Daniel_Stuckey writes "The very first pages that formed the earliest World Wide Web are probably lost forever. When Tim Berners-Lee launched a network of linked hypertext documents from his NeXT computer in 1989, he wasn't thinking much about posterity. He was mostly thinking about the boon the system could prove for his particle physicist colleagues at CERN, who desperately needed a better system for sharing and storing the data from their experiments.
The fact that the first website got deleted somewhere along the way is both remarkable and unsurprising. The web was never intended to be a permanent archive, and an average website in the 90s survived only 100 days. Still, given the historical import of the digital document, and the fact that there are some 48 copies of the Gutenberg Bible still out there, it feels strange, if somehow typical of the ever-ephemeral nature of wired progress."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Over the weekend, Ma 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of using a small quadcopter drone to smuggle an unknown quantity of illegal drugs into a prison in Melbourne, Australia.
While it's certainly not the first time small-fry UAV technology has been used by a mid-level mule to airmail drugs into the clink, it does suggest a growing trend in the highest-tech of prison highs. Here, then, is a brief history of drone-assisted prison drug smuggling.
In November 2013, guards at Hull jail in Gatineau, Canada, spotted a small drone flying over the prison's walls. An exhaustive search of both Hull's grounds and the immediate vicinity turned up nothing by way of whatever contraband the drone might have been toting around. Nevertheless, it didn't appear to be one-off incident
"This sort of thing happens often in prisons all across Quebec," Stephane Lemaire, president of Quebec's correctional officers' union, told the Ottawa Sun. "Usually the drones are carrying small packages of drugs or other illicit substances." The problem, Lemaire added, is that "the drone can be controlled from more than a kilometre away, and the [Hull] prison is surrounded by forest.""Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes ""In response to Mr. Putin's aggression in Ukraine, President Obama should announce a series of steps that will dramatically expand production of American-made energy, beginning with lifting this de facto ban on exports of US-produced liquefied natural gas," Boehner writes in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal .
The much-discussed plan, put forward by Boehner and congressional Republicans, focuses on the idea that Europe is afraid to confront Russia, because it provides so much of its energy, and the fact that Russia could pull the plug on Ukraine's supply outright. The Speaker believes that the US government hasn't been approving new natural gas projects, pipelines, and export facilities quickly enough—the process of reviewing these projects to make sure they don't emit too much harmful pollution or degrade the environment amounts to a "ban," in his words. But if we just got on with it, and exported that gas to Europe, it could turn the tide in Ukraine, he says."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Yesterday, I got as close as any media physically can to Barrett Brown, the American journalist that was locked up in late 2012 for pasting a hyperlink in a chatroom, which federal prosecutors alleged contained leaked credit card data from the Statfor hacks.
Due to a media gag order upheld by the US District Court in the Northern District of Texas, Brown isn't allowed to make "any statement to members of any television, radio, newspaper, magazine, internet (included, but not limited to bloggers)," with the exception of Kevin M. Gallagher, who heads his defense fund. The prosecution's rationale for the gag order is that any extrajudicial statements made by Brown, or his attorneys, could be prejudicial to his defense.
Earlier this week, US Attorney Sarah Saldaña filed a motion to dismiss 11 of Brown's charges, namely those related to the pasted hyperlink (including trafficking in stolen authentication features, aggravated identity theft, and access device fraud). The motion came as both a victory for Brown's case, and a sigh of relief to supporters who have continuously cited the absurdity of his charges related to hyperlinking. Awaiting two trial dates this spring (April 28th, 2014, and May 19th, 2014), the prosecution's case is unraveling."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Bitcoin is being used to buy and sell child sexual abuse material, according to the UK’s Internet Watch Foundation. The charity, which works to rid the web of criminal content including child pornography, uncovered the trend last month and released a report on it today. It’s the first time they’ve found evidence of the cryptocurrency being used in this way.
