Daily Archives: May 21, 2017

Rocket Lab sets date for first Electron launch 

Rocket Lab, the U.S.-New Zealand company developing the Electron small launch vehicle, plans to carry out its first flight in a window that opens May 21.The company announced May 14 that a 10-day window for the first Electron launch, which the company has dubbed “It’s a Test,” will open at 5 p.m. Eastern May 21 (9 a.m. local time May 22) from the company’s launch site at Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island.“We are all incredibly excited to get to this point,” Peter Beck, chief executive of Rocket Lab, said in a statement about the planned launch. “Our talented team has been preparing for years for this opportunity and we want to do our best to get it right.”The company is setting expectations for a test launch that may suffer delays and could end in failure. “During this first launch attempt it is possible we will scrub multiple attempts as we wait until we are ready and conditions are favorable,” Beck said in the statement.The launch, as the company’s name for it emphasizes, is a test flight, with no satellite payload on board. The launch is the first of three such test flights Rocket Lab plans before beginning commercial launches later this year.

Source: Rocket Lab sets date for first Electron launch – SpaceNews.com

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Comey Admitted That Obstruction To FBI Probe ‘Never Happened’ 

Do you remember the girl who cried “wolf”?You do? Okay, good. Now, imagine there are hundreds, thousands of those girls in Washington D.C… and around the country.These girls are constantly warning of danger that does not exist.You can often find these pigtails in the establishment media and Democratic politics (oh wait, I guess I’m being a bit redundant there. My apologies).Remember when so many were concerned with the “scandalous” firing of FBI Director James Comey?News reporters immediately screamed “scandal!” and told readers that Donald Trump fired Comey in an attempt “to squash an FBI probe into former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.”According to The Daily Wire:Trump held Comey by the ankles — upside down — out the window of the White House’s Lincoln Bedroom as he quoted lines from Scarface, reports said.No, that didn’t happen. Here’s what Trump is said to have said to Comey, according to a memo Comey did not provide to anyone: “I hope you can let this go.” Smoke alarm! Run away! We’re all going to die!……The New York Times published the memo story on Tuesday, citing “two people who read the memo.”Two people read the memo that Comey never gave them.And, for as credible as those random memos that surface from thin air are, the Senate Judiciary Committee decided to go directly to the source and ask Comey if he’s ever “been pressured to close an investigation for political purposes.”Was Comey ever pressured to close an investigation?According to Comey, no.“Not in my experience. Because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something like that — without an appropriate purpose.”“I mean where oftentimes they give us opinions that ‘We don’t see a case there and so you ought to stop investing resources in it.’ But I’m talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason.”“That would be a very big deal. It’s not happened in my experience,” Comey told the senators.Yes, indeed. That would be a very big deal.And his testimony certainly suggests the bogus nature of the memo.

Source: Comey Admitted That Obstruction To FBI Probe ‘Never Happened’ | The Federalist Papers

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CIA Malware for All Versions of Windows

Today, May 19th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the “Athena” project of the CIA. “Athena” – like the related “Hera” system – provides remote beacon and loader capabilities on target computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system (from Windows XP to Windows 10). Once installed, the malware provides a beaconing capability (including configuration and task handling), the memory loading/unloading of malicious payloads for specific tasks and the delivery and retrieval of files to/from a specified directory on the target system. It allows the operator to configure settings during runtime (while the implant is on target) to customize it to an operation.According to the documentation (see Athena Technology Overview), the malware was developed by the CIA in cooperation with Siege Technologies, a self-proclaimed cyber security company based in New Hampshire, US. On their website, Siege Technologies states that the company “… focuses on leveraging offensive cyberwar technologies and methodologies to develop predictive cyber security solutions for insurance, government and other targeted markets.”. On November 15th, 2016 Nehemiah Security announced the acquisition of Siege Technologies.In an email from HackingTeam (published by WikiLeaks here), Jason Syversen, founder of Siege Technologies with a background in cryptography and hacking, “… said he set out to create the equivalent of the military’s so-called probability of kill metric, a statistical analysis of whether an attack is likely to succeed. ‘I feel more comfortable working on electronic warfare,’ he said. ‘It’s a little different than bombs and nuclear weapons — that’s a morally complex field to be in. Now instead of bombing things and having collateral damage, you can really reduce civilian casualties, which is a win for everybody.'”

