If nonsenescence, or biological immortality, is an option in nature, how come this particular mini-bit of pond scum got the big prize?
Everything Dies, Right? But Does Everything Have To Die? Here’s A Surprise
Evolution is such a random, casino like affair; it’s startling to learn that longevity varies without regard to size. I know Daniel Martinez’s hydras were cleaned, fed, protected. They didn’t live in the wild. But still, they have lasted and lasted and lasted. I expect sequoias, redwoods and whales to last longer than mayflies, daisies and clover. Big things go on, but when two little freshwater animals have such drastically different life expectancies, all I can think is … whoa! Life is a puzzlement. npr

e-mail privacy laws: You want privacy? Too Bad! Now Politicians get it!

It took a shakedown, it took a threat, take their privacy away and “now” they see the light! Doesn’t matter what is happening to us the 99% until the 1% are effected by it. And Microsoft was happy to let the 99% twist in the wind until politicians put pressure on Microsoft to hand over the “files”. Only after that do we the 99% get any privacy that we all deserved in the first place from the bad actors above!
Checking email from the beach, Washington?
“Checking email from the beach, Washington?” Microsoft says in the ad, which refers vacationers to a website it set up about the case. “Then you may be just as concerned as most Americans about who has access to your emails saved in the cloud.”
Starting Wednesday, the software giant is running full-page ads in the newspapers of a number of popular beach spots frequented by Washingtonians to make the case for why the company should not have to turn over emails stored on a foreign server. The ads are running in weekly newspapers in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Martha’s Vineyard and North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
The company noted that 83 percent of people in a recent poll it commissioned thought that the same protections should apply to information stored digitally as on paper.
“Microsoft believes you own your emails no matter where they are stored,” it said. “That’s why we’ve gone to court to ask the government to follow long-established, internationally agreed upon processes to obtain emails rather than forcing technology companies to turn them over.”
A federal judge recently ruled against the software company, though Microsoft has pledged to appeal.
Other major tech firms including Apple, Verizon and AT&T have signed on in support of Microsoft, as has the digital rights organization Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The ad comes in response to a federal judgement in which Microsoft was ordered to share the private email data of users with investigators as part of a criminal case.
Microsoft has been pushing for new privacy rules ever since a federal judge this summer ordered the company to turn over a customer’s e-mails from an overseas server to U.S. law enforcement. Microsoft and several privacy advocates argued that doing so would set a dangerous precedent that would allow the U.S. government to order firms to give up content regardless of where the data are stored.
Your government  has an interest in gaining access to communications stored overseas without having to rely solely on cooperation from foreign law enforcement. Currently your email is treated as a company’s business records – Imagine That! My email is MINE!
Microsoft is squaring off against the Justice Department in a case that could have drastic ramifications for the protections on people’s data. Not to mention their bottom line. If microsoft can’t protect your privacy then what business around the world is going to want to do business with microsoft software <THINK CHINA>
legal protections for emails and documents stored in data centers abroad, turning the issue into a landmark battle over digital privacy is only about their 1% bottom line.
Who is going to want to do business with Microsoft products?
Microsoft challenged the warrant, claiming that the U.S. government does not have any authority to go after information stored in Ireland, without permission from the local government. Instead, Microsoft argues that the U.S. needs to go through a treaty process that allows it to get evidence from foreign countries.
Repairing the public’s trust? I don’t think so!!
After more than a year of disclosures from our hero  Edward Snowden caused many to be wary of American tech products, and learning about the conflicting laws between different nations this is about microsoft losing market share as well. The European Union, for instance, which has taken a much stronger approach to privacy, might take issue with a company that shuttled data stored abroad back to the U.S. government.
Judge Loretta Preska agreed with the government that the question came down to who controls the data, not where it is stored. Preska also ruled that personal emails are considered a “business record” under the law.
Someone better take Loretta to school it’s 2014.
1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act outlines rules for protecting digital information under the constitutional right to privacy, but does not provide a clear legal framework for dealing with the data stored on servers outside of U.S. territory, since the concept of multinational data centers.

Crime Ring Revelation Reveals Cybersecurity Conflict of Interest

Crime Ring Revelation Reveals Cybersecurity Conflict of Interest

Hold Security’s nebulous report on the “CyberVor” online hacker gang exposed the cybersecurity world’s troubling practice of uncovering online threats and then selling proposed solutions.
By Erik Schechter
Scientific American
Sep 15, 2014
A small cybersecurity firm claimed this summer to have uncovered a scam by Russian Internet thieves to amass a mountain of stolen information from 420,000 Web and FTP sites. The hacker network, dubbed “CyberVor,” possessed 1.2 billion unique credentials—a user name and matching password—belonging to 500 million e-mail addresses, asserted Hold Security, LLC.
Those numbers made Internet security watchers and even some consumers sit up and take notice—people use such credentials to access banking, investment and social media accounts after all. If true, the CyberVor haul would dwarf last December’s data breach of retailer Target, in which 40 million customer credit cards were compromised. Although a New York Times story lent credibility to Hold Security’s claims, some observers question whether the cybersecurity vendor’s big reveal was more of a publicity
stunt than a public service. The firm’s decision to charge potential victims a $120 fee for their Breach Notification Service did not help matters.
Panic and publicity certainly play a role in cybersecurity efforts, as companies that make antivirus and other protective software try to provide computer users with a sense of the unseen threats facing their devices and data on a daily basis. But questions arise when these companies yoke together the part of their businesses that finds and analyzes security threats with the part that sells software and services to mitigate those threats.
Even large, established firms such as Symantec Corp. have been accused of exaggerating the gravity of security threats to boost sales. A decade ago U.S. regulators cracked down on financial services firms for the questionable practice of having their equity research and investment banking divisions work together to endorse and then sell certain investments. No such oversight exists for cybersecurity companies. Although not surprising, given the relatively nascent nature of cyber threats, this conflict of interest means these companies walk a thin line between defending computers and other Internet-connected devices and profiting from people’s fear that their personal data is vulnerable at any
time to online attackers.

