About

Feeds

 

〰 Tidal, Archiloque's feed reader

Hacker NewsStorify shutting down, all content removed in May 2018
Comments
Hacker NewsLitecoin and Ethereum buys and sells are temporarily disabled
Comments
Hacker NewsAwesome Open Source Indie – A curated list of small open source products
Comments
Hacker NewsThe Las Vegas Resort Using Microwaves to Keep Guns Out of Its Casino
Comments
Hacker NewsShow HN: Joy – a delightful Go to JavaScript compiler
Comments
Hacker NewsInternet protocols are changing
Comments
Ars TechnicaPepsiCo reserves 100 Tesla Semis, likely at $20,000 a pop

Enlarge (credit: Tesla)

Reuters reported on Tuesday that PepsiCo had recently placed 100 reservations for Tesla Semis. The order is the largest public one to date and may have cost the food and beverage manufacturer as much as $200,000. (The Wall Street Journal reported in November that Tesla had bumped the price of reservations from $5,000 each to $20,000 each.) However, PepsiCo did not comment on how much it actually paid Tesla, or whether its reservations were to buy the trucks outright or lease them.

PepsiCo told Reuters that it plans to use the trucks to distribute sodas and snack foods to retailers within a 500-mile radius of its manufacturing centers. The company said it is analyzing routes to find the optimal use case—either sending lighter snack loads longer distances or shipping heavy beverages shorter distances.

PepsiCo’s US fleet currently relies on 100,000 conventional semis, but the company has promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by 20 percent by 2030. That distant deadline may play into PepsiCo’s willingness to wait at least two years for Tesla’s electric trucks. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has promised that the semis will arrive in 2019. But the CEO has a history of being overly ambitious on estimated delivery time. (The company’s budget vehicle, the Tesla Model 3, suffered delays and poor production numbers even after the car was supposed to hit mass production this summer.)

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Hacker NewsFormer Uber employees have gone into debt to exercise options they can’t sell
Comments
Hacker NewsSEC Shuts Down Munchee ICO
Comments
Hacker NewsIntroducing TypeChain - TypeScript Bindings for Ethereum Smart Contracts
Comments
Ars TechnicaAjit Pai offers no data for latest claim that net neutrality hurt small ISPs

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | olm26250)

With days to go before his repeal of net neutrality rules, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a press release about five small ISPs that he says were harmed by the rules. Pai "held a series of telephone calls with small Internet service providers across the country—from Oklahoma to Ohio, from Montana to Minnesota," his press release said.

On these calls, "one constant theme I heard was how Title II had slowed investment," Pai said.

But Pai's announcement offered no data to support this assertion. So advocacy group Free Press looked at the FCC's broadband deployment data for these companies and found that four of them had expanded into new territory. The fifth didn't expand into new areas but it did start offering gigabit Internet service.

Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Hacker NewsA Five-Step Process for Planning a Rewrite of a Legacy Project
Comments
Hacker NewsTen Monster Projects That Will Kill Your Career
Comments
Ars TechnicaPutting Nintendo Switch’s 10 million sales in context

Enlarge

If you've been following video game news at all this year, you're probably tired of hearing stories about how the Switch is the hottest selling console since the Sliced Bread 64. With Nintendo announcing this morning that its console has sold 10 million units in under 9 months—before its first holiday season is even complete, to boot—we thought we'd skip the wordy analysis and just give you some relevant numbers that put the Switch's current sales in context. As far as recent consoles go, the Switch's sales so far put it in some pretty rarified company.

(Note that for most of these comparisons with other consoles, the time period includes an entire holiday season following a mid-November launch).

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

Hacker NewsWho’s Afraid of Bitcoin? The Futures Traders Going Short
Comments
Hacker NewsAsk HN: Why don't websites show password requirements at the login screen?
Comments
Hacker NewsApple iMac Pro goes on sale December 14th
Comments
Hacker NewsCollege Presidents Making $1M Rise with Tuition and Student Debt
Comments
Hacker NewsReturn of Bleichenbacher's Oracle Threat (ROBOT)
Comments
Ars TechnicaGorogoa review: Beneath four panels hide gaming’s most beautiful surprise

Enlarge / Look into the eye of the incredible Gorogoa. (credit: Jason Roberts)

After my last click of the mouse, the screen went to black, with only the word "Gorogoa" flashing. Those seven all-caps letters exploded out of the emptiness I'd just exposed by solving the final puzzle.

I nearly doubled over in my chair, overwhelmed with the emotion I felt trying to make sense of what had transpired. The game gave me some breathing room to do so, with a solemn song playing while credits rolled. After those, a single panel appeared. The game had begun again. Flipped to page one.

I describe this "ending" moment because it answers a critical concern about the puzzle game Gorogoa, which has been in development for an astonishing six years and was made almost entirely by one man, Jason Roberts. Gorogoa is, quite frankly, short. At the end of six years of development, Roberts has produced a little over two hours of gameplay.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Hacker NewsPlay Quantum
Comments
Hacker NewsNet Neutrality already attacked in Portugal
Comments
Hacker NewsSideproject Marketing
Comments
Hacker NewsThe Q# Programming Language
Comments
Ars TechnicaApple turns on app preorders in App Store

Enlarge / iOS 11, which will ship with the iPhone 8, has a renovated app store.

Apps are just as highly anticipated as other forms of entertainment now, and Apple's newest update to its app stores let customers call dibs on their favorites before they're even released. An update to the iTunes Connect resources page states that developers can now open up their apps for preorder on all Apple platforms before the program is officially released. This allows developers to see the product page before anyone can download the app, and customers can tap a new "Pre-Order" button to secure their download before it becomes available on the designated release date.

Developers can choose never-before-published apps from their My Apps page to make available for preorder. They must choose an official release date before the preorder page goes live, and that date must be at least two days, but no more than 90 days, in the future. Once the release date is chosen and the app is approved by Apple, the app's page will go live, allowing customers to preorder the program.

Preorders are available for free and paid apps. After preordering an app, you'll be notified on the official release date that the app is available to download. If that preordered app happens to be a paid app, you won't be charged until you download the program.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Hacker NewsWhy Some Phishing Emails Are Mysteriously Disappearing
Comments
Planet PostgreSQLBruce Momjian: Sharding Update from Asia

It has been a year since my last blog post about sharding. There are many sharding improvements in Postgres 10, and this PGConf.Asia talk from NTT staff covers the advances. The slides go into great detail about what has been accomplished, and what remains. This whiteboard image from the PGConf.Asia Unconference gives a single view of the necessary pieces.

