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Submission + - Zeeman splitting and dynamical mass generation in Dirac semimetal ZrTe5 (nature.com)

NicknameUnavailable writes: Nature is reporting research showing dynamic mass generation in the novel material ZrTe5 under magnetic fields of 3T — 6T. This is also being reported here. Could this be used to create reactionless drives (a pair of discs arranged side-by-side made of ZrTe5 spinning in opposite directions with the inner or outer sides enclosed in a 6T magnetic field?)

Submission + - FBI warns of foreign hackers penertating state election sysems (yahoo.com)

mi writes: The low-information article, complete with the vague accusations against "Russians", claims, FBI is aware of foreign hackers' efforts to penetrate election systems of various states. In cases of two (unspecified) states, the hackers have, supposedly, already been successful.

The article's vagueness seems due to FBI being secretive about the highly-sensitive investigation.

"People, who vote, decide nothing. People counting votes decide everything."

— Joseph Stalin

Submission + - Physicists Examine The Viability Of Spherical Tokamaks In Producing Energy (ibtimes.com)

mdsolar writes: Nuclear fusion has been powering our sun for the past 4.5 billion years. Unlike fission — the process that powers our current nuclear facilities — fusion generates energy by fusing the nuclei of lighter atoms into heavier ones, and produces no long-term radioactive waste.

Imagine if we manage to replicate and miniaturize the process taking place in the core of stars. This would not only provide us a low-cost, clean and virtually limitless source of energy, it would also end our unsustainable reliance on polluting fossil fuels.

In a recent paper published in the journal Nuclear Fusion, a team of physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has detailed the design of a viable and efficient fusion device — one that already exists in an experimental form.

The spherical device, known as a “tokamak,” can contain high-energy, superheated plasma produced through nuclear fusion using relatively low and inexpensive magnetic fields. This, the researchers believe, makes it a leading candidate to complement the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor — a doughnut-shaped tokamak that 35 nations are building in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power.

The PPPL tokamaks spherical, “cored apple” design also allows tritium — a rare hydrogen isotope — to be created,

Comment Re:I'm making a note here (Score 5, Insightful) 88

"Mediocre" Artists who have written the theme song (and geek anthem) of two of the biggest puzzle games of all time ? Who is a regular at geek events ? And who is pretty much the model for Indie Music Publishing ?

Seriously, if you don't recognize Jonathan Coulton, you need to turn in your geek card. . .

Submission + - FBI: Hillary Clinton used BleachBit to wipe emails (neowin.net) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The open source disk cleaning application, BleachBit, got quite a decent ad pitch from the world of politics after it was revealed lawyers of the presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, used the software to wipe her email servers. Clinton is currently in hot water, being accused of using private servers for storing sensitive emails.

“She and her lawyers had those emails deleted. And they didn't just push the delete button; they had them deleted where even God can't read them. They were using something called BleachBit. You don't use BleachBit for yoga emails or bridesmaids emails. When you're using BleachBit, it is something you really do not want the world to see.”

Two of the main features that are listed on the BleachBit website include “Shred files to hide their contents and prevent data recovery”, and “Overwrite free disk space to hide previously deleted files”. These two features would make it pretty difficult for anyone trying to recover the deleted emails.

Submission + - Proposed 'social media ID, please' law met with anger (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: A plan by the U.S. government to require some foreign travelers to provide their social media IDs on key travel documents is being called by critics “ludicrous,” an “all-around bad idea,” “blatant overreach,” “desperate, paranoid heavy-handedness,” “preposterous,” “appalling,” and “un-American." That's just a sampling of the outrage. Some 800 responded to the U.S. request for comments about a proposed rule affecting people traveling from “visa waiver” countries to the U.S., where a visa is not required. This includes most of Europe, Singapore, Chile, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Travelers will be asked to provide their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and whatever other social ID you can imagine to U.S. authorities. It’s technically an “optional” request, but since it’s the government asking, critics believe travelers will fear consequences if they ignore it. People who are traveling from a country where a visa is required, such as India or China, get a security vetting when they apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate, so this proposal doesn’t apply to them. In a little twist of irony, some critics said U.S. President Obama’s proposal for foreign travelers is so bad, it must have been hatched by Donald Trump.

