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Submission + - Fast Radio Bursts - the astronomical signal - may be from extraterestrial source (arxiv.org)

RockDoctor writes: In an exercise of "try all sorts of ideas", some Harvard (USA) astronomers examine coincidences between "fast radio bursts" (the several uhh "enigmatic" uhh, fast bursts of radio emission detected over the last few years) and discover that the plausible sizes of the sources of the signals and some of their other characteristics are not inconsistent with them being sourced from "a large rocky planet."

They continue to examine the far-fetched idea with the tools of science. The extemely high brightness temperature (change of intensity with radiation frequency) of ~10^37 K has suggested a coherent radiation source, and tihs idea is developed into considering them as the overflows of light sails powered by a radiation source at the source planet, as has been proposed for investigating the planet around Proxima Centauri.

In an acknowledgement of the Popplerian definition of a scientific hypothesis, they are explicit in discussing "implications and predictions in Section 3", so their ideas can be probed by reality. So even if their idea proves wrong, it will remain a valid contribution to the literature. As the authors finish, "Although the possibility that FRBs are produced by extragalactic civilizations is more speculative than an astrophysical origin, quantifying the requirements necessary for an artificial origin serves, at the very least, the important purpose of enabling astronomers to rule it out with future data"

Submission + - LIGO doesn't just detect gravitational waves. It makes them, too (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is not only the most sensitive detector of ripples in spacetime. It also happens to be the world's best producer of gravitational waves, a team of physicists now calculates. Although these waves are far too feeble to detect directly, the researchers say, the radiation in principle could be used to try to detect weird quantum mechanical effects among large objects.

Submission + - One Woman's Brilliant "Fuck You" to Wikipedia Trolls (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: Now 22, Emily Temple-Wood has been editing Wikipedia for a decade, making her one of few young, female editors on the site. Along with that status has come a slew of harassment, including death and rape threats. To fight back, she's come up with a brilliant solution, which she's dubbed the "Fuck You" project: for every harassing email, death threat, or request for nude photos that she receives, she creates a Wikipedia biography on a notable woman scientist who was previously unknown to the free online encyclopedia. She may not be able to silence the trolls, but she can taunt them with what misogynists hate the most—successful women.

Submission + - Scott Adams and "The Non-Expert Problem" (blogspot.ca) 18

Layzej writes: It is easy for a non-expert to be swayed by a credible sounding narrative that claims to overthrow a scientific consensus. For a scientist it is generally clear which arguments are valid, but the general public can’t independently evaluate scientific evidence. Scientist Victor Venema provides answers to a number of concerns about climate science raised by cartoonist Scott Adams. His answers are accessible and illuminating, and hopefully helpful to the non-expert who would like to understand the truth behind certain contrarian talking points.

Submission + - Mirai botnet attackers are trying to knock an entire country offline (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A Mirai-powered botnet, known as Botnet 14, began targeting a small, little-known African country, sending it almost entirely offline each time.

Security researcher Kevin Beaumont, who was one of the first to notice the attacks and wrote about what he found, said that the attack was one of the largest capacity botnets ever seen.

One transit provider said the attacks were over 500 Gbps in size. Beaumont said that given the volume of traffic, it "appears to be the owned by the actor which attacked Dyn."

Submission + - 'Any idiot can do it.' CRISPR could put mutant mice in everyone's reach (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: The CRISPR revolution that has made genome editing simpler, cheaper, and faster has come to the laboratory mouse, a leading animal model used to study everything from human disease to the function of genes. Engineering of mice, which previously relied mainly on modifying embryonic stem (ES) cells, has become something that many more labs can do themselves, and it has also become far easier to make mice with several mutations. But CRISPR works best at “knocking out” genes, introducing errors that cripple the ability of cells to make functional products from the DNA. When it comes to adding, or knocking in, information—which is critical for many mouse studies—CRISPR remains a work in progress, leading some researchers to warn that the ES technology is being abandoned prematurely.

Submission + - Tesla shocks Wall St. with huge earnings surprise and actual profits (bgr.com)

anderzole writes: Tesla on Wednesday posted its earnings report for the quarter gone by and investors will have a lot to cheer about. While analysts on Wall St. were expecting Tesla to post a loss, Tesla during its September quarter actually posted a profit, and an impressive profit at that. When the dust settled, Tesla posted a quarterly profit of $22 million and EPS of $0.71. Revenue for the quarter checked in at $2.3 billion.

