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Submission + - Sling TV CEO Sees Large Opportunity in Pay TV Market (

donagilbert writes: AT&T, one of the largest telecommunications brands in the country, has successfully signed an agreement with one of the most famous names in music industry, Taylor Swift. This recent deal will allow both AT&T and Taylor Swift to appear in numerous events together. This also includes the AT&T DirecTV Super Saturday Night, which will be held in Houston, Texas on February 4, 2017.

Submission + - NASA To Allow Private Companies To Hook Up Modules To ISS (

An anonymous reader writes: Private space companies may soon get the opportunity to add their own habitat modules to the outside of the International Space Station. That’s according to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who announced the new initiative today as a way to help expand the number of companies and people that can do work and research in space. That can eventually help companies gain the experience and capability to create private space stations of their own. "A vibrant user community will be key to ensuring the economic viability of future space stations," wrote Bolden in a White House blog post. The announcement of this new opportunity comes just a few months after NASA asked private companies for ideas of how they might use one of the docking ports on the ISS. Based on the responses NASA received, Bolden said companies had a "strong desire" to attach commercial modules to the station that could benefit both NASA and the private sector. Bolden didn’t specify which companies expressed interest, but one company in particular, Bigelow Aerospace, has been very vocal about its desire to hook up habitats to the ISS; the company wants to attach its next big inflatable habitat, the B330, to the ISS as early as 2020. One of Bigelow’s experimental habitats is already connected to the ISS, though its stay is only temporary and meant to gather data about Bigelow’s habitat technology. While the new ISS initiative is meant to foster innovation in the private sector, it will also presumably help jumpstart the space station’s transition from a state-run project to one helmed by the private sector. The ISS is set to retire in 2024, and NASA is looking to move beyond lower Earth orbit and send humans to Mars by the mid-2030s. But before NASA abandons the ISS, the space agency wants to leave the orbiting lab in some private company’s capable hands. "Ultimately, our desire is to hand the space station over to either a commercial entity or some other commercial capability so that research can continue in low-Earth orbit," Bill Hill, NASA’s deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development, said at a press conference in August.

Submission + - Scaling Synchronization in Multicore Programs (

ChelleChelle2 writes: As many software engineers are only too well aware, designing software for modern multicore processors can be quite a challenge. Traditional software designs (in which threads manipulate shared data) have limited scalability because synchronization of updates to shared data serializes threads and limits parallelism. However, alternative distributed software designs (in which threads do NOT share mutable data), while eliminating synchronization and offering better scalability, pose their own problems and are not a good fit for every program. Luckily, ACM Queue recently published a very useful guide describing advanced synchronization methods that can boost the performance of multicore software.

Submission + - Users Now Accuse Yahoo of Lock-In (

Tasha26 writes: After waiting 2 years to inform their users that 1 billion of them had their details stolen and installing a modified email scanner which turned out to be an NSA rootkit with full backdoor access, Yahoo has now disabled automatic email forwarding to another email provider. Users are claiming that this is an extremely suspicious timing as automatic email forwarding has been around for over a decade. In a statement to the BBC, Yahoo has denied any foul play and instead claimed they were working to improve the email forwarding functionality.

Submission + - SPAM: Green Bank goes private

schwit1 writes: The Green Bank radio telescope in West Virginia, having lost most of its government funding, has switched to a private model where they compete for customers on the open market.

[T]hey petitioned to retain a fraction of NSF funding and make up the difference with private contracts-a model then unheard of. Eventually, the NSF agreed to fund about 60 percent of Green Bank's operations in 2017, tapering to 30 percent in 2018.

To add cash flow to that federal tributary, Green Bankers had to nail down private contracts. The 140-foot telescope, home to the biggest ball bearing in the world, will download data from the Russian Space Agency's on-orbit radio telescope, RadioAstron, which will also hook up with the newer telescope to form a high-resolution array. The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves has commissioned the flagship Green Bank Telescope to watch their network of pulsars for fingerprints of gravitational waves.

