July 24, 2016

"Since Nasa's Mars rover, Curiosity, landed on the red planet in 2012, it has been zapping rocks using an on-board laser to analyse their composition."

Daily Mail: But until now, the laser was only able to operate when controlled by humans. Now, the rover is able to select rock targets to blast on its own, using the first autonomous target selection instrument of its kind. by Shivali Best

'The new software, called Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS), was previously used on Nasa's Mars Exploration Rover, though for a different type of instrument.

'Tara Estlin, a robotics engineer from AEGIS, who worked on the software, said: "This autonomy is particularly useful at times when getting the science team in the loop is difficult or impossible - in the middle of a long drive, perhaps, or when the schedules of Earth, Mars and spacecraft activities lead to delays in sharing information between the planets."'

"Five employees from cybersecurity firm Quadsys have admitted to hacking to a rival company's servers to allegedly steal customer data and pricing information."

ZDNet: According to The Register, members of the top Quadsys ranks pleaded guilty to hacking charges following a string of hearings. By Charlie Osborne

'The owner of Quadsys, Paul Streeter, managing director Paul Cox, director Alistair Barnard, account manager Steve Davies and security consultant Jon Townsend all appeared at Oxford Crown Court and admitted to "obtaining unauthorised access to computer materials to facilitate the commission of an offence."

'This could lead to up to 12 months in prison or fines.

'In March 2015, the five men were arrested and then charged in August. The group were originally held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit computer misuse offences, unauthorised PC access and conspiracy to acquire and use criminal property -- allegedly, the data belonging to customers of the rival company, as well as the firm's pricing tiers.'

"Bosses at UK infosec biz Quadsys confess to hacking rival reseller" by Paul Kunert here

"A Wall Street Journal reporter was detained by federal agents at the Los Angeles airport who demanded to confiscate her two cell phones -- and was surprised to find that border agents have the authority to do that."

CNN: Maria Abi-Habib, a reporter who covers the Middle East for the paper, detailed in a long Facebook post Thursday how Department of Homeland Security agents detained her in "a special section of LAX airport" to ask her questions. by Frank Pallotta and Jose Pagliery

'Abi-Habib has both U.S. and Lebanese citizenship and was traveling on an American passport. She was flying into Los Angeles from Beirut last Thursday when she taken out of line at immigration.

'"They grilled me for an hour," she wrote. "I answered jovially, because I've had enough high-level security experiences to know that being annoyed or hostile will work against you."

'Abi-Habib said that the agents then asked for her cellphones in order to "collect information."

'DHS acknowledged the incident occurred. The agency asserted it has legal authority to confiscate anyone's electronics on their way into the country.

'This journalist's encounter last week highlights a little-known federal policy: Border patrol agents have sweeping powers to search a person -- even without "reasonable suspicion" of any crime.'

Matthias Felleisen - The Racket Manifesto

Dave Herman

Larry Wall