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Funding Goal
Base Goal: $3000.00
Progress So Far: $388.38
Stretch Goal: $2000.00
Progress So Far: $0.00

Updated: 2017-01-20 --martyb
(SPIDs: [586..598])

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What is your favorite story arc?

  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Star Trek
  • Star Wars
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Babylon 5
  • Other - Specify

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:110 | Votes:152

posted by charon on Sunday January 22, @07:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the baryon-chauvinists dept.

According to this paper [PDF], the calculations of spiral galaxy spin which required the dark matter fudge factor were oversimplified. If you actually model the spiral arms in detail the results match observations without the need for dark matter:

"Abstract The gravity fields and rotation curves of whirlpool galaxies with thin disc distribution of material are calculated numerically. It is proved that the gravity field of mass thin disc distribution is greatly different from that of spherically symmetrical distribution. As long as the Newtonian theory of gravity is used strictly, by the proper mass distributions of thin discs, the flat rotation curves of whirlpool galaxies can be explained well. The rotating curve of the Milky Galaxy is obtained which coincides with practical observation. In this way, it is unnecessary for us to suppose the existence of additional dark material in the illuminant discs of whirlpool galaxy again. Meanwhile, in the space outside the illuminant disc, the quantity of dark material needed to maintain the flatness of rotation curves is greatly decreased. By considering the observation fact that the quantity of non-luminous baryon material is 3~10 times more than luminous material, we can explain the flatness of rotation curves of whirlpool galaxies well without the hypotheses of non-baryon dark material. So it is unnecessary for us to suppose that non-baryon dark material is about 5 times more than baryon material in a single whirlpool galaxy, no mater [sic] whether non-baryon dark material exits or not."

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Sunday January 22, @06:17AM   Printer-friendly
from the fart-jokes-never-get-old dept.

Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard

The aim of the game in 'CropDuster Supreme' [Steam] is to fart on people, now you may think this sounds terrible — but it's actually quite amusing! I know, I'm shocked too.

Usually, a game like this, I would probably blast by saying it's terrible and it doesn't deserve to be sold on Steam. Something like that anyway, but wow, this game is actually quite funny (and it costs less than £1).


[Ed Note: I watched the videos, and read the reviews on Steam. All of the reviews were good. The game requires no skill. It is exactly what it looks like. You fart on people to clear the room.]

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Sunday January 22, @04:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the family-trees-just-got-more-confusing dept.

Ethicists are bothered by the circumstances surrounding the world's first use of pronuclear transfer to create a baby:

It was a first for the entire world: Using a controversial in vitro fertilization technique, doctors in Kiev, Ukraine, helped a previously infertile couple conceive and deliver a baby girl. Some critics say, for genetic reasons, the use of this IVF method should have been restricted to producing a baby boy. The baby was born on January 5, the result of an experimental technique known as "pronuclear transfer" and sometimes referred to as three-parent IVF. The 34-year-old Ukrainian mother suffered from "unexplained infertility," according to Dr. Valery Zukin, director of the Nadiya Clinic for Reproductive Medicine, where the controversial pronuclear transfer technique was performed. She did not have mitochondrial disease.

[...] The reason this experimental method is a cause for concern -- and was vigorously debated in the UK before approval -- is the genetic modifications produced in a girl baby could be passed onto her children, according to Lori P. Knowles, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Alberta School of Public Health.

Boy babies carrying donor mitochondria cannot pass their modified genetics onto any future children they may have because once a sperm fuses with an egg to form an embryo, the masculine mitochondrion withers and dies leaving the resulting embryo with only mitochondrion from the mother's egg. "I do think it's highly significant that this is a girl because we know for sure that she will be passing on her mitochondrial DNA through her maternal line," said Knowles. If in the future this baby girl has genetic children, they will inherit her genetic modifications "and that's always been a really bright line," said Knowles -- a line not to be crossed until rigorous scientific testing proves it is safe.

The previous three-parent baby was conceived using spindle nuclear transfer, and couldn't pass on donor mitochondrial DNA (well, conventionally anyway) as a male. The Ukrainian procedure was used as a workaround for infertility rather than mitochondrial disease. The article also notes that Dr. Valery Zukin, director of the Nadiya Clinic for Reproductive Medicine where the procedure was performed, is also the vice president of the medical review board that approved the procedure.

Also at BBC and Smithsonian Magazine:

The mother in question had been unable to get pregnant for 15 years. Using the procedure as an IVF technique allows doctors to bypass cells or enzymes in the mother's egg that might prevent pregnancy or hinder cell division, explains Andy Coghlan at New Scientist .