What I wrote about a year ago felt like a far-distant goal — now it feels like we are almost there. Yes, it will take years to fully complete this feature, like all our complex features, but it feels like we are very near to proof-of-concept and production deployments, at least for certain workloads. Postgres pulls off these amazing feats regularly, and you would think I would get use to it and not be surprised, but I still am.

Hacker NewsShow HN: Call Me Private Virtual Number Service
Comments
Ars TechnicaApollo 8 and the 50/50 bet that won the Space Race for America

Video shot by Joshua Ballinger, edited and produced by Jing Niu and David Minick. Click here for transcript. (video link)

By the summer of 1968, a sense of deep unease had engulfed the American republic. Early in the year, the Tet Offensive smashed any lingering illusions of a quick victory in the increasingly bloody Vietnam conflict. Race relations boiled over in April when a single rifle bullet took the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Two months later, as Bobby Kennedy walked through a hotel kitchen, he was shot in the head. The red, white, and blue threads that had bound America for nearly two centuries were faded and fraying.

Amid this national turmoil, senior planners at the country’s space agency were also having a difficult year. Late that summer they quietly faced their most consequential decision to date. If NASA was going to meet the challenge laid out by President John F. Kennedy, its astronauts would soon have to take an unprecedented leap by leaving low-Earth orbit and entering the gravity well of another world—the Moon. Should they do it?

Read 68 remaining paragraphs | Comments

A List ApartHow the Sausage Gets Made: The Hidden Work of Content

I won an Emmy for keeping a website free of dick pics.

Officially, my award certificate says I was on a team that won a 2014 Emmy for Interactive Media, Social TV Experience. The category “Social TV Experience” sounds far classier than my true contribution to the project.

The award-winning Live From Space site served as a second-screen experience for a National Geographic Channel show of the same name. The show Live From Space covered the wonders of the International Space Station. The website displayed the globe as seen by astronauts, along with entertaining social data about each country crossed by the Space Station’s trajectory. One of those data points was an Instagram feed showcasing images of local cuisine.

Image of the National Geographic Channel’s Live From Space second-screen experience, including an Instagram photo of an Australian repast.
The second-screen experience for National Geographic Channel’s Live From Space event, featuring an Instagram photo of local food.

You might think that adding this feed was a relatively simple task. Include a specific channel, or feed in images tagged with the food and the country in which the images were taken, connect to an API, and boom: a stream of images from food bloggers in South Africa, Taiwan, Mexico, what have you. One exec was so impressed that he called this feature “automagical.”

What he described as “automagical” was actually me sitting in front of a computer screen, scanning Instagram, hunting for the most appetizing images, avoiding the unappetizing ones, and pasting my choices into a spreadsheet for import by a developer. I wouldn’t call it automated, and I wouldn’t call it magical. As the team’s content manager, I performed this task because the Instagram API wasn’t playing nice with the developers, but we had to get that information into the site by the deadline somehow.

An additional, and perhaps worse, problem was that if you found a feed of images taken in certain countries and tagged #food, you might get pictures of sausage. But we’re talking about the kinds of sausages usually discussed in locker rooms or on school buses full of junior high boys. As you can imagine, you cannot add Instagram photos tagged #food to a family-friendly site without a little effort, either in terms of getting around an API or filtering out the naughty bits.

The mythical “automagical” tool

You might think I’m knocking the website, but I’m not. Many creative, brilliant people worked ridiculous hours to create a gorgeous experience for which they rightly earned an award, and the images of local cuisine made up only a small slice of the site’s data.

Yet I feel conflicted about my own involvement with Live From Space because most of the site’s users still have no idea how the sausage of apps and websites gets made. In fact, these people may never know because the site is no longer live.

Or they may not care. Few people are aware of the rote work that goes into moving or importing data from one website to another, which causes problems if they don’t understand how long the process takes to make content happen. Unless you’re working with a pristine data source, there often is no “content hose” or “automagical” tool that cleans up data and moves it from one app or content management system to another. Unfortunately, the assumption that a “content hose” exists can lead to miscommunication, frustration, and delays when it is time to produce the work.

Oftentimes, a person will need to go in, copy content, and paste that code into the new app or CMS. They must repeat this task until the app or site is ready for launch. This type of work usually spurs revolt within the workplace, and I can’t say I blame people for being upset. Unless you know some tips, tricks, and shortcuts, as I do, you have a long stretch of tedious, mind-numbing work ahead of you.

Did someone say shortcuts?

Yes, you do have shortcuts when it comes to pulling content into a website. Those shortcuts happen earlier in the site-building process than you may think, and they rely on making sure your entire team is involved in the content process.

The most important thing when you are creating a new site or migrating an existing one is to lock down the content you want to bring in, as early as possible.

In the case of the National Geographic Channel website, the team knew it needed the map data and the coordinates, but did it really need the Instagram feed with the food data? And, when the creative team decided it needed the food data, did anyone ask questions about how the food data would be drawn into the site?

This involves building tactical questions into the creative workflow. When someone is on a creative roll, the last thing I want to do is slow them down by asking overly tactical questions. But all brainstorming sessions should include a team member who is taking notes as the ideas fly so they can ask the crucial questions later:

These questions are nothing new to a content strategist, but the questions must be asked in the earliest stages of the project. Think about it: if your team is in love with an idea, and the client falls in love with it, too, then you will have a harder time changing course if you can’t create the content that makes the site run.

Site updates and migrations are a little bit different in that most of the content exists, but you’d be surprised by how few team members know their content. Right now, I am working for a company that helps universities revamp their considerably large websites, and the first thing we do when making the sausage is halve the recipe.

First, we use Screaming Frog to generate a content inventory, which we spot-check for any unusual features that might need to be incorporated into the new site. Then we pass the inventory to the client, asking them to go through the inventory and archive duplicate or old content. Once they archive the old content, they can focus on what they intend to revise or keep as is.

Image of an in-progress content inventory for one of iFactory’s current clients, a large community college.
A work-in-progress content inventory for a large community college.

During the first few weeks of any project, I check in with the client about how they are doing with their content archive. If they aren’t touching the content early, we schedule a follow-up meeting and essentially haunt them until they make tough decisions.

Perfecting the process

How do we improve the way our teams relate to content? How do we show them how the content sausage gets made without grossing anyone out? Here are a few tips:

Your content strategist and your developer need to be on speaking terms. “Content strategist” isn’t a fancy name for a writer or an editor. A good content strategist knows how to work with developers. For one site migration involving a community college, I used Screaming Frog to scrape the content from the original site. Then I passed the resulting .csv document back and forth to the developer, fine-tuning the alignment of fields each time so it would be easier for us to import the material into GatherContent, an editorial tool for digital projects.

