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+ - Endeavor stack being rebuilt piece by piece->

Submitted by dangle
dangle (1381879) writes "The Exposition Park museum in LA is working to rebuild the Endeavor launch stack, a display that will take thousands of pieces to complete due to parts that are scattered at NASA facilities, museums and other places across the U.S. Most are one of a kind and impossible to replicate. Dennis Jenkins, who spent his entire 30-plus year career sending the shuttles into space, is playing a key role in locating essential parts using his own and his colleagues' institutional memory. Employed by NASA contractor Martin Marietta, he helped write the software used in loading and controlling the liquid oxygen needed to launch the 2,250-ton shuttle assembly into low Earth orbit. Now, with the program part of a bygone era of exploration, the 57-year-old works for the California Science Center, helping officials figure out how to rebuild Endeavour."
Link to Original Source

+ - Private company leads to arrests of three hackers ten years after attack 2

Submitted by Jdogatl
Jdogatl (836125) writes "I was intruiged by a bit of news that reports that 10 years after a digital attack, a forensic investigation company, Digital Investigation, lead to the arrest of three hackers (actually two hackers hired by a third party). They were asked in 2013 to investigate an attack on a lawfirm 9 years after the initial attack. The investigating company says that someone hacked and leaked a DDoS commercial service's userdatabase and was able to eventually track down the hackers because one of them logged did not login through a VPN once. Oops.

The company lays out the details of their investigation and though it is in Dutch it was interesting that the conclusion was largely due to "someone" leaking the information about the hacker. It raises a couple of questions, if you were a security company and obviously not going to get anywhere would you hack a company's user database (regardless of the legality of the service provided) and say that it was leaked by "some" hacker to avoid being charged yourself? Also, is it not a bit odd that the information that brought down the hackers was still retained 9 years after the attacks? Or that being stupid once, 10 years ago, can still bring you down. Should there not be a push for statute of limitations on cyber crime?

Sorry, the link is in Dutch.
http://www.digital-investigati..."

+ - Windows XP can put SOX, HIPAA, credit card security-compliance at risk ->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "When Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP next month businesses that have to comply with payment card industry (PCI) data security standards as well as health care and financial standards may find themselves out of compliance unless they call in some creative fixes, experts say. Strictly interpreted, the PCI Security Standards Council requires that all software have the latest vendor-supplied security patches installed, so when Microsoft stops issuing security patches April 8, businesses processing credit cards on machines using XP should fall out of PCI compliance,"
Link to Original Source
Facebook

Facebook To Pay City $200K-a-Year For a Neighborhood Cop 235

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the better-than-renting dept.
theodp writes "Valleywag reports that Facebook just bought itself a police officer and questions what kind of mechanism will be in place to make sure the officer — whose position Facebook has agreed to fund to the tune of $200K-a-year for 3 years — doesn't provide preferential protection for the social network giant and its employees. It's probably a fair question, considering that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made the City of New Orleans enter into a federal consent decree designed to address the 'divided loyalties' of the city's moonlighting police officers. But for now, everything's hunky-dory in Menlo Park, where Police Chief Robert Jonsen called the deal a 'benchmark in private-public partnerships.' No doubt it is, as was last week's Google-City of San Francisco deal to fund free bus passes for low- and middle-income kids. But is giving earmarked funding to facilitate self-serving city expenditures a good or bad development?"
Security

Your Next Online Order Could Be Delivered To Your Car's Trunk 162

Posted by timothy
from the don't-mind-the-bodies-or-fireworks dept.
cartechboy writes "It's amazing how far we've come with technology. Now many of us have the ability to work remotely, and we can even lock/unlock our vehicles via the Internet. And yet, the way we receive our packages from FedEx, UPS, and USPS hasn't really changed. But Volvo thinks it has a way to revolutionize package delivery with Roam Delivery: instead of having packages delivered to your house or office, you could have packages dropped off in the trunk of your car. Volvo says this would work via its new digital keys technology which would allow customers to choose their car as a delivery option when ordering goods online. Via a smartphone or tablet, the owner would be informed when a delivery requires dropping off or picking up from the car. Accepting the delivery will enable a digital key which tracks when the car is opened, and then when it's locked again. The digital key expires once the delivery is complete. Not only does this sound pretty slick, but the technology to make it happen is pretty simple. Now the only question is whether you really want your Amazon box being delivered to your vehicle."
Math

