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Comment This won't wash (Score 2) 282

Let's say I am an ISP and I have a data stream coming through my system. How do I know if the data is encrypted or not? Data is data. Neither IP nor UDP packets have an 'encrypted data' indicator. How would we differentiate between an encrypted data stream and a video stream in a new movie format? What's the difference between decrypting vs displaying a movie? Both processes are a conversion operation being performed on a data stream.

Submission + - Our balloons are safe! (bbc.com)

beschra writes: Scientists have discovered a large helium gas field in Tanzania.
With world supplies running out, the find is a "game-changer", say geologists at Durham and Oxford universities.

Using a new exploration approach, researchers found large quantities of helium within the Tanzanian East African Rift Valley.

Submission + - Bigger Isn't Better as Mega-Ships Get Too Big and Too Risky

HughPickens.com writes: Alan Minter writes at Bloomberg that between 1955 and 1975, the average volume of a container ship doubled — and then doubled again over each of the next two decades. The logic behind building such giants was once unimpeachable: Globalization seemed like an unstoppable force, and those who could exploit economies of scale could reap outsized profits. But it is looking more and more like the economies of scale for mega-ships are not worth the risk. The quarter-mile-long Benjamin Franklin recently became the largest cargo ship ever to dock at a U.S. port and five more mega-vessels are supposed to follow. But today's largest container vessels can cost $200 million and carry many thousands of containers — potentially creating $1 billion in concentrated, floating risk that can only dock at a handful of the world's biggest ports. Mega-ships make prime targets for cyberattacks and terrorism, suffer from a dearth of qualified personnel to operate them, and are subject to huge insurance premiums.

But the biggest costs associated with these floating behemoths are on land — at the ports that are scrambling to accommodate them. New cranes, taller bridges, environmentally perilous dredging, and even wholesale reconfiguration of container yards are just some of the costly disruptions that might be needed to receive a Benjamin Franklin and service it efficiently. Under such circumstances, you'd think that ship owners would start to steer clear of big boats. But, fearful of falling behind the competition and hoping to put smaller operators out of business, they're actually doing the opposite. Global capacity will increase by 4.5 percent this year "Sooner or later, even the biggest operators will have to accept that the era of super-sized shipping has begun to list," concludes Minter. " With global growth and trade still sluggish, and the benefits of sailing and docking big boats diminishing with each new generation, ship owners are belatedly realizing that bigger isn't better."

Submission + - LIGO detects another black hole crash, more gravitational waves (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: The biggest discovery in science this year—the observation of ripples in space-time called gravitational waves—was no fluke. For a second time, physicists working with the two massive detectors in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) have detected a pulse of such waves, the LIGO team reported on 15 June at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in San Diego, California. Once again the waves emanated from the merger of two black holes, the ultraintense gravitational fields left behind when massive stars collapse into infinitesimal points. The new observation suggests that after fine-tuning, LIGO will spot dozens or even hundreds of the otherwise undetectable events each year.

Submission + - NSW government goes in for creepy citizen location tracking (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The New South Wales government has undertaken a project in Sydney's south to determine who lives where and with whom, with the intention of reducing monitoring residents' movements to 30-minute intervals.

Sure this will only be used for urban planning. No one else could possibly want this. What? Only criminals would have to worry about this information being collected. Get back to work citizen your lunch break ended half an hour ago.

Submission + - Drone racing may promote innovation in other areas of robotics (robohub.org)

Kassandra Perlongo writes: "Auto racing has a history of developing new technologies that find their way into passenger cars, buses and trucks. Formula 1 racing teams developed many innovations that are now standard in commercially available vehicles. The drones used in racing (and indeed, all current multi-rotor drones) contain hardware and software to improve stability. This is essentially a low-level autopilot responsible for “balancing” the vehicle. Aside from flight control, situation awareness is a key problem in drone operations. Solving this problem could have payoffs for other telepresence robotics operations, such as remotely operated underwater vehicles and even planetary rovers."

Submission + - Successful Flight Test For India's Experimental Reusable Spaceplane (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: India has entered the ranks of spacefaring nations with reusable spacecraft, as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) conducted the first flight of its locally-built spaceplane demonstrator. The unmanned, scale hypersonic Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) spaceplane took off yesterday at 7:00 am IST on a suborbital flight of 770 seconds from First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota and was safely recovered after a successful reentry and splashdown.

Submission + - House appropriators to mandate NASA send astronauts back to the moon (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: Ars Technica reported that House version of the NASA funding bill for the next fiscal year will contain a complete change in the space agency’s space exploration strategy. The bill will defund NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, which proposes to snatch a boulder from an asteroid and deploy in in lunar orbit to be visited later by astronauts. Instead, the bill will mandate that the space agency begin plans to return to the lunar surface in advance of the Journey to Mars.

Submission + - Amitai Etzioni revives discredited arguments against human space exploration (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: Like an unquiet ghost from the sixties, Amitai Etzioni emerged in the pages of the Huffington Post to point a finger at NASA’s Journey to Mars and cry out that it must not be. He makes the arguments that robots can explore space much better and in greater safety than humans and that, in any case, we should be spending all that money on solving poverty. In so doing, Professor Etzioni shows that he has learned nothing since he published his long forgotten screed against the Apollo program, “Moondoggle,” which he incautiously mentioned.

Submission + - Germany's Energiewende: The problems remain (thebulletin.org)

Dan Drollette writes: Wanna know why certain American fossil fuel tycoons (who shall remain nameless) are so hostile to fighting climate change? Just look at what happened to the big utility companies and the large, energy-intensive heavy industries of Germany after its "Energiewende" kicked in—they are "on the brink of dissolution" from that country's embrace of renewable energy, says the author of this piece, who used to work for German utilities as their renewables go-to person.

Submission + - Pilot Earpiece Targets Language Barriers With Live Conversation Translation (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: From the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's Babel fish to Star Trek's universal translator, science fiction has found ways to break down the intergalactic language barriers, but it's something those of us in the real world are still struggling with. New York startup Waverly Labs is now claiming it's ready to make fiction a reality with the Pilot earpiece, which sits in your ear to provide near real-time translations of multilingual conversations.

Submission + - OPPD's Fort Calhoun nuclear plant has become too expensive to run, company says (omaha.com)

mdsolar writes: The nuclear plant at Fort Calhoun is simply too expensive to run when compared to other, cheaper forms of power, the Omaha Public Power District’s chief executive said Thursday. So it needs to shut down by the end of the year, he said.

OPPD President and Chief Executive Tim Burke told the utility’s board of directors that it no longer makes financial sense to continue operations at Fort Calhoun, which is the smallest nuclear power plant in the United States. The site for the plant was purchased in 1965.

The board will reconvene on June 16 to make a decision on Burke’s recommendation.

Closing the plant would mean lower overhead costs when it comes to complying with federal nuclear regulations and other expenses — including the $20 million a year OPPD pays an outside firm to run the plant. That firm, Exelon, has run Fort Calhoun since 2013 after OPPD was rapped hard by federal regulators for serious safety lapses; the plant was shut from mid-2011 until December 2013 as the utility dealt with Missouri River flooding and correcting violations of federal nuclear safety rules.

Shutting the plant permanently would move the utility away from relatively expensive-to-generate nuclear energy in an era of low-priced natural gas and an increasing reliance on wind power.

The recommendation to shut the plant comes with a guarantee, Burke said: Ratepayers won’t see a general rate increase until at least 2022 because of the savings from shuttering Fort Calhoun.

“You have to say enough is enough and curb the costs,” OPPD board member Tom Barrett said. “That’s the cold, hard facts of this business.”

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