Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #10906 on: Jun 19th, 2014, 10:27am »
Harley-Davidson’s First Electric Motorcycle Surprisingly Doesn’t Suck
By Alex Davies
06.19.14 7:30 am
Harley-Davidson is more than a motorcycle, or even a brand. It is an icon, one that brings to mind big, loud bikes ridden by burly men with tattoos and beards. The company has long been known for rumbling V-twin engines and the open road. All of which makes the idea of an electric Harley seem downright absurd.
It’s actually pretty cool.
The LiveWire is the first electric two-wheeler out of Milwaukee. We spent an afternoon riding one amongst the weeds and broken glass of an abandoned Marine Corps runway outside Los Angeles last week and came away impressed. The Hell’s Angels aren’t going to be riding them anytime soon, but the bike offers an entertaining blend of power and comfort. It doesn’t sound anything at all like a proper Harley—or a “fighter jet landing on an aircraft carrier” as Harley brass say—but it’s got a futuristic sound that brings to mind an airliner taking to the air.
The LiveWire may not rumble like the Harleys everyone knows, and it doesn’t perform like them. But it’ll hit 60 mph in under four seconds and it’s got more style than other electrics we’ve ridden. Now Harley has to find out if anyone actually wants the thing.
Cutting weight and potatoes
If Harley-Davidson isn’t the world’s most famous motorcycle, it’s close. The company has been building motorcycles since 1903, and typically subscribes to the bigger-is-better school of engineering. But even Harley-Davidson knows the times are changing, and it recognizes the need to diversify a customer base dominated by middle-aged white guys. Upstarts like Zero Motorcycles and Brammo have proven one way to attract younger, urban riders is selling small, compact bikes powered by batteries. Even major players like Yamaha are giving electrics a go. So Harley is trying it out, too.
“Any business has always got to look ahead to see where customers are interested in going, and see where society might be going,” says Mark-Hans Richer, Harley’s top marketing guy.
That said, this isn’t a production model. Not yet, anyway. Harley is taking a few dozen LiveWires on a tour, dubbed Project LiveWire, of the United States and Europe. It will invite people in each city to check out the bike and provide feedback. The tour starts Monday in New York.
The key challenge in building the LiveWire was the shift from building a bike around an engine to building one around a battery. A battery is heavy—Harley wouldn’t say what the pack weighs, but one EV expert told us something with the range and recharge time Harley claims would be around 250 pounds—so engineers had to cut weight elsewhere. The cast aluminum perimeter frame wrapped around the battery box weighs just 14 pounds, which makes it a full eight pounds lighter than the Zero’s frame. The wheels have hollow spokes, and Harley claims they’re among the lightest aluminum wheels it’s ever produced. There’s no need for an exhaust system, which not only saves weight but gives the bike a sleeker look. The result is a clean, tightly packaged bike without frivolous details.
Harley did most of the chassis work—it’s been building bikes since the dawn of internal combustion, so it’s got that down pat—but brought in experts like Mission Motors for help with things like the motor controller.
Speaking of the motor, the LiveWire marks quite a departure from Harley’s signature sound. You don’t get the syncopated “potato, potato, potato” that is synonymous with a 60-degree V-twin engine. But even though it’s electric, and therefore has no engine, the LiveWire had to live up to Harley’s “look, sound, and feel” mantra. That took a lot of work, but company president and COO Matt Levatich insists the result is “not contrived.”
The high-pitched whir of the longitudinally-mounted, three-phase AC induction motor reverberates through the chassis, amplifying the sound. It starts off quietly, then builds in pitch and volume as the bike gains speed. It’s louder than you’d think, and though it’s not going to set off any car alarms, it’ll definitely make you smile.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #10907 on: Jun 19th, 2014, 10:33am »
New horned dinosaur reveals unique wing-shaped headgear
Date: June 18, 2014
Source: Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Scientists have named a new species of horned dinosaur (ceratopsian) based on fossils collected from Montana in the United States and Alberta, Canada. Mercuriceratops (mer-cure-E-sare-ah-tops) gemini was approximately 6 meters (20 feet) long and weighed more than 2 tons. It lived about 77 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous Period. Research describing the new species is published online in the journal Naturwissenschaften.
