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Comments

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Old Doesn't Have To Mean Ugly: Squeezing Better Graphics From Classic Consoles

SternisheFan Re: (pre-emptive to 'New-Age' gamers...) GOML! (129 comments)

My kids 6 and all the kids at school were talking about the new Mario Kart game. He wanted it sooo bad but I wasn't about to get him started on consoles so I downloaded SNES and the orgional Mario Kart game... now he's bragging to all the kids he's got the "FIRST" one, and they have the lame version. lol

Right? The 'oldies' really are the 'goodies' in gaming, as it turns out. Adding extra great graphics does not always equal more fun gameplay.

Jeez, I'm having a blast just replaying the original 'Starfox'. Tightening up the framerate won't make a bit of difference to it's playability, IMO.

11 hours ago
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Old Doesn't Have To Mean Ugly: Squeezing Better Graphics From Classic Consoles

SternisheFan (pre-emptive to 'New-Age' gamers...) GOML! (129 comments)

You know, modern emulators for old school games are a 'pretty good enough' substitute for the 'real thing'.

Add on a decent bluetooth joystick to them, you're pretty much there.

I just got the ''A Moga Pro" joystick a few weeks ago, and it makes all the difference when I revisiting older games like 'Defender', 'Joust', 'Ms. Pac Man', 'Tetris', 'Contra', 'Elevator Action', 'Galaga', 'Qix', 'Q-Bert', 'Rolling Thunder', 'Punch-Out' (et al ad nauseum).

12 hours ago
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Old Doesn't Have To Mean Ugly: Squeezing Better Graphics From Classic Consoles

SternisheFan Re:Commodore RGB monitors were the best... (129 comments)

I'm still looking for a 'good' C64 emulator (for Android). I've got the roms, it's the emu I need. Any help here would be greatly appreciated...

13 hours ago
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$33 Firefox Phone Launched In India

SternisheFan Re:33 Bucks?!? (73 comments)

Yeah, not a bad deal. It's just that I don't ever want to go back to being charged for each minute/text message, been there done that.

13 hours ago
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$33 Firefox Phone Launched In India

SternisheFan 33 Bucks?!? (73 comments)

If I didn't already have a $300 smartphone, I'd snap one of these up in a heartbeat. It does make and receive phone calls, right? Amazing...

yesterday
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Eye Problems From Space Affect At Least 21 NASA Astronauts

SternisheFan Re:Better yet! (101 comments)

"..., and I 'did' not 'try' to edit..." (sigh...)

yesterday
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Eye Problems From Space Affect At Least 21 NASA Astronauts

SternisheFan Re:Better yet! (101 comments)

I suppose it all depends on how you read TFA. If you insert a pause, the headline reads correctly, and I not to edit any of the article. I did a straight copy/paste (lazy me!), and I could have adjusted the wonky reading headline, but thought, "Nah, let the /.'ers have some fun with this one." The editors did a good job of editing the submission, creating the correct hyperlinks that I did not do, *again lazy me).

yesterday
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Eye Problems From Space Affect At Least 21 NASA Astronauts

SternisheFan Re:Nope. (101 comments)

That's it. I'm definitely not going into space.

NASA, please take my name off the list. I've changed my mind.

Dammit Pope, now you tell us! And we had the "Welcome Aboard!" party all set up for you. :^(

Signed, NASA

yesterday
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Eye Problems From Space Affect At Least 21 NASA Astronauts

SternisheFan Re:yeah, i'm not interesting in going to space (101 comments)

Yep, it seems that zero-gravity is not going to adapt to us. We'll need spacecraft that can spin us up to a permanent near artificial earth gravity environment, or we're not going to get very far into the future of space colonization, excepting robotically.

yesterday
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GOG Introduces DRM-Free Movie Store

SternisheFan Re:Why not some really old movies (124 comments)

Blah!

Well said! Was that a Dracula impression, or does that mean you give the movie a..., 'thumbs down'?

yesterday
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Eye Problems From Space Affect At Least 21 NASA Astronauts

SternisheFan Re:yeah, i'm not interesting in going to space (101 comments)

From CBCnews, Mar 13, 2012:

Astronauts have complained for decades about vision problems such as blurriness following trips into space. A recent NASA survey of 300 astronauts found correctible near and distance vision problems in 48 per cent of astronauts who had been on extended missions and 23 per cent of those who had been on brief missions. In some cases, they lasted for years after the astronauts returned to Earth.

