Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Hardware Security (Score 1) 80

Somehow the mechanical 'hook' gets bypassed in some versions of the 'ID'. Someone here who is more knowledgeable than I might be able to explain it is done. A quick search of "infinity device" brought up these links...


Comment: Re:Makes me moist... (Score 3, Informative) 37

by SternisheFan (#48638865) Attached to: NASA Video Shows What It's Like To Reenter the Earth's Atmosphere

That time that it takes for the main chutes to fully open has got to be a real nailbiter.

I could be by design...

Nice! (From your link): A slider is a small rectangular piece of fabric with a grommet near each corner used to control the deployment of a "ram-air" parachute. A ram-air parachute has a tendency to open very rapidly. At high velocities, the opening shock from such a rapid deployment can cause damage to the canopy or injury to the jumper. The slider was developed as a way of mitigating this. During deployment, the slider slides down from the canopy to just above the risers. It is slowed by air resistance as it descends and reduces the rate at which the lines can spread and therefore the speed at which the canopy can open and inflate.[1] This invention solved the rapid deployment problem with ram-air designs. Sliders also reduce the chance of the lines twisting to cause a malfunction.

+ - Birds 'heard tornadoes coming' and fled one day ahead->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Scientists say tracking data shows that five golden-winged warblers "evacuated" their nesting site one day before the April 2014 tornado outbreak.

Geolocators showed the birds left the Appalachians and flew 700km (400 miles) south to the Gulf of Mexico.

The next day, devastating storms swept across the south and central US.

Writing in the journal Current Biology, ecologists suggest these birds — and others — may sense such extreme events with their keen low-frequency hearing.

Remarkably, the warblers had completed their seasonal migration just days earlier, settling down to nest after a 5,000km (3,100 mile) journey from Colombia.

Dr Henry Streby, from the University of California, Berkeley, said he initially set out to see if tracking the warblers was even possible.

"This was just a pilot season for a larger study that we're about to start," Dr Streby told the BBC.

"These are very tiny songbirds — they weigh about nine grams.

"The fact that they came back with the geolocators was supposed to be the great success of this season. Then this happened!"

Everybody out
Working with colleagues from the Universities of Tennessee and Minnesota, Dr Streby tagged 20 golden-winged warblers in May 2013, in the Cumberland Mountains of north-eastern Tennessee.

The birds nest and breed in this region every summer, and can be spotted around the Great Lakes and the Appalachian Mountains.

golden-winged warbler
The golden-winged warblers were being tracked as part of a pilot study of their normal, seasonal migration
After disappearing to Colombia for the winter, 10 of the tagged warblers returned in April 2014. The team was in the field observing them when they received advance warning of the tornadoes.

"We evacuated ourselves to the waffle house in Caryville, Tennessee, for the one day that the storm was really bad," Dr Streby said.

Elsewhere in the US the storm had more drastic consequences. At least 84 tornadoes caused 35 fatalities and more than $1bn (£0.6bn) in property damage.

After the storm had blown over, the team recaptured five of the warblers and removed the geolocators.

These are tiny devices weighing about half a gram, which measure light levels. Based on the timing and length of the days they record, these gadgets allow scientists to calculate and track the approximate location of migratory birds.

In this case, all five indicated that the birds had taken unprecedented evasive action, beginning one to two days ahead of the storm's arrival.

"The warblers in our study flew at least 1,500km (932 miles) in total," Dr Streby said.

They escaped just south of the tornadoes' path — and then went straight home again. By 2 May, all five were back in their nesting area.

Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
Aerial footage, captured by a drone in the wake of the storms, shows emergency vehicles and debris on a highway in Arkansas
Remarkably, the warblers' evacuation commenced while the closest tornado was still hundreds of miles away. Weather conditions in the nesting area were still nothing out of the ordinary.

Distant rumble
The most likely tip-off was the deep rumble that tornadoes produce, well below what humans can hear.

Noise in this "infrasound" range travels thousands of kilometres, and may serve as something of an early warning system for animals that can pick it up.

"It's very unlikely that this species is the only group doing this," Dr Streby said.

Even from casual birdwatching in the area as the storm drew nearer, he said, "It seemed like there were far fewer birds — so I suspect it's not a species-specific trait."

Dr Chris Hewson, a senior research ecologist at the British Trust for Ornithology, told BBC News that infrasound was a plausible explanation.

He pointed out that several birds, including falcons, are thought to use infrasound to help them navigate.

"And you can see from the weather data that there doesn't appear to be any alternative cue that they could be picking up on," he said."

Link to Original Source

+ - ISS astronaut needs a wrench, NASA successfully 'emails' him one->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "An astronaut aboard the International Space Station needed a socket wrench, so NASA engineers emailed him designs for 3D-printing one. What a world we're living in.

