News - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 11:00am
Recent calculations tie together two conjectures about gravity, potentially revealing new truths about its elusive quantum nature.
Categories: Science

Watch SpaceX Launch Its Second Rocket in 48 Hours

Wired News - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 11:00am
It’s the fastest turnaround yet for two SpaceX launches.
Categories: Science

Liftoff! SpaceX Nails Second Launch in Three Days

Space.com - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 8:50am
SpaceX nailed its second launch in three days today (June 25) with liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California carrying 10 satellites owned by Iridium Communications.
Categories: Science

Space News Webcasts: SpaceX Launching 10 New Iridium Satellites

Space.com - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 8:19am
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 4:25 p.m. EDT (1:25 p.m. PDT/2025 GMT). This will be the second time SpaceX has launched a batch of Iridium satellites.
Categories: Science

Does US Have Right To Data On Overseas Servers? We're About To Find Out

Slashdot - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 7:10am
Long-time Slashdot reader quotes Ars Technica: The Justice Department on Friday petitioned the US Supreme Court to step into an international legal thicket, one that asks whether US search warrants extend to data stored on foreign servers. The US government says it has the legal right, with a valid court warrant, to reach into the world's servers with the assistance of the tech sector, no matter where the data is stored. The request for Supreme Court intervention concerns a 4-year-old legal battle between Microsoft and the US government over data stored on Dublin, Ireland servers. The US government has a valid warrant for the e-mail as part of a drug investigation. Microsoft balked at the warrant, and convinced a federal appeals court that US law does not apply to foreign data. According to the article, the U.S. government told the court that national security was at risk.

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Categories: Science

Account Registrations Enable 'Password Reset Man In The Middle' Attacks

Slashdot - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 4:06am
"Attackers that have set up a malicious site can use users' account registration process to successfully perform a password reset process on a number of popular websites and messaging mobile applications, researchers have demonstrated." Orome1 quotes Help Net Security: The Password Reset Man in the Middle attack exploits the similarity of the registration and password reset processes. To launch such an attack, the attacker only needs to control a website. To entice victims to make an account on the malicious website, the attacker can offer free access to a wanted resource. Once the user initiates the account registration process by entering their email address, the attacker can use that information to initiate a password reset process on another website that uses that piece of information as the username (e.g. Google, YouTube, Amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, PayPal, and so on). Every request for input from that site is forwarded to the potential victim, and then his or her answers forwarded back to that particular site. Interestingly, it can also beat two-factor authentication -- since the targeted user will still input the phone code into the man-in-the-middle site.

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Categories: Science

Germany Cracks Down On Illegal Speech On Social Media.

Slashdot - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 1:02am
ArmoredDragon writes: German police have raided 36 homes of people accused of using illegal speech on Facebook and Twitter. Much of it was aimed at political speech. According to the article, "Most of the raids concerned politically motivated right-wing incitement, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office, whose officers conducted home searches and interrogations. But the raids also targeted two people accused of left-wing extremist content, as well as one person accused of making threats or harassment based on someone's sexual orientation." This comes just as a new law is being debated that can fine social media platforms $53 million for not removing 70% of illegal speech (including political, defamatory, and hateful speech) within 24 hours of it being posted, which Facebook argues will make it obligatory for them to delete posts and ban users for speech that isn't clearly illegal.

