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posted by martyb on Wednesday July 18, @02:11AM   Printer-friendly
from the To-the-moon,-Alice...-to-the-moon! dept.

Chinese space official seems unimpressed with NASA's lunar gateway

This week, the European and Chinese space agencies held a workshop in Amsterdam to discuss cooperation between Europe and China on lunar science missions. The meeting comes as Europe seems increasingly content to work with China on spaceflight programs.

Although the meeting is not being streamed online, space systems designer and lunar exploration enthusiast Angeliki Kapoglou has been providing some coverage of the meeting via Twitter. Among the most interesting things she has shared are slides from a presentation by Pei Zhaoyu, who is deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration.

[...] Overall, Pei does not appear to be a fan of NASA's plan to build a deep space gateway, formally known as the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, at a near-rectilinear halo orbit. Whereas NASA will focus its activities on this gateway away from the Moon, Pei said China will focus on a "lunar scientific research station."

[...] So far, NASA has yet to finalize commitments with Europe, Russia, or other International Space Station partners on contributions to the gateway. While European officials are interested, it seems like they may also be willing to go along with China if that country has a more direct plan to land humans on the Moon.

Related: NASA Could Scale Down First Manned Flight of the SLS
2020s to Become the Decade of Lunar Re-Exploration
This Week in Space Pessimism: SLS, Mars, and Lunar Gateway

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday July 18, @12:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the well-skype-me dept.

Ars Technica:

Coming over the summer, Microsoft is going to add integrated call recording (something that previously required third-party applications and a deprecated API), read receipts to show when a message recipient has read a message, and end-to-end encryption of text and audio chat using the Signal protocol.

Microsoft is also making Skype audio and video calls easier to integrate into streams such as those used on Mixer and Twitch. Support for the NDI API means that streaming applications such as Xsplit and OBS can use a Skype call as an audio/video source. That means they can be overlaid on games or other content, just as is already done with webcam input.

Will the changes come in time to save Skype's userbase?

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday July 17, @11:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-not-logan's-run dept.

People in the past were not all dead by 30. Ancient documents confirm this. In the 24th century BCE, the Egyptian Vizier Ptahhotep wrote verses about the disintegrations of old age. The ancient Greeks classed old age among the divine curses, and their tombstones attest to survival well past 80 years. Ancient artworks and figurines also depict elderly people: stooped, flabby, wrinkled.

This is not the only type of evidence, however. Studies on extant traditional people who live far away from modern medicines and markets, such as Tanzania's Hadza or Brazil's Xilixana Yanomami, have demonstrated that the most likely age at death is far higher than most people assume: it's about 70 years old. One study found that although there are differences in rates of death in various populations and periods, especially with regards to violence, there is a remarkable similarity between the mortality profiles of various traditional peoples.

High infant mortality and inaccuracy at the other end of the age range skew the numbers.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday July 17, @09:29PM   Printer-friendly
from the to-infinity-and-beyond dept.

The lure of commercial riches in space is spurring a variety of plans to help launch all the components necessary for a fully functioning orbital economy.

The latest to enter this private-sector race is the U.K., which announced Monday that it plans to construct the nation's first commercial vertical launch spaceport in northern Scotland. Lockheed Martin Corp. was awarded $31 million for two U.K. projects: Establishing vertical launch operations in Sutherland and a development program slated for Reading to deploy a new "delivery vehicle" to deploy as many as six small satellites.

Is it the second coming of the Space Race?

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday July 17, @07:57PM   Printer-friendly
from the will-clean-your-jewelry-too dept.

It's one of the worst-kept secrets in the phone industry: Samsung is hoping to eventually sell you a phone with a fingerprint sensor that lives underneath the screen.

But how? Well, a pair of reports out of China and Korea suggest that sucker might be ultrasonic -- firing high-frequency acoustic waves through the glass that capture your fingerprint without fear of being defeated by dirt or grease.

Might be fun to hack the sensor to do other things.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday July 17, @06:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the correct-horse-battery-staple dept.

