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Moon

Apollo 11 Moon Rock Bag Belongs To Buyer, Not NASA, Judge Rules (behindtheblack.com) 63

schwit1 quotes a report from Behind The Black: A federal judge has ruled that NASA has no right to confiscate an Apollo 11 lunar rock sample bag that had been purchased legally, even though the sale itself had been in error. CollectSPACE.com reports: "Judge J. Thomas Marten ruled in the U.S. District Court for Kansas that Nancy Carlson of Inverness, Illinois, obtained the title to the historic artifact as 'a good faith purchaser, in a sale conducted according to law.' The government had petitioned the court to reverse the sale and return the lunar sample bag to NASA. 'She is entitled to possession of the bag,' Marten wrote in his order." This court case will hopefully give some legal standing to the private owners of other artifacts or lunar samples that NASA had given away and then demanded their return, decades later. Space.com's report adds: "The zippered cloth pouch, which was labeled in bold black letters 'Lunar Sample Return,' was used on July 20, 1969, as an 'outer decontamination bag' to protect the first moon rocks retrieved from the surface of the moon as they were delivered to Earth by Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Carlson purchased the bag for $995 in February 2015, at a Texas auction held on behalf of the U.S. Marshals Service. The bag had been forfeited along with other artifacts found in the home of Max Ary, a former curator convicted in 2006 of stealing and selling space artifacts that belonged to the Cosmosphere space museum in Hutchinson, Kansas."

Submission + - 37% of Detroit, Michigan, voting machines report more registered votes then cast

Mashiki writes: 37% of Detroit, MI., voting machines reporting more votes then cast after a recount. Detroit went heavily towards Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. Voting irregularities have spurred plans by Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s office Elections Director Chris Thomas to investigate state wide for other voting irregularities following the recount which was stopped. State officials are planning to investigate 20 Detroit precincts where voter boxes opened during the recount showed fewer ballots then counted by optical readers. In total nearly 60% of Detroit precincts had vastly different voter totals, with more votes cast then actual ballots in voter boxes. At this time there is no idea how many votes have been added to totals in Detroit.
Power

'Star In a Jar' Fusion Reactor Works, Promises Infinite Energy (space.com) 431

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Space.com: For several decades now, scientists from around the world have been pursuing a ridiculously ambitious goal: They hope to develop a nuclear fusion reactor that would generate energy in the same manner as the sun and other stars, but down here on Earth. Incorporated into terrestrial power plants, this "star in a jar" technology would essentially provide Earth with limitless clean energy, forever. And according to new reports out of Europe this week, we just took another big step toward making it happen. In a study published in the latest edition of the journal Nature Communications, researchers confirmed that Germany's Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) fusion energy device is on track and working as planned. The space-age system, known as a stellerator, generated its first batch of hydrogen plasma when it was first fired up earlier this year. The new tests basically give scientists the green light to proceed to the next stage of the process. It works like this: Unlike a traditional fission reactor, which splits atoms of heavy elements to generate energy, a fusion reactor works by fusing the nuclei of lighter atoms into heavier atoms. The process releases massive amounts of energy and produces no radioactive waste. The "fuel" used in a fusion reactor is simple hydrogen, which can be extracted from water. The W7-X device confines the plasma within magnetic fields generated by superconducting coils cooled down to near absolute zero. The plasma -- at temperatures upwards of 80 million degrees Celsius -- never comes into contact with the walls of the containment chamber. Neat trick, that. David Gates, principal research physicist for the advanced projects division of PPPL, leads the agency's collaborative efforts in regard to the W7-X project. In an email exchange from his offices at Princeton, Gates said the latest tests verify that the W7-X magnetic "cage" is working as planned. "This lays the groundwork for the exciting high-performance plasma operations expected in the near future," Gates said.

