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Submission + - EP released as a circuit board generates music in real-time. (

An anonymous reader writes: Norwegian Artist "Captain Credible" is about to release an EP. Unlike traditional EPs that are static and released on pre-existing medium, Captain Credible has opted to release this EP (and the next three in the trilogy) as a circuit board that generates and plays music in real-time. Each physical copy will generate a completely different track.

The Dead Cats EP is based on an ATtiny85 microcontroller and a "bunch of complex 8bit maths equations". Upon plugging in you headphones the circuit board begins to generate and play a unique song using your download code as a random seed. The generated track (aptly named "main.h") is practically infinitely long*, but once generated you can restart the song by removing and then reinserting your 3.5mm jack into the board.

Each circuit board will also come with a digital download for the rest of the songs from the EP, and is released on the curiously creative Norwegian label "Metronomicon Audio"

*not really infinitely long, but the universe will probably end first.

Submission + - Learn SQL injection with Troy Hunt (

FreaKBeaNie writes: Troy Hunt, "Microsoft MVP for Developer Security, author and international speaker on internet security," was asked by Varonis to create a series of video lessons on sql injection, TLS, storing passwords securely in a database, XSS, and proper account management. Have fun.

Submission + - SPAM: Police hunt drone pilot in Hamburg near-miss

Alchemical Media writes: Police were called to Hamburg airport on Sunday evening after a drone almost collided with a passenger plane. They are still hunting the pilot of the miniature aircraft. At around 6pm, a Finnair pilot radioed in to the control tower at Hamburg airport that he had spotted the drone at a height of around 250 []Read more...
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Submission + - Former GM and BMW executive warns Apple: Your car will be a 'gigantic money pit' (

An anonymous reader writes: The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that Apple is not only moving full steam ahead on its electric car initiative, but is actually taking measures to accelerate development.

Of course, the notion of Apple entering the car business is not without its fair share of unanswered questions. Consequently, it’s become somewhat common to hear seasoned auto industry insiders express skepticism about Apple’s plans to enter an industry as foreign, challenging, and cutthroat as the auto industry.

Most recently, former GM and BMW executive Bob Lutz appeared on CNBC and completely dismantled the notion that Apple has even a fighting chance to make even the tiniest dent in the auto industry.

"And when it comes to actually making cars," Lutz said, "there is no reason to assume that Apple, with no experience, will suddenly do a better job than General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota or Hyundai. So I think this is going to be a gigantic money pit, but then it doesn’t matter. I mean Apple has an embarrassment of riches, they don’t know where to put the cash anymore. So if they burn 30 or 40 billion dollars in the car business, no one’s going to notice."

Submission + - Stanford engineers invent transparent coating that cools solar cells (

jan_jes writes: Every time you stroll outside you emit energy into the universe: Heat from the top of your head radiates into space as infrared light. Now, Stanford engineers have developed a technology that improves on solar panel performance by exploiting this basic phenomenon. Their invention shunts away the heat generated by a solar cell under sunlight and cools it in a way that allows it to convert more photons into electricity. The group’s discovery, tested on a Stanford rooftop, addresses a problem that has long bedeviled the solar industry: The hotter solar cells get, the less efficient they become at converting the photons in light into useful electricity. The Stanford solution is based on a thin, patterned silica material laid on top of a traditional solar cell. The material is transparent to the visible sunlight that powers solar cells, but captures and emits thermal radiation, or heat, from infrared rays.

Submission + - Learn FPGAs with a $25 board and Open Source Tools (

An anonymous reader writes: Hackaday has a 3 part tutorial with videos of using open source tools with a cheap ($25) FPGA board. The board isn't very powerful, but this could be the "gateway drug" to FPGAs for people who don't want to spend hundreds of dollars and install 100s of megabytes of software and license keys just to get their feet wet. The videos are particularly good--like watching them over their shoulder. As far as I know, this is the only totally open source FPGA toolchain out there.

