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NASA

+ - SPAM: Mars rover wheels bedevil latest extrication try

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "One step forward, two steps back may be the best way to describe NASA’s latest attempts to save its stuck Mars rover Spirit. On the positive side, Spirit's right-front wheel, which had stopped operating in March 2006, showed signs of life this week by spinning slightly during one of the attempts to move the rover. The wheel however stopped later in another test.
Still, NASA scientists said movement of the right-front wheel for about 3.5 minutes was a surprise. It is not clear whether the wheel will work again, since it stopped during the final drive segment and it’s not clear whether extrication from the sand trap would be possible even with an operable right-front wheel, NASA said.
[spam URL stripped]"

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Security

How Can I Tell If My Computer Is Part of a Botnet? 491

Posted by timothy
from the check-if-you-are-running-windows dept.
ashraya writes "My father (not too computer literate) has a desktop and a laptop both running Windows in his network back in Hyderabad, India. I set up a Linksys router for him to use with his broadband service. For some reason, he reset the config on the Linksys, and connected it up without wireless security, and also with the default admin password for some time. As you would expect, both of the Windows computers got 'slow,' and the desktop stopped connecting to the internet completely for some reason. As I logged in remotely to 'fix' things, I noticed on the Linksys' log that the laptop was making seemingly random connections to high-numbered ports on various IPs. I did an nslookup on the IPs to see that they were all either in Canada or US, with Comcast and other ISP addresses. Is that a sign that the computers were in a botnet? Are the other hosts part of the botnet too? (I have since rebuilt the Windows hosts, and these connections are not happening now. I have also secured the Linksys.)"
Music

The Music Industry's Crisis Writ Large 554

Posted by kdawson
from the day-the-music-faded dept.
The NY Times has an opinion piece that makes starkly clear the financial decline of the music industry. It's accompanied by an infographic that cleverly renders the drop-off. The latest culprit accelerating the undoing of the music business is free, legal online music streaming. "Since music sales peaked in 1999, the value of those sales, after adjusting for inflation, has dropped by more than half. At that rate, the industry could be decimated before Madonna's 60th birthday. ... 13- to 17-year-olds acquired 19 percent less music in 2008 than they did in 2007. CD sales among these teenagers were down 26 percent and digital purchases were down 13 percent. ... [T]he percentage of 14- to 18-year-olds who regularly share files dropped by nearly a third from December 2007 to January 2009. On the other hand, two-thirds of those teens now listen to streaming music 'regularly' and nearly a third listen to it every day."
Space

Orbit Your Own Satellite For $8,000 208

Posted by kdawson
from the be-the-first-on-your-block dept.
RobGoldsmith sends word of Interorbital's TubeSat Personal Satellite Kit, which allows anyone to send a half-pound payload to low-earth orbit for $8,000. Your satellite will fly to orbit from Tonga atop an Interorbital Systems NEPTUNE 30 rocket along with 31 other TubeSats. It will function for several weeks, then its orbit will decay and it will burn up in the atmosphere. Interorbital plans to send up a load of 32 TubeSats every month. If you pay in full in advance, you get slotted onto a particular scheduled launch. Here are Interorbital's product page and brochure (PDF).
Security

The Low-Intensity, Brute-Force Zombies Are Back 203

Posted by Soulskill
from the password-123456-letmein dept.
Peter N. M. Hansteen writes "In real life, zombies feed off both weak minds and the weak passwords they choose. When the distributed brute-force attempts stopped abruptly after a couple of months of futile pounding on ssh servers, most of us thought they had seen sense and given up. Now, it seems that they have not; they are back. 'This can only mean that there were enough successful attempts at guessing people's weak passwords in the last round that our unknown perpetrators found it worthwhile to start another round. For all I know they may have been at it all along, probing other parts of the Internet ...' The article has some analysis and links to fresh log data."
The Courts

RIAA Litigation May Be Unconstitutional 281

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-ritchie-chaz-and-margot? dept.
dtjohnson writes "A Harvard law school professor has submitted arguments on behalf of Joel Tenenbaum in RIAA v. Tenenbaum in which Professor Charles Nesson claims that the underlying law that the RIAA uses is actually a criminal, rather than civil, statute and is therefore unconstitutional. According to this article, 'Nesson charges that the federal law is essentially a criminal statute in that it seeks to punish violators with minimum statutory penalties far in excess of actual damages. The market value of a song is 99 cents on iTunes; of seven songs, $6.93. Yet the statutory damages are a minimum of $750 per song, escalating to as much as $150,000 per song for infringement "committed willfully."' If the law is a criminal statute, Neeson then claims that it violates the 5th and 8th amendments and is therefore unconstitutional. Litigation will take a while but this may be the end for RIAA litigation, at least until they can persuade Congress to pass a new law."

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