Source: WikiLeaks – Releases

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US government standards office says periodic password changes aren’t necessary 

New guidelines from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), expected to be released this summer, suggest that periodic password changes are no longer necessary. The report also recommends changes to several other password policies that have become antiquated in the modern computing environment:Allow at least 64 characters in length to support the use of passphrases.Encourage users to make memorized secrets as lengthy as they want, using any characters they like (including spaces), thus aiding memorization.Do not impose other composition rules (e.g. mixtures of different character types) on memorized secrets.These requirements will bring standards closer to what security experts currently recommend, and what this often-cited XKCD comic illustrates:

Source: US government standards office says periodic password changes aren’t necessary — Quartz

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PCI vs. USB WiFi Adapters: Which Is Right for You? – Make Tech Easier

WiFi has become a central part of connecting to the Internet. If you’re not fortunate enough to be able to connect via ethernet, WiFi is still a solid choice for a fast connection. However, when getting a computer online, you’ll be faced with two of the most popular options – a PCI adapter and a USB adapter. They both do the exact same job of getting you online, but it’s very unclear as to what the differences are!Ads by GoogleSo if you’re planning to get a computer onto a WiFi network, what are the choices you have and which one is best for you?PCI AdaptersPCI adapters have been the mainstay of WiFi connectability since the start. Plugging into a PCI slot onto your PC, they come with an antenna that sticks out of the back of your PC to maximise signal.What Makes Them Good?Due to PCI cards coming with antennae, this makes them naturally better at picking up a stronger signal than USB adapters. While you can find USB adapters that come with one or two antennae attached, you can just as easily find a PCi card with two or three of them installed! Even better, if you’re struggling to pick up a decent signal with a PCI card, you can easily detach the antenna and replace it with a much stronger one which may not be an option on some USB models.Using a PCI slot also helps free up your USB ports. Having the adapter on a USB port can be a real pain if your USB slots are full, and you need to plug in something else. Removing the dependency on USB and moving it to the PCI means that you can plug in as many keyboards, mice, tablets, phones, or other devices as you want without worrying about having to remove your Internet as a consequence.There have also been reports that USB adapters can be prone to overheating should you use them for network-intensive activities. While not every USB adapter will break when put under a huge strain, you can help negate this problem entirely by simply opting for a PCI card instead. That way you can do as much data transfer as you like without having to worry.

Source: PCI vs. USB WiFi Adapters: Which Is Right for You? – Make Tech Easier

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Feminist Emma Watson Accepts ‘Genderless Award’ from ‘Non-Binary’ Actress….NONSENSE! 

Well folks, it is now 2017, and we have not only put men in the women’s restrooms, but we also have people are claiming to be “non-binary” which basically means they are so confused with life that they do not even remember whether they are male or female. Thanks Obama.Actress, and proclaimed feminist, Emma Watson is front and center in this movement and all of the nonsense that ensues. She accepted the first ever “genderless” MTV award…whatever that means. The person who presented this award to her was Orange is the New Black’s actress Asia Kate Dillon.I find it interested that Dillon is still referred to as an “actress” since she claims to be “non-binary.” Just give it time though. I am sure they will come up with a term for the “genderless” actresses and actors. If you ask me, they need to see a doctor because they are obviously working through some serious psychological issues.

Source: Feminist Emma Watson Accepts ‘Genderless Award’ from ‘Non-Binary’ Actress….NONSENSE! – Godfather Politics

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Leaked NSA Hacking Tool On Global Ransomware Rampage 

Welp. What was that we were saying about the problems of the NSA creating hacking tools that leak, rather than helping patch security flaws? Oh, right. That it would make everyone less safe.

And here we are. With a global ransomware rampage, referred to as “WannaCry” putting tons of people at risk, thanks to leaked NSA malware:

Leaked alleged NSA hacking tools appear to be behind a massive cyberattack disrupting hospitals and companies across Europe, Asia and the U.S., with Russia among the hardest-hit countries.

