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+ - There is no center of the Universe

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: From our vantage point, the Universe is expanding and cooling, with all but a few of the closest galaxies receding from our view. In fact, the farther away an object is, the faster it appears to recede. This may sound an awful lot like what occurs in an explosion to you, especially if it were centered on us. Furthermore, the name “the Big Bang” sure gives that same implication, doesn’t it? Yet despite these facts, it turns out that the idea that the Universe has a center is completely false, and is actually contradicted by both relativity and the Universe that we observe.

+ - French Premier Declares 'War' on Radical Islam 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: The NYT reports that Prime Minister Manuel Valls has declared that France is at war with radical Islam after the harrowing sieges that led to the deaths of three gunmen and four hostages. “It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity,” says Valls. The French government said it would put 500 additional troops on the streets over the weekend amid preparations for a giant unity rally in Paris expected to draw over 1,000,000 people. A number of European officials say they will attend, including Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey, the most prominent Muslim leader scheduled to be there, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. "This will be an extraordinary demonstration ... which must show the power and the dignity of the French people who are going to proclaim their love of freedom and tolerance," says Valls. The crisis and its aftermath presented a major challenge to President François Hollande and his government, which are facing deep religious and cultural rifts in a nation with a rapidly growing Muslim population while simultaneously coping with the security threats stemming from Islamic extremists. Large numbers of French citizens have been traveling to Syria and Iraq to fight with the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Hollande, appealing for unity, has warned against seeing Muslims as the enemy. "These madmen, fanatics, have nothing to do with the Muslim religion," says Hollande.

+ - Physicist Builds Supercomputer From Old PlayStations-> 1

Submitted by drkim
drkim writes: A home-made PlayStation 3 supercomputer is 3,000 times more powerful than any desktop processor, and is being used to study black holes.

Guarav Khanna, a black hole physicist at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the US, has managed to build a powerful and extremely cheap supercomputer using old PlayStation 3s (PS3s), and he’s used it to publish several papers on black holes.

His research focusses on finding gravitational waves, which are curvatures in space-time that ripple out from a violent astrophysical event, such as two black holes colliding. They were first predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, but no one has been able to observe them.

Link to Original Source

+ - Spy Drone hacks WiFi networks, listens to calls->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: It's small. It's bright yellow, and it's capable of cracking Wi-Fi passwords, eavesdropping on your cell phone calls and reading your text messages. It's a spy drone and it just landed in Washington, D.C.

Long-time friends and former Air Force buddies, Mike Tassey and Rich Perkins, describe their state-of-the-art cyber drone as hard to take down, hard to see and virtually hard to detect.

They built it in a garage, using off the shelf electronics to prove a drone can be used to launch cyber-attacks.

Link to Original Source

+ - Cosmic Mystery Solved? Possible Dark Matter Signal Spotted->

Submitted by TaleSlinger
TaleSlinger writes: Astronomers may finally have detected a signal of dark matter, the mysterious and elusive stuff thought to make up most of the material universe.

While poring over data collected by the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton spacecraft, a team of researchers spotted an odd spike in X-ray emissions coming from two different celestial objects — the Andromeda galaxy and the Perseus galaxy cluster.

  "The signal's distribution within the galaxy corresponds exactly to what we were expecting with dark matter — that is, concentrated and intense in the center of objects and weaker and diffuse on the edges," [assuming that dark matter consists of sterile neutrinos] study co-author Oleg Ruchayskiy, of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, said in a statement.

"With the goal of verifying our findings, we then looked at data from our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and made the same observations," added lead author Alexey Boyarsky, of EPFL and Leiden University in the Netherlands.

  Researchers have proposed a number of different exotic particles as the constituents of dark matter, including weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), axions and sterile neutrinos, hypothetical cousins of "ordinary" neutrinos (confirmed particles that resemble electrons but lack an electrical charge).

The decay of sterile neutrinos is thought to produce X-rays, so the research team suspects these may be the dark matter particles responsible for the mysterious signal coming from Andromeda and the Perseus cluster.

Link to Original Source

+ - Containers, microservices, and orchestrating the whole symphony

Submitted by Jason Baker
Jason Baker writes: The monolithic application is a thing of the past. But what has replaced it? Microservices were developed as a way to divide and conquer. Instead of having one giant code base that all developers touch, that often times becomes perilous to manage, that there are numerous smaller code bases managed by small and agile teams. And container projects like Docker make the deployment of these microservices simply to manage and deploy, container management may be the next big challenge.