Speaking of GatherContent ... set up a proper content workflow. GatherContent allows you to assign specific tasks to team members so you can divide work. Even better, GatherContent’s editorial tool allows each page to pass through specific points in the editorial process, including drafting, choosing pictures, adding tags, and uploading to the CMS.

Train the team on how to transform the current content. In my current workplace, not only do we train the client on how to use the CMS, but we also provide Content Guidelines, an overview of the basic building blocks that make up a web page. I’ve shown clients how to create fields for page metadata, images, image alt text, and downloads—and we do this early so the client doesn’t wait until the last minute to dive into details.

Sample slides from an iFactory Content Guidelines presentation.
Sample slides from a Content Guidelines presentation for one of iFactory’s current clients.

Actually make the sausage. Clever uses of tools and advance training can only go so far. At some point you will need to make sure that what is in the CMS lines up with what you intended. You may need to take your content source, remove any odd characters, shift content from one field to another, and make the content safe for work—just like removing dick pics.

Make sure everyone on your team scrapes, scrubs, and uploads content at least once. Distributing the work ensures that your team members think twice before recommending content that doesn’t exist or content that needs a serious cleanup. That means each team member should sit down and copy content directly into the CMS or scrub the content that is there. An hour or two is enough to transform perspectives.

Push back if a team member shirks his or her content duty. Occasionally, you will encounter people who believe their roles protect them from content. I’ve heard people ask, “Can’t we get an intern to do that?” or “Can’t we do that through Mechanical Turk?” Sometimes, these people mean well and are thinking of efficiency, but other times, their willingness to brush content off as an intern task or as a task worth a nickel or two should be alarming. It’s demeaning to those who do the work for starters, but it also shows that they are cavalier about content. Asking someone to pitch in for content creation or migration is a litmus test. If they don’t seem to take content seriously, you have to ask: just how committed are these people to serving up a quality digital experience? Do you even want them on your team in the future? By the way, I’ve seen VPs and sales team members entering content in a website, and every last one of them told me that the experience was eye-opening.

People are the “automagical” ingredient

None of these shortcuts and process tips are possible without some kind of hidden content work. Content is often discussed in terms of which gender does what kind of work and how they are recognized for it. This worthwhile subject is covered in depth by many authors, especially in the context of social media, but I’d like to step back and think about why this work is hidden and how we can avoid delays, employee revolts, and overall tedium in the future.

Whether you’re scraping, scrubbing, copying, or pasting, the connecting thread for all hidden content work is that nearly no one thinks of it until the last minute. In general, project team members can do a better job of thinking about how content needs to be manipulated to fit a design or a data model. Then they should prepare their team and the client for the amount of work it will take to get content ready and entered into a site. By taking the initiative, you can save time, money, and sanity. If you’re really doing it right, you can make a site that’s the equivalent of a sausage … without dubious ingredients.

 

Hacker NewsGusto is hiring full-stack Rails and React engineers in SF and Denver
Comments
Hacker NewsSimplicity Before Generality, Use Before Reuse
Comments
Charles StrossWhat can possibly go wrong?

AI assisted porn video is, it seems, now a thing. For those of you who don't read the links: you can train off-the-shelf neural networks to recognize faces (or other bits of people and objects) in video clips. You can then use the trained network to edit them, replacing one person in a video with a synthetic version of someone else. In this case, Rule 34 applies: it's being used to take porn videos and replace the actors with film stars. The software runs on a high-end GPU and takes quite a while—hours to days—to do its stuff, but it's out there and it'll probably be available to rent as a cloud service running on obsolescent bitcoin-mining GPU racks in China by the end of next week.

(Obvious first-generation application: workplace/social media sexual harassers just got a whole new toolkit.)

But it's going to get a whole lot worse.

What I'm not seeing yet is the obvious application of this sort of deep learning to speech synthesis. It's all very well to fake up a video of David Cameron fucking a goat, but without the bleating and mindless quackspeak it's pretty obvious that it's a fake. Being able to train a network to recognize the cadences of our target's intonation, though, and then to modulate a different speaker's words so they come out sounding right takes it into a whole new level of plausibility for human viewers, because we give credence to sensory inputs based on how consistent they are with our other senses. We need AI to get the lip-sync right, in other words, before today's simplistic AI-generated video porn turns really toxic.

(Second generation application: Hitler sums it up

There are innocuous uses, of course. It's a truism of the TV business that the camera adds ten kilograms. And we all know about airbrushing/photoshopping of models on magazine covers and in adverts. We can now automate the video-photoshopping of subjects so that, for example, folks like me don't look as unattractive in a talking-heads TV interview. Pretty soon everyone you see on film or TV is going to be 'shopped to look sexier, fitter, and skinnier than is actually natural. It'll probably be built into your smartphone's camera processor in a few years, first a "make me look fit in selfies" mode and then a "do the same thing, only in video chat" option.

But with procedural speech mimicry on top of face/body substitution, all video evidence turns questionable. We can no longer believe the evidence of our own eyes and ears, unless we are in-person witnesses to a politician's speech. Everything becomes deniable, and in an age of state-sponsored infowar waged in social media it'll be trivially easy to discredit anyone. The political consequences of this toxic metastasis of "false news" I leave for discussion in comments.

And then things get surreal.

For a while now there's been a very weird phenomenon on YouTube, whereby popular childrens videos are pirated, remixed, and reuploaded as advertising delivery vehicles. The content and keywords on these ad-videos is largely algorithmically composed, and optimized for maximum eyeball draw. (The preceding link is long and deeply creepy in its implications: it's a must-read.) And when algorithms go hog-wild to maximize eyeballs and/or sales you get weird and unpleasant results like this:

Keep Calm and Rape A Lot - computer-generated tee shirt ad

(This came up because some idiot wrote a bot to sell tee shirts via Amazon, with the caption "Keep Calm and [X][Y]" where [Y and [Y] are phrases some sort of machine learning system scraping lists of verbs and pronouns. Most of the output was random gibberish, or inoffensive at worst: the same can't be said of "Keep Calm and Knife Her" or "Keep Calm and Rape A Lot". It's possible the perpetrators don't speak or read English; this is a side-effect of machine learning tools gone feral.)

