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Comment: Re:Since when do eBay and Paypal compete? (Score 1) 69

by RubberDogBone (#48033767) Attached to: eBay To Spin Off PayPal

They compete in the sense that eBay + PayPal is a competitor to something like Amazon which means Amazon won't let people pay via PayPal.

Split off, with PayPal on its own again, then only eBay will compete with Amazon directly, although PayPal will still compete with Amazon payments, there is a better chance Amazon will accept it, since they want to let people spend money.

And on the other side, there is no real advantage to eBay in keeping PayPal linked. It will still be a payment option just as it is now.

+ - Malware program targets Hong Kong protesters using Apple devices->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "A malware program that targets Hong Kong activists using Apple devices has trademarks of being developed by a nation-state, possibly China, according to a security company.

Lacoon Mobile Security of San Francisco wrote on its blog on Tuesday that the malware, called Xsser mRAT, is the “first and most advanced, fully operational Chinese iOS trojan found to date.”

The Apple malware is related to a malicious Android one found last month that advertised itself as a way for activists to coordinate protests, Lacoon wrote.

Hong Kong has seen massive demonstrations after China moved to only allow candidates it approves to run in the election of the territory’s chief executive in 2017. Activists charge China reneged on a promise of an election without restrictions.

It’s not usual to see malware emerge that has been customized to capitalize on current events, and security experts have long documented programs suspected to have been created to monitor dissidents and activists.

Xsser mRAT can steal SMS messages, call logs, location data, photos, address books, data from the Chinese messaging application Tencent and passwords from the iOS keychain, Lacoon wrote.

“Although it shows initial signs of being a targeted attack on Chinese protesters, the full extent of how Xsser mRAT is being used is anyone’s guess,” the company wrote. “It can cross borders easily, and is possibly being operated by a Chinese-speaking entity to spy on individuals, foreign companies or even entire governments.”"

Link to Original Source

+ - Something keeps coming and going in a sea on Titan

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Cassini images taken in 2007, 2013, and 2014 of one of Titan’s largest hydrocarbon seas find that a mysterious feature there keeps appearing and disappearing.

The mysterious feature, which appears bright in radar images against the dark background of the liquid sea, was first spotted during Cassini’s July 2013 Titan flyby. Previous observations showed no sign of bright features in that part of Ligeia Mare. Scientists were perplexed to find the feature had vanished when they looked again, over several months, with low-resolution radar and Cassini’s infrared imager. This led some team members to suggest it might have been a transient feature. But during Cassini’s flyby on August 21, 2014, the feature was again visible, and its appearance had changed during the 11 months since it was last seen.

Scientists on the radar team are confident that the feature is not an artifact, or flaw, in their data, which would have been one of the simplest explanations. They also do not see evidence that its appearance results from evaporation in the sea, as the overall shoreline of Ligeia Mare has not changed noticeably. The team has suggested the feature could be surface waves, rising bubbles, floating solids, solids suspended just below the surface, or perhaps something more exotic.

That the seasons are slowly changing on Titan is probably contributing to the transient nature of this feature."

+ - Are the world's religions ready for ET?-> 2

Submitted by Science_afficionado
Science_afficionado (932920) writes "At the current rate of discovery, astronomers will have identified more than a million exoplanets by the year 2045. That means, if life is at all common in the Milky Way, astronomers will soon detect it. Realization that the nature of the debate about life on other worlds is about to fundamentally change lead Vanderbilt astronomer David Weintraub to begin thinking seriously about how people will react to such a discovery. He realized that people's reactions will be heavily influenced by their religious beliefs, so he decided to find out what theologians and leaders from the world's major religions have to say about the matter. The result is a book titled "Religions and Extraterrestrial Life" published by Springer this month. He discovered that from Baptists to Buddhists, from Catholics to Mormons, from Islam to the Anglican Communion religious views differ widely."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Space Wars will be one-hit conflicts (Score 1) 442

by RubberDogBone (#48018001) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

Unlike most fictional versions of space war, the real thing will likely be a one-hit, one-fight battle, simply because spaceships are typically sensitive machines that don't tolerate damage too well. Even an armored space battleship would still have weaknesses, namely in whatever it uses for sensing and aiming.

In a battle scenario where missiles or even lasers were used, these sensors and other equipment would likely take on significant damage and immediately be rendered inert. The attacked ships might be so deaf or blind they might be unable to fight back even if they wanted to. Repair facilities would be weeks or months or years away, and spare parts probably not an option given how long it takes the ISS crew to plan, train, practice, and actually execute even simple repairs.

It would not take a formal battle to accomplish this either, merely a first salvo surprise attack of some time, perhaps a surprise only in that the target didn't see it coming until it was too late rather then a significant sneaking operation. The attacker would be able to do this at a huge distance and maintain their own safe condition at the same time, so it would present little risk to them to try it. Which means they would be that much more likely to give it a go.

So in summary, it will be easy to damage enemy ships at the start of a fight, there will be little consequence to doing so, and there will be no way for the losing side to repair and resume the fight. Thinking as a military commander, it would be much better to keep forces on the planet where trading bullets or bombs results in significant tactical opportunity to change the battle. No commander would like a battle where one salvo ends it. There is no fun in that. There is no tactics in that.

Who wins comes down not to planning or anything valued by traditional military colleges but instead because a factor only of who fires first and perhaps has the best results hitting a target.

Comment: Re:Bet most water is older than the sun (Score 1) 173

by RubberDogBone (#48001231) Attached to: Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

Well of course. It takes Supernovae to make things like Oxygen and gold and to disperse Iron and other elements, so ALL this stuff had to exist or be made long before it coalesced into the Solar nebula and eventually formed planets and a star.

