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Submission + - Using Intel Management Engine for productive purposes?

iamacat writes: Not a day goes by without a story about another Intel Management Engine vulnerability. What I get is that a lot of consumer PCs can access network and run x86 code on top of UNIX-like OS such as Minix even when powered off. This sounds pretty useful for tasks such as running an occasional use Plex server. Like I can have a box that draws very little power when idle. But when an incoming connection is detected, it can power itself and the media drive on and serve the requested content. So if Intel ME is so insecure, how do I exploit it for practically useful purposes?

Submission + - Daimler Tore Apart a Rented Tesla to Learn Its Secrets Then Tried to Return It (roadandtrack.com)

schwit1 writes: If you’re a car company trying to build a better car than your competitor, often you’ll want to pick up one of your competitor’s cars to see just how good they are. Maybe you'll just test it, or maybe you'll even disassemble in order to learn their secrets.

It seems like Mercedes’ parent company Daimler didn’t think this strategy all the way through. According to a report published in German magazine Der Spiegel, Daimler picked up a Tesla Model X to put through the paces. Only the Model X in question was rented, not bought, and the car's owners are left paying thousands of dollars in repair costs.

Bavarian couple Manfred van Rinsum and Monika Kindlein often rent out their three Teslas for extra income, using rental company Sixt. When Sixt reached out to them to rent their Model X to an unknown party for seven weeks, the couple didn’t think anything of it.

It was only after they got their car back heavily damaged that the couple started trying to figure out what happened. According to Der Spiegel, the car had been disassembled and screwed back together, as well as being put through several extreme tests, including heat and vibrations.

All together, an appraiser estimated that the Tesla sustained around $20,000 in damages thanks to Daimler. Van Rinsum wrote an invoice to the company for over $100,000, adding in expenses due to lost income while the car was being repaired and a fee for breaking the rental contract, which forbids testing and disassembly.

Submission + - The reason to use Devuan is hard calculated costs (ungleich.ch)

walterbyrd writes: While I am writing here in flowery words, the reason to use Devuan is hard calculated costs. We are a small team at ungleich and we simply don't have the time to fix problems caused by systemd on a daily basis. This is even without calculating the security risks that come with systemd. Our objective is to create a great, easy-to-use platform for VM hosting, not to walk a tightrope.

Yes, you read right: what the Devuan developers are doing is creating stability. Think about it not in a few repeating systemd bugs or about the insecurity caused by a huge, monolithic piece of software running with root privileges. Why do people favor Linux on servers over Windows? It is very easy: people don't use Windows, because it is too complex, too error prone and not suitable as a stable basis. Read it again. This is exactly what systemd introduces into Linux: error prone complexity and instability.

With systemd the main advantage to use Linux is obsolete.

Submission + - Behind the Scenes at Xerox Parc's Futures Day—40 Years Ago (ieee.org)

Tekla Perry writes: Should Xerox Parc's 1977 "Futures Day" go down in history as (almost) an important a demo as the "Mother of All Demos"? It certainly took more than a little innovation just to pull off the demo itself--speaking at an anniversary event held at Xerox Parc, Chuck Geschke recalls borrowing an unlicensed air conditioning truck from a local airport and chopping down a tree to make room for those hose--all in an effort to keep a room full of fragile Altos running

Submission + - FCC Ignored Your Net Neutrality Comment Unless You Made a Serious Legal Argument (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The FCC received a record-breaking 22 million comments chiming in on the net neutrality debate, but from the sound of it, it’s ignoring the vast majority of them. In a call with reporters yesterday discussing its plan to end net neutrality, a senior FCC official said that 7.5 million of those comments were the exact same letter, which was submitted using 45,000 fake email addresses. But even ignoring the potential spam, the commission said it didn’t really care about the public’s opinion on net neutrality unless it was phrased in unique legal terms. The vast majority of the 22 million comments were form letters, the official said, and unless those letters introduced new facts into the record or made serious legal arguments, they didn’t have much bearing on the decision. The commission didn’t care about comments that were only stating opinion. The FCC has been clear all year that it’s focused on “quality” over “quantity” when it comes to comments on net neutrality. In fairness to the commission, this isn’t an open vote. It’s a deliberative process that weighs a lot of different factors to create policy that balances the interests of many stakeholders. But it still feels brazen hearing the commission staff repeatedly discount Americans’ preference for consumer protections, simply because they aren’t phrased in legal terms.

