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A Look At Orion's Launch Abort System 44

An anonymous reader writes: With the construction of Orion, NASA's new manned spacecraft, comes the creation of a new Launch Abort System — the part of the vehicle that will get future astronauts back to Earth safely if there's a problem at launch. The Planetary Society's Jason Davis describes it: "When Orion reaches the apex of its abort flight, it is allowed to make its 180-degree flip. The capsule of astronauts, who have already realized they will not go to space today, experience a brief moment of weightlessness before the capsule starts falling back to Earth, heat shield down. The jettison motor fires, pulling the LAS away from Orion. ... Orion, meanwhile, sheds its Forward Bay Cover, a ring at the top of the capsule protecting the parachutes. Two drogue chutes deploy, stabilizing the wobbling capsule. The drogues pull out Orion's three main chutes, no doubt eliciting a sigh of relief from the spacecraft's occupants."

D-Link Router Backdoor Vulnerability Allows Full Access To Settings 228

StealthHunter writes "It turned out that just by setting a browsers user-agent to 'xmlset_roodkcableoj28840ybtide' anyone can remotely bypass all authentication on D-Link routers. It seems that thttpd was modified by Alphanetworks who inserted the backdoor. Unfortunately, vulnerable routers can be easily identified by services like shodanHQ. At least these models may have vulnerable firmware: DIR-100, DI-524, DI-524UP, DI-604S, DI-604UP, DI-604+, TM-G5240."

Interactive Nukemap Now In 3D 192

Lasrick writes "The brilliant Alex Wellerstein has an interactive map that shows the effects of a variety of atomic bombs on whatever city in the world you choose (you can designate the yield or choose from a wide variety of pre-programmed yields, like Fatman, Little Boy, or what the Soviets had at time of the Cuban Missile Crisis). Compelling in a scary sort of way. A 3D version is available."

Video GreenSQL is a Database Security Solution, says CTO David Maman (Video) 108

'GreenSQL is an Open Source database firewall used to protect databases from SQL injection attacks,' says the website, which also says, 'GreenSQL works as a proxy and has built-in support for MySQL and PostgreSQL. The logic is based on evaluation of SQL commands using a risk scoring matrix as well as blocking known db administrative commands (DROP, CREATE, etc).' The company also maintains a commercial version as a separate entity. GreenSQL CTO/CoFounder David Maman gives more details about both the company and open source GreenSQL in this video interview.

Pink Floyd Engineer Alan Parsons Rips Audiophiles, YouTube and Jonas Brothers 468

First time accepted submitter CIStud writes "Famed 'Dark Side of the Moon' engineer Alan Parsons, who also worked on the Beatles 'Abbey Road,' says audiophiles spend too much money on equipment and ignore room acoustics. He also is surprised the music industry has not addressed the artists' rights violations taking place on YouTube, wonders why surround-sound mixes for albums never took off, and calls the Jonas Brothers 'garbage' all in one interview."

Aaron Barr Talks About DEFCON, Anonymous Attacks 77

Trailrunner7 writes "Finding Aaron Barr at this year's DEFCON hacker conference in Las Vegas was like a giant game of 'Where's Waldo.' Given the events of the past year, you can hardly blame him for keeping a low profile. First there was the attack on him and his then-employer, HBGary Federal, his decision to part ways with HBGary, his work to rehabilitate his image and turn his personal misfortunes into a 'teaching moment' for the industry, and then the legal wrangling in recent weeks that threw cold water on his plans to take part in a panel discussion about Anonymous at DEFCON. Barr was courted by numerous news outlets at the show, including the mainstream media. But he preferred, for the most part, to keep his own counsel. But he offered his thoughts to Threatpost on the experience of being at the conference, what the attack by Anonymous has done to him and whether it's possible for the group to turn its attentions to more constructive pursuits."

A Linux Distro From the US Department of Defense 210

donadony writes "The Lightweight Portable Security distribution was created by the Software Protection Initiative under the direction of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the U.S. Department Of Defense. The idea behind it is that government workers can use a CD-ROM or USB stick to boot into a tamper proof, pristine desktop when using insecure computers such as those available in hotels or a worker's own home. The environment that it offers should be largely resistant to Internet-borne security threats such as viruses and spyware, particularly when launched from read-only media such as a CDROM. The LPS system does not mount the hard drive of the host machine, so leaves no trace of the user's activities behind."

An RC Car That Runs On Soda Can Rings 135

polyp2000 writes with an Engadget excerpt to inspire instant toy envy: "A pair of Spanish engineers have recently unveiled the dAlH2Orean (see what they did there?), a R/C car that runs on aluminum. Dropping a few soda can tabs into a tank of sodium hydroxide produces enough hydrogen to power the little speedster for 40 minutes — at almost 20mph."
Open Source

Security Lessons Learned From the Diaspora Launch 338

patio11 writes "Diaspora, the privacy-respecting OSS social network, did a code release last week. Attention immediately focused on security. In fact the code base included several severe security bugs. This post walks through the code, showing what went wrong, and what it would let an attacker do to someone who was using Diaspora." The developer who wrote the post ends with: "You might believe in the powers of OSS to gather experts (or at least folks who have shipped a Rails app, like myself) to Diaspora’s banner and ferret out all the issues. You might also believe in magic code-fixing fairies. Personally, I’d be praying for the fairies because if Diaspora is dependent on the OSS community their users are screwed."

Homebrew Cray-1 140

egil writes "Chris Fenton built his own fully functional 1/10 scale Cray-1 supercomputer. True to the original, it includes the couch-seat, but is also binary compatible with the original. Instead of the power-hungry ECL technology, however, the scale model is built around a Xilinx Spartan-3E 1600 development board. All software is available if you want to build one for your own living room. The largest obstacle in the project is to find original software."

The Misleading World of Atari 2600 Box Art 267

Buffalo55 writes "These days, you don't have to worry about misleading box art, thanks to sophisticated video game graphics. In the 70s and 80s, though, companies tried to grab a consumer's attention with fancy artwork that bore no resemblance to the actual game. Atari, in particular, was one of the biggest offenders, particularly with its 2600 console."

Set Free Your Inner Jedi (Or Pyro) 463

sirgoran writes "We've all thought about being the hero fighting off evil-doers and saving the day ever since we first saw Star Wars. The folks at Wicked Lasers have now brought that a little closer to reality with their latest release: a 1-Watt blue diode laser that can set skin and other things on fire. From an article at Daily Tech, where they talk about the dangers of such a powerful laser: 'And here's the best (or worst) part — it can set people (or things) on fire. Apparently the laser is so high-powered that shining it on fleshy parts will cause them to burst into flames. Of course it's equally capable of blinding people.' The thing that caught my eye was the price: $200. I wonder if they'll be able to meet the demand, since (if it works as advertised) this will be on every geek's Christmas list."

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie