How The Navy Tried To Turn Sharks into Torpedos

Slashdot - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 7:34pm
Long-time Slashdot reader v3rgEz writes: Documents recently declassified show one of the odder experimental weapons developed after World War II: Weaponized sharks. Guided by sharp electric shocks, the sharks were trained to deliver explosive payloads -- essentially turning them into living, breathing, remote-controlled torpedoes that could be put to use in the Pacific Theater. Following years of research on "shark repellent," the Navy spent 13 years building a special head gear for sharks which sensed the shark's direction and tried to deliver shocks if the sharks strayed off-course. The journalist who tracked down details of "Project Headgear" published the recently-declassified information on MIT's journalism site Undark, noting that "The shark wasn't so much a 'torpedo' as a suicide bomber... "

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Categories: Science

Irish Court Orders Alleged Silk Road Admin To Be Extradited To US

Slashdot - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 6:32pm
An anonymous reader writes: A 27-year-old Irishman who American prosecutors believe was a top administrator on Silk Road named "Libertas" has been approved for extradition to the United States. According to the Irish Times, a High Court judge ordered Gary Davis to be handed over to American authorities on Friday. In December 2013, federal prosecutors in New York unveiled charges against Davis and two other Silk Road staffers, Andrew Michael Jones ("Inigo") and Peter Phillip Nash ("Samesamebutdifferent"). They were all charged with narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy. After a few years of operation, Silk Road itself was shuttered when its creator, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested in San Francisco in October 2013. Ulbricht was convicted at a high-profile trial and was sentenced to life in prison in May 2015.

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Categories: Science

'GoldenEye: Source' Updated: A Classic, Free Multiplayer Game

Slashdot - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 5:34pm
An anonymous reader quotes The Verge: GoldenEye: Source received its first update in more than three years this week. It's free to download and it features 25 recreated maps, 10 different multiplayer modes, and redesigned versions of the original game's 28 weapons. It was created using Valve's Source engine, the same set of tools used to create Counter Strike and Half-Life games. So it's a massive step up in both visuals and performance for one of the more drastically dated gaming masterpieces of the last 20 years... GoldenEye 007, the beloved N64 first-person shooter, has been recreated in high-definition glory by a team of dedicated fans over the course of 10 years...the attention to detail and the amount of effort that went into GoldenEye: Source make it one of the most polished HD remakes of a N64 classic. With 8 million copies sold, Wikipedia calls it the third best-selling Nintendo 64 game of all-time (although this version doesn't recreate its single-player campaigns). Anyone have fond memories of playing Goldeneye 007?

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Categories: Science

New Cache Attack Can Monitor Keystrokes On Android Phones

Slashdot - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 4:34pm
Trailrunner7 quotes a report from OnTheWire: : Researchers from an Austrian university have developed techniques that allow them to perform cache attacks on non-rooted Android phones that can monitor the keystrokes, screen taps, and even observe code execution inside the ARM processor's TrustZone secure execution environment. The attacks the team developed are complex and rely on a number of individual building blocks. The techniques are similar to some used against Intel x86 processor-based systems, but the team from Graz University of Technology in Austria shows that they can be used on ARM-based systems, such as Android phones, as well. "Based on our techniques, we demonstrate covert channels that outperform state-of-the-art covert channels on Android by several orders of magnitude. Moreover, we present attacks to monitor tap and swipe events as well as keystrokes, and even derive the lengths of words entered on the touchscreen," the researchers wrote in their paper, which was presented at the USENIX Security Symposium this week. It's a proof-of-concept attack. But interestingly, another recently-discovered Android vulnerability also required the user to install a malicious app -- and then allowed attackers to take full control of the device.

