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Submission + - Rosetta spacecraft prepares to land on comet, solve lingering mysteries (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: All good things must come to an end, and so it will be tomorrow when the Rosetta spacecraft makes its planned soft landing onto the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the culmination of 2 years of close-up studies. Solar power has waned as 67P’s orbit takes it and Rosetta farther from the sun, and so the mission team decided to go on a last data-gathering descent before the lights go out. This last data grab is a bonus after a mission that is already changing theorists’ views about how comets and planets arose early in the solar system. Several Rosetta observations suggest that comets form not from jolting mergers of larger cometesimals, meters to kilometers across, but rather from the gentle coalescence of clouds of pebbles. And the detection of a single, feather-light, millimeter-sized particle—preserved since the birth of the solar system—should further the view of a gentle birth.

Submission + - The Psychological Reasons Behind Risky Password Practices (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: Despite high-profile, large-scale data breaches dominating the news cycle – and repeated recommendations from experts to use strong passwords – consumers have yet to adjust their own behavior when it comes to password reuse. A global Lab42 survey highlights the psychology around why consumers develop poor password habits despite understanding the obvious risk, and suggests that there is a level of cognitive dissonance around our online habits. When it comes to online security, personality type does not inform behavior, but it does reveal how consumers rationalize poor password habits.

Submission + - Comey Denies Clinton Email 'Reddit' Cover-Up (politico.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The FBI concluded that a computer technician working on Clinton's email was not engaged in an illicit cover-up when he asked on the Reddit website for a tool that could delete a "VIP" email address throughout a large file, FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday. Republican lawmakers have suggested that the July 2014 Reddit post from a user believed to be Platte River Networks specialist Paul Combetta showed an effort to hide Clinton's emails from investigators.
However, at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Comey said FBI agents concluded that all the computer aide was trying to do was replace Clinton's email address so it wouldn't be revealed to the public. "Our team concluded that what he was trying to do was when they produced emails not have the actual address but have some name or placeholder instead of the actual dot-com address in the 'From:' line," Comey said. Comey said he wasn't sure whether the FBI knew about the Reddit posting when prosecutors granted Combetta immunity to get statements from him about what transpired. However, he added that such a deletion wouldn't automatically be considered an effort to destroy evidence. "Not necessarily ... It would depend what his intention was and why he wanted to do it," the FBI director said.

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

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 + - What is employers obsession with programming languages? 1

An anonymous reader writes: Just got off the phone with a recruiter for a company and the lady asked if I had 3-4 years C++ and 3-4 years Java experience. Okay, so first off, C++ and Java are two different programming languages used for two completely different purposes.

C++ being used mainly for low-level platform specific programming and Java being platform independent. My response was I programmed in C++ throughout college, but haven't worked any jobs specifically writing C++ and I've had Java experience in past jobs, but mostly used C# which was similar.

She said, "Oh well we are only looking for those two languages so thanks anyways". Is it just me or is this absolutely insane? It's like wanting to hire a mechanic who has 3-4 years experience working with just 1978 ford trucks. I mean really? How did we get to this point as engineers?

As any developer worth their weight in salt can attest, the languages are so similar it's kind of difficult to distinguish between them looking at syntax alone and if you've got a computer science background or equiv what's it really matter if the underlying OOP concepts are the same.

Is this just a result of incompetent managers and ignorant recruiters or as engineers have we set ourselves up by succumbing to a label such as Java Engineer or C# Programmer.

Should I just say yes, and move forward with the interview? I mean, I could probably answer most C++/Java programming questions unless they are truly looking for people who spend all their time memorizing specific libraries or API's which in my opinion is insane. I equate that to trying to memorize a phone book. You can but why would you want to?

Not only is it frustrating as a job candidate, but it seems to really be limiting your hiring pool to a small few who by chance happen to work in a couple different programming languages over the course of their career. How do most of you handle this sort of thing?

Comment Re:Wat (Score 1) 96

But if researchers determine that its observations could help pinpoint more details of the plumes, then yes, they damn well should

There's no reason to assume the data they're collecting about Jupiter and it's atmosphere are so much less less important that it's worth the time, cost, and risk to make observations of Europa.

If there are plumes of water vapor coming from the surface of Europa they'll still be there ten years from now, a hundred years from now, and a thousand years from now.

Comment Re:Wat (Score 1) 96

Maybe they can retarget it to make some closer observations of Europa now that there might be something interesting to look for.

Or maybe after spending 5 years traveling to Jupiter the spacecraft will be used for the scientific mission it was designed to do. Only science fiction fans would think looking for water on Europa is more important than the real science Juno is doing.

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