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Submission + - Chinese State Company Unveils World's Largest Seaplane (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: China has completed production of the world’s largest amphibious aircraft, state media has said, the latest effort in the country’s program to wean itself off dependence on foreign aviation firms. The state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) unveiled the first of the new planes, dubbed the AG600, Saturday in the southern port city of Zhuhai, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The aircraft, which has a maximum range of 4,500 km (2,800 miles), is intended for fighting forest fires and performing marine rescues, it said. At around the size of a Boeing 737, it is far larger than any other plane built for marine take off and landing, Xinhua quoted AVIC’s deputy general manager Geng Ruguang as saying. The AG600 could potentially extend the Asian giant’s ability to conduct a variety of operations in the South China Sea, where it has built a series of artificial islands featuring air strips, among other infrastructure with the potential for either civilian or military use.

Submission + - Putin's Cyberattacks May Be to Aid Trump's Presidential Campaign

HughPickens.com writes: The NYT reports that the release on Friday of some 20,000 stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, many of them embarrassing to Democratic leaders, has intensified discussion of the role of Russian intelligence agencies in disrupting the 2016 presidential campaign. The emails, released by WikiLeaks, exposed the degree to which the Democratic apparatus favored Hillary Clinton over her primary rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and triggered the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party chairwoman, on the eve of the convention’s first day.

Proving the source of a cyberattack is difficult but all the forensic evidence points toward Russian intelligence agencies as the perpetrators of the theft of the national committee emails, given the close similarities between this attack and previous Russian cyberoperations. It is less clear who gave the emails to WikiLeaks, but the same agencies are the prime suspects. Whether the leaks were ordered by Mr. Putin, or just designed by apparatchiks who thought it might please him, is anyone’s guess. On Sunday morning, the issue erupted, as Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, argued on ABC’s “This Week” that the emails were leaked “by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump” citing “experts” but offering no other evidence. So why would Putin want to support Donald Trump for President? Mook suggests that the Russians might have good reason to support Trump because of Trump's views on NATO: The Republican nominee indicated in an interview with The New York Times that he might not back NATO nations if they came under attack from Russia — unless he was first convinced that the counties had made sufficient contributions to the Atlantic alliance.

Submission + - Bitcoin Not Money, Rules Miami Judge In Dismissing Laundering Charges (miamiherald.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Bitcoin does not actually qualify as money, a Miami-Dade judge ruled Monday in throwing out criminal charges against a Miami Beach man charged with illegally selling the virtual currency. The defendant, Michell Espinoza, was charged with illegally selling and laundering $1,500 worth of Bitcoins to undercover detectives who told him they wanted to use the money to buy stolen credit-card numbers. But Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler ruled that Bitcoin was not backed by any government or bank, and was not “tangible wealth” and “cannot be hidden under a mattress like cash and gold bars.” “The court is not an expert in economics, however, it is very clear, even to someone with limited knowledge in the area, the Bitcoin has a long way to go before it the equivalent of money,” Pooler wrote in an eight-page order. The judge also wrote that Florida law – which says someone can be charged with money laundering if they engage in a financial transaction that will “promote” illegal activity – is way too vague to apply to Bitcoin. “This court is unwilling to punish a man for selling his property to another, when his actions fall under a statute that is so vaguely written that even legal professionals have difficulty finding a singular meaning,” she wrote.

Submission + - Scribbles reveal Leonardo da Vinci ahead of his time, again

schwit1 writes: A historian doing a detailed study of Leonardo da Vinci’s research on the nature of friction has discovered his first notes on the subject, where da Vinci outlined the laws of friction two hundred years before they were finally documented by a French scientist.

“The sketches and text show Leonardo understood the fundamentals of friction in 1493,” says Hutchings. “He knew that the force of friction acting between two sliding surfaces is proportional to the load pressing the surfaces together and that friction is independent of the apparent area of contact between the two surfaces. These are the ‘laws of friction’ that we nowadays usually credit to a French scientist, Guillaume Amontons, working 200 years later.”