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Categories: Science

Wild Abuse Allegations Taint Indiegogo Helmet Maker Skully

Slashdot - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 3:34pm
Skully raised $2.4 million on Indiegogo in 2014 to manufacture motorcycle helmets with built-in Augmented Reality. Now they're filing for bankruptcy, and informing customers that refunds are unlikely on their $1,500 pre-ordered helmets. But a lawsuit filed by Skully bookkeeper Isabelle Faithhauer "claims the Wellers used the funds raised by the Indiegogo campaign and a secondary $11 million round of funding in 2015 as their personal 'piggy banks' to buy several motorcycles, two Dodge Vipers, groceries, and so on," according to a Digital Trends article shared by KingGypsy: The Wellers took trips to Bermuda and Hawaii using company funds, she said, went to strip clubs, rented a Lamborghini, and paid for personal housekeeping services on the company credit card, as well as paying out funds ranging from $500 to $80,000. Lastly, she claims that the Wellers asked her to fudge the books to obscure the expenses. Faithhauer claims that when accountants came calling with questions about the expenses, she was up front about what was going on. She says that when she took a pre-approved vacation to Disneyland in December of 2015, she was fired upon her return and offered a severance package, which the suit calls "hush money." She declined the offer. "Following her termination at Skully, Faithhauer claims that when she found a new job, her new employer contacted the Wellers at Skully and were told she could not be trusted with confidential information. She was fired from that job as well."

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Categories: Science

Disable WPAD Now or Have Your Accounts Compromised, Researchers Warn

Slashdot - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 2:34pm
It's enabled by default on Windows (and supported by other operating systems) -- but now security researchers are warning that "Man-in-the-middle attackers can abuse the WPAD protocol to hijack people's online accounts and steal their sensitive information even when they access websites over encrypted HTTPS or VPN connections," according to CSO. Slashdot reader itwbennett writes: Their advice: disable WPAD now. "No seriously, turn off WPAD!" one of their presentation slides said. "If you still need to use PAC files, turn off WPAD and configure an explicit URL for your PAC script; and serve it over HTTPS or from a local file"... A few days before their presentation, two other researchers named Itzik Kotler and Amit Klein independently showed the same HTTPS URL leak via malicious PACs in a presentation at the Black Hat security conference. A third researcher, Maxim Goncharov, held a separate Black Hat talk about WPAD security risks, entitled BadWPAD.

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Categories: Science

Google Working On New 'Fuchsia' OS

Slashdot - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 1:30pm
An anonymous reader writes: Google is working on a new operating system dubbed Fuchsia OS for smartphones, computers, and various other devices. The new operating system was spotted in the Git repository, where the description reads: "Pick + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System). Hacker News reports that Travis Geiselbrech, who worked on NewOS, BeOS, Danger, Palm's webOS and iOS, and Brian Swetland, who also worked on BeOS and Android will be involved in this project. Magenta and LK kernel will be powering the operating system. "LK is a kernel designed for small systems typically used in imbedded applications," reads the repository. "On the other hand, Magenta targets modern phones and modern personal computers with fast processors, non-trivial amounts of RAM with arbitrary peripherals doing open-ended computation." It's too early to tell exactly what this OS is meant for. Whether it's for an Android and Chrome OS merger or something completely new, it's exciting nonetheless.

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Categories: Science

Perseid Meteors 'Rain' Over California | Time-Lapse Video - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 1:15pm
Maxim Senin captured the peak of the the annual meteor shower (Aug. 11-12, 2016) on Templin Highway near Castaic, California. He used a Canon 70D camera to snap several 'shooting stars' light up the night sky.
Categories: Science

Watch as SpaceX Fires (and Hopefully Lands) Another Rocket

Wired News - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 11:00am
Right now, people care about launches and landings. In many ways, if SpaceX does everything right for long enough, very few people will care. The post Watch as SpaceX Fires (and Hopefully Lands) Another Rocket appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Downtown Manhattan Is the New Frontier of the Car-Free City

Wired News - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 11:00am
How a brief experiment in car-free living could change the city for the better and for good. The post Downtown Manhattan Is the New Frontier of the Car-Free City appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

The Power of No Man’s Sky Is Making You Feel Insignificant

Wired News - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 11:00am
"No Man's Sky" offers perhaps the first semi-accurate presentation, in a videogame, of the crushing majesty and endlessness of our own real universe. The post The Power of No Man's Sky Is Making You Feel Insignificant appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Security News This Week: The DNC Hack Was Worse Than We Thought

Wired News - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 11:00am
Each Saturday we round up the news stories that we didn’t break or cover in depth at WIRED, but which deserve your attention nonetheless. The post Security News This Week: The DNC Hack Was Worse Than We Thought appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