Before 3D printing, if astronauts needed something that wasn't already aboard the ISS, they would have to wait several months for the next shuttle to arrive. Now, scientists and engineers on the ground can design whatever the astronauts might need, and send the file directly to the 3D printer aboard the ISS to be printed and used immediately. A post on Medium by Made in Space co-founder Mike Chen outlines the process.

Made in Space is the group created to design, build and ultimately send a zero-gravity 3D printer to the ISS. The company heard that Wilmore needed a ratcheting socket wrench, and fired up its CAD (computer-aided design and drafting) software and designed one. Once the design for the wrench was complete, they converted it to a 3D-printer-ready format called G-code, and sent it over to NASA, which beamed it up to the ISS where it was printed automatically.

The wrench, as well as the 20 other objects that have been 3D-printed on the ISS thus far, will be sent back to Earth for further analysis. Made in Space plans to compare these 21 objects to identical 3D-printed objects that were printed on Earth to test things like the effect of long-term microgravity on the 3D-printing process so they can model and predict how well things printed in space will hold up in the future. From there, they can further enhance their 3D printer and printing technology to build better objects for use in space.

So, now that scientists have successfully emailed plans for an object to be 3D-printed aboard the ISS, it's only a matter of time before they figure out how to Snapchat or Yo the designs to space."

Link to Original Source

+ - Help for 11 year old that wants to grow up to make games? 3

Submitted by Mr. Jones
Mr. Jones (3956113) writes "Looking for some help... My son who is 11 years old is fascinated by games and mostly game mechanics. He has been playing everything from Magic to WarFrame since he was 5 years old. He seems mostly interested in creating the lore and associated mechanics of the games (Architecture) verses the actual programming. If it was only programming I could help him, but I am lost when it comes to helping him learn more formal ways of developing and defining game play. I really see a talent for this in him and I want to support it anyway I can. So any help with identifying conferences, programs, books, websites, etc, would be appreciated."

Comment: Re:Hardware Security (Score 2) 80

Except with the land line, someone has to go find your physical wire pair and connect to it. This is a software hack.

As far back to (at least) the 1970's/80's there was the "Infinity device". You connected it between your phone and landline, dial any number and that phone would connect without ringing. This allowed the person using the device to eavesdrop on the conversation in the room the target phone was located.

(From Wiki): An infinity transmitter (also known as a harmonica bug) is a surveillance device used to covertly monitor conversation in a room through a telephone line. Its name derives from the fact that, by using a telephone line as a transmitter, it can work at an infinite distance, unlike other bugging devices that have only a finite signal range. The alternative name 'harmonica bug' refers to the fact that such devices were originally activated using the tone produced by a harmonica. Design of infinity transmitters has varied, according to developments in telephone systems. In some instances, the bug is activated after the target answers and hangs up their phone. In countries where there is a delay between connection and the first ring, the bug can be activated before the target phone rings, so that the infinity transmitter essentially 'answers' the call. In more advanced systems, the transmitter can be placed in a parallel telephone line to prevent the victim's phone line remaining engaged. As modern telephone lines no longer establish a voice path until the call is answered a variant of this now exists that uses CND, or caller ID. Usually an unusual sequence of non printing characters is used and thus will not show up on a display device. Sometimes the caller ID device itself has the bug but it can be nearly anywhere. In much the same manner a cellphone can be configured for silence on ring and auto answer and hidden, frequently placed inside something that has power available to maintain the battery. This allows the infinity transmitter to be hidden inside an automobile or other location where a land line is not an option.

Comment: Re:Antique laws are to blame (Score 1) 441

by SternisheFan (#48637367) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

Not this garbage again. If this is true please answer this. Where are Hearst vast forests? Plesae give coordinates so far there is more proof of the elephant graveyard. However you can easily find receipts of his newspaper companies purchasing large quantities of paper and of the paper companies purchasing wood. Since there are no vast Hearst forests he then had to be the stupidest business man in history since he was throwing away a resource that would of resulted in cheaper production costs for him. The reason later laws, the 1937 was a taxation law, passed was not some mythical Hearst stopping it but that the public got upset with the stories and effect on people it was causing.

One comment up, an AC posted this: "Hearst's forest land in Mexico was nationalized in 1937, just as they nationalized oil lands in 1938. No wonder Hearst hated Mexicans. And with high unemployment there was unreasoning hatred over jobs, just as now, even though most americans didn't do agricultural work, just as now. The forests no longer exist because most of them have since been cut down. Much of that was done illegally by drug cartels. The 1937 law was a prohibition masquerading as a tax.

The garbage is the propaganda campaign that resulted, and which you have apparently swallowed whole. Reefer Madness."

