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The Military

Leaked Documents Detail Al-Qaeda's Efforts To Fight Back Against Drones 234

Posted by samzenpus
from the drone-down dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post reports, 'Al-Qaeda's leadership has assigned cells of engineers to find ways to shoot down, jam or remotely hijack U.S. drones ... In July 2010, a U.S. spy agency intercepted electronic communications indicating that senior al-Qaeda leaders had distributed a "strategy guide" to operatives around the world advising them how "to anticipate and defeat" unmanned aircraft. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reported that al-Qaeda was sponsoring simultaneous research projects to develop jammers to interfere with GPS signals and infrared tags that drone operators rely on to pinpoint missile targets. Other projects in the works included the development of observation balloons and small radio-controlled aircraft, or hobby planes, which insurgents apparently saw as having potential for monitoring the flight patterns of U.S. drones... Al-Qaeda has a long history of attracting trained engineers ... Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, holds a mechanical-engineering degree ... In 2010, the CIA noted in a secret report that al-Qaeda was placing special emphasis on the recruitment of technicians and that "the skills most in demand" included expertise in drones and missile technology.'"
Technology

Ken Wallis Autogyro Pioneer Dies At 97 49

Posted by samzenpus
from the fare-thee-well dept.
First time accepted submitter gb7djk writes "Wing Commander Ken Wallis the developer and promoter of small autogyros died peacefully today 4th September, aged 97, at his home in Norfolk. Ken is mainly remembered for 'Little Nellie', the tooled up autogyro that took on some helicopters in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice. He made the breakthrough discovery of the offset rotor head that made autogyros stable as well as many other aviation inventions. More info here and a video of him flying one of his creations (at the age of 95)."
Security

Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances 213

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-have-clearance-clarence dept.
dcblogs writes "Amazon has more than 100 job openings for people who can get a top secret clearance, which includes a U.S. government administered polygraph examination. It needs software developers, operations managers and cloud support engineers, among others. Amazon's hiring effort includes an invitation-only recruiting event for systems support engineers at its Herndon, Va., facility on Sept. 24 and 25. Amazon is fighting to win a contract to build a private cloud for the CIA. The project is being rebid after IBM filed a protest. In a recent federal lawsuit challenging the rebid, Amazon took a shot at IBM, describing the company as 'a traditional fixed IT infrastructure provider and late entrant to the cloud computing market.' Among the things IBM says in response, is that the government didn't look at Amazon's outage record. An analyst firm, Ptak Noel & Associates, concluded, in a report about the dispute, that CIA officials 'too casually brush off Amazon's outages' in evaluating the proposals."
The Internet

MyOpenID To Shut Down In February 78

Posted by samzenpus
from the end-of-the-line dept.
kriston writes with news about an email sent to myOpenID users letting them know that it will be shut down February 1, 2014. The email reads:" Hello,

I wanted to reach out personally to let you know that we have made the decision to end of life the myOpenID service. myOpenID will be turned off on February 1, 2014.

In 2006 Janrain created myOpenID to fulfill our vision to make registration and login easier on the web for people. Since that time, social networks and email providers such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and Yahoo! have embraced open identity standards. And now, billions of people who have created accounts with these services can use their identities to easily register and login to sites across the web in the way myOpenID was intended.

By 2009 it had become obvious that the vast majority of consumers would prefer to utilize an existing identity from a recognized provider rather than create their own myOpenID account. As a result, our business focus changed to address this desire, and we introduced social login technology. While the technology is slightly different from where we were in 2006, I'm confident that we are still delivering on our initial promise – that people should take control of their online identity and are empowered to carry those identities with them as they navigate the web.

For those of you who still actively use myOpenID, I can understand your disappointment to hear this news and apologize if this causes you any inconvenience. To reduce this inconvenience, we are delaying the end of life of the service until February 1, 2014 to give you time to begin using other identities on those sites where you use myOpenID today.

Speaking on behalf of Janrain, I truly appreciate your past support of myOpenID.