How to Change Those Spammy Group Notifications on Facebook

Wired News - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 11:00am
Have you noticed lately that your Facebook Notifications aren't really for you? The post How to Change Those Spammy Group Notifications on Facebook appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Saturn Goes Psychedelic in Crazy, Colorful Infrared Photo - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 11:00am
A new photo of Saturn taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft depicts the planet's northern hemisphere as a swirling mess of green, blue and purple clouds. What looks like a colossal oil slick on the otherwise yellow-tinted planet is actually a matter of wavel
Categories: Science

10 Things Worth Noticing In the Second 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' Trailer - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 11:00am
No Bothans died in accumulating this information in this special joint look at ROGUE ONE by Newsarama and
Categories: Science

Wanna Run Like Allyson Felix? Nike Has Just the Shoe for You

Wired News - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 10:45am
These kicks help Olympians run, and look, their best. The post Wanna Run Like Allyson Felix? Nike Has Just the Shoe for You appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Buying Guide: 18 Things You Really Need for College

Wired News - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 10:38am
School supplies involve more than just pencils and paper. The post Buying Guide: 18 Things You Really Need for College appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Seth Rogen plans FX TV comedy series on the Singularity

Kurzweil AI - Fri, 12/08/2016 - 9:22pm

Seth Rogan in poster for “The Interview” (credit: Columbia Pictures)

Seth Rogen (Freaks and Geeks, Knocked Up, Superbad) and collaborator Evan Goldberg are writing the script for a pilot for a new “half-hour comedy television series about the Singularity for FX,” Rogen revealed Thursday (August 11) on Nerdist podcast: Seth Rogen Returns (at 55:20 mark), while promoting his latest film, Sausage Party (an animated movie that apparently sets a new world record for f-bombs, based on the trailer).

“Yeah, it’s happening, I just read an article about neural dust,” said host Chris Hardwick.

“Oh, it’s happening, it’s super scary, and we’re trying to make a comedy about it,” said Rogen. “We’ll film that in the next year, basically.”

“Neural dust are, like, small particles, kind of like nano-mites, that work in your systems,” Hardwick said, “and can …” — “wipe out whole civilizations,” Rogen interjected. “But, you know, they always kinda pitch you the good stuff first: it could help your body,” Hardwick added.

(credit: Vanity Fair)

Also mentioned on the podcast: a “prank show [All People Are Famous] next week where the guy we’re pranking thinks he’s responsible for the Singularity … goes nuts, destroying everything. …”







Categories: Science

Seeing the invisible: visible-light metamaterial superlens made from nanobeads

Kurzweil AI - Fri, 12/08/2016 - 8:58am

(a) Conceptual drawing of nanoparticle-based metamaterial solid immersion lens (mSIL) (b) Lab-made mSIL using titanium dioxide nanoparticles (c) SEM image of 60 nm size imaging sample (d) corresponding superlens imaging of the 60 nm sample by the developed mSIL. (credit: BangorUniversity/Fudan University)

A team of British and Chinese scientists has developed a new “metamaterial-based solid immersion lens” (mSIL) microscope lens design that can extend the magnification of an optical microscope to see objects smaller than the approximately 200 nanometers Abbe diffraction limit, the smallest size of bacteria.

Led by Zengbo Wang, PhD, at Bangor University UK and Prof Limin Wu at Fudan University, China, the team created minute droplet-like lens structures on the surface to be examined. These act as an additional lens to magnify the surface features previously invisible to a normal microscope lens, adding 5x magnification to existing microscopes.

Schematic illustration of the assembly of the all-dielectric TiO2 mSIL. (A) Anatase TiO2 nanoparticles (15 nm) were centrifuged into a tightly packed precipitate. (B) The supernatant was replaced by an organic solvent mixture consisting of hexane and tetrachloroethylene to form a TiO2 nano–solid-fluid. (C) To prepare a hemispherical mSIL, the nano–solid-fluid was directly sprayed onto the sample surface. (D) To prepare a super-hemispherical mSIL, the nano–solid-fluid was sprayed onto the sample surface covered by a thin layer of organic solvent mixture. (E and F) After evaporation of the solvents, the nanoparticles underwent a phase transition to form a more densely packed structure. (credit: Wen Fan et al./Science Advances)

Made of millions of nanobeads, the spheres break up the light beam. Acting as individual minute beams, each bead refracts the light. “We’ve used high-index titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles as the building element of the lens,” Wang says. “These nanoparticles are able to bend light to a higher degree than water.”

