Hayabusa2 touches down on asteroid, shoots it

February 22nd, 2019
by The Feeder
Plot of the timing of Hayabusa2's approach.

Enlarge / The timeline of the approach and sampling process. (credit: JAXA)

Today, in an extended Twitter thread and ensuing press conference, JAXA's Hayabusa2 team announced that everything had gone well in gathering an asteroid sample for eventual return to Earth. While we don't yet know about the material it obtained, the Japanese spacecraft has successfully executed all the commands associated with the sample recovery.

Hayabusa2 has been in space since 2014, and it slowly made its way to an orbit 20km above the surface of the asteroid Ryugu. In late 2018, the spacecraft made a close approach to the asteroid and released two small, solar-powered robots that have been hopping on the surface since. This week has seen the first of what are intended to be several sample-gathering attempts.

The procedure for this is pretty straightforward: Hayabusa2 snuggles up to the asteroid and shoots it. The probe has a sample-gathering "horn" that it can place up against the asteroid's surface. Once it's in place, Hayabusa2 can fire a bullet into the asteroid's surface, blasting material loose that will be gathered by the horn and stored for return to Earth. JAXA, the Japanese space agency, calls its gun a "projector," but admits that the thing it fires is a bullet. JAXA has a Web page that describes some on-Earth testing of the whole system.

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Posted in asteroid, Hayabusa, planetary science, Ryugu, science | Comments (0)

SpaceX to European competitors: We’re not subsidized, you are

February 22nd, 2019
by The Feeder
A Falcon 9 rocket launches the Iridium-8 mission in January, 2019.

Enlarge / A Falcon 9 rocket launches the Iridium-8 mission in January, 2019. (credit: SpaceX)

Last summer, the Trump administration announced that it was opening negotiations with the European Union to achieve "fairer, more balanced trade" on behalf of US corporations, workers, and consumers. Since then, the talks have proceeded in fits and starts, with the president threatening auto tariffs if he didn't like the deal struck by the current US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer.

As part of this process, US companies were apparently asked what grievances they had concerning current barriers to free trade with the European Union. The most prolific US rocket company, SpaceX, was among those that responded, and the company used the opportunity to complain about foreign subsidies propping up its competitors for commercial satellite launches.

Large subsidies

On Dec. 10, SpaceX director of commercial sales Stephanie Bednarek wrote to Edward Gresser, chair of the Trade Policy Staff Committee in the Office of the US Trade Representative. The letter was first reported on by a French publication, Les Echos. A copy was then shared in the NASASpaceFlight.com forums.

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Bug Allows Bypass of WhatsApp Face ID, Touch ID Protection (SecurityWeek)

February 22nd, 2019
by The Feeder

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Exploiting Drupal8’s REST RCE (SA-CORE-2019-003, CVE-2019-6340)

February 22nd, 2019
by The Feeder
submitted by /u/cfambionics
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Why Facebook Search Suggests ‘Photos of Female Friends in Bikinis’

February 22nd, 2019
by The Feeder
The social network has been criticized for directing users to search for photos only of female friends, not male ones. But it's not all Facebook's fault.

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Why putting Xbox games on Switch isn’t as ridiculous as it might sound

February 22nd, 2019
by The Feeder
Why putting Xbox games on Switch isn’t as ridiculous as it might sound

Enlarge (credit: Aurich)

Here at Ars, we tend to be skeptical of the regularly recurring rumors that two major video game competitors are going to be merging or teaming up in some way. From the early 2000s whispers that Microsoft would buy a struggling Sega to suggestions that Apple should buy Nintendo, these rumors often reflect wishful thinking at least as much as actual insider knowledge.

That said, we're still intrigued by recent rumors that Microsoft could be bringing certain Xbox One games—and a version of its Xbox Game Pass subscription service—to the Nintendo Switch and other consoles.

As the current scuttlebutt has it, an Xbox app to be released for the Switch would let players with a Games Pass subscription play a selection of Xbox One games on Nintendo's hardware. High-end games would work on Nintendo's lower-end hardware thanks to streaming via Microsoft's recently announced Project xCloud. Meanwhile, Microsoft would also sell certain low-end first-party Xbox One games, like the Ori series, to the Switch directly, according to the rumors.

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Webinar Managing Security Stack Sprawl (InfoRiskToday)

February 22nd, 2019
by The Feeder

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Entrust to Acquire Hardware Security Module Maker nCipher (SecurityWeek)

February 22nd, 2019
by The Feeder

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6 Tips for Getting the Most from Your VPN

February 22nd, 2019
by The Feeder
VPNs are critical for information security. But simply having these cozy security tunnels in the toolkit isn't enough to keep an organization's data safe.

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Google ends forced arbitration for all employees

February 22nd, 2019
by The Feeder
Exterior of Google office building.

Enlarge / Some Googlers held protest signs during the November 2018 walkout. (credit: Cyrus Farivar)

Google is dropping forced arbitration requirements for its employees, the company announced on Thursday. Starting March 21, both existing and new employees will have the option to sue Google in court and to join together in class-action lawsuits.

The news is a victory for a group of activist Google employees who have been pressuring Google to make this change since last fall. Thousands of Googlers walked out last November to protest Google's handling of recent sexual harassment controversies.

Google quickly agreed to drop forced arbitration requirements in certain sexual harassment cases. But critics kept up the pressure, and Google is now exempting all employees and direct contractors from forced arbitration requirements in a broader range of cases.

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Posted in Andy Rubin, forced arbitration, google, Policy | Comments (0)