Previously: Mitochondrial DNA Manipulation and Ethics
Approval for Three-Parent Embryo Trials
Fatal Genetic Conditions Could Return in Some 'Three-Parent' Babies

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Sunday January 22, @03:07AM   Printer-friendly
from the think-security dept.

Submitted via IRC for AndyTheAbsurd

A new CVE, (CVE-2016-9962), for the docker container runtime and runc were recently released. Fixed packages are being prepared and shipped for RHEL as well as Fedora and CentOS. This CVE reports that if you execd into a running container, the processes inside of the container could attack the process that just entered the container.

If this process had open file descriptors, the processes inside of the container could ptrace the new process and gain access to those file descriptors and read/write them, even potentially get access to the host network, or execute commands on the host.

[...] It could do that, if you aren't using SELinux in enforcing mode. If you are, though, SELinux is a great tool for protecting systems from 0 Day vulnerabilities.

Note: SELinux can prevent a process from strace-ing another process if the types or MCS Labels are not the same, but when you exec into a container, docker/runc sets the labels to match the container label.

Mainly this is a host-based attack. This is where SELinux steps in to thwart the attack. SELinux is the only thing that protects the host file system from attacks from inside of the container. If the processes inside of the container get access to a host file and attempt to read and write the content SELinux will check the access.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday January 22, @01:24AM   Printer-friendly
from the get-in-touch-with-your-feminine-side dept.

Submitted via IRC for AndyTheAbsurd

In 1998, Slovenian toy company Mehano designed a line of children's electronic typewriter toys with the ability to write secret messages.

Eventually, the company licensed the typewriter to another company, (none other than Barbie herself), that had something altogether different in mind for the toys. Slathered in pink, it was soon headed to market to appeal "to girls."

[...] The four encryption modes — each featuring a simple alphabet substitution cipher (or 1-to-1 encoding) — were left out of Mattel's instruction manuals and advertisements. Mattel is Barbie's parent company. Even the latest model, produced in 2015, omitted this novel feature.

[...] It's an all-too-common marketing assumption that continues to plague the "pink aisle" of girls' toys. They often fail to encourage little girls to grow up to be engineers and scientists. A December report by the Institution of Engineering and Technology showed that boys were almost three times more likely to receive a STEM-themed toy for Christmas.

"STEM toys are by default for boys," says Meryl Alper, professor of communication studies at Northeastern University. "We have to add 'for girls.'" With over a decade of experience working in children's media at Northeastern, Sesame Workshop and Nick Jr., Alper emphasizes the importance of representation and diversity in characters and storylines. Playtime matters.

"Children use the objects in their world to think through ideas," she says. "If you have objects that signal to a kid that it's not for them, either explicit or implicit, you reduce that opportunity to learn through manipulation."


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday January 21, @11:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the overly-prudish-views dept.

An obligatory moment of bad press for Facebook and its censorship team comes to us from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Facebook says it made a mistake in disabling the accounts of an artist who posted images of tattoos that she created for breast cancer survivors following reconstruction. "A member of our team accidentally removed something you posted on Facebook. This was a mistake, and we sincerely apologize for they error," the social media site said in a message to Kerry Soraci. "We've since restored the content, and you should now be able to see it."

The note came after a story about Soraci's accounts was posted on Thursday afternoon, which launched other media inquiries into why Facebook took the action it did. "It is really annoying that we have to go through the media to get them to respond!" Sorachi told the Post-Dispatch Friday morning.

Facebook had disabled Soarci's page, Tattoos by Kerry Soraci, on Dec. 30, saying it did not meet the social media site's "community standards." "Your account has been disabled for not following the Facebook Community Standards, and we won't be able to reactivate it," Facebook's Steven Parker wrote in a response to Soraci. "We disable accounts that solicit others or feature content that is sexually suggestive/contains nudity."

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday January 21, @10:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the should-also-beware-the-wild-rats dept.

Exposure to pet rats has led to an outbreak of Seoul virus in Illinois and Wisconsin:

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Friday that pet rats are the source of an outbreak of Seoul virus infections in Illinois and Wisconsin. The virus has been confirmed in eight patients in an ongoing investigation. The recent cases are "the first human cases we've seen in the United States associated with pet rats," said Dr. Jennifer McQuiston, a veterinarian and deputy division director for CDC's division of high consequent pathogens and pathology. Several previous outbreaks reported in the US occurred in wild rats.