Mercuriceratops (Mercuri + ceratops) means "Mercury horned-face," referring to the wing-like ornamentation on its head that resembles the wings on the helmet of the Roman god, Mercury. The name "gemini" refers to the almost identical twin specimens found in north central Montana and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dinosaur Provincial Park, in Alberta, Canada. Mercuriceratops had a parrot-like beak and probably had two long brow horns above its eyes. It was a plant-eating dinosaur.
"Mercuriceratops took a unique evolutionary path that shaped the large frill on the back of its skull into protruding wings like the decorative fins on classic 1950s cars. It definitively would have stood out from the herd during the Late Cretaceous," said lead author Dr. Michael Ryan, curator of vertebrate paleontology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. "Horned dinosaurs in North America used their elaborate skull ornamentation to identify each other and to attract mates -- not just for protection from predators. The wing-like protrusions on the sides of its frill may have offered male Mercuriceratops a competitive advantage in attracting mates."
"The butterfly-shaped frill, or neck shield, of Mercuriceratops is unlike anything we have seen before," said co-author Dr. David Evans, curator of vertebrate palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum. "Mercuriceratops shows that evolution gave rise to much greater variation in horned dinosaur headgear than we had previously suspected."
The new dinosaur is described from skull fragments from two individuals collected from the Judith River Formation of Montana and the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta. The Montana specimen was originally collected on private land and acquired by the Royal Ontario Museum. The Alberta specimen was collected by Susan Owen-Kagen, a preparator in Dr. Philip Currie's lab at the University of Alberta. "Susan showed me her specimen during one of my trips to Alberta," said Ryan. "I instantly recognized it as being from the same type of dinosaur that the Royal Ontario Museum had from Montana."
The Alberta specimen confirmed that the fossil from Montana was not a pathological specimen, nor had it somehow been distorted during the process of fossilization," said Dr. Philip Currie, professor and Canada research chair in dinosaur paleobiology at the University of Alberta. "The two fossils -- squamosal bones from the side of the frill -- have all the features you would expect, just presented in a unique shape."
"This discovery of a previously unknown species in relatively well-studied rocks underscores that we still have many more new species of dinosaurs to left to find," said co-author Dr. Mark Loewen, research associate at the Natural History Museum of Utah.
This dinosaur is just the latest in a series of new finds being made by Ryan and Evans as part of their Southern Alberta Dinosaur Project, which is designed to fill in gaps in our knowledge of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs and study their evolution. This project focuses on the paleontology of some of oldest dinosaur-bearing rocks in Alberta and the neighbouring rocks of northern Montana that are of the same age.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #10908 on: Jun 19th, 2014, 11:37am »
Crystal..I love that Dinos hair do! It's so Beaufont!!
New Hack! Turn Of The Screw takes Wall Street by Storm.
The Ultimate Hack - HFT Hedge Fund's Trades "Slowed Down" By Malicious Malware Tyler Durden's picture Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/19/2014 11:15 -0400
UPDATE: Sure enough, this was serious! *FBI, N.Y. POLICE ANNOUNCE FINANCIAL CYBER CRIMES TASK FORCE
Hacking Target... or The Pentagon... or Alcoa... or some Chinese military installation is all well and good; but mess with the US equity markets' mainstay market structure and it's getting serious. As BAE Systems reports, hackers slowed down high-speed trading at a large hedge fund last year and rerouted information about the company’s trades to offsite computers. The cyber-attack targeted the hedge fund’s trade order entry system and added gaps to the company’s trading algorithm - delaying orders by milliseconds. The hack went undetected for 8 weeks. Though the hedge fund was not named, it is believed that 'organized crime' is behind the hack - ironic really...
As Bloomberg reports,
Hackers rerouted information about a hedge fund’s high-speed trades last year to offsite computers, a security official with BAE Systems Plc said.
The hackers sought out monetary gain, targeting the hedge fund’s trade order entry system and adding gaps to the company’s trading algorithm, Paul Henninger, global product director at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, said in an interview.