Sincerely,
Larry


Larry Drebes, CEO, Janrain, Inc. "
Cellphones

New Smartphone Tech To Alert Pedestrians: 'You Are About To Be Hit By a Car' 136

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-when-looking-with-your-eyes-is-too-old-fashioned dept.
cartechboy writes "Usually, smartphones are a problem for humans transporting themselves — a massive distraction. But Honda is working on a way to use smartphones to protect pedestrians from bad drivers. The 'V2P' (Vehicle-to-Pedestrian) tech uses a smartphone's GPS and dedicated short range communications (DSRC) to warn drivers when a pedestrian say, steps out from behind a parked car. So the driver sees a dashboard message warning of an approaching pedestrian (which also notes whether said walker is using phone, texting or listening to music — which sort of shouldn't matter as you, uhm, brake.) The lucky pedestrian gets an alert on their phone telling them there's a DSRC-equipped car coming – that's if, say, actually looking at the road isn't telling you that already." The lesson here is to always keep your eyes on your smartphone when you're crossing the street. If you get an alert, stop where you are and read it! Relatedly, there's another phone app in development to help you avoid gunfire.
Space

Monster Storm Reveals Water On Saturn 31

Posted by Soulskill
from the cassini-is-the-best-probe dept.
cold fjord sends this news from NASA: "A monster storm that erupted on Saturn in late 2010 – as large as any storm ever observed on the ringed planet -- has already impressed researchers with its intensity and long-lived turbulence. A new paper in the journal Icarus reveals another facet of the storm's explosive power: its ability to churn up water ice from great depths. This finding, derived from near-infrared measurements by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, is the first detection at Saturn of water ice. The water originates from deep in Saturn's atmosphere. 'The new finding from Cassini shows that Saturn can dredge up material from more than 100 miles [160 kilometers],' said Kevin Baines, a co-author of the paper who works at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. 'It demonstrates in a very real sense that typically demure-looking Saturn can be just as explosive or even more so than typically stormy Jupiter.'"
United Kingdom

FOI Request Reveals UK Houses of Parliament Workers' Passion For Adult Content 61

Posted by Soulskill
from the sounds-about-right dept.
Anita Hunt (lissnup) writes "Hot on the heels of Dave Cameron's demands to make such content universally 'opt-in,' the Independent reports 'Westminster computers were prevented from accessing sex sites 114,844 times last November alone and on 55,552 in April, while February saw just 15 and in June officials blocked 397 attempts.' No explanation has been offered for the variation, although it would be interesting to know if the fall in the number of recorded/reported attempts coincides with the date the FOI request was filed."
Science

Genetic Convergent Evolution: Stunning Gene Similarities Among Diverse Animals 164

Posted by Soulskill
from the science-is-beautiful dept.
Toe, The writes "It has long been understood that completely different animals can end up with very similar traits (convergent evolution), and even that genes can converge. But a new study shows an unbelievable level of convergence among entire groups of genes. The study shows that animals as diverse as bats and dolphins, which independently developed echolocation, converge in nearly 200 different genomic regions concentrated in several 'hearing genes.' The implications are rather deep, if you think about it, delving into interesting limitations on diversity or insights into the potential of DNA. And perhaps more importantly, this finding goes a long way toward explaining why almost aliens in the universe look surprisingly identical to humans (though still doesn't explain why they all speak English)."
Power

Nuclear Trashmen Profit From Unprecedented US Reactor Shutdowns 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-radioactive-benjamins dept.
mdsolar sends this quote from Bloomberg: "More than 50 years into the age of nuclear energy, one of the biggest growth opportunities may be junking old reactors. Entergy Corp. (ETR) said Aug. 27 it will close its 41-year-old Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in 2014, making the reactor the fifth unit in the U.S. marked for decommissioning within the past 12 months, a record annual total. Companies that specialize in razing nuclear plants and hauling away radioactive waste are poised to benefit. Disposal work is 'where companies are going to make their fortune,' Margaret Harding, an independent nuclear-industry consultant based in Wilmington, North Carolina, said in an phone interview. Contractors that are usually involved in building reactors ... 'are going to be looking very hard at the decommissioning side of it.' [T]he U.S. nuclear fleet of 104 units is shrinking, even as Southern Co. and Scana Corp. build two units each. ... During a reactor decommissioning, the plant operator transfers radioactive fuel rods to cooling pools and, ultimately, to so-called dry casks for storage. Workers clean contaminated surfaces by sandblasting, chemical sprays and hydrolasing, a process that involves high-pressure water blasts, according to King. 'You do get to a point that you need someone to come in that has the equipment and the technology to actually dismantle the components,' she said. 'That typically is hired out.'"
Portables