Fluid shifting toward head causes problems

In the new study, the astronauts had spent an average of 108 days in space. Their eye abnormalities were similar to those seen in patients on Earth with idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Patients with the condition have increased pressure around their brains for no apparent reason.

Among the astronauts in the study:

33 per cent had expansion of the space filled with cerebral spinal fluid that surrounds the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain.

22 per cent had flattening of the rear of the eyeball.

15 per cent had bulging of the optic nerve.

11 per cent had changes in the pituitary gland and its connection to the brain.

An earlier NASA-sponsored study of seven astronauts, published last November in the journal Ophthalmology, found similar abnormalities and also noted that they were similar to those experienced by patients on Earth suffering from pressure in the head. But it noted that astronauts did not experience symptoms usually associated with that problem on Earth, such as chronic headache, double vision or ringing in the ears.

The earlier study suggested that the problems might be caused by fluid shifting toward the head during extended periods of time in microgravity. This could result in abnormal flow of spinal fluid around the optic nerve, changes in blood flow in the vessels at the back of the eye, or chronic low pressure within the eye, the researchers said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technol...

yesterday
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DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

SternisheFan Re:Just wait (223 comments)

Soon there will be a mod so you tell the guy who just cut you off, "fuck you, you fucking fuck, right in the fucking fuck-fuck-fuck" at max volume using their cabin speakers. I'll probably hear it a lot.

I used to have the perfect bumper sticker for situations like this, it read, "I'm not deaf! I'm ignoring you!"

yesterday
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

SternisheFan Re:Irreversible? (435 comments)

Anything can be.

Based on that statement and the unquestionable moral and scientific authority of Shel Silverstein, I've ordered a gross of square circles. The supplier claims to have found a way to make PI equal seven.

Hmmm.... https://www.google.com/search?...

yesterday
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Chromium 37 Launches With Major Security Fixes, 64-bit Windows Support

SternisheFan Re:Does it self-update to 64-bit? (109 comments)

Just updated from your link, after 1st attempt received a message (loosely) stating 'Chrome cannot install on top of the same version." 2nd attempt worked, now showing, "Version 37.0.2062.94 unknown-m (64-bit)". Thanks again...

yesterday
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GOG Introduces DRM-Free Movie Store

SternisheFan Re:Why not some really old movies (124 comments)

Why don't they see about getting some really old movies that have passed into the public domain and cleaning them up. The first one that comes to mind is Nosferatu but there are a number of other old films that would qualify as well.

Because some might already be available, on YouTube?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

yesterday
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

SternisheFan Re:Irreversible? (435 comments)

My post never suggested an answer is 'presently' available...

yesterday
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Chromium 37 Launches With Major Security Fixes, 64-bit Windows Support

SternisheFan Re:Does it self-update to 64-bit? (109 comments)

Now I'm running Chrome version 37.0.2062.94 m. Is this the 64 bit version?

The 64-bit version says "64-bit" in parenthesis after the version number.

If you just updated your 32-bit version, it's likely that you will stay in the 32-bit channel.

Thanks, to you and the above AC. Guess I'll update it again.

yesterday
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

SternisheFan Re:Irreversible? (435 comments)

Touche', Sir. Unless...,

I unmount it and throw it to the ground. Or, insult it. :*)

yesterday
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Chromium 37 Launches With Major Security Fixes, 64-bit Windows Support

SternisheFan Re:Does it self-update to 64-bit? (109 comments)

Question: In Chrome, I just clicked on the triple bars to the right of the search bar, clicked on 'About Google Chrome', and updated from there. Now I'm running Chrome version 37.0.2062.94 m. Is this the 64 bit version?

yesterday

Submissions

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To Study Evolution, Scientists Raise Fish That 'Walk' on Land

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  13 hours ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "An unusual species of fish that can walk and breathe air shows that these animals may be more capable of adapting to life on land than previously thought, researchers say.

The new findings may help explain how the ancient fish ancestors of humans colonized the land.

