ReHacked #102: Terraforming of Mars, Fingerprint Can Be Hacked For $5, Octopuses, crabs and lobsters to be recognised as sentient beings under UK law and more

Making the same OS convergent across mobile, laptop, and desktop computers has taken lot of investment and work with the community. --Kyle Rankin

ReHacked #102: Terraforming of Mars, Fingerprint Can Be Hacked For $5, Octopuses, crabs and lobsters to be recognised as sentient beings under UK law and more
John M Dibbs/Rolls Royce

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Scientists Propose Jumpstarting Mars’ Magnetic Field to Make It Habitable #futurism #space

“For a long-term human presence on Mars to be established, serious thought would need to be given to terraforming the planet,” the team wrote in a new paper that will print in the journal Acta Astronautica in January 2022, first spotted by Universe Today. “One major requirement for such terraforming is having the protection of a planetary magnetic field which Mars currently does not have.”

Earth has a strong magnetic field, but Mars’ is pitifully weak and fragmented.

One of the first goals of terraforming, according to the paper, would be increasing the atmospheric pressure above the Armstrong Limit, the threshold that allows humans to survive without a full-body pressure suit. Below that pressure limit, water in the lungs, eyes and saliva spontaneously boils, the team writes in their paper — and it’s hard to imagine we’ll be getting much done on any planet where humans turn into flesh soup.

Your Fingerprint Can Be Hacked For $5. Here’s How. - Kraken Blog #security

Fingerprint authentication is a convenient alternative to passwords and PIN codes. Who wants to spend time typing in a lengthy string of numbers, letters and characters when a simple tap will suffice?

Unfortunately, that convenience comes at a cost. Because, unlike a regular password, you leave your fingerprint on taxi doors, iPhone screens, and glasses of wine at your local restaurant.

In this article, the Kraken Security Labs Team demonstrates just how easy it is for malicious actors to bypass your favorite login method.

Octopuses, crabs and lobsters to be recognised as sentient beings under UK law following LSE report findings #nature

Octopuses, crabs and lobsters will receive greater welfare protection in UK law following an LSE report which demonstrates that there is strong scientific evidence that these animals have the capacity to experience pain, distress or harm.

The UK government has today confirmed that that the scope of the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill will be extended to all decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs.

This move follows the findings of a government-commissioned independent review led by Dr Jonathan Birch. The review drew on over 300 existing scientific studies to evaluate evidence of sentience in cephalopods (including octopuses, squid and cuttlefish) and decapods (including crabs, lobsters and crayfish).

‘Dancing molecules’ successfully repair severe spinal cord injuries - Northwestern Now #science #health

By sending bioactive signals to trigger cells to repair and regenerate, the breakthrough therapy dramatically improved severely injured spinal cords in five key ways: (1) The severed extensions of neurons, called axons, regenerated; (2) scar tissue, which can create a physical barrier to regeneration and repair, significantly diminished; (3) myelin, the insulating layer of axons that is important in transmitting electrical signals efficiently, reformed around cells; (4) functional blood vessels formed to deliver nutrients to cells at the injury site; and (5) more motor neurons survived.

Chat control: The latest EU plans to outlaw encryption and introduce telecommunications surveillance | #privacy

EU Commission plans to proactively involve telecommunications providers in the surveillance of their customers’ e-mail and chat messages has been a contentious issue for some time. has reported on this repeatedly, criticised the proposals, and contributed to open letters. Instead of taking the public response into account, the EU has opted to double down and tighten their surveillance requirements even further than was originally planned – to an extent that data protection professionals have denounced the plans as a blatant attempt to abolish the legal protection of private correspondence in the digital realm. The proposed changes include a ban of properly encrypted communication, disguised as a measure to combat child pornography. We believe this would open the door to the widespread surveillance of all telecommunication activity, threaten the privacy of all people and shake the foundations of our values and fundamental rights as European and German citizens.