It is an unfortunately thing that da Vinci lived and worked in Italy. Though this was where the Renaissance blossomed, it is also the place where some scientists at the time were persecuted for being too honest about their research. To protect himself da Vinci confined his scientific genius to his private diaries, written in a backwards script he created so that no one could easily understand them. Thus, while his brilliance as a painter was recognized in his lifetime and after, the discoveries he had made about engineering and science were lost for literally centuries.

Submission + - Hubble reveals Andromeda's stars, from bulge to disk to halo and beyond

StartsWithABang writes: If you want to know what types of stars are found all throughout a galaxy, looking at our own simply won’t do: too much of it is obscured by the plane and our position within it. But there’s an even more impressive galaxy – Andromeda – just 2.5 million light years away. And thanks to the power of the Hubble Space Telescope, we’ve not only resolved individual stars within it, we’ve resolved over a hundred million of them. But when we look towards the center versus at the outskirts of the disk, or even into the halo, we find something very, very different: older, redder, fainter and less-evolved stars. Even more spectacularly: beyond them, a rich slew of distant galaxies, visible out to distances exceeding a billion light years.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Living on the command line? (networkworld.com)

LichtSpektren writes: Last month, Bryan Lunduke of Network World began a public experiment where he tried to live 30 days without using X.org, i.e. using the command line exclusively. He ended up surrendering on day 10 because "attempting to use sites such as Google+, LinkedIn or Facebook—directly from terminal-based web browsers—is a truly painful experience. It can be made to work. Really. It can. But it’s just no fun at all." The series will probably come across as amusingly posh to people that spend most of their day in the terminal, but it is interesting note that Lunduke ends by saying that after the experiment, he now chooses to manage his music, notes, and instant messaging at the command line "because, I swear, it’s just such a nice experience."

I was just curious what things Slashdotters still do on the command line that's now commonplace to do with a GUI, such as watching YouTube videos. Skip the usual ones like vim/emacs, IRC, and just about anything a sysadmin does, since those are still widely done from the terminal and too obvious to mention. Is there anybody that uses Lynx for all web browsing, including this article? Are there any professional video/image/audio producers that do most of their work at the command line? Last year, Microsoft's April Fools' joke was MS-DOS for smartphones; is there anybody that seriously uses a terminal emulator to handle their text messages and calls?

Submission + - China Bans Internet News Reporting as Media Crackdown Widens (bloomberg.com)

schwit1 writes: Internet portals must shut all original reporting operations

Web services can now carry only state-approved media news

China’s top internet regulator ordered major online companies including Sina Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. to stop original news reporting, the latest effort by the government to tighten its grip over the country’s web and information industries.

The Cyberspace Administration of Chinaimposed the ban on several major news portals, including Sohu.com Inc. and NetEase Inc., Chinese media reported in identically worded articles citing an unidentified official from the agency’s Beijing office. The companies have “seriously violated” internet regulations by carrying plenty of news content obtained through original reporting, causing “huge negative effects,” according to a report that appeared in The Paper on Sunday.

The agency instructed the operators of mobile and online news services to dismantle “current-affairs news” operations on Friday, after earlier calling a halt to such activity at Tencent, according to people familiar with the situation. Like its peers, Asia’s largest internet company had developed a news operation and grown its team. Henceforth, they and other services can only carry reports provided by government-controlled print or online media, the people said, asking not to be identified because the issue is politically sensitive.

The sweeping ban gives authorities near-absolute control over online news and political discourse, in keeping with a broader crackdown on information increasingly distributed over the web and mobile devices. President Xi Jinping has stressed that Chinese media must serve the interests of the ruling Communist Party.

Submission + - NSIS 3.0 Final Released (sourceforge.net)

An anonymous reader writes: Ever since v2.46 came out in 2009, the development on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS), a scripting language to create Windows installers, seemed to be dormant. Several new versions in the 2.x branch came out throughout the year, paving the way to NSIS 3.0 final, which was released today!