The evolution of the ancient fish that switched from living in water to living on land about 400 million years ago is one of the most pivotal moments in the history of the animal kingdom. These first four-limbed animals, known as stem tetrapods, ultimately gave rise to amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Just how ancient fish made the shift to terrestrial life still remains largely a mystery. To learn more about what happened, scientists investigated the bichir (Polypterus senegalus), a modern African fish that has lungs for breathing air, and stubby fins it can use to pull itself along on land. The bichir possesses many traits similar to ones seen in fossils of stem tetrapods, the researchers said.

The scientists raised groups of bichir on land for eight months to find out how they would differ from bichir raised in the water. They found that the land-raised fish lifted their heads higher, held their fins closer to their bodies, took faster steps, undulated their tails less frequently and had fins that slipped less often than bichir raised in water. The land-raised fish also underwent changes in their skeletons and musculature that probably paved the way for their changes in behavior. All in all, these alterations helped bichir move more effectively on land.

The results suggest that the bichir is more malleable during its development than previously thought. This plasticity is what made this fish capable of growing up very differently depending on its environment, and the researchers suggest that stem tetrapods were similarly adaptable.

University of Ottawa biologist Emily Standen and her colleagues Hans Larsson and Trina Du of McGill University's Redpath Museum detailed their findings in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

Primary story at: http://www.livescience.com/475..."

Link to Original Source
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Eye Problems From Space Affect At Least 21 NASA Astronauts

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  yesterday

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "How does microgravity affect your health? One of the chief concerns of NASA astronauts these days is changes to eyesight. Some people come back from long-duration stays in space with what appears to be permanent changes, such as requiring glasses when previously they did not.

And the numbers are interesting. A few months after NASA told Universe Today that 20% of astronauts may face this problem, a new study points out that 21 U.S. astronauts that have flown on the International Space Station for long flights (which tend to be five to six months) face visual problems. These include “hyperopic shift, scotoma and choroidal folds to cotton wool spots, optic nerve sheath distension, globe flattening and edema of the optic nerve,” states the University of Houston, which is collaborating with NASA on a long-term study of astronauts while they’re in orbit.

Primary original source: http://www.uh.edu/news-events/..."

Link to Original Source
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So, what are THE BEST games to have in your collection?

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  2 days ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "I am not a 'gamer', per se. What I grew up on was 'old school' arcade/atari/arcade type games. What my question is...,

What are THE VERY BEST games to own? And it does not matter what console/system/phone based games you own. My question is...

"What are the very best games to have in your collection?""
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Researchers find way to hack Gmail with 92 percent success rate

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  5 days ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "CNET reports; Researchers at the University of California Riverside Bourns College of Engineering and the University of Michigan have identified a weakness they believe to exist across Android, Windows, and iOS operating systems that could allow malicious apps to obtain personal information.

Although it was tested only on an Android phone, the team believes that the method could be used across all three operating systems because all three share a similar feature: all apps can access a mobile device's shared memory.

"The assumption has always been that these apps can't interfere with each other easily," said Zhiyun Qian, an associate professor at UC Riverside. "We show that assumption is not correct and one app can in fact significantly impact another and result in harmful consequences for the user."

To demonstrate the method of attack, first a user must download an app that appears benign, such as a wallpaper, but actually contains malicious code. Once installed, the researchers can use it to access the shared memory statistics of any process, which doesn't require any special privileges."

Link to Original Source
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Scientists find fasting for few days can regenerate immune system

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 3 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Fasting for three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as remarkable.

Although fasting diets have been criticised by nutritionists, research suggests that starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing more white blood cells, which fight off infection.

Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for those suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy. It could also help the elderly whose immune systems become less effective.

The researchers say that fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create white blood cells, essentially restoring the immune system.

"It gives the okay for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Valter Longo, professor of gerontology and biological sciences at the university."

Link to Original Source
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Port your holograph image into a video game using 3 Kinects

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 3 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "From “Star Trek” to “Tron,” the concept of porting yourself into a digital world has long been a dream of super high-tech science fiction storytelling.

Turns out you can do it yourself at home.

Well, kind of. Oliver Kreylos, a researcher at the Institute for Data Analysis and Visualization at U-C Davis, has created a DIY virtual reality rig using the Xbox Kinect system and the Oculus Rift head-mounted display.