And Breakthrough Listen-a search for extraterrestrial intelligence-will look for the technological fingerprints of aliens. The project, funded by rich-guy Yuri Milner, will watch the sky 1,300 hours a year, debiting $2 million from Milner annually and depositing it into Green Bank's coffers.

In other words, they are marketing the telescope to the open market, selling time to use it to whoever has a need. And apparently, there is a need, though like most operations that go public to private, the telescope will have to become leaner and meaner and more efficient to stay in the black. Which is to the good.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Secton 230 of the CDA under threat. (

whoever57 writes: The CEO of Backpage was recently arrested for "pimping". It is likely that the charges will not stick because of section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), under which publishers are protected from liability for the postings of their users. However, this could just be the first shot in the battle to weaken section 230. . This could endanger other sites, such as Craigslist, and ultimately, any site with user-written content.

Submission + - SPAM: This high-tech card is being rolled out by French banks to eliminate fraud

schwit1 writes: Your credit card security is pretty broken. It's not your fault, it's just really hard to keep people's money safe, especially online.

Part of the problem is that once your card details are stolen — whether through a phishing attack or by someone copying the digits on the back — fraudsters are free to go on a spending spree until you notice something's up. Normally by the time you get around to actually cancelling your card, it's all too late.

But what if the numbers on your card changed every hour so that, even if a fraudster copied them, they'd quickly be out of date? That's exactly what two French banks are starting to do with their new high-tech ebank cards.

The three digits on the back of this card will change, every hour, for three years and after they change, the previous three digits are essentially worthless, and that's a huge blow for criminals.

Link to Original Source

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 + - Mozilla Trials Native Firefox Ad Blocking Tools For All 1

Mickeycaskill writes: Mozilla could add a degree of native ad blocking to Firefox in a future release if a test of the ‘Tracking Protection’ feature in the browser is successful.

Tracking Protection arrived with Firefox 42 last November, giving users control over what types of data third parties received from their browsing. This could mean certain online advertisements might not display properly.

However until now, Tracking Protection has been limited to private browsing. Mozilla is looking at extending this protection to all tabs but first needs to see where the feature “breaks” the web – this includes ads.

To achieve this, it is inviting users to participate in a ‘Test Pilot’, a scheme which sees Firefox users test experimental features in the early stage of development.

Submission + - European Commission To Launch Initiative Against Data Localization (

An anonymous reader writes: The European Commission has announced that it will launch a new project later this year intended to curb the increasing tendency towards regional data governance policies, concerned that it data cannot flow freely throughout the union, innovation will be stifled. Speaking at Digital Assembly 2016 in Bratislava, Vice President for the Digital Single Market in the European Commission Andrus Ansip commented that ‘if data does not flow freely across the EU, then the growth potential of the digital economy in Europe will be limited’. Ansip criticized those who advocate cross-border data restrictions on the grounds of data protection and security, in effect criticizing the very notion of data governance which is currently forcing Microsoft to establish local data centres for its Azure and Office 365 offerings in order to comply with governmental edicts regarding the location of information storage. Ansip said: "“The vast majority of these constraints have nothing to do with protecting privacy or fighting security threats. Let me give you few examples. Why should company data, tax data, book-keeping data, financial and all health data be stored forcibly inside particular borders in a single market? What the public authorities need, in terms of data, is access rather than storage."

Submission + - International Space Station to Trial Aussie-designed Ion Thruster (

theweatherelectric writes: Barney Porter from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation writes, "An Australian-designed rocket propulsion system is heading to the International Space Station (ISS) for a year-long experiment that ultimately could revolutionise space travel. The technology could be used to power a return trip to Mars without refuelling, and use recycled space junk for the fuel. Former University of Sydney student, Dr Paddy Neumann — now of Neumann Space — and two co-inventor professors from his alma mater have developed an ion thruster that could replace the current chemical-based rocket propulsion technology, which requires huge volumes of fuel to be loaded onto a spacecraft."

