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The Military

Submission + - China's J-20 stealth fighter leaks

An anonymous reader writes: China plans to begin test flight of its first J-20 stealth fighter as early as this month and plans to deploy them by 2017. Beijing appears to have completed a prototype of the stealth fighter, which Chinese experts are comparing to the US F-22 fighter, reinforcing the country's rapid military build-up, Japanese newspaper Ashai Shimbun reported quoting Chinese military sources.

Submission + - For Mac developers, Armageddon comes tomorrow (zdnet.com)

kdawson writes: David Gewirtz's blog post over at ZDNet warns of an imminent price collapse for traditional Mac applications, starting tomorrow when the Mac App Store opens. The larger questions: what will Mac price plunges of 90%-95% mean for the PC software market? For the Mac's market share? Quoting: 'The Mac software market is about as old-school as you get. Developers have been creating, shipping, and selling products through traditional channels and at traditional price points for decades. ... Mac software has historically been priced on a parity with other desktop software. That means small products are about $20. Utilities run in the $50-60 range. Games in the $50 range. Productivity packages and creative tools in the hundreds, and specialty software — well, the sky's the limit. Tomorrow, the sky will fall. Tomorrow, the iOS developers move in and the traditional Mac developers better stick their heads between their legs and kiss those price points goodbye.'
Data Storage

Japanese Scientists Develop Long-Life Flash Memory 188

schliz writes "Flash memory chips with a potential lifetime of hundreds of years have been developed by Japanese scientists. The new chips also work at lower voltages than conventional chips, according to the scientists from the University of Tokyo. They are said to be scaleable down to at least 10 nm; current Flash chips wouldn't be usable below 20 nm."

Mars Lander's Robot Arm Shuts Down To Save Itself 214

Cowards Anonymous passes along a PCWorld article that begins, "The robotic arm on the Mars Lander found itself in a tough position over the weekend. After receiving instructions for a movement that would have damaged its wrist, the robotic arm recognized the problem, tried to rectify it and then shut down before it could damage itself, according to Ray Arvidson, a co-investigator for the Mars Lander's robotic arm team and a professor at Washington University in St. Louis."

Alternative Uses For an Old Satellite Dish? 552

ya really writes "My family has one of those BUDs (Big Ugly Dishes) sitting in their back yard still. The other day they asked me if I would take it apart for them. Aside from simply recycling it, I was wondering if there are any alternatives for its use. It was one of the last made before DirectTV and Dish took over satellite broadcasting, and even has a digital receiver. I'd say it was made around 1996."
Data Storage

Notebook Storage SSDs and HDs Compared 149

The Raindog sends us a particularly timely showdown article comparing seven 2.5" mobile hard drives, four of them HDs and three SSDs, across a wide range of application, file-copy, power-consumption, and noise-level tests. Tom's Hardware was recently forced to issue a correction to a claim, which we discussed here, that SSDs aren't actually much more power-thrifty than HDs. The Tech Report's in-depth comparison provides some data points on the question of whether solid-state storage is ready to supplant traditional mechanical hard drives, but notes that the price disparity is still substantial.

The Push For Quotas For Women In Science 896

mlimber writes "The NYTimes has a story about how Congress has quietly begun to press for an equal number of women in the hard sciences and engineering under Title IX, which is best known for mandating numerical equality for boys' and girls' sports for institutions that accept federal funding. The problem is, the article says, it is not merely that women face discrimination from male colleagues, though that is often true, or that they are discouraged from pursuing these fields. Rather, women with aptitude in these areas often simply have other interests and so pursue their education and careers in other fields like law, education, or biology. Opponents of this plan, including many women in scientific fields, say implementing sex-based quotas will actually be detrimental because it will communicate that the women can't compete on even terms with men and will be 'devastating' to the quality of science 'if every male-dominated field has to be calibrated to women's level of interest.'"

Fallout From the Fall of CAPTCHAs 413

An anonymous reader recommends Computerworld's look at the rise and fall of CAPTCHAs, and at some of the ways bad guys are leveraging broken CAPTCHAs to ply their evil trade. "CAPTCHA used to be an easy and useful way for Web administrators to authenticate users. Now it's an easy and useful way for malware authors and spammers to do their dirty work. By January 2008, Yahoo Mail's CAPTCHA had been cracked. Gmail was ripped open soon thereafter. Hotmail's top got popped in April. And then things got bad. There are now programs available online (no, we will not tell you where) that automate CAPTCHA attacks. You don't need to have any cracking skills. All you need is a desire to spread spam, make anonymous online attacks against your enemies, propagate malware or, in general, be an online jerk. And it's not just free e-mail sites that can be made to suffer..."

Send the ISS To the Moon 387

jmichaelg writes "Michael Benson is proposing that NASA send the ISS to the moon instead of leaving it in low earth orbit. (While we're at it, we should re-brand it as the 'International Space Ship.') He points out that it's already designed to be moved periodically to higher orbits so instead of just boosting it a few miles, strap on some ion engines and put it in orbit around the moon instead of the earth. That would provide an initial base for the astronauts going to the moon and give the ISS a purpose other than performing yet more studies on the effect of micro gravity on humans. Benson concludes: 'Let's begin the process of turning the ISS from an Earth-orbiting caterpillar into an interplanetary butterfly.'"

Fairytales Now Need a Safety Warning Screenshot-sm 3

A new child protection curriculum being implemented by the Education Department in Australia urges teachers to give children safety messages after reading them fairytales. The goal is to make sure that children understand not to engage in unsafe behaviors such as talking to strangers like Little Red Riding Hood and not to enter strange houses like Hansel and Gretel. While I can see the value in teaching kids not to talk to strangers, I want my kids to know that is is perfectly acceptable to push any elderly cannibal into an oven should they be kidnapped and kept in cages.

Thwarting New JavaScript Malware Obfuscation 76

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Malware writers have been obfuscating their JavaScript exploit code for a long time now and SANS is reporting that they've come up with some new tricks. While early obfuscations were easy enough to undo by changing eval() to alert(), they soon shifted to clever use of arguments.callee() in a simple cipher to block it. Worse, now they're using document.referrer, document.location, and location.href to make site-specific versions, too. But SANS managed to stop all that with an 8-line patch to SpiderMonkey that prints out any arguments to eval() before executing them. It seems that malware writers still haven't internalized the lesson of DRM — if my computer can access something in plaintext, I can too."

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.