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Submission + - A Secretive Air Cargo Operation Is Running in Ohio, and Signs Point to Amazon (

citadrianne writes: In 2013, at the height of the holiday season, a surge of last minute Amazon orders and bad weather left many customers without gifts under the tree on Christmas day.

Amazon said the problem was not due to issues with its warehouses or staff, but failures on the part of UPS and other shipping partners. It apologized and reimbursed some customers with $20 gift cards, but the debacle underscored for Amazon the disadvantages of relying on third party shippers for its delivery process.

Since then, Amazon has been increasingly investing in its own alternatives, from contracting additional couriers to rolling out its own trucks in some cities.

The latest rumored venture into Amazon shipping has a name: Aerosmith.

An air cargo operation by that name launched in September of this year in Wilmington, Ohio on a trial basis. The operation is being run by the Ohio-based aviation holding company Air Transport Services Group, or ATSG, out of a state-of-the art facility. It's shipping consumer goods for a mysterious client that many believe to be Amazon.

Submission + - Spy industry leaders befuddled over "deep cynicism" of American public (

autonomous_reader writes: ARS Technica has a story on this week's Intelligence & National Security Summit, where CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey had a lot to say about the resistance of the American public to government cyber spying and anti-encryption efforts. Blaming resistance on "people who are trying to undermine" the intelligence mission of the NSA, CIA, and FBI, John Brennan explained it was all a "misunderstanding." Comey explained that "venom and deep cynicism" prevented rational debate of his campaign for cryptographic backdoors.

Submission + - Another Neurodegenerative Disease Linked To A Prion (

MTorrice writes: A new study concludes that a brain protein causes the rare, Parkinson’s-like disease called multiple systems atrophy (MSA) by acting like a prion, the misbehaving type of protein infamously linked to mad cow disease. The researchers say the results are the most definitive demonstration to date that proteins involved in many neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, exhibit prionlike behavior: They can misfold into shapes that then coax others to do the same, leading to protein aggregation that forms neurotoxic clumps. If these other diseases are caused by prionlike proteins, then scientists could develop treatments that slow or stop disease progression by designing molecules that block prion propagation.

Submission + - Ashley Madison Source Code Shows Evidence They Created Bots To Message Men (

An anonymous reader writes: Analee Newitz looked through the source code contained in the recent Ashley Madison data dump and found evidence that the company created tens of thousands of bot accounts designed to spur their male users into action by sending them messages. "The code tells the story of a company trying to weave the illusion that women on the site were plentiful and eager." The evidence suggests bots sent over 20 million messages on the website, and chatted with people over 11 million times. The vast majority of fake accounts — 70,529 to 43 — pretended to be female, and the users targeted were almost entirely men. Comments left in the code indicate some of the issues Ashley Madison's engineers had to solve: "randomizing start time so engagers don’t all pop up at the same time" and "for every single state that has guest males, we want to have a chat engager." The AI was unsophisticated, though one type of bot would try to convince men to pay and then pass them to a real person.

Submission + - NASA mulls missions to Uranus and Neptune, using the Space Launch System (

MarkWhittington writes: According to a story in Astronomy Magazine, NASA is contemplating sending flagship sized space probes to the so-called “ice giants” of Uranus and Neptune. These would be probes that would orbit the two outer planets, similar to how Galileo orbited Jupiter and how Cassini currently orbits Saturn. The only time previously NASA has had a close encounter with either of these worlds was when Voyager 2 flew by Uranus in 1986 and then Neptune in 1989. Each of these missions would happen after the Europa Clipper, a flagship-class mission scheduled for the mid-2020s

Submission + - SourceForge MITM Projects ( 2

lister king of smeg writes: What happened?

SourceForge, once a trustworthy source code hosting site, started to place misleading ads (like fake download buttons) a few years ago. They are also bundling third-party adware/malware directly with their Windows installer.

Some project managers decided to leave SourceForge – partly because of this, partly just because there are better options today. SF staff hijacked some of these abandoned accounts, partly to bundle the crapware with their installers. It has become just another sleazy garbage site with downloads of fake antivirus programs and such.

How can I help?

If you agree that SourceForge is in fact distributing malicious software under the guise of open source projects, report them to google. Ideally this will help remove them from search results, prevent others from suffering their malware and provide them with incentive to change their behavior.

As this story has been submitted several times in the past several days, by various submitter and is going around various other tech forums( , , ,) this submitter wonders has our shared "glorious Dice Corporate overloads" been shooting this story down?

Submission + - SourceForge assumes ownership of GIMP For Win, wraps installer in adware (

An anonymous reader writes: It appears that SourceForge is assuming control of all projects that appear "abandoned." In a blog update on their site, they responded saying in part "There has recently been some report that the GIMP-Win project on SourceForge has been hijacked; this project was actually abandoned over 18 months ago, and SourceForge has stepped-in to keep this project current. "

SourceForge is now offering "to establish a program to enable users and developers to help us remove misleading and confusing ads."