Maximizing views is easy if you decide to go for the shock value. Spamming YouTube keywords for ad revenue? Also possible. The point is, we're close to going beyond simple recaptioning/keyword addition of pirated kids' cartoons, and getting into AI-assisted remixes of real people with TV/movies/game content, optimized to compel the viewer to watch it. Forget troll armies harassing people they don't like by 'shopping their heads onto snuff movie victims and posting this on social media (so that if you naively go searching for person X, your first thousand hits are videos of person X committing horrific acts or being dismembered). Once we combine procedural video generation with toolkits for promoting social media addiction and good old web tracking, we're on course to all be parasitized by our own AI stalkers, helpfully generating video and other content tweaked iteratively to compel us to pay attention, whether due to arousal, disgust, happiness, fear, or whatever. It doesn't matter how insanely CPU-intensive this sort of application is: some dipshit with no social insight and an underdeveloped sense of morality is going to deploy it in an attempt to monetize us. The low hanging fruit is procedural porn tailored to appeal to the micro-targeted audience's kinks, even if they don't think they have any (use A/B testing to see which random fetish images get their attention, then converge). What are the high-end applications, beside destroying all trust in news media forever?

Discuss.

TomDispatchTomgram: Ann Jones, Out With Monstrous Men

First, for the record, let me tell you my story about another of those perversely creepy Hollywood predators, a sort of cut-rate Harvey Weinstein: the screenwriter and film director James Toback...

Hacker NewsTechnology (Bookshelf) Project Gutenberg
Comments
Hacker NewsNear-miss math provides exact representations of almost-right answers
Comments
Hacker NewsHow Email open tracking quietly took over the web
Comments
Hacker NewsWhy Is Anime Obsessed With Power Lines?
Comments
Hacker NewsFace ID Stinks
Comments
Hacker NewsAsk HN: Is a P2P browser possible?
Comments
Hacker NewsNope, this isn’t the HTTPS-validated Stripe website you think it is
Comments
Hacker NewsMicrosoft Adds an OpenSSH Client to Windows 10
Comments
QC RSSA Question Finally Answered

hmmmMMMM

Hacker NewsUsing an IDE Hard Drive with a 8051 Board and 82C55 Chip
Comments
Hacker NewsDoes Peppa Pig encourage inappropriate use of primary care resources?
Comments
Hacker NewsTelegram Isn't for Sale at Any Price
Comments
Hacker NewsImagining the Jellyfish Apocalypse
Comments
Hacker NewsWhy learning Smalltalk can never be a waste of time
Comments
Les CrisesArabie Soudite-Liban : Voyage en absurdie ! Par Guillaume Berlat

Source : Proche & Moyen-Orient, Guillaume Berlat, 27-11-2017

« Heureux, qui comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage ». Belle citation de Joachim du Bellay qui enchantait les enfants que nous étions au siècle dernier. Avec un brin d’imagination, elle pourrait être adaptée sous la forme suivante : « Heureux, qui comme Jupiter, a fait un beau voyage » après la visite du président de la République à Abou Dhabi aux Émirats arabes unis (programmée) et à Riyad en Arabie saoudite (improvisée) à la veille des célébrations officielles du 11 novembre 2018.

Le chef de l’État excelle dans sa fonction de diplomate en chef (il veut régler d’un coup de baguette magique le différend entre l’Arabie saoudite et l’Iran, voire avec le Liban) et de VRP de luxe de l’industrie française (achat de par les Émirats de deux corvettes multifonctions Gowind construites par Naval Group et octroi d’un milliard d’euros pour les entreprises françaises1) au moment où la compétitivité de notre pays ne se redresse pas2.

Pendant ce temps, son ministre de l’Europe (qui existe de moins en moins en termes concrets) et des Affaires étrangères (qui lui sont de plus en plus étrangères), Jean-Yves Le Drian voit passer les trains et n’en peut mais. Au premier la diplomatie du mégaphone, au second la diplomatie du psittacisme.

LA DIPLOMATIE DU MÉGAPHONE

Lire la suite

Hacker NewsRe: Moving from PHP to Go and Back Again
Comments
Hacker NewsShot by Cops and Forgotten
Comments
Hacker NewsNet Neutrality’s Holes in Europe May Offer Peek at Future in U.S
Comments
Hacker NewsNet Neutrality’s Holes in Europe May Offer Peek at Future in U.S
Comments
Les CrisesMBS, version édulcorée : comment les médias occidentaux étouffent la violence du prince héritier

Source : Middle East Eye, Gregory Shupak, 23-11-2017

L’accueil favorable réservé par les commentateurs occidentaux à Mohammed ben Salmane passe sous silence la brutalité du gouvernement saoudien à l’intérieur des frontières du royaume comme à l’étranger

a couverture trompeuse des mesures récentes prises par le gouvernement saoudien a été généralisée. Les commentaires sur la purge lancée par le prince héritier Mohammed ben Salmane et ses initiatives contre le Liban et l’Iran ont eu tendance à brouiller la répression intérieure, le sectarisme et le bellicisme de l’État saoudien, tout en obscurcissant le rôle des États-Unis et de ses alliés dans les mesures saoudiennes.

Un large pan de la couverture médiatique est caractérisé par la dissimulation de l’horreur infligée par l’Arabie saoudite, les États-Unis, le Royaume-Uni et leurs partenaires dans leur guerre au Yémen

Lire la suite

Hacker NewsHigh-Level Problems with Git and How to Fix Them
Comments
Hacker NewsYouTube Demonetization Screenshot Leaks and Secret YouTube Meeting
Comments
Les CrisesDésormais l’Espagne sait que Puigdemont est l’agent russe Cipollino

19.11.2017

La ministre espagnole de la Défense María Dolores de Cospedal a appris, lors d’un entretien téléphonique avec son homologue letton, que Carles Puigdemont était bien un agent de Vladimir Poutine et que la crise catalane était donc orchestrée depuis la Russie. Quel dommage que la conversation ne soit qu’un canular des farceurs russes!