Virtual Reality Sex Game Set To Stimulate

Kreylos started out by mounting three motion-sensing Kinect devices in a triangle to generate a real-time 3-D image of himself. He then sent the data into the Oculus Rift headset along with a separate data stream of a virtual office environment. {See link for video]

The result — a homebrew holodeck where you can navigate a virtual environment and look down to see your own body.

The avatar image is admittedly lo-res and glitchy, Kreylos says, but feels more “real” than motion-capture avatars.

“One of the things we’ve noticed [is that] even with low-res and low-quality 3D video, the resulting avatars just feel real, in some sense even more real than higher-quality motion-captured avatars,” Kreylos writes on his blog. “I believe it’s related to the uncanny valley principle, in that fuzzy 3D video that moves in a very lifelike fashion is more believable to the brain than high-quality avatars that don’t quite move right.”"

Link to Original Source
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Nest halts sales of high-tech smoke detector, cites fire alarm glitch

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 5 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Nest is halting sales of its Nest Protect fire alarm and smoke detector, citing a problem with the hand-waving feature that could delay an alarm in case of a real fire.
The company, which discovered the problems through its own internal tests, is offering to refund customers. The much-hyped Nest Protect was rolled out last year at a price point of $129.
In the next 24 hours, the company said that the Nest Wave will be automatically disabled, though the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will continue to work."

Link to Original Source
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"Meeting of the Mines" Minecraft convention accused of scamming attendees

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 5 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "New Yorks Long Island's News12 reports:

WANTAGH — Many Long Island gamers who had been looking forward to a MineCraft convention in Nassau County this weekend say they were victims of a scam.

Lovers of the popular game spent $200 on tickets to the “Meeting of the Mines” convention at the Marriot in Uniondale. Management at the Marriott says it was never booked for the convention.

Matthew Berner, 10, and his father Alan, of Wantagh, recently learned that the convention organizer, Kevin Roman, is under fire for a similar convention that, parents say, failed last weekend in Orlando. Attendees say the games and prizes that were promised by the organizer never materialized, and many demanded a refund.

Berner says he cannot get his money back because he paid more than 45 days in advance using PayPal. He contacted the New York Attorney General's Office to file a complaint. The Florida attorney general reports 20 parents there have already filed complaints.

Attempts by News 12 to reach Roman by phone and email were not successful.

Gamers tell News 12 that "Meeting of the Mines" should not be confused with the annual "Mine-Con" event, which they say is a legitimate MineCraft convention."

See linked News12 page for the full video report."

Link to Original Source
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How Secure is your WiFi? Not Very,...

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 5 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "HowToGeek.com explores the question of how secure WiFi really is. I'll insert a quick paste from the (well written) article below, though the linked article really needs to be read fully (including the comments) in order to be properly discussed on Slashdot. The answer seems to be, 'Not very secure at all.' "

"At the end of the day, maybe the question to ask is “What do I need to do to make it not worth a casual hacker’s time to penetrate my network?” or “What is the real cost of having my network compromised?”, and going from there. There is no quick and easy answer..."

Link to Original Source
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Lego robot solves Rubik's Cube puzzle in 3.253 seconds

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 5 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "For further proof the robot apocalypse is nigh, CTV News reports...

The Cubestormer 3 took 18 months to build but only needed 3.253 seconds to solve the puzzle, breaking the existing record.

Unveiled at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, U.K., the Cubestormer 3 is constructed from the modular children's building-block toy but uses a Samsung Galaxy SIV smartphone with a special ARM chip addition as its brain. It analyzes the muddled up Rubik's Cube and powers each of the robot's four ‘hands', which spin the cube until all sides are in order.

Created by ARM engineer David Gilday and Securi-Plex security systems engineer Mike Dobson, Cubestormer 3's new record shaves just over two seconds off the existing record, set by Cubestormer 2, which the pair also built.

"We knew Cubestormer 3 had the potential to beat the existing record but with the robot performing physical operations quicker than the human eye can see there's always an element of risk," said Gilday. "In the end, the hours we spent perfecting the robot and ensuring its motor and intelligence functions were properly synchronized paid off. Our big challenge now is working out if it's possible to make it go even faster.""