NASA opportunities for the K12 education

Registration Now Open for NASA Robotic Mining Competition 2015
Audience: Higher Education Educators & Students
Event Date: May 18-22, 2015
NASA Rockets 2 Racecars Educator Professional Development Opportunity at Richmond International Raceway 2014
Audience: All Educators
Event Dates: Sept. 5-6, 2014
International Observe the Moon Night
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Sept. 6, 2014
Free Education Webinar From NASA Educator Professional Development — Microbes in Space
Audience: K-12 In-service, Pre-service, Home School and Informal Educators
Event Date: Sept. 9, 2014, at 7 p.m. EDT
Free Webinar — Secrets to Fundraising for Competing in NASA Challenges
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Webinar Date: Sept. 10, 2014
Family Day Event at Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Sept. 13, 2014
Call for Papers — The NACA Centenary: A Symposium on 100 Years of Aerospace Research and Development
Audience: Scholars and Graduate Students
Submission Deadline: Sept. 15, 2014
MAVEN Workshop — Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!
Audience: Elementary Educators
Application Deadline: Sept. 15, 2014
Workshop Date: Sept. 21, 2014
Second Annual Astrobiology Symposium at the Library of Congress
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Symposium Dates: Sept. 18-19, 2014
Launch Opportunity: RockSat-C and RockSat-X Programs
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Notice of Intent Deadline: Sept. 19, 2014
2015 RASC-AL Robo-Ops Competition
Audience: Higher Education Students
Notice of Intent Requested by Sept. 19, 2014
Proposal Deadline: Oct. 10, 2014
NASA Family Education Night at Kennedy Space Center
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Sept. 20, 2014
National Mars Education Conference — Mars and the Comet: How to Use Natural Events as NGSS-Aligned Teachable Moments in Your Classroom
Audience: All Educators
Application Deadline: Sept. 23, 2014
Conference Date: Sept. 27, 2014
Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2014
Audience: 9-12 Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: Sept. 24, 2014
Send Your Name to the Asteroid Bennu!
Audience: Educators and Students Worldwide
Deadline: Sept. 30, 2014
Presidential Management Fellows Program: STEM Opportunity
Audience: Graduate Students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Disciplines
Application Period Will Open Sept. or Oct. 2014
OSSI NIFS — Spring 2015 Opportunities
Audience: Higher Education Students
Application Deadline: Oct. 12, 2014
Sally Ride EarthKAM Announces 2014 Fall Missions
Audience: Middle School Educators and Students, and the Informal Education Community
Mission Dates: Oct. 21-24, 2014, and Nov. 18-21, 2014
2014 NASA EONS Solicitation New Appendix
Audience: Minority Universities
Proposal Deadline: Nov. 12, 2014
2014 Humans in Space Art Video Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Students and Early Career Professionals
Deadline: Nov. 15, 2014
What’s New at NASA’s Space Place Website
Audience: K-6 Educators
Don’t miss out on upcoming NASA education opportunities.
For a full list of events, opportunities and more, visit the Educator and Student Current Opportunity pages on NASA’s website:
— Educators http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/current-opps-index.html
— Students http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/current-opps-index.html
Registration Now Open for NASA Robotic Mining Competition 2015

The Sixth Annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition will be held at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center May 18-22, 2015. NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition is for university-level students, enrolled in a U.S. college or university. Teams are challenged to design and build a mining robot that can traverse the simulated Martian chaotic terrain, excavate Martian regolith and deposit the regolith into a collector bin within 10 minutes. There is particular relevance to NASA’s recently announced mission to find an asteroid by 2016 and then bring it to cislunar space. NASA will directly benefit from the competition by encouraging the development of innovative excavation concepts from universities, which may result in ideas and solutions that could be applied to an actual excavation device or payload.
The winning team will receive the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence trophy, KSC launch invitations, team certificates for each member and a monetary team scholarship. Awards for other categories include monetary team scholarships, a school trophy or plaque, team and individual certificates, and KSC launch invitations.
Design teams must include at least one college or university faculty member and at least two undergraduate or graduate students. NASA has not set an upper limit on team members. A team should have a sufficient number of members to successfully operate their mining robot. Teams will compete in up to five major competition categories, including onsite mining, systems engineering paper, outreach project, slide presentation and demonstration (optional) and team spirit (optional).
Registration opened on Sept. 3, 2014, and is limited to 50 teams.
For more information, visithttp://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/centers/kennedy/technology/nasarmc.html.
Follow the NASA Robotic Mining Competition on Twitter athttps://twitter.com/NASARMC.
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Bethanné Hull at Bethanne.Hull@nasa.gov.

