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University of Cape Town Team Breaks World Water Rocketry Record ( 18

New submitter Cycliclogic writes: A team of engineers based at the University of Cape Town recently had their record breaking flights of their water powered rocket Ascension III ratified by the Water Rocket Achievement World Record Association. This record is for a single stage rocket power purely on pressurized water. Two launches must be completed within two hours, the record being set at the mean above-ground altitude of the two flights. The record now stands at a whopping 2723 Feet (830m). You can watch videos of the launches here. (Warning: they're loud.)

Submission + - Disclosed Netgear Flaws Under Attack (

msm1267 writes: A vulnerability in Netgear routers, already disclosed by two sets of researchers at different security companies, has been publicly exploited.

Netgear, meanwhile, has yet to release patched firmware, despite apparently having built one and confirmed with one of the companies that privately disclosed that it addressed the problem adequately.

The vulnerability is a remotely exploitable authentication bypass that affects Netgear router firmware N300_1.1.0.31_1.0.1.img, and N300- The flaw allows an attacker, without knowing the router password, to access the administration interface.

Submission + - Mars once hosted lakes, flowing water (

sciencehabit writes: Last week, NASA announced they’d spotted occasional signs of flowing water on Mars. These briny flows, discerned from orbit, originated on the steep slopes of valleys or craters at four widely scattered sites in the planet’s southern hemisphere. Now, a comprehensive analysis of images gathered by NASA’s Curiosity rover provides the strongest evidence yet that Mars once was warm and wet enough to have lakes and flowing water year-round and for extended periods of time—possibly for millions of years. The findings hint that the Red Planet once had a climate hospitable enough for microbial life to develop and evolve.

Submission + - Mozilla to end NPAPI support in Firefox in 2016 (

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla announced today that it is planning to end support for NPAPI in all versions of Firefox at the end of 2016.

The only exception to that will be Adobe Flash which Mozilla will continue to support in the future due to it still being commonly used by Firefox users.


Former Reuters Media Editor Found Guilty of Helping Anonymous Hack Into LA Times ( 25

An anonymous reader writes: Prolific tweeter and former Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys, charged with computer hacking under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, was found guilty today on all counts and faces up to 25 years in prison when sentenced in January. Wired reports: "According to authorities, during a recorded FBI interview with Keys in October 2012 at his home, prior to his indictment, he admitted to his involvement in the hacking of the L.A. Times, and to sending a series of disparaging, sometimes threatening e-mails to a former employer. Keys waived his Miranda rights at the time of the interview and was concerned that the case not be publicized, apparently believing he might get off as a cooperating witness."

Submission + - In Midst of a Tech Boom, Seattle Tries to Keep Its Soul writes: Nick Wingfield has an interesting article in the NYT about how Seattle, Austin, Boulder, Portland, and other tech hubs around the country are seeking not to emulate San Francisco where wealth has created a widely envied economy, but housing costs have skyrocketed, and the region’s economic divisions have deepened with rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco at more than $3,500 a month, the highest in the country. “Seattle has wanted to be San Francisco for so long,” says Knute Berger. “Now it’s figuring out maybe that it isn’t what we want to be.” The core of the debate is over affordable housing and the worry that San Francisco is losing artists, teachers and its once-vibrant counterculture. “It’s not that we don’t want to be a thriving tech center — we do,” says Alan Durning. “It’s that the San Francisco and Silicon Valley communities have gotten themselves into a trap where preservationists and local politics have basically guaranteed buying a house will cost at least $1 million. Already in Seattle, it costs half-a-million, so we’re well on our way.”

Seattle mayor Ed Murray says he wants to keep the working-class roots of Seattle, a city with a major port, fishing fleet and even a steel mill. After taking office last year, Murray made the minimum-wage increase a priority, reassured representatives of the city’s manufacturing and maritime industries that Seattle needed them., and has set a goal of creating 50,000 homes — 40 percent of them affordable for low-income residents — over the next decade. “We can hopefully create enough affordable housing so we don’t find ourselves as skewed by who lives in the city as San Francisco is,” says Murray. “We’re at a crossroads,” says Roger Valdez. “One path leads to San Francisco, where you have an incredibly regulated and stagnant housing economy that can’t keep up with demand. The other path is something different, the Seattle way.”

'Voices From Chernobyl' Author Svetlana Alexievich Wins Lit Nobel ( 24

Lawrence Bottorff writes: The author of Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster, Svetlana Alexievich, has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. It's somewhat surprising, since she is an investigative journalist and not a fiction writer/novelist. And yet her "novels in voices" style, as the Nobel jurists believe, clearly has a literary impact. Here's what a review from the Journal of Nuclear Medicine says about Voices from Chernobyl:

"Alexievich was a journalist living in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, at the time of the Chernobyl accident. Instead of choosing the usual approach of trying to quantify a disaster in terms of losses and displacement, the author chose instead to interview more than 500 eyewitnesses over a span of 10 years. ... It tells us about the psychologic and personal tragedy of the modern-day nuclear disaster. It is about the experiences of individuals and how the disaster affected their lives."

Although the Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded based on "lifetime work" rather than an individual book, Voices... is her best-known and most celebrated work.


Volvo Will Accept Liability For Self-Driving Car Crashes ( 146

An anonymous reader writes: Volvo has announced it will accept "full liability" for accidents when one of its cars is driving autonomously. It joins Mercedes and Google in this claim, hoping to convince regulators that it's worthwhile to allow testing of such vehicles on public roads. Volvo's CTO said, "Everybody is aware of the fact that driverless technology will never be perfect — one day there will be an accident. So the question becomes who is responsible and we think it's unrealistic to put that responsibility on our customers." Of course, this is limited to flaws in the self-driving system. If the driver does something inappropriate, or if another vehicle causes the accident, then they're still liable. It's also questionable how the courts would treat a promise for liability, but presumably this can be cleared up with agreements when customers start actually using the technology.

