Ars Technica reported Saturday that "The Falcon 9 rocket was ready. Its payload of 143 satellites were ready. But Mother Nature was not ready." Although SpaceX pressed ahead with fueling of the Falcon 9 booster on Saturday morning, the company scrubbed the launch attempt of the Transporter-1 mission a few minutes before the window opened due to weather. Conditions at Cape Canaveral violated the electrical field rule for a safe launch. The company now plans to try to launch again on Sunday morning, with the launch window opening at 10am ET (15:00 UTC). Slashdot noted earlier that SpaceX plans to launch the most satellites ever deployed in a single mission, 143, from Florida for more than a dozen customers. UPI reports: A 2017 mission by the India Space Research Organization launched 104 spacecraft, which would be the previous record if the SpaceX launch is a success... The Transporter-1 mission is the first in a series of regularly scheduled SpaceX rideshare projects for multiple customers. SpaceX also plans to carry 10 of its Starlink communications satellites on this mission. "The Starlink satellites aboard this mission will be the first in the constellation to deploy to a polar orbit," according to the SpaceX mission description. Polar orbits circle the globe by passing over the North Pole and South Pole, while many satellites circle above equatorial regions. Houston-based space firm Nanoracks is acting as a broker to arrange some customers for the launch, said Tristan Prejean, a mission manager at Nanoracks. Nanoracks' two customers for Transporter-1 are two satellite companies, California-based Spire Global and Montreal-based GHGSat. Spire launches fleets of small satellites that monitor weather and patterns for shipping for aviation interests. GHGSat monitors industrial emissions of gasses from space -- especially greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
It's just a water bottle, right? Wrong. A decade ago, most of us loved the convenience of bottled water. Now, a plastic water bottle has undergone a public perception metamorphosis. What was once the height of ease and simplicity is now basically viewed as a detriment to the environment. — Read the rest
In 1879, English designer Christopher Dresser produced a small silver teapot in a sleek, geometric design. It wasn't practical enough to be mass-produced, so it remained a design concept. The modernistic design was decades ahead of its time, which only became apparent later. — Read the rest
Bri Benton's border collies and other delightful doggos have been impressively trained to hold until called by name.Read the rest
In this remarkable double-sided embroidery, one artisan embroiders a dog on one side, the other artisan creates a monkey on the other. This art form originated in Suzhou province about 2000 years ago, according to People's Daily.
Image: YouTube / People's Daily, China 人民日报
Indy Mellink, a Dutch woman who loves card games, always found the gendered ranking of the face cards kind of weird — the king above the queen, the queen above the jack.
To a butterfly, getting hit by a raindrop is roughly analogous to a human getting hit by a bowling ball made of water, as the scientist Sunghwan Jung notes in this video. So how do butterflies — pretty delicate creatures — keep from getting wrecked by rain? — Read the rest
Dr. Anthony Fauci, now President Biden's chief medical adviser on COVID-19, says he rejoiced when the new president said that "science and truth" would guide the nation's policies toward the pandemic.
(Image credit: Alex Brandon/AP)
After departing Vinalhaven towards KRKD
This photo is a favorite (steep bank in the helicopter to get the straight-down perspective):
Enough power for your Tesla, near Westport, Maine (but where does all of this power come from and what is it needed for in an apparently deserted part of the shoreline?):
Gourmet breakfast sandwich stop at Owl’s Head General Store:
Also available as a streaming 8K video.
Italy’s data privacy authority has ordered video sharing app TikTok to temporarily block the accounts of any users whose ages can’t be confirmed, Reuters reported. The order comes after the death of a 10-year-old girl in Palermo, whose parents told authorities their daughter was participating in a “blackout challenge” she saw on the app. The child died of asphyxiation, and authorities are investigating whether anyone invited her to try the challenge.
The Italian Data Protection Authority ordered TikTok to block unverified users in Italy until at least February 15th. The company told The Guardian it had not found content on its platform which would have encouraged the child to participate in the challenge, but said it was cooperating...