NASA Rockets 2 Racecars Educator Professional Development Opportunity at Richmond International Raceway 2014

Calling all science and math teachers — Come to Richmond International Raceway on Fri., Sept. 5, 2014, from noon to 7 p.m. and Sat., Sept. 6, 2014, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and become an ambassador of NASA content on NASA-inspired activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Team up with NASA education specialists in the VA529 Kid Zone and earn hours of professional development for every hour spent at the track. Participating teachers will receive a free ticket for the NASCAR Nationwide Race on Fri., Sept. 5, 2014.
Learn about all the different NASA-inspired hands-on activities by visiting http://tinyurl.com/NASAR2RatRIR2014.
Register today by sending an email to NASA Education Specialists Marilé Colón Robles at marile.colonrobles@nasa.gov or Bonnie Murray at bonnie.murray@nasa.gov.

International Observe the Moon Night

On Sept. 6, 2014, the whole world has the chance to admire and celebrate our moon on International Observe the Moon Night. And you can join in the fun!
Check the map of registered observation events athttp://observethemoonnight.org to see if there is an event being held near you. If not, please consider registering and hosting one and inviting your family, friends or neighbors.
Don’t know where to start?
This link walks you through the process of planning an event of any size. How to host an event in six easy steps:http://observethemoonnight.org/getInvolved/.
Need suggestions for hands-on activities?
Visit http://observethemoonnight.org/activities/ for ideas.
Worried about cloudy weather obscuring your view of the moon?
The “Moon as Art” collection, chosen by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, team, gives the public the opportunity to see the moon as others have seen it for centuries — as an inspirational muse — but this time from the perspective of being in orbit with a series of eyes that see in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Learn more at http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/moonartgallery.html.
Additional beautiful, high-resolution images of the moon’s surface taken by LRO’s cameras are available at http://lroc.sese.asu.edu.
Questions about this opportunity should be directed toLora.V.Bleacher@nasa.gov.

Free Education Webinar From NASA Educator Professional Development — Microbes in Space

Join NASA Educator Professional Development on Sept. 9, 2014, at 7 p.m. EDT, for a look at some of the big questions concerning life science. How do scientists classify living things? What role do universal ancestors play in classification? What would life look like on other worlds? Participants in this hourlong webinar will discuss the answers to these questions and more.
For more information and to register online, visit https://events-na11.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/1088539485/en/events/event/shared/1097653603/event_landing.html?sco-id=1214580293.

Free Webinar — Secrets to Fundraising for Competing in NASA Challenges

NASA has several exciting technical challenges open for universities and colleges. The challenges include the Student Launch, the Robotic Mining Competition, the Human Exploration Rover Challenge, the X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge, as well other challenges. In order to be successful, teams not only need to master engineering and technical obstacles, they must also raise the funding necessary for equipment and travel expenses.
To help all universities and colleges interested in competing, the NASA Minority Innovation Challenges Institute, or MICI, is hosting a free webinar on Sept. 10, 2014, at 3 p.m. EDT. Topics covered during the session will include:
— Fundraising practices utilized by teams that competed in the 2014 NASA Robotic Mining Competition.
— How to locate potential donors, and the best way to land contributions.
— How to use crowdfunding websites to expand fundraising efforts to regional and national levels.
— Grant opportunities that are open and receptive to funding university teams.
The webinar will be hosted by a certified fundraising executive along with two certified grant writers.
To sign up for this webinar and gain access to MICI’s other free webinars, visit http://nasamici.com/upcoming-sessions.
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Mary Baker atmary@nasamici.com.

Family Day Event at Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum

The Smithsonian’s family day event series celebrates the diverse ethnic and cultural communities that have contributed to aviation and space exploration. Events will commemorate historic and current contributions through presentations and activities for the entire family. The events are free and open to the public.
Women in Aviation and Space
Sept. 13, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT
Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, District of Columbia

From the days of the earliest pilots to today’s space program, women have been making significant contributions. Celebrate the incredible contributions of women in aviation and space exploration at the “Women in Aviation and Space” family day. During this event, visitors will have the opportunity to meet female role models and learn about the women who inspired them.

Questions about this series of events should be directed to the Visitor Service line at 202-633-1000.

Call for Papers — The NACA Centenary: A Symposium on 100 Years of Aerospace Research and Development

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, or NASM, and NASA’s History Program Office invite proposals for papers to a special symposium commemorating a century of aerospace research and development. On March 3, 1915, the U.S. Congress established the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or NACA, “to separate the real from the imagined and make known the overlooked and unexpected” in the quest for flight. In honor of that centennial, NASA and NASM will team to present a symposium on the history of the NACA. This historical symposium will be held in Washington, District of Columbia, on March 3-4, 2015.
All are invited to submit proposals. Major themes to be addressed in the symposium include:
— The NACA organizational and institutional structure and evolution.
— The NACA model of public/private partnerships in aerospace research.
— The NACA’s contributions to aerospace theory, ground research and flight operations.
— Individual projects.
— Broad themes in the history of the agency.
— Research projects versus other structural attributes.
— The social, economic and/or political history of the NACA.
— The NACA culture and its evolution.
— The relationship of the NACA to other entities, both private and public.
— Innovation in aerospace research.
— Models of partnership.
Possible topics are not restricted to these major themes. All papers are envisioned as scholarly contributions exploring broad thematic issues and questions.
Contributions from international scholars and graduate students with an interest in this history are welcome.
Some travel support scholarships may be available for international scholars and graduate students. Please indicate your interest in a need statement included with your paper proposal.
We intend that a subset of the papers will merit publication.
Proposals for papers should include a title and an abstract, as well as the author’s curriculum vita, and travel support need statement (as appropriate). Please send all proposals, in the form of a 300-word abstract and a brief vita electronically to Dr. William P. Barry, NASA chief historian, at bill.barry@nasa.gov, and Dr. Roger D. Launius, associate director for Collections and Curatorial Affairs at the National Air and Space Museum, launiusr@si.edu. The deadline for abstract submissions is Sept. 15, 2014.
Decisions about acceptance and support will be made by Nov. 1, 2014.
For more information about the Call for Papers, visithttp://www.nasa.gov/naca100years/.