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Categories: Science

Linus Explains What Surprises Him After 25 Years Of Linux

Slashdot - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 10:58pm
Linus Torvalds appeared in a new "fireside chat" with VMware Head of Open Source Dirk Hohndel. An anonymous reader writes: Linus explained what still surprises him about Linux development. "Code that I thought was stable continually gets improved. There are things we haven't touched for many years, then someone comes along and improves them or makes bug reports in something I thought no one used. We have new hardware, new features that are developed, but after 25 years, we still have old, very basic things that people care about and still improve... Our processes have not only worked for 25 years, we still have a very strong maintainer group... And as these maintainers get older and fatter, we have new people coming in." Linus also says he's surprised by the widespread popularity of Git. "I expected it to be limited mostly to the kernel -- as it's tailored to what we do... In certain circles, Git is more well known than Linux." And he also shares advice if you want to get started as an open source developer. "I'm not sure my example is the right thing for people to follow. There are a ton of open source projects and, if you are a beginning programmer, find something you're interested in that you can follow for more than just a few weeks... If you can be part of a community and set up patches, it's not just about the coding, but about the social aspect of open source. You make connections and improve yourself as a programmer." Linus also says that "I really like what I'm doing. I like waking up and having a job that is technically interesting and challenging without being too stressful so I can do it for long stretches; something where I feel I am making a real difference and doing something meaningful not just for me."

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Categories: Science

State Legislators Want Surveillance Cameras To Catch Uninsured Drivers

Slashdot - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 9:54pm
An anonymous reader quotes Ars Technica: A Rhode Island legislative committee has approved a bill that would greatly expand the surveillance state through the deployment of license plate readers. For the first time in the US, these devices would be attached along Rhode Island highways and roads for the stated purpose of catching uninsured motorists from any state... The legislation spells out that the contractor for the project would get 50 percent of the fines paid by uninsured motorists ensnared under the program. The state and the contractor would each earn an estimated $15 million annually. Fines are as high as $120. Many police departments nationwide are using surveillance cameras tacked onto traffic poles and police vehicles to catch traffic violators and criminal suspects. The proceeds from traffic fines usually are divvied up with contractors. But according to the Rhode Island lawmaker sponsoring this legislation, it's time to put surveillance cameras to a new purpose -- fining uninsured motorists.

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Categories: Science

Survey Says: Raspberry Pi Still Rules, But X86 SBCs Have Made Gains

Slashdot - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 8:50pm
DeviceGuru writes: Results from LinuxGizmos.com's annual hacker-friendly single board computer survey are in, and not surprisingly, the Raspberry Pi 3 is the most desired maker SBC by a 4-to-1 margin. In other trends: x86 SBCs and Linux/Arduino hybrids have trended upwards. The site's popular hacker SBC survey polled 1,705 survey respondents and asked for their first, second, and third favorite SBCs from a curated list of 98 community oriented, Linux- and Android-capable boards. Spreadsheets comparing all 98 SBCs' specs and listing their survey vote tallies are available in freely downloadable Google Docs. Other interesting findings: "A Raspberry Pi SBC has won in all four of our annual surveys, but never by such a high margin."The second-highest ranked board -- behind the Raspberry Pi 3 -- was the Raspberry Pi Zero W."The Raspberry Pi's success came despite the fact that it offers some of the weakest open source hardware support in terms of open specifications. This, however, matches up with our survey responses about buying criteria, which ranks open source software support and community over open hardware support.""Despite the accelerating Raspberry Pi juggernaut, there's still plenty of experimentation going on with new board models, and to a lesser extent, new board projects."

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Categories: Science

Should Your Company Switch To Microservices?

Slashdot - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 7:46pm
Walmart Canada claims that it was microservices that allowed them to replace hardware with virtual servers, reducing costs by somewhere between 20 and 50 percent. Now Slashdot reader snydeq shares an article by a senior systems automation engineer arguing that a microservices approach "offers increased modularity, making applications easier to develop, test, deploy, and, more importantly, change and maintain." The article touts things like cost savings and flexibility for multiple device types, suggesting microservices offer increased resilience and improved scalabiity (not to mention easier debugging and a faster time to market with an incremental development model). But it also warns that organizations need the resources to deploy the new microservices quicky (and the necessary server) -- along with the ability to test and monitor them for database errors, network latency, caching issues and ongoing availability. "You must embrace devops culture," argues the article, adding that "designing for failure is essential... In a traditional setting, developers are focused on features and functionalities, and the operations team is on the hook for production challenges. In devops, everyone is responsible for service provisioning -- and failure." The original submission ends with a question for Slashdot reader. "What cautions do you have to offer for folks considering tapping microservices for their next application?"

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Categories: Science