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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 212 declined, 78 accepted (290 total, 26.90% accepted)

+ - World's First Airborne Wind Turbine to Bring Renewable Energy and WiFi to Alaska->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Wind turbines have become airborne! An enormous helium-filled wind turbine will soon float over the city of Fairbanks, Alaska to produce enough electricity for more than a dozen families living off the grid. Designed and built by MIT startup Altaeros Energies, the turbine known as BAT-Buoyant Airborne Turbine will hover at an altitude of 1,000 feet for 18 months, catching air currents that are five to eight times more powerful than winds on the ground."
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+ - Cops Need a Warrant to Grab Your Cell Tower Data, Florida Court Rules->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "BY KIM ZETTER 10.17.14 | 3:31 PM |

Americans may have a Florida drug dealer to thank for expanding our right to privacy.

Police departments around the country have been collecting phone metadata from telecoms and using a sophisticated spy tool to track people through their mobile phones—often without obtaining a warrant. But a new ruling out of Florida has curbed the activity in that state, on constitutional grounds. It raises hope among civil liberties advocates that other jurisdictions around the country may follow suit.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that obtaining cell phone location data to track a person’s location or movement in real time constitutes a Fourth Amendment search and therefore requires a court-ordered warrant.

The case specifically involves cell tower data for a convicted drug dealer that police obtained from a telecom without a warrant. But the way the ruling is written (.pdf), it would also cover the use of so-called “stingrays”—sophisticated technology law enforcement agencies use to locate and track people in the field without assistance from telecoms. Agencies around the country, including in Florida, have been using the technology to track suspects—sometimes without obtaining a court order, other times deliberately deceiving judges and defendants about their use of the devices to track suspects, telling judges the information came from “confidential” sources rather than disclose their use of stingrays. The new ruling would require them to obtain a warrant or stop using the devices.

The American Civil Liberties Union calls the Florida ruling “a resounding defense” of the public’s right to privacy."

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+ - Germ-zapping robot could support war against Ebola (w/ Video)->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "...Xenex is a company that produces a germ-zapping robot that could be a beneficial support in fighting potential risks of contamination in hospital settings and address sterilizing spaces contaminated by Ebola. A video from the company explains what the machine does in general: the Xenex technology utilized is all about ultraviolet light, produced by the sun in three types, UV-A, -B and -C. The A and B types cause suntans and burns, but C is filtered by the ozone layer around the earth. As it does not occur in nature, bacteria and viruses have no defense against it. When germs are exposed to UV-C, the light kills the germs. The Xenex machine, once producing this light in a hospital room, can in five minutes drastically reduce germs in the room. The user stays outside the room; with prolonged exposure, UV-C could damage the eyes; the robot must always be run in an empty room. For additional safety, an orange cone stays outside of the room, as well as caution signs for the door. Inside the room, there is a gray cone that watches out for motion. Should motion be detected, the gray cone will turn the device off. The device is run when the room is empty after the patient is discharged and terminal cleaned. The xenon bulb —the Xenex robot utilizes pulsed xenon to create UVC light—will pulse for five minutes, disinfecting the area around the device. UV-C light cannot go through glass, walls or windows."
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+ - Robot Arm Will Install New Earth-Facing Cameras On The Space Station->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Canada’s robotic Canadarm2 will install the next two Urthecast cameras on the International Space Station, removing the need for astronauts to go outside to do the work themselves, the company announced today (Sept. 30).

Urthecast plans to place two Earth-facing cameras on the United States side of the station (on Node 3) to add to the two they already have on the Russian Zvezda module. Technical problems with the cameras forced the Russians to do an extra spacewalk to complete the work earlier this year."

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+ - iOS 8.0.1 update disabling cellular and TouchID-> 1

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Update: Some users are reporting that the update is disabling cell service and TouchID buttons on some phones. I can confirm that this happened on my AT&T iPhone 6, though a Verizon iPhone 5 still seems to be getting service just fine. For now we recommend holding off—do not download and install this update yet.

Update 2: Apple has pulled the 8.0.1 update. Affected iPhone 6 users are allegedly being told by Apple support to try restoring their phones with iTunes.

Update 3: On our iPhone 6, restoring through iTunes has re-installed iOS 8.0 and it appears to be working normally. This process erases your data from the phone, but it appears to be the best way to get back up and running as of this writing."

