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February

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Largest grid-tied lithium ion battery system deployed today in San Diego. On Friday, Southern California utility San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) held a small press conference in Escondido to show off its brand new energy storage facility, a 30MW battery system capable of storing 120MWh of energy, which can serve 20,000 customers for four hours.

Largest grid-tied lithium ion battery system deployed today in San Diego

SDG&E also introduced a 7.5MW battery system built in El Cajon, CA. The two projects were built after state energy officials ordered power companies to add lithium-ion battery storage to their grids this past summer following a massive methane leak at Aliso Canyon in California that put the region in jeopardy for natural gas shortages. AES Energy Storage, a Virginia-based company that has been building utility-grade batteries since 2008, built the system for SDG&E. The installation is currently the largest grid-tied lithium-ion battery system in the US.

Tesla announced a similar 20MW, 80MWh system at the end of January in conjunction with Southern California Edison. Router assimilated into the Borg, sends 3TB in 24 hours. "Well, f**k.

Router assimilated into the Borg, sends 3TB in 24 hours

" Harsh language was appropriate under the circumstances. My router had just been hacked. Setting up a reliable home network has always been a challenge for me. It took less than a minute of satellite time to catch these thieves red-handed. The heart of the Pacific Ocean is a vast, barely explored region outside national boundaries, teeming with undiscovered species and dramatic undersea terrain.

It took less than a minute of satellite time to catch these thieves red-handed

A few organizations monitor activity here, mostly international fisheries management groups, but it's easy for a vessel to get lost in the enormous distances. That's exactly what many pirate fishing fleets depend on. Ars Technica Live: What to do when border officials ask for your passwords. Under President Trump in the United States, we're seeing a dramatic shift in border regulation and the treatment of immigrants.

Ars Technica Live: What to do when border officials ask for your passwords

What exactly are your rights at the border, and should you really hand over your social media passwords to a customs agent? UC Hastings law professor Ahmed Ghappour, an expert in national security and cybersecurity, recently talked to Cyrus Farivar and me about the answers in all their complexity. Outside of legal circles, most people don't realize that your Fourth Amendment right to not be subjected to "unreasonable search" is suspended at the borders. Ghappour explained this gives border agents a lot of leeway in terms of how much they search and detain people crossing into the US.

No key, no login: G Suite admins can now make FIDO security keys mandatory. Today, Google announced a new G Suite feature that allows admins to lock down accounts so they can only be accessed by users with a physical USB security key.

No key, no login: G Suite admins can now make FIDO security keys mandatory

The FIDO U2F Security Keys have been supported on G Suite and regular Google accounts since 2011, but now new security controls allow admins to make the keys mandatory for anyone who tries to log in. Universal 2nd Factor (U2F)—initially developed by Google and Yubico—is a standard from the FIDO Alliance that allows a physical device to work as a second factor of authentication. After entering your username and password, you'll have to connect your device to your physical authentication key. USB Killer now lets you fry most Lightning and USB-C devices for $55. Remember the USB Killer stick that indiscriminately and immediately fries about 95 percent of devices?

USB Killer now lets you fry most Lightning and USB-C devices for $55

Well, now the company has released a new version that is even more lethal! And you can also buy an adaptor pack, which lets you kill test devices with USB-C, Micro USB, and Lightning ports. Yay. Google’s Waymo sues Uber, alleging theft of trade secrets. Waymo, the new name for Google’s self-driving car project, has sued Uber and self-driving trucking startup Otto over claims of patent infringement.

Google’s Waymo sues Uber, alleging theft of trade secrets

In a Medium post published Thursday afternoon, Waymo accused Anthony Levandowski—a former Google engineer now working for Uber—of having downloaded “over 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files for Waymo’s various hardware systems.” In particular this allegedly included “Waymo’s LiDAR and circuit board” designs—a total of nearly 10 gigabytes. Levandowski left Google in January 2016, then founded Otto, which was acquired by Uber several months later. Just last month, Bloomberg reported that Waymo has been able to slash the production costs of LiDAR by 90 percent. Neither Uber nor Otto immediately responded to requests for comment. A note on our lawsuit against Otto and Uber – Waymo – Medium. Competition in the self-driving space is a good thing; it pushes everyone to develop better, safer and more affordable technology.