Long-time Slashdot reader SonicSpike shares a recent Wired.com article that purports to reveal "how law enforcement gets around your smartphone's encryption." Lawmakers and law enforcement agencies around the world, including in the United States, have increasingly called for backdoors in the encryption schemes that protect your data, arguing that national security is at stake. But new research indicates governments already have methods and tools that, for better or worse, let them access locked smartphones thanks to weaknesses in the security schemes of Android and iOS. Cryptographers at Johns Hopkins University used publicly available documentation from Apple and Google as well as their own analysis to assess the robustness of Android and iOS encryption. They also studied more than a decade's worth of reports about which of these mobile security features law enforcement and criminals have previously bypassed, or can currently, using special hacking tools... once you unlock your device the first time after reboot, lots of encryption keys start getting stored in quick access memory, even while the phone is locked. At this point an attacker could find and exploit certain types of security vulnerabilities in iOS to grab encryption keys that are accessible in memory and decrypt big chunks of data from the phone. Based on available reports about smartphone access tools, like those from the Israeli law enforcement contractor Cellebrite and US-based forensic access firm Grayshift, the researchers realized that this is how almost all smartphone access tools likely work right now. It's true that you need a specific type of operating system vulnerability to grab the keys — and both Apple and Google patch as many of those flaws as possible — but if you can find it, the keys are available, too... Forensic tools exploiting the right vulnerability can grab even more decryption keys, and ultimately access even more data, on an Android phone. The article notes the researchers shared their findings with the Android and iOS teams — who both pointed out the attacks require physical access to the target device (and that they're always patching vulnerabilities).
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
NBC News reports: A number of pro-Trump extremists used Facebook to plan their attack on the U.S. Capitol, a watchdog organization has found, contradicting claims by Facebook's leadership that such planning was largely done on other sites. Private Facebook groups spent months advising one another about how to "take down" the U.S. government, particularly after Joe Biden was elected president, according to a report from the nonprofit Tech Transparency Project, which tracked several of them. Many of the groups specifically talked about traveling to the Capitol on Jan. 6, the date Congress counted the electoral votes that affirmed Biden's victory."Calls to 'occupy Congress' were rampant on Facebook in the weeks leading up to the deadly Capitol riot, making no secret of the event's aims," the report found... A sample recruitment call by a page called "Florida Patriots" said, "We are actively seeking well armed citizens to join our emergency response unit in all zones." BuzzFeed News notes the report contradicts earlier remarks from Sheryl Sandberg deflecting blame for the event: Last week, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the company had acted appropriately to prevent election misinformation and the incitement of violence, and attempted to pin the blame on smaller websites and apps with less content moderation. "I think these events were largely organized on platforms that don't have our abilities to stop hate, don't have our standards, and don't have our transparency," Sandberg said in an interview with Reuters. Facebook spokespeople have since tried to walk this statement back, noting that Sandberg made the point earlier in the interview that the platform played a role in fomenting the unrest.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The odds of winning the top prize were 1 in over 300 million.
(Image credit: Keith Srakocic/AP)
David Leonhardt won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2011. This week in a New York Times newsletter, he argues that early in the pandemic experts around the world mistakenly discouraged mask use because of "a concern that people would rush to buy high-grade medical masks, leaving too few for doctors and nurses. The experts were also [at the time] unsure how much ordinary masks would help." But are they now spreading a similarly misguided pessimism about vaccines? Right now, public discussion of the vaccines is full of warnings about their limitations: They're not 100 percent effective. Even vaccinated people may be able to spread the virus. And people shouldn't change their behavior once they get their shots... "It's going to save your life — that's where the emphasis has to be right now," Dr. Peter Hotez of the Baylor College of Medicine said. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are "essentially 100 percent effective against serious disease," Dr. Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said. "It's ridiculously encouraging." Here's my best attempt at summarizing what we know: - The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines — the only two approved in the U.S. — are among the best vaccines ever created, with effectiveness rates of about 95 percent after two doses. That's on par with the vaccines for chickenpox and measles. And a vaccine doesn't even need to be so effective to reduce cases sharply and crush a pandemic. - If anything, the 95 percent number understates the effectiveness, because it counts anyone who came down with a mild case of Covid-19 as a failure. But turning Covid into a typical flu — as the vaccines evidently did for most of the remaining 5 percent — is actually a success. Of the 32,000 people who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine in a research trial, do you want to guess how many contracted a severe Covid case? One. Although no rigorous study has yet analyzed whether vaccinated people can spread the virus, it would be surprising if they did. The article suggests less-positive messages are being conveyed in part because "As academic researchers, they are instinctively cautious, prone to emphasizing any uncertainty." But the article ultimately concludes that in fact, "the evidence so far suggests that the vaccines are akin to a cure."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
If all the faculty announced that we’re only going to work 10 hour days, and we don’t work on weekends anymore. Boom, done. We’d have to hire lots of new faculty and our administrators would all faint and the state government would denounce us all as socialists even worse than the do already and cut off our funding.
It’s not going to happen, of course, because we like our work and we’ve been indoctrinated thoroughly about our responsibilities. I was just thinking about that, though, as I was getting organized for a weekend to be spent completely rewriting a couple of upcoming genetics labs, because of new pandemic restrictions. What is it like for people who get to put down all their tools at 5pm on Friday and go home and just read a book or watch TV or take naps or play with the kids?
It could be worse, though. I could be getting paid minimum wage to do stoop labor or heavy lifting, and my weekend is spent in pain trying to recover so I can go back and do it again on Monday.