MAVEN Workshop — Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission is set to arrive at Mars on Sept. 21, 2014. Celebrate the arrival with the MAVEN education team at this one-day workshop about the mission and the accompanying elementary program, Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! The program features six standards-based lessons that combine science, literacy and art to help students understand planetary habitability and the MAVEN mission.
The workshop will include dinner and lectures by MAVEN scientists. Following the workshop, participants will watch the NASA TV broadcast of the MAVEN spacecraft’s arrival at Mars.
The workshop will take place on Sept. 21, 2014, in Boulder, Colorado. Registration is $20 and includes coffee, snacks and dinner. Applications are due Sept. 15, 2014, but space is limited so interested educators are encouraged to apply early.
For more information about the workshop and to apply online, visithttp://lasp.colorado.edu/home/maven/education-outreach/for-educators/red-planet/boulder-workshop/.
Please email any questions about this opportunity toepomail@lasp.colorado.edu.

Second Annual Astrobiology Symposium at the Library of Congress
The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in the District of Columbia, in cooperation with the NASA Astrobiology Program, is hosting the second annual Astrobiology Symposium on Sept. 18-19, 2014.
“Preparing for Discovery: A Rational Approach to the Impact of Finding Microbial, Complex or Intelligent Life Beyond Earth,” is a two-day symposium featuring panel discussions, lectures and audience question-and-answer sessions. Panel members include professors, scientists, philosophers and astronomers representing various universities and organizations including NASA, the SETI Institute and the Library of Congress.
The event is free and open to the public. No pre-registration is required. For those unable to attend the symposium in person, the two-day event will be streamed live via webcast athttps://ac.arc.nasa.gov/loc/.
For more information, visit http://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/news/nasa-program-2014.html.
Questions about the symposium should be directed to Jason Steinhauer at jste@loc.gov.

Launch Opportunity: RockSat-C and RockSat-X Programs

NASA, in partnership with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, is offering the opportunity for university instructors and students to participate in three programs designed for everyone from the novice to the more experienced space researcher.
RockSat-C is a competitive program for university and community college students to design and build a sounding rocket payload, and then launch the payload on a sounding rocket at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The program actively engages students through full design-process mentoring, with assistance through the design phase throughout the fall semester. During the spring semester, teams are lead through testing and integration reviews, along with a launch readiness review.
RockSat-X pushes the RockSat-C concept to new extremes by providing participants with full access to the space environment, more in-flight resources and less restrictive design space. Deployable items are even allowed. In addition, payloads will be provided power and a live telemetry feed for real-time data acquisition during the flight. These amenities allow experimenters to focus more on the science and leave power and data handling to the Wallops rocket team.
Selected RockSat-C experiments will launch in June 2015. RockSat-X experiments are expected to launch later in the summer.
Student teams who are up to the challenge are invited to submit an intent to fly form before Sept. 19, 2014.
To learn more about Rocket-C and to see experiments selected for previous flights, visit http://spacegrant.colorado.edu/national-programs/rs-c-2015-home.
Questions about the RockSat-C program should be directed to Becca Lidvall by email at rocksatprogram@gmail.com.
To learn more about RockSat-X and to see experiments selected for previous flights, visit http://spacegrant.colorado.edu/national-programs/rs-x-2015-home.
Questions about the RockSat-X program should be directed to Jesse Austin by email at rocksatx@gmail.com.

2015 RASC-AL Robo-Ops Competition

NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace announce the 2015 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkage Exploration Robo-Ops, also known as RASC-AL Robo-Ops, competition. This design competition is aimed at university-level engineering or science students.
The RASC-AL Robo-Ops contest challenges participants to build a planetary rover prototype and demonstrate its capabilities in field tests at NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s Rock Yard. Up to three members of the team (plus the faculty advisor) may travel to Johnson Space Center for the onsite testing. The remaining team members will stay behind at the local university to conduct mission control tasks. The prototype rovers will be tele-operated by the mission control team members and must negotiate a series of obstacles while accomplishing a variety of tasks that include sample collection and acquisition. The only information available to the rover controller to perform the required tasks will be information transmitted through onboard rover video camera(s) or other onboard sensors.
Interested teams are encouraged to submit a notice of intent by Sept. 19, 2014, and teams must submit a project plan for their proposed projects by Oct. 10, 2014. The RASC-AL Robo-Ops Steering Committee of NASA experts will evaluate the project plans and select up to eight teams to compete against each other at the Rock Yard in June 2015, providing each selected team with a $10,000 stipend to develop its rover. $12,000 in cash awards is available to the winning teams.
The RASC-AL competition is open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students majoring in engineering or science at an accredited university. University design teams must include one faculty or industry advisor with a university affiliation and two or more undergraduate or graduate students. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.
For more information about this competition, visithttp://www.nianet.org/RoboOps.
If you have questions about this competition, please contact Stacy Dees at stacy.dees@nianet.org or Shelley Spears atshelley.spears@nianet.org.

