Submission + - Card Pleads 'Tolerance' for Film Adaptation ( 2

interval1066 writes: A story in Wired describes Orson Scott Card's quest for tolerance in response to a boycot for Gavin Hood's film adaption of "Ender's Game", saying that "The gay marriage issue is moot" in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. Card is a long time anti-gay and defense of marriage activist. I guess he didn't see this film and the box-office importance of wide appeal coming, did he?

Submission + - House Democrats propose national park on the moon (

MarkWhittington writes: Two House Democrats, Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), have proposed a bill called Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, H.R. 2617, that would establish the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park at all the Apollo lunar landing sites, according to a July 9, 2013 story in The Hill.

Submission + -, new encrypted messaging service from the brokep of The Pirate Bay 1

freddej writes: ("secret" in Swedish), is a new peer encrypted messaging service from some of the guys behind TPB and Flattr. They describe it as this: "Our focus is your privacy so we are building everything from software to company structure to protect that. The others are focused on maximising profit.". So if you agree on the mantra that "if you're not paying, you're the product" then you might want to check them out.

Submission + - Android Master Key Bug Details Made Public (

msm1267 writes: The details of the Android vulnerability that enables an attacker to create a malicious update to an APK file without breaking its cryptographic signature have become public but it appears as though Google will have a patch ready for the flaw by the time it’s fully disclosed early next month.

The vulnerability involves the way that Android handles integrity checks on APK files and enables an attacker to create two versions of a given file with the same name, one that is benign and will pass the signature check and another that contains exploit code. The two files can be combined in one zip file in such a way that the benign one will be used when the device checks the signature on it and then the malicious one will be loaded onto the device.

Submission + - New atomic clock could redefine the second. (

bmahersciwriter writes: The new type of clock, called an optical lattice clock could replace the cesium fountain clocks used as the standard for time keeping. Indeed, it could redefine the second. The cesium fountain is predicted to keep time within one second over 100 million years. While other atomic clocks are better than that, researchers suspect the optical lattice is better still and could one day replace the standard.

Submission + - The Air Force's Love for Fighter Pilots Is Too Big to Fail (

Daniel_Stuckey writes: Just look at what's been going on throughout the Air Force. It's as if drones pose such a threat to traditional means of aerial warfare that the flying service's historically kneejerk resistance to anything too closely aligned with sweeping technological change finds it bristling today at prospective gamechangers of the unmanned sort. Nevermind that the AF's active remotely-piloted combat aircraft outnumber its active manned bomber inventory by about 2-to-1. For perspective, as Lt. Col. Lawrence Spinetta writes in the July issue of the Air & Space Power Journal, an official USAF publication, consider that "RPA [remotely-piloted aircraft] personnel enjoy one wing command" (at Creeeh Air Base — Nevada) while fighter pilots control 26.

In other words, "the ratio of wing-command opportunities for RPA pilots versus those who fly manned combat aircraft is a staggering 1-to-26."

Such personnel policies that seemingly favor manned standbys are part and parcel of deep-rooted, institutional stigmas. In a 2008 speech, General Norton Schwarz, who served as AF chief from 2008 to 2012, did not mince words when he said that this systemic obsession with all-things manned has turned the Air Force's swelling drone ranks into a "leper colony".

Submission + - Giving GNOME 3 a GNOME 2 Look (

nanday writes: GNOME Shell Extensions have done more than any other set of features to make GNOME 3 usable. Nearly 270 in number, they provide a degree of customization that was missing in the first GNOME 3 releases. In fact, if you choose, you can use the extensions to go far beyond Classic GNOME and re-create almost exactly the look and feel of GNOME 2 while taking advantage of the latest GNOME 3 code.

Submission + - Arduino Enables a Low-Cost Space Revolution

RocketAcademy writes: Arduino, the popular open-source microcontroller board, is powering a revolution in low-cost space-mission design. San Francisco-based Planet Labs, a spinoff of NASA's PhoneSat project, has raised $13 million to launch a flock of 28 Arduino-based nanosatellites for remote sensing. Planet Labs launched two test satellites this spring; Flock-1 is scheduled to launch on an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket in 2014.

NanoSatisifi, also based in San Francisco-based company, is developing the Arduino-based ArduSat, which carries a variety of sensors. NanoSatisifi plans to rent time on ArduSats to citizen scientists and experimenters, who will be able upload their own programs to the satellites. The first ArduSat is scheduled for launch August 4 on a Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle carrying supplies to the International Space Station.

