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Submission + - Chinese Scientist Found Breakthrough Vaccine/Cures for All Viral Infections (scmp.com)

hackingbear writes: Chinese scientists may have found the key to creating effective vaccines for the world’s deadly viruses including bird flu, SARS, Ebola, and HIV. An experiment by a research team at Beijing University was hailed as “revolutionary” in the field in a paper published in the latest issue of Science magazine on Friday. The live virus used in the vaccine used by the researchers had its genetic code tweaked to disable the viral strains’ self-replication mechanism. But it was kept fully infectious to allow the host animal cells to generate immunity. Using live viruses in their fully infectious form was considered taboo, as viruses spread rapidly. Vaccines sold and used widely today generally contain either dead or weakened forms of viruses. The animals infected with virus were cured after receiving the injection, according to the paper. This breakthrough promises to simplify the process of producing vaccines, which may help scientists develop effective vaccines or even cures for various viruses – such bird flu, SARS, Ebola and HIV – within weeks of an outbreak.

Submission + - SPAM: 6 seconds: How hackers only need moments to guess card number and security code 1

schwit1 writes: Criminals can work out the card number, expiry date and security code for a Visa debit or credit card in as little as six seconds using guesswork, researchers have found.

Fraudsters use a so-called Distributed Guessing Attack to get around security features put in place to stop online fraud, and this may have been the method used in the recent Tesco Bank hack.

According to a study published in the academic journal IEEE Security & Privacy, that meant fraudsters could use computers to systematically fire different variations of security data at hundreds of websites simultaneously.

Within seconds, by a process of elimination, the criminals could verify the correct card number, expiry date and the three-digit security number on the back of the card.

Mohammed Ali, a PhD student at the university's School of Computing Science, said: "This sort of attack exploits two weaknesses that on their own are not too severe but, when used together, present a serious risk to the whole payment system.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Would redundancy and really long TTL have countered a lot of DDOS effects? (medium.com) 1

marmot7 writes: My primary takeaways from this article was that it's important to have redundancy (additional NS's) and that it's important to have a very long TTL when you're not actively updating something. Would the measures in this article have at least limited the damage of these attacks? The long TTL change alone would have made the cache likely covered the entire attack, right?

Submission + - Royalties are bullsh*t

aemoser writes: A musician on a blues news site argues that the "war" between YouTube and big artists (looking at you, Tay) is meaningless, and that we should end royalties in favor of universal basic income. He cites everyone from Big Mama Thornton to the Federal Writer's Project to make his case, and concludes with the impending robot takeover.
http://bg.buddyguy.com/royalti...

Submission + - Colliding Black Holes Tell New Story of Stars (quantamagazine.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Already, the new gravitational-wave data has shaken up the field of astrophysics. In response, three dozen experts spent two weeks in August sorting through the implications at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) in Santa Barbara.

Jump-starting the discussions, de Mink, an assistant professor of astrophysics at the University of Amsterdam, explained that of the two — and possibly more — black-hole mergers that LIGO has detected so far, the first and mightiest event, labeled GW150914, presented the biggest puzzle. LIGO was expected to spot pairs of black holes weighing in the neighborhood of 10 times the mass of the sun, but these packed roughly 30 solar masses apiece. “They are there — massive black holes, much more massive than we thought they were,” de Mink said to the room. “So, how did they form?”

The mystery, she explained, is twofold: How did the black holes get so massive, considering that stars, some of which collapse to form black holes, typically blow off most of their mass before they die, and how did they get so close to each other — close enough to merge within the lifetime of the universe? “These are two things that are sort of mutually exclusive,” de Mink said. A pair of stars that are born huge and close together will normally mingle and then merge before ever collapsing into black holes, failing to kick up detectable gravitational waves.

Submission + - The Little Hack That Could: The Story of Spotify's "Discover Weekly" Recommendat (ieee.org)

Tekla Perry writes: Software engineer Edward Newett thought Spotify was making it too hard for users to get to recommendations of new music. So he pulled together various machine learning systems used elsewhere in the company, pulled user photos from Facebook, and quietly pulled together a new recommender, "Discover Weekly" that he pushed out to Spotify's employees, and then the world. The first "production incident" verified its popularity: Some users “went into blind rage or existential crisis.” Newett told the story of Discover Weekly at the @Scale conference last week. “This wasn’t a big company initiative,” he said, “just a team of passionate engineers who went about solving a problem we saw with the technology we had.”

Submission + - Nova Scotia wind turbine speeds out of control, collapses (theweathernetwork.com)

An anonymous reader writes: This large wind turbine failed on August 17. Before the 80-metre-tall wind turbine buckled and toppled over, Enercon officials confirm that workers were told to leave, the Toronto Star reports. In addition to their towering height, the turbines have a blade length of 40 metres, the CBC notes.

Fortunately the turbines operate in a wooded area away from residents, so no one was injured. An evacuation protocol was also put in place.

Enercon and Nova Scotia's provincial government are conducting investigations to determine if there were any safety violations at the time of the incident.

Another 10 turbines in the area remain in operation, unaffected by the collapse. The cause of the collapse remains unknown.

Submission + - Is LED, light-emitting diode, making DST, daylight saving time, obsolete?