NASA Family Education Night at Kennedy Space Center
NASA is hosting the annual NASA Family Education Night on Sept. 20, 2014, from 2 – 6 p.m. EDT at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
The event, targeted for first- through sixth-grade students and their parents, will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, with the theme Technology Drives Exploration. Educational activities and demonstrations will highlight the future of America’s space program and allow children to apply critical thinking skills, make and launch rockets and talk with a former astronaut.
For more information, visithttp://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/centers/kennedy/home/index.html.
Questions about the event should be directed to Joshua Santora atjoshua.santora@nasa.gov.

National Mars Education Conference — Mars and the Comet: How to Use Natural Events as NGSS-Aligned Teachable Moments in Your Classroom

Mars and the Comet…Close Encounters of the Natural Kind!
Have you ever wondered how to turn natural events into rich, teachable science moments in your classroom? Join NASA’s Mars Education team to learn Next Generation Science Standards-aligned strategies to use natural events as timely learning opportunities. The conference will focus on a fantastic, dramatic natural event that is taking place very soon — Comet Siding Spring is on track to have a close encounter with Mars on Oct. 19, 2014!
Mars Program Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Zurek from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be the featured guest speaker. He will provide educators with the latest information about how NASA will address this challenging natural event.
Find out how Mars related activities can enhance your curriculum. Learn about the newest Red Planet discoveries and new classroom science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, tools. In addition, attendees will be introduced to NGSS STEM hands-on activities and ways to extend students’ learning with critical thinking and project-based learning challenges. Conference participants will receive lesson plans, NASA materials and a certificate with 6 ½ professional development hours.
Applications are due Sept. 23, 2014.
For more information, visit http://marsed.asu.edu/naturalevents.
Questions about the conference should be directed to Sheri Klug Boonstra at sklug@asu.edu or marsed@asu.edu.

REGISTRATION OPEN: Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2014

The Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2014 will take place this fall, offering U. S. high school students the opportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space.
Zero Robotics challenges high school student teams to write their own algorithms to fly the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES. The competition starts online where teams compete to solve an annual challenge guided by mentors. Students can create, edit, share, save, simulate and submit code from a Web browser. After several phases of virtual competition, finalists will be selected to compete in a live championship aboard the International Space Station.
Registration for the competition closes on Sept. 24, 2014. The competition begins with a live webcast kickoff event from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Sept. 6, 2014. To be an official competitor, code for the 2D Practice competition must be submitted by Sept. 26, 2014.
For more information about the tournament and to register your team to participate, visit http://www.zerorobotics.mit.edu.
Zero Robotics is organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Systems Laboratory, Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation and TopCoder, and is sponsored by The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA and the Center for Advancement of Science in Space.
Please email any questions about this opportunity tozerorobotics@mit.edu.

Send Your Name to the Asteroid Bennu!
NASA is inviting people around the world to submit their names to be etched on a microchip aboard a spacecraft headed to the asteroid Bennu in 2016.
The “Messages to Bennu!” microchip will travel to the asteroid aboard the Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, spacecraft. The robotic mission will spend more than two years at the asteroid, which has a width of approximately 1,760 feet (500 meters). The spacecraft will collect a sample of Bennu’s surface and return it to Earth in a sample return capsule.
The deadline to submit names online is Sept. 30, 2014. Participants who submit their names to the “Messages to Bennu!” campaign will be able to print a certificate of appreciation to document their involvement.
For more information and to submit your name, visithttp://planetary.org/bennu.
Participants who “follow” or “like” the mission on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OSIRISREx) will receive updates on the location of their names in space from launch time until the asteroid samples return to Earth in 2023. Facebook fans also will receive mission progress and late-breaking news through regular status updates.
For more information about the OSIRIS-REx mission, visithttp://www.nasa.gov/osiris-rex and http://osiris-rex.lpl.arizona.edu.
Questions about this opportunity should be directed totps@planetary.org.

Presidential Management Fellows Program: STEM Opportunity
NASA and other federal agencies are always looking for the best and brightest science and engineering talent. To help agencies find those talented individuals, the Office of Personnel Management, or OPM, has developed and piloted a track of the Presidential Management Fellows program focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.
The Presidential Management Fellows, or PMF, program is a federal-wide, flagship leadership development program for advanced degree candidates. The program attracts and selects the best candidates possible and is designed with a focus on developing a cadre of potential government leaders. The PMF-STEM track seeks to identify the best future government leaders in STEM disciplines and place them in entry-level positions in federal agencies around the country. PMF-STEM was piloted last year with a low-key rollout.
This year, OPM would like to expand the PMF-STEM track to continue to support the STEM needs of the federal government.
— The PMF-STEM program is open to graduate students in STEM fields (degree must be confirmed by Aug. 31, 2015).
— Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
— The annual call for applications comes out in the fall (September – October) on www.USAJobs.gov and is generally open for two weeks.
— Applicants must apply through www.USAJobs.gov.
— More information about the program and application process, including a detailed list of eligibility requirements, can be found atwww.pmf.gov, and information on the PMF-STEM track can be found at http://www.pmf.gov/the-opportunity/pmf-stem.aspx.
Federal agencies hire PMF-STEM finalists into paid, entry-level, two-year fellowship positions. At the end of the fellowship, finalists have two years of federal work experience and may be noncompetitively converted into permanent positions within the federal government. NASA participated in the 2014 pilot and intends to actively consider PMF-STEM candidates for the 2015 program.
Questions about this opportunity may be directed to pmf@opm.gov.