The cost of orbital launches remains a limiting factor, however. As a result, Infinity Aerospace has developed the Arduino-based ArduLab experiment platform, which is compatible with new low-cost suborbital spacecraft as well as higher-end systems such as the International Space Station.

The non-profit Citizens in Space has purchased 10 flights on the XCOR Lynx spacecraft, which will be made available to the citizen-science community. Citizens in Space is looking for 100 citizen-science experiments and 10 citizen astronauts to fly as payload operators. To help spread the word, it is holding a Space Hacker Workshop in Dallas, Texas on July 20-21. Infinity Aerospace will be on hand to teach Arduino hardware and software.

Submission + - Google Chrome 28 Is Out: Rich Notifications For Apps, Extensions

An anonymous reader writes: Google today released Chrome version 28 for Windows and Mac. The new version features a notification center, although it’s only available on Windows (in addition to Chrome OS of course). You can update to the latest release now using the browser’s built-in silent updater, or download it directly from This is also the first release of Chrome that ships with Blink instead of WebKit. You can check the Blink ID yourself tag by navigating to chrome://version/.

Submission + - China Environment Ministry Calls Itself One of Four Worst Departments in World (

hackingbear writes: In a startlingly blunt assessment of his five-year-old ministry, Zhou Shengxian was quoted by state media as saying: "I've heard that there are four major embarrassing departments in the world and that China's ministry of environmental protection is one of them." Mr Zhou, the minister of the department and an economist and veteran Communist Party member, blamed his ministry's malfunctions on "overlapping" remits, which confused the agency's role in handling issues such as carbon emissions and water monitoring. The minister made no mention of the other three most embarrassing departments but Chinese micro-bloggers were quick to weigh in with their suggestions including the navy of China's landlocked neighbour, Mongolia, Taiwan's foreign ministry, and China's petitioning department where officials are tasked with hearing and acting on the grievances of ordinary Chinese but can't handle/solve anything. Perhaps Zhou's department should be applauded for its honesty. What are your list of the other three most embarrassing departments in our world?

Submission + - Obamacare Software Glitch Will Limit Penalties Charged to Smokers (

turbosaab writes: The Obama administration has quietly notified insurers that a computer system glitch will limit penalties that companies may charge smokers under the new healthcare law. The underlying reason for the limitation is another provision in the health care law that says insurers can't charge older customers more than three times what they charge the youngest adults in the pool. The government's computer system has been unable to accommodate the two. So younger smokers and older smokers must be charged the same penalty, or the system will kick it out. A fix will take at least a year to put in place.

Submission + - Confessions Of A Cyber Warrior

snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Roger Grimes interviews a longtime friend and cyber warrior under contract with the U.S. government, offering a fascinating glimpse of the front lines in the ever-escalating and completely clandestine cyber war. From the interview: 'They didn't seem to care that I had hacked our own government years ago or that I smoked pot. I wasn't sure I was going to take the job, but then they showed me the work environment and introduced me to a few future coworkers. I was impressed. ... We have tens of thousands of ready-to-use bugs in single applications, single operating systems. ... It's all zero-days. Literally, if you can name the software or the controller, we have ways to exploit it. There is no software that isn't easily crackable. In the last few years, every publicly known and patched bug makes almost no impact on us. They aren't scratching the surface.'

Submission + - HTTP 2.0 will be a binary protocol (

earlzdotnet writes: A working copy of the HTTP 2.0 spec has been released. Unlike previous versions of the HTTP protocol, this version will be a binary format, for better or worse. However, this protocol is also completely optional: "This document is an alternative to, but does not obsolete the HTTP/1.1 message format or protocol. HTTP's existing semantics remain unchanged."

Submission + - Mozilla Launches Firefox OS Devices In Stores, Opens Up App Payments

An anonymous reader writes: After almost two years of development, Mozilla today officially launched Firefox OS devices in stores. At the same time, the company has opened up payments for developers interested in charging for their apps or charging for content inside their apps.

Last week, the first commercial Firefox OS devices arrived in Spain ready to be sold by Telefónica, starting on July 9 with the ZTE Open for €69 ($88.80) including VAT. Mozilla says Poland, Colombia, and Venezuela also have upcoming launches soon, and more countries will be joining the list as well, but today today marks the day official Firefox OS devices are available in store.