True Convergence is Here: PureOS 10 is Released for all Librem Products – Purism #software

Purism has released its latest version of its convergent operating system (OS), PureOS 10, code named Byzantium. PureOS is a freedom respecting, free software OS that is neither based on Android nor iOS. Endorsed by the Free Software Foundation it is now the default operating system installed on all Librem products, including the
  • Librem 14 laptop
  • Librem Mini desktop
  • Librem Servers
  • Librem 5 phone
  • Librem 5 USA phone, with Made in USA Electronics.
Making the same OS convergent across mobile, laptop, and desktop computers has taken lot of investment and work with the community. PureOS 10 an OS with true convergence. It’s a dream come true.”— Kyle Rankin

Rolls-Royce's all-electric airplane smashes record with 387.4 MPH top speed | Engadget #technology #futurism

Just two months after its maiden flight, Rolls-Royce's "Spirit of Innovation" has hit a top speed of 387.4 MPH, tentatively smashing the speed record for electric airplanes, Gizmodo has reported. It also claimed the top speed of 345.4 MPH over a 3 kilometer (1.86 mile) course and lowest time to a 3,000 meter (9,843 feet) altitude (202 seconds). The records have yet to be certified, but if the 345.5 MPH speed stands, it would beat the current record of 213 MPH — held by a Siemens-powered Extra 330LE — by an impressive 132 MPH.

Rolls-Royce (the aviation, not the car company), conducted the tests on November 16th. To have the records certified, it's submitting the trials to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the body in charge of world aviation records. If confirmed, the speeds would be pretty impressive considering that the plane only made its maiden flight in September — suggesting that with more time, it could go even faster.

An “incident” with the James Webb Space Telescope has occurred | Ars Technica #engineering #space

A short update on the projected launch date of the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope came out of NASA on Monday, and it wasn't exactly a heart-warming missive.

The large, space-based telescope's "no earlier than" launch date will slip from December 18 to at least December 22 after an "incident" occurred during processing operations at the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. That is where the telescope will launch on an Ariane 5 rocket provided by the European Space Agency.

"Technicians were preparing to attach Webb to the launch vehicle adapter, which is used to integrate the observatory with the upper stage of the Ariane 5 rocket," NASA said in a blog post. "A sudden, unplanned release of a clamp band—which secures Webb to the launch vehicle adapter—caused a vibration throughout the observatory."

Europe must ban Bitcoin mining to hit the 1.5C Paris climate goal, say Swedish regulators | Euronews #blockchain

Faced with a sharp rise in energy consumption, Swedish authorities are calling on the European Union to ban "energy intensive" crypto mining.

Erik Thedéen, director of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, and Björn Risinger, director of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, said cryptocurrency's rising energy usage is threatening Sweden's ability to meet its obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Between April and August this year, the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining in the Nordic country rose "several hundred per cent," and now consumes the equivalent electricity of 200,000 households, Thedéen and Risinger said.

In an open letter, the directors of Sweden's top financial and environmental regulators called for an EU-wide ban on "proof of work" cryptocurrency mining, for Sweden to "halt the establishment" of new crypto mining operations and for companies that trade and invest in crypto assets to be prohibited from describing their business activities as environmentally sustainable.

Samsung plans $17 billion chip plant in Taylor, Texas - DCD #technology #hardware

Samsung Electronics plans to build a $17 billion semiconductor fab in Taylor, Texas.

The facility will be operational in the second half of 2024, so will not alleviate the current chip shortage crisis - but will help address US concerns about declining domestic production.

The new facility will develop processors for smartphones, 5G, data centers, high-performance computing, and artificial intelligence platforms. It will build the chips on behalf of both Samsung and other customers.

The McDonald’s Ice Cream Machine Hacking Saga Has a New Twist | WIRED #economy

Six months ago, a tiny startup called Kytch sued Taylor, the billion-dollar manufacturer of McDonald's notoriously broken ice cream machines. For years Kytch had sold a small device that hacks those ice cream machines, letting McDonald's restaurant owners better diagnose their maladies and make them work more reliably—only to find, according to Kytch's legal complaint, that Taylor had conspired to copy its device and sabotage its business.

