Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

+ - Oklahoma says it will now use nitrogen gas as its backup method of execution->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Yesterday, Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin signed into law a bill that approves the use of nitrogen gas for executions in the state. The method, which would effectively asphyxiate death row inmates by forcing them to breathe pure nitrogen through a gas mask, is meant to be the primary alternative to lethal injection, the Washington Post reports.

Fallin and other supporters of the procedure say it's pain-free and effective, noting that the nitrogen would render inmates unconscious within ten seconds and kill them in minutes. It's also cheap: state representatives say the method only requires a nitrogen tank and a gas mask, but financial analysts say its impossible to give precise figures, the Post reports.

Oklahoma's primary execution method is still lethal injection, but the state's procedure is currently under review by the Supreme Court. Earlier this week, Tennessee suspended executions statewide following challenges to its own lethal injection protocol."

Link to Original Source

+ - Not drinking enough water has same effect as drink driving->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Having as few as five sips of water an hour while driving is equivalent to being over the drink drive limit. Drivers make more than twice as many mistakes when they are just mildly dehydrated, according to new research.

The study revealed that drivers who had only had 25ml of water an hour made more than double the number of mistakes on the road than those who were hydrated — the same amount as those who have been drink driving."

Link to Original Source

+ - FBI overstated forensic hair matches in nearly all trials before 2000->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory's microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country's largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions."

Link to Original Source

+ - The Upsides of a Surveillance Society

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Citing the comeuppance of ESPN reporter Britt McHenry, who was suspended from her job after her filmed ad-hominem attack on a person McHenry deemed to be beneath her in terms of appearance, education, wealth, class, status went viral, The Atlantic's Megan Garber writes that one silver lining of the omnipresence of cameras it that the possibility of exposure can also encourage us to be a little kinder to each other. "Terrible behavior," Garber writes, "whether cruel or violent or something in between, has a greater possibility than it ever has before of being exposed. Just as Uber tracks ratings for both its drivers and its users, and just as Yelp can be a source of shaming for businesses and customers alike, technology at large has afforded a reciprocity between people who, in a previous era, would have occupied different places on the spectrum of power. Which can, again, be a bad thing — but which can also, in McHenry's case, be an extremely beneficial one. It's good that her behavior has been exposed. It's good that her story going viral might discourage similar behavior from other people. It's good that she has publicly promised 'to learn from this mistake.'""

+ - Incorrectly built SLS welding machine to be rebuilt

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A giant welding machine, built for NASA's multi-billion dollar Space Launch System (SLS), has to be taken apart and rebuilt because the contractor failed to reinforce the floor, as required, prior to construction.

Sweden's ESAB Welding & Cutting, which has its North American headquarters in Florence, South Carolina, built the the roughly 50-meter tall Vertical Assembly Center as a subcontractor to SLS contractor Boeing at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

ESAB was supposed to reinforce Michoud's floor before installing the welding tool, but did not, NASA SLS Program Manager Todd May told SpaceNews after an April 15 panel session during the 31st Space Symposium here. As a result, the enormous machine leaned ever so slightly, cocking the rails that guide massive rings used to lift parts of the 8.4-meter-diameter SLS stages The rings wound up 0.06 degrees out of alignment, which may not sound like much, "but when you're talking about something that's 217 feet [66.14 meters] tall, that adds up," May said.

Asked why ESAB did not reinforce the foundation as it was supposed to, May said only it was a result of "a miscommunication between two [Boeing] subcontractors and ESAB."

It is baffling how everyone at NASA, Boeing, and ESAB could have forgotten to do the reinforcing, even though it was specified in the contract. It also suggests that the quality control in the SLS rocket program has some serious problems."

+ - Iris Scanner Identifies a Person 40 Feet Away->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "For several years now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab Biometrics Center have been testing an iris recognition system that can be used to identify subjects at a range of up to 40 feet.

In the realm of law enforcement, iris recognition could be used to identify suspects at long range in various lighting conditions. The system can even be used to capture images through reflections in a mirror."

