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+ - Mini Aliens in Space, so Russians say->

Submitted by markwillison
markwillison (3764611) writes "Microorganisms were found on samples collected by the cosmonauts during a space walk. It was a complete surprise when they analyzed them, as they only expected for find the contaminants produced by the engines of the incoming and outgoing spaceship traffic.

Space Plankton.

They might not be aliens at all, but then again we might all be aliens"

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+ - Which Is More Scalable, Nuclear Energy Or Wind Energy?-> 1

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Summary: Empirically, wind energy is much more scalable than nuclear energy.

China is the true experiment for maximum scalability of nuclear vs wind. It has a tremendous gap between demand and generation. It can mostly ignore democracy and social license for nuclear. It is building both wind and nuclear as rapidly as possible. It has been on a crash course for both for about the same period of time. It has bypassed most of the regulatory red tape for nuclear.

So how is it doing?

        China turned on just over 16 GW of nameplate capacity of wind generation in 2013 according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

Over the four years of 2010 to 2014, China managed to put 4.7 GW of nuclear into operation at the Qinshan Phase II, Ling Ao Phase II, Ningde, Hongyanhe and Yangjiang plants. This is not their stated plans for nuclear, which had them building almost double this in 2013 alone and around 28 GW by 2015, but the actual plants put into production. The variance between the nuclear roadmap and nuclear reality in China is following the trajectory of nuclear buildout worldwide: delays, cost overruns, and unmet expectations."

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+ - NSA Agents Leak Tor Bugs To Developers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We've known for a while that NSA specifically targets Tor, because they want to disrupt one of the last remaining communication methods they aren't able to tap or demand access to. However, not everybody at the NSA is on board with this strategy. Tor developer Andrew Lewman says even as flaws in Tor are rooted out by the NSA and British counterpart GCHQ, other agents from the two organizations leak those flaws directly to the developers, so they can be fixed quickly. He said, "You have to think about the type of people who would be able to do this and have the expertise and time to read Tor source code from scratch for hours, for weeks, for months, and find and elucidate these super-subtle bugs or other things that they probably don't get to see in most commercial software." Lewman estimates the Tor Project receives these reports on a monthly basis. He also spoke about how a growing amount of users will affect Tor. He suggests a massive company like Google or Facebook will eventually have to take up the task of making Tor scale up to millions of users."
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+ - Scientists Confirm Life Under Antarctic Ice for the First Time->

Submitted by MikeChino
MikeChino (1640221) writes "A new paper by a group of researchers from Montana State University confirms that life can survive under antarctic ice. Researchers led by John Priscu drilled down into the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and pulled up organisms called Archaea. These organisms survive by converting methane into energy, enabling them to survive where there is no wind or sunlight, buried deep under the ice."
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+ - Scientists Developing Remote-Control Cyborg Moths->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "We've been hearing a lot about the development of tiny flying sensor-equipped robots, that could be sent into areas such as disaster sites to seek out survivors or survey the damage. However, why go to the trouble of designing those robots from scratch, when there are already ready-made insects that are about the right size? That's the thinking behind research being conducted at North Carolina State University, which is aimed at converting moths into "biobots.""
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+ - China pulls plug on genetically modified rice and corn->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "China’s Ministry of Agriculture has decided not to renew biosafety certificates that allowed research groups to grow genetically modified (GM) rice and corn. The permits, to grow two varieties of GM rice and one transgenic corn strain, expired on 17 August. The reasoning behind the move is not clear, and it has raised questions about the future of related research in China."
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+ - Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "In a follow-up to yesterday's story about the Chinese hackers who stole hospital data of 4.5 million patients, IDG News Service's Martyn Williams set out to learn why the data, which didn't include credit card information was so valuable. The answer is depressingly simple: people without health insurance can potentially get treatment by using medical data of one of the hacking victims. John Halamka, chief information officer of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network, said a medical record can be worth between $50 and $250 to the right customer — many times more than the amount typically paid for a credit card number, or the cents paid for a user name and password. 'If I am one of the 50 million Americans who are uninsured ... and I need a million-dollar heart transplant, for $250 I can get a complete medical record including insurance company details,' he said."
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+ - Financial services group WCS sues online forum Whirlpool over negative post->

Submitted by kavzee
kavzee (3785781) writes "The popular Australian online discussion forum whirlpool is being sued by a financial services group for refusing to remove a negative review about its services. A similar story occurred a number of years ago when another company by the name of 2Clix attempted to sue whirlpool for the same reasons but later withdrew their case."
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Comment: Amazon's nature (Score 1) 306

by markwillison (#47573339) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math
Amazon is a disruptive service/business having forced traditional publishing to reluctantly evolve and as a result has itself grown extremely successful. Continuing to look for ways to change and adapt (not just itself but the industry) seems only natural. Although this particular proposal of a pricing model may not be the next great evolution I still believe that it is entirely valid to re-examine the future of publishing models.

Comment: Slide me out or jack me in. (Score 1) 544

Lack of a slide out keyboard option has been my pet peev since HTC (which I feel made their mark with this feature) also began to give them up. The stats in my opinion bare out that supply and demand for this option are out of whack. I'll keep searching for a good new phone with slide out keyboards until the direct neural link is finally available. Jack me in baby.

Comment: Expectation of privacy (Score 2) 101

by markwillison (#47538373) Attached to: Private Data On iOS Devices Not So Private After All
Due to the great advances in technology and the continuing reduction in cost of these technologies, what were previously "dumb" devices are now extremely sophisticated computers doing specialized tasks but they are not limited to these specialized task or to being used in the manner they were conceived for. As such almost all modern device from cameras to mp3 players can be re-purposed as digital "snitches". This is often true even if the device was not design or envisioned to so from the beginning or had countermeasures to inhibit the use of the device in that way. Such sophisticated devices can be reprogrammed or "hacked". Just accept this as true and if you can't due the research and enlighten yourself. So the only practical recourse is accept it and be careful if you have a good reason to believe your data is incriminating to you. Assume all devices have vulnerabilities or use paper instead and hope everyone has forgotten how to read that way.

Comment: We know too little about solar event dangers (Score 1) 212

There is plenty of misinformation, exaggeration and also ignorance about the potential threat of CMEs and other solar events. Many have justly referred to the Carrington but because it occurred during a time in human civilization when we were not at all "dependent" on electrical infrastructure and computers it is hard to infer the current danger of such a thing. It is sobering to note that although it is hard to predict what would happen in our time if such an event were to occur, it is an obviously safe conclusion to make that such an event might occur again.

+ - Cookies leave a bad taste? Ok let's try canvas fingerprinting->

Submitted by angularbanjo
angularbanjo (1521611) writes "ProPublica and Mashable lead with a disturbing if expected development in ad and profile tracking. Now that the public is learning about how cookies are used to develop data about users as they move across sites within a participating network, those keen to avoid you from stopping them doing this have started to look at innovations to get around cookie blocking. Meet 'canvas fingerprinting', being developed and trialled across 5% of the top website by privacy friends such as AddThis."
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