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The Internet

Google and Apple Weasling Out of "Do Not Track" 17

Posted by timothy
from the except-for-the-following-circumstances dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Per an op-ed in today's New York Times, Google, Apple, and others would be effectively exempt from "Do not track": "[T]he rules would allow the largest Internet giants to continue scooping up data about users on their own sites and on other sites that include their plug-ins, such as Facebook's 'Like' button or an embedded YouTube video. This giant loophole would make 'Do Not Track' meaningless."

+ - Google and Apple weasling out of "Do not track"->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Per an op-ed in today's New York Times, Google, Apple, and others would be effectively exempt from "Do not track":

[T]he rules would allow the largest Internet giants to continue scooping up data about users on their own sites and on other sites that include their plug-ins, such as Facebook’s “Like” button or an embedded YouTube video. This giant loophole would make “Do Not Track” meaningless.

"

Link to Original Source
Space

Hubble Reveals a Previously Unknown Dwarf Galaxy Just 7 Million Light Years Away 32

Posted by timothy
from the hey-neighbor dept.
The L.A. Times reports that the Hubble Space Telescope's ongoing survey work has discovered a dwarf universe a mere 7 million light years away: While only just recently discovered using Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys, the galaxy known as KKs3 has been around for a long while. Astronomers led by Igor Karachentsev of the Special Astrophysical Observatory in Karachai-Cherkessia, Russia, showed that some 74% of KKs3’s star mass was formed in the universe’s early years, at least 12 billion years ago. Most of the tiny galaxy’s stars are old and dim, making it a fascinating fossil that could help astronomers understand what ancient galactic environments looked like.

+ - White House: President Obama Writing a Line of Code #1 SciTech Highlight of 2014

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "That President Obama became the first President to write a line of code (as a top Microsoft lobbyist looked on) is #1 on the White House's Top 9 science and technology highlights from 2014. To kick off this year's Hour of Code, the President 'learned to code' by moving a Disney Princess Elsa character 100 pixels on a screen, first by dragging-and-dropping Blockly puzzle pieces and then by coding 1 line of JavaScript. Interestingly, Bill Clinton might have been The First President To Write Code had Microsoft seen fit to use its patented, circa-1995 Graphical Programming System and Method for Enabling a Person to Learn Text-Based Programming — which describes how kids as young as 8-12 years of age can be taught to program by progressing from creating a program using graphical objects to doing so using text-based programming — to teach President Clinton to code some 20 years ago!"
Crime

13,000 Passwords, Usernames Leaked For Major Commerce, Porn Sites 75

Posted by timothy
from the watch-your-bill dept.
The Daily Dot reports that yesterday a "group claiming affiliation with the loose hacker collective Anonymous released a document containing approximately 13,000 username-and-password combinations along with credit card numbers and expiration dates." Most of the sites listed are distinctly NSFW, among other places, but the list includes some of the largest retailers, too, notably Amazon and Wal-Mart.

+ - 5,200 Days Aboard ISS and the Surprising Reason the Mission is Still Worthwhile

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Spaceflight has faded from American consciousness even as our performance in space has reached a new level of accomplishment. In the past decade, America has become a truly, permanently spacefaring nation. All day, every day, half a dozen men and women, including two Americans, are living and working in orbit, and have been since November 2000. Charles Fishman has a long, detailed article about life aboard the ISS in The Atlantic that is well worth the read where you are sure to learn something you didn't already know about earth's permanent outpost in space. Some excerpts:

The International Space Station is a vast outpost, its scale inspiring awe even in the astronauts who have constructed it. From the edge of one solar panel to the edge of the opposite one, the station stretches the length of a football field, including the end zones. The station weighs nearly 1 million pounds, and its solar arrays cover more than an acre. It’s as big inside as a six-bedroom house, more than 10 times the size of a space shuttle’s interior. Astronauts regularly volunteer how spacious it feels. It’s so big that during the early years of three-person crews, the astronauts would often go whole workdays without bumping into one another, except at mealtimes.

On the station, the ordinary becomes peculiar. The exercise bike for the American astronauts has no handlebars. It also has no seat. With no gravity, it’s just as easy to pedal furiously, feet strapped in, without either. You can watch a movie while you pedal by floating a laptop anywhere you want. But station residents have to be careful about staying in one place too long. Without gravity to help circulate air, the carbon dioxide you exhale has a tendency to form an invisible cloud around your head. You can end up with what astronauts call a carbon-dioxide headache.

