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Submission + - Obama allowed use of NSA data in politics (circa.com)

mi writes: Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats.

Dozens of times in 2016, those intelligence reports identified Americans who were directly intercepted talking to foreign sources or were the subject of conversations between two or more monitored foreign figures. Sometimes the Americans’ names were officially unmasked; other times they were so specifically described in the reports that their identities were readily discernible.

Some intercepted communications from November to January involved Trump transition figures or foreign figures' perceptions of the incoming president and his administration.

Comment A lithium powered energy economy (Score 1) 145

Mr. Goodenough,

It seems that the world's reserves of lithium are far more centralized than nearly any other energy source. Do you foresee a way to avoid the geopolitical struggles for lithium ore that we experience with oil reserves?

Do you see an upper limit on the ability to recycle and reuse existing lithium batteries (those that have avoided a landfill)?

Submission + - Dark money vehicle crucial to judicial group, helps Gorsuch and others in Trump (opensecrets.org)

An anonymous reader writes: New tax returns obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics show the Wellspring Committee — which keeps the Judicial Crisis Network afloat and able to spend big money on ads promoting Judge Gorsuch's confirmation — comes largely from an $8.5 million contribution from a single anonymous donor. In addition to pumping millions of dollars into JCN, the Wellspring Committee began to fund a handful of other nascent organizations — like the 45Committee — that have strong ties to the Trump administration and are boosting the White House’s agenda.

Submission + - How would you solve the IM problem?

Artem Tashkinov writes: The XKCD comics has posted a wonderful and exceptionally relevant post in regard to the today's situation with various instant messaging solutions. E-mail has served us well in the past however it's not suitable for any real time communications involving video and audio. XMPP was a nice idea however it has largely failed except for a low number of geeks who stick to it. Nowadays some people install up to seven IMs to be able to keep up with various circles of people. How do you see this situation being resolved?

People desperately need a universal solution which is secure, decentralized, fault tolerant, not attached to your phone number, protects your privacy, supports video and audio chats and sending of files, works behind NATs and other firewalls and has the ability to send offline messages. I believe we need a modern version of SMTP.

Submission + - Four of Iceland's main volcanoes all preparing for eruption (icelandmonitor.mbl.is)

Applehu Akbar writes: Because Iceland is the one exposed place on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, it has long been a paradise for vulcanologists. At any given time at least one of its 130 volcanoes is doing...something interesting. Now that four of Iceland's largest volcanoes are showing signs of impending eruption, the world may be in for another summer of ash. Katla, Hecla, Bárðarbunga and Grímsvötn have all had major activity in the past, including vast floods from melting glaciers, enough ash to ground aircraft over all of Europe, volumes of sulfur that have induced global nuclear winter for a decade at a time, and clouds of poisonous fluoride gas.

When the mountains of Iceland speak, the whole world listens.

Submission + - AM Radio transmission of music from an unmodified laptop (github.com)

anfractuosus writes: I developed a simple program to enable the transmission of music from a .wav file
as RF AM emissions from an unmodified laptop, by making use of RF leakage from the computer, by
twiddling with data on the system bus. I made use of Pulse Density Modulation to emit the .wav file.

You can see the code at https://github.com/anfractuosi...

And a video of the audio received by a radio at https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

This is based on the awesome work at https://github.com/fulldecent/...

Submission + - NASA eyes $10 Quintillion asteroid (usatoday.com)

kugo2006 writes: NASA announced a plan to research 16 Psyche, an asteroid potentially as large as Mars and primarily composed of Iron and Nickel. The rock is unique in that it has an exposed core, likely a result of a series of collisions, according to Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Psyche's principal investigator. The mission's spacecraft would launch in 2023 and arrive in 2030.

Submission + - Microsoft rolls out Clear Linux for Azure instances (networkworld.com)

JG0LD writes: Microsoft announced today that it has added support for the Intel-backed Clear Linux distribution in instances for its Azure public cloud platform. It’s the latest in a lengthy string of Linux distributions to become available on the company’s Azure cloud.

Submission + - FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump (mcclatchydc.com)

linzeal writes: Investigators are examining how money may have moved from the Kremlin to covertly help Trump win, the two sources said. One of the allegations involves whether a system for routinely paying thousands of Russian-American pensioners may have been used to pay some email hackers in the United States or to supply money to intermediaries who would then pay the hackers, the two sources said.

Submission + - Meet Kubo, the robot that teaches kids to code (techcrunch.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "Kubo comes with its own programming language called TagTile. The language consists of puzzle pieces that fit together to give Kubo instructions. For example, you could connect three pieces together – forward, turn, then another forward. Kubo then drives over these pieces oncer to “learn” the command, then can remember and perform it without needing the pieces.

Kubo reads the puzzle pieces using an RFID technology – each piece has an individual embedded RFID tag, and Kubo itself has a reader built in." — TechCrunch

Submission + - How the Human Brain Decides What Is Important and What's Not (neurosciencenews.com)

baalcat writes: A new study in Neuroscience News sheds light on how we learn to pay attention in order to make the most of our life experiences.

"The Wizard of Oz told Dorothy to “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” in an effort to distract her, but a new Princeton University study sheds light on how people learn and make decisions in real-world situations.

The findings could eventually contribute to improved teaching and learning and the treatment of mental and addiction disorders in which people’s perspectives are dysfunctional or fractured."

Submission + - Quimitchin: The First Mac Malware of 2017 Arrives

wiredmikey writes: Security researchers have a uncovered a Mac OS based espionage malware they have named "Quimitchin". The malware is what they consider to be "the first Mac malware of 2017" which appears to be a classic espionage tool. While it has some old code and appears to have existed undetected for some time, it works.

It was discovered when an IT admin noticed unusual traffic coming from a particular Mac, and has been seen infecting Macs at biomedical facilities.

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