A Mathematical Proof Too Long To Check 189

Posted by Soulskill
from the which-this-margin-is-too-narrow-to-contain dept.
mikejuk writes "Mathematicians have generally gotten over their unease with computer-assisted proofs. But in the case of a new proof from researchers at the University of Liverpool, we may have crossed a line. The proof is currently contained within a 13 GB file — more space than is required to hold the entirety of Wikipedia. Its size makes it unlikely that humans will be able to check and confirm the proof. The theorem that has been proved is in connection with a long running conjecture of Paul Erdos in 1930. Discrepancy theory is about how possible it is to distribute something evenly. It occurs in lots of different forms and even has a connection with cryptography. In 1993 it was proved that an infinite series cannot have a discrepancy of 1 or less. This proved the theorem for C=1. The recent progress, which pushes C up to 2, was made possible by a clever idea of using a SAT solver — a program that finds values that make an expression true. Things went well up to length 1160, which was proved to have discrepancy 2, but at length 1161 the SAT returned the result that there was no assignment. The negative result generated an unsatisfiability certificate: the proof that a sequence of length 1161 has no subsequence with discrepancy 2 requires over 13 gigabytes of data. As the authors of the paper write: '[it]...is probably one of longest proofs of a non-trivial mathematical result ever produced. ... one may have doubts about to which degree this can be accepted as a proof of a mathematical statement.' Does this matter? Probably not — as long as other programs can check the result and the program itself has to be considered part of the proof."
Toys

Meet the MOSS Modular Robots (Video) 22

Posted by Roblimo
from the one-day-they-will-be-sentient-but-not-quite-yet dept.
The MOSS modular robot system is sort of like LEGO Mindstorms, in that you assemble small blocks to make custom robots and other items. But it has some interesting tricks of its own, as product demonstrator John Moyes shows Timothy Lord at CES 2014. The MOSS kits include lots of little metal balls, so they carry a warning that says MOSS kits are suitable for ages 8 and up, while the company's older Cubelets product, which doesn't have the little balls, is supposed to be okay for ages 4 and up. There is no upper age limit specified for either product, so you're probably safe if you want to buy (and can *afford* to buy) any of these interesting toys.

Comment: Re:Overstating their case (Score 1) 168

by dangle (#45567741) Attached to: Why Competing For Tenure Is Like Trying To Become a Drug Lord

Exactly. For a while I was "going for it" to see how far I could rise in academics. I used to joke that I had risen from street thug to one of the guys that gets to sit at the bar in the local don's place. But I always added the caveat "at least I don't have to kill anyone or worry about being killed."

Businesses

20-Somethings Think It's OK To Text and Answer Calls In Business Meetings 453

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-can't-you-play-angry-birds-like-everyone-else dept.
RichDiesal writes "In an upcoming article in Business Communication Quarterly, researchers found that more than half of 20-somethings believe it appropriate to read texts during formal business meetings, whereas only 16% of workers 40+ believe the same thing. 34% of 20-somethings believe it appropriate to answer the phone in the middle of a meeting (i.e., not excusing yourself to answer the phone — answering and talking mid-meeting!). It is unclear if this is happening because more younger workers grew up with mobile technology, or if it's because older workers have the experience to know that answering a call in the middle of a meeting is a terrible idea. So if you're a younger worker, consider leaving your phone alone in meetings to avoid annoying your coworkers. And if you're an older worker annoyed at what you believe to be rude behavior, just remember, it's not you – it's them!"
Microsoft

Charlie Stross: Why Microsoft Word Must Die 479

Posted by timothy
from the codependence-is-harmful dept.
Jeremiah Cornelius writes "Rapture of the Nerds co-author Charlie Stross hates Microsoft Word, worse than you do. Best of all, he can articulate the many structural faults of Word that make his loathing both understandable and contagious. 'Steve Jobs approached Bill Gates... to organize the first true WYSIWYG word processor for a personal computer -- ...should it use control codes, or hierarchical style sheets? In the end, the decree went out: Word should implement both formatting paradigms. Even though they're fundamentally incompatible... Word was in fact broken by design, from the outset — and it only got worse from there.' Can Free Software do any better, than to imitate the broken Microsoft model? Does document formatting even matter this much, versus content?"

