Daily American Buzz: wow

Bloomberg has revealed in its recently published report that a nation-state has launched a significant supply chain attack. It is believed to be one of the largest corporate spying and hardware hacking campaigns ever launched by a nation-state. The espionage campaign is launched through a very small surveillance chip, which is only the size of a grain of rice. This chip is hidden in the servers currently in use by about 30 US firms including the bigwigs Apple, Amazon, and Elemental.

According to Bloomberg, these chips weren’t part of the server motherboard originally. These have been designed by Super Micro, a US-based firm. Reportedly, the malicious chips were inserted when the server motherboards were undergoing manufacturing process, which was carried out in China by their subcontractors.

Amazon notified the US authorities about the discovery, which sent shockwaves across the intelligence fraternity since these servers are also in use at the Department of Defense data centers, the Navy warships’ onboard networks, and the drone operations from the CIA.

The probe has been active for over three years and investigators believe that the chips have been inserted to let the attackers get an entry to any network that is connected to the servers. This attack is a lot more serious and severe than other software-based attacks identified so far considering that hardware attacks are quite difficult to identify immediately, and by the time these are, a lot of information has been leaked. Spy agencies are the most important beneficiaries of such campaigns and are keen on investing into such a campaign.

The report suggests that Chinese-government sponsored groups infiltrated the supply chain for installing tiny surveillance chips. The devices then were deployed by mainstream US firms as well as the US military, US intelligence agencies, and many other important organizations. Apple, however, discovered the chips installed in Super Micro servers in 2015 after identifying firmware issues and suspicious network activities.

Although the chips were tiny these are capable of performing two key tasks; firstly, the chips can force the device to communicate with an anonymous computer anywhere on the internet, which may be loaded with complex code. Secondly, the chips can prepare the device to accept the new code.

Naturally, the Chinese government is believed to be involved in this campaign, and the primary objective seems to be to spy on US firms and the military.

However, after the report was published, Amazon, Apple, and Super Micro all denied the claim from Bloomberg. Apple stated that it hasn’t ever identified malicious chips on the server motherboards from Super Micro or any other hardware manipulations resulting from the planting of tiny chips. The company also denied contacting the FBI or any other investigation agency regarding finding tiny surveillance chips.

Amazon also claims that the story from Bloomberg is untrue and denied anything related to identifying a supply chain compromise or hardware hack. It also denied contacting the FBI for investigation of the incident.

Super Micro and Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry also denied the findings of the report.

It covers 34 miles and connects Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland

China is set to open the longest sea-crossing bridge ever built, nine years after construction began.

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge connects Hong Kong and Macau to the Chinese mainland and covers 34 miles.

It is a key element of China's plan for a Greater Bay Area covering 56,500 square kilometers (21,800 square miles) across southern China, and encompassing 11 cities, including Hong Kong and Macau, that are home to a combined 68 million people.

The project was delayed by two years and cost a total of $20bn.

The bridge needed 60 times more steel than used to build the Eiffel Tower and includes a four-mile undersea tunnel connected by two artificial islands.

It will be opened to traffic in the morning of 24 October and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, will be at the ceremony.

Journey times between the cities will be cut from three hours down to 30 minutes.

“With the bridge, the travelling time between Hong Kong and the western Pearl River Delta region will be shortened significantly, thereby bringing the western Pearl River Delta region within three hours’ drive from Hong Kong,” the city’s transport secretary, Frank Chan, said, according to CNN.

Estimates suggest the bridge will be in use for 120 years but there are likely to be restrictions on usage.

Private car owners in Hong Kong will require a permit to use the bridge, but people will have access to shuttle buses.

The building of the bridge has not been without controversy; the bridge was delayed by a number of years and the budget overran.

There were also corruption prosecutions, seven workers died and 129 were injured during the construction process. 

The entire time the Moon has been sitting up there, quietly orbiting Earth, it turns out it's actually been doing something incredible. Something that could help teach us about the early Universe.

Off its rocky surface, the Moon reflects radio waves emitted by our home galaxy, the Milky Way. And now astronomers have detected them.

The signal was picked up by researchers from the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D). But even though that's cool enough, it's not the end goal.

Their target is something much more elusive: they want to detect the extremely faint signal emanating from the hydrogen in the very earliest days of the Universe, in the time between the Big Bang and the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), when the Universe's lights switched on.

"Before there were stars and galaxies, the Universe was pretty much just hydrogen, floating around in space," said astronomer Benjamin McKinley.

"Since there are no sources of the optical light visible to our eyes, this early stage of the Universe is known as the 'cosmic dark ages'."

The instrument the team are using is a low-frequency radio telescope called the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), in the desert of Western Australia. Consisting of 2,048 dipole antennas, it's one of the best tools in the world for trying to understand the early Universe.

Its low frequency range of 80-300 MHz, astronomers hope, will be able to detect the radio signal emanating from the hydrogen atoms prior to the EoR.

"If we can detect this radio signal it will tell us whether our theories about the evolution of the Universe are correct," McKinley noted.

