Article source: Naked Security - Sophos
Well folks, September is almost here, and you worked hard. Hard enough to earn yourself and everyone else a long weekend. Here are the best stories we wrote this week, in case you missed them while you were workin’ hard for the money.
Planes are giving us less and less leg room so it’s no surprise that quarrels break out between passengers over space. Yesterday, one such altercation got so heated that a plane was diverted to Chicago. And at the heart of the conflict? A nifty little device called the Knee Defender, which prevents seats from reclining.
It’s iPhone time of the year again! Apple will reportedly show off the eighth generation of its flagship device on September 9. If you believe the rumors, iPhone 6 will be one of the most dramatic updates to the iPhone line in quite some time.
Last summer I sat in the bathroom of an Irish pub, trying desperately to solve a math equation. I had abandoned my friends at the bar, where I’d been pretending to drink an IPA, to tend to this pressing arithmetic in private. If I solved correctly for ‘x,’ the answer would provide me with some crucial information—whether or not my pregnancy was going well.
If there are any two things that define the tech-minded modern millennial, they are his operating system and his porn preferences. Fortunately for our inquiring minds, our data-crunching friends over at Pornhub have to access to both.
The internet is filled with plenty of photo fakery. And we here at Factually are here to help you distinguish the true from the too-good-to-be. Today we have six more images you may have seen floating around recently. None of them is precisely what it claims to be.
It’s been almost exactly six months since the Sochi Olympics wrapped up and the world promptly moved on to speculating about the Rio 2016. Since then, the area has been left holding the proverbial bag—which as Russian photographer Alexander Belenkiy shows us, is full of too many buildings and not enough people to occupy them.
It’s been 30 years since the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man first squished through Manhattan. With Ghostbusters returning to theaters tomorrow for an anniversary run, we thought it appropriate to consider a very serious question: How would New York City actually fight an evil god in the form of a marshmallow man? Stickiness and spoilers ensue.
Thermal cameras were once expensive and bulky hunks of equipment that very few people could get their hands on. No longer. With FLIR’s new iPhone case thermal imaging cameras are now both affordable and incredibly discreet, which means that evil-doers can use it to see the thermal signature your fingers leave on a keypad and steal your ATM PIN. Here’s a very simple way to thwart that.
Thousands of years ago, a minority of ancient Egyptians set a majority to work building some of the oldest human-made structures in the world. It seems like we’ve been debating about how they did it ever since: Water? Animal labor? Magic? A team of researchers thinks they’ve found the best explanation yet.
They say that it’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. Technically, the same applies to skull fractures, poisoning, and third-degree burns. Throughout history, toy makers have designed some truly brutal products (lawn darts, anyone?). But with modern-day lawsuits, you’d think we would’ve curbed that problem. Yet, in their fervor to create the next Slinky, Etch A Sketch, or Tickle Me Elmo, toy manufacturers continue to put dangerous product designs on the market.
Article source: Gizmodo
Earlier this month, Foxtrot Alpha brought you an exclusive analysis of new satellite images that show the construction of a massive new hangar in a remote part of Area 51 . Now, high resolution panoramic photos have emerged of the base confirming just how monstrous this new hangar truly is.
Shot very recently from Tikaboo Peak, some 26 miles from the base itself, and posted over at Dreamland Resort, these high-resolution panoramas give us a clear view of just how remote and tall this new facility is (look all the way to the left). They also give us a good perspective of the ’2007 hangar’ and its view-blocking earth berm, as well as almost the entire base.
From these new images, and with consulting a few trusted sources, we estimate that the hangar will be between 70 and 90 feet tall. This figure would make it large enough to accommodate a 747-8i. The height of this structure may also be telling, as a new low-slung flying-wing test article would not need nearly this tall of a hangar to be housed. In fact, America’s only known large flying wing, the B-2 Spirit, has traditionally been docked in hangars with low apertures, as the aircraft have no vertical control surfaces.
So why would the USAF build a hangar tall enough to house a jumbo jet? Maybe they are hedging their investment to accommodate presently unknown future projects, or there is something in the works that has a fairly massive, and very much un-stealthy vertical tail.
Our previous analysis identified the most likely tenants of this new remote hangar facility, but if it was purpose built for an aircraft with a tall vertical tail, or the need for a high-lifting overhead crane system, than there is a good chance that some sort of mothership and parasite aircraft could soon inhabit it.