Submission + - Tree of life of birds reveals how all modern birds evolved (

hypnosec writes: A multi-university effort has culminated into a tree of life for birds developed using a massive Yale University-led genomic analysis of 198 species of birds. Published in the journal Nature, the tree of life and the underlying research sheds new light on how all modern birds evolved from the only three dinosaur lineages to survive the great extinction event 66 million years ago. The tree of life of birds is expected to take another 5 to 10 years to complete.

Submission + - bring your own device nightmare

HongoBelando writes: The company I contract for is pushing on to me a new "bring your own device" policy. It would not be bad if the mandatory requirements IMHO are braindamaged and push to a complete Windows environment. Windows 7 or 8 64bit, Pointesec or Bitlocker, Symantec or other similar stuff. IOS and Linux are not permitted, xBSD are not even mentioned. Some lines even mention TPM (yuck).

Until now I could happily use my dual boot Debian and FreeBSD that suites my job perfectly.

My only idea at the moment is to try installing a VirtualBox W7 client and hope one of the permitted disk encrypters works. I really would want to avoid repartitioning just to meet idiotic requirements of some bean counter. All ideas appreciated!

Submission + - Elephants don't get cancer. Here's why (

sciencehabit writes: The surprisingly low cancer rates in elephants and other hefty, long-lived animals such as whales—known as Peto’s paradox after one of the scientists who first described it—have nettled scientists since the mid-1970s. So far, researchers have made little progress in solving the mystery or determining how other long-lived species beat cancer. Now, a new study shows that the animals harbor dozens of extra copies of one of the most powerful cancer-preventing genes, p53. These bonus genes might enable elephants to weed out potentially cancerous cells before they can grow into tumors. The researchers say they are now trying to determine whether they can make human cells more elephantlike, for example by inserting additional copies of the p53 gene or by identifying compounds that duplicate the effects of the extra copies.

Submission + - How to Create Art With Mathematics (

An anonymous reader writes: Lavished with many beautiful illustrations of this kind, Farris’ book is a joyful yet serious exploration of how mathematics can create beautiful patterns and provide us with a deep understanding of symmetry, one of the underlying principles of great art. “Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare,” wrote the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Frank Farris shows us what that means. His book uses the abstract, esoteric beauty of mathematical equations to create the universally appealing beauty of visual art. I believe our ability to find beauty in both mathematics and art reveals something deep about the human mind, a topic we may explore in the solution column. For now, let’s tackle today’s puzzles. They are inspired by the more elementary parts of Farris’ book, which discusses different types of symmetries in wallpaper, friezes and Escher-esque morphing patterns using a host of mathematical techniques involving groups, vector spaces, Fourier series, rosette functions, wave functions and several others. The puzzles below merely skim the surface of the connection between math and art that the book explores in depth, but they are designed to encourage all of our readers to create stunning visual patterns using mathematics.

Not All iPhone 6s Processors Are Created Equal ( 171

itwbennett writes: Apple is splitting the manufacture of the A9 processor for its iPhone 6s between TSMC (~60%) and rival Samsung (~40%) — "and they are not created equal," writes Andy Patrizio. For starters, Chipworks noted that Samsung uses 14nm while TSMC uses 16nm. A Reddit user posted tests of a pair of 6s Plus phones and found the TSMC chip had eight hours of battery life vs. six hours for the Samsung. Meanwhile, benchmark tests from the folks at MyDriver (if Mr. Patrizio's efforts with Google Translate got it right) also found that the Samsung chip is a bigger drain on the phone's battery, while the TSMC chip is slightly faster and runs a bit cooler. So how do you know which chip you got? There's an app for that.

MIT Master's Program To Use MOOCs As 'Admissions Test' ( 86

jyosim writes: In what could usher a new way of doing college admissions at elite colleges, MIT is experimenting with weighing MOOC performance as proof that students should be accepted to on-campus programs. The idea is to fix the "inexact science" of sorting through candidates from all over the world. And it gives students a better sense of what they're getting into: "When you buy a car, you take a test drive. Wouldn't it be a great value for prospective students to take a test course before they apply?" said one academic blogger.

Submission + - Dell Brings 4K InfinityEdge Display To XPS 15 Line, GeForce GPU, Under 4 Pounds (

MojoKid writes: There's no doubt that Dell's new XPS 13 notebook when it debuted earlier this year, was very well received. Dell managed to cram a 13.3-inch 3200x1800 QHD+ display into a 12-inch carbon fiber composite frame. Dell has now brought that same InfinityEdge display technology to its larger XPS 15, which the company boasts has the same footprint as a 14-inch notebook. But Dell didn't just stay the course with the QHD+ resolution from the smaller XPS 13; the company instead is offering an optional UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD panel with 8 million pixels and 282 pixels per inch (PPI). The 350-nit display allows for 170-degree viewing angles and has 100 percent minimum Adobe RGB color. Dell also beefed up the XPS 15's internals, giving it sixth generation Intel Core processors (Skylake), support for up to 16GB of memory and storage options that top out with a 1TB SSD. Graphics duties are handled by either integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 or a powerful GeForce GTX 960M processor that is paired with 2GB GDDR5 memory. And all of this squeaks in at under 4 pounds.

Your good nature will bring you unbounded happiness.