Submission + - First Ultraviolet Quantum Dots Shine In An LED (

ckwu writes: Researchers in South Korea have made the first quantum dots that emit ultraviolet light and used them to make a flexible, light-emitting diode. Until now, no one had succeeded in making quantum dots that emit wavelengths shorter than about 400 nm, which marks the high end of the UV spectrum. To get quantum dots that emit UV, the researchers figured out how make them with light-emitting cores smaller than 3 nm in diameter. They did it by coating a light-emitting cadmium zinc selenide nanoparticle with a zinc sulfide shell, which caused the core to shrink to 2.5 nm. The quantum dots give off true UV light, at 377 nm. An LED made with the quantum dots could illuminate the anticounterfeiting marks on a paper bill. If their lifetimes can be improved, these potentially low-cost UV LEDs could find uses in counterfeit currency detection, water sterilization, and industrial applications.

Submission + - The Mystery Of Glenn Seaborg's Missing Plutonium: Solved

KentuckyFC writes: In the early 1940s, Glenn Seaborg made the first lump of plutonium by bombarding uranium-238 with neutrons in two different cyclotrons for over a year, The resulting plutonium, chemically separated and allowed to react with oxygen, weighed 2.77 micrograms. It was the first macroscopic sample ever created and helped win Seaborg a Nobel prize ten years later. The sample was displayed at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley until the early naughties, when it somehow disappeared. Now nuclear detectives say they've found Seaborg's plutonium and have been able to distinguish it from almost all other plutonium on the planet using a special set of non-destructive tests. The team say sample is now expected to go back on display at Seaborg's old office at Berkeley.

Submission + - The Ultimate Tech the US, Russia, China and India All Want: Hypersonic Weapons (

An anonymous reader writes: They can hit any target in 30 minutes or less. They travel anywhere from Mach 5 to Mach 25. All the major powers want them and many look at them as a military game changer--if only they can make them work. Are hypersonic weapons the future of military doctrine?

Hypersonic weapons--or ballistic weapons that can hit a target flying many times faster than the speed of sound have been hyped since the 1970s. Currently almost all of the major powers are trying to build them. The US and China seem to be the furthest along and are working on various types of systems. China hopes such weapons could be a game changer and deter any US actions in Asia.

There is however one big problem (besides the insane amount of technology to make them work considering their speed): a possible arms race and the threat they could lead to a nuclear war:

"According to some analysts, the development of hypersonic weapons creates the conditions for a new arms race, and could risk nuclear escalation. Given that the course of hypersonic research has acknowledged both of these concerns, why have several countries started testing the weapons?"

Submission + - Airbus A350 XWB Enters Field Operations

jones_supa writes: The wait is finally over for aviation aficionados wanting to book a flight aboard the Airbus A350 XWB. Qatar Airways, the global launch customer of the plane, accepted delivery of their first A350 of 80 in order, during a ceremony at Airbus' headquarters in Toulouse, France, on Monday morning. This particular A350-900 will enter regular commercial service in January, operating daily flights between its Hamad International Airport hub in Doha, Qatar and Frankfurt, Germany. There are three different iterations of A350 XWB being built: the A350-800, the A350-900 and the A350-1000, which seat 270, 314 and 350 passengers, respectively, in three-class seating. The "XWB" in the name means "extra wide body." The A350 is the first Airbus with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer. Curious what it was like to be on the Tuesday delivery flight? Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren was onboard that flight and chronicled the landmark trip in photographs.

Submission + - Fish raised on land give clues to how early animals left the seas (

sciencehabit writes: When raised on land, a primitive, air-breathing fish walks much better than its water-raised comrades, according to a new study. The landlubbers even undergo skeletal changes that improve their locomotion. The work may provide clues to how the first swimmers adapted to terrestrial life. The study suggests that the ability of a developing organism to adjust to new conditions—its so-called developmental plasticity—may have played a role in the transition from sea to land.

Submission + - Another possible Voynich breakthrough, this time not by botanists

bmearns writes: Over the past few weeks we've been hearing a lot about a possible breakthrough in decoding the infamous Voynich manuscript, made by a team of botanists who suggested that the plants depicted in the manuscrit may have been from the New World and the mysterious writing could be a form of an Aztec language. But the latest development comes from linguist Stephen Bax, of Bedfordshire University, who believes he has identified some proper names (including of the constellation "Taurus") in the manuscript and is using these as a crib to begin deciphering the rest of the text, which he believes comes from the near east or Asia.

Submission + - World's oldest decimal multiplication table discovered (

ananyo writes: From a few fragments out of a collection of 23-century-old Chinese bamboo strips, historians have pieced together what they say is the world's oldest example of a multiplication table in base 10.
Each strip is about 7 to 12 millimetres wide and half a metre long, and has a vertical line of ancient Chinese calligraphy painted on it in black ink. The bamboo pieces constitute 65 ancient texts and are thought to be among the most important artefacts from the Warring States period before the unification of China. But 21 bamboo strips contained only numbers and, on closer inspection, turned out to be a multiplication table.
As in a modern multiplication table, the entries at the intersection of each row and column in the matrix provide the results of multiplying the corresponding numbers. The table can also help users to multiply any whole or half integer between 0.5 and 99.5. The researchers suspect that officials used the multiplication table to calculate surface area of land, yields of crops and the amounts of taxes owed.

Submission + - NSA Spied On Porn Habits As Part Of Plan To Discredit 'Radicalizers' (

Jah-Wren Ryel writes: The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document.

This plan is remarkably similar to the way the FBI tried to blackmail Martin Luther King, aka "the most dangerous Negro of the future in this Nation," with an audiotape they got by bugging his bedroom.

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison