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Algorithms Help Turbines Share the Wind

Tue, 2019-07-02 00:45
carbonnation writes: As Spock so elegantly opined, "Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." Today Stanford U researchers presented the clearest proof to date that self-sacrifice can also benefit wind farms. In their demonstration at an Alberta wind farm, one turbine sacrifices a fifth of its generating potential to enable better performance by neighboring turbines, boosting the group's collective output. And all it takes to harness this altruistic behavior is a small (but intelligent) tweak to their control systems. "It is called 'wake steering' because rotors are turned about their towers to point slightly away from the oncoming wind and thus deflect their wakes away from downstream turbines," reports IEEE Spectrum. "To determine the best yaw angle for their experiment, the Stanford team fed five years of wind speed, wind direction and power generation data from the six test turbines to their proprietary optimization algorithm. Combining that data with a simple wind model, the algorithm projected that yawing each of the five upstream turbines about 20 degrees to the north would maximize the group's generation from the northwest winds." Next, since the researchers couldn't reprogram the control systems running at Pincher Creek, they repositioned the direction-tracking wind vanes atop the turbines' nacelles during the 10-day test and thereby tricked the control system to turn 20 degrees off the wind. The results were significant: power generation rose 13 percent under 7-8 meters per second (mps) wind speeds. "Steering had a still greater impact amidst slower northwest winds by reducing the times when the wind hitting turbines fell below the 5 mps -- the threshold at which they automatically shut down," the report adds. "For 5-6 mps winds wake steering boosted generation by up to 47 percent."

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Facebook Abused To Spread Remote Access Trojans Since 2015

Tue, 2019-07-02 00:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Facebook has been exploited to act as a distribution platform for a set of Remote Access Trojans (RATs) for years, researchers say. According to Check Point Research, a "large-scale" campaign has been operating under Facebook's radar since at least 2014 throughout a campaign related to politics in Libya. The aim of the operation has been to spread RATs including Houdini, Remcos, and SpyNote. Tens of thousands of victims from Libya, Europe, the US, and China are believed to have been compromised. The threat actor behind the campaign has used the political turmoil in Libya to their advantage. Libya's National Army commander, Khalifa Haftar, has been impersonated for years and a page apparently operated by the public figure was actually a central point for the distribution of malware. The page impersonating Haftar was created in April 2019 and has since attracted over 11,000 followers. Posts were shared with political themes and links claiming to share leaked intelligence reports and material, but if someone interested in Libyan politics clicked on the URLs, they would instead be sent to malicious content. Malicious VBE and WSF files for Windows machines, as well as malware-laden APK files for the mobile Android operating system, would then be downloaded and upon execution would install a Trojan. The malware was hosted on public services including Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox. The researchers say over 30 Facebook pages have been spreading approximately 40 malicious links since 2014 and one of them has over 100,000 followers. "In order to avoid any suspicion, the pages in question would also publish legitimate content, most commonly related to news in Libya," the report adds. "Occasionally, other content -- such as download links to fake applications for watching football matches for free or malicious VPN services -- would also be released." Facebook says they have taken down the pages for violating their policies.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Deepfake Revenge Porn Distribution Now a Crime In Virginia

Mon, 2019-07-01 23:20
Virginia has amended an existing law in the Commonwealth to impose criminal penalties on the distribution of non-consensual "deepfake" images and videos. The amendment was made earlier this year and goes into effect today, making Virginia one of the first states to make a law covering deepfakes. Ars Technica reports: The new law amends existing law in the Commonwealth that defines distribution of nudes or sexual imagery without the subject's consent -- often called revenge porn -- as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The new bill updated the law by adding a category of "falsely created videographic or still image" to the text. New laws in Virginia take effect on July 1. The state's General Assembly passed the bill in early March, and it was signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam later that month.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Slashdot Asks: What Do You Remember About the Sony Walkman?

Mon, 2019-07-01 22:40
On July 1st, 1979, Sony revolutionized the way we listen to music when it released the iconic Walkman TPS-L2, the first real portable music player. "Boomboxes and portable radios had been around for a while, but the Walkman made portable music private, ushering in a whole new era of people listening to music away from home," writes Chaim Gartenberg for The Verge. The Walkman stood the test of time by continuing to sell well even through the CD era. "[It] would go on to see numerous hardware iterations over the years, including 'Discman' CD models and MiniDisc players, as well as more modern portable media player devices that Sony still sells today," writes Gartenberg. It wasn't until Apple unveiled the iPod in 2001 and digital downloads began to dominate that Walkman sales started to plummet. What do you remember about the Sony Walkman? Do you have any fond memories of the music player that are worth sharing? Let us know in a comment.

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Tesla's Head of Production Is Going To EV Startup Lucid Motors

Mon, 2019-07-01 22:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Electrek: Tesla's head of production in charge of its Fremont factory, Peter Hochholdinger, is going to hold a similar position at Lucid Motors, an electric car startup looking to soon move to production. Lucid Motors has kind of spun out of Tesla. It was started by a former Tesla board member and executive and it is led by Peter Rawlinson, the former chief engineer of the Tesla Model S. Several other Tesla engineers and executives have also joined the startup and they are now also adding Hochholdinger to the team. Today, the startup announced that the Tesla and Audi veteran is joining as Vice President of Manufacturing and he will lead "Lucid's global manufacturing operations, commencing with Lucid's plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, as well as manufacturing engineering." Rawlinson commented on the hire: "We are delighted to welcome Peter to the Lucid team. Peter's extensive experience and proven leadership in premium-vehicle manufacturing will prove invaluable as we continue our progress towards the launch of Lucid Air and future models. In joining Lucid, Peter is empowered to create an industry-leading manufacturing process that will deliver the quality products our discerning customers demand and deserve."

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Cockroaches May Soon Be Unstoppable -- Thanks To Fast-Evolving Insecticide Resistance

Mon, 2019-07-01 21:20
sciencehabit shares a report: The day that squeamish humans -- and exterminators -- have long feared may have come at last: Cockroaches are becoming invincible. Or at least German cockroaches (Blattella germanica) are, according to a new study. Researchers have found that these creatures, which have long been a prevalent urban pest, are becoming increasingly resistant to almost every kind of chemical insecticide. Not all insecticides are created equal. Some degrade the nervous system, whereas others attack the exoskeleton; they also have to be left out for varying amounts of time. But many insects, including cockroaches, have evolved resistance to at least one of the most commonly-used insecticides. And because cockroaches live only for about 100 days, that resistance can evolve quickly, with genes from the most resistant cockroaches being passed to the next generation. To test resistance in German cockroaches, researchers treated three different colonies in multiple apartment buildings in Indiana and Illinois over the course of 6 months. The populations were tested for their level of resistance to three different insecticides: abamectin, boric acid, and thiamethoxam. One treatment used all three pesticides, one after another, for 3 months before repeating the cycle. In another treatment, researchers used a mixture of insecticides over the full 6 months. A final treatment scenario used just one chemical that the selected roach population had a low resistance to for the entire time. Regardless of the different treatments, the size of most of the cockroach populations didn't drop over time, the researchers wrote last month in Scientific Reports.

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America Needs To See Amazon's Tax Returns

Mon, 2019-07-01 20:41
An anonymous reader shares a report: Amazon's taxes have become a campaign issue. In last week's Democratic debates, two different candidates (Cory Booker and Andrew Yang) called out Amazon for paying $0 in federal income taxes last year, even after listing $4 billion in profits. Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and President Trump himself have brought up the same point at various points on the campaign trail, always directed at Amazon. In a CNN interview after the second debate, Bernie Sanders singled the company out as an example of a broken tax code, saying simply, "I'm going to tax them." "We pay every penny we owe in corporate taxes including $2.6 billion over the past three years," Amazon said when reached for comment. "We've invested $270 billion in the US since 2010 and created more than 275,000 jobs." But there's an awkward truth behind the political back-and-forth: we don't know what Amazon's tax bill really is. Like every other company in America, Amazon's tax returns are private, legally considered to be a trade secret. We don't know which tax breaks they're taking, or how they've structured their finances to avoid various taxes in favor of others. If Amazon says its tax bill was lower because of investments, we simply have to take the company at its word.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Germany To Publish Standard on Modern Secure Browsers