Lire la suite

Hacker NewsCassini may be dead, but a new era of Saturn science has begun
Comments
Hacker NewsA Commentary on the Sixth Edition Unix Operating System
Comments
Hacker NewsWhy doesn’t Apple make its devices as carefully as it’s making Apple Park?
Comments
Hacker NewsLearn web development – Mozilla web docs
Comments
Hacker NewsJim Simons: The Numbers King
Comments
Hacker NewsOn-the-fly encoding and decoding of bitmaps
Comments
Hacker NewsApple now lets you preorder apps in the App Store
Comments
Hacker NewsNew trend: Random spaces in existing buildings becoming rental housing
Comments
Hacker NewsPutin's Game
Comments
Hacker NewsLosing Ourselves in Holiday Windows (2013)
Comments
Hacker NewsThe Future of Work Is Uncertain, Schools Should Worry Now
Comments
Hacker NewsSoftware compatibility and our own “User-Agent” problem
Comments
Game WisdomDissecting Design — Getting Over It

Dissecting Design — Getting Over It Josh Bycer josh@game-wisdom.com

For this week’s Dissecting Design, I took a look at Getting Over It: The strange game that has surged in popularity thanks to its difficult and cumbersome nature. Is this a brilliant take on game design, or a frustrating mess?

The post Dissecting Design — Getting Over It appeared first on Game Wisdom.

Hacker NewsAn Interactive Introduction to Quantum Computing
Comments
Ars TechnicaNope, this isn’t the HTTPS-validated Stripe website you think it is

Enlarge (credit: Ian Carroll)

For a decade, some security professionals have held out extended validation certificates as an innovation in website authentication because they require the person applying for the credential to undergo legal vetting. That's a step up from less stringent domain validation that requires applicants to merely demonstrate control over the site's Internet name. Now, a researcher has shown how EV certificates can be used to trick people into trusting scam sites, particularly when targets are using Apple's Safari browser.

Researcher Ian Carroll filed the necessary paperwork to incorporate a business called Stripe Inc. He then used the legal entity to apply for an EV certificate to authenticate the Web page https://stripe.ian.sh/. When viewed in the address bar, the page looks eerily similar to https://stripe.com/, the online payments service that also authenticates itself using an EV certificate issued to Stripe Inc.

The demonstration is concerning because many security professionals counsel end users to look for EV certificates when trying to tell if a site such as https://www.paypal.com is an authentic Web property rather than a fly-by-night look-alike page that's out to steal passwords. But as Carroll's page shows, EV certs can also be used to trick end users into thinking a page has connections to a trusted service or business when in fact no such connection exists. The false impression can be especially convincing when end users use Apple's Safari browser because it often strips out the domain name in the address bar, leaving only the name of the legal entity that obtained the EV certificate.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Hacker NewsSEC Statement on Cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings
Comments
DedefensaLe je des morts

Le je des morts

Paris janvier 2015, Paris décembre 2017… "Je suis Charlie", "Je suis Johnny"… la France profonde aurait-elle osée "Je suis d’Ormesson"? C’eût été une excellente nouvelle qu’enfin le peuple français s’appropriât un écrivain qu’il connaissait et aimait, qu’il s’y reconnût comme il s’est reconnu en Hugo il y a cent trente deux ans. Le prochain "je suis" français ça sera pour qui? Si la créatrice de la poupée Barbie avait eu la décence de mourir plus tard on aurait pu proposer à nos amis américains en 2002 qu’ils se lançassent dans un truculent "je suis barbie". Tant pis, une bonne occasion de perdue mais ne désespérons pas, il y en aura d’autre. Gérard Larcher a 68 ans. Un si noble homme mérite à mon avis qu’on se prépare à un "je suis Larcher" aux Invalides avec lâcher de ballons et petits messages accrochés dessus du genre: on vous aime Gégé on vous a toujours aimé. Une chaine de télévision a eu l’idée indélicate de souligner que le discours de Macron sur le "héros" avait été interrompu par des Johnny… Johnny… Johnny, vociférés par la foule des endeuillés devant la Madeleine… Macron comédien depuis l’âge de quinze ans, Macron sensible à l’air du temps, Macron invitant les chômeurs à travailler pour se payer des costumes, Macron traitant les Français de paresseux depuis une lointaine Roumanie, a eu cette fois le chic de flatter, d’encourager, presque de ressusciter en invoquant les mânes du brillant disparu, en suggérant aux fans que Johnny allait apparaître sur le parvis… Alors… les sanglots se sont tus, la voix bien vivante du jeune et pétulant président est montée dans l’air parisien et sur le thème il est toujours là dans vos cœurs, vos mémoires, vos amours, il a calmé la foule des pleureurs et des inclusives -euses-, frôlant cette limite que les orateurs connaissent bien entre l’hommage digne du "de mortui nihil nisi bene" et l’appel à condolérer, l’appel au revenant, à la superstition populaire devant le fantôme. Il eut l’incommensurable et remarquable culot que j’admire de commencer ainsi: "Je sais que vous attendez à ce qu’il surgisse de quelque part… il serait sur une moto, il avancerait vers vous… il entamerait la première chanson et vous vous mettriez à chanter avec lui… il y en a certaines qu’il vous laisserait chanter presque seuls… vous guetteriez ses déhanchés, ses sourires… il ferait semblant d’oublier une chanson et vous la réclameriez"… Ouf !... on n’est plus à l’époque où on pouvait dire à ceux qui pleurent un disparu et qui sont tristes "heureux les endeuillés car ils seront consolés". Les endeuillés ne sont plus consolables, les Français bikers ou non bikers, les "non-souchiens" qui ont déserté les banlieues "racisées", comme l’a dit avec malice un philosophe vieilli sur une radio d’obédience, demeurent inconsolés… Leur dernière idole "populaire" a trépassé, si populaire qu’elle votait comme eux, pour les pas-pauvres, les presque riches, les égarés fiscaux, pour ceux qui prisent le yacht, préfèrent les Usa à la France, etc. Un million dit-on sur les Champs Elysées, sorte de Manif pour tous sans les poussettes mais fidèle à la "petite poucette" de l’autre philosophe bourru, bref, tous ceux qui ont rempli le stade de France et bien d’autres stades lorsque le rocker y venait il n’y a encore pas si longtemps… Alors les commentaires ont fusé, dans les gorges nouées des journalistes, des rapprochements pertinents ont été faits avec… Victor Hugo. En 1885 il fut suivi lui par deux millions de parisiens toute banlieues confondues… allez savoir, peut-être que la police de l’époque a gonflé les chiffres, voyant dans cette ferveur populaire l’occasion de doper un esprit républicain naissant contre la réaction cléricale… Certains, bien informés, ont soulignés que les putes de Paris y étaient aussi derrière le cercueil et que la mort appelant la vie, des orgies compensatoires se seraient produites une fois la fièvre nécrophile tombée avec la nuit… Le bon peuple n’aime pas la mort mais pleure facilement quitte ensuite à se taper un bon repas arrosé pour la "niquer"… Les vociférations du début du discours ne visaient-elles pas plutôt à souligner lourdement que c’était plutôt la vie qu’on niquait, qu’on entendait plus une colère qu’une peine ou un appel au mânes, au fantôme, que le président venait de prier de faire son apparition en moto, en Hardley Davidson pétaradante si possible… petit clin d’œil à ce peuple grossier et bruyant qui fait quand même partie de la France n’est-ce pas, même si le goût du président irait plutôt aux limousines?