Samsung Unveils Galaxy Gear Smartwatch 244

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-everybody-complain-before-trying-it dept.
MojoKid writes "The smartwatch race heated up today, as Samsung showed its Galaxy Gear smartwatch at the Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin. Samsung's take on such a device has been eagerly anticipated. Samsung announced the Galaxy Gear as a companion to the new Galaxy Note 3 (or any Galaxy device). The Gear lets users make and receive calls hands-free with the built-in speaker, and it notifies you of any incoming texts, emails, and alerts and gives you a preview of whatever is coming through. A Smart Relay feature will display the full content on your Galaxy device. The Galaxy Gear sports an 800MHz processor and 1.63-inch display (320x320) AMOLED display with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, a speaker, and two microphones with noise cancellation. There's a 1.9MP camera with a BSI sensor and autofocus, and it connects via Bluetooth 4.0 + BLE. Sensors include an accelerometer and a gyroscope. Samsung plans to launch the smartwatch in October for $300."
Medicine

Sleep Found To Replenish a Type of Brain Cell 136

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you-need-me-i'll-be-replenishing dept.
New submitter wrackspurt writes "Sleep deprivation has long been thought to be prevalent in the industrialized world. A new study (abstract) explains one very good reason why at least seven hours of sleep a night is necessary. Quoting the BBC: 'Sleep ramps up the production of cells that go on to make an insulating material known as myelin which protects our brain's circuitry. ... The increase was most marked during the type of sleep that is associated with dreaming - REM or rapid eye movement sleep — and was driven by genes. In contrast, the genes involved in cell death and stress responses were turned on when the mice were forced to stay awake.'"
The Almighty Buck

Martin Luther King Jr's Children In Court Over MLK IP 344

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-have-a-sad-depressing-dream dept.
cervesaebraciator writes "Slashdot has reported before about the copyright nightmare of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' Speech. Now, questions of intellectual property and the legacy of Dr. King have caused his children to go to court. The estate, run by King's sons, claims the rights to the intellectual property and memorabilia of Dr. King as assets. Accordingly, it has filed suit against the non-profit Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change, run by King's daughter, for plans to continue using King memorabilia once a royalty-free licensing agreement expires, (which the estate says will be in September). As is the case with increasing frequency, one is left to wonder about the implications intellectual property claims have for free speech when they can be applied to so public a figure as Dr. King."
China

Fire At Hynix FAB May Bump DRAM Prices 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-business-model dept.
Lucas123 writes "A fire that engulfed portions of a major Hynix memory FAB in Wuxi, China earlier today did not do as much damage as reports originally claimed and the company said it expects to be back in production soon. According to a Hynix statement, the fire occurred during equipment installation at around 16:50 Korean time and it was extinguished in under two hours. The company said while published photos showed the FAB facility surrounded by smoke and engulfed in flames, 'the damage is not as severe as it seems as the smoke created was because the fire was concentrated in the air purification facilities that are linked to the rooftop of the fab.' The company also said that there is no material damage to the fab equipment in the clean room, and Hynix expects to resume operations in a short time period, so overall production and supply volume should not be 'materially affected.' Even so, the spot price of DRAM is expected to leap as a result of the news."
Space

Mystery Alignment of Planetary Nebulae Discovered 86

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the mass-of-flying-mantrid-arm-drone-thingies dept.
astroengine writes "Astronomers have discovered something weird in the Milky Way's galactic bulge — a population of planetary nebula are all mysteriously pointing in the same direction. They noticed the mysterious alignment in the long axes of bipolar planetary nebulae. 'This really is a surprising find and, if it holds true, a very important one,' said Bryan Rees of the University of Manchester, co-author of the paper (PDF) to appear in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 'Many of these ghostly butterflies appear to have their long axes aligned along the plane of our galaxy.' The team of astronomers, who used data from Hubble and the European Southern Observatory's New Technology Telescope (NTT) to survey 130 nebulae, posit that powerful magnetic fields may be behind the phenomenon."
Yahoo!