The iron in your blood was made inside an exploding star a very long time ago. Look at your hand and think about that: what you take for granted has already been through some of the most violent explosions in the known universe. But today, you mostly use it for .... well... we know.

Comment: This is good: we didn't send a camera on ours (Score 0) 112

by RubberDogBone (#48001219) Attached to: Indian Mars Mission Beams Back First Photographs

This is good stuff, as the NASA mission that just arrived at Mars lacked any sort of camera instruments. Nothing but a UV detector. Wow. So we won't get any Mars photos back from this one. I suppose we sort of know what Mars looks like but still... India sent back pictures. Not bad, India. Congrats! Welcome to Mars!

Comment: Re:Application (Score 1) 50

by RubberDogBone (#48001207) Attached to: FAA Clears Movie and TV Drones For Takeoff

There will be no other drone permits in the area so no interaction with other company's drones.

I am not sure I read anything that prevents a leasure user from flying his or her drones into the airspace being used by a movie or TV production. In fact, somebody playing around with a drone they got off eBay or Amazon has less regulation to worry about and/or probably doesn't know what the rules are anyway. And what better place to play with it than the set of Batman 8 or Transformers 891?

Productions are going to probably notice rogue private drones but even if they don't LIKE it, I am not sure they have any standing to do anything about it any more than if somebody was in an office or apartment overlooking a movie set below.

Comment: The drone has already left the building (Score 1) 50

by RubberDogBone (#48001183) Attached to: FAA Clears Movie and TV Drones For Takeoff

Can hardly turn on a "reality" TV show these days without some shots clearly from some kind of drone. This camera work has been going on for years, quietly.

Goofball shows like Gold Rush even worked the camera drone into an epsiode -they used a blimp drone but it was still a drone and still used for filming, albeit to wimpy effect. I saw a show the other day, clearly shot IN the US which used a drone for a nice swooping panorama -I wish I could remember which one it was. And I remember thinking, this shot is hella illegal. But it still got filmed. I am not sure reality TV can film now without these tricks. They've forgotten how to get the shot other ways.

All Hollywood is trying to do here is say I'm sorry after the fact, instead of please may I beforehand. And the FAA is going along with it, as they should frankly. It can't be stopped at this point so they might as well regulate it.

Comment: Re:NASA bureaucracy at it again (Score 1) 51

by RubberDogBone (#47853983) Attached to: NASA Panel Finds Fault WIth Curiosity Rover Project's Focus

Tin foil wheels? Did they ever, I dunno, make one and test it?

I wonder what the design spec was like. "Make a wheel out of some of the flimsiest stuff possible and make it travel over extremely aggressive terrain in an extreme environment" Sounds like a great plan. At least they didn't choose tissue paper -THAT might have been worse.

Comment: Re:not so fast (Score 2) 128

by RubberDogBone (#47755303) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

It takes a long time to teach our kids because the system we have for teaching them is horribly inefficient and has been for thousands of years at this point.

But it carries on not because it's good but instead because it is so indoctrinated and there is no allowance to try anything radically different. If you try even things like "new math" parents freak out because that's not what they learned.

In fact, the entire schooling process we have, from primary schools to colleges and post-graduate should be reexamined at every level. Does it make sense to do it this way, or are we doing it this way, effectively spending a third of someone's life on school, only because the system is dedicated to this method?

Basically, the concepts of college as we know them are at least several hundred years old. Virtually every area of science and medicine and life itself has changed over that time, however we still teach basically the same way. This doesn't make any sense. That process should have changed and evolved like all the others but it largely hasn't. This should be questioned by anyone -are we doing this the right way? Does it make sense? Or is there a better way?

However everybody currently on the loose was educated that way so they have no incentive to change it for new kids, and of course the educators themselves have little or no incentive to reinvent how they do what they do, and even the parents have no incentive to let their child try a new way that may jeopardize the child's accomplishments compared to other kids -nobody wants their kid to be the first one to never actually have a diploma for something, for example.

Spending a third of someone's life on schooling years is on the face of it ridiculous. But I don't think this can possibly change. And that's too bad.

Comment: Re:BTSync (Score 1) 275

by RubberDogBone (#47746369) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

Dropbox gave me 50GB free because I bought a certain cell phone, but I left the moment it became clear they let the NSA do anything they wanted.

Hell no.

That has actually burned me on cloud for anything that isn't PGPd already, but honestly I should have been doing that from the start. Lesson learned.

Comment: Lots (Score 1) 260

by RubberDogBone (#47744081) Attached to: How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

I run three wifi routers in my home, using up three 2.4GHz channels (yes neighborhood, I am the one taking most of the bandwidth; bite me) and two more on 5GHz, with the option, if I wanted it, to have two more guest channels on each band. Don't currently use the guest networks.

One of the 2.4 channels is dedicated to the wifi cameras on the back of the house. The second 2.4 is for the cameras on the front of the house. Each one has multiple camera feeds going on so they continuously saturate the bandwidth, or at least hog it, and this many cameras requires more than one channel to be effective. The third 2.4 is for any other wifi device that lacks 5GHz, which right now is a Roku and a laptop which is usually wire-connected anyway. All of these channels have different names so devices will not hop channels.

The two 5Ghz channels are for smartphones, the only things I have which can use 5GHz. Really only need one of these to be active but I am testing a new Netgear router so doing A-B compares on which one performs better at 5GHz.

And of course all of the APs and routers are tied into gigabit ethernet. I don't use WPS.

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.