A note on our lawsuit against Otto and Uber – Waymo – Medium

But we believe that competition should be fueled by innovation in the labs and on the roads, not through unlawful actions. Recently, we uncovered evidence that Otto and Uber have taken and are using key parts of Waymo’s self-driving technology. Today, we’re taking legal action against Otto and its parent company Uber for misappropriating Waymo trade secrets and infringing our patents. Serious Cloudflare bug exposed a potpourri of secret customer data. Cloudflare, a service that helps optimize the security and performance of more than 5.5 million websites, warned customers today that a recently fixed software bug exposed a range of sensitive information that could have included passwords and cookies and tokens used to authenticate users.

Serious Cloudflare bug exposed a potpourri of secret customer data

A combination of factors made the bug particularly severe. First, the leakage may have been active since September 22, nearly five months before it was discovered, although the greatest period of impact was from February 13 and February 18. Google Achieves First-Ever Successful SHA-1 Collision Attack. SHA-1, Secure Hash Algorithm 1, a very popular cryptographic hashing function designed in 1995 by the NSA, is officially dead after a team of researchers from Google and the CWI Institute in Amsterdam announced today submitted the first ever successful SHA-1 collision attack.

Google Achieves First-Ever Successful SHA-1 Collision Attack

SHA-1 was designed in 1995 by the National Security Agency (NSA) as a part of the Digital Signature Algorithm. Like other hashes, SHA-1 also converts any input message to a long string of numbers and letters that serve as a cryptographic fingerprint for that particular message. Collision attacks appear when the same hash value (fingerprint) is produced for two different messages, which then can be exploited to forge digital signatures, allowing attackers to break communications encoded with SHA-1.

The explanation is technologically tricky, but you can think of it as attackers who surgically alters their fingerprints in order to match yours, and then uses that to unlock your smartphone. The long wait to send a probe to Pluto, and what we’ve found. BOSTON—Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto, started his talk at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting by showing off the Hubble Space Telescope's best image of Pluto. It was greeted by laughter, as it took only seconds for the audience to count the dozen pixels that contained actual data.

“You may laugh again," Stern said. "We wrote numerous papers based on this image.” He's now got a lot more data to work with, though he had to be very patient to get it. CPU competition at last: AMD Ryzen brings 8 cores from just $329. SAN FRANCISCO—Oasis' smash hit "Wonderwall" was playing as the throng of journalists assembled in the ballroom of a Grand Hyatt hotel in San Francisco at AMD's Ryzen Tech Day. I don't know why the song was picked—normally these events prefer something a little more current and upbeat—but it sure seemed apt. As CEO Lisa Su and others were preparing to speak, one of the Gallagher brothers (who knows which one) drearily droned the question, "You're gonna be the one that saves me?

" NASA’s longshot bet on a revolutionary rocket may be about to pay off. HOUSTON—Franklin Chang-Díaz bounds up a handful of stairs and peers through a porthole cut into the side of a silver, tanker-truck-sized vacuum chamber. Inside, a blueish-purple light shines, unchanging and constant, like a bright flashlight. “It looks kind of boring,” Chang-Díaz admits. “But that plume is 3.5 million degrees. If you stuck your hand in that, it would be very bad.” Truth be told, the plume does not look impressive at all.

An AI Hedge Fund Created a New Currency to Make Wall Street Work Like Open Source. Wall Street is a competition, a Darwinian battle for the almighty dollar. Gordon Gekko said that greed is good, that it captures “the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” A hedge fund hunts for an edge and then maniacally guards it, locking down its trading data and barring its traders from joining the company next door. The big bucks lie in finding market inefficiencies no one else can, succeeding at the expense of others. But Richard Craib wants to change that. He wants to transform Wall Street from a cutthroat competition into a harmonious collaboration. Event Horizon Telescope will soon take the first black hole photo.