Submission + - NASA's Polar Robotic Ranger Passes Test in One of Earth's Harshest Places (

Zothecula writes: NASA scientists have unleashed a new robot on the arctic terrain of Greenland to demonstrate that its ability to operate with complete autonomy in one of Earth's harshest environments. Named GROVER, which stands for both Greenland Rover and Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, the polar robotic ranger carries ground-penetrating radar for analysis of snow and ice, and an autonomous system that is operated over an Iridium satellite connection. All of that is placed between two solar panels and two snowmobile tracks.

Submission + - 'Deus Ex' Creator on How Starting a Video-Game Academy Could Fix the Industry (

Nerval's Lobster writes: In the fall of 2014, 20 promising video game developers will begin a yearlong (and free) program at the University of Texas at Austin, where they will study under some of the gaming industry’s most successful executives. “The idea is to get the best of the best of the best, run them through a Navy Seals boot camp of sorts and not force them to worry about ‘how do I pay the rent and buy groceries,’” said program leader Warren Spector, who is responsible for creating well-known games such as Deus Ex. “Fingers crossed, when we start delivering graduates who can contribute in major ways to the development of future games, that philanthropy will continue.” In a wide-ranging interview, Spector also talked about how his future students will be graduating into an industry in which "every business model is broken, which is either terrifying or an opportunity depending on how you look at it." Focus groups, analysis of historical trends, and aggregated game review scores may be comforting to number crunchers, but the majority of game projects still end up as commercial failures. Spector ultimately believes the people who actually make the games are going to make better decisions than the number crunchers. “We’ve got to be looking forward and any time you start bringing data into it, you’re not,” Spector said. “I pitched a Lego construction game in 1989, and guess what: Minecraft is basically a Lego construction game. But at the time I was told ‘no, that won’t work.’ I pitched a western game and the response was ‘westerns don’t sell.’ And then Red Dead Redemption came out. Stuff doesn’t sell until someone makes one that sells, and no amount of data can reveal what new thing is going to sell. The metrics and data guys, and the publishing guys will never come up with the next big thing.” Despite his views on statistics-heavy development, Spector added that it’s important that the business and creative sides of the house remain partners.

Submission + - US Emergency Alerting System Can Be Hacked Remotely (

wiredmikey writes: Recently discovered security flaws in the Emergency Alerting System (EAS) which is widely used by TV and radio stations across the United States, has made the systems vulnerable to remote attack.

The vulnerability stems from an SSH key that is hard-coded into DASDEC-I and DASDEC-II devices made by Monroe Electronics. Unless the default settings were altered during deployment, impacted systems are using a known key that could enable an attacker with full access if the systems are publicly faced or if they’ve already compromised the network. By exploiting the vulnerability, an attacker could disrupt a station’s ability to transmit and/or could send out false emergency information.

“Earlier this year we were shown an example of an intrusion on the EAS when the Montana Television Network’s regular programming was interrupted by news of a zombie apocalypse. Although there was no zombie apocalypse, it did highlight just how vulnerable the system is,” said Mike Davis, a principal research scientist at IOActive.

The DHS issued an alert on the vulnerability, and IOActive, the firm that discovered the flaw, has published additional technical details (PDF) on the security issue.

Submission + - New research into creating Hydrogen gas from water using sunlight and rust.

selectspec writes: Despite being the most abundant element in the universe, creating Hydrogen gas here on Earth is a relatively expensive process. While Hydrogen can be cheaply produced from hydrocarbons like natural gas, extracting it from water has proved tricky with most methods being rather inefficient and impractical. Some new research has emerged involving a process involves nano-materials made out of rust (iron oxide) immersed in water exposed to sunlight. The process is 15% efficient in terms of capturing the solar energy, which isn't bad considering current generation photovoltaic solar panels operate around 20% efficiency.

Submission + - UK Retailer to start selling affordable 3D Printer to regular Consumers (

dryriver writes: Maplin will become the first UK retailer to sell 3D printers on the High Street. The £700 Velleman K8200 device will allow users to 'replicate' digital designs in 3D dimensions, from their own homes. 3D printing itself has been around for more than a decade, but has been making a push into becoming a true 'consumer' gadget for the last several years. The Velleman K8200 (above) on offer by Maplin — which is already out of stock according to its website — is half the price of some rival machines. However the printer does require assembly, making it something of an enthusiast's project than a true entry-level printer. The kit comes with five metres of plastic tubing, used as the 'ink' for the 3D printer. New cartridges cost £30, and the maximum size of objects — which usually require some finishing after printing — can be 7.8-inches.

