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+ - US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One->

Tyketto writes: Following up on a previous story about its replacement, the US Air Force has selected the Boeing 747-8 to replace the aging Presidential fleet of two VC-25s, which are converted B747-200s. With the only other suitable aircraft being the Airbus A380, the USAF cited Boeing's 50-year history of building presidential aircraft as their reason to skip competition and opt directly for the aircraft, which due to dwindling sales and prospects, may be the last 747s to be produced.
Link to Original Source

+ - U.S. Justice Department Using Fake Towers on Planes to Gather Data from Phones

Tyketto writes: The US Department of Justice has been using fake communications towers installed in airplanes to acquire cellular phone data for tracking down criminals, reports The Wall Street Journal. Using fix-wing Cessnas outfitted with DRT boxes produced by Boeing, the devices mimic cellular towers, fooling cellphones into reporting "unique registration information" to track down "individuals under investigation." The program, used by the U.S. Marshalls Service, has been in use since 2007 and deployed around at least five major metropolitan areas, with a flying range that can cover most of the US population. As cellphones are designed to connect to the strongest cell tower signal available, the devices identify themselves as the strongest signal, allowing for the gathering of information on thousands of phones during a single flight. Not even having encryption on one's phone, like found in Apple's iPhone 6, prevents this interception.

While the Justice Department would not confirm or deny the existence of such a program, Verizon denies any involvement in this program, and DRT (a subsidiary of Boeing), AT&T, and Sprint have all declined to comment.

Comment: Re:However.. (Score -1) 247 247

And here is where IMHO, the wrong decision was made. They elected to not take images to see the damage. If they did, and saw the damage, instead of trying to rush Atlantis back into orbit, could they not have:
  1. Docked Columbia at the ISS,
  2. Moved the crew onto the ISS (potentially saving their lives),
  3. Conducted more analysis of the damage there, while
  4. Giving NASA more time to ready Atlantis or Discovery to bring them back, or even have the Russians ready a Soyuz rocket.

That gets the crew somewhere that they would not be in danger of something catastrophic (like what happened to Columbia), at the cost of a bit more space and time in orbit. All could have made it back to Earth alive.

But that's just me, and I may be totally wrong.

Comment: Chicago Gaming Console at Costco (Score 1) 322 322

Not unexpected but a weird place for me was at Costco over the holidays. The Ultimate Gaming Console by Chicago Gaming that they sell for $2499.99 is actually running an embedded version of Linux with MAME. Someone had tripped over the power cord, unplugging it. I saw it boot up after they pulled it back in. I had thought about pulling the trigger on it until I saw that. Then I thought that I could build myself one for cheaper.

+ - Unlocking New Mobile Phones Set to Become Illegal in the US 1 1

Tyketto writes: Referencing the decision outlined in the Federal Register, Tech News Daily has published an article noting that the window to unlock your new mobile phone in the US is closing. "In October 2012, the Library of Congress, who determines exemptions to a strict anti-hacking law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), decided that unlocking mobile phones would no longer be allowed. But the library provided a 90-day window during which people could still buy a phone and unlock it. That window closes on January 26."

While this doesn't apply to phones purchased before the window closes, this means that after 1/26/13, for any new mobile phone you purchase, you'll have to fulfill your contract, or break the law to unlock it.

Comment: Shouldn't the charges be dropped? (Score 1) 620 620

Follow the logic here, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong. He was charged with violating HIPAA, based on the evidence confiscated by police during the evidence. Since such evidence doesn't exist (as the police erased it/seems to have gone missing), shouldn't the charges be dropped? For all intents and purposes, the guy was arrested and charged for something that has not happened/did not happen. This would mean that they would either a) have to let the guy go, based on lack of evidence, or b) produce the undoctored evidence, showing the missteps that police took. Either way, the guy walks, or the police gets dinged with evidence tampering.
Linux

+ - Doom 3 BFG Ported to Linux, Fully Playable->

An anonymous reader writes: No. The company that was once at the forefront of Linux gaming from as early as the late 90s, has done nothing other than make the source code — specific to the BFG edition — available open source. John Carmack even recently expressed his concern over whether or not Valve could possibly be successful in the tumultuous Linux desktop market. Therefore, it seemed unlikely we’d ever see BFG on Linux. So, who do we have to thank for this port?
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 2012 Warmest Year on Record, 2nd Most Extreme->

ideonexus writes: "Apparently 2012 is the warmest year on record according to the NOAA, and 12 of the 13 warmest years on record have all occurred since the year 2000, and decades of temperature measurements go from warmest to coldest by 2000s, 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s, 40s, 30s, 20s, 10s, 1900s, etc, etc. It's almost as if there's some sort of pattern here. If only there were some theory backed up by nearly 14,000 peer-reviewed research papers, 18 consensus statements by scientific organizations, and two centuries of reproducible laboratory results that could explain this strange "warming" phenomenon."
Link to Original Source
Bug