The mothership and parasite aircraft concept is nothing new to Area 51. Project Tagboard of the 1960s saw the development of a modified A-12 Blackbird, called the M21, and its high-supersonic speed capable D21 drone. Although the program was less than a great success, and in some ways outright tragic, in many ways, the M21/D21 pair was greatly ahead of its time, and failed mainly due to the fact that unmanned aircraft technology, satellite data communications and digital flight control systems were far from mature.
In the years that followed the Tagboard project, Area 51 was rumored to hold many other parasite aircraft concepts, from hypersonic spy drone launching motherships to aircraft that could carry reusable spaceplanes capable of putting small satellites into orbit.
One of these rumored projects, known as Blackstar, was a two stage to orbit parasitic concept, that supposedly featured an aircraft very similar to the XB-70 Valkyrie hauling a rocket plane, similar to the X-20 Dyna-soar concept, up to the troposphere, before setting it on its own way into space.
Other rumored concepts and black projects, such as Brilliant Buzzard, Copper Coast, and Science Dawn, were claimed to have been very similar in configuration but were intended to be used for different applications, very high-speed reconnaissance and even deep strike.
Although it is possible that a limited number of these parasitic aircraft were tested during the last four decades, it would seem that the massive expense of building so many motherships and so many different parasite vehicles would be very cost prohibitive. Additionally, other ways of obtaining battlefield imagery, putting objects into orbit and striking deep within enemy territory existed, all without hand-building elaborate ‘bleeding edge’ super-planes and their associated motherships.
Interestingly enough, the yearning for a two-stage parasitic space plane and a hypersonic deep strike vehicle has seen a large resurgence in the last decade. Time sensitive targeting and prompt global strike have become absolute priorities within the DoD, with multiple technologies being developed in the white and gray world.
Just last week the Army’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon blew up shortly after its test launch in Alaska, and various other hypersonic technologies have been in the spotlight both in the US and in America’s growing peer-state military competitor, China.
Meanwhile, the X-37B has been doing nobody knows what, with speculation that includes hauling experimental reconnaissance payloads, deploying mini-enemy satellite attacking ‘satlets’ and/or proving the USAF’s capability to remotely manipulate other satellites. Aside from what we don’t know concerning the X-37B, what we do know is that its missions last many months, and all the USAF is telling us is that the program is a wild success.
The X-37B currently relies on an Altus V rocket to get it into orbit, which is not a cheap, nor a short term endeavor. A small spaceplane like the X-37B that utilizes a mothership for its first stage would allow for a much cheaper, rapid and unpredictable entry into orbit. Such a technology could be absolutely key during a battle with a near-peer state competitor that possesses anti-satellite capabilities.
Even the possibility of an ‘SR-72,’ that uses a new combined cycle hybrid engine technology, has been highly publicized. This unmanned aircraft is proposed as being a reconnaissance and a strike capable hypersonic war wagon for the USAF, but building a large scale aircraft that has to carry large amounts of fuel to get airborne and to begin its hypersonic run would take years to develop and many billions of dollars. Yet a similar vehicle, but on a much smaller scale, that does not have to takeoff, climb to altitude and achieve supersonic entry speeds could be developed much faster and at a lower cost.
What all this may add up to is a common mothership vehicle that aerospace design houses can use as a template to adapt technologies that are in higher demand and are more technologically achievable now than they were many years ago.
Having a single vehicle that is capable of hauling a hypersonic attack and/or reconnaissance parasite aircraft, or a small spaceplane, would accomplish one half of many of the DoD’s ‘leading-edge’ technology goals, all without having to develop full-fledged ‘single stage,’ runway-to-runway capable aircraft. This mothership-parasite approach is the backbone of civilian spaceflight, and is also rapidly developing in the commercial sector, so it is only logical that the DoD would bet big on it as well.
The new hangar at Area 51′s remote location may be due to the reality that exotic fuels, which require special handling, would probably be necessary not just for a multi-role high-speed mothership, but also for her parasite payloads. Additionally, a high hanger design would allow for a crane system to be installed to lift and install the payload on even a low-slung mothership’s upper spine. Finally, it would allow for quick towing or taxing onto the runway for its departure, thus greatly limiting the exposure to prying eyes and satellites, and staying out of direct sight of the main Area 51 apron.
Just like Foxtrot Alpha‘s first installment on this new mysterious hangar, we can only guess as to what exactly will live inside of it, and there are many possibilities, some of which probably remain unknown. Regardless of this fact, a tall hangar in a remote area of the base is a fairly clear sign that the USAF is working on a very tall order, and that makes this discovery exciting in itself.