It’s hardly news that Bitcoin is being used for nefarious or criminal activities. Despite the currency’s increasingly legitimate image—which was significantly bolstered yesterday in the UK by the tax authorities’ decision not to charge VAT on Bitcoin transactions—it will never fully escape from its legally chequered history. This is the currency that made Silk Road, after all, and there are still plenty of dark net markets that will trade you illicit goods for bitcoins, even if their transactions represent a dwindling proportion of the Bitcoin ecosystem."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "After living with a meth head who had a trigger finger itchier than an Appalachian mosquito bite, Doug gave his ex-housemate the boot and confiscated his weapons, thus paving the way for his new found love for gunsmithing. Being that Virginia is one of America's more gun-friendly states, Doug's new skills made him a popular guy in the neighborhood. And instead of hoarding his knowledge of firearms, Doug has since open sourced his gun and ammo making techniques on his well-trafficked engineering forum.
But Doug's most exciting creation is his guerilla-engineered nuclear fusion reactor. His pursuit of a limitless source of clean and self-sufficient energy takes place in what he calls his "den of creative chaos," which is essentially a cluttered workshop in the entrance of his home, directly underneath his bedroom.
Nuclear fusion, which produces energy by fusing atoms, rather than splitting them, has been a dream of physicists and clean energy fans for years. But while there have recently been major strides to in fusion generation, a full-time reactor that produces more energy than it takes in remains a long ways off."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Russia's military intervention in Ukraine sent shockwaves through a somewhat unlikely sector: the nation's IT industry. Russia completed live-fire exercises over the weekend, and began moving troops into the Ukrainian-held autonomous region of Crimea. On Monday, the two biggest IT companies operating in Ukraine saw $750 million worth of their valuation disappear in a single trading day.
According to Russia's CNews, shares of the software developer Luxoft plunged by 23 percent on the New York Stock Exchange; an estimated $330 million in value was lost. Meanwhile, its competitor, EPAM, lost the same percentage of its shares, amounting to a $420 million dollar hit. Combined, the two companies lost three-quarters of a billion dollars. That's a remarkable loss for a nation with one of the biggest IT sectors in the world—outranked only by the US, India, and Russia—according to a 2013 report, it's worth $3.6 billion in total."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Ground troops may be flexing their muscles in Crimea while they await marching orders, but cyber and information attacks between Russia and Ukraine are already underway.
Friday, a group of unidentified men took control of a series of communication centers in Crimea. Maintained by Ukrtelecom JSC, Ukraine's telecom provider, the facilities are essential to linking Crimea with the rest of Ukraine. With the hubs knocked out, landline, mobile, and internet services were severed, with almost no coverage available. It is unclear exactly who was responsible for these attacks, but considering their sophisticated and clandestine nature, it is reasonable to assume they were carried out by professionals.
On the other side of the border, RT—the news channel formerly known as Russia Today and funded by the state—had its website hacked on Sunday morning, with the word 'Nazi' not so stealthily slipped into headlines. Highlights included “Russian senators vote to use stabilizing Nazi forces on Ukrainian territory,” and “Putin: Nazi citizens, troops threatened in Ukraine, need armed forces' protection.” RT was quick to notice the hack, and the wordplay only lasted about 20 minutes."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "As the East Coast continues to get snow dumped on it, California's record-setting drought drags on. It's gotten so bad that farmers in the state have called upon "dowsers," a group of people who have the ability to find water using their intuition and a series of tools with names like L and Y rods, pendulums, and bobbers. Some people have taken to calling them “water witches,” and some claim they can find underground water just by looking at a map of a plot of land. (Reportedly, it's tougher than just pointing at the blue parts.)
The practice has become so ingrained in agriculture that in 1988, the United States Geological Survey released a report (PDF) mostly dismissing the practice.
“Case histories and demonstrations of dowsers may seem convincing, but when dowsing is exposed to scientific examination, it presents a very different picture,” the report says. “The natural explanation of ‘successful’ water dowsing is that in many areas, water would be hard to miss. The dowser commonly implies that the spot indicated by the rod is the only one where water could be found, but this is not necessarily true. In a region of adequate rainfall and favorable geology, it is difficult not to drill and find water.”
Even so, I called up Barney Turner—head of the Nor Cal Dowsers, a group of 100-or-so water witches—to see what dowsing is all about."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "FirstNet—pitched as a state of the art communications network for paramedics, firemen and law enforcement at the federal, state and local level—will give cops on the streets unprecedented technological powers, and possibly hand over even more intimate data about our lives to the higher ends of the government and its intelligence agencies. While the system has already been tested in a handful of states, and 2014 will likely see it rolled out further.