More than a decade after first examining the issue, research by the University of Plymouth has shown most of the top 10 English-speaking websites offer little or no advice guidance on creating passwords that are less likely to be hacked.

Some still allow people to use the word 'password', while others will allow single-character passwords and basic words including a person's surname or a repeat of their user identity.

Professor of Information Security Steve Furnell conducted the research, having carried out similar assessments in 2007, 2011 and 2014.

Have password restrictions ever helped?

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday July 17, @04:51PM   Printer-friendly
from the not-a-convertible dept.

Bruce Perens is organizing a conference on Open Cars. It will take place Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 in Orlando, Florida, USA. The concept behind Open Cars, is the idea that the hardware as well as the software conform to open standards and that, as an automotive product, it must be sufficiently accessible and modular to enable technology upgrades, aftermarket products, and testing by security researchers. The interfaces must be openly documented and be backed by openly disclosed APIs and hardware interfaces. It would not have to run on open data, but could nonetheless protect data privacy and security as well as or better than proprietary automotive products do today. As the emphasis is on the standards and interfaces, both hardware and software, it would not necessarily require that manufacturers base their vehicles on open source software.

The automobile industry thinks they have a solution: lease rather than sell autonomous cars, lock the hood shut, and maintain them exclusively through their dealers.

That works great for the 1%. But what about the rest of us? The folks who drive a dented, 10-year-old car? We should have the option to drive autonomous cars, and to participate in the same world as the more wealthy folks.

Open Cars will be the solution. These are automobiles sold with standard fittings, plugs and standards, so that an autonomous driving computer can be purchased in the aftermarket, installed and tested by a certified mechanic, and put on the road. Similarly, the on-board computer, communication, navigation, and entertainment system on an Open Car will be pluggable, purchased on the aftermarket, and will fit into well-defined niches in the vehicle.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday July 17, @03:18PM   Printer-friendly
from the knead-to-know-information dept.

The discovery of flatbread remains from around 14,500 years ago in northeastern Jordan indicate that people began making bread, a vital staple food, millennia before they were thought to have developed agriculture. The charred bread residue was found in a stone fireplace at an archeological site there.

Reuters : World's oldest bread found at prehistoric site in Jordan
Haaretz : Archaeologists Find 14,400-year-old Pita in Jordan's Black Desert

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday July 17, @01:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the one-less-excuse dept.

The Internet Achive's Open Library has over 40 million full-text, searchable, electronic editions of books. The full-text search for all 4+ million books has just been made available. This includes not just books that have entered the public domain but also close to half a million others. Though the press release is weak on technical details, exploring the advanced search interface quickly make clear which capabilities are available.

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Tuesday July 17, @12:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the here-we-go-again dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Former staff from scandal-hit Cambridge Analytica (CA) have set up another data analysis company.

Auspex International will be "ethically based" and offer "boutique geopolitical consultancy" services, according to its website.

CA was shut down by its parent company, SCL Elections, which itself faces criminal charges over failure to supply data when requested.

Auspex will work in the Middle East and Africa initially.

The company was set up by Ahmed Al-Khatib, a former director of Emerdata, which was also created in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal to continue the work it was doing.

In a press release announcing the new company, he says CA's collapse was a "bitter disappointment" to him.

-- submitted from IRC

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Tuesday July 17, @10:33AM   Printer-friendly
from the q.e.d. dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Severe infections leading to hospitalizations during childhood are associated with lower school achievement in adolescence,reports a study in the July issue of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal (PIDJ).

In the nationwide study of nearly 600,000 Danish children, higher numbers of hospitalizations for infections were associated with a reduced probability of completing ninth grade, as well as with lower test scores, according to the new research by Ole Köhler-Fosberg, MD, of Aarhus University Hospital and colleagues. An expert commentary discusses the role of vaccination in the relationship between investment in health and protecting and improving "human capital."