The attack slowed down high-speed trading at the hedge fund, which BAE wouldn’t name.
“This is the first time we’ve seen criminals actively go after a business system and effectively take over that system and create sabotage,” said Paul Henninger, global product director for BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.
The attack was going on for eight weeks and BAE was called in by the company at the end of 2013, Henninger said.
“It has all the signatures of an organized crime attack,” he said.
*HACKERS PENETRATED A LARGE HEDGE FUND, BAE SYSTEMS TELLS CNBC *BAE SAYS HACKERS STALLED HIGH-SPEED TRADES AT FUND: CNBC *ATTACKS DELAYED TRADES BY MILLISECONDS, BAE'S HENNINGER SAYS *HACKERS SAID TO SEEK MONETARY GAIN IN ATTACK ON HEDGE FUND: BAE *HEDGE FUND HAD TRADING SLOWED BY HACKERS IN 2013, BAE SAYS *HACKERS REROUTED HIGH-SPEED TRADING INFORMATION, BAE SAYS *ATTACK ON HEDGE FUND WENT UNDETECTED FOR EIGHT WEEKS, BAE SAYS *ORGANIZED CRIME SAID TO BE BEHIND HEDGE FUND HACKER ATTACK
What better way to crash a stock market than to hack the HFTs?
« Last Edit: Jun 19th, 2014, 11:39am by Sysconfig »
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #10910 on: Jun 20th, 2014, 09:11am »
House Votes To Cut Key Pursestrings For NSA Surveillance
By Andy Greenberg 06.20.14 | 12:40 am
The House of Representatives may have only passed a puny attempt to reform the NSA’s surveillance activities last month. But on Thursday evening it swung back with a surprising attack on a key element of the agency’s spying programs: their funding.
In a late night session, the House of Representatives voted 293 to 123 to pass an amendment to a Department of Defense appropriations bill that would cut off all funds for two of the agency’s most embattled activities: First, using the 702 provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to perform searches of collected surveillance data that target Americans, and second, asking hardware markers and software developers to build backdoors into their tools designed to give the agency access to users’ communications. On that second count, the amendment specifically forbids funding for any agency attempt “to mandate or request that a person redesign its product or service to facilitate…electronic surveillance.”
Both of those funding bans represent a clear reaction against behavior revealed from the leaks of Edward Snowden, which have shown over the past year that the NSA subverted cryptography standards, diverted hardware shipments to plant bugs in products, and found other ways to gather raw communication data from Silicon Valley firms like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and others.
Though the amendment’s bans still haven’t been mirrored in the Senate, the House vote nonetheless sends “an unambiguous statement that there’s political will to do something about the issue of unchecked NSA spying,” says Parker Higgins, an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which supported a campaign to persuade citizens to call their congressman in support of the amendment. “This is not a trivial thing. These surveillance programs need money to survive. Without it there are hard questions ahead for the NSA.”
The bill also represents a striking shift from the USA Freedom bill, intended to reform NSA mass surveillance, that passed the house last month in a watered-down form that disappointed privacy advocates. In part, the contrast is a result of political procedure: Much of the Freedom bill’s weakening took place in the Judiciary and Intelligence committees, says Julian Sanchez, a fellow at the Cato Institute who follows surveillance policy. As an amendment to an appropriations bill, he says, the defunding legislation instead escaped that ”double gauntlet” of lobbying. “In particular, it didn’t have to go through the Intelligence Committee, which is basically a proxy for the intelligence community,” says Sanchez.
In fact, the toothless surveillance reform bill may have directly inspired Thursday night’s landslide vote by not going far enough to satisfy legislators seeking to curtail the NSA’s most controversial activities. Due to the weakening of that bill’s anti-spying provisions in committee, many House members never had a chance to show their intention to more drastically limit the NSA’s spying.