Link to Original Source
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CIA accused: Senator sees torture probe meddling

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 6 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "In an extraordinary public accusation, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee declared on Tuesday that the CIA interfered with and then tried to intimidate a congressional investigation into the agency’s possible use of torture in terror probes during the Bush administration.

The CIA clandestinely removed documents and searched a computer network set up for lawmakers, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein in a long and biting speech on the Senate floor. In an escalating dispute with an agency she has long supported, she said the CIA may well have violated criminal laws and the U.S. Constitution."

Link to Original Source
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Snowden: NSA Leaders Have Harmed Our National Security 'More Than Anything

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 6 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "America's most high-profile fugitive visited one of the country's most popular entertainment festivals in Texas on Monday, drawing thunderous applause from a crowded room filled with his adoring fans.

Edward Snowden, appearing from Russia through a live video stream, told attendees of the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin that Congress had fundamentally failed to do its job as an overseer of the government's bulk surveillance programs, declaring that "we need a watchdog that watches Congress."

The former National Security Agency contractor, in a conversation with the American Civil Liberties Union's Christopher Soghoian and Ben Wizner, also charged the current and most recent chief of the NSA as the two people most responsible for jeopardizing the country's national security due to their preference for aggressive collection of data rather than protection of it after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"More than anything, there are two officials who have harmed our Internet security and national security," Snowden said, his image backdropped by an enlarged copy of the U.S. Constitution. "Those two officials are Michael Hayden and Keith Alexander."

He added: "When you are the one country that has a vault that is more full than anyone else's, it doesn't make any sense to be attacking all day and never defending your vault. And it makes even less sense when you're setting the standards for vaults worldwide and leaving a huge back door open."

Snowden also told SXSW that the technology community can push for changes to the way Internet data is collected and stored even in the absence of action from Capitol Hill, specifically citing the need for end-to-end encryption of data, which he likened to a "defense against the dark arts for the digital realm."

"The people who are in the room in Austin right now are the folks who can really fix things even when Congress hasn't yet gotten to the point to protect our freedoms," Snowden said. "There's a policy response that needs to occur but there's also technology response that needs to occur.""

Link to Original Source
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ArsTechnica reviews leaked Windows 8.1 update

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 6 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "ArsTechnica's Peter Bright reviews leaked Windows 8.1 update.

Leaks of upcoming versions of Microsoft's software are nothing new, but it's a little surprising when the source is Microsoft itself. The Spring update to Windows 8.1, known as Update 1, was briefly available from Windows Update earlier this week.

The update wasn't a free-for-all. To get Windows Update to install it, you had to create a special (undocumented, secret) registry key to indicate that you were in a particular testing group; only then were the updates displayed and downloadable.

After news of this spread, Microsoft removed the hefty—700MB—update from its servers, but not before it had spread across all manner of file-sharing sites...

Just because it was distributed by Windows Update doesn't mean that this is, necessarily, the final build, but it does present a good opportunity to see what Microsoft is actually planning to deliver."

Link to Original Source
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The county sheriff who keylogged his wife

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 8 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "From Ars Technica:

On April 22, 2013, Miles J. Stark of Clay County, West Virginia made a bad decision. Stark was going through a divorce at the time and had grown concerned about his wife's relationship with an "unnamed individual." So he entered his wife's workplace after normal business hours, located her PC, and installed a tiny keylogger between her keyboard cable and her computer. The keylogger would record his wife's e-mails and her instant messaging chats as she typed them out letter by letter, along with the usernames and passwords she used for various online services. Stark left the office without getting caught.

Installing hardware keyloggers can be risky even in low-security circumstances, but Stark had made his offense far worse by installing the device on a computer belonging to the West Virginia Supreme Court. Stark's wife worked for the Clay County Magistrate Court and often had occasion to enter the financial details of defendants convicted in court—including the credit cards they used to pay their fines. Stark's bid to spy on his wife's e-mails was also vacuuming up private court information, which the government was bound to take extremely seriously if it found out.

Making the whole situation just that much worse was the fact that Stark was a cop. Not just any cop, either; Stark was the county sheriff. He had served as a Clay County deputy sheriff for 16 years and in November 2012 won an election to become the chief law enforcement officer in all of Clay County. At the time of the keylogger job, Stark had been in office only three months, and if the device were ever found, Stark stood to lose his career.