Max_W writes: More and more countries stop using the DST, daylight saving time. These are India, China, Russia, Brazil, etc. The LED technology significantly reduces energy consumption on lighting. Do we really need this trouble of changing time on our clocks twice a year? Besides, the DST makes the software excessively complicated and prone to "fluid time" bugs.

Submission + - SpaceX Dragon Returns Home From ISS (floridatoday.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A SpaceX Dragon capsule that helped prepare the International Space Station for future commercial astronaut flights has returned to Earth after a stay of more than month-long mission. A robotic arm released the unmanned capsule packed with 3,000 pounds of cargo at 6:11 a.m. EDT, then fired thrusters several times to move a safe distance away from the station orbiting about 250 miles up. The departure began a less than six-hour journey that culminated in a Pacific Ocean splashdown at 11:47 a.m. EDT, about 300 miles southwest of Baja, California. The Dragon launched from Cape Canaveral early July 18 on a Falcon 9 rocket and berthed at the station two days later. Among the cargo brought back from space Friday were a dozen mice from a Japanese science experiment — the first brought home alive in a Dragon. Samples from mice euthanized as part of an experiment by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly also were on board. Results were returned from an experiment that studied the behavior of heart cells in microgravity, and from research into the composition of microbes in the human digestive system, NASA said. Findings from both could help keep astronauts healthy during deep space exploration missions.

Submission + - SPAM: 'Octobot' is the world's first soft-bodied robot

sciencehabit writes: Researchers have created the first completely soft-bodied robot, dubbed the “octobot.” The palm-sized machine’s exterior is made of silicone. And whereas other soft robots have had at least a few hard parts, such as batteries or wires, the octobot uses a small reservoir of hydrogen peroxide as fuel. The basic design can be scaled up or down, increasing or decreasing fuel capacity depending on the robot’s job. As the field of soft robotics advances, the scientists envision these robots being used for marine search and rescue, oceanic temperature sensing, and military surveillance.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - This crypto puzzle might unlock the other half of the NSA files (businessinsider.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Hacker 1x0123 says he has the other half of the NSA Equation Group files for sale, and he's offering a sample for those who can solve his crypto puzzle. So far, 1x0123 has refused to give up any samples to journalists who've asked, so this all could be a clever troll. But he has offered some hints on Twitter in recent days, with the .onion URL encrypted as: 02010403. On Tuesday, he offered up another hint and said at least two people had solved it.

Submission + - Linux at 25: How Linux Changed the World

snydeq writes: Paul Venezia offers an eyewitness account of the rise of Linux and the open source movement, plus analysis of where Linux is taking us now on its 25th anniversary. 'I walked into an apartment in Boston on a sunny day in June 1995. It was small and bohemian, with the normal detritus a pair of young men would scatter here and there. On the kitchen table was a 15-inch CRT display married to a fat, coverless PC case sitting on its side, network cables streaking back to a hub in the living room. The screen displayed a mess of data, the contents of some logfile, and sitting at the bottom was a Bash root prompt decorated in red and blue, the cursor blinking lazily,' Venezia writes. 'Those enterprising youths were actively developing code for the Linux kernel and the GNU userspace utilities that surrounded it. At that time, this scene could be found in cities and towns all over the world, where computer science students and those with a deep interest in computing were playing with an incredible new toy: a free “Unix” operating system.' What's your personal history with the rise of Linux?

Submission + - SPAM: Atomic bombs and oil addiction herald Earth's new epoch: The Anthropocene

sciencehabit writes: Although the Anthropocene is already a widely popular shorthand for humanity's global environmental reach, for the past 7 years a small group of scientists has been mulling whether to propose the term as a formal span of geologic time. This month, the group voted to propose the Anthropocene as the Holocene's successor, with its start at the industrial boom that followed World War II. Before a formal submission can go to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the bureaucracy that governs geologic time, researchers must still identify a stratigraphic section rich in geochemical markers of this postwar transition. They have a high bar to clear: Many stratigraphers are skeptical of their initiative and fear being drawn into a political statement.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Internet Voting Leaves Out a Cornerstone of Democracy: The Secret Ballot

Presto Vivace writes: Maintaining the secrecy of ballots returned via the Internet is “technologically impossible,” according to a new report.

That’s according to a new report from Verified Voting, a group that advocates for transparency and accuracy in elections. ... A cornerstone of democracy, the secret ballot guards against voter coercion. But “because of current technical challenges and the unique challenge of running public elections, it is impossible to maintain the separation of voters’ identities from their votes when Internet voting is used,” concludes the report, which was written in collaboration with the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the anticorruption advocacy group Common Cause.

Submission + - Massachusetts to tax ride-hailing apps, give the money to taxis (reuters.com)

schwit1 writes: Massachusetts is preparing to levy a 5-cent fee per trip on ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft and spend the money on the traditional taxi industry, a subsidy that appears to be the first of its kind in the United States.

Ride services are not enthusiastic about the fee. "I don't think we should be in the business of subsidizing potential competitors," said Kirill Evdakov, the chief executive of Fasten, a ride service that launched in Boston last year and also operates in Austin, Texas.

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