Submission + - What NASA could teach Tesla about the limits of autopilot (scientificamerican.com)

DirkDaring writes: Tesla's autopilot along with Uber, Google and others has gotten seemingly weekly attention in the news for cars which drive by themselves. But another rather large organization has already been down this path for a very long time — NASA. They found that the more foolproof the automation’s performance becomes the harder it is for an on-the-loop supervisor (or driver) is to monitor it, which is the opposite of what Tesla is aiming their autopilot to be.

Submission + - The Epi-Pen price battle hits Congress (cnn.com) 2

Applehu Akbar writes: The recent exorbitant increase in the price of the Epi-Pen injector for epinephrine, a compound that has been generic for years, has now turned into civil war in the US Senate. One senator's daughter relies on Epi-Pen, while another senator's daughter is CEO of Mylan, the single company that is licensed to sell these injectors in the US.

On the worldwide market there is no monopoly on these devices. Manufacturers include Amedra Pharmaceuticals LLC, ALK Abello, Sanofi SA, and Lincoln Medical Ltd, Itelliject Inc, Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp, Hospira Inc, Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Antares Pharma Inc. Is it finally time to allow Americans to go online and fill their prescriptions on the world market?

Submission + - New SWEET32 Crypto Attacks Speed Up Deprecation of 3DES, Blowfish (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: New attacks revealed today against 64-bit block ciphers push cryptographic ciphers such as Triple-DES (3DES) and Blowfish closer to extinction.

The attacks, known as SWEET32, allow for the recovery of authentication cookies from HTTPS traffic protected by 3DES, and BasicAUTH credentials from OpenVPN traffic protected by default by Blowfish.

In response, OpenSSL is expected tomorrow to remove 3DES from its default bulid in 1.1.0, and lower its designation from High to Medium 1.0.2 and 1.0.1. OpenVPN, meanwhile, is expected to release a new version this week as well with a warning about Blowfish and new configuration advice protecting against the SWEET32 attacks.

The researchers behind SWEET32 said this is a practical attack because collisions begin after a relatively short amount of data is introduced. By luring a victim to a malicious site, the attacker can inject JavaScript into the browser that forces the victim to connect over and over to a site they're authenticated to. The attacker can then collect enough of that traffic--from a connection that is kept alive for a long period of time--to recover the session cookie.

Submission + - Something "Unexpected" Happened When Seattle Raised The Minimum Wage

schwit1 writes: The latest research comes from the University of Washington which researched the impact of Seattle's recent minimum wage hike on employment in that city (as background, Seattle recently passed legislation that increased it's minimum wage to $11 per hour on April 1, 2015, $13 on January 1, 2016 and $15 on January 1, 2017). "Shockingly", the University of Washington found that Seattle's higher minimum wages "lowered employment rates of low-wage workers" (the report is attached in its entirety at the end of this post).

Yet, our best estimates find that the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance appears to have lowered employment rates of low-wage workers. This negative unintended consequence (which are predicted by some of the existing economic literature) is concerning and needs to be followed closely in future years, because the long-run effects are likely to be greater as businesses and workers have more time to adapt to the ordinance. Finally, we find only modest impacts on earnings. The effects of disemployment appear to be roughly offsetting the gain in hourly wage rates, leaving the earnings for the average low-wage worker unchanged. Of course, we are talking about the average result.



More specifically, we find that median wages for low-wage workers (those earning less than $11 per hour during the 2nd quarter of 2014) rose by $1.18 per hour, and we estimate that the impact of the Ordinance was to increase these workers’ median wage by $0.73 per hour. Further, while these low-wage workers increased their likelihood of being employed relative to prior years, this increase was less than in comparison regions. We estimate that the impact of the Ordinance was a 1.1 percentage point decrease in likelihood of low-wage Seattle workers remaining employed. While these low-wage workers increased their quarterly earnings relative to prior years, the estimated impact of the Ordinance on earnings is small and sensitive to the choice of comparison region. Finally, for those who kept their job, the Ordinance appears to have improved wages and earnings, but decreased their likelihood of being employed in Seattle relative other parts of the state of Washington.

Still not convinced? How about a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that finds that "higher minimum wage results in some job loss for the least-skilled workers—with possibly larger adverse effects than earlier research suggested."

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