“Each sphere bends the light to a high magnitude and splits the light beam, creating millions of individual beams of light. It is these tiny light beams which enable us to view previously unseen detail.”

Wang believes that the results will be easily replicable and that other labs will soon be adopting the technology and using it for themselves. Titanium dioxide is cheap and readily available, so rather than buying a new microscope, the lenses are applied to the material to be viewed, rather than to the microscope.

“The next challenge is to adapt the technology for use in biology and medicine. This would not require the current use of a combination of dyes and stains and laser light, which change the samples being viewed,” he says.

The lens is described in a paper in the open-access journal Science Advances today (August 12).

Abstract of Three-dimensional all-dielectric metamaterial solid immersion lens for subwavelength imaging at visible frequencies

Although all-dielectric metamaterials offer a low-loss alternative to current metal-based metamaterials to manipulate light at the nanoscale and may have important applications, very few have been reported to date owing to the current nanofabrication technologies. We develop a new “nano–solid-fluid assembly” method using 15-nm TiO2 nanoparticles as building blocks to fabricate the first three-dimensional (3D) all-dielectric metamaterial at visible frequencies. Because of its optical transparency, high refractive index, and deep-subwavelength structures, this 3D all-dielectric metamaterial-based solid immersion lens (mSIL) can produce a sharp image with a super-resolution of at least 45 nm under a white-light optical microscope, significantly exceeding the classical diffraction limit and previous near-field imaging techniques. Theoretical analysis reveals that electric field enhancement can be formed between contacting TiO2 nanoparticles, which causes effective confinement and propagation of visible light at the deep-subwavelength scale. This endows the mSIL with unusual abilities to illuminate object surfaces with large-area nanoscale near-field evanescent spots and to collect and convert the evanescent information into propagating waves. Our all-dielectric metamaterial design strategy demonstrates the potential to develop low-loss nanophotonic devices at visible frequencies.

Categories: Science

Anti-inflammatory drug reverses memory loss in Alzheimer’s-disease-model mice

Kurzweil AI - Fri, 12/08/2016 - 7:44am

(credit: NIH National Institute on Aging)

Anti-inflammatory drug mefenamic acid completely reversed memory loss and brain inflammation in mice genetically engineered to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and amyloid beta-induced memory loss, a team led by David Brough, PhD, from the University of Manchester has discovered.

The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) drug targets an important inflammatory pathway called the NLRP3 inflammasome, which damages brain cells, according to Brough. This is the first time a drug has been shown to target this inflammatory pathway, highlighting its importance in the disease model, Brough said.

“Because this drug is already available and the toxicity and pharmacokinetics of the drug is known, the time for it to reach patients should, in theory, be shorter than if we were developing completely new drugs. We are now preparing applications to perform early phase II trials to determine a proof-of-concept that the molecules have an effect on neuroinflammation in humans.”

“There is experimental evidence now to strongly suggest that inflammation in the brain makes Alzheimer’s disease worse. Until now, no drug has been available to target this pathway, so we are very excited by this result.”

The research, funded by the Medical Research Council and the Alzheimer’s Society, paves the way for human trials that the team hopes to conduct in the future, but Brough cautions that more research is needed to identify its impact on humans and the long-term implications of its use.

The findings were published Thursday Aug. 11 in an open-access paper authored by Brough and colleagues in the journal Nature Communications.

Abstract of Fenamate NSAIDs inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome and protect against Alzheimer’s disease in rodent models

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and COX-2 enzymes. The NLRP3 inflammasome is a multi-protein complex responsible for the processing of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β and is implicated in many inflammatory diseases. Here we show that several clinically approved and widely used NSAIDs of the fenamate class are effective and selective inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome via inhibition of the volume-regulated anion channel in macrophages, independently of COX enzymes. Flufenamic acid and mefenamic acid are efficacious in NLRP3-dependent rodent models of inflammation in air pouch and peritoneum. We also show therapeutic effects of fenamates using a model of amyloid beta induced memory loss and a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. These data suggest that fenamate NSAIDs could be repurposed as NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors and Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics.

Categories: Science