Google’s bug bounty programs paid out almost $3M in 2017

 Bug bounty programs are designed to sic security researchers on software and pay them to find vulnerabilities and report back to the sponsor. In return, the researchers are richly rewarded for their findings. In fact, Google’s bug bounty paid out a hefty $2.9 million in bug bounties in 2017. Read More

Starman has gone dark

 Starman and his space Tesla have sent their last selfie from Earth orbit, Elon Musk announced. The car and its mannequin driver (in working SpaceX spacesuit) launched yesterday atop the Falcon Heavy rocket will eventually escape Earth orbit and travel outwards through the solar system — but not in a hurry. Read More

Doctors floored by epidemic levels of black lung in Appalachian coal miners

An epidemic of severe and rapidly progressive black lung disease is emerging among coal miners in Appalachia. Case counts from just three clinics in the region reveal the highest disease levels that doctors have ever reported, according to a study published in JAMA this week.

Between January 2013 and February 2017, researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health documented 416 coal miners with the condition. Prior to the discovery, researchers largely thought that black lung cases were a thing of the past. Diagnoses have been rare since the late 1990s

The clinics, run by Stone Mountain Health Services, would typically see five to seven cases each year, Ron Carson, who directs Stone Mountain’s black lung program told NPR. Now, the clinics see that many in two weeks, he said. And in the past year, they’ve diagnosed 154 cases.

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White House senior aide to resign following abuse charges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. White House staff secretary Rob Porter said on Wednesday he would resign following accusations of domestic abuse from two former wives.

U.S. congressional leaders forge budget deal that adds to deficit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. congressional leaders, in a rare display of bipartisanship, on Wednesday reached a two-year budget deal to raise government spending by almost $300 billion, attempting to curb Washington’s fiscal policy squabbling but also widening the federal deficit.

AccuWeather Blames National Weather Service for False Alarm Tsunami Warning

AccuWeather says it was not responsible for Tuesday morning’s mistaken Tsumani warning push notifications.

The company, which provides commercial weather forecasting services around the world, blamed the National Weather Service in a statement, saying that this is not the first time the NWS has mistakenly used actual warning codes in test alerts that ultimately resulted in real warnings being sent out.

Meanwhile, the NWS is blaming “one private sector company” that it says sent out the routine test message as an official tsunami warning. It did not mention AccuWeather by name.

Barry Meyers, AccuWeather’s CEO, advised the NWS to change the way it issues test alert three years ago, the company said.

“We understand the reason for test messages, but we feel that NWS consider fail safe measures for the future to prevent such an occurrence. The issuance did say it was a “TSUNAMI WARNING,” but it was not a tsunami warning, rather simply a test of the system,” he wrote. “We note that the method currently used of relying on the “TEST” in the header of the product and a test in the VTEC status, as the identifying device for software coding in numerous programs and systems used by a plethora of companies to identify such messages, has proven to be a less than perfect system.”

AccuWeather said in a statement that it uses “sophisticated algorithms” to scan all of the codes the NWS sends out, and that the mistake happened not because of a computer error on their end, but because the NWS embedded the wrong code in its original message.

Whoever is to blame, one thing is for certain: No Tsunami hit the East coast Tuesday morning, thankfully.