Submission + - Commodore C64 Survives Over 25 Years Balancing Drive Shafts In Auto Repair Shop (

MojoKid writes: One common gripe in the twenty-first century is that nothing is built to last anymore. Even complex, expensive computers seem to have a relatively short shelf-life nowadays. However, one computer in a small auto repair shop in Gdansk, Poland has survived for the last twenty-five years against all odds. The computer in question here is a Commodore C64 that has been balancing driveshafts non-stop for a quarter of a century. The C64C looks like it would fit right in with a scene from Fallout 4 and has even survived a nasty flood. This Commodore 64 contains a few homemade aspects, however. The old computer uses a sinusoidal waveform generator and piezo vibration sensor in order to measure changes in pressure, acceleration, temperature, strain or force by converting them to an electrical charge. The C64C interprets these signals to help balance the driveshafts in vehicles.

Submission + - Facebook, Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft Create Historic Partnership On AI (

An anonymous reader writes: In an act of self-governance, Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, IBM, and Microsoft came together today to announce the launch the new Partnership on AI. The group is tasked with conducting research and promoting best practices. Practically, this means that the group of tech companies will come together frequently to discuss advancements in artificial intelligence. The group also opens up a formal structure for communication across company lines. It’s important to remember that on a day to day basis, these teams are in constant competition with each other to develop the best products and services powered by machine intelligence. Financial support will be coming from the initial tech companies who are members of the group, but in the future membership and involvement is expected to increase. User activists, non-profits, ethicists, and other stakeholders will be joining the discussion in the coming weeks. The organizational structure has been designed to allow non-corporate groups to have equal leadership side-by-side with large tech companies. As of today’s launch, companies like Apple, Twitter, Intel and Baidu are missing from the group. Though Apple is said to be enthusiastic about the project, their absence is still notable because the company has fallen behind in artificial intelligence when compared to its rivals — many of whom are part of this new group. The new organization really seems to be about promoting change by example. Rather than preach to the tech world, it wants to use a standard open license to publish research on topics including ethics, inclusivity, and privacy.

Submission + - D-Wave's 2,000-Qubit Quantum Annealing Computer Now 1,000x Faster Than Last Gen (

An anonymous reader writes: D-Wave, a Canadian company developing the first commercial “quantum computer,” announced its next-generation quantum annealing computer with 2,000 qubits, which is twice as many as its previous generation had. One highly exciting aspect of quantum computers of all types is that beyond the seemingly Moore’s Law-like increase in number of qubits every two years, their performance increases much more than just 2x, unlike with regular microprocessors. This is because qubits can hold a value of 0, 1, or a superposition of the two, making quantum systems able to deal with much more complex information. If D-Wave's 2,000-qubit computer is now 1,000 faster than the previous 1,000-qubit generation (D-Wave 2X), that would mean that, for the things Google tested last year, it should now be 100 billion times faster than a single-core CPU. The new generation also comes with control features, which allows users to modify how D-Wave’s quantum system works to better optimize their solutions. These control features include the following capabilities: The ability to tune the rate of annealing of individual qubits to enhance application performance; The ability to sample the state of the quantum computer during the quantum annealing process to power hybrid quantum-classical machine learning algorithms that were not previously possible; The ability to combine quantum processing with classical processing to improve the quality of both optimization and sampling results returned from the system. D-Wave’s CEO, Vern Brownell, also said that D-Wave’s quantum computers could also be used for machine learning task in ways that wouldn’t be possible on classical computers. The company is also training the first generation of programmers to develop applications for D-Wave quantum systems.

Submission + - (Not Quite) Open Source Hardware? 1

Ichijo writes: One hardware project that calls itself "open source" doesn't want to make its hardware design source files publicly available because doing so would, in their words, "make it very trivial for e.g Chinese companies to start producing cheap clones... we’d be getting support requests for hardware we had no idea of the quality of." This answer was in response to a request by a user who wants to use the design in his own projects.

Have any other open source hardware projects run into support issues from people owning cheap "clones"? Have clones been produced even without the hardware design source files?

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