Voilà ce que fut ce samedi noir où des millions de je dépossédés de leur être, pleurnicheurs, grimaçants, éclatants en sanglots au passage du catafalque, sont venu se planter sur le parcours nécromantique des champs élyséens, sur la place de la concorde et dans les rues menant à la Madeleine… Tiens, encore une pute releva à propos le féministe bouffeur de curé Mélenchon. Cet homme peut-il comprendre que celle qui pèche beaucoup aime beaucoup et que d’avoir soulagé les ardeurs mauvaises des harasseurs de l’époque, c’était une bonne action que seul un surhomme, un homme divinisé, un dieu hommifié était capable de reconnaître pour la plus haute des valeurs? De la femme adultère à la femme adultée sur qui l’homme crache sa misère et sa peine de vivre, il n’y a qu’un pas qu’un seul a su franchir… Alors les rockers sont entrés dans Paris, soit par ici, soit par là, de partout on les a vu surgir pour adorer ce que les années soixante leur donnèrent à adorer, bruit, fureur, fausse révolte, sang de la jeunesse pour la guerre qui rocke et rolle, et crie, et boit, et fume, et baise en hommage à la liberté, s’insurge que sous chaque pavé la plage soit introuvable. Alors, ô miracle, un des leurs, un enfant abandonné qui aurait pu le rester sans la générosité d’un inconnu, sort de l’ombre, saute dans le tramway nommé désir et fait rêver tous ceux qui ne peuvent que rêver sans que jamais leurs rêves aboutissent. Luchini, dans un amour sincère pour cette plèbe dont il est sorti grâce à Rohmer, lui dont le rêve a abouti, nous a confié en cette circonstance qu’un soir, sur un tournage, trois mots de Johnny, c’était une sorte de poésie, un résumé philosophique... Que trois mots de cet homme "au parler vrai" valaient bien cet amour plébéien qu’est l’infini mis à la portée des caniches.

Johnny est dans l’infini désormais et peut-être dans l’amour. Espérons que le million qui s’est levé pour un mort, se lève un jour pour la vie et descendent les Champs Elysées pour autre chose que du foot ou du cadavre.

Marc Gébelin

DedefensaLe Pentagone face au LGTBQ : la peur du juge

Le Pentagone face au LGTBQ : la peur du juge

Il est souvent dit, chez les avocats de la postmodernité-tardive, que les “adversaires” du “progrès”, de la “libération”, de l’“égalité”, etc., manipulent le concept de LGTBQ pour empêcher toute avancée dans cette voie sociétale dont on mesure aisément, avec une chaîne d’arpenteur, l’oppression continuelle qu’elle subit. Il nous semble, à nous, que c’est à peu près le contraire qui se produit, que c’est disons “la communauté LGTBQ”, qui est une vaste nébuleuse où se mêlent à l’avantage de tous des cas humains et de communautés humaines, des idéologisations politiques radicalisées, des intérêts extrêmement corporatistes et hypercapitalistes et autres avec la bienveillance du Système, qui se manipule elle-même avec tout l’écho de communication qu’elle assure à l’avantage de tous les composants que nous avons cités. Le phénomène LGTBQ, c’est d’abord une excellente affaire de très bons rapports pour le Système dans son expression financière et dans des buts idéologisés de fragmentation entropique.

Ce n’est donc pas pour rien que nombre de Gay Prides, pour prendre ce cas, sont subventionnées par les autorités officielles aussi bien que par les puissances du Corporate Power et de l’hypercapitalisme. Justin Raimondo, lui-même homosexuel mais d’un état de l’esprit indépendant qui sait ce que LGTBQ veut dire, et Glenn Greenwald (autre homo) de son côté, avaient dénoncé en son temps cette pratique, concernant la Gay Pride de 2013 à San Francisco. L’affaire était exemplaire : les organisateurs de cette importante manifestation avaient, précédant les conseils éclairés de leurs sponsors représentant le Système, écarté comme “héros de la fête” le nom de Bradley Manning, transgenre en passe de devenir Chelsea Manning, mais aussi lanceur d’alerte mis(e) en prison après avoir livré à WikiLeaks des centaines de milliers de documents secrets illustrant les dévastations des armées américanistes en Irak et en Afghanistan.

(Depuis, BHO, en fin de mandat, a jugé de bonne politique pour sa carrière future de leader moral du LGTBQ de gracier Chelsea Manning. C’est ce qu’on appelle le sens du timing postmoderne-humanitaire, avec Obama jouant sur tous les tableaux du Système et justifiant par avance les somptueux émoluments qu’il recevra pour ses tournées de conférences post-présidentielles à $200.000 la soirée.)

Ce préambule qui semblerait plutôt un a-parte, voire une digression avant la lettre, nous conduit tout de même à notre sujet ; car aujourd’hui, sans doute Bradley-Chelsea Manning aurait quelque chance d’être traité(e) différemment si l’armée prenait encore une fois le risque d’affecter un transgenre au maniement des documents secrets. C’est en effet sur le cas des transgenres que le Pentagone vient de promulguer une directive qui contrevient à une directive présidentielle, malgré que le président Trump assume le rôle suprême de commandant-en-chef de toutes les armées : l’accès des transgenres au sein des forces armées ne sera pas limité sinon bloqué à partir du 1er janvier 2018, comme Trump l’avait souhaité. Cette insubordination n’a rien à voir avec la vertu morale du LGTBQ, et tout avec la “dictature des juges” et le désordre régnant dans cette dictature, et la puissance du système de la communication.

L’affaire est exposée dans ce court texte, que nous avons traduit/adapté à partir d’un texte d’Infowars.com du 11 décembre 2017.

« Le Pentagone permettra aux personnes transgenres de s'enrôler dans les forces armées à partir du 1er janvier 2018, selon un rapport de l'Associated Press.

» C'est au mépris des “ordres” (?) du président Trump qui avait tweeté en juillet qu'après avoir consulté ses généraux, il avait pris la décision de restreindre le service des personnes transgenres dans l’armée américaine. Le président avait déclaré que l'armée devait se concentrer sur la capacité de remporter des victoires décisives et ne pouvait prendre en charge les coûts médicaux exorbitants et autres difficultés qui accompagnent indéniablement les hommes et les femmes transgenres.

