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+ - How a solar storm two years ago nearly caused a catastrophe on Earth->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere. These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years.

“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA. Fortunately, the blast site of the CMEs was not directed at Earth. Had this event occurred a week earlier when the point of eruption was Earth-facing, a potentially disastrous outcome would have unfolded.

Analysts believe that a direct hit could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps. . . .

According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.

CWG’s Steve Tracton put it this way in his frightening overview of the risks of a severe solar storm: “The consequences could be devastating for commerce, transportation, agriculture and food stocks, fuel and water supplies, human health and medical facilities, national security, and daily life in general.”"
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+ - Poetry for sysadmins: Shall I compare thee to a lumbering bear?->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Don't forget that tomorrow is Sysadmin Day — a good day to show love to the folks who save your butt again and again when you mess up your computer. Forget the chocolate and flowers, long-time sysadmin Sandra Henry-Stocker has tailored some poems to celebrate these under appreciated, hard-working souls."
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+ - ScummVM 1.7.0 Released

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "It's been a while since a new ScummVM release, but version 1.7.0 is now here with many exciting features. New games supported are The Neverhood, Mortville Manor, Voyeur, Return to Ringworld and Chivalry is Not Dead. The Roland MT-32 emulator has been updated, there is an OpenGL backend, the GUI has seen improvements, AGOS engine is enhanced, tons of SCI bug fixes have been applied, and various other improvements can be found. This version also introduces support for the OUYA gaming console and brings improvements to some other more exotic platforms. Please read the release notes for an accurate description of the new version."

+ - Black Holes Not Black After All, Say Theoretical Physicists

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Black holes are singularities in spacetime formed by stars that have collapsed at the end of their lives. But while black holes are one of the best known ideas in cosmology, physicists have never been entirely comfortable with the idea that regions of the universe can become infinitely density. Indeed, they only accept this because they can't think of any reason why it shouldn't happen. But in the last few months, just such a reason has emerged as a result of intense debate about one of cosmology's greatest problems--the information paradox. This is the fundamental tenet in quantum mechanics that all the information about a system is encoded in its wave function and this always evolves in a way that conserves information. The paradox arises when this system falls into a black hole causing the information to devolve into a single state. So information must be lost. Earlier this year, Stephen Hawking proposed a solution. His idea is that gravitational collapse can never continue beyond the so-called event horizon of a black hole beyond which information is lost. Gravitational collapse would approach the boundary but never go beyond it. That solves the information paradox but raises another question instead: if not a black hole, then what? Now one physicist has worked out the answer. His conclusion is that the collapsed star should end up about twice the radius of a conventional black hole but would not be dense enough to trap light forever and therefore would not be black. Indeed, to all intents and purposes, it would look like a large neutron star."

+ - I'm so sick of sexism in tech, it needs to be a more accessible environment->

Submitted by Kaneda2112
Kaneda2112 (871795) writes "Note to IBM executives: If you're going to openly discuss why you think young women make bad hires in the tech industry, you might want to make sure you're not having lunch next to a young mom who's also a coder. As a father of a daughter, I'd like to think that companies look for skill and innovation from wherever they can find it and not basing decisions on someone'sm age or reproductive profile....this just p****ed me off. Is this another sign of IBM's continued decline...?"
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+ - Ghost in the Machine: Teenager Finds Deceased Father's Ghost Car in Old Xbox->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Can people still have contact with their loved ones beyond the grave? Gamers on the internet are tearing up right now over a YouTube user's supernatural tale of rediscovering his father's spirit in an old Xbox game a decade after he passed away.

One of the users responding to the YouTube video was user 00WARTHERAPY00, who commented that after his dad died when he was six years old, he had been unable to touch the Xbox console that his father had played games with him on.

However, recently he discovered that the RalliSport Challenge game had saved his dad's winning lap and would replay the video of that lap over and over again, even though it was a decade since the record was set."

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+ - Border official points gun at Boy Scout->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A central Iowa Boy Scout troop just returned from a three-week trip they will likely never forget.
Boy Scout Troop 111 Leader Jim Fox spelled out what happened to him and the Mid-Iowa Boy Scout Troop 111 as four van-loads of Scouts and adult volunteers tried to drive from Canada into Alaska.
Fox said one of the Scouts took a picture of a border official, which spurred agents to detain everyone in that van and search them and their belongings.
âoeThe agent immediately confiscated his camera, informed him he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000 and 10 years in prison,â Fox said.
Another of the Scouts was taking luggage from the top of a van to be searched when something startling happened.
âoeHe hears a snap of a holster, turns around, and hereâ(TM)s this agent, both hands on a loaded pistol, pointing at the young manâ(TM)s head,â Fox explained."

