Hand-Powered Ultralow-Cost Paper Centrifuge

January 11th, 2017

Via: Nature:

In a global-health context, commercial centrifuges are expensive, bulky and electricity-powered, and thus constitute a critical bottleneck in the development of decentralized, battery-free point-of-care diagnostic devices. Here, we report an ultralow-cost (20?cents), lightweight (2?g), human-powered paper centrifuge (which we name ‘paperfuge’) designed on the basis of a theoretical model inspired by the fundamental mechanics of an ancient whirligig (or buzzer toy; 3,300 bc). The paperfuge achieves speeds of 125,000?r.p.m. (and equivalent centrifugal forces of 30,000?g), with theoretical limits predicting 1,000,000?r.p.m. We demonstrate that the paperfuge can separate pure plasma from whole blood in less than 1.5?min, and isolate malaria parasites in 15?min. We also show that paperfuge-like centrifugal microfluidic devices can be made of polydimethylsiloxane, plastic and 3D-printed polymeric materials. Ultracheap, power-free centrifuges should open up opportunities for point-of-care diagnostics in resource-poor settings and for applications in science education and field ecology.


Taiwan Scrambles Jets, Navy as China Aircraft Carrier Enters Taiwan Strait

January 11th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

Taiwan scrambled jets and navy ships on Wednesday as a group of Chinese warships, led by its sole aircraft carrier, sailed through the Taiwan Strait, the latest sign of heightened tension between Beijing and the self-ruled island.

China’s Soviet-built Liaoning aircraft carrier, returning from exercises in the South China Sea, was not encroaching in Taiwan’s territorial waters but entered its air defense identification zone in the southwest, Taiwan’s defense ministry said.

As a result, Taiwan scrambled jets and navy ships to “surveil and control” the passage of the Chinese ships north through the body of water separating Taiwan and China, Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said.

Taiwan military aircraft and ships have been deployed to follow the carrier group, which is sailing up the west side of the median line of the strait, he said.


Bitcoin Slides as China’s Central Bank Launches Checks on Exchanges

January 11th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

China’s central bank launched spot checks on leading bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai, ratcheting up pressure on potential capital outflows and knocking the price of the cryptocurrency down more than 12 percent against the dollar.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said its probe of bitcoin exchanges BTCC, Huobi and OKCoin was to look into a range of possible rule violations, including market manipulation, money laundering and unauthorized financing. It did not say if any violations had been found.

Chinese authorities have stepped up efforts to stem capital outflows and relieve pressure on the yuan.


Schumer: Intelligence Community May ‘Get Back At’ Trump for Tweet

January 11th, 2017

Via: Daily Caller:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested Tuesday night that U.S. intelligence agencies could “get back at” President-elect Donald Trump after he questioned the legitimacy of the intelligence community’s probe into Russian involvement in the hacking of Democratic party officials.

The “Intelligence” briefing on so-called “Russian hacking” was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017

Appearing on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Schumer said, “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday to get back at you. So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he is being really dumb to do this.”


‘Shadow Brokers’ Selling NSA Cyberweapons Targeting Windows

January 10th, 2017

Via: Cyberscoop:

A mysterious group that claims to have stolen tools once used by the NSA published material Sunday to show it is in possession of Microsoft Windows software exploits.

Screenshots of the alleged exploits in use, along with a comprehensive list of filenames and directories were all shared by the enigmatic group the “Shadow Brokers,” in a new blog post. Beyond the supplementary evidence is a set of encrypted folders, each protected by a PGP key. The encrypted folders presumably hold the actual, functioning exploits Rendition Infosec founder Jake Williams told CyberScoop.


Pentagon Successfully Tests Micro-Drone Swarm

January 10th, 2017

Via: Physorg:

The Pentagon may soon be unleashing a 21st-century version of locusts on its adversaries after officials on Monday said it had successfully tested a swarm of 103 micro-drones.

The important step in the development of new autonomous weapon systems was made possible by improvements in artificial intelligence, holding open the possibility that groups of small robots could act together under human direction.

Military strategists have high hopes for such drone swarms that would be cheap to produce and able to overwhelm opponents’ defenses with their great numbers.

The test of the world’s largest micro-drone swarm in California in October included 103 Perdix micro-drones measuring around six inches (16 centimeters) launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, the Pentagon said in a statement.

