There’s Something Very Strange Surrounding This Galaxy

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Meet the Eye of Horus. It’s a newly discovered galaxy system that’s hiding something incredible in those fuzzy swirls of light circling it: a way of looking back into even further and older galaxies.

The new galaxy system was discovered by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan using the Subaru Telescope over the course of a massive survey that it’s been conducting of deep space. During a session for student astronomers, the galaxy was flagged for its unusual appearance. In addition to the galaxy you can see right in the center of the above image, there are actually multiple galaxies behind that appear as swirling lights you see around the main galaxy’s center.

That we can see the more distant galaxies at all is due to gravitational lensing. It’s the same phenomenon responsible for letting us see those images of galaxy clusters in deep space through the Hubble telescope. The strong gravity of multiple galaxy clusters makes the space around them bend, which means the light around them also bends. This creates a “zoom lens” into space which we can combine with the power of telescopes like the Hubble to see incredibly deep and far into space.

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The phenomenon occurs with single galaxies, too. When a galaxy has a strong enough gravity to bend the space around it into a lens, it can sometimes reflect a galaxy behind it, so that it initially appears to be part of the galaxy itself. That’s what’s happening in the Eye of Horus—except there are two separate galaxies, creating two separate reflections. You can see them in this diagram:

The end result of this effect is that both galaxies—one 10.5 billion light years away and the other 9 billion light years away—are reflected in different rings. Although many galaxies can reflect a single galaxy behind it, the Eye of Horus’ ability to reflect multiple galaxies is rare. Researchers at NAOJ hope to find even more examples of this phenomenon as they continue the survey.

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5 tiny off-grid pods that could replace your house

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ecocapsule

As energy and housing costs rise around the country, more and more people are opting for tiny houses and seeking ways to make their homes energy efficient, or even self-sufficient. 

Small, off-grid pods allow residents to do both — they take up very little space, can often be easily moved or assembled, and can harvest their own water and power. Take a look at five futuristic dwellings to inspire your future home design.

SEE ALSO: The 20 best bagel shops in New York City, according to Foursquare

The Ecocapsule is solar- and wind-powered.

Its roof is equipped with solar cells and a wind turbine, and the pod also has a rechargeable battery that can last at least four days should the renewable sources fail. The egg-like shape is designed to minimize heat loss.

The pod can collect water that lands on its surface, and filter it in a built-in tank.

Inside, the pod can fit a bed, a working and dining space, a toilet, a shower and a kitchenette. It has two openable windows and comes with a data network connection. To transport the pod, just roll it on its four extendable wheels.

50 limited-edition capsules are currently available at $87,777 each. A second generation of Ecocapsule is expected to be sold in 2017, and can be preordered on Ecocapsule’s website.

Well-known architect Renzo Piano designed the Diogene as a mini-house prototype for German furniture company Vitra.

Like the Ecocapsule, the Diogene is completely self-sufficient — it collects, filters and reuses water, and supplies its own power via solar panels.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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A hacker claims to have stolen credentials to a bunch of US government sites — and he’s selling them on the dark web

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US Navy sailors at computer

US
Navy


A hacker is selling stolen credentials that purportedly give
access to servers of the US Navy, Centers for Disease Control, US
Postal Service, and other US government sites.

Listings for the accounts were found recently by Tech Insider on
a dark web marketplace called The Real Deal, a popular
site many cyber criminals use for buying and selling everything
from illegal drugs to zero-day software exploits. It’s unclear
when the postings were made, since the site offers no dates for
when sellers create their listings.

In all, the seller “popopret” was offering file
transfer protocol (FTP) access to servers of noaa.gov (National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), usps.gov (The US Postal
Service), cdc.gov (Centers for Disease Control), jpl.nasa.gov
(NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory), and navy.mil (US Navy).

Prices range from .5 Bitcoin ($329) for the CDC to 3.5
Bitcoin for the Navy, or about $2,300 at current market
rates.

Popopret told Tech Insider the credentials were
acquired by “sniffing a botnet,” which suggests the hacker had
hijacked a large number of computers (a botnet) and was
actively keeping an eye on them (sniffing) for
interesting traffic being passed through, such as usernames,
passwords, and documents.

