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Submission + - Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser #2 (youtube.com)

SternisheFan writes: Published on Apr 16, 2015
Get your first look at the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser #2!

Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as “Star Wars” returns to the big screen with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Episode VII in the Star Wars Saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters December 18, 2015.

Official Site: http://www.starwars.com/thefor...

Submission + - An engineering analysis of the Falcon 9 first stage landing failure

schwit1 writes: Link here.

SpaceX founder and chief technology officer Elon Musk tweeted that "excess lateral velocity caused it [the booster] to tip over post landing." In a later tweet that was subsequently withdrawn, Musk then indicated that "the issue was stiction in the biprop throttle valve, resulting in control system phase lag." In this statement, Musk was referring to "stiction" — or static friction — in the valve controlling the throttling of the engine. The friction appears to have momentarily slowed the response of the engine, causing the control system to command more of an extreme reaction from the propulsion system than was required. As a result, the control system entered a form of hysteresis, a condition in which the control response lags behind changes in the effect causing it.

Despite the failure of the latest attempt, SpaceX will be encouraged by the landing accuracy of the Falcon 9 and the bigger-picture success of its guidance, navigation and control (GNC) system in bringing the booster back to the drone ship. The GNC also worked as designed during the prior landing attempt in January, which ended in the destruction of the vehicle following a hard touchdown on the edge of the platform.

Submission + - Scientists close to solving the mystery of where dogs came from (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: For years researchers have argued over where and when dogs arose. Some say Europe, some say Asia. Some say 15,000 years ago. some say more than 30,000 years ago. Now an unprecedented collaboration of archaeologists and geneticists from around the world is attempting to solve the mystery once and for all. They're analyzing thousands of bones, employing new technologies, and trying to put aside years of bad blood and bruised egos. If the effort succeeds, the former competitors will uncover the history of man's oldest friend—and solve one of the greatest mysteries of domestication.

Submission + - L.A. schools seeking refund over botched iPad plan (reuters.com)

SternisheFan writes: (Reuters) — The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking a refund from Apple Inc (AAPL.O) over the district's bungled $1.3 billion effort to supply students with iPads, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

The district's initiative, launched in 2013, to equip each of its roughly 650,000 students with an iPad or another computer device with curriculum from Pearson Plc (PSON.L), was the largest educational technology project of its kind in the United States.

The project soon ran into difficulties, however, and the technology rollout encountered a series of problems, including students bypassing a security firewall on the iPads, while an independent report found that the built-in curriculum was often incomplete.

The Los Angeles Times said the LAUSD's Board of Education in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday authorized its attorneys to consider potential legal action against Apple and Pearson.

"As you are aware, LAUSD is extremely dissatisfied with the work of Pearson," the district's general counsel, David Holmquist, said in a letter to Apple on Monday, according to the Times. "While Apple and Pearson promised a state-of-the-art technological solution [...] they have yet to deliver it."

Holmquist added that the district was severing ties with both companies for future services on the project, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Submission + - Chess grandmaster accused of using iPhone to cheat during international tourname (washingtonpost.com)

SternisheFan writes: Gaioz Nigalidze’s rise through the ranks of professional chess began in 2007, the year the first iPhone was released. In hindsight, the timing might not be coincidental.

On Saturday, Nigalidze, the 25-year-old reigning Georgian champion, was competing in the 17th annual Dubai Open Chess Tournament when his opponent spotted something strange.

“Nigalidze would promptly reply to my moves and then literally run to the toilet,” Armenian grandmaster Tigran Petrosian said. “I noticed that he would always visit the same toilet partition, which was strange, since two other partitions weren’t occupied.”

Petrosian complained to the officials. After Nigalidze left the bathroom once more, officials inspected the interior and say they found an iPhone wrapped in toilet paper and hidden behind the toilet.

“When confronted, Nigalidze denied he owned the device,” according to the tournament’s Web site. “But officials opened the smart device and found it was logged into a social networking site under Nigalidze’s account. They also found his game being analyzed in one of the chess applications.”

Nigalidze was expelled from the tournament, which is still ongoing and features more than 70 grandmasters from 43 countries competing for a first-place prize of $12,000. The Georgian’s career is now under a microscope. His two national titles are under suspicion. And under recently tightened rules against cheating, he could be banned for up to 15 years.

But the scandal threatens to spread far beyond the gleaming white Dubai Chess & Culture Club, which is shaped like a giant rook. Nigalidze’s expulsion is a nightmare scenario for chess: proof positive that technologically enabled cheating, rumored about for more than a decade, is now pervasive. Thanks to smart phones, the game of kings is starting to look like the game of crooks.

Submission + - Schneier on 'really bad' IoT security: 'It's going to come crashing down' (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: Security expert Bruce Schneier has looked at and written about difficulties the Internet of Things presents — such as the fact that the “things” are by and large insecure and enable unwanted surveillance– and concludes that it’s a problem that’s going to get worse before it gets better. After a recent briefing with him at Resilient Systems headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., where he is CTO, he answered a few questions about the IoT and what corporate security executives ought to be doing about it right now.

Submission + - Prosecutors suspect man hacked lottery computers to score winning ticket (arstechnica.com)

SternisheFan writes: Prosecutors say they have evidence indicating the former head of computer security for a state lottery association tampered with lottery computers prior to him buying a ticket that won a $14.3 million jackpot, according to a media report.

Eddie Raymond Tipton, 51, may have inserted a thumbdrive into a highly locked-down computer that's supposed to generate the random numbers used to determine lottery winners, The Des Moines Register reported, citing court documents filed by prosecutors. At the time, Tipton was the information security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, and he was later videotaped purchasing a Hot Lotto ticket that went on to fetch the winning $14.3 million payout.