+ - Syrian Electronic Army Hacks Domain Data for Twitter, NY Times

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "The Syrian Electronic Army, a group known for attacking high-profile media sites in the last year or so, has in the last few hours compromised the domain information for a large number of sites, including the New York Times home page and some of Twitter’s domains. Security researchers say that the most likely attack vector was the domain registrar used by the companies.

Both the Times and Twitter, as well as a long list of other companies including Google and Yahoo, use a company called Melbourne IT as a domain registrar. Researchers following the attack say that the WHOIS and domain information for the Times and Twitter domains was changing back and forth between legitimate data and the hacked SEA data for much of the last few hours. The Times home page was offline sporadically Tuesday afternoon and the paper reported that the company’s CIO told employees to be cautious sending email “until this situation is resolved”."
Privacy

Should Cops Wear Google Glass? 223

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-eyes-have-it dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Over at The Kernel, staff writer Greg Stevens wonders whether police departments around the world should outfit their officers with Google Glass. There's some logic behind the idea. A cop with wearable electronics constantly streaming audio and video back to a supervisor (or even a Website) would be less likely, at least in theory, to take liberties with civilians' civil liberties. But not everybody thinks it's such a good idea. Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, wrote in a recent blog posting that society needs to make choices 'about the extent to which we want to allow the government to store up that data so that it has the power to hit 'rewind' on everybody's lives.' In the view of that organization, 'that's just too much power.' That being said, law enforcement wearing electronics that streams constant video and audio data would still be subject to the law. 'If the officer is recording a communication he has in public with someone, there's probably no wiretap problem since there's at least the consent of one party and no expectation of privacy,' Hanni M. Fakhoury, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote in an email to Slashdot. 'But if he's recording peripheral communications between two separate individuals, than there's potential wiretap liability depending on the circumstances.' What do you think? Are cops wearing Google Glass (or similar wearable electronic) a good idea?"

+ - NSA to cut 90% of Sysadmins->

Submitted by dangle
dangle (1381879) writes "In an attempt to prevent future data leaks, Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the NSA’s director, has announced plans to cut almost all the agency's system administrators. “What we’re in the process of doing – not fast enough – is reducing our system administrators by about 90 percent,” he said last week at Fordham University in New York. Many of those systems administrators are contractors, like Snowden was. Instead of the 1,000 systems administrators NSA uses, Alexander wants to move more of the operation to the cyber cloud, called the Intelligence Community’s Information Technology Enterprise (ICITE), which relies on a network of computers linked on the Internet. “We’ve put people in the loop of transferring data, securing networks and doing things that machines are probably better at doing,” Alexander said."
Link to Original Source

+ - Astronomers Identify Asteroids That Can Easily Be Captured

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Long overlooked as mere rocky chunks leftover from the formation of the solar system, asteroids have recently gotten a lot more scrutiny as NASA moves forward with plans to capture, tow, and place a small asteroid somewhere near our planet and two different private space companies, Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, plan to seek out and mine precious metals and water from near-Earth asteroids. Now Adam Mann reports that astronomers have identified 12 candidate Easily Retrievable Objects (EROs) ranging in size from approximately 2 meters to 60 meters in diameter that already come (cosmically) close enough to our planet, that it would take a relatively small push to put into orbits around Lagrange points near Earth using existing rocket technology. For example, 2006 RH120, could be sent into orbit around L2 by changing its velocity by just 58 meters per second with a single burn on 1 February 2021. Moving one of these EROs would be a “logical stepping stone towards more ambitious scenarios of asteroid exploration and exploitation, and possibly the easiest feasible attempt for humans to modify the Solar System environment outside of Earth (PDF),” write the authors in Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy. None of the 12 ERO asteroids are new to astronomers; in fact one of them became briefly famous when it was found to be temporarily orbiting the Earth until 2007. But until now nobody had realized just how easily these bodies could be captured."

"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)

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