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+ - Bitcoins.com domain auction cancelled after judge's restraining order->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "review:
Bitcoins.com domain auction cancelled after judge’s restraining order->
Submitted by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 24, 2014 @10:32AM
An anonymous reader writes
"Heritage Auctions, the Texas company orchestrating the Bitcoins.com sale, pulled the auction listing on Wednesday afternoon, stating: "This lot has been withdrawn from this auction. Bids are no longer accepted and previous bids are cancelled."

The move comes as the result of a federal judicial order issued on Tuesday that put an immediate halt to the sale of Bitcoins.com, the domain name owned by embattled Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles.

"The lot is being held for now so we can get this sorted out one way or the other," Noah Fleisher, a Heritage Auctions spokesman, told Ars. "I haven't heard from [Karpeles] at all."

An anonymous “company executive” (presumably Karpeles himself) told The Wall Street Journal in May 2014 that Mt. Gox's parent company Tibanne hopes to raise around $1 million by selling bitcoins.com and the Bitcoin trademarks it holds in the European Union and Japan because the company has “no use for them.”

The temporary restraining order, which was issued on Tuesday by a federal judge in Washington, comes as part of an ongoing lawsuit between CoinLab and Mt. Gox KK and its parent company, Tibanne. The order forbids the two Japanese companies from selling or otherwise transferring any assets for 14 days.""

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+ - 3D archaeology - now low-cost, high-volume and crowd-sourced->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""Archaeologists have long had a taste for computer-based methods, not least because of their need to organise large datasets of sites and finds, search for statistical patterns and map out the results geographically. Digital technologies have been important in fieldwork for at least two decades and increasingly important for sharing archaeology with a wider public online. However, the last decade of advances in computer vision now means that the future of archaeological recording – from whole landscapes of past human activity to archaeological sites to museum objects – is increasingly digital, 3D and citizen-led...""
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+ - Robber Jailed after Attack is Heard over Call of Duty Online Game->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A man who tied up and threatened to kill three men during a burglary has been jailed after the whole incident was heard over an online Xbox game.
During the robbery, two men tied up and threatened to shoot or stab the occupiers of an apartment if they didn't hand over drugs and money.

What the men did not realize was that during the entire incident, the residents of the flat had been playing the popular Xbox game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 online with a friend who heard the entire robbery relayed through his headset."

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+ - Cyberith's Virtualizer Brings Running, Jumping... and Sitting to Virtual Reality->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "In recent years, we've seen a number of virtual reality (VR) devices targeted at bringing more immersive gaming to the home while also adding locomotion to the mix. Joining the charge is the Virtualizer from Austrian-based company Cyberith. The rig features an omni-directional treadmill, which is nothing new, but in addition to letting gamers walk and run on the spot, it also lets them rotate, jump, crouch, kneel and even sit down, with these motions matched in game by their virtual selves."
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+ - Making Simple xylem filter from Pine tree for providing safe drinking water.

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "Researchers at MIT have designed a simple water filter by peeling the bark off a small section of white pine, then inserting and securing it within plastic tubing.

So, If you’ve run out of drinking water during a lakeside camping trip, there’s a simple solution: Break off a branch from the nearest pine tree, peel away the bark, and slowly pour lake water through the stick to get the safe drinking water.

This simple xylem filter can filter most types of bacteria, the smallest of which measure about 200 nanometers. However, the filter probably cannot trap most viruses, which are much smaller in size.

Approximately 3 cm3 of sapwood can filter water at the rate of several liters per day, sufficient to meet the clean drinking water needs of one person."

+ - 2 Factor Authentication in the Real World? Please share your story. 1

Submitted by Norsak
Norsak (1755552) writes "I work as an IT Manager. We have 1000 users on a Windows domain, a fairly common scenario
I personally doubt that implementing 2 Factor Authentication in my organization would be possible. If some of you have successfully upgraded a company to 2 factor authentication, I would be very interested in hearing about your experience.

My primary concern is:
There are so many different ways a user can currently use AD credentials.
Wouldn’t any Two Factor Authentication solution support fewer access permutations than the old Username + Password system it is replacing?

Here are some scenarios that come to mind:

- Offline Laptop cached credentials login
- Iphone & Android email login, as well as offline access to old emails.
- Non IIS webservers that use LDAP to authenticate against AD

My second concern is ease of use and its impact on user acceptance.
At the bank they plug smartcards into a reader; but solutions beyond the desktop, like Microsoft’s Azure MFA, appear much more clunky.

Please share your experiences."

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