In court documents filed last week, prosecutors said there is evidence to support the theory Tipton used his privileged position inside the lottery association to enter a locked room that housed the random number generating computers and infect them with software that allowed him to control the winning numbers. The room was enclosed in glass, could only be entered by two people at a time, and was monitored by a video camera. To prevent outside attacks, the computers aren't connected to the Internet. Prosecutors said Tipton entered the so-called draw room on November 20, 2010, ostensibly to change the time on the computers. The cameras on that date recorded only one second per minute rather than running continuously like normal.

"Four of the five individuals who have access to control the camera's settings will testify they did not change the cameras' recording instructions," prosecutors wrote. "The fifth person is defendant. It is a reasonable deduction to infer that defendant tampered with the camera equipment to have an opportunity to insert a thumbdrive into the RNG tower without detection."

Submission + - An algorithm that can auto-ban internet trolls (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at Cornell University claim to be able to identify a forum or comment-thread troll within the first ten posts after the user joins, leading the way to the possibility of methods to automatically ban persistently anti-social posters. The study [http://arxiv.org/pdf/1504.00680v1 — PDF] observed 10,000 new users at cnn.com, breitbart.com and ign.com, and characterises an FBU (Future Banned User) as entering a new community with below-average literacy or communications skill, and that the low standard is likely to drop shortly before a permanent ban. It also observes that higher rates of community intolerance are likely to foster the anti-social behavior and speed the ban.

Submission + - Chinese government behind 10-year cyberattack on Southeast Asia, research claims (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Hackers, thought to be acting on behalf of the Chinese government, have been conducting a decade-long cyber espionage operation on governments and businesses in Southeast Asia and India, according to research published by internet security firm FireEye [https://www.fireeye.com/company/press-releases/2015/04/fireeye-reveals-details-of-decade-long-cyber-espionage-campaign.html]. The company released information today suggesting that the spying campaign dates back to at least 2005 and that it focuses on “targets — government and commercial — who hold key political, economic and military information about the region.” Bryce Boland, FireEye’s CTO for the Asia Pacific region and co-author of the report, said that the cyberattack was still ongoing, confirming that the servers used by the hackers were still in operation. China continues to deny that it uses online espionage operations to spy on foreign governments and organisations. Neither the Foreign Ministry nor the internet regulator Cyberspace Administration of China has responded to the claims made in the FireEye report.

Submission + - Cathodoluminescence tomography for producing high-res,3-D images of nano object

Qualitypointtech writes: Engineers have developed a technique that makes it possible to visualize the optical properties of objects that are several thousandths the size of a grain of sand, in 3-D and with nanometer-scale resolution.The technique, called cathodoluminescence tomography, could assist in the development of high-efficiency solar cells and LEDS, or improve the way biological systems are visualized.The research is detailed in the current issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

Submission + - Scientists view the recharging battery under special electron microscope

Jeba Qpt writes: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory(PNNL) researchers use a special microscope to show the charging and discharging of a battery under real conditions. Recently, JCESR researchers led by PNNL researchers discovered a way to eliminate the dendrites in lithium batteries by using a special electrolyte. To better understand how dendrites form and can be prevented at the microscopic level, another JCESR team led by PNNL’s Nigel Browning devised a microscope that could examine a full working battery in action.
The first visual evidence of "what leads to the formation of lithium dendrites, nanoparticles and fibers commonly found in rechargeable lithium batteries that build up over time and lead to battery failure".

Submission + - NASA offering $18,000 for human lab rats to stay in bed (rt.com)

SternisheFan writes: NASA will pay $18,000 to anyone prepared to stay in bed for 10 weeks and submit to a gruelling regime of tests for more than three months. The only criteria are the candidates have to be healthy and American citizens.

Scientists will constantly examine the lucky ones, who are selected, for 70 days. The research is being carried out to simulate how effective exercise is on astronauts, who lose cardiovascular, bone and muscle function as a result of living in zero gravity conditions.

The volunteers will be split into those who exercise and those who don’t. The first step will see all those taking part, spend between two and three weeks inside a “bed rest facility.” Here they will be allowed to move around a lead a normal day’s life.

The second stage will see the volunteers transferred to NASA’s Flight Analog Research Unit in Houston, Texas. They will spend 10 weeks lying in bed, with their bodies tilted slightly backwards, with their feet up and their head down.

Movement will be kept to a bare minimum, with the human lab rats only able to go to the toilet in a plastic bedpan, while they will also have to wash while lying down with a hand-held showerhead.

Reading and watching movies will be allowed, as these activates don’t use up much energy. However, the participants could suffer from aching joints, due to lying on one position for such a lengthy period of time.

The idea is to emulate what an astronaut’s body goes through during the weightlessness of space flight.

The third stage will see the participants undertake 14 days of exercise, which will include cycling, squatting and walking. The aim of these “reconditioning activities,” is to see how regular exercise helps the body to get back to normal shape.

Treadmills and weight machines will also be used, while the workouts will vary in intensity everyday.

Submission + - Spain's hologram protest: Thousands join virtual march in Madrid

An anonymous reader writes: Thousands of people marched past a parliament building in Madrid to protest a new law that they say endangers civil liberties. But none of them were actually there. From the article: "Late last year the Spanish government passed a law that set extreme fines for protesters convening outside of government buildings. In response to the controversial Citizen Safety Law, which will take effect on July 1, Spanish activists have staged the world's first ever virtual political demonstration. After months of massive flesh-and-blood protests against the so-called 'gag law', thousands of holograms last night marched in front of the Spanish parliament in Madrid."

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