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Design, Hardware, Software Errors Doomed Japanese Hitomi Spacecraft

Slashdot - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 11:30am
Reader Required Snark writes: The Japanese space agency JAXA said its recently launched X-Ray observation satellite Hitomi has been destroyed. After a successful launch on February 17, contact with the satellite was lost on March 28. Off the 10-year expected life span, only three days of observations were collected. Preliminary inquiry points to multiple failures in design, hardware and software. After the launch it was discovered that the star tracker stabilization didn't work in a low magnetic flux area over the South Atlantic. When the backup gyroscopic spin stabilization took control, the spin increased instead of stopping. An internal magnetic limit feature in the gyroscope failed, causing the spin get worse. Finally, a thruster based control started, but because of a software failure the spin increased further. The solar panels broke off, leaving the satellite without a long-term power supply. It seems that untested software had been uploaded for thrust control just before the breakup. This is a major loss for astronomical research. Two previous attempts by Japan to launch a high-resolution X-ray calorimeter had also failed, and the next planned sensor of this type is not scheduled until 2028 by the ESA. Just building a replacement unit would take 3 to 5 years and cost $50 million, without the cost of a satellite or launch.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer In Line For $55M Severance If Fired Within A Year Of Sale

Slashdot - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 10:30am
whoever57 writes: A Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing on Friday revealed that Yahoo's board has agreed to a $55 million severance package for Marissa Mayer if she loses her job within a year of a sale. That's a lot of money for a chief executive who hasn't been able to keep Yahoo's stock from falling. In 2015, the value of Yahoo's stock fell by 33%. Worth noting: most of the money from the severance package is composed of restricted stock units and options -- there's only $3 million in cold hard cash. Also, Yahoo revealed Mayer received a significant pay cut last year. Her "reported pay" was $36 million, but her "realized pay" is closer to $14 million.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Berkeley Researchers Examine Five Worst-Case Security Nightmares

Slashdot - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 9:30am
An anonymous reader writes: Berkeley researchers have gamed out five worst-case security scenarios at their Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, calling it "a disciplined, imaginative approach to modeling what cybersecurity could mean in the future...to provoke a discussion about what the cybersecurity research and policy communities need to do now in order to be better positioned..." Two of the scenarios are set in 2020 -- one called "The New Normal" imagining a world were users assume their personal information can no longer be kept safe, and another involving the privacy and security implications in a world where hackers lurk undetected on a now-ubiquitous Internet of Things. "Our goal is to identify emerging issues that will become more important..." they write in an executive summary, including "issues on the table today that may become less salient or critical; and new issues that researchers and decision-makers a few years from now will have wished people in the research and policy communities had noticed -- and begun to act on -- earlier. Scenario #2 imagines a super-intelligent A.I. which can predict and even manipulate the behavior of individuals, and scenario #3 involves criminals exploiting valuable data sets -- and data scientists -- after an economic collapse.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Slack To Disable Thousands of Logins Leaked on GitHub

Slashdot - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 8:30am
An anonymous reader writes: Thursday one technology site reported that thousands of developers building bots for the team-collaboration tool Slack were exposing their login credentials in public GitHub repositories and tickets. "The irony is that a lot of these bots are mostly fun 'weekend projects', reported Detectify. "We saw examples of fit bots, reminding you to stretch throughout the day, quote bots, quoting both Jurassic Park...and Don Quixote...." Slack responded that they're now actively searching for publicly-posted login credentials, "and when we find any, we revoke the tokens and notify both the users who created them, as well as the owners of affected teams." Detectify notes the lapse in security had occurred at a wide variety of sites, including "Forbes 500 companies, payment providers, multiple internet service providers and health care providers... University classes at some of the world's best-known schools. Newspapers sharing their bots as part of stories. The list goes on and on..."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Our 8 Favorite VR Experiences From the Tribeca Film Festival

Wired - Top Stories - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 7:00am
VR is really finding its legs as a creative artform. Here are eight innovative virtual-reality experiences from this year's Tribeca Film Festival. The post Our 8 Favorite VR Experiences From the Tribeca Film Festival appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Sigh: We May Have Already Reached Peak Geek

Wired - Top Stories - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 7:00am
In the new 'Geek's Guide to the Galaxy' podcast, author Rob Salkowitz discusses the possibility that even hardcore fans are tired of comics in pop culture. The post Sigh: We May Have Already Reached Peak Geek appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Security News This Week: The FBI Gets Creative to Avoid Disclosing Its $1M iPhone Hack

Wired - Top Stories - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 7:00am
Each Saturday we round up the news stories that we didn’t break or cover in depth at WIRED, but which deserve your attention nonetheless. The post Security News This Week: The FBI Gets Creative to Avoid Disclosing Its $1M iPhone Hack appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Gunning for Google, Comcast Preps Gigabit Internet That Works With Regular Cable

Wired - Top Stories - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 6:07am
The Internet provider everyone loves to hate is gearing up to offer one gigabit per second Internet service in five U.S. cities. The post Gunning for Google, Comcast Preps Gigabit Internet That Works With Regular Cable appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Bison To Become First National Mammal Of The US

Slashdot - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 6:01am
mdsolar quotes a report from Washington Post: North America used to be teeming with bison. But in one century, their numbers plummeted from tens of millions to just a few dozen in the wild after hunters nearly wiped out the continent's largest mammals. Now, the bison is about to become the first national mammal of the United States. The National Bison Legacy Act, which designates the bison as the official mammal of the United States, passed the House on Tuesday and the Senate on Thursday. The legislation now heads to President Obama's desk to be signed into law. At a time of political gridlock and partisan bickering, lawmakers agree on an official national mammal. The bison, which will join the bald eagle as a national symbol, represents the country's first successful foray into wildlife conservation. Lobbying for the official mammal designation was a coalition of conservationists; ranchers, for whom bison are business; and tribal groups, such as the InterTribal Buffalo Council, which wants to "restore bison to Indian nations in a manner that is compatible with their spiritual and cultural beliefs and practices."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Smartwatch shipments grew 223% year-over-year in Q1 2016; Apple had 52% marketshare, down from 63% in prior quarter (Neil Mawston/Strategy Analytics)

TechMeme - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 5:05am

Neil Mawston / Strategy Analytics:
Smartwatch shipments grew 223% year-over-year in Q1 2016; Apple had 52% marketshare, down from 63% in prior quarter  —  STRATEGY ANALYTICS: Apple Watch Slips to 52% Global Smartwatch Marketshare in Q1 2016  —  According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartwatch …

Categories: Technology