Submission + - Switzerland: Say NO to a surveillance state! (

An anonymous reader writes: Switzerland's Pirate Party has launched a petition to stop a law that aims to nudge the country towards another surveillance state.

Note that Switzerland has an exceptionally direct democracy, which means that the People can actually make a real difference. This is not a petition, it is a real one which will have a real effect:

If you are a Swiss citizen, you should immediately sign the petition. And yes, even legal *residents* can sign the petition.

If you don't live in Switzerland, please inform as many friends and work colleagues in Switzerland as possible about this petition. Every single vote counts!

What's in for the People outside of Switzerland? You get the option to store your data in a western country that will continue to defend privacy and democracy (which seems to become more precious by the day).

Submission + - Malcolm Gladwell on Culture and Airplane Crashes

theodp writes: While the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 pilots' lack of communication puzzles crash investigators, readers of author Malcolm Gladwell are likely having a deja vu moment. Back in 2008, Gladwell dedicated a whole chapter of his then-new book Outliers to Culture, Cockpit Communication and Plane Crashes (old YouTube interview). 'Korean Air had more plane crashes than almost any other airline in the world for a period at the end of the 1990s,' Gladwell explained in an interview. 'When we think of airline crashes, we think, Oh, they must have had old planes. They must have had badly trained pilots. No. What they were struggling with was a cultural legacy, that Korean culture is hierarchical. You are obliged to be deferential toward your elders and superiors in a way that would be unimaginable in the U.S.'

Submission + - Got Malware? Get a Hammer! (

FuzzNugget writes: After the Economic Development Administration (EDA) was alerted by the DHS to a possible malware infection, they took extraordinary measures. Fearing a targeted attack by a nation-state, they shut down their entire IT operations, isolating their network from the outside world, disabling their email services and leaving their regional offices high and dry, unable to access the centrally-stored databases.

A security contractor ultimately declared the systems largely clean, finding only six computers infected with untargeted, garden-variety malware and easily repaired by reimaging. But that wasn't enough for the EDA: taking gross incompetence to a whole new level, they proceeded to physically destroy $170,500 worth of equipment, including uninfected systems, printers, cameras, keyboards and mice.

After the destruction was halted — only because they ran out of money to continue smashing up perfectly good hardware — they had racked up a total of $2.3 million in service costs, temporary infrastructure acquisitions and equipment destruction.

Submission + - Stanford Files Weev Amicus with Mozilla, Security and Privacy Experts 1

An anonymous reader writes: Andrew Auernheimer ("weev") was convicted of a federal felony for something many of us do routinely: changing a user-agent and crawling a public website. His case is now on appeal in the Third Circuit. The Stanford Center for Internet and Society has filed an amicus brief, clarifying the technical issues and arguing that the conviction poses a grave risk to research. Signatories include the Mozilla Foundation and a litany of security and privacy luminaries.

Submission + - MAKE's MOOC (Massively Online Open Camp) is Underway

theodp writes: Last July, Inside Higher Ed presciently predicted that 2013 would be the year of the Massively Open Online Camp. GeekWire's Blair Hanley Frank reports that O'Reilly-spinoff MAKE Magazine is partnering with Google to run Maker Camp, a 30-day online summer camp for kids who love DIY projects and learning about how things are made. Camp started Monday, but it's not too late to join the fun. Enjoy your Wet Hot American Summer 2.0, kids!

Submission + - Linux-based Smartpen Heads for Kickstarter (

__aajbyc7391 writes: A Linux-based digital pen from German startup Lernstift will go live on Kickstarter on July 10 for about 115 Euros, or $148. The Lernstift pen incorporates an ARM Cortex processor, a WiFi module, and a motion sensor, and is designed to correct penmanship, spelling, and grammar errors as you write. A set of 3D motion sensors, including a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer help the smartpen's embedded Linux computer calculate the pen's 3D movements and generate 2D vectors. Kickstarter supporters pledging 99 Pounds (about 115 Euros, or $148 U.S.) will receive the first shipment of pens later this year, and standard pricing is expected to start at 130-150 Euros when production devices ship in early 2014.

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