Submission + - John Deere's Electric Tractor Paves the Way For Zero Emissions Farming (newatlas.com)

An anonymous reader writes: John Deere has released a video of an all-electric concept tractor in the lead-up to the SIMA Agribusiness show in France, pointing the way toward a zero-local-emissions tractor product in the future. In some ways, tractors seem like an ideal candidate for electrification. Electric motors are great for generating the kinds of huge torque figures tractors require, and tractors are generally fairly short range vehicles that live in the same shed every night, making for convenient recharging. They're also very low-maintenance in comparison with diesel gear. That's the thinking behind John Deere's SESAM (Sustainable Energy Supply for Agricultural Machinery) tractor, a gutted out JD 6R with a huge battery bank up front and dual electric motors developing up to 130 kilowatts (174 horsepower) of continuous power. The dual motors can be set to three modes; all drive can go to the wheels, or the power take-off shaft, or drive can be split between them. The battery at this stage will only last for about four hours of work, so it's not ready for the big leagues yet. But it's starting to get close, and it's good to see a major player in agriculture starting to take zero-emissions farming seriously.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Are you getting spammed by the Yahoo Recruiting Management System (yahoo.com)

shanen writes: Can't even remember when I looked at that system, and never considered it seriously or even interviewed for a position at Yahoo. However twice in the last few weeks the Yahoo Recruiting Management System has sent me a bunch of notifications of matching job openings. Might be a bug, but I suspect it's a symptom...

So does anyone want to compare notes on what sorts of employees are leaving Yahoo most quickly? (Otherwise, I don't even have a reason to look at all the lovely email.)

Submission + - SPAM: The Dyn Attack Was Just a Practice Run

MarkBrown151 writes: On October 21, 2016, a malicious threat actor targeted the Dyn’s Managed DNS infrastructure
with multiple attacks from an estimated 100,000 devices infected in a Mirai botnet that generated
masked TCP and UDP traffic over port 53 [10]. External sources claim that the traffic directed at
Dyn may have exceeded 1.2 Tbps. While unwilling to confirm the reported value until the
conclusion of an extensive investigation, early detection of the TCP traffic at Dyn datacenters
noted packet flow bursts that were 40 to 50 times greater than typical values. Further, DDoS
attacks that use the DNS protocol confound the ability to distinguish between legitimate and
malicious traffic. .The Dyn Attack Was Just a Practice Run

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Changed Profile on Kindle Fire to "daddy", Amazon Seller Account Got Suspended 1

imthelag writes: An Amazon seller who runs an Amazon business wound up getting suspended from Amazon because he changed the name on his son's Kindle Fire. Similar to selecting a profile on a Netflix-capable device, the seller wanted to have his own profile on the Kindle. He changed the name on his profile to "Baba" which according to him "essentially means daddy in our language". Three days later, Amazon suspended his selling account. They requested documentation, including government identification, to verify his name is "Baba". You can see on the Amazon forums(amazon.com) that he did not change anything on his seller account. His inventory is now tied up and he has no recourse, as the outsourced support does not understand the situation. If you rely on Amazon for income, you may want to hold off on purchasing a Kindle, as for some reason Amazon considers your profile name on a Kindle to be your legal name on your selling account.

Submission + - Pebble Is No More After Fitbit Buys Smartwatch Assets

Mickeycaskill writes: Pebble will no longer support or make smartwatches, ending its bid to become an independent challenger to Apple, Samsung and others.

The original Pebble watch was funded on Kickstarter and other devices had been added to the range over the years. However the journey is at an end.

Fitbit's acquisition does not include the products Pebble has, mostly variants of its smartwatch, but rather adds assets that aim to help fitness wearable specialist Fitbit better establish a platform from which other fitness and health related products and services can be built upon.

“The additional resources will facilitate the faster delivery of new products, features and functionality while introducing speed and efficiencies to develop the general purpose utility consumers value in a connected device,” Fitbit said.

Pebble on the other hand will case creating its smartwatches and will cease to operate as an independent entity.

Submission + - Flash Bugs Dominate Exploit Kit Landscape

Trailrunner7 writes: Vulnerabilities in Flash and Internet Explorer dominated the exploit kit landscape in the last year, with a high-profile bug in Flash being found in seven separate kits, new research shows.

Exploit kits have long been a key tool in the arsenal of many attackers, from low-level gangs to highly organized cybercrime crews. Their attraction stems from their ease of use and the ability for attackers to add exploits for new vulnerabilities as needed. While there are dozens of exploit kits available, a handful of them attract the most use and attention, including Angler, Neutrino, Nuclear, and Rig. Researchers at Recorded Future looked at more than 140 exploit kits and analyzed which exploits appeared in the most kits in the last year, and it’s no surprise that Flash and IE exploits dominated the landscape.