Neither this claim nor whether the seller’s
credentials are legitimate could be independently verified by TI.
However, it’s worth noting that The Real Deal is often the source
of major data breaches and hacker exploits. And the site
allows payments to be placed into escrow, so a buyer can confirm
what they are buying is as described before their money is
transferred to the seller.


dark web listings
The Real
Deal

What the purported credentials can actually be used
for also remains unclear.

Since the seller is offering accounts for either FTP (file
transfer protocol) or SFTP (secure file transfer protocol), it’s
likely these give access to the backend of public-facing
websites. Web developers typically upload changes to websites via
FTP, so a hacker with that same level of access could deface a
website by replacing a file with one of their own.

For instance, a hacker could potentially connect to the CDC
server and upload a new homepage with a hoax warning of a
dangerous Ebola outbreak in the US, or to the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory with a faked message claiming that a
devastating asteroid was headed toward Earth. While such
defacements would likely be corrected quickly, they have the

potential to be market-moving
 events.

Still, a hacker could move on to other things if the user
accounts being sold are at a higher level.

“If you had root access, you should be able to … do whatever
you wanted,” a hacker told Tech Insider on condition of
anonymity, since he is a “grey
hat
” who wants to maintain personal security. “I would
personally save the server to attack another site from a .mil,”
he added, meaning that he could potentially hack into some other
network that would likely trace the intrusion back to the US
government.

Tech Insider reached out to all of the government agencies with
purported credentials being sold. The Centers for Disease
Control, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and US Navy declined to
comment.

The US Postal Service told Tech Insider its corporate information
security office would conduct “criminal investigations into these
activities.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provided
the following statement:

“NOAA takes all cyber threats seriously,” Ciaran Clayton, a
spokesperson for NOAA, told Tech Insider. “Our Cyber Security
Division reviewed the purported NOAA File Transfer Protocol sites
found for sale online in the Dark Web. NOAA has concluded that
these are not valid sites, and the agency is under no risk for
any cyber vulnerability.”

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A hack by any other name

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Early this morning — so early that most of our audience probably didn’t see it — a story was posted on TechCrunch from the ever so friendly OurMine hacking team. The post was up for a handful of minutes and was removed, along with automatically generated social posts.

We join a club of entities that have been compromised by the probings of the OurMine team including folks like William Shatner, Travis Kalanick, Jack Dorsey, Minecraft and others. The ‘hack’ appears to have involved using an account of a contributor to post this article on TechCrunch (screenshot via our sister site Engadget (thanks Engadget!):

s.aolcdn

We’ve been reporting on the activities of the OurMine team for some time as they’ve been climbing the ladder of notoriety through the compromise of high profile celebrity Twitter accounts and the DDoS-ing of hot properties like Pokemon Go.

When we reached out to the OurMine team about the attack, they said “We don’t hate TechCrunch we like them, and we didn’t hack it we are just testing TechCrunch security.”

As the security aphorism goes, either you’ve been compromised or you just don’t know it yet. Well now we know and we hope to be better about it.

As far as the ongoing lessons, obviously multi-factor authentication should be a mandatory requirement for any news organizations, at a bare minimum. A re-used password appears to have been instrumental to what happened in this instance. Sharing passwords between sites and services is the worst and do not do that. Especially now that groups like OurMine have turned their sights to news. This time the intention was publicity, but next time it could be malicious, like a hoax market-moving story on a real domain, instead of a fake one.

Our official statement is the following, so enjoy that and feel free to use it for reporting purposes:

An unauthorized individual compromised the WordPress account of one of our TechCrunch writers and used the account to post a story. This was an isolated instance and we have secured the account. There was no risk posed to our readers or their data. 

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This Crawling, Climbing Worm Bot Is a Never-Ending Night at the Club

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In an attempt to design robots that are as simple as possible, David Zarrouk’s latest mechanical creation takes its inspiration from a funky ‘80s dance move known as the worm. Using just a single motor it’s able to scoot across the floor by undulating its flexible body up and down, which also allows it to swim, and even climb narrow spaces.

While the dance move that inspired SAW’s movements is called the worm, the robot doesn’t actually move anything like the creepy crawlies you dig up to go fishing. Real worms move by expanding and contracting their bodies, where as SAW—short for Single-Actuator Wave—uses a rotating wheel to move its 3D-printed flexible spine up and down in the shape of a sine wave.