Users Revolt Over Yahoo Groups Update 331

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the everyone-hates-change dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The new NEO format of Yahoo Groups is being rolled out to users and there is no option to go back. Users and moderators are posting messages asking Yahoo to go back to the old format. Yahoo is responding with a vanilla 'thank you for your feedback we are working to make it better' comment. Most posters are so frustrated that they just want the old site back. One poster writes 'Yahoo has effectively destroyed the groups, completely, themselves.'"
Businesses

Kim Dotcom Resigns From Mega To Fight Extradition, Run For Office 109

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the remember-when-he-was-evil dept.
rjmarvin writes "The Internet mogul and founder of the infamous file sharing and storage service confirmed he has stepped down as director to fight his U.S. extradition case, develop Megabox — his revolutionary music platform — oh, and to start his own political party and run for office in New Zealand's elections next year. What about the cutting-edge encrypted email service he promised? Well that's Chief Executive Vikram Kumar and new Director Bonnie Lam's problem now. Dotcom will have his hands full trying to 'get New Zealanders a new submarine cable, fair Internet pricing & no more data caps...'"
Patents

Apple Receives Patent For Accessing Sets of Apps With Different Passcodes 156

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the here-comes-another-decade-in-court dept.
wabrandsma writes, quoting Apple Insider "The technology, detailed in a patent awarded to Apple on Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, deals with so-called 'access inputs' that determine what apps, device services, and functions can be accessed by a user. Apple's U.S. Patent No. 8,528,072 for a 'Method, apparatus and system for access mode control of a device,' describes a system that creates user access modes guarded by predetermined gesture inputs." Reading the patent, it appears Apple managed to patent allowing access to some programs without a passcode from the lock screen of a device while protecting others, so e.g. you can quickly swipe to make a phone call or control your music, but have to enter a code to read your email or access your word processor documents.
Encryption

NSA-resistant Android App 'Burns' Sensitive Messages 183

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the many-have-tried dept.
angry tapir writes "Phil Zimmermann's Silent Circle, which halted its secure mail service shortly after Lavabit, has released a messaging application for Android devices that encrypts and securely erases messages and files. The application, called Silent Text, lets users specify a time period for which the receiver can view a message before it is erased. It also keeps the keys used to encrypt and decrypt content on the user's device, which protects the company from law enforcement requests for the keys." Seems similar to pieces of the Guardian Project.
XBox (Games)

Xbox One Set To Launch On November 22 184

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the people-like-games dept.
Dave Knott writes "Microsoft announced today that its upcoming Xbox One console will launch later this year on November 22 in 13 territories, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. This is exactly one week after the announced street date for Sony's PlayStation 4, ending speculation about whether Microsoft would try to launch ahead of their closest rival's next-generation console. It is also the same day that the Xbox 360 launched in 2005." The supply of pre-order consoles is mostly exhausted already.
Music

Ministry of Sound Suing Spotify Over User Playlists 201

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the you-may-not-listen-in-that-order dept.
AmiMoJo writes "The Ministry of Sound, a UK dance music brand, is suing Spotify because it has not removed users' playlists that mirror their compilation albums. The case will hinge on whether compilation albums qualify for copyright protection due to the selection and arrangement involved in putting them together. Spotify has the rights to stream all the tracks on the playlists in question, but the issue here is whether the compilation structure — the order of the songs — can be copyrighted."
Displays

HDMI 2.0 Officially Announced 293

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the no-love-for-displayport dept.
jones_supa writes with news that HDMI 2.0 is out. From Engadget "The folks at HDMI Licensing are announcing HDMI 2.0 officially. Arriving just in time for the wide rollout of a new generation of Ultra HDTVs, it adds a few key capabilities to the standard. With a bandwidth capacity of up to 18Gbps, HDMI 2.0 has the ability to carry 3,840 x 2,160 resolution video at 60fps. It also has support for up to 32 audio channels, 'dynamic auto lipsync' and additional CEC extensions. The physical cables and connectors remain unchanged." Just like HDMI 1.4, the specification is only available to HDMI Forum members.
United States