It took less than three weeks. On May 6, a Supreme Court technician was out at the magistrate office doing a scheduled replacement of many of the machines; he noticed the keylogger and reported it. When the West Virginia State Police questioned Stark about the matter, the sheriff "pretended not to know what a keystroke logger was," according to a later government court filing, "a response unworthy of a law enforcement officer."

Stark held out for several months before resigning, but eventually quit his job and pleaded guilty to a federal charge of wiretapping. Federal prosecutors, outraged that a county sheriff was essentially wiretapping the judiciary, wanted a tough sentence. Anything more modest "would erroneously equate this offense with the wiretap of a private citizen by a private citizen." But Stark argued that, stupid as his scheme was, the goal had only been his wife's information—not the court's. He asked for probation.

On December 19, Stark was sentenced to two years of probation and a $1,000 fine. "You have lost your position as sheriff, lost your career in law enforcement... That alone is enough," said Judge John Copenhaver, according to the Charleston Gazette. Stark's ex-wife requested leniency and hugged Stark after the ruling.

Original Charleston Gazette story here: http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201312190019"

Link to Original Source
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Google Doodle remembers computing pioneer Grace Hopper

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 9 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Monday’s Google Doodle honors computing genius Grace Hopper (remembered as a great pioneer in computing, as well as in women’s achievements in science and engineering), on what would have been her 107th birthday, doodling her right where she spent much of her time – at the helm of one of the world’s first computers.

At Harvard, Hopper would go on to work with the subsequent Mark II and Mark III computers. She is often credited with coining the term “bug” for a computer malfunction: In 1947, she is said to have tweezed from the Mark II computer an actual moth that had been bugging up the machine, caught between Relay #70 and Panel F. She was also at the forefront of designing computers that would communicate to the user in a language similar to English, not in numbers. The language that she and her colleagues produced, Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL), is still in use in 2013.

When, in 1982, David Letterman asked her how she knew so much about computers, in order to work with Mark I, her reply was: “I didn’t. It was the first one.”"

Link to Original Source
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NASA's Cassini Spacecraft Obtains Best Views of Saturn Hexagon

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 9 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "NASA's Cassini spacecraft has obtained the highest-resolution movie yet of a unique six-sided jet stream, known as the hexagon, around Saturn's north pole.

This is the first hexagon movie of its kind, using color filters, and the first to show a complete view of the top of Saturn down to about 70 degrees latitude. Spanning about 20,000 miles (30,000 kilometers) across, the hexagon is a wavy jet stream of 200-mile-per-hour winds (about 322 kilometers per hour) with a massive, rotating storm at the center. There is no weather feature exactly, consistently like this anywhere else in the solar system.

"The hexagon is just a current of air, and weather features out there that share similarities to this are notoriously turbulent and unstable," said Andrew Ingersoll, a Cassini imaging team member at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "A hurricane on Earth typically lasts a week, but this has been here for decades — and who knows — maybe centuries.""

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Something (we're not sure what) survived ISON's closest approach to the Sun.

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 9 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "This ArsTechnica article (by Natalie Starkey Dec 1 2013) contains a detailed animated GIF from the NASA STEREO Ahead spacecraft. From the article:

"It looks like comet ISON, or most of it, did not survive its encounter with the Sun yesterday, when it made a close approach at just 1.2 million kms from that fiery surface. This distance may seem large, but it is close enough to have subjected the comet to temperatures of around 2,700C. To survive such a close shave with the Sun may sound unlikely, but a few other sungrazing comets have managed the feat during even closer passes. So some people hoped ISON would perform a death-defying stunt and emerge intact.

ISON did not leave us without a final serving of mystery though. Soon after reaching its nearest point to the Sun (known as perihelion), there was no sign of it emerging afterwards. Twitter and news agencies were alight, lamenting its loss and assuming it disintegrated—RIP ISON.

But then, moments later, new images emerged showing a hint of something appearing on the other side of the Sun. Was this still a diminished comet ISON or a ghostly version of its former self? Well, even comet experts are not sure.

