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Submission + - What Went Wrong With the SpaceX Landing Attempt (

An anonymous reader writes: Last week, SpaceX attempted to land a Falcon 9 rocket on an autonomous ocean platform after successfully launching supplies to the ISS. It didn't work, but Elon Musk said they were close. Now, a few frames were recovered from an onboard camera, and they show just how close it was. You can see the rocket hitting the platform while descending at an angle, falling sideways, and exploding. Musk said a few days ago that not only do they know what the problem was, but they've already solved it. The rocket's guiding fins require hydraulic fluid to operate. They had enough fluid to operate for 4 minutes, but ran out just prior to landing. Their next launch already carries 50% more hydraulic fluid, so it shouldn't be an issue next time.

Submission + - SpaceX Releases Dramatic Video of Crashing Rocket (

astroengine writes: Last week, SpaceX attempted the unprecedented return the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket after a successful launch of the Dragon cargo vehicle to the International Space Station. The rocket landing attempt was not successful, however; it hit the company’s unmanned landing platform in the Atlantic Ocean and exploded. But the fact that it made contact with the small platform at all suggests that Elon Musk’s private spaceflight company is on the right track.

Submission + - Humans have pushed Planet Earth beyond the pale (

Taco Cowboy writes: As reported in Washington Post ~ ~ humans have pushed the Planet Earth beyond the breaking point in four (4) out of the nine (9) boundaries in Nature

... and they are ...

* The extinction rate;

* Deforestation;

* The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere;

... and ...

* The flow of nitrogen and phosphorous ( used on land as fertilizer ) into the ocean

That is the conclusion of a new paper published Thursday in the journal Science by 18 researchers trying to gauge the breaking points in the natural world

The researchers focused on nine separate planetary boundaries first identified by scientists in a 2009 paper. These boundaries set theoretical limits on changes to the environment, and include ozone depletion, freshwater use, ocean acidification, atmospheric aerosol pollution and the introduction of exotic chemicals and modified organisms

Beyond each planetary boundary is a “zone of uncertainty.” This zone is meant to acknowledge the inherent uncertainties in the calculations, and to offer decision-makers a bit of a buffer, so that they can potentially take action before it’s too late to make a difference. Beyond that zone of uncertainty is the unknown — planetary conditions unfamiliar to us

Pierrehumbert, who was not involved in the paper published in Science, added that a planetary boundary "is like an avalanche warning tape on a ski slope"

The scientists say there is no certainty that catastrophe will follow the transgression of these boundaries. Rather, the scientists cite the precautionary principle: We know that human civilization has risen and flourished in the past 10,000 years — an epoch known as the Holocene — under relatively stable environmental conditions

No one knows what will happen to civilization if planetary conditions continue to change. But the authors of the Science paper write that the planet "is likely to be much less hospitable to the development of human societies"

Submission + - Google Releases More Windows Bugs (

An anonymous reader writes: Just days after Google angered Microsoft by releasing information about a Windows security flaw, they've now released two more. "The more serious of the two allows an attacker to impersonate an authorized user, and then decrypt or encrypt data on a Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 device. Google reported that bug to Microsoft on Oct. 17, 2014, and made some background information and a proof-of-concept exploit public on Thursday. Project Zero is composed of several Google security engineers who investigate not only the company's own software, but that of other vendors as well. After reporting a flaw, Project Zero starts a 90-day clock, then automatically publicly posts details and sample attack code if the bug has not been patched." Microsoft says there's no evidence these flaws have been successfully exploited.

Submission + - Lost Beagle2 probe found 'intact' on Mars (

Stolga writes: The missing Mars robot Beagle2 has been found on the surface of the Red Planet, apparently intact.

High-resolution images taken from orbit have identified its landing location, and it looks to be in one piece.

The UK-led probe tried to make a soft touchdown on the dusty world on Christmas Day, 2003, using parachutes and airbags — but no radio contact was ever made with the probe.

Many scientists assumed it had been destroyed in a high-velocity impact.

Submission + - Systemd's Lennart Poettering: "We Do Listen To Users" 1

M-Saunders writes: Systemd is ambitious and controversial, taking over a large part of the GNU/Linux base system. But where did it come from? Even Red Hat wasn't keen on it at the start, but since then it has worked its way into almost every major distro. Linux Voice talks to Lennart Poettering, the lead developer of Systemd, about its origins, its future, its relationship with Upstart, and handling the pressures of online flamewars.