Even by the low estimates, it costs $350,000 an hour to keep the station flying, which makes astronauts’ time an exceptionally expensive resource—and explains their relentless scheduling: Today’s astronauts typically start work by 7:30 in the morning, Greenwich Mean Time, and stop at 7 o’clock in the evening. They are supposed to have the weekends off, but Saturday is devoted to cleaning the station—vital, but no more fun in orbit than housecleaning down here—and some work inevitably sneaks into Sunday.

Life in space is so complicated that a lot of logistics have to be off-loaded to the ground if astronauts are to actually do anything substantive. Just building the schedule for the astronauts in orbit on the U.S. side of the station requires a full-time team of 50 staffers.

Almost anyone you talk with about the value of the Space Station eventually starts talking about Mars. When they do, it’s clear that we don’t yet have a very grown-up space program. The folks we send to space still don’t have any real autonomy, because no one was imagining having to “practice” autonomy when the station was designed and built. On a trip to Mars, the distances are so great that a single voice or email exchange would involve a 30-minute round-trip. That one change, among the thousand others that going to Mars would require, would alter the whole dynamic of life in space. The astronauts would have to handle things themselves.

That could be the real value of the Space Station—to shift NASA’s human exploration program from entirely Earth-controlled to more astronaut-directed, more autonomous. This is not a high priority now; it would be inconvenient, inefficient. But the station’s value could be magnified greatly were NASA to develop a real ethic, and a real plan, for letting the people on the mission assume more responsibility for shaping and controlling it. If we have any greater ambitions for human exploration in space, that’s as important as the technical challenges. Problems of fitness and food supply are solvable. The real question is what autonomy for space travelers would look like—and how Houston can best support it. Autonomy will not only shape the psychology and planning of the mission; it will shape the design of the spacecraft itself.

"
Robotics

An Open Source Flat Pack Robot Arm That's As Easy To Build As Ikea Furniture 26

Posted by timothy
from the fold-here-snip-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes The MeArm is a flat-pack robot arm. It has been developed in a very short time frame as the creators have been able to tap into crowd development by open sourcing all of the designs. Because of this it's exploded around the world with builders on every continent (bar Antarctica) and there are even people manufacturing them to sell in Peru, Taiwan and South Africa. MeArm manufacture them in the UK and export to distributors around the world, including Open Source pioneers like Adafruit and Hackaday in the USA. They're currently running a Kickstarter for a controller to take it out of the 'Hackersphere' and into the living room. They doubled their target in the first week and are still going strong so it's looking like they will be the first consumer flat pack robot kit in the world! Controller or not, you can download the arm from Thingiverse, and follow the project at Hackaday.
Facebook

Startup Acquisitions Herald Virtual, Augmented Reality Apps From Facebook 8

Posted by timothy
from the taking-a-farmville-to-the-face dept.
giulioprisco writes Oculus VR, the Virtual Reality (VR) technology company acquired by Facebook earlier this year, announced recently that they are acquiring two small start-up companies, Nimble VR and 13th Lab, to fill gaps in their virtual reality capabilities. The acquisitions may indicate that, besides VR games and social worlds, Facebook may target Augmented Reality (AR) applications, like Google is doing with Google Glass.

Google News Sci Tech: Chattanooga touts transformation into Gig City - U-T San Diego->

From feed by feedfeeder

Cleveland Daily Banner

Chattanooga touts transformation into Gig City
U-T San Diego
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A city once infamous for the smoke-belching foundries that blanketed its buildings and streets with a heavy layer of soot is turning to lightning-fast Internet speeds to try to transform itself into a vibrant tech hub. Through a...
Internet debate by state comingCleveland Daily Banner

all 5 news articles

Link to Original Source

+ - Open Source Flat Pack Robot Arm that's as easy to build as Ikea Furniture->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The MeArm is a Flat Pack Robot Arm. It has been developed in a very short time frame as the creators have been able to tap into crowd development by open sourcing all of the designs. Because of this it's exploded around the world with builders on every continent (bar Antarctica) and there are even people manufacturing them to sell in Peru, Taiwan and South Africa. MeArm manufacture them in the UK and export to distributors around the world, including Open Source pioneers like Adafruit and Hackaday in the USA.