“The micro-drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing,” it said.

“Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronized individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” said William Roper, director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office. “Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”


Terror Suspects Could be Forced to Wear Electronic Tags Under Radical Proposal from German Justice Minister

January 9th, 2017

Do you get it yet?

Do you see what becomes possible when they create the problem in the first place?

If you think this would just be used on “Islamic extremists,” read the statement from Heiko Maas carefully:

“The use of ankle tags should not be only available for convicted criminals after release from prison, but for those identified as a general threat as well.”

General threat.

I think the politicians—responsible for letting “the terrorists” into Germany—are a “general threat” and they should have to wear these things.

Via: Telegraph:

Suspected Islamic extremists could be forced to wear electronic tags without trial in Germany, under radical new proposals put forward by the country’s justice minister.

Heiko Maas said he wanted to extend the use of electronic ankle tags to those deemed a potential terror threat even if they have not been convicted of any crime.

The proposals come as senior ministers in Angela Merkel’s government prepare to meet on Tuesday to discuss security reforms in the wake of last month’s Christmas market terror attack in Berlin, in which 12 people died.

Anis Amri, the attacker, was able to move freely around Germany despite being identified as a terror threat because police could not secure enough evidence to arrest him.

Mr Maas called for a “preventive offensive” against the threat from Islamic extremism.

“The use of ankle tags should not be only available for convicted criminals after release from prison, but for those identified as a general threat as well,” he said.


U.S. Navy Ship Fired Warning Shots at Iranian Vessels

January 9th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

A U.S. Navy destroyer fired three warning shots at four Iranian fast-attack vessels after they closed in at a high rate of speed near the Strait of Hormuz, two U.S. defense officials told Reuters on Monday.

The incident, which occurred Sunday and was first reported by Reuters, comes as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office on Jan. 20. In September, Trump vowed that any Iranian vessels that harass the U.S. Navy in the Gulf would be “shot out of the water.”

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the USS Mahan established radio communication with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boats but they did not respond to requests to slow down and continued asking the Mahan questions.

The Navy destroyer fired warning flares and a U.S. Navy helicopter also dropped a smoke float before the warning shots were fired.

The Iranian vessels came within 900 yards (800 meters) of the Mahan, which was escorting two other U.S. military ships, they said.


Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting Suspect Said He Heard Voices

January 7th, 2017

Via: NBC:

The suspect believed to have shot five people to death in a rampage at a Florida airport Friday was being treated in Alaska after complaining of hearing voices and had recently claimed to the FBI that the CIA was forcing him to watch ISIS videos, federal officials said.

Esteban Santiago, 26, was identified as the suspected gunman who opened fire at a baggage claim at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at 12:55 p.m., apparently shooting people at random.


Bitcoin Wreck

January 6th, 2017

Warning: Nothing that appears on Cryptogon should be considered advice to buy, sell or hold any financial instrument.

Someone wondered why I mentioned Bitcoin a couple of days before it crashed, after not mentioning it for a long time.

Did I know something?

Nope.

But I don’t mess with potential double tops. So when I saw it trying to test the record high, I checked my address and found some coin in there. I sold them off as soon as they showed up in my wallet. Man oh man, that slow blockchain sync on Bitcoin Core nearly wrecked me.

*phew*

Electrum from now on.

I have no idea where Bitcoin prices are headed. It could have just as easily ignored the previous top and kept running higher.

Via: Reuters:

Bitcoin plunged by as much as 12 percent on Friday after China’s central bank urged investors to take a rational and cautious approach to investing in the digital currency, which is on track for its heaviest two-day drop in two years.

Bitcoin had been on a tear until Wednesday, gaining more than 40 percent in two weeks to hit around $1,139 on the Europe-based Bitstamp exchange, just shy of its all-time record of $1,163.

But the web-based digital currency, which has shown an intriguing inverse correlation to the Chinese yuan in recent months, plunged as the yuan soared on Thursday, falling as much as 20 percent at one point.

It continued that fall on Friday, with its losses accelerating after the central bank’s warning.

It fell as low as $871, down almost a quarter from its peak on Wednesday, before recovering to about $900 by 1455 GMT (9:55 a.m. ET). That still left it down 10 percent on the day and on track for its worst two-day performance since January 2015.


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