Linkblog | Cory Doctorow: How I got scammed

from the mothers-maiden-name desk

Cory Doctorow regales us with his story of being phished, being scammed, being almost scammed, and being almost phished again, and uses his $8,000 fleecing as an opportunity to teach us about swiss cheese security, when everything lines up perfectly for a scammer to get through.

It makes me think about a Hollywood heist film, where George Clooney waits patiently for the exact right amount of money to be in the vault, for the people who are responsible for its protection to be distracted or harried or frustrated in a specific way, for the business interests of the target to be specifically aligned away from what he wants to go after; so that when he makes his move he only has to actually put his people in a particular place and let them go through the holes that have already opened up.

Good reminders for individuals and for companies who rely on strong security to maintain their business or reputation.

Linkblog | Ars Technica: The amazing helicopter on Mars, Ingenuity, will fly no more

from the red-planet-whirlybird desk

The amazing helicopter on Mars, Ingenuity, will fly no more
Ingenuity has spent more than two hours flying above Mars since April 2021.

Well done, Ingenuity. The Martian helicopter—well, okay, it’s an Earth helicopter on Mars—flew its final mission this month, breaking one of its rotors during its 72nd out of five planned flights in the thin Martian atmosphere. The four-pound aircraft flew a total of 11 miles (17 kilometers) across the Martian landscape; by contrast, the first wheeled rover on Mars, Sojourner, only traveled about 330 feet (100 meters) before we lost contact with it.

It was originally planned to fly between 1 and 5 times; it flew 72 times. Its maximum operational duration was 30 sols (Martian days), but it made its final landing 977 sols after its first takeoff. Its design expected a maximum altitude of 12 meters (39 feet), but it doubled that expectation, traveling as high as 24 meters (79 feet). Having exceeded nearly every design parameter, I think it’s earned its rest.

The whole mission was impressive, but if you’re interested in the design of this incredible aircraft and spacecraft, you might enjoy this video from the YouTube channel Veritasium, made over a year before Ingenuity even reached Mars:

Congratulations to NASA, the JPL, and everyone who worked on this impressive piece of technology.