According to a series of presentation slides from December last year, FirstNet will be the “MOST secure wireless network ever built,” sitting entirely separate from the commercially run networks that everyone, including first responders, uses today. This will give FirstNet greater reliability in situations where networks come under extreme pressure, such as when tens of thousands of people contact loved ones during a terrorist attack or natural disaster. It makes sense to have a dedicated network just for first responders during these sorts of events."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes ""BiteLabs grows meat from celebrity tissue samples and uses it to make artisanal salami." So proclaims the copy on BiteLabs.org, right under an all-caps call to action: EAT CELEBRITY MEAT. The site proposes taking actual tissue samples of celebrities—specifically, James Franco, Kanye West, Jennifer Lawrence, and Ellen DeGeneres—and growing their cloned meat for use in a marketable salami blend.
It's admittedly pretty funny. Having spent a month drinking Soylent and wading through press releases about Google Burgers and in vitro meat, BiteLabs seemed to offer a reasonably clever, well-executed satire on the Silicon Valley food tech trend.
But if it's just a joke—as any half-concious participant in the age of viral marketing ploys and social media hoaxes immediately assumed it to be—then its creators are willing to take it pretty far.
The operators of the site, which was created last month, began its publicity push on February 25th. They fired a volley of tweets at celebrities and journalists (including me) proclaiming that BiteLabs was "the future of celebrity meat.""Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "The contacts on Zambada-Ortiz's phone, which officials seized, would prove critical in pinpointing cartel stash houses strewn across Sinaloa state in mountainous northwest Mexico. Crucially, the episode would breathe new life into the joint US-Mexico dragnet that recently caught Chapo, who'd been at large for 13 years after famously escaping from Mexican prison in a laundry basket.
Zambada-Ortiz's capture and the data scraped from his phone led to more and more Sinaloa phones until a month ago, when Mexican authorities (moving on American intelligence work) successfully carried out a number of raids that scored a cache of weapons and the arrests of a few of Chapo's senior henchmen. With each apprehension came another phone full of leads, "a new trove of information for officials to mine," as TIME reported. Then, sometime last week, Mexican commandos "traced a number stored in a seized cell phone to a stash house outside the provincial capital of Culiacan, where they believed Guzman was hiding," TIME added."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "It's the scourge of futurists everywhere: The space elevator can't seem to shake its image as something that's just ridiculous, laughed off as the stuff of sci-fi novels and overactive imaginations. But there are plenty of scientists who take the idea quite seriously, and they’re trying to buck that perception.
To that end, a diverse group of experts at the behest of the International Academy of Astronautics completed an impressively thorough study this month on whether building a space elevator is doable. Their resulting report, "Space Elevators: An Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and the Way Forward," found that, in a nutshell, such a contraption is both totally feasible and a really smart idea. And they laid out a 300-page roadmap detailing how to make it happen."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "A little more than a week ago, Comcast and Time Warner Cable announced plans to merge into one internet behemoth, an idea that's been universally panned and one that some lawmakers are already preparing to counter. Allowing one company to control 38 percent of broadband subscribers—and in many places, being consumers' only option—would create obvious anti-trust and net neutrality concerns. And yesterday, such concerns appears to be confirmed, with the announcement that Netflix and Comcast had come to a deal whereby the latter would carry Netflix traffic.
On its face, the fact that Netflix would have to pay Comcast for better streaming appears to be the exact death blow to net neutrality—a principle that's meant to assure all internet traffic gets treated the same—that people feared would happen after the recent Verizon v. FCC decision."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Space researchers might get all the coolest tech first, but lucky for us a lot of it ends up closer to home, in terrestrial applications that affect our everyday earthbound life. One area particularly ripe for crossover applications is imaging; space exploration requires ever-more-powerful technologies to look at stuff increasingly further away, in increasingly close detail.
But there are a lot of scientific applications that involve looking at stuff—indeed, what is science without observation? And so it is that one device originally developed to help look at very big things, like planets, has been appropriated by surgeons to look at very small things, like the details of a human eye.
The European Space Agency reports on the use of the Hummingbird device, a kind of steadying system originally developed for telescopic work in space, to stop vibrations from getting in the way of microscopic imaging in eye surgery. Doctors at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands have adopted the space tech to combat persistent microscope shake that was getting in the way of one in five operations."Link to Original Source