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com
Article source: Gizmodo
Email is one of those things that’s just a part of your life, period. Most of us know someone who has closed their Facebook account or refused to join in the first place in a little foot-stomping stand by their ego, and you might even know someone who is thrilled with themselves for not owning a smartphone.
But within the adult internet-using world, no one is allowed to not have email.
Not having email today would be the equivalent of not having a phone number—you’d have to be
really doing your own thing to go there.
And so here we all are, typing things into compose windows, battling down our inboxes, and it’s going pretty well—but like any world of social interaction, email has its difficulties.
Let’s discuss 11 particularly awkward things about our email lives.
If someone you’re emailing with:
Then you’re their bitch.
Unequal email power dynamics can happen for many reasons—a professional ladder discrepancy, an age discrepancy, a “customer’s always right” situation, a thing where many people are all emailing one person—but usually, it’s that the person writing the high-quality email wants/needs something from the person writing the low-quality email. Simple as that.
Not all Baby Boomers—you know who I’m talking about.
They’re the last remaining people with AOL email addresses. They scan a hard copy of an article and email it as an attachment instead of emailing a link to the article. They write the word e-mail with a hyphen in it. And they don’t know that “replying to all” is a thing that can happen in the world:
Sometimes, you’ll come across the especially un-tech savvy Baby Boomer who inexplicably writes their emails in all caps.
To my grandmother, who tells me that her “machine is broken” when the browser window has accidentally been minimized, words like “forward” and “attachment” and “link” don’t have simple, concrete definitions—they’re just vague, complex ideas that she’s heard of but doesn’t understand.
She feels about email the way I feel about this sentence:
Central banks in developing countries are tightening policy and intervening in currency markets in response to concerns about the potential effect of currency depreciation on inflation, though gross issuance of nonfinancial corporate bonds and commercial paper have slowed and interest volatility has substantially diminished, possibly suggesting that reaching-for-yield behavior might be increasing again.
If you weren’t far too lazy to write a letter, it would be a good idea to stick to hand-written correspondence with people born in the 1920s, especially since there’s the side benefit that a letter from someone born in the 1920s will be a cool thing to own in 50 years.
To make things easy, we at some point all agreed upon certain rules and regulations for how to address various categories of people that we email.
Notice the problem?
“Hi ____” is friendly in a distant, neutral, professional way for everyone you don’t know well. When your relationship with someone takes a step forward, it graduates to the warmer, more casual Hey Zone. And with really close people, you can just skip the greeting altogether—no one starts an email with “Hey Mom”.
But how about that green zone category of people who are more than acquaintances—so greeting them with “Hey” would seem too formal and distant—but you don’t talk to them enough to just out of the blue email them and start talking without a greeting? How the hell are you supposed to start an email to that friend from college you talk to every two years or that old work colleague you became friends with and then fell mostly out of touch with?
It’s not easy. And unlike all the other greetings, this one requires creativity. Some possibilities:
- Hey John! — The exclamation point says, “This isn’t a normal Hey greeting—I’m smiling and extra excited because we’re pretty close, and our relationship is a positive thing in my life.”
- Johnny! — A typical response greeting to the “Hey John!” email. It’s acknowledging that you’re on nickname terms, and also joining the celebration of your friendship with the exclamation point.
- Hey man — This is something guy acquaintances or minor friends do to deal with being in the green zone. It’s the greeting version of a friendly back slap.
- Sammmm — A girl tool to deal with the green zone.
- Heyyy — The extra Y’s say, “Just swinging by to say something, and we’re friends so sometimes we just swing by.
Similar situation. For the distant people, we have all sorts of autofills—Best, Regards, Talk soon, Take care, Thanks, etc.—and the really close people need no sign-off at all. But for minor friends, we’ve got another whole song and dance on our hands.
I’ll sometimes finish a minor friend email with something like, “Thanks,” and then look at it and think, “Ugh it’s too formal.” I then sigh, put the cursor at the end of the word, and begrudgingly type in two more S’s.
It’s also worth noting that some people have decided that xoxo is an appropriate sign off because they’re just that adorable, and others just decided to start signing off with only the first letter of their name, because apparently we’re now dating. To me, both sign-offs make me think the person looks like this when they’re typing it:
A Robot Phrase is a commonly used email phrase that you end up using just because everyone else is using it and you’re not that creative a person.
