Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Microsoft forced to issue emergency Flash fix after delaying Windows patches

Microsoft delayed its regular Patch Tuesday set of security fixes for its Windows and Office products earlier this month. The software maker blamed an unspecified “last minute issue,” and pushed back the set of patches a whole month. Microsoft was expected to patch a zero-day flaw in the company’s file sharing protocol, SMB, with its February patches, but the issue remains unfixed.

In a surprise out-of-band release last night, Microsoft issued a critical security fix to rectify an issue with Adobe’s Flash Player on Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows RT 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows Server 2016. The patch requires a restart, and fixes a problem that could lead to remote code execution. It's a serious issue,...

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Here's How Close Harrison Ford Came To Landing On Top Of A Passenger Jet

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Harrison Ford, carpenter, actor and plane man, was involved in a “potentially serious incident” last week when he landed on a taxiway instead of a runway at John Wayne Airport here in Orange County, flying right over a passenger jet. Now we have video to show how close he got.

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When a vortex ring impacts a solid wall (or a mirrored vortex...

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When a vortex ring impacts a solid wall (or a mirrored vortex ring), it expands and quickly breaks up. The animations above show something a little different: what happens when a vortex ring hits a water-air interface. As seen in the side view (top image), the vortex starts to expand, but its shear at the interface generates a stream of smaller vortices that disrupt the larger vortex. (They even look like a little string of Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices!) When viewed from above (bottom image), the vortex ring impact and breakdown look even more complicated. Mushroom-like structures get spat out the sides as those secondary vortices form, and the entire structure quickly breaks up into utter turbulence. There’s some remarkable visual similarities between this situation and some we’ve seen before, like a sphere meeting a wall and drop hitting a pool. (Image credit: A. Benusiglio et al., source)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Rescuing Government Data From Trump Has Become a National Movement

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BOSTON—Days after the inauguration, many folks panicked on seeing immediate changes to government websites. Others worried that scientists would be forced to have their work reviewed by the government first. One of the biggest worries: What would happen to the potentially petabytes of data (spreadsheets enough to fill…

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This real-time pollution map will enlighten you on your city's air quality

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Air pollution isn't always visible, but it's definitely real.

To help us gain a better understanding of air quality around the world, BreezoMeter, an air quality analytics provider, is visually breaking things down with a new interactive air pollution map.

The map delivers real-time information on air pollution along with hourly forecasts and helpful weather-related health and fitness recommendations. Its data is drawn from "official air quality sensors" placed across cities that monitor airborne particles and combined with information on wind, weather and traffic conditions. Read more...

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Dramatic Footage Shows Luftwaffe Typhoons Escorting Boeing 777 Gone Silent Over Germany.

Jet Airways Boeing 777-300 Gets German Fighter Escort After Communications Lost Due to Error. Jet Airways flight 9W-118, a Boeing 777-300 registered as VT-JEX, was intercepted by a pair of German Luftwaffe Typhoons as a security precaution over Germany on Thursday, February 16, after radio communications with the airliner were briefly lost. The Typhoons were […]
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World’s first rideable hoverbike looks cool as hell but will probably kill you

Hoversurf, a Russian company that builds drones, posted a video last week showing off its latest prototype: the Scorpion-3, a single-seat, electric-powered hoverbike that looks cool as hell but probably won’t be ready for the X Games anytime soon.

The manufacturers say they wanted to combine a motorcycle with quadcopter drone technology to create “an extreme sports instrument.” The electric-borne aircraft is intended for both “amateur and professional navigators,” Hoversurf says. Though don’t expect a motorcycle’s license or even a pilot’s license to authorize you to ride one of these things. The only thing that would, in my opinion, is a willingness to have your legs amputated in the name of extreme sports.

Hoversurf likened the...

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The geekiest signs from the 'Stand up for Science' rally

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At a rally full of scientists, things were bound to get a bit geeky.

On Sunday, thousands scientists and supporters gathered in Boston's Copley Square to "stand up for science" under the Trump administration. 

Their signs were, predictably, quite clever. 

My favorite sign so far#standupforscience http://pic.twitter.com/2pSlU5UPdz

— Tomas Green (@TomasWGreen) February 19, 2017

I can't tell you how many older people have come up to me today to say, "I remember polio. Thank you." #standupforscience #AAASmtg http://pic.twitter.com/hrkIY3d5wh

— Kathleen Bachynski (@bachyns) February 19, 2017

#standupforscience (and other essentials) http://pic.twitter.com/Hy1buB2IWY

— Karin (@Sage_Risotto) February 19, 2017 Read more...

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US Customs wants to check Chinese visitors' social media accounts

The US Customs and Border Protection wants to begin asking Chinese visitors to voluntarily disclose their social media handles when they enter the country. The agency has entered a proposal earlier this week to be published in the Federal Register detailing some changes to the electronic visa system used to vet visitors.

The proposal calls for the Department of Homeland Security to add an additional question to the existing Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS): “Please enter information associated with your online presence – Provider/Platform – Social media identifier.” The question would be optional, but would be used to help screen those who apply for a visa to the United States as needed. The proposal notes that it would affect...

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U.S. Air Force deploys WC-135 nuclear sniffer aircraft to UK as spike of radioactive Iodine levels is detected in Europe

The USAF WC-135C Constant Phoenix might be investigating a spike in radioactive levels in Norway. Someone speculates the release of this radionuclide could be the effect of a Russian nuclear test. On Feb. 17, 2017, U.S. Air Force WC-135C Constant Phoenix Nuclear explosion “sniffer,” serial number 62-3582, using radio callsign “Cobra 55” deployed to RAF […]
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