The image below shows that whatever appeared after perihelion had enough matter in it to produce a tail, which started fading as it got farther from the Sun.""

Link to Original Source
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The Volocopter: 18-propeller electric helicopter takes flight

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 9 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "(CNN) — There's a lot to be said for determination. Two years ago, a contraption that looked a bit like a bouncy ball attached to a clothesline, took flight in a pioneering experiment in the German countryside.
A YouTube clip of a man flying the electric "Multicopter" attracted over 8 million hits, with comments ranging from: "AMAZING MACHINE!" to "Not sure you could pay me enough to sit in the middle of flying blenders bolted together."
Regardless, the three German engineers behind the baffling creation plowed ahead with their dream of making an electric helicopter. Last week it paid off.

There wasn't a bouncy ball in sight as the slick white "Volocopter" took to the air for the first time, quietly hovering 20 meters high, while its ecstatic creators cheered below.
Featuring 18 propellers on a lightweight carbon frame, the futuristic copter — which has been around €4 million ($5.4 million) in the making — could change the way we commute forever.

"What we're looking at now, is in the future where everyone is traveling not by car, but by some kind of aircraft," explained Stephan Wolf, co-chief executive of e-volo, the company behind the remarkable flying machine.
"Normal helicopters are very hard to fly. But we thought 'what if you could have a helicopter that is easy for the pilot to fly, and cheap compared to other aircraft?'"
Clever copter
Powered by a 100 kilogram battery, the two-passenger Volocopter can travel at least 70 kilometers per hour, recently making its first remote-controlled flight in a hanger in Karlsruhe, southwest Germany.
The chopper weighs just 300 kilograms in total. One limitation is that it currently only has enough power to fly for 20 minutes — though designers are looking at ways of increasing this, or introducing a hybrid engine.

Many small rotors — attached to a 10-meter wide circular frame — also help the eco-friendly machine hover more easily than other helicopters.
"If you let the joystick go, the Volocopter will just hover in the current position, so there's nothing the pilot has to do," said Wolf.
"But if you do that in another helicopter it will crash immediately."

Indeed, the Volocopter's simplicity sets it apart from other helicopters, and its creators hope in the future commuters will be able to take their electric aircraft to work, instead of languishing in gridlocked cars below.
The European Union is already looking at ways personal aerial vehicles (PAVs) could revolutionize urban spaces. It might sound like a scene from the Jetsons, but a city where flying machines replace cars isn't as far off as it seems.
"The most helicopters in the world are in Sao Paulo, Brazil," explained Wolf. "They have several thousand movements per day because the streets are congested and everyone who can afford it is taking the helicopter to go from one building to the next.
"You can imagine this happening in a big city in Germany. And already we've been approached by several companies who'd like to do it, maybe with landing pads on buildings."
The team hopes to sell its first Volocopter by 2015, with each machine setting you back €250,000 ($338,000). They're now on the lookout for further funding to develop their unique design."

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Snowden rebuts Feinsteins statement that NSA spying is not surveillance

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 10 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Note to Eds: Entire Ars Technica story pasted here, edit as you like...

by Cyrus Farivar — Oct 25 2013, 12:17am +0200
National Security
88
NSA leaks
US official handed over 35 foreign leaders’ phone numbers to NSA
Germany accuses US of spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone
France angered by new revelations of NSA surveillance
Snowden’s NSA post in Hawaii failed to install “anti-leak” software
The top 5 things we’ve learned about the NSA thanks to Edward Snowden
View all

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden went into a relatively long silent period after being charged with espionage and fleeing to Russia. But it seems that he is becoming more comfortable about speaking out. Today, new Snowden comments emerged in which he directly took on Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who last week defended the NSA spying programs in a controversial op-ed in USA Today.

“We've learned that the US intelligence community secretly built a system of pervasive surveillance,” Snowden wrote in the statement, published today by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no Internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA's hands. Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They're wrong.”

In her October 20 op-ed, Feinstein argued that the “call-records program is legal and subject to extensive congressional and judicial oversight,” adding that “[t]he Supreme Court has held this ‘metadata’ is not protected under the Fourth Amendment.”

Snowden called on his supporters to join the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and other groups who will be holding a rally called "Stop Watching Us" at Union Station in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 26, at 12:00pm local time."

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