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After 19 Years, the ISS Receives Its Very Last NASA Science Rack

"One of the longer chapters of the International Space Station has come to a close," writes Engadget. "NASA has sent the last of its 11 ExPRESS (Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station) science racks to the orbiting facility, 19 years after sending the first two." They don't look like much, but they provide the power, storage, climate control and communications for up to 10 small payloads — they're key to many of the experiments that run aboard the ISS and will help the station live up to its potential research capabilities. This last rack was carried aboard a Japanese cargo ship and should be installed and functioning by fall 2020. While the EXPRESS racks should be useful for a while yet, this effectively marks the end of an era for NASA's ISS work... Originally developed by engineers at Boeing and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, "The first two completed racks were delivered to the space station on STS-100 in 2001 and have been in continuous operation ever since," notes a NASA press release, "as have all the subsequent added racks." And since then NASA has logged more than 85 total years of combined rack operational hours. "The sheer volume of science that's been conducted using the racks up til now is just overwhelming," says Shaun Glasgow, project manager for the EXPRESS Racks at Marshall. "And as we prepare to return human explorers to the Moon and journey on to Mars, it's even more exciting to consider all the scientific investigations still to come."

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UK May Drop Huawei From Planned 5G Networks

An anonymous reader quotes the Guardian: The National Cyber Security Agency in the UK is expected to conclude that U.S. sanctions against Huawei will make it impossible to use the Chinese company's technology as planned for 5G networks. The emergency review, announced on Sunday, is designed to pave the way for Downing Street to push for the total elimination of Huawei equipment in British phone networks by 2023 and quell a Conservative backbench revolt. That move will amount to a hasty reversal of the policy announced by ministers in January to limit Huawei to 35% of the British 5G network supply. It also risks irritating China and adding hundreds of millions of costs to BT and other phone companies... In early May, the U.S. said it would impose fresh sanctions against Huawei as part of a long-running campaign against the company, whose technology, the White House claims, could be exploited by China to conduct surveillance against the west. The U.S. sanctions, due to be introduced in September, would prevent Huawei from using U.S. semiconductors and software to build 5G equipment and force it to source alternatives, most likely from China. Whitehall sources said the threatened U.S. restrictions meant that any review would almost certainly say that Huawei posed a security risk. A particular concern was that Huawei would become reliant on unfamiliar and untested components, which could be exploited... Leaks on Friday suggested that Downing Street was preparing the ground for a dramatic climbdown.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Altran's 'Code Defect AI' and the Rise of AI-Assisted Coding Tools

"Altran has released a new tool that uses artificial intelligence to help software engineers spot bugs during the coding process instead of at the end," reports TechRepublic. "Available on GitHub, Code Defect AI uses machine learning to analyze existing code, spot potential problems in new code, and suggest tests to diagnose and fix the errors." Walid Negm, group chief innovation officer at Altran, said that this new tool will help developers release quality code quickly. "The software release cycle needs algorithms that can help make strategic judgments, especially as code gets more complex," he said in a press release.... "Microsoft and Altran have been working together to improve the software development cycle, and Code Defect AI, powered by Microsoft Azure, is an innovative tool that can help software developers through the use of machine learning," said David Carmona, general manager of AI marketing at Microsoft, in a press release... In a new report about artificial intelligence and software development, Deloitte predicts that more and more companies will use AI-assisted coding tools. From January 2018 to September 2019, software vendors launched dozens of AI-powered software development tools, and startups working in this space raised $704 million over a similar timeframe.... "The benefits of AI-assisted coding are numerous," according to Deloitte analysts David Schatsky and Sourabh Bumb, the authors of AI is Helping to Make Better Software. " However, the principal benefit for companies is efficiency. Many of the new AI-powered tools work in a similar way to spell- and grammar-checkers, enabling coders to reduce the number of keystrokes they need to type by around 50%. They can also spot bugs while code is being written, while they can also automate as many as half of the tests needed to confirm the quality of software." This capability is even more important as companies continue to rely on open-source code. The Register got more details about Altran's Code Defect AI: The company told us that the AI does not look much at the source code itself, but rather at the commit metadata, "the number of files in the check-in, code complexity, density of the check-in, bug history of the file, history of the developer, experience of the developer in the particular module/file etc." Training of the model is done only on the project being examined...

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20% of GitLab Employees Handed Over Login Credentials in Phishing Test

SiliconANGLE reports: [C]ode repository management firm GitLab Inc. decided to phish their own employees to see what would happen. The result was not good: One in five employees fell for the fake emails... The GitLab team behind the exercise purchased the domain name gitlab.company, then used G Suite to facilitate the delivery of the phishing email. ["Congratulations. Your IT Department has identified you as a candidate for Apple's System Refresh Program..."] The domain name and G Suite services were set up to look legitimate, complete with SSL certificates to make the emails look less suspicious to automated phishing site detection and human inspection. Fifty GitLab employees were targeted with an email that asked them to click on a link to accept an upgrade. The link took them to the fake gitlab.company website where they were asked to enter their login details. On the positive side, only 17 of the 50 targeted employees clicked on the provided link. However, 10 of those 17 then attempted to log in on the fake site. Six of the 50 employees reported the email to GitLab's security operations team, the article notes. "Those who logged in on the fake site were then redirected to the phishing test section of the GitLab Handbook."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

'FOSS Responders' Want to Help Open-Source Groups Survive

"Thanks to the coronavirus, technology events have been canceled left and right," writes ZDNet. "This, in turn, is damaging the finances of companies and groups that depend on these events." Some open-source groups, such as The Linux Foundation, can deal with it. Others aren't so fortunate. Some, such as Drupal Foundation, the Open Source Initiative (OSI), Open Source Matters (Joomla), and Ajv JSON Schema validator, are in real trouble. FOSS Responders is trying to help these and other groups and individuals... Nuritzi Sanchez, a FOSS Responder co-founder and GitLab senior open-source program manager, said: We "started out around mid-March as a response to COVID-19 event cancellations. It's a group of open source leaders from companies like Indeed, Facebook, Google, Red Hat, GitHub, GitLab, etc." They've set up a process to help both open-source individuals and organizations facing financial trouble. So far, Sanchez said, "organizations are the ones that have been reaching out most so far." They're also consolidating information on how to plan and execute virtual events and provide a place where people can look for and offer help. FOSS Responders has already had some success in raising donations. Alyssa Wright, Open Collective's director of social engineering, reports that it's raised funds from Indeed, Open Source Collective, Linux Fund, GitHub, Google, Sentry, Ethereum Foundation, and the Sloan Foundation. As a result "FOSS Responders is contributing over $100K to open-source organizations that are experiencing financial strain because of the COVID-19 pandemic." "The main focus of philanthropic efforts will be elsewhere, as they should be," noted LWN.net back in March, "but it is nice to see our community finding ways to help itself out internally."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

 

 

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