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Advisors to NASA: Dump the asteroid mission and go to Mars orbit instead

Source: Houston Chronicle

At the conclusion of its meeting the NASA Advisory Council adopted a “finding” that the asteroid redirect mission should be dropped in favor of demonstrating solar electric propulsion on a Mars orbit mission. That could include a Phobos or Deimos sample return, but the council wanted to leave NASA some flexibility to study all options.

“If this technology is designed to go to Mars and back, let’s send it to Mars and back,” said Steve Squyres, chairman of the advisory committee. The vote was unanimous.

This “finding” represents the opinion of the committee and is not binding on NASA. However it will likely spur NASA to at least further study a Mars orbit option, and will embolden the many critics of NASA’s asteroid mission.


Read more: http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2015/04/advisors-to-nasa-dump-the-asteroid-mission-and-go-to-phobos-instead/

Note: This was about the robotic asteroid redirect mission to bring an asteroid to lunar orbit, not the manned mission to the asteroid.

NASA Advisory Council: NASA Human Exploration Plan Insufficiently Funded

Source: NASA Watch

NAC: the current HEOMD/SMD human exploration plan is insufficiently funded.
— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) April 10, 2015

Squyres: this is a pretty damning statement. Lets be certain what we mean
— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) April 10, 2015

NAC can't come up with politically correct way to say there's not enough money for #NASA to do humans to Mars program pic.twitter.com/zn47u0Pygr
— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) April 10, 2015

Read more: http://nasawatch.com/archives/2015/04/nasa-advisory-c-6.html

Oh no, Moto! Cable modem has hardcoded 'technician' backdoor


Oh no, Moto! Cable modem has hardcoded 'technician' backdoor

SOHOpeless router tosses your internet connection into the DMZ for max p0wn potential

9 Apr 2015 at 07:28, Richard Chirgwin

Researchers at Rapid7 have turned up a set of typically dumb vulnerabilities in Motorola's DOCSIS/EuroDOCSIS 3.0-capable SURFboard SBG 6580 cable broadband modem.

The device, which also ships under the Arris brand, has vulnerabilities included hardcoded login credentials that will allow an outside attacker to take control of the kit.

This goes beyond the usual “ooh hax0rs can get my modem” FUD, because once exploited, an attacker could drop a user's computer into the DMZ, leaving the machine naked to the outside world.


The three vulnerabilities are:

  • A cross-site request forgery tagged CVE-2015-0965 that lets an arbitrary site log in without the user's knowledge;

  • At least one hard-coded backdoor, CVE-2015-0966, letting “technician” log in with the password yZgO8Bvj; and

  • A cross-site scripting vulnerability in the firewall config page, CVE-2015-0964, letting attackers inject Javascript to do pretty much anything they want.


via http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29982787-WiFi-Oh-no-Moto-Cable-modem-has-hardcoded-technician-backdoor

Rohani Says Sanctions Must Be Lifted On Day Nuclear Deal Is Implemented

Source: Radio Free Europe

Iranian President Hassan Rohani says Tehran wants international sanctions lifted on the day that a final deal curbing its nuclear program is implemented.

"We will not sign any agreements unless on the first day of the implementation of the deal all economic sanctions are totally lifted on the same day," Rouhani said during a ceremony on April 9 marking National Nuclear Technology Day.


Insistence on the immediate removal of all sanctions would badly harm the chances for an agreement, because other countries in the talks say removal of sanctions would be contingent on steps by Iran to ease concerns it could develop nuclear weapons.

The United States has made it clear that sanctions would have to be phased out gradually.

Read more: http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/231796627

Photon 'afterglow' could transmit information without transmitting energy


Photon 'afterglow' could transmit information without transmitting energy

Mar 31, 2015 by Lisa Zyga feature

(Phys.org)—Physicists have theoretically shown that it is possible to transmit information from one location to another without transmitting energy. Instead of using real photons, which always carry energy, the technique uses a small, newly predicted quantum afterglow of virtual photons that do not need to carry energy. Although no energy is transmitted, the receiver must provide the energy needed to detect the incoming signal—similar to the way that an individual must pay to receive a collect call.


