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Submission + - XKCD covers comet landing "live" ( 1

garry_g writes: In yet another epic animated series, XKCD ist currently covering the Philae landing on comet 67P/Tschurjumow-Gerassimenko in real time.

Comment Re:Only the beginning (Score 1) 236

You can check if you've been scanned for exploitable CGIs using something like (adjust apache logs path accordingly):

grep cgi /var/log/apache2/access*|egrep "};|}\s*;"

Thanks for the nice grep work - found one attempt to get my box to rat itself out via ping:

/var/log/apache2/access.log: - - [25/Sep/2014:03:52:14 -0500] "GET /cgi-sys/defaultwebpage.cgi HTTP/1.0" 404 1799 "-" "() { :;}; /bin/ping -c 1"

Fortunately I was patched several hours prior to that.

Would there be any way for that probe to execute against a static 404 page - no cgi executing?

yep: /var/log/apache2/access.log: - - [25/Sep/2014:09:26:29 -0400] "GET /cgi-sys/defaultwebpage.cgi HTTP/1.0" 404 491 "-" "() { :;}; /bin/ping -c 1" That's pretty quick. Fortunately, I didn't have that cgi script, but still quite scary.

Comment Re:AI is always (Score 1) 564

Algorithms are not AI. Everything you describe is simply a matter of following a human-generated set of instructions. That is not AI.

Algorithms are not AI. Everything you describe is simply a matter of following a human-generated set of instructions. That is not AI.

no, the difference is Big Data. Before "Big Data", machine translation, self-driving vehicles, chess, etc. were problems that were attempted to be solved by algorithms written by humans. These kinds of algorithms would be full of heuristics such as "if you are in situation X, perform behavior Y". This led to fragile, clunky code. Nowadays, with Big Data, the algorithms are more like, "see what everybody else is doing in situations similar to X"

Comment Re:Whatever you may think ... (Score 1) 447

It would be nice if they had some sort of code review in place for this sort of stuff. However, this isn't a paid project, so the developers writing this are doing arguably the best they can.

The code was reviewed. The commit log shows that the reviewer was Stephen Henson (thanks to slashdot user grub for pointing this out.)

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 1) 193

Personally I wish we'd just man up and shoot the appropriate organisms into Venus' atmosphere to start the terraforming process.

Because breathable Earth-normal atmosphere is a lifting gas on Venus, we could make a relatively low budget colony without any terraforming. Just send a big balloon. It could ride the relatively stable upper atmospheric winds on Venus, circling the planet every 4 earth days, and be at standard pressure, so any hull breach would not result in explosive decompression.

Comment Re:Robots.txt (Score 1) 234

The Internet Archive says that it subscribes to the The Oakland Archive Policy which for |requests by governments" says:

Archivists will exercise best-efforts compliance with applicable court orders Beyond that, as noted in the Library Bill of Rights, 'Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.'

Seems like this may just have slipped past them. Let's make sure they know they need to sort it out... Surely they only removed it from the Wayback Machine, not from the archive itself.

That's actually a really good point. I wonder if there's any justification in the Policy for retroactively removing content based on current robots.txt

Comment Re:Missing Option (Score 1) 443

I chose Fly Through Space, since that option would also cover Fly.

Well, chucking a car through an airlock would make it "fly through space" but it wouldn't necessarily make it a "flying car" even should it renter Earth's or some other planet's atmosphere.
More like a rapidly disintegrating burning lump of metal.

Everything is air-droppable at least once --Schlock Mercenary

Comment Re:Why wait for birth? (Score 1) 128

I was under the impression that there was a fairly simple amniotic fluid test which reveals gender. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that even if you have to resort to a genetic sample it still doesn't require DNA analysis, just a much simpler check for the existence of a Y chromosome - something that was discovered long before we even had the capacity to read the DNA itself.

However, for most cases, ultrasound is much preferred to drawing amniotic fluid (amniocentesis) due to the risk of introducing infection.

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