Mon, 2019-07-01 20:01
Germany's cyber-security agency is working on a set of minimum rules that modern web browsers must comply with in order to be considered secure. From a report: The new guidelines are currently being drafted by the German Federal Office for Information Security (or the Bundesamt fur Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik -- BSI), and they'll be used to advise government agencies and companies from the private sector on what browsers are safe to use. A first version of this guideline was published in 2017, but a new standard is being put together to account for improved security measures added to modern browsers, such as HSTS, SRI, CSP 2.0, telemetry handling, and improved certificate handling mechanisms -- all mentioned in a new draft released for public debate last week. According to the BSI's new draft, to be considered "secure," a modern browser must follow the following requirements, among others: Must support TLS, must have a list of trusted certificates, must support extended validation (EV) certificates, must verify loaded certificates against a Certification Revocation List (CRL) or an Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP); the browser must use icons or color highlights to show when communications to a remote server is encrypted or in plaintext, connections to remote websites running on expired certificates must be allowed only after specific user approval; must support HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) (RFC 6797). Further reading: Germany and the Netherlands To Build the First Ever Joint Military Internet.

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Former NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz Restores Mission Control In Houston

Mon, 2019-07-01 19:01
Gene Kranz may be the most famous flight director in NASA's history. He directed the actual landing portion of the first mission to put men on the moon, Apollo 11, and led Mission Control in saving the crew of Apollo 13 after an oxygen tank exploded on the way to the lunar surface. Now Kranz, 85, has completed another undertaking: the reopening of Mission Control at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. From a report: The room where Kranz directed some of NASA's most historic missions, heralding U.S. exploration of space, was decommissioned in 1992. Since then, it had become a stop on guided tours of the space center but had fallen into disrepair. Kranz led a $5 million multiyear effort to restore Mission Control in time for the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20. "I walked into that room last Monday for the first time when it was fully operational, and it was dynamite. I literally wept," Kranz said in an interview with NPR. "The emotional surge at that moment was incredible. I walked down on the floor, and when we did the ribbon-cutting the last two days, believe it or not, I could hear the people talking in that room from 50 years ago. I could hear the controllers talking." The room also brought back memories for Kranz of a shared sense of purpose. "That group of people united in pursuit of a cause, and basically the result was greater than the sum of the parts. There was a chemistry that was formed," Kranz said. "[The room] also has a meaning related to the American psyche, that what America will dare, America will do," Kranz said.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

How Amazon and the Cops Set Up an Elaborate Sting Operation That Accomplished Nothing

Mon, 2019-07-01 18:40
New documents obtained by Motherboard using a Freedom of Information request show how Amazon, Ring, a GPS tracking company, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service collaborated on a package sting operation with the Aurora, Colorado Police Department in December. From the report: The operation involved equipping fake Amazon packages with GPS trackers, and surveilling doorsteps with Ring doorbell cameras in an effort to catch someone stealing a package on tape. The documents show the design and implementation of a highly elaborate public relations stunt, which was designed both to endear Amazon and Ring with local law enforcement, and to make local residents fear the place they live. The parties were disappointed when the operation didn't result in any arrests. The Aurora Police Department received 25 Amazon boxes, Amazon-branded tape, and Amazon lithium ion stickers as a part of the operation. It also received 15 Ring doorbell cameras and 15 GL300W GPS trackers from 7P Solutions. "Operation Grinch Grab," as it was called internally, involved seven Aurora zip codes. These companies spent days with the Aurora Police Department preparing them for the operation, and discussing local news coverage and rewriting press releases.

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