We should fix all that and recognize and respect labor of all kinds and maybe rip those profits out of the hands of the parasites who do nothing all week long.
A Facebook user posted “Canadian expert’s research finds lockdown harms are 10 times greater than benefits” (Toronto Sun) regarding an academic paper by Dr. Ari Joffe, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at University of Alberta (i.e., a colleague of Dr. Jill Biden, MD).
I’m not that interested in the paper because, even in March I expected that the shutdowns would kill far more people than they might save, What was interesting to me was the gloss added by the Facebooker:
Of course, we can’t actually do this reassessment because doing so would admit that the last year was madness. The lockdowns are like Vietnam, the political and media establishment have so much invested in them, only a gradual drawdown will be permitted, regardless of the “science.”
Readers: What do you think of this analogy? We decided that the Vietnam War was unwinnable in 1968, but we didn’t get out until 1975 (timeline).
I oppose the war in Viet Nam because I love America. I speak out against it not in anger but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and above all with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as a moral example of the world. I speak out against this war because I am disappointed with America. There can be no great disappointment where there is no great love … Those of us who love peace must organize as effectively as the war hawks. As they spread the propaganda of war we must spread the propaganda of peace.
DDoS-for-hire services are abusing the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol to increase the firepower of distributed denial-of-service attacks that paralyze websites and other online services, a security firm said this week.
Typically abbreviated as RDP, Remote Desktop Protocol is the underpinning for a Microsoft Windows feature that allows one device to log into another device over the Internet. RDP is mostly used by businesses to save employees the cost or hassle of having to be physically present when accessing a computer.
As is typical with many authenticated systems, RDP responds to login requests with a much longer sequence of bits that establish a connection between the two parties. So-called booter/stresser services, which for a fee will bombard Internet addresses with enough data to take them offline, have recently embraced RDP as a means to amplify their attacks, security firm Netscout said.
Earlier this week security experts disclosed details on seven vulnerabilities impacting Dnsmasq, "a popular DNS software package that is commonly deployed in networking equipment, such as routers and access points," reports ZDNet. "The vulnerabilities tracked as DNSpooq, impact Dnsmasq, a DNS forwarding client for *NIX-based operating systems." Slashdot reader Joe2020 shared Help Net Security's quote from Shlomi Oberman, CEO and researcher at JSOF. "Some of the bigger users of Dnsmasq are Android/Google, Comcast, Cisco, Red Hat, Netgear, and Ubiquiti, but there are many more. All major Linux distributions offer Dnsmasq as a package, but some use it more than others, e.g., in OpenWRT it is used a lot, Red Hat use it as part of their virtualization platforms, Google uses it for Android hotspots (and maybe other things), while, for example Ubuntu just has it as an optional package." More from ZDNet: Dnsmasq is usually included inside the firmware of various networking devices to provide DNS forwarding capabilities by taking DNS requests made by local users, forwarding the request to an upstream DNS server, and then caching the results once they arrive, making the same results readily available for other clients without needing to make a new DNS query upstream. While their role seems banal and insignificant, they play a crucial role in accelerating internet speeds by avoiding recursive traffic... Today, the DNSpooq software has made its way in millions of devices sold worldwide [including] all sorts of networking gear like routers, access points, firewalls, and VPNs from companies like ZTE, Aruba, Redhat, Belden, Ubiquiti, D-Link, Huawei, Linksys, Zyxel, Juniper, Netgear, HPE, IBM, Siemens, Xiaomi, and others. The DNSpooq vulnerabilities, disclosed today by security experts from JSOF, are dangerous because they can be combined to poison DNS cache entries recorded by Dnsmasq servers. Poisoning DNS cache records is a big problem for network administrators because it allows attackers to redirect users to clones of legitimate websites... In total, seven DNSpooq vulnerabilities have been disclosed today. Four are buffer overflows in the Dnsmasq code that can lead to remote code execution scenarios, while the other three bugs allow DNS cache poisoning. On their own, the danger from each is limited, but researchers argue they can be combined to attack any device with older versions of the Dnsmasq software... The JSOF exec told ZDNet that his company has worked with both the Dnsmasq project author and multiple industry partners to make sure patches were made available to device vendors by Tuesday's public disclosure.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Furex makes a cool magnetic levitation sushi conveyor which they tout as easier to maintain and clean.
Sushi boat places are lots of fun, but they seem to be getting replaced with conveyors for various reasons. As the pandemic changes dining habits, I was curious about what those places may be doing that is easier to keep clean. — Read the rest
Russian authorities warned of mass arrests as demonstrators marched in open defiance of the Kremlin and called on President Vladimir Putin to free the jailed opposition leader.
(Image credit: Dmitri Lovetsky/AP)
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