But that signal is incredibly faint, especially compared to all the other radio signals that have since filled the Universe.

One possible solution is to measure the average brightness of the radio sky - but this can't be done using standard techniques, since interferometers aren't sensitive to a global average that doesn't vary.

So this is where the Moon comes in. Radio waves can't actually pass through the Moon - which is the reason why it's difficult to communicate with astronauts on the Moon's far side, and also why scientists think it would be an amazing idea to put a radio telescope back there, where it wouldn't encounter interference from terrestrial radio emissions.

The flip side of that is that the Moon occults the radio sky behind it. So the research team leveraged this property to measure the average brightness of the patch of sky surrounding it.

This is not a new idea, but the team also employed a more sophisticated method of dealing with 'earthshine', the radio emissions from Earth that bounce off the Moon and interfere with the signal received by the telescope.

Then, after calculating earthshine, they also had to establish how much interference was being caused by the galaxy itself.

To create the incredible image of the Milky Way's galactic plane reflected off the Moon, the team put together data sets. The first was the MWA's lunar observations. The second was a Global Sky Model - a map of diffuse galactic radio emission - published in 2008.

Using ray-tracing and computer modeling, they were able to map the Global Sky Model onto the face of the Moon, and work out the average radio brightness of the galaxy's reflected radio waves.

So, yes - that's a generated image, not an exact representation of the MWA data, which you can see in the picture below. The dark patch in the middle is the Moon.

So did they detect the EoR? Well, not yet. This research was early groundwork to establish the efficacy of the technique. And it's looking pretty good so far.

"Our initial results using the lunar occultation technique are promising. We are beginning to understand the errors and spectral features present in our data and will continue to refine our techniques," the researchers wrote in their paper, but they noted there's much more work ahead.

"Future progress depends upon processing more data and further refining our techniques to effectively model foreground and reflected emission within our frequency range. The reflective behaviour of the Moon at low frequencies is not well studied and this will require particular attention. We must also develop techniques to break the degeneracy between the sky temperature and the Moon temperature in our fitting procedure."

A US restaurant is using marijuana to sedate lobsters before killing them.

Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound, a restaurant in Maine, says the process is more humane as it lessens their pain before death.

Lobsters are often cooked by being dropped into a pot of boiling water, seen as cruel by some. There is growing evidence the crustaceans feel pain.

The restaurant's owner, Charlotte Gill, says about why she chose to "hot box" lobsters. "I feel bad that when lobsters come here there is no exit strategy," Gill said. She first tried the technique on a lobster named Roscoe.

Roscoe was placed in a box with about two inches of water. Marijuana smoke was blown into the water through a hole in the bottom, and Roscoe got "baked." Marijuana is legal in Maine and Roscoe seemed to enjoy his first time getting high — he was much calmer when he was put back in the tank with other lobsters. As a reward for his participation in the experiment, the lobster was returned back into the ocean, Gill said.

Customers at the restaurant can choose whether they want the marijuana-sedated lobster or not.

The owner of Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound, Charlotte Gill, says eating the sedated lobster will not make customers high and using marijuana leads to better quality meat, as the animal is more relaxed when it dies.

"If we're going to take a life we have a responsibility to do it as humanely as possible," Ms Gill told local newspaper Mount Desert Islander. "The difference it makes within the meat itself is unbelievable."

Marijuana is legal in Maine and Ms Gill has a license to grow and supply it for medical purposes.

Before man can cross the immense distances of space, the designs of spacecraft's sails will be the answer – striking a fine balance between mass, strength and reflectivity.

Working with NASA, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) scientists have created the new material out of silicon and its oxide, silica.

The caltech team has figured out that super-thin structures made of this compound can transform infrared light waves into a momentum that would accelerate a probe to 134,000,000 mph.

Speeds like this can carry a small probe to our closest planets and stars, a huddle of stars called Proxima centauri, within decades rather than millennia.

And it will allow humans to search nearby solar systems for alien life.

The Caltech engineers are exploiting the inactivity of photons to reach the astronomical speeds required to cover big distances in comparatively short amounts of time.

Unlike thick air molecules, light doesn't have a resting mass, so it doesn't “blow” in the same way wind does.

But flying photons still pack a punch by exerting pressure via their momentum, according to Maxwell's equations on electromagnetic radiation.

NASA: The material, made out of silicon and its oxide, silica, will be used in solar sails

The idea is to use a laser to coherently shoot a stream of photons at infrared wavelengths at a “light net”, or sail, attached to a spaceship.

Even for small objects that would mean casting a big sail, which in turn means adding more mass. So this sail needs to be as light as possible, which could make it vulnerable to easy damage.

By turning to nanomaterials, engineers have the advantage of twisting the way light is absorbed and released, allowing them to fine-tune the delicate balance of catching enough light to build up speed without overheating.

A caltech spokesperson said: “Light sails propelled by radiation pressure from high-power lasers have the potential to achieve relativistic spaceflight.”

A meat-loving inciter stirred up passersby at a vegan food festival by eating a raw veal heart while wearing a shirt that says "Go vegan and die."