Link to Original Source

+ - Security expert pulled off flight by FBI after exposing aircraft vulnerabilities->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "One of the world's foremost experts on counter-threat intelligence within the cybersecurity industry, who blew the whistle on vulnerabilities in airplane technology systems in a series of recent Fox News reports, has become the target of an FBI investigation himself.

Chris Roberts of the Colorado-based One World Labs, a security intelligence firm that identifies risks before they're exploited, said two FBI agents and two uniformed police officers pulled him off a United Airlines Boeing 737-800 commercial flight Wednesday night just after it landed in Syracuse, and spent the next four hours questioning him about cyberhacking of planes."

Link to Original Source

+ - An engineering analysis of the Falcon 9 first stage landing failure

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Link here.

SpaceX founder and chief technology officer Elon Musk tweeted that "excess lateral velocity caused it [the booster] to tip over post landing." In a later tweet that was subsequently withdrawn, Musk then indicated that "the issue was stiction in the biprop throttle valve, resulting in control system phase lag." In this statement, Musk was referring to "stiction" — or static friction — in the valve controlling the throttling of the engine. The friction appears to have momentarily slowed the response of the engine, causing the control system to command more of an extreme reaction from the propulsion system than was required. As a result, the control system entered a form of hysteresis, a condition in which the control response lags behind changes in the effect causing it.

Despite the failure of the latest attempt, SpaceX will be encouraged by the landing accuracy of the Falcon 9 and the bigger-picture success of its guidance, navigation and control (GNC) system in bringing the booster back to the drone ship. The GNC also worked as designed during the prior landing attempt in January, which ended in the destruction of the vehicle following a hard touchdown on the edge of the platform.

"

+ - Video of Falcon 9 first stage landing attempt

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The footage is looped so you can watch today's landing attempt several times in a row. It is once again astonishing that the rocket hits the target, but it is coming down very fast, and not very vertical. Like the Grasshopper tests, they need to slow it down more just before landing."

+ - Denver TSA Screeners Manipulated System in order to Grope Men's Genitals->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "The CBS affiliate in Denver reports: "Two Transportation Security Administration screeners at Denver International Airport have been fired after they were discovered manipulating passenger screening systems to allow a male TSA employee to fondle the genital areas of attractive male passengers."

According to law enforcement reports obtained during the CBS4 investigation, a male TSA screener told a female colleague in 2014 that he “gropes” male passengers who come through the screening area at DIA.

“He related that when a male he finds attractive comes to be screened by the scanning machine he will alert another TSA screener to indicate to the scanning computer that the party being screened is a female. When the screener does this, the scanning machine will indicate an anomaly in the genital area and this allows (the male TSA screener) to conduct a pat-down search of that area.”

Although the TSA learned of the accusation on Nov. 18, 2014 via an anonymous tip from one of the agency’s own employees, reports show that it would be nearly three months before anything was done."

Link to Original Source

+ - Tracking the weather on an exoplanet

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Scientists have begun gathering increasingly detailed information about the atmosphere and weather on the exoplanet HD189733B, 63 light years away with an orbit that produces a transit every 2.2 days.

It appears that the temperature rises with increasing altitude, reaching 3,000 degrees at the top of the atmosphere. There are also strong winds blowing from the cold to the hot side of the planet."

+ - Mystery of Ceres' bright spots grows

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "New data from NASA mission suggest varied origins for tantalizing gleams on dwarf planet's surface.

The Dawn science team has released the first global map of Ceres, based on the preliminary images produced during the spacecraft's approach in March.

This map is very preliminary. The global survey produced during Dawn's year long visit will be far more detailed."

+ - Trials using man-made DNA begin in battle against cancer, ebola, flu and HIV->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Pioneering new treatments for flu, Ebola and cancer are being developed by scientists using man-made DNA.

Experts have worked out how to create strands of artificial DNA, each mimicking a different killer disease, and inject them into patients.

The idea is that the patients' immune systems will then be able to recognize the threats and eliminate them."

Link to Original Source

Theory is gray, but the golden tree of life is green. -- Goethe

Working...