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+ - Black Hat presentation on TOR suddenly cancelled->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "A presentation on a low-budget method to unmask users of a popular online privacy tool, TOR, will no longer go ahead at the Black Hat security conference early next month. The talk was nixed by the legal counsel with Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute after a finding that materials from researcher Alexander Volynkin were not approved for public release, according to a notice on the conference’s website. https://www.blackhat.com/lates... Volynkin, a research scientist with the university’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) was due to give a talk entitled “You Don’t Have to be the NSA to Break Tor: Deanonymizing Users on a Budget” at the conference, which take places Aug. 6-7 in Last Vegas."
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+ - Dell Starts Accepting Bitcoin->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Mainstream retail companies have been slow to adopt Bitcoin, perhaps skeptical of its long-term value or unwilling to expend the effort required to put a payment system into place. Today, Bitcoin adoption got a momentum boost with Dell's announcement that it will accept Bitcoin as a payment method. Dell is by far the biggest company to start accepting Bitcoin. It's interesting to note that Dell, like many of the larger companies interacting with Bitcoin right now, is doing so through a third-party payment processor. On one hand, it's good — we don't necessarily want each company building their own implementation and possibly screwing it up. On the other hand, it scales back slightly the decentralized and feeless nature of Bitcoin, which are important features to many of its supporters."
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+ - Amazon Offers "All You Can Read" Service for Kindle eBooks->

Submitted by destinyland
destinyland (578448) writes "Amazon's just announced a new "all you can read" service for Kindle ebooks. (It'll be $9.99 a month, but right now they're giving away a free 30-day trial.) It'll also be available on the iPad and iPhone (as well as Android tablets and smartphones) through the Kindle apps, and the service will also include audiobooks — plus a free three-month subscription to Audible. Although one technology site speculates Amazon made the move because too many Kindle owners were getting their ebooks from Amazon's "free" section."
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+ - Preparing for Satellite War->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "In May 2013 the Chinese government conducted what it called a science space mission from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China. The liftoff took place at night and employed a powerful rocket as well as a truck-based launch vehicle

The Pentagon never commented in detail on last year’s launch — and the Chinese have stuck to their story

The U.S. is most vulnerable to a Chinese attack because 43 percent of all satellites in orbit belong to the U.S. military or U.S. companies. According to Lance Gatling, president of Nexial Research, an aerospace consultant in Tokyo, Besides testing missiles that can intercept and destroy satellites, the Chinese have developed jamming techniques to disrupt satellite communications. Furthermore, the Chinese have studied ground-based lasers that could take down a satellite’s solar panels, and satellites equipped with grappling arms that could co-orbit and then disable expensive U.S. hardware

U.S. is exploring ways to mitigate the perceived threat from China, including dispatching a fleet of smaller, mobile satellites that would be harder for adversaries to find and destroy. Enabling satellite transmitters to quickly hop between frequencies could address the Chinese jamming threat, Gatling says.

In June the U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin (LMT) a $914 million contract to build a ground-based radar system that will track objects as small as a baseball, which could help identify a satellite attack as it’s happening. “Destroying someone’s satellite is an act of war,” says Dave Baiocchi, an engineering professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. “You need to know what’s going on up there.”"

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+ - The Search for a Fifth Force of Nature->

Submitted by Jonathan Salinas
Jonathan Salinas (3748663) writes "They're really beginning to consider killing SUSY because they are seeing that it has produced no concrete experimental evidence when it should have already. This sounds like quite the farce of force, but at least it's opening a path to the next step in uncovering the truth.

From the article: http://www.bbc.com/news/scienc...
"According to the simplest versions of the theory, supersymmetric particles should have been discovered at the LHC by now...Next year will be an important year for SUSY. The LHC will be smashing atoms together at almost twice the energy it did in its first run. Even those who are still strong advocates of SUSY, such as Cern's revered professor of theoretical physics, John Ellis, agree that if LHC scientists do not find super particles in the LHC's second run, it might be time for the hospital patient to be moved to the mortuary.

One of the alternative models being considered is the composite Higgs theory: "The composite Higgs theory also solves the fine tuning problem, albeit less elegantly and, just as with SUSY, there is no experimental evidence for it. It supposes that the Higgs is not a fundamental particle, but is instead made up of other fundamental particles bound together by a hitherto unseen fifth force of nature. This is similar to what is already known to happen with the strong nuclear force, which binds quarks together to produce nuclear particles like protons and neutrons.""

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+ - Consciousness on-off switch discovered deep in brain->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "ONE moment you're conscious, the next you're not. For the first time, researchers have switched off consciousness by electrically stimulating a single brain area.

Although only tested in one person, the discovery suggests that a single area – the claustrum – might be integral to combining disparate brain activity into a seamless package of thoughts, sensations and emotions. It takes us a step closer to answering a problem that has confounded scientists and philosophers for millennia – namely how our conscious awareness arises.

When the team zapped the area with high frequency electrical impulses, the woman lost consciousness. She stopped reading and stared blankly into space, she didn't respond to auditory or visual commands and her breathing slowed. As soon as the stimulation stopped, she immediately regained consciousness with no memory of the event. The same thing happened every time the area was stimulated during two days of experiments.

What happens when a government can do this to a person remotely or enmass? Tin foil hat time."

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+ - Study: Whales are ecosystem engineers

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers had previously thought that, being excessively uncommon and migrant, whales didn't have much of an effect on the more extensive marine environment. However, a new study distributed in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment gives whales a role as “engineers” of the oceans. In the study, scientists from the University of Vermont suggest that the 13 types of extraordinary whale have an essential and positive impact on the capacity of seas, on carbon storage, and on the state of fisheries around the globe. "The decline in great whale numbers, estimated to be at least 66% and perhaps as high as 90%, has likely altered the structure and function of the oceans, but recovery is possible and in many cases is already underway," researchers wrote in an article announcing their investigation."

+ - Newly spotted frozen world orbits in a binary star system

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A newly discovered planet in a binary, or twin, star system located 3,000 light-years from Earth is expanding astronomers’ notions of where Earth-like planets can form. At twice the mass of Earth, the planet orbits one of the stars in the binary system at almost exactly the same distance at which Earth orbits the sun. However, because the planet’s host star is much dimmer than the sun, the planet is much colder than Earth. “This greatly expands the potential locations to discover habitable planets in the future,” said Scott Gaudi, professor of astronomy at Ohio State. “Half the stars in the galaxy are in binary systems. We had no idea if Earth-like planets in Earth-like orbits could even form in these systems.”"

+ - Autonomous Trucking->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We've heard about all the effort going into self-driving cars, but what about the massive fleet of trucks we use to deliver goods around the country? Well, Mercedes is trying to tackle that problem. They have just demonstrated an autonomous 18-wheeler on the German Autobahn. It's clearly a long-term project — they named it "Future Truck 2025," as an unsubtle reminder that this tech needs a lot of development before it's ready for common use. "Special cameras and multiple radar systems watch the road, the sides of the road, and cars and trucks behind the vehicle. Future Truck is also envisioned to communicate with other vehicles and connect to growing sources of online information as Big Data balloons on the road. ... Many of the component parts to put a vehicle like this into production are already available in trucks on the market: Systems that help drivers keep their distance from other drivers, active braking assistance, guidance and mapping systems, and fine-tuned cruise control and tons of other hi-tech tchotchke.""
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