Submission + - Scientists discover first warm-bodied fish (

sciencehabit writes: Researchers have discovered the first fish that can keep its entire body warm, much like mammals and birds. The opah, or moonfish, lives in deep, cold water, but it generates heat from its massive pectoral muscles. And it conserves that warmth thanks to body fat and the special structure of blood vessels in its gills. Having a warm heart and brain likely allows the little-known fish to be a vigorous predator, the researchers suspect.

Submission + - Astronomers spot one-in-10-million phenomenon in early universe (

sciencehabit writes: Find one quasar—a rare, superbright galaxy core in deep space—and you’d think yourself pretty lucky. So a team of astronomers is wondering how it managed to find four closely spaced quasars all at once, a lucky break they calculate is a one-in-10-million chance. The quartet and its environs, snapped some 10 billion years ago, look like a galaxy cluster—a huge conglomeration of galaxies seen in the present-day universe—during its formative years. But current numerical simulations of how galaxy clusters form suggest they should be in areas with much hotter and less dense gas. So is this a cosmic fluke, or is it time to rewrite our theories of how the universe’s largest structures form?

Submission + - Biologist Creates Self-Healing Concrete (

mpicpp writes: It's the world's most popular building material, and ever since the Romans built the pantheon from it some 2,000 years ago, we've been trying to find ways to make concrete more durable.

No matter how carefully it is mixed or reinforced, all concrete eventually cracks, and under some conditions, those cracks can lead to collapse.

"The problem with cracks in concrete is leakage," explains professor Henk Jonkers, of Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands.

"If you have cracks, water comes through — in your basements, in a parking garage. Secondly, if this water gets to the steel reinforcements — in concrete we have all these steel rebars — if they corrode, the structure collapses."

But Jonkers has come up with an entirely new way of giving concrete a longer life.

"We have invented bioconcrete — that's concrete that heals itself using bacteria," he says.

Submission + - The Biosecurity Logic Behind Australia's Threat to Kill Johnny Depp's Dogs writes: Adam Taylor writes in the Washington Post that Australia's threat to kill Boo and Pistol, two dogs that belong to the American movie star Johnny Depp unless they leave the country by Saturday has made headlines around the world. But the logic behind the threat is typical for Australia, which has some of the strictest animal quarantine laws in the world. According to the Australian Department of Agriculture, dogs can be imported to Australia but are required to spend at least 10 days in quarantine in the country. There are also a whole variety of other restrictions on the dogs – they can only come from an approved country, they cannot be pregnant, and they must not be a banned breed. The dogs are then required to undergo a variety of tests and be fully vaccinated and microchipped. It's a time-consuming, expensive and complicated process that serves one purpose. Australia is one of a relatively small number of countries around the world that are considered rabies-free. "The reason you can walk through a park in Brisbane and not have in the back of your mind, 'What happens if a rabid dog comes out and bites me or bites my kid,' is because we've kept that disease out," says Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Australia's geographical distance from much of the rest of the world and its relatively late contact with the West means that its biological ecosystem is unlike those of many other nations. To protect this, the country restricts what can be brought into the country. The impact of alien species on Australian wildlife was made clear early in the 20th century, when the cane toad, indigenous to Central and South America, was introduced to north Queensland in the hope of controlling the local cane beetle population. While the toads had little impact on the beetle population, they unexpectedly thrived in their new environment. Their effects on Australia's ecology include the depletion of native species that die eating cane toads; the poisoning of pets and humans; depletion of native fauna preyed on by cane toads; and reduced prey populations for native insectivores, such as skinks. The population of a few thousand cane toads introduced in 1935 is now in the millions, and are now considered pests that the Australian government is trying to eradicate.

Depp isn't the only American celebrity to run afoul of Australian biosecurity laws. In 2013, a Katy Perry album that featured flower seeds in its packaging triggered a biosecurity alert from Australia's Agriculture Department. "Most people are excited to think that there's an attachment between biosecurity and someone as popular as Katy Perry," said Vanessa Findlay, Australia's chief plant protection officer.