Submission + - VA study shows parasite from Vietnam may be killing veterans (apnews.com)

schwit1 writes: A half century after serving in Vietnam, hundreds of veterans have a new reason to believe they may be dying from a silent bullet — test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

The Department of Veterans Affairs this spring commissioned a small pilot study to look into the link between liver flukes ingested through raw or undercooked fish and a rare bile duct cancer. It can take decades for symptoms to appear. By then, patients are often in tremendous pain, with just a few months to live.

Of the 50 blood samples submitted, more than 20 percent came back positive or bordering positive for liver fluke antibodies, said Sung-Tae Hong, the tropical medicine specialist who carried out the tests at Seoul National University in South Korea.

Submission + - 95% of plastic polluting the world's oceans comes from just 10 rivers (dailymail.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: Scientists analysed data on plastic from 79 sampling sites along 57 rivers. Their results showed that 10 rivers account for the majority of plastic. Targeting these rivers could halve the amount of plastic waste, experts predict.
  • Yangtze East China Sea Asia
  • Indus Arabian Sea Asia
  • Yellow River Yellow Sea Asia
  • Hai He Yellow Sea Asia
  • Nile Mediterranean Africa
  • Ganges Bay of Bengal Asia
  • Pearl River South China Sea Asia
  • Amur Sea of Okhotsk Asia
  • Niger Gulf of Guinea Africa
  • Mekong South China Sea Asia

Submission + - Imagine a Beowulf Cluster of These... (insidehpc.com)

overheardinpdx writes: In this video from SC17, Bruce Tulloch from BitScope describes an low-cost Rasberry Pi cluster that Los Alamos National Lab is using to simulate large-scale supercomputers.

"The BitScope Pi Cluster Modules system creates an affordable, scalable, highly parallel testbed for high-performance-computing system-software developers. The system comprises five rack-mounted BitScope Pi Cluster Modules consisting of 3,000 cores using Raspberry Pi ARM processor boards, fully integrated with network switching infrastructure."

Submission + - 2018, Year Of The Big Earthquakes

hcs_$reboot writes: Scientists say number of severe quakes is likely to rise strongly next year because of a periodic slowing of the Earth’s rotation. Although such fluctuations in rotation are small – changing the length of the day by a millisecond – they could still be implicated in the release of vast amounts of underground energy. The theory goes that the slowdown creates a shift in the shape of the Earth's solid iron and nickel "inner core" which, in turn, impacts the liquid outer core on which the tectonic plates that form the Earth's crust rest. The impact is greater on the tectonic plates near some of the Earth's most populous regions along the Equator, home to about a billion people.

Scientists study from the university of Colorado looked at all earthquakes registering 7 and up on the Richter scale since the turn of the 20th century. In this timeframe, the researchers discovered five periods of significantly greater seismic activity occurring approximately every 32 years. The last slowdown began four years ago.

Submission + - Apple's diversity chief resigns after remark about white diversity

Unhappy Windows User writes: A month ago, Apple's first diversity and inclusion officer, Denise Young Smith, who is black, while speaking at a conference in Bogota, commented about her frustration about diversity always being tagged to race, gender or sexual orientation, and remarked that “There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.” This quickly led to much criticism — as well as some support — on Twitter. The pressure has forced her to retract her comment and she has now stepped down.

Submission + - SPAM: First Ever Anti-Ageing Gene Discovered in a Secluded Amish Family

schwit1 writes: The genetic mutation can occur on one or both copies of a gene called SERPINE1. It's known that when both gene copies are mutated, it can lead to a rare genetic bleeding disorder — and the Amish community in question is susceptible to it.

But when only one of the gene copies carries the mutation, it seems to confer several interesting benefits.