Submission + - The Anthropocene Epoch began with 1945 atomic bomb test, scientists say (

hypnosec writes: Human behaviour has had a great impact on the Earth and owing to the advancements and human activities since mid-19th century, Scientists have proposed July 16, 1945 as the beginning of the Anthropocene Epoch. According to scientists, ‘the Great Acceleration’ – the period when human activities started having a significant and enormous impact on Earth – can be dubbed as the beginning of the new epoch. Since the ‘Great Acceleration’ there has been a significant increase in population, environmental upheaval on land and oceans and global connectivity. Dr Jan Zalasiewicz and Professor Mark Williams of the Department of Geology, University of Leicester say that human activities are changing the geology “creating new and distinctive strata that will persist far into the future.” The Anthropocene was first proposed by the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen just 15 years ago and it means the epoch dominated by influence of humans and their activities or the human epoch in short.

Submission + - Bloomberg News: NSA has been using HeartBleed for years (

jasonla writes: We all knew this was coming, right? From the article:

"The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said."

Submission + - Yes. The NSA did know about, exploit Heartbleed ( 1

squiggleslash writes: One question arose almost immediately upon the exposure of Heartbleed (Original Slashdot story), the infamous OpenSSL exploit that can leak confidential information and even private keys to the Internet: Did the NSA know about it, and did they exploit if so? The answer is "Yes". Bloomberg reports that "The agency found the Heartbeat glitch shortly after its introduction, according to one of the people familiar with the matter, and it became a basic part of the agency’s toolkit for stealing account passwords and other common tasks." Some National Security experts are upset about this, given the same flaw could just as easily be used by foreign governments against Americans as vice versa.

Submission + - 'weev' Conviction Overturned (

An anonymous reader writes: A few years back, Andrew 'weev' Auernheimer went public with a security vulnerability that made the personal information of 140,000 iPad owners available on AT&T's website. He was later sentenced to 41 months in prison for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (or because the government didn't understand his actions, depending on your viewpoint). Now, the Third U.S. District Court of Appeals has vacated weev's conviction. Oddly, the reason for the ruling was not based on the merits of the case, but on the venue in which he was tried (PDF). From the ruling: 'Although this appeal raises a number of complex and novel issues that are of great public importance in our increasingly interconnected age, we find it necessary to reach only one that has been fundamental since our country’s founding: venue. The proper place of colonial trials was so important to the founding generation that it was listed as a grievance in the Declaration of Independence.'

Submission + - GM Names Names, Suspends Two Engineers Over Ignition-Switch Safety

cartechboy writes: GM said it has placed two engineers on paid leave in connection with its massive recall probe of 2 million vehicles. Now, GM is asking NASA to advise on whether those cars are safe to drive even with the ignition key alone. Significantly, individual engineers now have their names in print and face a raft of inquiries what they did or didn't know, did or didn't do, and when. A vulnerability for GM: One engineer may have tried to re-engineer the faulty ignition switch without changing the part number—an unheard-of practice in the industry. Is it a good thing that people who engineer for a living can now get their names on national news for parts designed 10 years ago? The next time your mail goes down, should we know the name of the guy whose code flaw may have caused that?

Submission + - Sequel to The Inner Life of the Cell Released

Titus Andronicus writes: The Inner Life of the Cell was a short, groundbreaking animation about molecular cell biology, covered here on Slashdot way back in 2006. In contrast to the smooth, open look of the original, the new animation is stuffed with molecules, constantly vibrating, and is, perhaps, a little more realistic. Read more about it, if it suits your fancy.

Submission + - Software developer wages fall 2% as workforce expands (

dcblogs writes: The U.S. tech industry added nearly 64,000 software related jobs last year, but as the workforce expanded, the average size of workers' pay checks declined by nearly 2%.The average annual wage of all workers in the software services sector was $99,000 in 2012, about $2,000 less than the prior year, reported TechAmerica Foundation in its annual Cyberstates report. There are multiple theories for the decline in pay, but a common one cited by analysts is simply that the new people being hired are paid less than previous averages.