Microsoft Joins Effort to Curb ‘Revenge Porn’

The Gilmer Free Press

Microsoft just announced it was joining an effort to curb so-called “revenge porn,” by helping victims remove links to sexually explicit images of them posted without their consent.

“When someone shares intimate images of another person online without that person’s consent, the effects can be truly devastating,” said Microsoft chief online safety office Jacqueline Beauchere in a blog post.

“Unfortunately, revenge porn is on the rise across the globe. It can damage nearly every aspect of a victim’s life: relationships, career, social activities. In the most severe and tragic cases, it has even led to suicide.”

Beauchere said Microsoft has honored requests to take down such content, but that it has now established a new reporting page that makes the process easier.

The page is currently available in English “and will be expanded to other languages in the coming weeks,” Beauchere said. “When we remove links or content, we will do so globally.”

Google, Twitter, Reddit and others have implemented similar policies.

“Clearly, this reporting mechanism is but one small step in a growing and much-needed effort across the public and private sectors to address the problem,” Beauchere said.

“It’s important to remember, for example, that removing links in search results to content hosted elsewhere online doesn’t actually remove the content from the Internet — victims still need stronger protections across the Web and around the world.”

Green Banks Telescope to Be Used in Intensive Search for Life Elsewhere

The Gilmer Free Press

GREEN BANK, WV — The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in Pocahontas County will be one of two large telescopes used in a 10-year, $100 million search for extraterrestrial intelligence, called Breakthrough Listen, from Stephen Hawking, a famed physicist, and Yuri Milner, a Russian entrepreneur.

Breakthrough Listen boils down to one question — Are we alone in the Universe?

“NASA is funding research to look for habitable planets in nearby star systems, but no one in the federal government is funding studies for looking for radio signals from other civilizations,” said Earl Scime, chair of West Virginia University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

“The fact that private people have stepped up to do this is very exciting.”

“We believe that life arose spontaneously on Earth so, in an infinite universe, there must be other occurrences of life,” Hawking said during Monday’s announcement of Breakthrough Listen, billed as the most comprehensive and intensive search ever for signs of intelligent life elsewhere.

In the coming decade, the nearest 1 million stars in the Milky Way Galaxy along with 100 other galaxies will be scanned for tell-tale radio signatures of advanced civilization, according to information from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank.

The Green Bank Telescope is the world’s largest, fully steerable radio telescope and is located in the National Radio Quiet Zone, protecting it from unwanted radio interference.

Such interference, detected elsewhere, could be indicators of life, according to Scime. “Signals that are periodic or controlled that might be generated by radio sources, radar sources, from other civilizations,” he said of examples.

Funding from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, about $2 million per year for five years, will pay for research work at the Green Bank Telescope. Starting next year, the galaxy searches are scheduled to take up about 20 percent of the research time there.

The other telescope that will be used is the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia.

Scime noted Frank Drake, a radio astronomer, pioneered the search for extraterrestrial intelligence when he launched Project Ozma at the Green Bank Telescope in the early 1960s.

“The Drake Equation that Drake developed back in the 1960s basically argued that there was such a high probability of life and there were so many different places it could be, that eventually you would find something,” Scime said when asked what scientists could potentially locate while searching the Universe.

He was hesitant to make predictions, though, about possible discoveries.

“Not to go out on a limb, I think eventually we’ll probably see some sign of life from another civilization,” Scime said. “Whether it happens in my lifetime, I’m just not sure.”

Expedition 44 Crew Set to Rocket to International Space Station

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan —The Soyuz rocket that will take three new crew members to the International Space Station is ready and waiting on the launch pad at Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, located in Kazakhstan.

“An international crew from Russia, Japan and the United States is in Kazakhstan as their Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft rests on its launch pad,“ NASA confirmed in a blog post on Wednesday morning.

Blastoff is scheduled for 5:02 PM EDT on Wednesday, 3:02 AM Baikonur time on Thursday. The rocket will deliver Expedition 44, which is headed by cosmonaut and Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko. He is joined by NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Kimiya Yui.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Once arrived, the three new members will join astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko—the two members of the One-Year mission—as well as cosmonaut and Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka.

Russia’s Soyuz-FG rocket will boost the spacecraft 124 miles into Earth’s upper atmosphere before separating. From there, the craft’s boosters will propel it on its path through space. Only nine minutes will elapse between takeoff and separation. The craft will orbit Earth before being slung toward ISS.

After the six-hour trip, the Soyuz spacecraft will dock on the space station’s Rassvet mini-research module. The crew members will remain aboard ISS until December.

The rocket launch will be covered by a live stream on NASA TV, beginning at 4:00 PM EDT.

A Couple of Windows 10’s New Features, Such as Snap Assist and Virtual Desktops

The Gilmer Free Press

A couple of Windows 10’s new features, such as Snap Assist and virtual desktops are useful—and even more useful when you use them with keyboard shortcuts.

Here are 10 keyboard shortcuts you’ll need to learn if you want to be able to navigate Windows 10 with ease:

Snap window to the left side of the screen: Windows key + Left

Snap window to the right side of the screen: Windows key + Right

Snap window to a quadrant: After snapping the window left or right, Windows key + Up or Down

Maximize window: Without snapping window left or right, Windows key + Up

Minimize window: Without snapping window left or right, Windows key + Down

Task view (view all virtual desktops): Windows key + Tab

Create new virtual desktop: Windows key + Ctrl + D

Close current virtual desktop: Windows key + Ctrl + F4

Move to next virtual desktop: Windows key + Ctrl + Right

Go back to previous virtual desktop: Windows key + Ctrl + Left

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