» La nouvelle décision politique du Pentagone fait suite à une pression sociale et juridique croissante pour nier les différences biologiques entre les hommes et les femmes. Deux tribunaux fédéraux ont statué contre la tentative de Trump d'interdire les recrues transgenres; Cependant, on peut s'interroger sur la validité de telles requêtes après que la Cour Suprême eut statué contre les juges activistes qui tentaient de bloquer l'interdiction de voyager du Président.

» Quoi qu'il en soit, la directive du Pentagone sera exécutée selon les besoins, et si l'administration Trump faisait appel contre les décisions des deux juges, cette directive ne serait pas annulée sur l’instant et continuerait à rendre ses effets active jusqu’à la décision judiciaire finale, éventuellement de la Cour Suprême. Le choix chronologique de la décision du Pentagone signale que les chefs du département croient fort peu dans une tentative légale de rétablir la restriction ordonnée par le président. En tout état de cause, il attend effectivement la possibilité que la question aille devant la Cour Suprême, qui devrait juger définitivement qu’une décision du président et commandant-en-chef a prééminence sur toute autre intervention pour ce qui concerne l’administration et le fonctionnement des forces armées. »

On notera immédiatement le caractère très spécifique de ce qui ne paraît être rien de moins qu’une insubordination. En fait, l’on peut aisément comprendre la position du Pentagone. L’ordre du président Trump, – d’ailleurs sous réserve de déterminer sous quelle forme existe cet “ordre”, puisque jusqu’ici seul un tweet est venu nous instruire de sa position, – a été annulé par deux décisions de justice qui restent en vigueur même si l’on peut penser que la Cour Suprême annulerait ces décisions si on lui demandait de statuer, selon la tendance qu’elle a manifestée en annulant les arrêts d’annulation des décisions de fin janvier du président concernant les déplacements de certaines catégories de personne (en liaison avec certains pays musulmans). Le Pentagone craint essentiellement d’être entraîné dans un imbroglio juridique, et même plusieurs s’il y a plusieurs affaires de transgenres se voyant refuser un engagement.

Cette sorte d’affaires est en général compliquée par l’interventions d’associations, par des mobilisations médiatiques sur les sujets sociétaux et selon une dialectique anti-Trump dont on connaît la popularité chez les médias antiSystème ; on peut même imaginer, très aisément, qu’en cas d’exécution de l’ordre présidentiel dans les conditions actuelles (sans décision de la Cour Suprême), il y aurait nombre de demandes d’engagement de transgenres par pure provocation, pour rechercher le déclenchement de procès à très haute valeur de communication...

C’est essentiel... On sait bien que la bataille occidentale pour la survie et l’effondrement, ou bien la survie jusqu’à l’effondrement de sa contre-civilisation se livre aujourd’hui sur ces terrains-là de la communication et de la terrorisation des psychologies qui en résulte.

Quoi qu’il en soit, on peut, dans cette situation de blocage, constater plusieurs faits.

•  Le premier constitue une confirmation qu’il existe désormais, du fait d’une situation crisique extrêmement complexe aux USA, un obstacle structurel et légal extrêmement important dans la hiérarchisation des forces armées, leur constitution, et surtout dans la situation des forces armées par rapport à l’autorité suprême du commandant-en-chef (le président). (Cet obstacle se retrouve dans nombre d’autres domaines de la décision politique, bien entendu.) A la lumière de ce débat qu’on expose ici s’expliquent et s’éclairent aussi bien ces cas spécifiques qu’on a vus, de la situation de l’US Navy obligée de respecter des quota raciaux et LGTBQ d’une part, de la position de chefs du Strategic Command envisageant de ne pas obéir à un ordre de tir d’armes nucléaires du président avant d’avoir vérifié, éventuellement auprès de juristes, sa “légalité”. Ce dernier cas n’apparaît plus, à cette lumière, simplement comme un cas politique d’insubordination éventuelle parce que le président se nomme Donald Trump, mais également comme un cas juridique où le chef d'une grande unité s’interroge effectivement, au risque de poursuites judiciaires contre lui, sur la “légalité” de l’ordre de son commandant suprême.

• Il se déduit du précédent qu’il existe désormais une situation crisique structurelle de l’autorité du pouvoir législatif en général, et du président lui-même en particulier. Ce constat existe bien entendu à cause de l’énorme crise qu’a déclenchée l’incursion de Donald Trump jusqu’à la Maison-Blanche, mais il apparaît désormais qu’il s’agit effectivement d’une situation crisique structurelle qui affecte le pouvoir de l’américanisme, essentiellement pour ce cas du pouvoir législatif, Trump ou pas Trump.

• Pour ajouter un grain de complication supplémentaire à la complexité extraordinaire de cette situation, il apparaît que le “pouvoir des juges” est lui-même gravement divisé selon des lignes idéologisées. Le pouvoir judiciaire lui-même, ultime recours du système de l’américanisme, est fortement divisé entre deux groupes, ou deux pôles de pouvoir ;

d’une part, un groupe de juges fédéraux activistes de type progressistes-sociétaux, expressément nommés par Obama, dont le rôle d’une sorte de “comploteur démoniaque” doit apparaître comme fondamentalement déstabilisateur et déstructurant dans ce cas, – des juges dont la certitude dans leur esprit est que leur rôle est d’abord politique et sociétal (progressiste-sociétal) ;

d’autre part, des juges plus modérés sinon conservateurs, et surtout une Cour Suprême qui, avec la nomination d’un nouveau Justice (Juge) conservateur par Trump depuis son arrivée, semble désormais plutôt à majorité conservatrice, dans tous les cas assez réticente face aux décisions laxistes et libérales. Certes, la Cour Suprême a le dernier mot, mais avant d’y parvenir les décisions des juges progressistes-sociétaux, surtout lorsqu’elles sont négatives (interdiction d’un ordre, d’une loi, d’une mesure politique), sont souvent exécutées ou respectées par crainte de suites judiciaires éventuelles...

