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Submission + - Undergraduates Discover Densest Ultracompact Dwarf Galaxies->

Applehu Akbar writes: This discovery, using imaging data from several large telescopes, identifies two new ultracompact dwarf galaxies (UCD), M59-UCD3 and M85-HCC1.

UCDs are small galaxies that have stellar densities of, in the case of M85-HCC1, up a million times higher than Earth's stellar neighborhood. That would mean stars averaging one twentieth of a light year apart. In such a place our own Oort cloud would contain other stars.

Furthermore, these galaxies are considerably older than our own and contain an abundance of heavy elements.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May making show for Amazon

mrspoonsi writes: Former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have signed up to present a new show on Amazon's streaming video service. The trio will front three series of a new motoring programme for Amazon Prime, with the first season to be made available worldwide in 2016. The move follows their departure from the hit BBC Two show earlier this year. Clarkson's contract was not renewed following an "unprovoked physical attack" on a Top Gear producer. His co-hosts then followed him in leaving the show. They will now make the unnamed new programme with former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, who also quit the BBC following the "fracas". In a statement from Amazon, Clarkson said: "I feel like I've climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship."

Submission + - FBI Director James Comey to Citizens: "Encrypted Messaging Not Needed"->

davesays writes: FBI Director James Comey expressed alarm Wednesday about broadening use of encrypted communications, telling senators that investigators increasingly are unable to intercept or retrieve suspects’ messages. Apparently he has no Slashdot account — "“I haven’t met ordinary folks who say, ‘I really want a device that can’t be opened even if an American judge finds it ought to be opened,’” Comey said. and goes on to say authorities ‘will go to jail' if they look at American Snapchat messages, Instagram posts without a warrant.

Forgive me for not taking him at his word.

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Submission + - The Biohacking Movement and Open Source Insulin

szczys writes: Since early last century insulin has been produced from the pancreas of animals. In the late 1970's we figured out how to synthesize insulin using bacteria or yeast. As the biohacking movement has grown insulin production has been a common target, but for some reason we're not there yet. Dan Maloney looked into the backstory (including the amazing story of the Saxl family who produced life-saving insulin during WWI) and a new startup that is trying to get Biohackers working on the problem.

http://hackaday.com/2015/07/30...

Submission + - Why Micron/Intel's New Cross Point Memory Could Virtually Last Forever ->

Lucas123 writes: As they announced their new 3D XPoint memory this week, Micron and Intel talked a lot about its performance being 1,000X that of NAND flash, but what they talked less about was how it also has the potential to have 1,000X the endurance of today's most popular non-volatile memories. NAND flash typically can sustain from 3,000 to 10,000 erase-write cycles — more with wear-leveling and ECC. If Micron and Intel's numbers are to be believed, 3D XPoint could exceed one million write cycles. The reason for that endurance involves the material used to create the XPoint architecture, which neither company will disclose. Unlike NAND flash, cross point resistive memory does not use charge trap technology that wears silicon oxide over time or a typical resistive memory filamentary architecture, which creates a statistical variation in how the filaments form each time you program them; that can slow ReRAM's performance and make it harder to scale. Russ Meyer, Micron's director of process integration, said 3D XPoint's architecture doesn't store electrons or use filaments. "The memory element itself is simply moving between two different resistance states," which means there's virtually no wear.
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Submission + - Google to measure air quality through Street View->

Eloking writes: Google has teamed up with Aclima to incorporate environmental sensors into its Street View cars. Initially tested on three vehicles in the Denver metro area, the partnership should lead to a better understanding of overall air quality in urban environments.

Since its introduction back in 2007, Google's Street View platform has become a reliable and versatile tool. Quite aside from providing its 360-degree views from our roads, it's taken us underwater, across hiking trails and even to the top of mountains. The latest endeavor aims to deliver useful data on the air we breathe.

The goal of the project is to create high resolution maps of air quality across cities. It will see Street View cars equipped with sensors that allow them to take measurements of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, methane, black carbon, particulate matter and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – all of which can have a negative impact on health.

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Submission + - 3D 'smart camera' landmine detection research wins NGO funding->

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at the University of Bath have been awarded financial backing to further develop its new 3D camera technology for detecting landmines. The project has received £100,000 in funding from Sir Bobby Charlton’s charity, ‘Find a Better Way’, after entering a competition run by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Modern landmines are typically made from plastic, rendering traditional metal detection methods irrelevant. The Bath University researchers are investigating ways to combine metal detection with the latest 3D camera and imaging systems in order to detect all types of landmines using one technology.
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Submission + - Are We Reaching the Electric Car Tipping Point?

HughPickens.com writes: Geoff Ralston has an interesting essay explaining why is likely that electric car penetration in the US will take off at an exponential rate over the next 5-10 years rendering laughable the paltry predictions of future electric car sales being made today. Present projections assume that electric car sales will slowly increase as the technology gets marginally better, and as more and more customers choose to forsake a better product (the gasoline car) for a worse, yet “greener” version. According to Ralston this view of the future is, simply, wrong. — electric cars will take over our roads because consumers will demand them. "Electric cars will be better than any alternative, including the loud, inconvenient, gas-powered jalopy," says Ralston. "The Tesla Model S has demonstrated that a well made, well designed electric car is far superior to anything else on the road. This has changed everything."

The Tesla Model S has sold so well because, compared to old-fashioned gasoline cars it is more fun to drive, quieter, always “full” every morning, more roomy, and it continuously gets better with automatic updates and software improvements. According to Ralston the tipping point will come when gas stations, not a massively profitable business, start to go out of business as many more electric cars are sold, making gasoline powered vehicles even more inconvenient. When that happens even more gasoline car owners will be convinced to switch. Rapidly a tipping point will be reached, at which point finding a convenient gas station will be nearly impossible and owning a gasoline powered car will positively suck. "Elon Musk has ushered in the age of the electric car, and whether or not it, too, was inevitable, it has certainly begun," concludes Ralston. "The future of automotive transportation is an electric one and you can expect that future to be here soon."

Submission + - Amazon Announces New Car Show Featuring the Old Top Gear Presenters->

mknewman writes: Amazon has announced that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May will be reuniting to create “an all-new car show” that will be exclusively on Amazon Prime.

The new show will be produced by the old-time Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman and is scheduled to go into production “shortly.” It will apparently appear on screens in 2016. For what it’s worth, Jeremy Clarkson has said that the move makes him “feel like I’ve climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship.”

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Submission + - National Geographic Channel to air Ron Howard produced series 'The Red Planet'->

MarkWhittington writes: Proof positive that Marsmania is about to strike comes with the announcement that the National Geographic Channel is to broadcast a miniseries called “Red Planet” in 171 countries and 44 languages in 2016. The miniseries will be produced by Imagine Entertainment, with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, along with Radical Media. The show will depict the colonization of Mars from a unique perspective, mixing interviews and documentary footage from the present day with a dramatization set in the year 2032. Howard and Imagine Entertainment have been involved in such space related projects as the smash hit movie "Apollo 13" and the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon."
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Submission + - Zion Harvey Makes History as First Pediatric Dual Hand Transplant Recipient->

ErnieKey writes: While there have been several hand transplants that have successfully taken place over the past decade or so, a little boy in Maryland, named Zion Harvey has become the first successful pediatric dual hand transplant recipient. After losing both hands and feet due to infection when he was 2 years old, doctors were able to successfully transplant new hands onto the little boy, thanks in part to modern-day 3d printing technology
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Submission + - Easy to exploit critical BIND DoS bug affects all DNS->

mask.of.sanity writes: Attackers now have the ability to disrupt large swathes of the web through a remote denial of service vulnerability found in the most widely used software for DNS servers. The BIND bug (CVE-2015-5477) patched overnight affects all DNS servers running the software, and can be attacked with ease. Attackers can send a crafted DNS query packet to trigger a REQUIRE assertion failure, causing BIND to exit.
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Submission + - Industrial networks are vulnerable to devastating cyberattack, new research says->

Patrick O'Neill writes: New research into Industrial Ethernet Switches reveals a wide host of vulnerabilities that leave critical infrastructure facilities open to attackers. Many of the vulnerabilities reveal fundamental weaknesses: Widespread use of default passwords, hardcoded encryption keys, a lack of proper authentication for firmware updates, a lack of encrypted connections, and more. Combined with a lack of network monitoring, researchers say the situation showcases "a massive lack of security awareness in the industrial control systems community.”
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Submission + - Windows 10: A Potential Privacy Mess, and Worse->

Lauren Weinstein writes: I had originally been considering accepting Microsoft's offer of a free upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. After all, reports have suggested that it's a much more usable system than Windows 8/8.1 — but of course in keeping with the "every other MS release of Windows is a dog" history, that's a pretty low bar.

However, it appears that MS has significantly botched their deployment of Windows 10. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised, even though hope springs eternal.

Since there are so many issues involved, and MS is very aggressively pushing this upgrade, I'm going to run through key points here quickly, and reference other sites' pages that can give you more information right now.

But here's my executive summary: You may want to think twice, or three times, or many more times, about whether or not you wish to accept the Windows 10 free upgrade on your existing Windows 7 or 8/8.1 system.

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