+ - HP Software Update Cancels Food Stamps-> 1 1

Spy Handler writes: A software update of the California welfare computer system (CalWIN) caused 37,000 Food Stamp recipients to lose their EBT (a credit card paid for by the government) benefits last weekend. According to the article, Hewlett Packard was responsible for the failed update of CalWIN, but at 8:00 a.m. today Xerox (who administers another state welfare system called CalFresh) issued a patch that reactivated the EBT cards.
Link to Original Source
Education

+ - UC online courses' alarming growth rate->

slew writes: In the shadow of Stanford and Harvard offering free on-line courses, The University of California has been attempting to offer pay-courses for credit. UC online took out a $6.9M loan from UC and spent $4.3M to market these courses. For their efforts, they've been able to quadruple their enrollment year over year.

The first year results: one person paid $1,400 for an online calculus class worth 4 credits. Now 4 people are signed up. Me thinks head will roll on this one...

Link to Original Source

+ - Rare Midnight Solar Caught in the Arctic->

Tyketto writes: Wired Magazine has an article posted regarding a solar eclipse occurring overnight in the Arctic and Scandinavian regions over the night of June 1st and 2nd. They explain: "During the Arctic summer, the sun dips low on the horizon but never sets. That means a solar eclipse is theoretically possible at any time. But this week’s eclipse was the first visible from Scandinavia since 2000, and the deepest since 1985. The next one won’t be for another 73 years."

NASA has the details, while NPR also has a small blurb on it, with Tromsø, Norway resident Rhys Jones adding some pictures to Flikr, and SpaceWeather putting together a gallery.

Link to Original Source

Comment: This is misleading. (Score 1) 342 342

This is absolutely misleading, everyone.

First off, there is no 'ban' on personal electronic devices on the flight deck. According to both TFA and the original FAA press release, the FAA is asking carriers to create and enforce their rules regarding this. Absolutely NOTHING in the article outright bans them from using them on the flight deck.

Second, this only affects FAR Part 121 operations (read: commercial travel). Part 61 (General Aviation), Part 91 (Private Aircraft and Fractional Owners), and Part 135 (On Demand/commuters) do not appear to be affected by this 'request'.

Don't you just love it when the media jump the shark^H^H^H^H^Hgun on every single non-issue...

BL.

Censorship

Australian AvP Ban Reversed 71 71

Earlier this month, we discussed news that Sega's new Aliens vs. Predator video game had been refused classification in Australia, effectively banning it. After a scathing response from the developer saying they wouldn't censor the game, and later news that the classification scheme may be updated to include an R18+ rating, it now seems that the Classification Board has seen fit to give the game a green light after all. Sega's Darren Macbeth told Kotaku, "We are particularly proud that the game will be released in its original entirety, with no content altered or removed whatsoever. This is a big win for Australian gamers. We applaud the Classification Review Board on making a decision that clearly considers the context of the game, and is in line with the modern expectations of reasonable Australians."
Government

+ - UUNet Founder owns Declaration of Independence->

Tyketto writes: "In an opinion handed down today, The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that a Virginia-based technology entrepreneur owns a rare 1776 copy of the Declaration of Independence, not the state of Maine. Richard Adams Jr. purchased the document in 2001 from a book dealer in London, while the state of Maine claimed that it belonged to the town of Wiscasset, where the town clerk kept it in 1776. Adams, founder of UUNet Technologies, the first commercial ISP, sued to establish title to the document, stating that there was no official record kept by Wiscasset. The Court agreed."
Link to Original Source
The Military

+ - US Air Force Seeks Air Force One Replacement

Tyketto writes: The United States Air Force has taken the first public step in the search for a replacement of the Boeing VC-25, also known as Air Force One, saying that it is no longer cost effective to operate and modernize the two 19 year old VC-25s, which are converted Boeing 747-200s. Airbus has already submitted data for the A380, and while Boeing has had the Air Force One contract for nearly 50 years, delays with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Boeing 747-8, and the KC-X Tanker competition may see the USAF look to Europe for its next presidential aircraft.

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