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+ - Pot black market still thrives after Colorado legalization->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Although recreational use of marijuana has been legal in the state of Colorado for nine months, some people are still choosing to buy it on the black market. Critics say legalization has created two systems: a legal market for those who can afford it and an underground market for people who can't. PBS NewsHour Special Correspondent Rick Karr reports from Denver.

(excerpted transcript from video below)

RICK KARR: One of the benefits attached to legalization was that it would eliminate the black market. But that market is still thriving, according to a 39 year old marijuana grower who asked us to call him John Doe and to conceal his identity because he sells on the underground market.

The illegal trade is doing especially well in black and Latino communities, and he says it works the same way it did when pot was illegal.

JOHN DOE: You have that one guy, that guy that shines, that’s the Robin Hood of the neighborhood. This man supplies a little ghetto area. Simple as that. Breaks his own pound into little ounces and helps everybody in his community. So they can afford it with him. That’s how it’s happened.

RICK KARR: Yeah. And that’s how it happened before, too.

JOHN DOE: Yeah. Yeah. Nothing’s changed.

RICK KARR: John Doe says low-income buyers turn to the black market because prices are higher at legal retail stores. There’s conflicting information, but an ounce of pot on the black market can cost as little as 180 dollars. At the store Andy Williams owns, you have to pay around 240 dollars for an ounce.

That’s partly because the price includes a 15 percent excise tax, a 10 percent marijuana tax, the state sales tax, and Denver’s marijuana sales tax.

LARISA BOLIVAR: The taxes are an overreach and excessive. And it’s a regressive tax and it impacts the poor most."

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+ - Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police-> 4

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "By Craig Timberg September 17 at 9:51 PM
Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user data.

The move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal dilemma: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that makes it almost impossible for the company – or anyone else but the device’s owner – to gain access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.

The key is the encryption that Apple mobile devices automatically put in place when a user selects a passcode, making it difficult for anyone who lacks that passcode to access the information within, including photos, e-mails, recordings or other documents. Apple once kept possession of encryption keys that unlocked devices for legally binding police requests, but will no longer do so for iOS8, it said in a new guide for law enforcement.

“Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” Apple said on its Web site. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”"

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+ - What Is the Universe? Real Physics Has Some Mind-Bending Answers->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Thhe questions are as big as the universe and (almost) as old as time: Where did I come from, and why am I here? That may sound like a query for a philosopher, but if you crave a more scientific response, try asking a cosmologist.

This branch of physics is hard at work trying to decode the nature of reality by matching mathematical theories with a bevy of evidence. Today most cosmologists think that the universe was created during the big bang about 13.8 billion years ago, and it is expanding at an ever-increasing rate. The cosmos is woven into a fabric we call space-time, which is embroidered with a cosmic web of brilliant galaxies and invisible dark matter.

It sounds a little strange, but piles of pictures, experimental data and models compiled over decades can back up this description. And as new information gets added to the picture, cosmologists are considering even wilder ways to describe the universe—including some outlandish proposals that are nevertheless rooted in solid science:"

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+ - Leaked video shows Windows 9 Start menu in action->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "A leaked video shows the Windows 9 Start menu in interactive glory. If it's for real, this Start menu beats out all other previous versions, as you can see in the video I've embedded. I'd like to get my hands on it right now.

The German site WinFuture has the two-minute video, which focuses primarily on the Windows Start menu in action. I've embedded it below, so there's no need for me to give you a second-by-second narration. But there are a few important features in it that do a great job of helping turn Windows 9 into more of a unified operating system than is the kludge that is Windows 8."

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+ - Sapphire Glass didn't pass drop test-> 2

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Sapphire screens were part of the iPhone 6 design until the glass repeatedly cracked during standard drop tests conducted by Apple suppliers. So Apple abandoned its sapphire plans before the iPhone 6 product launch September 9.

VentureBeat has learned that recent supplier channel checks by an IDC analyst yielded several reports of the sapphire failures and Apple’s decision against using the glass material.

As we heard on Tuesday in Cupertino, both the iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus will ship with screens made of “ion-strengthened” glass. This was apparently Apple’s second choice.

IDC analyst Danielle Levitas says it isn’t clear when exactly the drop-test failures took place, or when Apple abandoned plans for sapphire-screened iPhones. She says the poor drop-test results, combined with the relative high cost of sapphire glass, could have made plans to ship sapphire glass phones too risky.