Submission + - New Zealand to eradicate all non-native predators (theguardian.com) 2

The Real Dr John writes: New Zealand has embarked on the first ever attempt to eradicate all human-introduced predators by 2050. Humans have spread unwanted species including rats to every corner of the globe, and in places that were previously rat free, this has come at a great price in terms of lost native species. The flightless kiwi bird population in New Zealand is under extensive pressure from rats and other introduced species, and New Zealand is embarking on a nationwide effort to eliminate the pests, which will be particularly difficult in cities. A major anticipated difficulty will be to get the public on board with the mass extermination of introduced pest species.

Submission + - Law Enforcement And IT Security Companies Join Forces To Fight Ransomware (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: Today, the Dutch National Police, Europol, Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab launched the No More Ransom initiative, a new step in the cooperation between law enforcement and the private sector to fight ransomware together. Ransomware is a top threat for EU law enforcement: almost two-thirds of EU Member States are conducting investigations into this form of malware attack. The aim of No More Ransom to provides users with tools that may help them recover their data once it has been locked by criminals. In its initial stage, the portal contains four decryption tools for different types of malware, the latest developed in June 2016 for the Shade variant.

Submission + - Business ideas sought to launch ISS marketplace (gizmag.com)

Big Hairy Ian writes: Since launching in 1998, the International Space Station has played host to countless government-backed experiments aimed at furthering our understanding of the micro-gravity environment. But NASA has been signalling intentions to welcome more commercial partners aboard for a little while, and is now canvassing the private sector for ideas to increase business activity on the orbiting laboratory.

The International Space Station (ISS) has served as an hugely valuable tool when it comes to learning about the effects of micro-gravity on humans. This was most recently demonstrated by hosting astronaut Scott Kelly through his record-breaking yearlong stay in orbit, a mission researchers are continuing to pick apart for evidence of changes in human physiology.

But lately NASA has made a public effort to ween the ISS off the teat of government-funded research and court commercial partners who may benefit from directing funds into micro-gravity research, or by offering services to its inhabitants like SpaceX's Dragon resupply missions.

Shooting politicians into the sun sounds like the ideal option to me

Submission + - WikiLeaks takes down DNC Chair after damaging release (cnn.com) 1

SonicSpike writes: Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Sunday she is stepping down as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee at the end of the party's convention, which is set to begin here Monday.

The Florida congresswoman's resignation — under pressure from top Democrats — comes amid the release of leaked emails showing DNC staffers favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the party's 2016 primary contest.

Submission + - How Some ISPs Could Subvert Your Local Network Security (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: You can see the problem. If your local net has typically lax security, and you don’t have your own firewall downstream of that ISP modem, the modem Wi-Fi security could be disabled remotely, your local network sucked dry late one night, and security restored by the morning. You might not even have a clue that any of this occurred.

Submission + - The Common Core Costs Billions and Hurts Students (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: Six years after the release of our first national standards, the Common Core, and the new federal tests that accompanied them, it seems clear that the pursuit of a national curriculum is yet another excuse to avoid making serious efforts to reduce the main causes of low student achievement: poverty and racial segregation.

The people who wrote the Common Core standards sold them as a way to improve achievement and reduce the gaps between rich and poor, and black and white. But the promises haven’t come true. Even in states with strong common standards and tests, racial achievement gaps persist. Last year, average math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress declined for the first time since 1990; reading scores were flat or decreased compared with a decade earlier.

Submission + - Iran destroys 100,000 satellite dishes in crackdown (yahoo.com)

schwit1 writes: Iran destroyed 100,000 satellite dishes and receivers on Sunday as part of a widespread crackdown against the illegal devices that authorities say are morally damaging, a news website reported.

"The truth is that most satellite channels... deviate the society's morality and culture," he said at the event according to Basij News.

Under Iranian law, satellite equipment is banned and those who distribute, use, or repair them can be fined up to $2,800 (2,500 euros). Iranian police regularly raid neighbourhoods and confiscate dishes from rooftops.

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