+ - BGP Hijacking Continues, Despite the Ability to Prevent It 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: BGPMon reports on a recent route hijacking event by Syria. These events continue, despite the ability to detect and prevent improper route origination: Resource Public Key Infrastructure. RPKI is technology that allows an operator to validate the proper relationship between an IP prefix and an Autonomous System. That is, assuming you can collect the certificates. ARIN requires operators accept something called the Relying Party Agreement. But the provider community seems unhappy with the agreement, and is choosing not to implement it, just to avoid the RPA, leaving the the Internet as a whole less secure.

+ - European Commission updates its open source policy->

Submitted by jenwike
jenwike writes: The European Commission wants to make it easier for its software developers to submit patches and add new functionalities to open source projects. Contributing to open source communities will be made central to the EC’s new open source policy, expects Pierre Damas, Head of Sector at the Directorate General for IT (DIGIT). "We use a lot of open source components that we adapt and integrate, and it is time that we contribute back.”
Link to Original Source

+ - 3D map of DNA reveals hidden loops that allow genes to work together->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: Every genome is a miracle of packaging. Somehow a human cell crams two meters of DNA into its tiny nucleus, and yet this tangled mess can carry out the complex task of building and maintaining our bodies. Now, the most detailed look yet at this genomic jumble reveals loops of DNA that bring distant parts of chromosomes together, allowing them to act in concert. The work could help researchers pin down the genetic causes of diseases and help clarify how the genome functions.
Link to Original Source

+ - Researchers find online behavioral profiles highly inaccurate

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at CMU find that nearly 40% of behavioral profiles created by data aggregator/broker companies contain high level of inaccuracies (up to 80%). The researchers looked at behavioral profiles that a top data broker company created about individual users, and found that profiles contain personal and sensitive information (full name, address, bankruptcy score, credit card interest score, medication purchases, religion, personality type etc.). The researchers, who will be presenting their work at a privacy and big data conference, caution that these profiles are routinely used for fraud detection and background checks, and high level of inaccuracies are a concern.

+ - Warrantless surveillance validated by UK judges->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The UK’s Investigatory Power Tribunal (IPT), has today ruled that authoritative bodies tapping major internet cables in the UK is a legal practice and is not in breach of human rights. The case focused on the U.S. Prism and the British Tempora schemes, as revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Tempora reportedly involved GCHQ, the British spy agency, tapping into global communications via national infrastructures. "The ‘Snowden revelations’ have led to the impression voiced in some quarters that the law in some way permits the Intelligence Services carte blanche to do what they will. We are satisfied that this is not the case," the statement reads.
Link to Original Source

+ - IBM Researchers: Old Laptop Batteries Can Power Slums

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi writes: Old laptop batteries still have enough life in them to power homes in slums, researchers have said. An IBM study analysed a sample of discarded batteries and found 70% had enough power to keep an LED light on more than four hours a day for a year. Researchers said using discarded batteries is cheaper than existing power options, and also helps deal with the mounting e-waste problem. The concept was trialled in the Indian city of Bangalore this year. The adapted power packs are expected to prove popular with street vendors, who are not on the electric grid, as well as poor families living in slums. The IBM team created what they called an UrJar — a device that uses lithium-ion cells from the old batteries to power low-energy DC devices, such as a light. The researchers are aiming to help the approximately 400 million people in India who are off grid.

+ - scientists discover diamond nanothreads->

Submitted by sokol815
sokol815 writes: Penn State University scientists discovered diamond nanothreads can be created from benzene when compressed. The compression brings the benzene molecules into a highly reactive state. It was expected that the molecules would create a non-ordered glass-like material, but due to the slow speed of decompression used, the benzene molecules ordered themselves into a naturally repeating crystal. The experiment took place at room-temperature. Early results indicate that these nanothreads are stronger than previously produced carbon nanotubes, and may have applications throughout the engineering industry.
Link to Original Source

+ - U.K. Terror Threat Level Raised to Severe->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May said the government was raising the terror threat level to Severe, the second-highest level, based on new intelligence from Syria and Iraq. "The increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West," May said in a statement in London. "Some of those plots are likely to involve foreign fighters who have traveled there from the U.K. and Europe to take part in those conflicts." Prime Minister David Cameron is to make a further statement later today.
Link to Original Source

+ - IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design->

Submitted by msm1267
msm1267 writes: The IEEE's Center for Secure Design debuted its first report this week, a guidance for software architects called "Avoiding the Top 10 Software Security Design Flaws." Developing guidance for architects rather than developers was a conscious effort the group made in order to steer the conversation around software security away from exclusively talking about finding bugs toward design-level failures that lead to exploitable security vulnerabilities.
The document spells out the 10 common design flaws in a straightforward manner, each with a lengthy explainer of inherent weaknesses in each area and how software designers and architects should take these potential pitfalls into consideration.

Link to Original Source

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