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Burz (138833) writes "AFP reports that a propulsion safety expert warned Virgin Galactic about their choice their choice of propellant for the ill-fated SpaceshipTwo. “Based on the work we’ve done, including me writing a paper on the handling of nitrous oxide, we were concerned about what was going on at Virgin Galactic,” she told AFP. “I sent copies of the paper to various people at Virgin Galactic in 2009, and they were ignored.”
Whether or not the crash was caused by the populsion system, this does make the company's attitude toward safety look questionable. Condsidering SpaceshipTwo was a civil passenger vehicle, were Virgin Galatic's engineers pushing the envelope too fast?" Link to Original Source top
EU FairPhone starts 25k+ production run in one week
Burz (138833) writes "Ubuntu Edge may not have made it off the drawing board, but more ambitious FOSS-oriented devices have:
FairPhone has garnered over 32,000 orders for its socially-conscious design of the same name, overshooting the original 25k target in the time they allotted (a second run for the same model will start in January). Unfortunately, this sexy phone starts out as an EU-only product. The FairPhone is priced at 325 euros and will come loaded with Android 4.2, a 4.3" touchscreen, dual SIM slots, replaceable battery, and an admirable array of ports and sensors. What FairPhone aren't interested in selling you, however, is another charging brick-- bring your own!:)" top
The 5 stages of climate denial are on display ahead of the IPCC report
Invisible Internet Project...
I2P is best described as a cross between Tor and Bittorrent. That is to say, the onion routing benefits from the fact that most participants contribute to the available bandwidth. It does also come bundled with a bittorrent client and email service. A number of other I2P apps are available including i2P-Bote, a new server-less email system based on DHT.
Qubes is a desktop OS based on a customized Xen hypervisor. It ships with Fedora 18 to provide Linux desktop functionality, but can also host Windows and other VMs. The philosophy here is that paravirtualization, VT-x and VT-d are all employed in concert to reduce the system's attack-able surface to the base minimum while still providing the functionality of a desktop.
My choices in this area amount to a pretty short list because each one is comprehensive in its approach to privacy and security. I2P keeps everything encrypted and anonymous end-to-end without the worrying about app-specific encryption settings (PGP, OTR, HTTPS, etc) which leads to inconsistent usage. That means using mostly I2P-specific apps, though Firefox for I2P Web is the current exception. Qubes OS secures the system by keeping the high-risk subsystems - IP, firewall and X11 - in their own read-only VMs, and also runs my apps in separate domains according to the trust/risk levels I assign to them. For example: a 'banking' appVM to access bank accounts in Firefox, a 'personal' appVM for email, chat and personal files, an 'untrusted' appVM for general roving around the unsecured Web and multimedia entertainment, an 'i2p' appVM for the growing amount of anon/private communications over I2P, etc. The Qubes project goes so far as to claim "strong security" and I believe them... this is not your run-of-the-mill VM system.
More about some of the interesting features in these puppies later...
The Media Guardian is reporting on an infamous Danish newspaper's turnaround regarding the publication of certain cartoons. After initially expressing interest in reprinting cartoons from an Iranian paper, they have decided that some caricatures are beyond the pale: "Jyllands-Posten in no circumstances will publish Holocaust cartoons from an Iranian newspaper". This is the same paper in Denmark which posted a boring-then-shocking caricature of the Prophet Muhammed and is now apologising profusely, "peace be upon him".
Meanwhile the U.S. State Dept. says that the Muhammed cartoon irresponsibly incites ethnic as well as religious hatred; a double-whammy that seems to be ignored when debating the issue.
(Posted here cuz I'm tired of seeing my submissions irretrievably drop down a black hole.)