These cookie-cutter Robot Phrases remind me of my voicemail recording being “Hi, you’ve reached Tim. Please leave a message.” The next thing that comes on is an
actual robot that says “At the tone, please record your message yada yada,” and she and I are doing an equal job of expressing our individuality—but unfortunately, the only other option is to be an unnecessary weirdo by doing something surprising.
Email Robot Phrases are not quite as socially required as Voicemail Robot Recordings, but most of us are too lazy to deal with thinking up alternatives. Every single time I type one, though, I feel a slight twinge of self-loathing for being such a societal cog.
With in-person interaction, we have a million subtle ways to express tone. Even on the phone, without the use of facial expressions or mannerisms, tone of voice gets the job done sufficiently.
But over email, we’re stuck with a crude set of symbols as our tools to express nuance, making punctuation a critical part of the email world. A few guidelines:
Some people don’t use exclamation points, and with those people, it’s safe to stick with periods.
Others use them constantly, and with those people you’re a huge dick if you don’t, so you’re forced to join the party.
This is important because to a rampant exclamation point user, the difference between a period and an exclamation point looks like this.
There’s also the rare but disastrous exclamation point / question mark mixup typo.
I can go either way with exclamation points and tend to just follow the other person’s lead, but I find that this is a pretty strong correlation:
Ellipses are a whole other thing. Some people use them to be mysterious or threatening, and of course, they can be massively slutty.
This is a very odd phenomenon unique to email. It happens when two not-that-good friends find themselves stuck in the mutually-obligated chore of writing long descriptions of their lives to each other every few months. Both parties dread having to answer all the last email’s questions and write a lengthy life description, and each is pretty bored by the process of reading the other’s.
This cycle either goes on until one of the people dies, or sometimes, someone finally gathers the guts to just not respond to the other’s email and then both parties can sigh a deep breath of relief.
Laughter is a delightful part of vocal correspondence, so we’ve decided we need to figure out a way to express the same thing over email—but it’s awkward.
Absurd people who say lol aside, here’s what we’re dealing with:
haha — I found this either mildly funny or not funny at all
hahaha — I found this a little funny
hahahaha — I found this reasonably funny
HA or HAHA or HAHAHAHA — I found this very funny
hahah or hahahah — I’m a very subpar human
At least in my world, I find that when something is actually funny, it’ll result in capital letters.
And in almost all of these cases, the recipient pictures the sender actually laughing as they type, when in fact they probably look like the guy in the picture above.
Being humored by fake haha’s is just the beginning.
You know how people sometimes BCC someone on an email they’re writing to secretly loop them in? You know what you
don’t consider? The times when you’ve received an email from someone and there’s a BCC happening unbeknownst to you—when you’re the chump being spied on. Kind of upsetting right?
How about the fact that you’re part of a number of group email chains, some one-time things and some that are recurring—and you kind of just assume that those are the only group chains happening. When in fact, there are a number of group chains between various friends or family members of yours that you are
not included on, whose existence you never really consider.
Worse, think about a time you’ve forwarded an email you received to someone else for mocking purposes. Kind of mean, but you’ve also kind of done it right? How shitty is it that at some point, you’ve been the subject of the secret mocking forward?
Luckily, we tend to avoid assuming these things are happening. But they’re happening.
The email disaster is a special kind of disaster. It can be mortifying, hurtful, or even friendship-damaging.
- Emailing Person X to say something bad about Person Y and accidentally emailing it to Person Y instead.
- Replying just to Person X on a group chain to say something private and accidentally replying to all.
- Forwarding an email to someone and forgetting that below the email is a whole correspondence chain that has something sensitive in it, maybe even about the person you just forwarded it to.
- Sending an attachment to someone and accidentally attaching the wrong horrifying thing.
Other people’s email disaster stories are a great source of schadenfreude—so if you have a good one, please share in the comments
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Article source: Gizmodo
The Gillmor Gang — Dan Farber, Robert Scoble, John Taschek, Kevin Marks, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor. This one seems more like an AA meeting for Apple addiction, as the Gang stumbles around pretending to be interested in Twitter tinkering with the Favorites model while just killing time until September 9.
The reason we’re in reasonable humor is that we know we’re in for a holiday treat, as visions of iWatches and weightless 20-inch iPads dance in our heads. We know we’ve been good, busy curating our feeds and pruning our Friends lists and all the right social moves. Now give us our big phone and prime the Apple TV with apps. It’s Black Friday on the first Tuesday in September.
@stevegillmor, @scobleizer, @jtaschek, @dbfarber, @kevinmarks, @kteare
Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor
Article source: TechCrunch.com