SAW actually moves more like a fish swimming through the water, which is why it’s able to move through the water as efficiently as it can on land. In its current form the robot’s really only useful as a research tool, exploring novel alternatives to walking, rolling, and other means of robotic locomotion. Its unique design allows it to easily clamber over irregular terrain, which could be useful for the robots we send to explore other planets.

[Bio-Inspired and Medical Robotics Lab via IEEE Spectrum]

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Sega Is Launching A Retro Gaming Console To Rival Nintendo’s Mini NES, And It Comes With 80 Pre-Loaded Games!!

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Sega Mega Drive

Sega

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog, one of the most popular video games ever produced, Sega will be launching the Sega Mega Drive, a two-person retro video gaming console that will come pre-loaded with 80 games.

Two weeks ago we brought you news that Nintendo was launching a miniaturized version of the retro Nintendo NES, and the NES Classic Mini will come with 30 games already loaded onto the console’s hard drive. Not to be outdone by Nintendo on the 25th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog this HUGE announcement was made by Sega, and pre-orders for the console are already available at just $65….It doesn’t stop there though because Sega’s releasing both a console AND a retro handheld gaming system (both the console and the handheld will retail for $65):

Sega Mega Drive

Sega

Sega Mega Drive

Sega

Sega Mega Drive

Sega

Here is a complete look at all 80 games included (Mortal Kombat is definitely in there, as is Sonic):

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Alien Storm
Altered Beast
Arrow Flash
Bonanza Bros.
Chakan: The Forever Man
Columns Columns III
Comix Zone
Crack Down
Decap Attack
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
Mya Master Mind Skeleton Scale
ESWAT: City Under Seige
Eternal Champions
Fatal Labyrinth Flicky
Gain Ground
Golden Axe
Golden Axe II
Golden Axe III
Jewel Master
Kid Chameleon
Phantasy Star 2
Phantasy Star 3 Ristar
Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Sonic & Knuckles
Sonic Spinball T-Rex Memory Match
Yawning Triceratops
Sonic Spinball
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog II
Sonic 3D Blast
Sword of Varmilion
The Ooze
Vectorman
Vectorman II
Mortal Kombat I
Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat III
Adventure in the Park
Cross the road
Jack’s Pea
Jewel Magic
Curling 2010
Plumbing Contest
Wall-Breaking
Bubble Master
Break a Fireline
Mahjong Solitaire
Warehouse Keeper
Chess Memory
Snake
Air Hockey
Spider
Naval Power
Mr. Balls
Cannon
Fight or Lose
Bottle Taps Race
Bomber
Checker Hexagonos
Whack-A-Wolf
Mirror Mirror
Panic Lift
Black Sheep
Flash Memory
Brain Switch
Mega Brain Switch
Hidden Agenda
Dominant Amber
Hide and Seek
Jura Formula
Lost World Sudoku
Meatloaf Rotation

Last but not least, arriving at the end of 2017 (holiday season) will be an all new Sonic the Hedgehog:

Changing gears a little bit, I want to make sure that ALL OF YOU know about the all new BroBible iOS app that was launched last week. It’s 100% free to download and it’s the latest/greatest way to get all of your BroBible content, so DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE BY CLICKING HERE!

(h/t SlashGear and FunStockRetro)

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Michael Jordan Breaks Silence About Police Shootings And Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is

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Not only did Michael Jordan deliver a passionate statement regarding recent police shootings that have divided the nation, but he also will donate money to charities that will hopefully mend the wounds that senseless violence has caused so many.

One of the most iconic sports figures of this generation penned an article for The Undefeated titled “I Can No Longer Stay Silent: His statement on the shootings of African-Americans and the targeting of police officers.”

“As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.

I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.”

Jordan tiptoed the delicate line of not placing the blame on one particular group of people.

“Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.”

Then Jordan came up in the clutch as he always does and donated $2 million to two separate charities; the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The NBA legend hopes that the sentiment and the investment will encourage others to increase the peace on the streets.

Jordan concluded with a hopeful plea to end the senseless violence.

“We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country – a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities. The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved tomorrow, but if we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities.”

Jordan is still the MVP after all these years.

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