OSSI NIFS — Spring 2015 Opportunities

NASA’s One Stop Shopping Initiative for Internships, Fellowships and Scholarships, or OSSI NIFS, strives to provide high school students and undergraduate and graduate students at all institutions of higher education access to a portfolio of internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities offered by NASA mission directorates and centers.
Visit the Office of Education Infrastructure Division LaunchPad to find information on internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities. The site features the OSSI NIFS online application for recruiting NASA interns, fellows and scholars. This innovative system allows students to search and apply for all types of higher education NASA internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities in one location. A single application places the student in the applicant pool for consideration by all NASA mentors.
Applications for spring 2015 opportunities are due Oct. 12, 2014.
To find available opportunities and to fill out an online application, visithttps://intern.nasa.gov/index.html.
Inquiries about OSSI NIFS should be submitted viahttps://intern.nasa.gov/oic/.

Sally Ride EarthKAM Announces 2014 Fall Missions

Students and educators have two chances to participate in Sally Ride EarthKAM this fall. The 2014 fall missions are scheduled to take placeOct. 21-24, 2014, and Nov. 18-21, 2014. Guide your students in hands-on research as they program a camera aboard the International Space Station to take pictures of specific locations on Earth. The optional online curricula at the Sally Ride EarthKAM website are targeted at middle school students but are adaptable for other grade levels. All students and educators are welcome, including participants in afterschool programs.
For more information and to register for an upcoming mission, visit the Sally Ride EarthKAM home page at https://earthkam.ucsd.edu/.
If you have questions about the EarthKAM project, please email ek-help@earthkam.ucsd.edu.

2014 NASA EONS Solicitation New Appendix

NASA’s Office of Education is accepting new proposals under the Education Opportunities in NASA STEM, or EONS, 2014 NASA Research Announcement for the Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, Institutional Research Opportunity, or MIRO appendix. This effort was previously titled as the NASA University Research Centers Project, and has now been consolidated into the MUREP Program within the NASA Office of Education.
Through the EONS omnibus solicitation, the opportunity MIRO has been released. Through MIRO awards, NASA aims to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM literacy and to enhance and sustain the capability of minority serving institutions to perform NASA-related research and education, which directly support NASA’s four mission directorates — Aeronautics Research, Human Exploration and Space Operations, Science, and Space Technology.
Proposals are due Nov. 12, 2014.
For more information regarding the MIRO solicitation, please visit theNASA EONS page on the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Proposal System, or NSPIRES, website at:http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId=%7bB6C61D04-5793-EF52-3497-1AA57FA424A5%7d&path=open .

2014 Humans in Space Art Video Challenge

The Humans in Space Art Program and NASA’s International Space Station Program have teamed up to launch the international Humans in Space Art Challenge. How will humans use space science and technology to benefit humanity? College students and early career professionals are invited to ponder this question and to express an answer creatively in a video less than three minutes long. Video artwork can be of any style, featuring original animation, sketches, music, live action drama, poetry, dance, Rube Goldberg machines, apps, etc. Younger students may also participate, but all artwork will be judged in one age category.
Individuals or teams of participants should include one clear reference to the International Space Station in their videos and may use space station footage if desired.
An interdisciplinary team of space representatives and art experts will evaluate the videos. NASA and the Humans in Space Art program will make the highest scoring artwork visible worldwide through online and local touring events. NASA will also take the winning video on a trip into orbit on the International Space Station and provide montages with flown patches for winners.
Submissions must be received by Nov. 15, 2014.
For additional information and a complete list of guidelines, visithttp://www.lpi.usra.edu/humansinspaceart/challenge/.
Inquiries about this opportunity should be directed tohumansinspaceart@lpi.usra.edu.

What’s New at NASA’s Space Place Website

It’s that time again — the beginning of a new school year! Here at the Space Place, we know that it can be a stressful time for educators. That’s why we think it’s a great idea to remind you of all the helpful resources we have developed specifically for you. Do you want material presented in visual, written and animated formats for reading exercises in line with the Common Core? Look no further than our new “Space Place in a Snap” series. Do you want a handy way to provide Space Place activities to all your students even if they don’t have a computer? We’ve made all of them available in PDF! Struggling to come up with material relevant to the Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS? Check out our helpful NGSS search feature in the educators’ section. While you are there, be sure to check out all the other great resources we provide.

What’s New? Jupiter!
From massive planets, long distances and extreme forces, it’s a challenge for educators — let alone students — to fully grasp the sizes and scales behind astronomical and planetary science. The Space Place grapples with just this issue in one of its latest additions — a new article titled “What’s it like inside Jupiter?” Building up from the pressure you might feel at the bottom of a pool all the way to the pressure felt in Jupiter’s core, this article uses midsize sedans as its primary unit of measurement. It comes with a fun animation, too. Check it out at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/jupiter.
What’s New? Tectonics ‘Snap!’
We’ve got a new release in our popular series “Space Place in a Snap.” This time the combined poster and animation presentation tackles the concepts behind plate tectonics and the shifting nature of Earth’s crust. This is a great resource for any earth science curriculum. Check it out at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/tectonics-snap.
Spotlight on Space Place Activities
With the arrival of the new school year, it’s a good time to remember that our popular make-and-do activities are now available to download as easy-to-hand-out, ready-to-print PDF files. Perfect for the classroom or afterschool programs, these activities are a great way to bring the Space Place to all your students even if there are a limited number of computers or Internet connections. Check out popular activities like “Build Your Own Spacecraft,” “Make Oreo Moon Phases” and “Get Your Gummy Greenhouse Gases.” The downloads are sorted by topic and can be found athttp://spaceplace.nasa.gov/make-do-pdf/.
For the Classroom
What better way to decorate your classroom than with the Space Place calendar? It’s now available for the 2014-2015 school year! The calendar has beautiful images and a plethora of fascinating NASA facts and trivia. You can download it month by month, or as a complete set, at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/calendar.
For Outside the Classroom
Everybody loves a good story. Why not read an educational one? We’ve posted an entertaining new article on the discovery of Uranus. Despite being visible to the naked eye in the night sky, it was discovered thousands of years after the other visible planets of our solar system. Find out the reasons why and learn the story behind this much-delayed discovery at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/uranus.
Special Days

Sept. 5: National Cheese Pizza Day.
Make a galactic mobile with the cardboard from your pizza.http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/galactic-mobile
Sept. 13: Positive-Thinking Day
Make your positive ions outnumber your negative ions when you do the “Ions in Action” experiment. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/ion-balloons
Sept. 16: Collect Rocks Day
Asteroids are big rocks in space. But how are they different from comets? http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/posters/#solarsystem
Sept. 18: Voyager I took first full frame photo of Earth and Moon together, 1977.
Check out other photos of the solar system at the Space Place.http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/gallery-solar-system
Oct. 4: First satellite, Sputnik, launched by Soviet Union, 1957.
Do comets or asteroids do more than explode or kill off dinosaurs?http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/comet-ocean/en/.
Oct. 14: Dessert Day.
Make yummy El Niño Pudding for dessert today.http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/el-nino
Oct. 29: Internet Day.
Celebrate by downloading some Space Place wallpaper for your computer desktop. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/wallpaper

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Dear NetHappenings Reader,
Happy Labor Day  looking forward to getting back into the groove.
FBI Radio: Public Service or Self-Serving?
FBI radio began in 1965, according to the FBI. The first series was called “FBI Washington” and aired on ABC. In 1990, it was reformatted and renamed “FBI This Week.” Since then, more than 1,200 one-minute spots have aired.
Awesome-radio – a curated list of radio resources and information
My exploration into CB radio. And radio in general. A curated list of awesome radio resources. Inspired by awesome-*. I recently pulled out my CB radio and installed it in my truck. This inspired me to create an open source repository of all the radio related resources I found helpful and my notes on the subject. This project is aimed at hackers who enjoy all aspects of radio communication. While a lot of this technology isn’t usable by citizens and is heavily regulated by the FCC, just knowing anything about it is special. I’ve been interested in learning the ins and outs of radio, as well as hearing stories, new and old.
Hackers Build a Skype That’s Not Controlled by Microsoft call;ed TOX
Android security mystery – ‘fake’ cellphone towers found in U.S.
“What we find suspicious is that a lot of these interceptors are right on top of U.S. military bases.” says Goldsmith. “Whose interceptor is it? Who are they, that’s listening to calls around military bases? The point is: we don’t really know whose they are.” What has come as a surprise is how many “interceptors” are in active use in the U.S., and that their purpose remains mysterious.
The VME Dominator™ is a real time GSM A5.1 cell phone interceptor. It cannot be detected. It allows interception of voice and text. It also allows voice manipulation, up or down channel blocking, text intercept and modification, calling & sending text on behalf of the user, and directional finding of a user during random monitoring of calls. The VME Dominator is far superior to passive systems in being able to intervene and manipulate calls and sms, working with up to 4 base stations concurrently, and up to 20 users in the system at any one time.
Shenzhen trip report – visiting the world’s manufacturing ecosystem
While intellectual property seems to be mostly ignored, tradecraft and trade secrets seem to be shared selectively in a complex network of family, friends and trusted colleagues. This feels a lot like open source, but it’s not. The pivot from piracy to staking out intellectual property rights isn’t a new thing. The United States blatantly stole book copyright until it developed it’s own publishing very early in US history. The Japanese copied US auto companies until it found itself in a leadership position. It feels like Shenzhen is also at this critical point where a country/ecosystem goes from follower to leader.
Russian gas giant Gazprom’s CEO Alexei Miller , Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli attend a ceremony marking the welding of the first link of “The Power of Siberia” gas pipeline outside Yakutsk in eastern Siberia yesterday as construction of the US$20.8 billion pipeline that will bring gas from the country’s far east to China began. Work on the Chinese section is due to start 2015.
MICROSOFT Corp has been granted a 20-day deadline by a Chinese regulator to explain why it held back on its “not fully disclosed information” regarding Windows and Office suite sales.
Hong Kong’s Basic Law
China’s rubber-stamp parliament is expected on Sunday to endorse the framework for Hong Kong’s first direct leadership election, due in 2017. But Beijing is likely to only allow two or three “patriotic” candidates, with no open nominations. That will anger pro-democracy activists who have threatened civil disobedience, potentially disrupting Hong Kong’s major financial hub.
China rules out full democracy for Hong Kong
Pro-democracy activists take to the streets of Hong Kong after China rejects their demands for free elections.
Hong Kong police arrest 19 in pro-democracy scuffles
Hong Kong police said on Tuesday they arrested 19 people during scuffles with pro-democracy activists prompted by China’s decision not to allow the Asian financial hub to choose its next leader.
Fast food workers plan biggest US strike to date over minimum wage
Workers from McDonald’s, Burger King and other chains to hold walkout protest on Thursday as battle to unionize escalates. America’s fast food workers are planning their biggest strike to date this Thursday, with a nationwide walkout in protest at low wages and poor healthcare.
Bank of America seeks to void verdict in $1.27 billion ‘Hustle’ case
Bank of America Corp on Thursday asked a federal judge to throw out a jury verdict finding it liable for fraud over defective mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit that resulted in a $1.27 billion penalty.
Several Swiss banks pull out of U.S. tax program:
At least 10 Swiss banks have withdrawn from a U.S. program aimed at settling a tax dispute between them and the United States, Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources.
Management dictating their own terms
The Wolf: You’ve heard of the 10x engineer, but I am here to tell you about the Wolf. They are an engineer and they consistently exhibit the following characteristics:
Man builds 3D printed concrete castle in his own backyard
2.6m historic pictures posted online
The Civil Rights Movement web site
continues to collect documents, stories, and biography of Civil Rights Movement workers. One document IS folklore. This leaflet hits every stereotype you’ve every heard of but, it IS  folklore from Birmingham AL
Our Use of Little Words Can, Uh, Reveal Hidden Interests
The Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count program that Pennebaker and his students built in the early 1990s has, like any computer program, an ability to peer into massive data sets and discern patterns that no human could ever hope to match. Specifically, what Pennebaker found was that when the language style of two people matched, when they used pronouns, prepositions, articles and so forth in similar ways at similar rates, they were much more likely to end up on a date.
Georgia State University Library releases Library Instruction Recorder plugin as Open Source
As part of its commitment to the free culture movement, Georgia State University Library is pleased to announce the initial release of the Library Instruction Recorder (LIR). LIR is a free, open source WordPress plugin that allows librarians and library staff to record and report on library instruction sessions.
Recent research on leadership barriers for women working in tech
BBC begins kids coding push with Bitesize and TV shows
The BBC has published computer programming study guides, quizzes and other support materials on its Bitesize site to coincide with the new computing curriculum’s introduction in England. The broadcaster also revealed several programming-themed children’s TV shows will be broadcast in the autumn. The BBC described the move as an “early start” to a wider coding initiative planned for next year.
The Serif Readability Myth August 29, 2014 / Kas Thomas
I’ve been involved in publishing all my life, and like many others I’ve always accepted as axiomatic the notion that typefaces with serifs (such as Times-Roman) are, in general, are more readable than non-serif typefaces (e.g., Helvetica). It never occurred to me that there was any doubt about the matter whatsoever. Were the monks who invented serifs and other text ornamentations merely engaging in idle doodling? Weren’t they consciously intending to increase the legibility of the important documents they were transcribing?
How I Start: Go With Peter Bourgon
Go is meant to be simple, but sometimes the conventions can be a little hard to grasp. I’d like to show you how I start all of my Go projects, and how to use Go’s idioms. Let’s build a backend service for a web app.
Download videos from YouTube (and mores sites)
youtube-dl is a small command-line program to download videos from YouTube.com and a few more sites. It requires the Python interpreter (2.6, 2.7, or 3.3+), and it is not platform specific. We also provide a Windows executable that includes Python. youtube-dl should work in your Unix box, in Windows or in Mac OS X. It is released to the public domain, which means you can modify it, redistribute it or use it however you like. You can also contact us on the irc channel #youtube-dl(webchat) on freenode.
Copyright © 2006-2014 Ricardo Garcia Gonzalez
Under the Microscope
[print edition title; the online title was “As Data Overflows Online, Researchers Grapple With Ethics”]
Scholars are exhilarated by the prospect of tapping into the vast troves of personal data collected by Facebook, Google, Amazon and a host of start-ups, which they say could transform social science research. Once forced to conduct painstaking personal interviews with subjects, scientists can now sit at a screen and instantly play with the digital experiences of millions of Internet users. It’s the frontier of social science — experiments on people who may never even know they are subjects of study, let alone explicitly consent. “This is a new era,” said Jeffrey T. Hancock, a Cornell University professor of communication and information science. “I liken it a little bit to when chemistry got the microscope.”
Greenhouse gas fear over increased levels of meat eating
Research from Cambridge and Aberdeen universities estimates greenhouse gases from food production will go up 80% if meat and dairy consumption continues to rise at its current rate. That will make it harder to meet global targets on limiting emissions. The study urges eating two portions of red meat and seven of poultry per week. However that call comes as the world’s cities are seeing a boom in burger restaurants. The research highlights that more and more people from around the world are adopting American-style diets, leading to a sizeable increase in meat and dairy consumption.
A Call for a Low-Carb Diet That Embraces Fat
People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study shows.
Saving America’s honeybees
In the past 60 years the number of honeybee colonies has fallen from six million beehives in 1947, to just 2.5 million today, according to the White House. in June, President Obama launched a taskforce to protect the honeybee. The White House is investing $50m into research and action to stem the decline, improve habitats and promote better education around the issue.
Waking the Dead: Bringing Extinct Species Back to Life
The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback This is the first project to revive an extinct animal using its museum-specimen DNA. Once it succeeds, the techniques will be applicable to hundreds of other extinct species.
Google ‘discourages’ old browser use
For some the only way to get to the 2014 search page was to change their browser’s basic configuration to make Google think it was more up-to-date than it actually was. A Google engineer joined the discussion and explained that the change was not the result of a bug. “It’s working as intended,” said a Google staffer called “nealem”.
What Browser Am I Using?
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