Even if the amendment becomes law, it still wouldn’t necessarily end all federally-mandated backdoors in hardware and software, cautions Matt Blaze, a computer science professor and cryptographer at the University of Pennsylvania. According to his reading of the amendment, it wouldn’t cover the FBI, for instance. “The goal is clearly important. I worry that the scope…is limited,” he says. “Even when the NSA and CIA don’t request or put pressure on vendors to incorporate backdoors, other agencies, like FBI, may be in the same business.”
Still, the passage of the amendment marks a serious shift in the political landscape following a year of Snowden’s spying disclosures. A similar amendment put to a vote last year came up seven votes short of passing. The lopsided tally this year shows that reining in the NSA has become a popular political cause that crosses party lines, says the EFF’s Higgins. “Last year, legislators who voted in favor of this amendment were sticking their necks out,” he says. “Now the status quo has changed. There’s a sense that if you’re not doing something about this problem, it’s going to be a black mark on your record.”
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #10918 on: Jun 22nd, 2014, 10:35am »
MH370 captain plotted route to southern Indian Ocean on home simulator
Detectives investigating the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines flight which disappeared in March have discovered new evidence which has increased suspicion of its pilot.
By Dean Nelson, New Delhi 11:56AM BST 22 Jun 2014
The pilot of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane which disappeared in March with 239 people on board had plotted a flight path to a remote island far into the southern Indian Ocean where the search is now focused, investigators have discovered.
The route, which was deleted before MH370 disappeared on March 8, was made on a home flight simulator machine used for practice by its captain, Zaharie Shah. Its discovery has intensified suspicion that he deliberately hijacked his own plane and diverted it from its approved flight path to Beijing.
More than three months have now passed since the flight disappeared in what has become one of the great mysteries of modern aviation. And despite a lack of any hard evidence, suspicion of Capt Zaharie's involvement has grown as investigators have gradually eliminated other potential suspects and causes of its disappearance.
Detectives and investigators, including experts from Britain's Air Incident Branch, have so far found no evidence of a technical fault or malfunction which could explain its disappearance. Inquiries into the backgrounds of the flight's passengers and crew have similarly failed to yield any evidence of, or motive for, anyone hijacking the plane or sabotaging it.
But suspicion of Capt Zaharie emerged within a week of MH370's disappearance as the Chinese government intensified pressure on Malaysia to explain the mystery and find the missing plane. More than 150 of its 227 passengers were Chinese nationals.
Detectives raided Capt Zaharie's home in Kuala Lumpur and took away his flight simulator as part of their investigation as tracking information from the British Inmarsat satellite company indicated the flight had not plunged into the South China Sea off Malaysia's east cost close to Vietnam as feared but had doubled back across the Malay Peninsula, turned left and headed towards the southern Indian Ocean.
Its movement indicated it had been deliberately diverted but there is no evidence yet to conclude who was responsible.
On Friday, shortly before new details of Capt Zaharie's deleted simulator flight path emerged, Malaysia's acting transport minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, said his search team would soon begin looking in a new area in the southern Indian Ocean corridor suggested by a new analysis.
"We have to continue with the lead because the best lead we have is based on the handshake on the Inmarsat [satellite data] and still in the southern corridor", he said.
Sources close to the investigation confirmed to The Telegraph on Sunday that a deleted flight path had been recovered from Capt Zaharie's simulator which had been used to practice landing an aircraft on a small runway on an unnamed island in the far southern Indian Ocean.
The discovery leaves Capt Zaharie as the prime suspect in a crime which cannot yet be proven to have been committed – and Malaysian police have been careful in their public comments to stress that all leads are still being investigated and no conclusions have been reached.
At a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on March 16, however, Malaysia's chief of police Khalid Abu Bakar said he believed the plane had been diverted by hijackers, saboteurs or someone with a personal vendetta or psychological problem. Friends and relatives of Capt Zaharie denied he had any motive for hijacking his own plane and described him as a warm and helpful man who was committed to social work.
He had campaigned for the mainstream People's Justice Party of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim and did not support Islamic extremists, party worker Sivarasa Rasiah told The Telegraph shortly after the plane disappeared.
"He comes across as a really likeable guy, a warm guy. There is absolutely no way he is doing this of his own volition," he said.