Also at CBC. Illinois Department of Public Health statement.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a Seoul Virus FAQ.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday January 21, @09:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the what-we-have-here-is-a-failure-to-communicate dept.

Following the Federal Trade Commission's lawsuit against Qualcomm, Apple has also sued the company, seeking $1 billion in damages:

Apple is suing Qualcomm for roughly $1 billion, saying Qualcomm has been "charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with." The suit follows the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's lawsuit against Qualcomm earlier this week over unfair patent licensing practices. [...] Apple says that Qualcomm has taken "radical steps," including "withholding nearly $1 billion in payments from Apple as retaliation for responding truthfully to law enforcement agencies investigating them." Apple added, "Despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards, Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined."

Also at Reuters, The Verge , and Ars Technica .

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday January 21, @07:31PM   Printer-friendly
from the Lordette-of-the-Rings dept.

Daphnis, Saturn's tiny "wavemaker moon" which was discovered in 2005, has been imaged in relatively high resolution by the Cassini spacecraft. The image shows dust being pulled out of a nearby ring and trailing the moon:

Daphnis (5 miles or 8 kilometers across) orbits within the 42-kilometer (26-mile) wide Keeler Gap. Cassini's viewing angle causes the gap to appear narrower than it actually is, due to foreshortening. The little moon's gravity raises waves in the edges of the gap in both the horizontal and vertical directions. Cassini was able to observe the vertical structures in 2009, around the time of Saturn's equinox (see PIA11654).

Like a couple of Saturn's other small ring moons, Atlas and Pan, Daphnis appears to have a narrow ridge around its equator and a fairly smooth mantle of material on its surface -- likely an accumulation of fine particles from the rings. A few craters are obvious at this resolution. An additional ridge can be seen further north that runs parallel to the equatorial band. Fine details in the rings are also on display in this image. In particular, a grainy texture is seen in several wide lanes which hints at structures where particles are clumping together. In comparison to the otherwise sharp edges of the Keeler Gap, the wave peak in the gap edge at left has a softened appearance. This is possibly due to the movement of fine ring particles being spread out into the gap following Daphnis' last close approach to that edge on a previous orbit.

Also at Ars Technica which includes some of the older images.

Original Submission

posted by charon on Saturday January 21, @05:59PM   Printer-friendly
from the or-we-could-have-the-coverage-congress-has dept.

Trump Signs Executive Order That Could Effectively Gut Affordable Care Act's Individual Mandate

The Washington Post reports:

President Trump signed an executive order late Friday giving federal agencies broad powers to unwind regulations created under the Affordable Care Act, which might include enforcement of the penalty for people who fail to carry the health insurance that the law requires of most Americans.

The executive order, signed in the Oval Office as one of the new president's first actions, directs agencies to grant relief to all constituencies affected by the sprawling 2010 health-care law: consumers, insurers, hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, states and others. It does not describe specific federal rules to be softened or lifted, but it appears to give room for agencies to eliminate an array of ACA taxes and requirements.

[...] Though the new administration's specific intentions are not yet clear, the order's breadth and early timing carry symbolic value for a president who made repealing the ACA — his predecessor's signature domestic achievement — a leading campaign promise.


posted by cmn32480 on Saturday January 21, @04:25PM   Printer-friendly
from the not-quite-family-photos dept.

Where should NASA's Juno spacecraft aim its camera during its next close pass of Jupiter on Feb. 2? You can now play a part in the decision. For the first time, members of the public can vote to participate in selecting all pictures to be taken of Jupiter during a Juno flyby. Voting begins Thursday, Jan. 19 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) and concludes on Jan. 23 at 9 a.m. PST (noon EST).

[...] NASA's JunoCam website can be visited at:

The voting page for this flyby is available at:

[...] There will be a new voting page for each upcoming flyby of the mission. On each of the pages, several points of interest will be highlighted that are known to come within the JunoCam field of view during the next close approach. Each participant will get a limited number of votes per orbit to devote to the points of interest he or she wants imaged. After the flyby is complete, the raw images will be posted to the JunoCam website, where the public can perform its own processing.

Original Submission

posted by charon on Saturday January 21, @02:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the stop-me-if-you've-heard-this-one dept.

[Note: The story is dated September 2014, but I just stumbled upon it and think the subject matter is interesting enough that others in the community might find it both enlightening and entertaining. Also, the site had been under attack, per conversations with the author; if the link fails, then use this web archive link to 'On Testing'. --martyb]

Bill Sempf posted a humorous take On Testing which started with a tweet:

QA Engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a sfdeljknesv.