Illustrating how impressive Tesla’s performance was this past quarter, Wall St. was anticipating Tesla to post a loss amid $1.9 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Submission + - SPAM: White House urges ban on non-compete agreements for many workers

schwit1 writes: The Obama administration on Tuesday called on U.S. states to ban agreements prohibiting many workers from moving to their employers' rivals, saying it would lead to a more competitive labor market and faster wage growth.

The administration said so-called non-compete agreements interfere with worker mobility and states should consider barring companies from requiring low-wage workers and other employees who are not privy to trade secrets or other special circumstances to sign them.

Nearly every state allows non-compete agreements, and legal battles over their validity are common. Courts in determining whether the agreements are lawful generally focus on the length of time they are in effect, their geographical limits and whether employees had access to trade secrets.

The Obama administration on Tuesday also urged states to ban non-compete agreements that are not proposed before a job offer or promotion is accepted and said employers should not be able to enforce the agreements when workers are laid off.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Microsoft Raises UK Cloud, Software Prices 22% After Brexit-Fuelled Pound Drop

Mickeycaskill writes: Microsoft is to substantially increase its prices for software and cloud services prices offered in British pounds in order to accommodate the sharp drop in the currency against the US dollar in recent weeks.

Beginning in January 2017 on-premises enterprise software prices will go up by 13 percent and most enterprise cloud prices will increase by 22 percent, bringing them into line with euro prices.

Microsoft said it isn’t planning to change its prices for consumer software and cloud services.

The value of the pound has fallen by about 18 percent since the EU referendum on 23 June.

Submission + - Every LTE call, text, can be intercepted, blacked out, hacker finds (theregister.co.uk)

mask.of.sanity writes: A hacker has blown holes in 4G LTE networks.by detailing how to intercept and make calls, send text messages and force phones offline.

It exploits LTE fall-back mechanisms designed to ensure continuity of phone services in the event of emergency situations that trigger base station overloads.

Submission + - How are all these IoT devices on public address space to be hacked? 1

ChesterRafoon writes: Nearly all of these IoT devices mentioned in the latest internet bot attacks are consumer devices — webcams, thermostats, DVRs, things like that. Most consumer (home) network setups would host these kinds of devices on private address space behind a NAT box of some type. So how on earth where all these devices exposed to the WAN so that telnet (of all things) could attempt to connect and hijack them?

Submission + - Is Disclosure of Podesta's emails a Step to Far? (theintercept.com)

mspohr writes: Interesting discussion between Glenn Greenwald and Naomi Klein on The Intercept on the limits of disclosure and privacy.
"...the author and activist Naomi Klein believes there are serious threats to personal privacy and other critical political values posed by hacks of this sort, particularly when accompanied by the indiscriminate publication of someone’s personal emails."
The article notes that back in the early days, Wikileaks carefully vetted its leaks to avoid compromising personal information. However, the latest leaks of DNC email have no editing and contain personal information such as discussion of personal problems of individuals unrelated to any public purpose.
"But personal emails — and there’s all kinds of personal stuff in these emails — this sort of indiscriminate dump is precisely what Snowden was trying to protect us from. That’s why I wanted I wanted to talk with you about it, because I think we need to continuously reassert that principle."
Do Wikileaks or journalists have any responsibility to privacy?

Submission + - Spare the Screen Time, Spoil the Child?

theodp writes: For years, the conventional wisdom has been that too much screen time is bad for kids. Indeed, the Obamas famously limited their 11- and 14-year-old daughters' use of technology to weekends, and banned watching TV on weekdays. But now, Engadget reports, new guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics studies suggest we were wrong about limiting children's screen time. So, with new Google-Gallup research suggesting that students deprived of daily use of a computer at home are placed at a disadvantage when it comes to learning CS, could it be that the President's well-intentioned screen time limits contributed to his daughters' failure to take to coding in the way he'd like? Might he have been better off to emulate the Onion's 'Craig Georges' ("I've never once considered monitoring my child’s screen time. I guess I’m a better parent than I realized.")?

Submission + - Cryptographic proof Wikileak podesta emails have been modified? (pastebin.pl)

An anonymous reader writes: Downloading the raw email from wikileaks directly and running it through opendkim-msgtest will on a suprising number of "raw" emails from wikileaks indicate that the DKIM signature is incorrect. eg.

curl https://wikileaks.org/podesta-... | opendkim-testmsg

vs.

curl https://wikileaks.org/podesta-... | opendkim-testmsg

There is a list of modified emails posted on a pastebin right now http://pastebin.pl/view/351dca...

Because the DKIM header contains the checksum of the message body and is signed with the servers public key it would seem to be irrefutable proof of email tampering before the emails were given to wikileaks.

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