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Submission + - Orangutans face complete extinction within 10 years (independent.co.uk)

campuscodi writes: Orangutans will be extinct from the planet within 10 years unless action is taken to preserve forests in Indonesia and Malaysia where they live, a conservation charity has warned.

The Bornean orangutan was officially listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) last month, joining the only other kind, the Sumatran orangutan, in that classification. In just 25 years, more than a quarter of Indonesia's forests – 76 million acres, an area almost the size of Germany – have disappeared. One of the main reasons is to clear land to make way for palm oil plantations.

Submission + - Hackers Claim To Be Selling NSA Cyberweapons In Online Auction

blottsie writes: A group of hackers identifying themselves as the Shadow Brokers claims to have hacked the NSA's Equation Group, a team of American hackers that have been described as both "omnipotent" and "the most advanced" threat cyberspace has ever seen.

On the Shadow Brokers' website, the group has shared a sample of data that some cybersecurity experts say lends credibility to the breach. The the hackers' asking price for what they claim is a cache of NSA-built cyberweapons.

Submission + - How Wikipedia manages mental illness and suicide threats among its volunteers (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: Wikipedia has some 68,000 active editors, and as with any given population, some of those people experience mental illnesses or disorders. The online encyclopedia is adamant that "Wikipedia is not therapy!", a statement that some find alienating, and despite that disclaimer, the site has had to come up with ways to respond when a volunteer is in crisis. In this longform narrative, we hear the stories of volunteers who've undergone crises either directly or tangentially related to Wikipedia, and we learn how the website handles—or attempts to handle—those situations.

Submission + - 'Consumer Reports' for software vulnerabilities

Presto Vivace writes: Karen Epper Hoffman reporting for Government Computer News:

During a presentation at last week’s Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, computer scientists Peiter Zatko (better known as Mudge) and Sarah Zatko discussed the independent organization they are building to impartially benchmark commercial software security flaws.



“All the certifications and evaluations that come out, they’re not about security,” said Sarah Zatko, who is chief scientist for the Cyber Independent Testing Lab and a member of the Army's Order of Thor, which recognizes contributions of cybersecurity professionals.

Submission + - Google's High-Speed Web Plans Hit Snags

HughPickens.com writes: The WSJ reports that Google Fiber has spent hundreds of millions dollars digging up streets and laying fiber-optic cables in a handful of cities to offer web connections roughly 30 times faster than the U.S. average but is now rethinking its high-speed internet business after initial rollouts have proved more expensive and time consuming than anticipated, a stark contrast to the fanfare that greeted its launch six years ago. The company is trying to cut costs and accelerate its expansion by leasing existing fiber or asking cities or power companies to build the networks instead of building its own. “If you’re in the telecommunications industry for 150 years, there are no surprises here,” said Jonathan Reichental. “But if you’re a software company getting into the business for the first time, this is a completely new world.” Google Fiber last month bought Webpass Inc., a company that beams internet service from a fiber-connected antenna to another antenna mounted on an apartment building. Webpass Chief Executive Charles Barr, now an Alphabet employee, said wireless offers an opportunity to overcome the challenging economics of building fiber networks from scratch. “Everyone who has done fiber to the home has given up because it costs way too much money and takes way too much time." Some analysts have long suspected that Google Fiber's primary goal was to prod other broadband firms to increase their speeds. AT&T, Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable, which recently was acquired by Charter Communications Inc., have done so in some competing markets. Google Fiber insists that fiber to the home is a real business. “We continue to see Fiber as a huge market opportunity,” Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat told investors last month. “We’re being thoughtful and deliberate in our execution path.”

Submission + - Researchers orbit a muon around an atom, confirm physics models are broken (arstechnica.com)

schwit1 writes: The proton's charge radius shouldn't change, and yet it appears to.

This “proton radius puzzle” suggests there may be something fundamentally wrong with our physics models. And the researchers who discovered it have now moved on to put a muon in orbit around deuterium, a heavier isotope of hydrogen. They confirm that the problem still exists, and there's no way of solving it with existing theories.

Submission + - Is Cortana spying on us? 2

siamesevodka writes: I just got the anniversary update installed [windows 10] and noticed cortana is installed again.I seen it was active again and wondered why. So I remembered it was hard for me uninstall or shut off the last time. So I asked cortana how to uninstall it. It replied that the anniversary update made sure it was permanently installed. So does this thing spy on us now even if we don't use it? Is it a back door for the NSA to keep tabs on me? Is microsoft whoring me out with their "free" software ? Is there a way to still shut it completely off or is George Orwell right?

Submission + - SPAM: Holy Grail of energy policy in sight as battery technology smashes the old order 3

mdsolar writes: The world's next energy revolution is probably no more than five or ten years away. Cutting-edge research into cheap and clean forms of electricity storage is moving so fast that we may never again need to build 20th Century power plants in this country, let alone a nuclear white elephant such as Hinkley Point.

The US Energy Department is funding 75 projects developing electricity storage, mobilizing teams of scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the elite Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge labs in a bid for what it calls the 'Holy Grail' of energy policy.

You can track what they are doing at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). There are plans for hydrogen bromide, or zinc-air batteries, or storage in molten glass, or next-generation flywheels, many claiming "drastic improvements" that can slash storage costs by 80pc to 90pc and reach the magical figure of $100 per kilowatt hour in relatively short order.

“Storage is a huge deal,” says Ernest Moniz, the US Energy Secretary and himself a nuclear physicist. He is now confident that the US grid and power system will be completely "decarbonised" by the middle of the century.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - During World War II, scientists attempted to turn sharks into living torpedoes (undark.org)

v3rgEz writes: Documents recently declassified show one of the odder experimental weapons developed during World War II: Weaponized sharks. Guided by sharp electric shocks, the sharks were trained to deliver explosive payloads — essentially turning them into living, breathing, remote-controlled torpedoes that could be put to use in the Pacific Theater.

Submission + - Juno Enters Jupiter's Orbit And Google Puts It On Home (ndtv.com)

rchomeowner writes: After Juno, a spinning robotic NASA spacecraft built like a tank entered into the orbit of Juptier, the largest planet in the solar system, search engine giant Google celebrated the momentous occasion with a doodle on its homepage. The doodle is an animated image shows a pixelated version of NASA's ground crew jumping for joy as Juno — forming the second O in "Google" — beams back happy little emoji from around Jupiter. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology announced that Juno having travelled 1.7 billion kilometers in a five-year-journey made it safely into orbit around the gigantic mysterious gas planet two doors down from Earth. Jupiter is a huge ball of gas 11 times wider than Earth and 300 times more massive and the probe's mission is to dive beneath and study Jupiter's intense radiation belts. The probe will eventually begin to take images of Jupiter and gather data that could potentially help in understanding of the history of the solar system. "Today's Doodle celebrates this incredible moment of human achievement. Bravo, Juno!," the search engine said.

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