The proposed protocol has another somewhat unusual requirement: it can only take place in spacetimes with dimensions in which virtual photons can travel slower than the speed of light. For instance, the afterglow would not occur in our 3+1 dimensional spacetime if spacetime were completely flat. However, our spacetime does have some curvature, and that makes the afterglow possible.


"In that work, it is shown that the afterglow of events that happened in the early Universe carries more information than the light that reaches us from those events," Martín-Martínez said. "This is surprising because, up until now, it has been believed that real quanta, such as real photons of light, are the only carriers of information from the early Universe."


"The afterglow also occurs in flat spacetime of dimensions other than 3+1," Jonsson said. "It occurs, in particular, in the case where there is only one spatial dimension, such as is effectively the case in an optical fiber. We are currently investigating applications of our results to quantum communication through optical fibers."


Outline of Iran Nuclear Deal Sounds Different From Each Side

Source: New York Times


No sooner were the negotiations over on Thursday, however, than Mr. Zarif posted to Twitter a message that dismissed the five-page set of American parameters as “spin.”

In an appearance on Iranian state television Saturday, Mr. Zarif kept up that refrain, saying that Iran had formally complained to Secretary of State John Kerry that the measures listed in the American statement were “in contradiction” to what had actually been accepted in Lausanne.


The starkest differences between the American and Iranians accounts concern the pace at which punishing economic sanctions against Iran are to be removed. The Iranian text says that when the agreement is implemented, the sanctions will “immediately” be canceled.

American officials have described sanctions relief as more of a step-by-step process tied to Iranian efforts to carry out the accord.


Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/world/middleeast/outline-of-iran-nuclear-deal-sounds-different-from-each-side.html?_r=0

Microbes scared to death by virus presence


Microbes scared to death by virus presence
April 2, 2015
Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The microbe Sulfolobus islandicus can go dormant, ceasing to grow and reproduce, in order to protect themselves from infection by Sulfolobus spindle-shaped virus 9 (SSV9), researchers have discovered. The dormant microbes are able to recover if the virus goes away within 24 to 48 hours -- otherwise they die.


"The microbe is hedging its bet," said Associate Professor of Microbiology Rachel Whitaker, who led the research at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. "If they go dormant, they might die, but we think this must be better than getting infected and passing it on."

Sulfolobus is a species of archaea (a domain of single-celled organisms distinct from bacteria) found in acidic hot springs all over the world, where free viruses are not as common as in other environments. These microbes will go dormant in the presence of just a few viruses, whether active or inactive. While inactivated virus particles cannot infect a host, Whitaker's lab found they could still cause dormancy, and ultimately, death in Sulfolobus.

"People thought these inactivated viruses were just an accident, that they were just mispackaged," Whitaker said. "Now we know they are being sensed by the host so they are having an effect. People are starting to think that it is adaptive for the virus to produce inactivated virus particles."


Seven activists arrested during Good Friday witness at the Pentagon


Seven activists arrested during Good Friday witness at the Pentagon
Posted on April 3, 2015
by Art Laffin

From Holy Thursday morning to Good Friday, some 25 friends gathered in D.C. for the annual Holy Week Faith and Resistance retreat sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and Jonah House communities. We were especially blessed to have with us students from Loras College from Iowa and members of the New Jerusalem Community from Philadelphia. The theme of the retreat was: “Put Away the Sword.” Holy Thursday was a day of reflection, sharing, action planning and Liturgy. Good Friday was a day of public witness.

The retreat began with a communal Gospel sharing of Matthew 26: 36-56, led by Ted Walker. After lunch, Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst, peacemaker and founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, gave a powerful presentation about his journey from being in the CIA for 27 years to becoming a Gospel peacemaker and truth-teller. His talk, interspersed with song, prayer, stories, video footage, and Irish wit and humor, included a powerful expose about how government lies are consistently used to justify its horrific warmaking ventures—from Vietnam to now. He addressed how the corporate controlled media manipulates and distorts the news. He also spoke of the government’s ruthless and vindictive attempts to stifle dissent and persecute whistleblowers, like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, whom he has personally met with. His insights and stories regarding state criminality and whistleblowing friends were truly illuminating!