Compared to the general Amish population, these 43 (of 177) people had a 10 percent longer lifespan, and 10 percent longer telomeres (the DNA-protecting structures at the ends of our chromosomes that unravel when the cells reach the end of their lifespans).

They also showed lower incidence of diabetes and lower insulin fasting levels. On top of that, the study showed a small indication of lower blood pressure and potentially more flexible blood vessels.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: Turns Out Magma Is Locked in Cold Storage Before Volcanoes Dramatically Explode

schwit1 writes: “The older view is that there’s a long period with a big tank of molten rock in the crust,” says geoscientist Nathan Andersen from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“A new view is that magma is stored for a long period in a state that is locked, cool, crystalline, and unable to produce an eruption. That dormant system would need a huge infusion of heat to erupt.”

Such a huge infusion of heat is what’s thought to have unleashed a violent supereruption in California some 765,000 years ago. . . .

Unfortunately, while scientists are doing everything they can to read the signs of volcanic supereruptions – something NASA views as more dangerous than asteroid strikes – the reality is, the new findings don’t bring us any closer to seeing the future.

“This does not point to prediction in any concrete way,” Singer explains in a press statement, “but it does point to the fact that we don’t understand what is going on in these systems, in the period of 10 to 1,000 years that precedes a large eruption.”

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Britain's prosecutors admit destroying e-mails in Assange's case (theguardian.com) 1

mi writes: The Crown Prosecution Service is facing embarrassment after admitting it destroyed key emails relating to the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy fighting extradition.

Email exchanges between the CPS and its Swedish counterparts over the high-profile case were deleted after the lawyer at the UK end retired in 2014.

Adding to the intrigue, it emerged the CPS lawyer involved had, unaccountably, advised the Swedes in 2010 or 2011 not to visit London to interview Assange. An interview at that time could have prevented the long-running embassy standoff.

Submission + - SPAM: Robot Surgeons Worse by Pretty Much Every Metric

schwit1 writes: We're probably always going to have human surgeons with us. We need humans to adapt to a changing environment during surgeries should complications arise, which they tend to do during more complex surgeries. Yet robotic "surgeons" are tools currently used to assist human surgeons with routine surgeries. And who knows? Someday those robo-surgeons may well take over the whole operation (pardon the pun).

However, they'll need to have some major improvements over where they are today. After all, as it stands now the robo-surgeons are more expensive, slower, and not as adept at the surgeries as human physicians working without their help. That's according to a paper in the Journal of American Medicine .

Researchers at Stanford University took a look at data from 416 hospitals between 2003 and 2015, which should have given them a decent enough sample size to get a good idea of what was going on. What they found was that by just about every metric you want to use, the robot-assisted surgeries just aren't as good as a surgeon operating alone.

In fact, it appears the cost is over $2,600 per patientmore than a doctor flying solo.

But why?

"The simplest possibility is that the optimism about the potential technologies is misplaced and unfounded," said Erik Brynjolfsson and Daniel Rock (MIT), and Chad Syverson (University of Chicago) in the paper.

However, they aren't quite ready to accept the simplest possibility.

"Realizing the benefits of AI is far from automatic," the researchers argue. "It will require effort and entrepreneurship to develop the needed complements, and adaptability at the individual, organizational, and societal levels to undertake the associated restructuring."

Link to Original Source

Submission + - $300 Million in Ethereum Cryptocurrency "Lost" Due to Bug (theguardian.com)

ytene writes: As reported by the UK's Guardian newspaper, a very significant amount of Ethereum cryptocurrency was lost thanks to the actions of support operator, "devops199". As the article explains, "Effectively, a user accidentally stole hundreds of wallets simultaneously, and then set them on fire in a panic while trying to give them back."

Although this story will catch headlines due to the cryptocurrency nature of the context and the significant sum of money involved, perhaps this is also interesting because the story suggests that the failure was caused by a "DevOp" — a user role that combines the functions of Developer and Production Support into a single person. Whilst it's true to say that anyone in technology can make mistakes, does this story also hint at the idea that the combined role of "DevOps" is inherently more risky, given that it invites people to combine the experimental mindset of a developer with the greater authority granted to Production Support staff?

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