This was the beginning of the demonizing of hemp/marijuana. Those wealthy men then had an (erroneous) belief that their dynasties were being threatened by hemp. They purposely used the word "marijuana" in their anti-hemp campaigns because it was a foreign (Mexican) sounding word that scared people far more than the word "hemp". Marijuana would corrupt our youth and lead to dark-skinned men defiling our white women/ daughters. All of this and more due to now dead white men who (then) were feeling their source of income was being threatened.

Comment: Antique laws are to blame (Score 2, Informative) 441

by SternisheFan (#48632701) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot
This whole criminalization debacle was started by paper magnate William Randolph Hearst and his buddies to keep hemp from competing with their product. Why U.S. citizens are still jailed for pot in this day and age is idiotic, we aren't living in the 1930's anymore, are we?

(From Wiki) - Regulations and restrictions on the sale of cannabis sativa as a drug began as early as 1860 (see Legal history of cannabis in the United States). The head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), Harry J. Anslinger, argued that, in the 1930s, the FBN had noticed an increase of reports of people smoking marijuana. He had also, in 1935, received support from president Franklin D. Roosevelt for adoption of the Uniform State Narcotic Act, state laws that included regulations of cannabis. The total production of hemp fiber in the United States had in 1933 decreased to around 500 tons/year. Cultivation of hemp began to increase in 1934 and 1935 but production remained at very low volume compared with other fibers.

Some parties have argued that the aim of the Act was to reduce the size of the hemp industry largely as an effort of businessmen Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family. The same parties have argued that with the invention of the decorticator, hemp had become a very cheap substitute for the paper pulp that was used in the newspaper industry. These parties argue that Hearst felt that this was a threat to his extensive timber holdings. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America, had invested heavily in the Du Pont family's new synthetic fiber, nylon, a fiber that was competing with hemp. In 1916, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) chief scientists Jason L. Merrill and Lyster H. Dewey created a paper, USDA Bulletin No. 404 "Hemp Hurds as Paper-Making Material", in which they concluded that paper from the woody inner portion of the hemp stem broken into pieces, so called hemp hurds, was "favorable in comparison with those used with pulp wood". Dewey and Merrill believed that hemp hurds were a suitable source for paper production. However, later research does not confirm this. The concentration of cellulose in hemp hurds is only between 32% and 38% (not 77%, a number often repeated by Jack Herer and others on the Internet). Manufacture of paper with hemp as a raw material has shown that hemp lacks the qualities needed to become a major competitor to the traditional paper industry, which still uses wood or waste paper as raw material. In 2003, 95% of the hemp hurds in the EU were used for animal bedding, almost 5% were used as building material.

+ - NASA Satellite's 1st CO2 Maps of Earth Revealed->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "This past summer, NASA launched its first satellite devoted to measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas that is driving global warming.

Today (Dec. 18), scientists with the space agency unveiled the first carbon maps obtained by the spacecraft, named the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2.

OCO-2 only started collecting its first scientifically useful information at the end of September, but the initial results "are quite amazing," said Annmarie Eldering, OCO-2 deputy project scientist, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

In a news briefing at the 47th annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Eldering and her colleagues showed a map of the globe that uses about 600,000 data points taken by OCO-2 from Oct. 1 through Nov. 17. It shows hotspots of carbon dioxide over northern Australia, southern Africa and eastern Brazil.

These carbon spikes could be explained by agricultural fires and land clearing — practices that are widespread during spring in the Southern Hemisphere, OCO-2 scientists said.

The satellite has a grading spectrometer to measure carbon dioxide levels with a precision of about 1 part per million, or ppm. (Today's carbon concentration, 400 ppm, is the highest in at least 800,000 years. This number means there are 400 molecules of carbon dioxide in the air per every million air molecules. Before the Industrial Revolution, carbon concentration was thought to be about 280 ppm.)"

Link to Original Source

+ - Colorado sued by neighboring states over legal pot-> 2

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "The attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma sued Colorado in the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, arguing state-legalized marijuana from Colorado is improperly spilling across state lines.

The suit invokes the federal government's right to regulate both drugs and interstate commerce, and says Colorado's decision to legalize marijuana has been "particularly burdensome" to police agencies on the other side of the state line.

In June, USA TODAY highlighted the flow of marijuana from Colorado into small towns across Nebraska: felony drug arrests in Chappell, Neb., just 7 miles north of the Colorado border have skyrocketed 400% in three years.

"In passing and enforcing Amendment 64, the state of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system enacted by the United States Congress. Marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining plaintiff states' own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice systems," says the lawsuit. "The Constitution and the federal anti-drug laws do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local pro-drug policies and licensed distribution schemes throughout the country which conflict with federal laws.""

Link to Original Source

Those who can, do; those who can't, write. Those who can't write work for the Bell Labs Record.