The study included nationwide data of 598,553 children born in Denmark between 1987 and 1997. The researchers looked at two measures of childhood infections: hospital admission for infections, an indicator of moderate to severe infections; and prescriptions for anti-infective drugs (such as antibiotics) in primary care, reflecting less-severe infections.

-- submitted from IRC

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Tuesday July 17, @09:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the IP-via-alien-carrier dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

NASA's Human Exploration and Operations and Science Mission Directorates are collaborating to make interplanetary Internet a reality.

They're about to demonstrate Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking, or DTN -- a technology that sends information much the same way as the conventional Internet does. Information is put into DTN bundles, which are sent through space and ground networks to its destination.

The Science Mission Directorate looks forward to incorporating DTN into future missions and has identified the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem, or PACE, mission as the first key opportunity to demonstrate this revolutionary capability.

-- submitted from IRC

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Tuesday July 17, @07:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the yes dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

[...] Councils and local governments from Paris to Brooklyn have replaced high-energy sodium bulbs (the warmer, yellow ones) with energy-saving LED bulbs (with a blue light emitting diode, which can feel harsh in comparison). As well as street lights, most of us are exposed to blue light through smartphones, computers, TVs, and in the home.

Earlier this year, the World Journal of Biological Psychiatry published a paper by a group of prominent psychiatrists that warned of the potential effects of LED lighting on mental illness.

It raised concerns about the influence of blue light on sleep, other circadian-mediated symptoms, use of digital healthcare apps and devices, and the higher sensitivity of teenagers to blue light.

[...] Studies of the impact of blue light on healthy adults show it inhibits melatonin secretion which disrupts sleep and can affect quality of life, physical and mental health and susceptibility to illness. Previous studies of sleep disorders in children and adolescents show a clear and consistent relationship between sleep disorders and frequency of digital device usage.

-- submitted from IRC

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Tuesday July 17, @06:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the real-time,-real-life-debugging dept.

KTLA, TV Channel 5 in Southern California, reports

A woman was critically injured after being stung "hundreds of times" by a swarm of bees in Lake Forest [South Orange County] Monday morning [July 16], and three others--including two firefighters--were also injured, officials said.

[...] "Units arrived on scene and they found her basically completely covered with bees from head to toe", Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito told KTLA.

The swarm was so severe that firefighters didn't have time to put the special safety gear on that they would normally wear while responding to such incidents, according to Bommarito.

"They got out, they started felling the bees, they saw the patient down this cul-de-sac completely covered--her face was completely covered with bees", he said.

They grabbed [a carbon dioxide] extinguisher in an effort to remove the bulk of the bees off of the victim, then "basically dragged" her to a safe area about 200 yards away, according to the fire captain.

"She was basically non-responsive" to firefighter commands, although she could still move, Bommarito said.

The woman, described as being about 50 years old, was stung "hundreds of times", according to a tweet from the Fire Authority. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

The firefighters were stung "multiple times" and taken to a hospital in stable condition.

I have seen other stories about humans in SoCal being swarmed by Africanized "killer" bees. (I am assuming that that is what these were.) It makes me wonder how far north these bugs will range before winters get too cold for them--and how much climate change will exacerbate the situation.

Anybody north of L.A.'s latitude had similar reports where you are?

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Tuesday July 17, @04:32AM   Printer-friendly
from the rise-raise dept.

Submitted via IRC for takyon

A Silicon Valley startup developing electric propulsion systems for satellites has raised $10 million and added the billionaire founder of LinkedIn to its board.

Apollo Fusion announced the $10 million Series B round July 11, bringing the total the company has raised to date to more than $18 million. The round was led by venture fund Greylock Partners, with one of the fund's partners, Reid Hoffman, joining the board.

Apollo Fusion will use the funding to scale up manufacturing and testing facilities for its electric propulsion system, called the Apollo Constellation Engine (ACE). The company believes that ACE is well-suited to serve the growing demand for smallsats with onboard propulsion.

Source: Electric satellite propulsion company raises $10 million

Original Submission