Six of the top 10 most-refquently targeted vulnerabilities in the last year were in Flash, while the other four were in Microsoft products, including IE, Windows, and Silverlight. Flash has been a favorite target for attackers for a long time, for two main reasons: it’s deployed on hundreds of millions of machines, and it has plenty of vulnerabilities. Recorded Future’s analysis shows that trend is continuing, and one Flash bug disclosed October 2015 was incorporated into seven individual exploit kits. The flaw was used by a number of high-level attackers, including some APT groups.

Submission + - Uber profiling riders based on battery information to detect fraud (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Last year Uber discovered that clients with devices low on battery would agree to pay more for the service. It remained unknown if Uber has really been using battery information, but most browser vendor decided to remove battery information functionality citing privacy risks. Now, after a data request in Europe, Uber has revealed that battery information is used to detect fraud. Whether that's possible is not known, but Uber may have inadvertently revealed profiling based on battery level .

Submission + - Scott Adams and "The Non-Expert Problem" (blogspot.ca) 18

Layzej writes: It is easy for a non-expert to be swayed by a credible sounding narrative that claims to overthrow a scientific consensus. For a scientist it is generally clear which arguments are valid, but the general public can’t independently evaluate scientific evidence. Scientist Victor Venema provides answers to a number of concerns about climate science raised by cartoonist Scott Adams. His answers are accessible and illuminating, and hopefully helpful to the non-expert who would like to understand the truth behind certain contrarian talking points.

Submission + - FOIA confirms existence of real-life X-Files that FBI previously denied existed (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: A Freedom of Information Act request for FBI files on a figure at the center of dozens of 20th century conspiracy theories reveals a rare glimpse into the Bureau's real-life "X-Files" — which the agency had long maintained don't exist. And while there's no evidence yet of Mulder or Scully, the files do include a story of flying saucers and secret assassins stranger than anything on the show.

Submission + - T-Mobile CFO: Repeal of Net Neutrality Would Be 'Positive For My Industry' (tmonews.com)

An anonymous reader writes: T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter spoke at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York City, and he touched a bit on President-elect Donald Trump and what his election could mean for the mobile industry. Carter expects that a Trump presidency will foster an environment that’ll be more positive for wireless. “It’s hard to imagine, with the way the election turned out, that we’re not going to have an environment, from several aspects, that is not going to be more positive for my industry,” the CFO said. He went on to explain that there will likely be less regulation, something that he feels “destroys innovation and value creation.” Speaking of innovation, Carter also feels that a reversal of net neutrality and the FCC’s Open Internet rules would be good for innovation in the industry, saying that it “would provide opportunity for significant innovation and differentiation” and that it’d enable you to “do some very interesting things.”

Submission + - To promote tech education, Canada's Prime Minister made his own game (gamasutra.com)

Eloking writes: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Twitter account lit up today with a message all too familiar to many indie devs: Mr. Trudeau has made a video game, and he'd like everyone to play it.

It was a cute bit of promotion for Hour of Code, the computer science education event masterminded every year by the Code.org nonprofit. While the Hour of Code websites hosts one-hour tutorials (in 45 languages) for coding all sorts of simple applications, game developers may appreciate that the lion's share appear to be game projects, like the one Trudeau modified into a sort of hockey-themed Breakout variant.

Submission + - Orwell's toys

Presto Vivace writes: These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

According to a coalition of consumer-interest organizations, the makers of two “smart” kids toys — the My Friend Cayla doll and the i-Que Intelligent Robot — are allegedly violating laws in the U.S. and overseas by collecting this sort of voice data without obtaining consent. ... ... In a complaint [PDF] filed this morning with the Federal Trade Commission, the coalition — made up of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), and our colleagues at Consumers Union — argue that Genesis Toys, a company that manufactures interactive and robotic toys, and Nuance Communications, which supplies the voice-parsing services for these toys, are running afoul of rules that protect children’s privacy and prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices.

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