He continues:

This is 'edge case' testing; posting values to a system that really don't belong there. It came to mind because of a problem I had encountered in a system I was working on earlier.

[...] As it turns out, there are a lot of people who are all about this. The replies to my tweet over the last 24 hours covered a lot of ground, but by far were those that wanted to push the edge testing to the max - and I love it.

The posting gathers a quite remarkable set of tests submitted in response. The whole story is well worth reading, but among the notables there were:

Ah yes, the Edge Case Saloon. A fine establishment.

Orders a gimlet. Orders a gauntlet. Orders the 80s arcade game Gauntlet. Orders 4 beers. Orders 3 friends to come over for some fun.

Unhooks the tap and orders a beer. Breaks all the glassware and orders a beer. Sets the bar on fire and orders a beer.

Walks into the bar backwards. Runs into the bar. Sits at the bar overnight doing nothing to see what happens. Tries to sell a beer.

Quickly orders a second beer before the first is served.


posted by Fnord666 on Saturday January 21, @01:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the here-we-go dept.

Several news sites are reporting that Donald Trump is looking to elevate Ajit Pai to head up the FCC:

Ajit Pai, a Republican Federal Communications Commission member and foe of net neutrality regulation, will be named to head the agency, according to a person familiar with the transition.

Pai has often dissented as FCC Democrats voted for tighter regulations, including the 2015 open internet, or net neutrality, decision that forbids internet service providers from unfairly blocking or slowing web traffic. The rule opposed by AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. is among those likely to be reversed by president Donald Trump's FCC, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts.

Additional information at Politico and Reuters.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Saturday January 21, @11:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the slow-death-of-proprietary-software dept.

EAGLE, The Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor is an ECAD (electronic computer-aided design), proprietary software for creating printed circuit boards. Cadsoft, the company that created it, sold EAGLE to Autodesk in June.

Hackaday reports

Autodesk has announced that EAGLE is now only available for purchase as a subscription. [Previously], users purchased EAGLE once and [could use] the software indefinitely (often for years) before deciding to move to a new version with another one-time purchase. Now, they'll be paying Autodesk on a monthly or yearly basis.

Before Autodesk purchased EAGLE from Cadsoft, a Standard license would run you $69, paid once. [...] Standard will [now] cost $15/month or $100/year and gives similar functionality to the old Premium level, but with only 2 signal layers.

[...] The next level up was Premium, at $820, paid once. [...] If you [now] need more [than 2] layers or more than 160 [] of board space, you'll need the new Premium level, at $65/month or $500/year.
New Subscription Pricing Table for Eagle

[...] The [freeware] version still exists, but, for anyone using Eagle for commercial purposes (from Tindie sellers to engineering firms), this is a big change. Even if you agree with the new pricing, a subscription model means you never actually own the software. This model will require licensing software that needs to phone home periodically and can be killed remotely. If you need to look back at a design a few years from now, you better hope that your subscription is valid, that Autodesk is still running the license server, and that you have an active internet connection.

The page has well over 100 comments, with many saying the equivalent of "Goodbye, EAGLE; Hello, KiCAD".
KiCAD is gratis and libre, cross-platform, has been adopted as a software development project by nerds at CERN, and has seen marked improvement in recent years.

CERN is Getting Serious About Development of the KiCAD App for Designing Printed Circuits
Scripts Make the (Proprietary) Cadsoft EAGLE-to-(FOSS) KiCAD Transition Easier

Some time back, anubi and I conversed about how EAGLE has been DRM'd for quite a long while.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Saturday January 21, @10:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the this-is-gonna-get-messy dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Human beings possess an innate fascination with sex, but nothing is more interesting to us than the idea of cosmic copulation. We're intellectually titillated by the idea that what goes up must get off — but how? There's surprisingly little information available on space sex, presumably because, according to NASA, it's never happened before.

Since the first space flight launched in 1961, about 558 people have traveled through space. And it's alleged — but not confirmed — that there has been at least one case of space sex: Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov is rumored to have had an affair with fellow cosmonaut Elena Kondakova during his 437 day stint aboard the Mir space station during the 90s. Also in the 90s, the first married couple — Americans Jan Davis and Mark Lee — embarked on a space mission together. However, the two reportedly worked separate shifts and have refused to answer questions about their relationship while in space.

With no firsthand accounts to turn to, humans are left to ponder: How exactly does sex in space work?

-- submitted from IRC

Original Submission

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