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Submission + - Deep Space Network glitches worry scientists (

sciencehabit writes: Earlier this year, the Cassini spacecraft screwed up an orbital maneuver at Saturn because of a problem with its radio connection to Earth. The incident was one of several recent glitches in the Deep Space Network (DSN), NASA’s complex of large radio antennas in California, Spain, and Australia. For more than 50 years, the DSN has been the lifeline for nearly every spacecraft beyond Earth’s orbit, relaying commands from mission control and receiving data from the distant probe. On 30 September, in a meeting at NASA headquarters, officials will brief planetary scientists on the network’s status. Many are worried, based on anecdotal reports, that budget cuts and age have taken a toll that could endanger the complex maneuvers that Cassini and Juno, a spacecraft now at Jupiter, will require over the next year.

Submission + - Pending bill would kill a big H-1B loophole (

ErichTheRed writes: This isn't perfect, but it is the first attempt I've seen at removing the "body shop" loophole in the H-1B visa system. A bill has been introduced in Congress that would raise the minimum wage for an H-1B holder from $60K to $100K, and place limits on the body shop companies that employ mostly H-1B holders in a pass-through arrangement. Whether it's enough to stop the direct replacement of workers, or whether it will just accelerate offshoring, remains to be seen. But, I think removing the most blatant and most abused loopholes in the rules is a good start.

Submission + - SPAM: Bastille Day Terrorist Attacks in Nice, France. 84 Dead 1

MrKaos writes: Videos are emerging of another terrorist attack in Nice France. Police failed to stop the driver of a fixed axle lorry who sebsequently used the vehicle to plough through crowds of people celebrating Bastille day.
Claims are emerging that the driver was also using an automatic weapon and had a stock of grenades. France was still in a state of emergency from the previous terrorist attacks.

Eighty four are dead and eighteen are in a critical condition.

The cowardly Daesh (ISIS) have claimed responsibility for the attack against the citizens of France.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - The BBC is Bringing Back Robot Wars, the Original Robot Fighting Show (

mknewman writes: Sure, BattleBots was cool, but let’s not forget the real father of Robot TV deathmatches broadcast for our pleasure: the classic BBC series Robot Wars. Fans of violent robotic combat rejoice then, because the BBC are bringing back the series with more robots, and some mandatory science bits to distract you from the FIGHTING ROBOTS.

Submission + - Metal spheres crash land in Vietnam, believed to be from space (

AmiMoJo writes: Two strange metal spheres fell to the ground on Sunday evening in a remote part of Tuyen Quang Province, Vietnam. "The sky was clear, suddenly we heard a thunder-like noise," a witness told Thanh Nien. Locals people later found the orb near a stream. The two objects, one around 80cm and the other 27cm in diameter made a sound like thunder as they came crashing down. Similar objects have fallen in other parts of the world over the years, believed to be hydrazine bladder tanks from Russian made space vehicles.

Submission + - California's Worst Gas Leak In 40 Years (And Crews Can't Stop It) (

schwit1 writes: While world leaders signed the 'historic' agreement signed in Paris to fix the world's "greatest threat," a natural gas storage site in southern California is belching 145,000 pounds per hour of Methane — a greenhouse gas 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide. What is worse, while official proclaim this a "top priority" a fix won't arrive until spring as emergency crews recognize "the leak was far from routine, and the problem was deeper underground."

In just the first month, that's added up to 80,000 tons, or about a quarter of the state's ordinary methane emissions over the same period.

Submission + - AVG, McAfee, Kaspersky Antiviruses Had All a Common Bug (

An anonymous reader writes: Basic ASLR was not implemented in 3 major antivirus makers, allowing attackers to use the antivirus itself towards attacking Windows PCs. The bug, in layman terms, is: the antivirus would select the same memory address space every time it would run. If attackers found out the memory space's address, they could tell their malicious code to execute in the same space, at the same time, and have it execute with root privileges, which most antivirus have on Windows PCs. It's a basic requirement these days for software programmers to use ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) to prevent their code from executing in predictable locations. Affected products: AVG, McAfee, Kaspersky. All "quietly" issued fixes.

Submission + - Tech Giant SAP Seeks To Hire More Autistic Adults (

itwbennett writes: In May 2013, SAP launched its Autism at Work program, with the goal of recruiting and hiring 'hundreds of people' with autism worldwide. Now the company is expanding the program, and is looking to have people on the autism spectrum make up 1 percent of its total workforce (~650 people) by 2020, says José Velasco, head of the Autism at Work program at SAP. So far, autistic workers fulfill all kinds of roles in IT — from software testing, data analysis, quality assurance to IT project management, graphic design, finance administration and human resources, Velasco says, and the potential for new roles is expanding rapidly.

Submission + - Physicists uncover novel phase of matter (

schwit1 writes: A team of physicists led by Caltech's David Hsieh has discovered an unusual form of matter — not a conventional metal, insulator, or magnet, for example, but something entirely different. This phase, characterized by an unusual ordering of electrons, offers possibilities for new electronic device functionalities and could hold the solution to a long-standing mystery in condensed matter physics having to do with high-temperature superconductivity — the ability for some materials to conduct electricity without resistance, even at "high" temperatures approaching -100 degrees Celsius.