Submission + - New Estimate: Billions of Milky Way Planets are in the Habitable Zone (

Press2ToContinue writes: Astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets using the Kepler satellite. By analyzing these planetary systems, researchers have calculated the probability for the number of stars that might have planets in the habitable zone. The calculations show that billions of stars in the Milky Way will have one to three planets in the habitable zone, where there is the potential for liquid water and where life could exist.

Submission + - The country that is running entirely on renewable energy ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Costa Rica has achieved a clean energy milestone by using 100 per cent renewable energy for a record 75 days in a row.

The feat was achieved thanks to heavy rainfall, which powered four hydroelectric plants in the first three months of the year, the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute said.

No fossil fuels have been burnt to generate electricity since December 2014, in the state which is renowned for its clean energy policies.

Submission + - Anthem Blocking Federal Auditor from Doing Vulnerability Scans (

chicksdaddy writes: File this one under "suspicious behavior." Anthem Inc., the Indiana-based health insurer has informed a federal auditor, the Office of Personnel Management, that it will not permit vulnerability scans of its network — even after acknowledging that it was the victim of a massive breach that leaked data on tens of millions of patients.

According to this article (, Anthem is citing "company policy" that prohibits third party access to its network in declining to let auditors from OPM's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conduct scans for vulnerable systems. OPM's OIG performs a variety of audits on health insurers that provide health plans to federal employees under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, or FEHBP. Insurers aren't mandated to comply — though most do.

This isn't Anthem's first time saying "no thanks" to the offer of a network vulnerability scan. The company also declined to let OIG scan its network in 2013. A partial audit report issued at the time ( warned that the company, then known as WellPoint, "provided us with conflicting statements" on issues related to information security, including Wellpoint's practices regarding regular configuration audits and its plans to shift to IBM's Tivoli Endpoint Manager (TEM) platform.

Submission + - Fury at Airbus after it hints the A380 may be mothballed ( 1

schwit1 writes: Airbus plunged deeper into crisis yesterday as customers reacted with fury to its suggestion that it may stop producing the fabled A380 super-jumbo in 2018 because of poor sales. The prospect of the European plane-maker, which employs thousands of workers in the UK, mothballing the giant passenger airliner sent shockwaves through the aviation industry yesterday and triggered a major fall in the company’s share price.

Sales of the A380 have been sluggish because of a limit to the number of routes where a 500-seater is needed. No airline has ordered A380s at all this year, while in July, the Japanese carrier Skymark Airlines cancelled the six it had ordered.

Chief financial officer Harald Wilhelm started the speculation frenzy when reports emerged that he had told investors Airbus might have to discontinue the plane unless it can invest in improvements to make it more attractive to customers. Although analysts and rivals have suggested it for some time, it was the first time the manufacturer had talked publicly about the humiliating possibility.

He said the A380 manufacturing programme would break even next year but not into 2018 without new engine types. That decision on the engine has to be made soon, because it would normally take about four years – and $2bn – to develop.

Submission + - WireLurker Mac OS X Malware Shut Down (

msm1267 writes: WireLurker is no more. After causing an overnight sensation, the newly disclosed family of Apple Mac OS X malware capable of also infecting iOS devices has been put to rest. Researchers at Palo Alto Networks confirmed this morning that the command and control infrastructure supporting WireLurker has been shut down and Apple has revoked a legitimate digital certificate used to sign WireLurker code and allow it to infect non-jailbroken iOS devices.

Researchers at Palo Alto Networks discovered and dubbed the threat WireLurker because it spreads from infected OS X computers to iOS once the mobile device is connected to a Mac via USB. The malware analyzes the connected iOS device looking for a number of popular applications in China, namely the Meitu photo app, the Taobao online auction app, or the AliPay payment application. If any of those are found on the iOS device, WireLurker extracts its and replaces it with a Trojanized version of the same app repackaged with malware.

Patient zero is a Chinese third-party app store called Maiyadi known for hosting pirated apps for both platforms. To date, Palo Alto researchers said, 467 infected OS X apps have been found on Maiyadi and those apps have been downloaded more than 350,000 times as of Oct. 16 by more than 100,000 users.

Pascal is a language for children wanting to be naughty. -- Dr. Kasi Ananthanarayanan