GeekSpeak for 2015-07-25

Depressed Flying Death Machine Cheats on Bacon-Weed

Teaser medium

First DNA marker for depression; a new protein rich seaweed that tastes like bacon; 2014 was the warmest; cheating site gets hacked, possible moral hacking; a flying handgun is created to the dismay of humanity; and more geeky news of the week.

SpaceX says faulty strut led to Falcon failure

After weeks of investigating the June 28 Falcon 9 failure and scrutinizing data collected from over 3,000 telemetry channels, video channels, and debris analysis, SpaceX thinks it knows what caused the failure. Preliminary data points to the structural failure of a steel strut designed to hold helium pressurant tanks in place inside the upper stage liquid oxygen (LOX) tank.

New Tesla Model S P90D “Ludicrous Speed” Goes 0-60 MPH in 2.8 Seconds

Ludicrous Speed mode is a $10,000 option for the P90D model that enables a higher maximum amperage of 1500 watts thanks to a smart fuse for the battery pack. Not only is 0-60 mph acceleration time improved by 5 percent, but the quarter-mile time also drops to 10.9 seconds. The Ludicrous Mode battery pack upgrade will also be offered for $5,000 plus installation to existing Model S P85D owners for improved acceleration, though that won’t include an upgrade to the larger 90-kWh battery.

Seaweed that tastes like bacon

Researchers at Oregon State have patented a new strain of seaweed that tastes like bacon when it’s cooked.
The seaweed, a form of red marine algae, looks like translucent red lettuce. It also has twice the nutritional value of kale and grows very quickly.

According to Oregon State researcher Chris Langdon, his team started growing the new strain while trying to find a good food source for edible sea snails, or abalone, a very popular food in many parts of Asia. The strain is a new type of red algae that normally grows along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines.

Scientists link DNA variations to major depression for the first time

In the study, researchers sequenced the genomes of over 5,000 Han Chinese women with recurrent major depressive disorder. This helped them identify the two genetic variants — versions of genes that are both located on chromosome 10 — that appear to be linked to depression. Then, they verified their findings in a second set of Han Chinese women.
The finding doesn’t mean that these two genetic variants are the sole cause of the disorder, however. They are actually responsible for less than 1 percent of a person’s chance of developing major depression. Their effect is small but nevertheless significant — and that’s a scientific first.

Online Cheating Site AshleyMadison Hacked

Large caches of data stolen from online cheating site AshleyMadison.com have been posted online by an individual or group that claims to have completely compromised the company’s user databases, financial records and other proprietary information. The still-unfolding leak could be quite damaging to some 37 million users of the hookup service, whose slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.”

According to the hackers, although the “full delete” feature that Ashley Madison advertises promises “removal of site usage history and personally identifiable information from the site,” users’ purchase details — including real name and address — aren’t actually scrubbed.

[The hackers’] demands continue: “Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms, or we will release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails. The other websites may stay online.”

Gay marriage: the database engineering perspective

There are various objections to expanding the conventional, up-tight, as-God-intended “one man, one woman” notion of marriage but by far the least plainly bigoted ones I am aware of are the bureaucratic ones.
To be blunt, the systems aren’t set up to handle it. The paper forms have a space for the husband’s name and a space for the wife’s name. Married people carefully enter their details in block capitals and post the forms off to depressed paper-pushers who then type that information into software front-ends whose forms are laid out and named in precisely the same fashion. And then they hit “submit” and the information is filed away electronically in databases which simply keel over or belch integrity errors when presented with something so profound as a man and another man who love each other enough to want to file joint tax returns.

Altering your database schema to accommodate gay marriage can be easy or difficult depending on how smart you were when you originally set up your system to accommodate heterosexuality only.

Where big ISPs won’t invest, customer-owned ISPs are deploying fiber | Ars Technica

New government funding will boost the networks of eight rural Internet service providers, including five customer-owned ISPs in areas that aren’t densely populated enough to attract major investments from big cable companies and telcos.
The US Department of Agriculture today announced the new loans and grants, totaling $85.8 million. La Valle Telephone Cooperative in La Valle, Wisconsin, a town of about 1,300 residents, is getting a $7.61 million loan to expand its fiber network "and replace a switch to provide rural subscribers with improved services, including voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and the flexibility to connect to Gigabit Ethernet and IP interfaces," the USDA said.

UK pilots warn putting devices with lithium batteries in hold baggage is 'aircraft fire risk'

Lithium batteries used in devices such as phones, tablets, laptops and cameras are highly flammable. When they’re damaged, they can become especially volatile – as BALPA explains, “when they short circuit, [they] have a tendency to burst into high intensity fires, which are difficult to extinguish.”

Post Show Fun

In the post-show we talked about how Miles’s new timer app crashed out while recording.

I suggested it might be because of my Vimium plugin for Chrome

We also chatted about how the GeekSpeak.org source code is on GitHub and that, at some point, we will add Miles’s new timer app to the source code.