"The discovery of this phase was completely unexpected and not based on any prior theoretical prediction ... The whole field of electronic materials is driven by the discovery of new phases, which provide the playgrounds in which to search for new macroscopic physical properties."

Submission + - FBI's Advice for Ransomware Victims: Pay Up!

campuscodi writes: Speaking at the Cyber Security Summit that took place last week in Boston, Joseph Bonavolonta, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cyber and Counterintelligence Program, revealed that the FBI started advising organizations into paying up ransoms if they ever face ransomware infections. The thinking behind this recommendation is that companies and users will eventually learn their lesson and start employing better self-protection measures when navigating the Web.

Submission + - Did you avoid update KB3035583? Too bad; Microsoft still installing Windows 10 ( 1

LichtSpektren writes: Those who wished to avoid Windows 10, and/or were annoyed by the "Get Windows 10" (GWX) advertisement that popped up on Windows 7 & 8.1 machines, were told to remove update KB3035583. This removed the GWX center. However, a more recent update for 7 & 8.1 (the culprit appears to be KB2952664, which my machine received on October 7) appears to have restored it anyway, and worse, is now downloading and installing Windows 10 without permission. This appears to happen even if "Install updates automatically" is turned off, so some users who are away from their machine for more than a day may return to find Windows 10 installed.

Submission + - Did we just find a Dyson Sphere being built? (

gurps_npc writes: Note, as always, the answer to a headline question is usually "no". But Phil Plait just wrote a very interesting article about a star that is extremely variable. We generally look for cyclical minute (1%) variations in star light to detect planets. But we found one that has a variable variation in starlight of over 20%. We don't have a very good explanation for this and some people are proposing it is caused by a civilization building a Dyson Sphere around the star.

Submission + - Cities Turn to DNA Fighting Dog Poop

dkatana writes: More cities are resorting to science and letting DNA analysis help fight dog owners' lack of civic-mindedness. Tarragona is the latest town in Europe to sign on with a plan to build a DNA database of dogs registered. Waste will then be tested and the cost of the analysis charged to the dog owner along with a fine.

And London borough of Barking and Dagenham signed up PooPrints, a Tennessee company that makes DNA kits, to fight the problem.

Submission + - Don't bring your drone to New Zealand (

NewtonsLaw writes: Drones such as the Lilly Camera, DJI Phamtom and (to a lesser extent, because of its size) DJI Inspire are changing the way we experience our vacations. Instead of toting along a camcorder or a 35mm DSLR, more and more people are just packing a GoPro and, increasingly, a drone on which to mount it.

This is fine if you're going to a drone-friendly country but be warned that (when/if they finally ship), your Lilly Camera will get you into big trouble in Thailand (where all use of drones by the public is banned outright) and now New Zealand, where strict new laws regarding the operation of drones and even tiny toys like the 20g Cheerson CX10, come into effect on August 1.

Under these new rules, nobody can operate a drone or model aircraft without getting the prior consent of the owner over which property it is intended to fly — and (this is the kicker) also the permission of the occupiers of that property. So you can effectively forget about flying down at the local park, at scenic locations or just about any public place. Even if you could manage to get the prior permission of the land-owner, because we're talking "public place", you'd also have to get the permission of anyone and everyone who was also in the area where you intended to fly.

Other countries have produced far more sane regulations — such as limiting drone and RC model operators to flying no closer than 30m from people or buildings — but New Zealand's CAA have gone right over the top and imposed what amounts to a virtual death-sentence on a hobby that has provided endless, safe fun for boys (and girls) of all ages for more than 50 decades.

Of course if you are prepared to pay a $600 fee to become "Certified" by CAA then the restrictions on where you can fly are lifted and you don't need those permissions. It seems that the government here is taking away our rights and simply selling them back to us as "privileges" that can be purchased by paying a fist-full of cash to the appropriate government agency.

When reading the linked news story, remember that as far as CAA in New Zealand is concerned, *everything* that flies and is remotely controlled is now deemed to be a "drone" — so that includes everything from a tiny 20g toy quadcopter to a huge octocopter.

Submission + - Scientists Develop Seaweed Twice As Nutritious As Kale But Tastes Like Bacon (

cold fjord writes: The New Zealand Herald reports, "Researchers at Oregon State University have patented a new strain of succulent red marine algae that tastes like bacon when it's cooked. The protein-packed algae sea vegetable called dulse grows extraordinarily fast and is wild along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines. It has been sold for centuries in a dried form around northern Europe, used in cooking and as a nutritional supplement ... Chris Langdon has created a new strain of the weed which looks like a translucent red lettuce. An excellent source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants the "superfood" contains up to 16 per cent protein in dry weight ... It has twice the nutritional value of kale. ... "... this stuff is pretty amazing. When you fry it, which I have done, it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it's a pretty strong bacon flavour."" — More at OSU.

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