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Submission + - Cybersecurity consultant hacked airplanes midflight through entertainment system (

loftarasa writes: In an affidavit to the FBI, Chris Roberts claimed he hacked computer systems of airplanes over twenty times through the use of a modified Ethernet cable connected to a port underneath his seat. In one opportunity, Roberts issued a CLB ("climb") command, making one of the engines in the airplane climb, resulting in the lateral movement of the plane. "United Airlines told the FBI that Roberts had posted tweets about hacking into the plane he was traveling on and possibly activating the emergency passenger oxygen masks, the document says."

Submission + - U.S. Navy develops swarms of mini Cicada drones to spy on enemies (

An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. Navy has unveiled its latest Cicada drone – a smaller model of the smart glider which military scientists have been developing for almost ten years. The tiny autonomous machine was presented last week at the Department of Defense’s Lab Day. The newest iteration of the Cicada, a yellow angular unit with two semi-circular wings, is the smallest and most low-cost yet and is able to fit in the palm of a hand. Cicadas or Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft, developed by the Naval Research Laboratory, are designed to be disposable and to work together emulating the insects’ swarm flight patterns. The lightweight gliders are packed with sensors to monitor and feedback data on the weather, temperature, humidity and air pressure. They also offer the option to house microphones or vibration sensors to spy on enemy communications and to detect chemical weapons.

Submission + - World's Smallest Beamsplitter Paves Way Toward Computing at the Speed of Light (

Zothecula writes: Silicon photonics is an emerging technology that incorporates electronic circuits using photons of laser light rather than electrons to transmit, receive, and manipulate information. As such, a silicon photonic CPU could potentially process information at the speed of light – millions of times faster than computers available today. In a step towards this goal, engineers working at the University of Utah have developed an ultra-compact photonic beam-splitter so small that millions of these devices could fit on a single silicon chip.

Submission + - Researchers: Microwaves Could Help You Surf the Internet at the Speed of Light (

itwbennett writes: Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Duke University recently looked at the main causes of Internet latency and what it would take to achieve speed-of-light performance. The first part of the paper, titled Towards a Speed of Light Internet, is devoted to finding out where the slowdowns are coming from. They found that the bulk of the delay comes from the latency of the underlying infrastructure, which works in a multiplicative way by affecting each step in the request. The second part of the paper proposes what turns out to be a relatively cheap and potentially doable solution to bring Internet speeds close to the speed of light for the vast majority of us. The authors propose creating a network that would connect major population centers using microwave networks.

Submission + - Physicists reveal new way of cooling large objects with light (

loftarasa writes: Physics World reportsthat a team of scientists in Germany and Russia has succesfully demonstrated a proof-of-concept experiment that combines the traditional "dispersive coupling" method for cooling objects with light with a new method called "dissipative coupling", which employs quantum noise. If ultimately proven succesful, this technique could be used, for example, for performing quantum experiments on a macro scale, and possibly for creating gravitational-wave detectors.

Comment Re: Do users really care? (Score 2) 278

Oh, shut up already. Not everyone is a 45-year-old neckbeard troll living in their mom's basement with greasy Doritos hands and Mountain Dew stains on their shirts. I know and like my friends since before they joined Facebook. It's outrageously unreasonable to suggest that I ditch them now because they have an account on a website. Surely they don't expect them to judge me on having an account on /. Facebook allows us to communicate on some aspects of our lives, perhaps today most commonly through sharing pictures, much as people used to do with postcards and snail mail. It isn't meant to replace face-to-face conversations. There may be something to be said about people who exclusively rely on Facebook, or who share TMI. But instead of ranting aimlessly like an old fart, I just unsubscribe to their feed. Not everyone can afford or is willing to end friendships based on social network memberships. Facebook's success in particular and the emergence of so many networks in general are evidences to that. Your dogmatic view on social relationships is neither correct nor necessary nor relevant nor required.

Submission + - Top Five Theater Chains Won't Show "The Interview" After Sony Hack

tobiasly writes: "The country's top five theater chains — Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment — have decided not to play Sony's The Interview . This comes after the group which carried off a massive breach of its networks threatened to carry out "9/11-style attacks" on theaters that showed the film. What should Sony do? Cut their losses and shelve it? Release it immediately online? Does giving in mean "the terrorists have won"?

Submission + - Navy develops a shark drone for surveillance (

An anonymous reader writes: The Navy is testing a new underwater drone called GhostSwimmer, which is designed to look like a shark and conduct surveillance work.

It is being adapted by the chief of naval operations' Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC) project, Silent NEMO, in Norfolk, Va.

GhostSwimmer is 5 feet long and weighs almost 100 pounds. It can operate in water depths from 10 inches to 300 feet, and is designed to operate autonomously for long periods of time, according to the Navy.

Submission + - Marissa Mayer's reinvention of Yahoo! stumbles

schnell writes: The New York Times Magazine has an in-depth profile of Marissa Mayer's time at the helm of Yahoo!, detailing her bold plans to reinvent the company and spark a Jobs-ian turnaround through building great new products. But some investors are saying that her product focus (to the point of micromanaging) hasn't generated results, and that the company should give up on trying to create the next iPod, merge with AOL to cut costs and focus on the unglamorous core business that it has. Is it time for Yahoo! to "grow up" and set its sights lower?

Submission + - Magic Leap Hires Sci-Fi Writer Neal Stephenson as Chief Futurist (

giulioprisco writes: Magic Leap, a secretive Florida augmented reality startup that raised $542 million in October, hired renowned science fiction writer Neal Stephenson as its “Chief Futurist.” Stephenson offers hints at the company’s technology and philosophy: "Magic Leap is bringing physics, biology, code, and design together to build a system that is going to blow doors open for people who create things." According to the Magic Leap website, their Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal technology permits generating images indistinguishable from real objects.

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