One researcher who covers GT Advanced Technologies, the company that was to produce the glass for the iPhone 6, wrote in a research note earlier this week that plans for the sapphire screens were cancelled in August, just weeks before the September 9 launch.

The new Apple Watches (except the “Sport” version) do use sapphire for their screens. Levitas believes that the glass for the smaller 1.5-inch and 1.7-inch watch screens was less likely to break in drop tests."

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+ - 3D-Printed Car takes it's first test drive-> 1

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "When it comes to 3D printing, new breakthroughs and new achievements are being realized almost on a daily basis. From 3D printable human tissue, to a 3D printed life-size castle, and now a 3D printed automobile, the technology never seizes to amaze.

This week, at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, Arizona-based automobile manufacturer Local Motors stole the show. Over the six day span of the IMTS, the company managed to 3D print, and assemble an entire automobile, called the ‘Strati’, live in front of spectators.

Although the Strati is not the first ever car to be 3D printed, the advancements made by Local Motor with help from Cincinnati Inc, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have produced a vehicle in days rather than months.

Last year, engineer Jim Kor designed the Urbee 2 3D printed car. The vehicle which weighed about half of what a typical automobile would weigh, was as strong as steel. What sets Local Motors’ ‘Strati’ 3D printed car apart from the likes of the Urbee 2, is the fact that they managed to print and construct the entire vehicle in just six days, whereas the Urbee 2 took 2500 print hours to complete.

This breakthrough was made possible by a machine produced by Cincinnati Inc., in cooperation with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine is capable of printing at speeds unheard of on traditional 3D printers. It is unbelievably able to lay down up to 40 pounds of carbon infused ABS plastic per hour, with precise accuracy. After an exciting six days of printing, in front of a live audience, the vehicle is finally complete. The only question that remained was, ‘Does it drive?”

As you can see by the Vine clips we have posted within this article, it most certainly does! The car, which features just 40 parts, drove out of McCormick Place in Chicago just moments ago. As to what Local Motors plans to do next with the Strati 3D printed car, now that the vehicle has been printed and drives like a charm, they will seek to launch production-level 3D printed vehicles for sale to the public in the coming months.

This is certainly a big step for all companies involved, as well as the 3D printing industry in general. Let us know your thoughts on this amazing accomplishment in the Local Motors 3D printed car forum thread on"

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+ - Steam-draining NASTY spreads via Twitch->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Beware geeks bearing gifts:
Eskimo infection will drop you right Inuit
By Iain Thomson, 12 Sep 2014

Infosec experts are warning of new malware spreading through game-streaming web hit Twitch: the software nasty subverts Steam accounts to drain player's wallets, and could take away all their precious weaponry.

The malware spreads by bombarding users of Twitch's chat feature with links to a raffle for special kit used in the popular first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Clicking on the proffered URL opens a Java application that claims to record the player's name and email address, and asks for permission to publish winner's name.

In fact it does none of this – and instead drops a Windows binary file onto the user's system to execute. Security biz F-Secure, which first noted the malware, has dubbed it Eskimo, and the rogue code searches for Steam accounts that may be present on the infected Windows system.

Eskimo allows its masters to buy items from the Steam account, sell the user's existing armory on the community market, accept new friends in the gaming market, and trade items between friends.

"All this is done from the victim's machine, since Steam has security checks in place for logging in or trading from a new machine," said F-Secure Labs in an advisory.

"It might be helpful for the users if Steam were to add another security check for those trading several items to a newly added friend and for selling items in the market with a low price based on a certain threshold. This will lessen the damages done by this kind of threat."

A spokesman for Amazon-owned Twitch told The Register that the firm has had one user contact them about the issue and it's not considered a widespread problem, although the company is taking steps to limit the spread of the malware.

"Security PSA: Do not click the 'csgoprize' link in chat. This is a phishing attempt to install malware and compromise your Steam account," said the firm's technical support team on Twitter.