Ce type de polarisation a certes toujours existé in fine, mais dans des conditions d’entente bipartisane qui permettaient toujours d’arriver à un arrangement préservant le fonctionnement de l'ensemble, c'est-à-dire du pouvoir du système de l'américanisme, coeur grondant du Système. Ce n’est plus le cas aujourd’hui, où la communication, permettant d’éviter l’aspect sanglant des antagonismes de jadis, libère les plus activistes de tout frein de modération rationnelle pour exprimer leurs psychologies exacerbées. Ainsi le pouvoir judiciaire, ultime rempart du Système, est lui-même fracturé et presque bloqué, en raison des délais, des innombrables tactiques de retardement, de provocations, de harcèlement, etc., des acteurs impliqués qui ne dissimulent plus la haine qu’ils éprouvent les uns pour les autres.

 

Mis en ligne le 11 décembre 2017 à 12H39

Hacker NewsMRelief is hiring a UX Designer and Developer to transform access to food stamps
Comments
Hacker NewsAn Interview with an Anonymous Data Scientist [2016]
Comments
Hacker NewsThe Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free
Comments
Hacker NewsNew Teams Features
Comments
Hacker NewsIn the Middle Ages, the Upper Class Went Nuts for Almond Milk
Comments
Hacker NewsApproximating a solution that doesn't exist (2009)
Comments
Hacker NewsGoogle Home Max is here
Comments
Trivium11dec2017
Hacker News6-year-old made $11M in one year reviewing toys on YouTube
Comments
Ars TechnicaGoogle’s “AR Stickers” app launches, puts Star Wars characters in your camera

Google's push to bring Augmented Reality to the masses hit a big milestone today with the launch of the "AR Stickers" app. Google has been doing Augmented Reality for some time now with the hardware-packed Project Tango devices, but AR Stickers is the first app in Google's new AR strategy, which revolves around ARCore. ARCore is a reworked augmented reality framework that can do many of the Tango AR tricks but without all the extra hardware.

AR Stickers is out now in the Play Store for the Pixel 1 and Pixel 2. The app is a new mode in the Google Camera that allows you to drop various 3D characters into the camera feed. ARCore will map out the nearest horizontal plane, like a floor or table, and ground the characters in real life. You can move the camera around, take pictures, and record video.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Hacker NewsPeople are taking out mortgages to buy Bitcoin, says securities regulator
Comments
jwz3 Men Accused Of Kansas Mosque Bomb Plot Ask Judge For Pro-Trump Jurors
Sounds fair and balanced.

Three men accused of plotting to bomb a mosque and apartment complex housing Somali refugees asked a federal judge Friday to include prospective jurors from rural western Kansas because they are twice as likely to have voted for President Donald Trump. [...]

Gavin Wright, Patrick Stein and Curtis Allen are charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy against civil rights for allegedly planning to detonate truck bombs in the meatpacking town of Garden City the day after the November 2016 election. Wright also faces a charge of lying to the FBI. [...]

Defense attorneys argued the case will require jurors to weigh whether the alleged conduct constitutes a crime or whether it is constitutionally protected speech and assembly and the right to bear arms.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Hacker NewsFCC explains how net neutrality will be protected without net neutrality rules
Comments
Hacker NewsAsk HN: What are some sabbatical programs for working software engineers?
Comments
Hacker NewsCalls for Twitch to police 'sexual streaming'
Comments
Hacker NewsFormer Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society
Comments
Ars TechnicaFCC explains how net neutrality will be protected without net neutrality rules

Enlarge / Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai arrives for his confirmation hearing with the Senate Commerce Committee on July 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla )

The Federal Communications Commission is still on track to eliminate net neutrality rules this Thursday, but said today that it has a new plan to protect consumers after the repeal.

The FCC and Federal Trade Commission released a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) describing how the agencies will work together to make sure ISPs keep their net neutrality promises.

After the repeal, there won't be any rules preventing ISPs from blocking or throttling Internet traffic. ISPs will also be allowed to charge websites and online services for faster and more reliable network access.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Hacker NewsShow HN: AssassinationFiles.net – 2017 JFK declassified docs, OCR'd/text search
Comments
Hacker NewsNintendo’s Resurgence Was the Best Tech Story of 2017
Comments
Hacker NewsBreakthrough Listen Project to Observe Interstellar Object ‘Oumuamua
Comments
Hacker NewsExploring the Best ZFS ZIL SLOG SSD with Intel Optane and NAND
Comments
Hacker NewsThe Penn Libraries Acquire Only Known Copy of Legendary Franklin Broadside
Comments
Hacker NewsShock European court decision: Websites are liable for users’ comments
Comments
Ars TechnicaPresident Trump says we’re going back to the Moon

Enlarge / President Trump making remarks Monday during a ceremony for signing Space Policy Directive-1. (credit: NASA TV)

NASA has had a big problem since the agency triumphantly landed humans on the Moon nearly half a century ago. Namely, after the Apollo landings delivered a solid US victory in the Cold War, human exploration has no longer aligned with the strategic national interest. In other words, sending humans into space has represented a nice projection of soft power, but it has not been essential to America's domestic and foreign policy aims.

As a result, NASA's share of the federal budget has declined from just shy of five percent at the height of the Apollo program to less than 0.5 percent today. At the same time, NASA's mandate has grown to encompass a broad array of Earth science, planetary science, and other missions that consume more than half of the agency's budget.

With less buying power for human exploration, NASA has had to scale back its ambitions; and as a result, astronauts have not ventured more than a few hundred miles from Earth since 1972. Twice before, presidents have attempted to break free of low-Earth orbit by proposing a human return to the Moon, with eventual missions to Mars. President George H.W. Bush did so with the Space Exploration Initiative in 1989, on the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. And George W. Bush did so in 2004, with the Vision for Space Exploration. Neither of these were bad concepts—indeed, both offered bold, ambitious goals for the space agency—but they died due to a lack of commitment and funding.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Ars TechnicaHackers hit key ATM network in crime spree that clears $10 million

Enlarge / A timeline of MoneyTaker hacking group. (credit: Group-IB)

A previously undetected hacker group has netted around $10 million in heists on at least 20 companies, in some cases by targeting the transfer networks banks use to transfer money, a Moscow-based security firm said Monday.

Members of the MoneyTaker group, named after a piece of custom malware it uses, started its heist spree no later than May 2016. That's when it penetrated an unnamed US bank, according to researchers with Group-IB in a report titled MoneyTaker: 1.5 Years of Silent Operations. The hackers then used their unauthorized access to control a workstation the bank used to connect to the First Data STAR Network, which more than 5,000 banks use to transact payments involving debit cards.

MoneyTaker members also targeted an interbank network known as AWS CBR which interfaces with Russia's central bank. The hackers also stole internal documents related to the SWIFT banking system, although there's no evidence they have successfully carried out attacks over it.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments