Monday, March 18, 2024

Short Takes – 3-18-24

Iceland Volcano Erupts in Plumes of Fire With Little Notice. article. Pull quote: “Lava fountains burst out of the ground, and a nearly two-mile-long fissure opened up on the Reykjanes Peninsula around 8:30 p.m., the Icelandic Meteorological Office said. The eruption occurred near the town of Grindavik, the Svartsengi Power Plant and the Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most famous tourist attractions.”

US government agencies demand fixable ice cream machines. article. Pull quote: “Every three years, the Copyright Office allows for petitions to exempt certain exceptions to DMCA violations (and renew prior exemptions). Repair advocates have won exemptions for farm equipment repair, video game consoles, cars, and certain medical gear. The exemption is often granted for device fixing if a repair person can work past its locks, but not for the distribution of tools that would make such a repair far easier. The esoteric nature of such "release valve" offerings has led groups like the EFF to push for the DMCA's abolishment.”

NASA investigating 2023 theft of astronaut training devices. article. Pull quote: “The topic has continued to come up. In 2014, a NASA OIG report found the agency did not, at the time, have an accurate inventory of mobile devices, including tablets. A 2021 NASA OIG report focused on the space agency’s cyber readiness, noting that lost and stolen equipment can be a “common attack vector” for cyber incidents and pointed to hundreds of instances of “loss/theft of equipment” annually.”

Cybersecurity Professional Engineer (my title). post. Pull quote: “A Cybersecurity Professional Engineer certification would force process change. The Cyber PE is not going to put their signature on anything that leaves them with doubt because their livelihood and freedom are on the line. Just ask any of the other licensed PE disciplines Want me to sign off on this system implementation? I need visibility and understanding of the design intent, development, and implementation of every element in the system, which means bringing me in when the business idea starts.”

Urban humans have lost much of their ability to digest plants. article. Pull quote: “In addition, many gut bacteria use the energy they get from our food to produce chemicals that are helpful to humans—which may help explain some of the benefits of high-fiber diets. So, while these bacteria may be a minor component of our ability to process food, we may still learn that they make critical contributions to our health.”

Congress scrambles to avert shutdown after weekend delay. article. Pull quote: “Top leaders planned to roll out their funding deal on Sunday, which included a package of five appropriations bills and a continuing resolution to fund DHS through the end of the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. Appropriators had to turn to a stopgap for DHS amid deep disagreements between the two parties over immigration and border security.”

NIST NVD Halt Leaves Thousands of Vulnerabilities Untagged. article. Pull quote: “As pointed out by a report referring to NetRise CEO Tom Pace, reported that only 200 out of 2700 Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) have been enriched. This means over 2500 vulnerabilities added to the database have been uploaded without crucial metadata information.”

White House, Johnson close out Homeland Security negotiations holding up final funding deal. article. Pull quote: “Legislative text of the six-bill funding bundle is now expected late Tuesday or Wednesday, potentially teeing up a House vote on Friday at the earliest, if Speaker Mike Johnson adheres to a pledge to give Republicans 72 hours to review legislative text. Once the package passes the House, Senate leaders will need consent from all 100 senators to ensure speedy votes on the spending package. That task is already expected to be politically tricky, with Republicans likely to demand a swath of amendment votes on issues ranging from immigration to earmarks.”

Starship successfully makes orbit – but the FAA has grounded it anyway. article. Pull quote: “"A return to flight is based on the FAA determining that any system, process, or procedure related to the mishap does not affect public safety," reads the FAA statement. "In addition, SpaceX may need to modify its license to incorporate any corrective actions and meet all other licensing requirements."”

Debris from burning satellites could be affecting Earth's magnetic field. article. Pull quote: “"Satellites are mostly made of aluminum and aluminum is a superconductor," Solter-Hunt said. "Superconductors are used for blocking, distorting or shielding of magnetic fields. My concern is that at some point in the future, this conductive dust could create some perturbations in the magnetosphere."”

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