Now Kytch's lawsuit has revealed another side to that story: the internal communications of Taylor itself. Recently released court documents appear to show that Taylor's executives did view Kytch as a business threat and worked to copy its device's features in a competing product—all while still failing to actually cure McDonald's ice cream headaches.

In the discovery phase of the lawsuit Kytch filed in May, Taylor has been compelled to publicly file more than 800 pages of internal emails and presentations that mention its approach to Kytch. They show how, contrary to Taylor's previous claims to WIRED, the company closely examined and sought to mimic specific Kytch features. The emails also show that at some points McDonald's, not Taylor, led the effort to prevent restaurants from adopting Kytch's gadgets.

Parrots Will Share Currency to Help Their Pals Purchase Food | Science | Smithsonian Magazine #nature #society #psychology

The birds’ generosity has animal scientists intrigued. It’s one thing to pass a partner a piece of grub; it’s another to give them the currency to purchase it. Such acts of charity have long been thought to be restricted to primates like humans, orangutans and bonobos. Few, if any, other mammals were thought capable of it, let alone a creature with a bird brain.

But big-brained African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) may be the first avian known to engage in this helpful behavior, Brucks’ team reports today in the journal Current Biology. Parrots, it seems, don’t just have the ability to comprehend metal rings as currency for food, but they also “understand the consequences their actions can have on another individual,” says Christina Riehl, an expert in bird behavior at Princeton University who wasn’t involved in the research. “That’s pretty sophisticated reasoning.”

As Calls to Ban Books Intensify, Digital Librarians Offer Perspective - Internet Archive Blogs #copyrights #freespeech

From Texas to Virginia to Pennsylvania, there is a growing movement to challenge books in schools that some suggest are inappropriate for students. Concern goes beyond explicit content; it now includes opposition to LGBTQIA material, the history of racism, and material that may cause discomfort to readers.

While efforts to ban books are not new, the solutions to counter censorship are—thanks to technology that is used to create access for all.

The Internet Archive’s Open Library ( does not face the same local pressures that many school districts or school libraries do. At a time when students and teachers may be encountering limited access to content in their local community, the Internet Archive acquires and digitizes material for its online library, and lends a wide array of books for free to anyone, anytime.

For example, the American Library Association’s list of most challenged books in the past decade are available in a curated collection. Among the titles: The Glass Castle by Jennette Walls, banned for offensive language and sexually explicit content; The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, cited as being insensitive, anti-family and violent; and Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin, challenged for its LGBTQIA content and the perceived effects on young people who would read it.

Arrested after interviewing the World Cup manager – NRK Urix – Utenriksnyheter og -dokumentarer #freespeech #world

Wednesday morning, the two NRK reporters Halvor Ekeland and Lokman Ghorbani returned to Norway after 32 hours of incarceration whilst doing a news story on the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Later in the day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Head of Communications Trude Måseide informed NTB that Qatar’s ambassador had been summoned to explain the grounds for the arrest.

«We interview the chairman at length after a ceremony, and return to our hotel at noon to fetch our equipment. We are then approached by 5 or 6 men who identify themselves as police and take us to the station,» reporter Halvor Ekeland says. «We are questioned for eight hours in separate rooms, one at a time.»

Japan to launch bank-deposit-backed digital currency in 2022 - Nikkei Asia #economy #blockchain

A new digital currency backed by bank deposits is set for a test run in Japan as early as this year, an effort that will involve the nation's top banks and about 70 other companies and organizations.

The test run will focus on the digital currency's feasibility for low-cost business transactions, such as large payments between companies. The group aims to bring the currency into circulation as soon as the latter half of 2022.

The Digital Currency Forum announced the trial on Wednesday. The forum includes MUFG Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Mizuho Bank, Japan Post Bank and the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone group.

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