US and Israel Test Missile As Syria War Tensions Rise 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the nothing-to-see-here-just-randomly-firing-missiles dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Joshua Mitnick reports that Israel and the U.S. carried out a missile test over the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday morning that was detected by Russian surveillance systems. Israel's defense ministry eventually said a Sparrow rocket had been fired to simulate a ballistic missile attack on the Jewish state to test the Arrow interceptor system. The Arrow – which wasn't fired Tuesday – has been developed to defend against long range rockets primarily from Iran, a main patron of the Syrian regime. Arieh Herzog, a former Israeli missile defense director, says that the Sparrow missile is developed to simulate 'the worst threats' in the region so Israel can hone the capabilities of the Arrow III missile interceptor. Herzog speculated that the launch Tuesday was done at a considerably long range. Another Israeli expert said the incident could be seen as muscle flexing by the U.S. and Israel. 'You could say perhaps its show of strength to Syria and its Iranian ally — that Israel has a range of options at its disposal. And to place pressure on Assad and Iran that Israel takes [retaliation threats] seriously,' says Meir Javedanfar, a lecturer on Iranian politics at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center. Pentagon press secretary George Little said the U.S. 'provided technical assistance and support to the Israeli Missile Defense Organization flight test of a Sparrow target missile over the Mediterranean Sea.' 'The United States and Israel cooperate on a number of long-term ballistic missile defense development projects to address common challenges in the region,' added Little. 'This test had nothing to do with United States consideration of military action to respond to Syria's chemical weapons attack.'"
United States

Schneier: We Need To Relearn How To Accept Risk 478

Posted by Soulskill
from the risk-is-our-business dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Bruce Schneier has written an article about how our society is becoming increasingly averse to risk as we invent ways to reduce it. 'Risk tolerance is both cultural and dependent on the environment around us. As we have advanced technologically as a society, we have reduced many of the risks that have been with us for millennia. Fatal childhood diseases are things of the past, many adult diseases are curable, accidents are rarer and more survivable, buildings collapse less often, death by violence has declined considerably, and so on. All over the world — among the wealthier of us who live in peaceful Western countries — our lives have become safer.' This has led us to overestimate both the level of risk from unlikely events and also our ability to curtail it. Thus, trillions of dollars are spent and vital liberties are lost in misguided efforts to make us safer. 'We need to relearn how to recognize the trade-offs that come from risk management, especially risk from our fellow human beings. We need to relearn how to accept risk, and even embrace it, as essential to human progress and our free society. The more we expect technology to protect us from people in the same way it protects us from nature, the more we will sacrifice the very values of our society in futile attempts to achieve this security.'"
Social Networks

Social Media's Role In Peer Pressure 39

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-everyone-else-tweeted-off-a-bridge,-would-you-do-it-too? dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "The Fear of Missing Out phenomenon is part of why people tend to get addicted to social networking and then depressed. And if you're a young, impressionable teenager, it could pressure you into making sure you, too, are happily intoxicated the next time someone snaps a group shot. That's the gist of the latest study to find that social media photos of people drinking and smoking can influence teens into partaking in the same degenerate behavior. The University of Southern California study was published online today in the Journal of Adolescent Health."
IBM

IBM Uses Internal Kickstarters To Pick Projects 40

Posted by Soulskill
from the let-the-grunts-make-the-decisions dept.
alphadogg writes "IBM is readying its fourth internal Kickstarter-like crowdfunding effort over the past year or so to inspire employees to innovate and collaborate, often across departments and the globe. According to IBM Research member Michael Muller, IBM has embraced the crowdfunding model popularized in recent years by Kickstarter, Indiegogo and hundreds of other such platforms that match up creators and financial backers from among the masses. But IBM's 'behind-the-firewall' form of crowdfunding, for which Muller has coined the term 'enterprise crowdfunding,' is unique in that it isn't open to the public. In an experiment held in the third quarter of last year, 500 Watson Research Center employees were each given $100 to invest exclusively in colleagues' proposals, which ranged from procuring a 3D printer to setting up a disc golf course to recording and sharing seminars."
Networking

How Africa Will 'Leapfrog' Wired Networks 183

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-ahead-and-leapfrog-social-media-too,-it's-not-worth-it dept.
umarkalim writes "In an interview with Al Jazeera, Les Cottrell at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory explains how Africa will actually 'leapfrog' the need to install hard-wired cables. He says it's often overlooked that the continent is huge and that the countries are diverse. He says, 'the cost of the infrastructure is quite high, especially if you have to connect every home with copper cables and fiber-optic cables ... I think in many cases Africa will actually "leapfrog" the need to install hard-wired cables everywhere, and will be able to use different techniques such as the BRCK modem, the low-earth orbiting satellites or the 3G solutions to get connectivity to where they need.'"

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