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Jul 14, 2019

In memoriam – Corby Corbató, MIT computer science pioneer, dies at 93

Posted by in categories: computing, science

Fernando José Corbató, Turing Award winner, computer scientist extraordinaire, MIT computer lab pioneer, RIP.

Jul 14, 2019

Russia Launches Telescope Into Space To Map The Cosmos In ‘Outstanding’ Detail

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution

It would be the first-ever map of the universe in high-energy X-rays, Nature magazine noted.

Such a map “will be essential to solve the core questions of modern cosmology,” Roscosmos said in a press release. “How do dark energy and dark matter affect formation of the large-scale structure of the Universe? What is [the] cosmological evolution of supermassive black holes?”

The agency added that the telescope, which has reportedly taken decades to develop, is expected to find about “100,000 massive clusters of galaxies” and millions of supermassive black holes ― many of them new to science ― over a four-year survey period.

Jul 14, 2019

Before You Take a Mail-In DNA Test, Brace Yourself for Family Secrets

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Like many people, Barbara Greenberg wasn’t looking to unlock any deep, dark family secrets when she spit into a tube a few years ago and sent her DNA off to be analyzed. “I was just curious to see if I would find anything a bit interesting,” Greenberg says.

And at first, there were no real surprises; she was, as expected, 100 percent Eastern European Jewish. But she’d check back into her account now and then, looking for new matches to distant cousins, and eventually someone else popped up—an unknown female relative with a DNA match significant enough to indicate it was likely a half-sister.

As Greenberg and the other woman began communicating, their shared story took shape. Although the other woman had very little information about who her biological father might have been, Greenberg says the timing, location, and certain clues the woman’s mother had given over the years indicated that they did, indeed, share the same father.

Jul 14, 2019

Walter Cronkite and the awe of space exploration

Posted by in category: space

Martha Teichner on the CBS News veteran’s coverage of an epochal human event: Man landing on the moon.

Jul 14, 2019

Milestones in space travel: An illustrated timeline

Posted by in categories: engineering, space travel

We’ve come a long, long way since the U.S. first launched fruit flies into space in 1947. Since then, we’ve sent astronauts to the moon, installed an International Space Station in orbit and landed spacecraft on Mars. In the past couple of decades, private corporations such as SpaceX and Blue Origin have joined the fray and will likely play instrumental roles in aerospace engineering and space exploration. Here’s a look at some major advancements we’ve made in spacecraft technology and space exploration milestones over the past seven decades.

Jul 14, 2019

Curiosity Rover on Mars Spotted from Space in Awesome NASA Photo

Posted by in category: space

A camera on board NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted the Curiosity rover on May 31, 2019.

Jul 14, 2019

Does decentralized currency thwart crisis intervention?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics

Here is another economics/policy question that I was asked to address at Quora. It provides great fodder for a quick Lifeboat economics review.

The US used quantitative easing to deal with one monetary crisis, and a bailout of the automotive and banking industry to deal with another. If nations, economies or individuals begin to embrace a decentralized currency, they will inevitably shift away from government issued money. Won’t this hinder a nation’s ability to intervene in a crisis?

Answering this question goes to the very heart of the ethics and politics of cryptocurrency.

Yes. Without centralized control over monetary policy, government options for intervention in a money crisis would be severely limited. But this fact may lead to a false impression…

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Jul 14, 2019

A Chinese AI startup is tracking lost dogs using their nose prints

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Facial recognition comes to pets — using their nose prints as unique identifiers.

Jul 14, 2019

Tesla Roadster’s SpaceX thruster will be hidden behind the license plate, says Elon Musk

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel, sustainability

Tesla’s new Roadster is going to come with an optional ‘SpaceX package’ that will include cold air thrusters to improve performance.

Now CEO Elon Musk says that the thruster will be hidden behind the license plate.

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Jul 14, 2019

Can I Check Web Sites Visited by my Kids/Staff?

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, policy, privacy, security, software, surveillance

Early this morning, I was asked this question at Quora. It’s a pretty basic request of network administrators, including parents, schools and anyone who administers a public, sensitive or legally exposed WiFi hot spot.

Is there a quick and easy way to view, log, or otherwise monitor the web sites visited by people on your home or office network?

Yes. It’s free and and it is pretty easy to do.

It gets a bit trickier, if the individual on your network is using a VPN service that they have configured on their device.[1] A VPN does not stop you from logging their browsing, but all of their activity will point to the VPN address instead of the site that they are actually visiting. In that case, there is another way to monitor their activity. See note #1, below.

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