They're currently running a Kickstarter for a controller to take it out of the "Hackersphere" and into the living room. They doubled their target in the first week and are still going strong so it's looking like they will be the first consumer flat pack robot kit in the world!"

Link to Original Source
Government

N. Korea Blames US For Internet Outage, Compares Obama to "a Monkey" 143

Posted by timothy
from the he-doesn't-have-a-monkey-dot-org-address dept.
Reuters reports that North Korea's government has publicly blamed the U.S. for the widespread internet outages that the country has recently experienced (including today), and taken the opportunity to lambaste President Obama, as well. From the article: The National Defence Commission, the North's ruling body, chaired by state leader Kim Jong Un, said Obama was responsible for Sony's belated decision to release the action comedy "The Interview", which depicts a plot to assassinate Kim. "Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest," an unnamed spokesman for the commission said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency, using a term seemingly designed to cause racial offence that North Korea has used before.

+ - Linux Lockup Bug Continues To Be Investigated

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "For the past month there's been Linux kernel developers investigating a regression which causes a handful machines to freeze. As of the middle of December, the issue was still being investigated while Linux 3.18 was already shipped with the bug. Now it looks like the investigation is coming to an end. Either the latest cues are found to be correct, or time runs out as Dave Jones of Red Hat has to return his system this coming Monday as he's leaving Red Hat. The latest belief is the issue might be related to HPET, the High Precision Event Timer. Yesterday Linus Torvalds posted that he agrees it could be HPET related, some SMM/BIOS power management feature causing the problem, a bug in the kernel's clock-source handling, or "gremlins" — something freakish happening. Here's the last post at the time of writing. It looks like Dave will still be running some kernel tests this weekend though after that he has to turn in the system."
The Military

Newest Stealth Fighter's Ground Attack Sensors 10 Years Behind Older Jets 164

Posted by timothy
from the how-are-its-faster-than-light-capabilities? dept.
schwit1 writes with this excerpt from The Daily Beast: America's $400 billion, top-of-the-line aircraft can't see the battlefield all that well. Which means it's actually worse than its predecessors at fighting today's wars. .... The problem stems from the fact that the technology found on one of the stealth fighter's primary air-to-ground sensors—its nose-mounted Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS)—is more than a decade old and hopelessly obsolete. The EOTS, which is similar in concept to a large high-resolution infrared and television camera, is used to visually identify and monitor ground targets. The system can also mark targets for laser-guided bombs. ... Older jets currently in service with the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps can carry the latest generation of sensor pods, which are far more advanced than the EOTS sensor carried by the F-35. ... The end result is that when the F-35 finally becomes operational after its myriad technical problems, cost overruns, and massive delays, in some ways it will be less capable than current fighters in the Pentagon's inventory.
Science

New Paper Claims Neutrino Is Likely a Faster-Than-Light Particle 70

Posted by timothy
from the don't-tell-the-trading-companies dept.
HughPickens.com writes Phys.org reports that in a new paper accepted by the journal Astroparticle Physics, Robert Ehrlich, a recently retired physicist from George Mason University, claims that the neutrino is very likely a tachyon or faster-than-light particle. Ehrlich's new claim of faster-than-light neutrinos is based on a much more sensitive method than measuring their speed, namely by finding their mass. The result relies on tachyons having an imaginary mass, or a negative mass squared. Imaginary mass particles have the weird property that they speed up as they lose energy – the value of their imaginary mass being defined by the rate at which this occurs. According to Ehrlich, the magnitude of the neutrino's imaginary mass is 0.33 electronvolts, or 2/3 of a millionth that of an electron. He deduces this value by showing that six different observations from cosmic rays, cosmology, and particle physics all yield this same value within their margin of error. One check on Ehrlich's claim could come from the experiment known as KATRIN, which should start taking data in 2015. In this experiment the mass of the neutrino could be revealed by looking at the shape of the spectrum in the beta decay of tritium, the heaviest isotope of hydrogen.

But be careful. There have been many such claims, the last being in 2011 when the "OPERA" experiment measured the speed of neutrinos and claimed they travelled a tiny amount faster than light. When their speed was measured again the original result was found to be in error – the result of a loose cable no less. "Before you try designing a "tachyon telephone" to send messages back in time to your earlier self it might be prudent to see if Ehrlich's claim is corroborated by others."

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