Isn't it nice when opposing sides can come together and share ideas in a measured, non-threatening manner?

According to a spokesperson for the festival, the dude kicked off his bizarre, pro-meat protest in the middle of an event for kids—because apparently all the kids with fully-formed opinions on factory farming or whatever needed to be taught a lesson. Soon a few participants complained to the cops, and the guy wound up getting questioned by the police while he eat his hunk of dead animal.

"It ruined our health," the man says at one point when questioned about his protest. "I was vegan and almost died. They're making everybody sick."

YouTube user sv3rige's now-viral video has racked up nearly 375,000 views. In its description, he wrote, "vegans are malnourished" and "they hate nature."

Police eventually confronted sv3rige after receiving numerous complaints from attendees, but no arrests were made.

“While it is of course not forbidden to eat raw meat, it was of course a shocking sight because there was a puddle of blood and fat,” the festival spokesperson said.
A bizarre video has emerged showing a rat living with a sapling soybean plant growing out of its back.

The footage showed that the rat seems to be in immense pain and struggling to move with the growth and wasn’t able to escape when people comes to inspect it.

Farmer Datar Singh, who discovered the unfortunate rat, had planted a soya bean crop on his farm in the Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh in India earlier this year.

He was inspecting his crop when he found the rat on 7 August.

The witnesses tried to turn the rat over to check how did it happened but they ended up to have no clue at all.

At first, Datar think that it was just a prank but upon check, he realized it was the real thing and believed that a soy bean seed must have fallen into an open wound on the rat’s back and started developing and begun to grow.

The head of the department of biology at a college in nearby Barnagar, Professor A Siddiqui, revealed that the plant could have caused the rodent to suffer even more.

“It’s a miracle. Though the plant had grown in the region near the neck, there was no brain damage,” he said.

Since the video was uploaded, Singh and his friends have removed the plant from the animal’s back and the rodent since been recovering from its injuries.
Who here is not a fan of Star Wars? The very idea of the amazing galactic movie was a blockbuster thought in the first place, and so, here we have brought to you the original concept art of the epic Star Wars! And you shouldn't miss it for the world! So scroll down right now, and enjoy the creative illustration of artist Ralph McQuarrie.

The Original Concept Art for Star Wars by artist Ralph McQuarrie.

The Original Concept Art for Star Wars by artist Ralph McQuarrie.

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So you think you know everything there is to know about the star wars? Oh! you might as well help us here. 
While waiting for the new star wars starring chewie and Hans Solo, we dug a little something. 
A few things that were never clear. A few things that were perhaps not answered at all. 
Like I said, help us or just keep solving! 

Let's Unleash The Mysteries Together!

#1. Meanwhile, what was Obi-Wen Kenobi doing on Tatooine?

Let's Unleash The Mysteries Together!
Many fan made tales, but no confirmation story as of yet.
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On that one toke too many 
On that one toke too many:

On Fear

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We are all aware of Vladimir Putin. That incident of a plane being shot down in Turkey once again showed how popular, or rather, infamous Putin is. He has been called the person of the year because of his power and his charisma, and, well, maybe he's immortal too? Yes, he might be only getting the spotlight now, but these images seem to indicate that he has been living far longer than we have initially. Maybe this is the secret power of Mother Russia?

The Three Putins

The Three Putins

Yes, it is obviously just a conspiracy, but the resemblance is uncanny. They've got Putin's familiar stare, seemingly uninterested yet ready to punch you in the gut.


The first photo was taken almost 100 years ago, back in 1920. It might just be an innocent soldier, but what if this was Putin preparing his rise as a leader of Russia? Oh my.

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This parking ticket
This lovely story has gone viral in the last 24 hours, as an Australian woman came back to her car in a hospital to find a parking ticket and this note:
"Hi there, I saw your car had a parking ticket on it, I’m sure whatever you are going through at hospital is tough enough, so I have paid for you.
The woman had spent the past few days in hospital with her 9 week old son and this little act of kindness has put a smile on the face of so many.
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Remember Daredevil? The movie with Ben Affleck that nobody liked? Originally, Matt was going to play the superhero!

Even with Matt playing Matt Murdock, nothing could have saved that movie. NOTHING.

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The reported sensations are that of immobile legs and arms.
The reported sensations are that of immobile legs and arms.
You feel something is making a move towards you and you begin choking. Then, you sit up, find nothing around you and start thinking about what just happened.

It's definitely extremely frightening.
It's definitely extremely frightening.
Some have even experienced a hand around their neck.

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Romanian Piper, 1910

This particular crojoc – an embroidered sleeved sheepskin coat – is much plainer than the shepherd’s version, making it a more practical, work-oriented coat, suggesting that the subject is of the working class, given the lack of decoration and the straw hat. The waistcoat, known as a pieptar, is worn by both men and women, and smaller waistcoats were made from lambskin.

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When it comes to stunning and surreal landscapes, look no further than Southern China's rice fields, amazing rice fields which appear more like abstract paintings than actual photographs.