The unique malware causing the attacks — which been spotted in tens of thousands of incidents in 99 countries, according to the cyber firm Avast — have forced some hospitals to stop admitting new patients with serious medical conditions and driven other companies to shut down their networks, leaving valuable files unavailable.

Specifically, it appears that the ransomware is using an NSA tool called ETERNALBLUE, which was leaked in April by Shadow Brokers. This was among those that were quietly patched by Microsoft back in March, but not everyone installs security patches in a timely manner. Indeed, as some are reporting, some of the victims — including the National Health Service Hospitals in the UK — are running ancient Windows XP, an operating system that is not even remotely secure, and is no longer supported.

Thus, there’s some debate online about whether the “problem” here is organizations who don’t upgrade/patch or the NSA. Of course, these things are not mutually exclusive: you can reasonably blame both. Failing to update and patch your computers is a bad idea these days — especially for large organizations with IT staff who should know better.

Source: Leaked NSA Hacking Tool On Global Ransomware Rampage | Techdirt

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Arcade group promises ticket and claw games will no longer be “rigged” 

Anyone who’s played a crane game on the boardwalk or any number of timing-based ticket-spewing “redemption games” at an arcade has probably suspected at some point that these machines are rigged against them. Now, a major industry trade group is trying to win back player trust, promising its members will only provide games that can be won “by the application of skill.”The American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) is a non-profit lobbying group that represents everyone from arcade game manufacturers like Bandai Namco and Sega to operators like Dave & Busters and Cinemark theaters, even the distributors and suppliers in between. Those members will now have to sign on to a “Fair Play Pledge” (FPP) that promises all their games will “meet a standard of performance that allows a player a fair chance of winning with every game played.” (thanks to Arcade Heroes for the heads up)More specifically, FPP-compliant games will have to meet the following criteria:

Source: Arcade group promises ticket and claw games will no longer be “rigged” | Ars Technica

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Controversial Theory Says Expansion of Universe Is Driven by Quantum Fluctuations

A team of researchers from the University of British Columbia, Canada, has proposed a radical new theory about the expansion of the universe. Scientists do not know exactly why the universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating pace, but the most popular theory is that this growth is being driven by dark energy, the theoretical force thought to make up 68 percent of the universe.However, the University of British Columbia researchers have another theory—that quantum fluctuations of vacuum energy are responsible.Scientists discovered the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate in 1998. Researchers analyzed the light from supernovae (exploding stars) and discovered the supernovae were moving away from each other at an ever increasing speed. They concluded the universe must be expanding at an accelerating rate.

Source: Controversial Theory Says Expansion of Universe Is Driven by Quantum Fluctuations—not Dark Energy

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The Gods of Times Square 

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Breast-obsessed artist creates fluffy pink ‘Boobroom’ 

Much of Weijue Wang’s art is fluffy and pink and displays a strong emphasis on the mammaries of the female human, but underneath her seemingly fun and bouncy subject matter is a very dark subtext. Very dark.Wang’s work was showcased at StARTup Art Fair in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. Here is the statement of purpose Wang submitted for the event, which was rather striking: As an emerging Chinese female artist who lives in an age of consumerism in China, I am bombarded with the commodification of everything in every aspect of my daily life. I am interested especially in the commodification of the female bodies. Contemporary women are freer to think and act. With enhanced freedom, however, some threat their self-esteem by seeking painful cosmetic surgeries to modify their appearances. In the name of beauty, some women commoditize their bodies to fit into the sexualized beauty norms. These soft and fluffy female private part jewelries and sculptures are born in my needle’s sharp penetration through the felt. Underneath their harmless domesticity, I want to unveil the profound violence and irony in female commodification and mass-produced beauty. By showing my works in a hotel room setting, the sexual and domestic feeling of my works will be enhanced. Basically, I will create a room of fetish of female body parts. Some pieces will be lying on the bed (like the Airport Dream II ), while the sound that will be coming out of the piece will allow the audience to expand their imagination.

Source: Breast-obsessed artist creates fluffy pink ‘Boobroom’ | Dangerous Minds

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