"We will work to block that link, but be aware that variants could appear. In general, you should be wary of any links in chat." ®"

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+ - Significant milestone in medicine: scientists reset human stem cells->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "'

Scientists led by the Wellcome Trust Medical Research Council (MRC) Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge, UK, have discovered how to successfully "reset" human pluripotent stem cells to the earliest developmental state, equivalent to cells found in an embryo before it implants in the womb (7-9 days old) — a significant milestone in regenerative medicine.
Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can develop into cells with highly specialized functions. They can be classified according to their plasticity, or developmental versatility, and range from totipotent stem cells (the most versatile type) and pluripotent to multipotent (the least versatile).

stem cells
Pluripotent stem cells have the potential to become almost any of the cell types of the body, including muscle, nerve, heart and blood.
Pluripotent stem cells have the potential to become almost any of the cell types of the body, including muscle, nerve, heart and blood. They can be produced in a lab from cells extracted from an early stage embryo or from adult cells that have been induced into a pluripotent state.

Research using human pluripotent stem cells may help generate cells and tissue for transplantation, improve understanding of human development and what causes birth defects and cancer, and change the way drugs are developed and tested for safety.

Previously, researchers have struggled to generate human pluripotent stem cells that are in a truly "blank state." Instead, they have only been able to derive cells that have advanced slightly further down the developmental pathway and exhibit characteristics of differentiation into specific cell types.

Researchers have rendered "reset cells" by rewiring the genetic circuitry in human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. The resulting cells share attributes of authentic naïve embryonic stem cells isolated from mice, suggesting that they represent the earliest stage of development.

The breakthrough, published in Cell, marks the starting point for further understanding of human development and may eventually lead to the production of safe and reproducible materials for a range of applications including cell therapies.

MRC Prof. Austin Smith, co-author of the paper, explains:

"Capturing embryonic stem cells is like stopping the developmental clock at the precise moment before they begin to turn into distinct cells and tissues."

He adds, "Scientists have perfected a reliable way of doing this with mouse cells, but human cells have proved more difficult to arrest and show subtle differences between the individual cells. It's as if the developmental clock has not stopped at the same time, and some cells are a few minutes ahead of others.""

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+ - iPwned: How easy is it to mine Apple services, devices for data?->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Jailbreaking an iPhone to steal its secrets in the name of security research, we unleash Elcomsoft iOS Forensics Toolkit.
Sean Gallagher
Apple executives never mentioned the words "iCloud security" during the unveiling of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6+, and Apple Watch yesterday, choosing to focus on the sexier features of the upcoming iOS 8 and its connections to Apple's iCloud service. But digital safety is certainly on everyone's mind after the massive iCloud breach that resulted in many celebrity nude photos leaking across the Internet. While the company has promised fixes to both its mobile operating system and cloud storage service in the coming weeks, the perception of Apple's current security feels iffy at best.

In light of one high profile "hack," is it fair to primarily blame Apple's current setup? Is it really that easy to penetrate these defenses?

In the name of security, we did a little testing using family members as guinea pigs. To demonstrate just how much private information on an iPhone can be currently pulled from iCloud and other sources, we enlisted the help of a pair of software tools from Elcomsoft. These tools are essentially professional-level, forensic software used by law enforcement and other organizations to collect data. But to show that an attacker wouldn’t necessarily need that to gain access to phone data, we also used a pair of simpler “hacks,” attacking a family member’s account (again, with permission) by using only an iPhone and iTunes running on a Windows machine.

As things stand right now, a determined attacker will still find plenty of ways to get to iPhone data. They need to gain physical access to the device, or harvest or crack credentials to do so. But there are ways to do this that won't alert the victim. The weakest links are components of the iCloud service."

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+ - Austalian man has microchip implanted in his hand->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Ben Slater of Brisbane is more than ready to have Apple premiere the launch of its new iPhone6 on September 9. The Australian man has already undergone a procedure two weeks ago at a local tattoo parlor that implanted a microchip the size of a grain of rice in the webbing of his left hand. Slater, who works in the field of advertising, hopes that the insertion of the radio-frequency ID chip will enable him to control an assortment of electronic devices by simply waving his left hand.
Mr Slater said the procedure to implant the microchip was painful, but over quickly.
‘I just needed to be really careful when it was healing over the course of the two weeks later so that I didn’t move it – otherwise it could have travelled in my hand,’ he said.

Slater is betting that once he has the new iPhone6 in his possession, the latest smart phone will be able to read the inserted hi-tech device to make him able to perform a number of effortless activities as if by magic. These include being able to open the front door of his home, turn on the electric lights, and connect to assorted logs containing such data as health records and names, addresses and phone numbers of his network of associates and friends, all by just waving his microchip-inserted left hand.

Alt. link:"

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