Sunday’s launch could be the start of an annus mirabilis for SpaceX. SpaceX launched from the most hallowed ground of the US space enterprise on Sunday—the place where nearly all of the Moon launches occurred, and about 80 percent of all the space shuttle missions, including the vehicle's final flight in 2011. Just as SpaceX brought the pad back to life with its launch this weekend, so too could Launch Complex 39A rejuvenate the innovative rocket company based in California. It has been a difficult two years for SpaceX. Accidents in 2015 and 2016 cost the rocket company two boosters, and two payloads. On Friday, during a news conference near the launch pad, company president Gwynne Shotwell acknowledged that the last two years were "painful" for SpaceX, adding that it is hard to make money when you're not flying.

Security News This Week: Yahoo Got Hacked Again. No, Seriously. The Cognitive Bias President Trump Understands Better Than You. Op-ed: Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto is a political trainwreck. What News-Writing Bots Mean for the Future of Journalism. The future of solar power technology is bright. Starlight-controlled entanglement experiment makes shared history unlikely. Amazon simplifies self-published paperback printing. What could happen if you refuse to unlock your phone at the US border?

These tiny beetles have evolved to ride ants like horses. New ASLR-busting JavaScript is about to make drive-by exploits much nastier. JavaScript Attack Breaks ASLR on 22 CPU Micro-Architectures. Signal Messaging App Rolls Out Encrypted Video Calling. Want Secure Elections? Then Maybe Don't Cut Security Funding. Edward Snowden's New Job Is To Protect Reporters From Spies. Spanner, the Google Database That Mastered Time, Is Now Open to Everyone. Diehard Coders Just Rescued NASA’s Earth Science Data. AI and Bitcoin Are Driving the Next Big Hedge Fund Wave.

Munich mulls dropping Linux, returning to Windows 10. Dwarf star's atmosphere holds the ingredients for life. Liquid battery could last for over 10 years. Google Test Of AI's Killer Instinct Shows We Should Be Very Careful. The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding. The AI Threat Isn't Skynet. It's the End of the Middle Class. If You Want to Learn Faster, Overclock Your Podcasts and Videos.

How the New York Times Is Using Strategies Inspired by Netflix, Spotify, and HBO to Make Itself Indispensible. Man jailed 16 months, and counting, for refusing to decrypt hard drives. American Spies: how we got to age of mass surveillance without even trying. Handful of “highly toxic” Wikipedia editors cause 9% of abuse on the site. SDPD finds that body cameras reduce misconduct and force complaints. Valve says goodbye to Steam Greenlight, hello to “Direct” publishing.

This one simple trick gets climate negotiators to update their understanding. Signal tries its hand at encrypted video and voice calling. We're Sorry About This Seriously Bummer Proxima B News. We finally have a computer that can survive the surface of Venus. A Heroic AI Will Let You Spy on Your Lawmakers' Every Word. Squid Communicate With a Secret, Skin-Powered Alphabet.

Behold, the ACLU Amazon Dash button. Kangaroo care—why keeping baby close is better for everyone. The Badass Mouse That Turns Scorpion Venom Into a Painkiller. Refugee who took selfie with German chancellor has had enough of “fake news” Former NSA contractor may have stolen 75% of TAO’s elite hacking tools. Let's Go Back to a Future Where Sci-Fi Does Good Time Travel. Calculating what it would take to park a solar sail at Alpha Centauri. Trump's Dodd-Frank Rollbacks Threaten Retirees—and Robots. New ideas on gravity would vanquish dark matter. A history of dark matter. Why Asimov's Three Laws Of Robotics Can't Protect Us. These 23 Principles Could Help Us Avoid an AI Apocalypse. Ursula K. Le Guin Wants Everyone to Know the Huge Difference Between 'Alternative Facts' and Fiction. What Was Our Universe Like Before the Big Bang? Reddit bans 'alt-right' community over harassment. NASA's new satellite radiator is a work of art. This Goth Chicken Doesn't Conform to Your Perfect Chicken Society.

A look at the new battery storage facility in California built with Tesla Powerpacks. In not-too-distant future, brain hackers could steal your deepest secrets. Virtually painless: How VR is making surgery simpler.