On Good Friday, a nonviolent public witness was held at the Pentagon. At 7:00 a.m. the community processed from Army-Navy Dr. to the police designated protest zone with signs and small crosses with the names of different victims in our society and world written on them, and singing “Let Me Be An Instrument Of Your Peace.” As hundreds of Pentagon employees streamed into work and numerous police were on hand, seven of our community remained on the Pentagon sidewalk (where we are subject to arrest) and held an “adoration of the cross” before a small cross with the inscription: “2015– Suffering Humanity.” We prayed: “We Adore You O Christ and We Bless You, Because By Your Holy Cross You Have Redeemed the World.” Simultaneously, the rest of the community proceeded into the designated “protest zone.” A huge banner that said “U.S. Empire Crucifies Humanity” was displayed on the grassy slope overlooking the metro entrance. A retreatant, dressed in a black robe and standing on a crate with arms outstretched on a large cross, wore a sign that read “Victim of Militarism.” Our leaflet was read and a reflection about militarism and Jesus being nailed to the cross today, written by Leonardo Boff, were read aloud. In between the readings there was silence and singing “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord.”

After about ten minutes, those who were praying on the sidewalk were arrested, taken to the Pentagon Police processing center, and released after several hours. They were charged with “failure to comply with a lawful order” and have a court date for June 4, 2015.

At noon-time, as a light rain fell, retreatants held a “contemporary crucifixion” on Pennsylvania Ave. directly in front of the White House, as many tourists looked on. See below the reflections that were read for each of the eleven crucified victims as they, wearing black robes, took turns standing on a crate with arms outstretched on the cross.


Japan's ruling party wants 20 percent nuclear power in energy mix: media

Source: Reuters

Japan's ruling party wants a revived nuclear power sector to eventually make up a fifth of electricity generation, local media said, a controversial move for a public opposed to nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

A panel of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party approved a proposal in a closed-door session on Thursday that would boost stable "baseload" energy supplies - nuclear, coal, hydroelectric and geothermal - to about 60 percent by 2030 from 40 percent now, according to reports in several major media outlets.

This can only be achieved, the Asahi newspaper said, by getting nuclear back up to 20 percent of the energy mix, given the difficulty of burning more goal amid a global push to cut greenhouse gases or wringing more hydro power out of Japan's heavily dammed rivers.

The LDP will present the proposal as early as next week to Abe, the Asahi said. Abe's government supports reviving nuclear power, but must walk a delicate line as it deliberates the best energy mix for the world's third-biggest economy.


Read more: http://www.globalpost.com/article/6505606/2015/04/03/japans-ruling-party-wants-20-percent-nuclear-power-energy-mix-media

Neocon Abe is going to force this on the citizens who don't want it:

ASAHI POLL: 59% oppose restart of nuclear reactors

Bill Supports eLoran as GPS Backup


Bill Supports eLoran as GPS Backup
March 27, 2015 - By GPS World staff

A bi-partisan group of legislators led by Congressman John Garamendi (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill that would require the U.S. Secretary of Defense to establish a backup for GPS within three years using eLoran.


eLoran is the government’s existing and underused long-range navigation system infrastructure. The backup system would step in when GPS signals are corrupted, degraded, unreliable, or otherwise unavailable. A terrestrial-based system, eLoran wouldn’t be affected by atmospheric interruptions such as solar storms, or jamming or spoofing aimed at GPS.


Garamendi said the bill would make the nation’s geopositioning infrastructure more resilient to “threats both natural and nefarious.” “A backup system could also reach places that GPS currently cannot, such as inside many buildings. This would help first responders and law enforcement more effectively protect the public,” he added.


The United Kingdom began using eLoran in October 2014 to protect its shipping lanes, which carry 95 percent of UK trade, in case of GPS signal loss.

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