Posted by soullezz
(CNN) -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft has provided your multicolored space distraction of the day: images of a swirling, six-sided weather feature on the surface of Saturn.
Scientists say the "Hexagon," the formation's working title at NASA, is unlike anything they've seen elsewhere.
They say the feature is "turbulent and unstable," packing 200-mph winds. That's nearly 50 mph stronger than the wind speed required for a Category 5 hurricane.
"A hurricane on Earth typically lasts a week, but this has been here for decades -- and who knows -- maybe centuries," said Andrew Ingersoll, a Cassini team member at the California Institute of Technology.
The Cassini spacecraft was launched in 1997 and has been in orbit around Saturn, the sixth planet from the sun, since 2004. NASA hopes it will collect more pictures and other data of Saturn and its rings and moons through 2017.
Cassini had photographed the hexagon before. But the short video clip released this week is the first high-resolution image of the massive jet stream, and the first with color filters.
Cassini captured images of the hexagon over a 10-hour time period on December 10, 2012.
The images, which scientists are still analyzing, are rendered in "false color," a method that makes it easier to tell the difference between different parts of the storm. To human eyes, the hexagon and the planet's north pole would appear in tones of gold and blue.
Cassini arrived at Saturn in 2004. But NASA has begun getting better images of the planet from Cassini since sunlight began bathing Saturn's northern hemisphere with the arrival of the planet's spring season in 2009. ("Seasons" on Saturn go on for years, as the distant planet's orbit around the sun takes 29 years.)
Posted by soullezz
Still concerned about some faceless government bureaucrat peeking at your e-mails and other online communications? Well, you've got a new champion: Microsoft.
The computing giant has announced a set of new privacy features, in a post that specifically calls out "government snooping" as the reason.
Responding to news reports that the National Security Agency may be monitoring more online activity than was previously believed, Microsoft attorney and executive vice president Brad Smith wrote that the company is rolling out three new features:
-- Expanded encryption across Microsoft services.
-- Reinforced legal protections for customer data.
-- Enhanced transparency designed to show customers that Microsoft products don't have "back doors" that make government surveillance easier.
"Like many others, we are especially alarmed by recent allegations in the press of a broader and concerted effort by some governments to circumvent online security measures -- and in our view, legal processes and protections -- in order to surreptitiously collect private customer data," Smith wrote in the post published late Wednesday.
"... If true, these efforts threaten to seriously undermine confidence in the security and privacy of online communications. Indeed, government snooping potentially now constitutes an 'advanced persistent threat,' alongside sophisticated malware and cyber attacks."
Just over a month ago, a Washington Post report said the NSA can tap into overseas data links to collect millions of text, video and audio records from tech giants like Google and Yahoo every day. The NSA denied that report.
Wednesday's post says Microsoft launched "a comprehensive engineering effort" to enhance encryption on communications via tools like e-mail service Outlook, productivity suite Office 365, SkyDrive and Windows Azure.
Data sent between customers and Microsoft is now encrypted by default, meaning messages will be garbled during transition so they become useless to anyone who may intercept them between the sender and intended recipient. All messages traveling between Microsoft servers will be added.
Some changes went into effect immediately, and all will be active by the end of 2014, Smith wrote.
"While we have no direct evidence that customer data has been breached by unauthorized government access, we don't want to take any chances and are addressing this issue head on," the post said.
In recent months, some of tech's biggest players have been pushing back against perceived government intrusions.
In September, CEOs Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Marissa Mayer of Yahoo took to the stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference to condemn government surveillance of private citizens online.
Microsoft's move follows Google and Yahoo, both of which have stepped up encryption of users' data in light of reports about the NSA. In a blog post last month announcing the new protections,Mayer wrote that "Yahoo has never given access to our data centers to the NSA or any other government agency. Ever."
Posted by soullezz
These games were confirmed to be next-gen Xbox games at the Xbox announcement on May 21, 2013. At the Xbox One announcement Microsoft claimed to have 15 Xbox One exclusive games in its first year, with 8 of those being new franchises. Although the Xbox One does not require an Always Online Connection, some of its games will only work with a connected Xbox One, as noted below.
|Game||Developer||Release Date||Required Online Connection||Install Size|
|Amazing Spiderman 2, The||Beenox||5/15/2014|
|Angry Birds Star Wars||Rovio||TBA|
|Assassin's Creed 4||Ubisoft Montreal||November 22, 2013||TBA||20GB|
|Battlefield 4||EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE)||November 22, 2013||TBA||33GB|
|Call of Duty: Ghosts||Infinity Ward||11.5.2013||TBA||39GB|
|Carmageddon: Reincarnation||Stainless Games||Q1 2014|
|Child of Light||Ubisoft Montreal||2014|
|The Crew||Ubisoft Reflections||April-June Window||TBA|
|Crimson Dragon||Grounding||November 22, 2013||TBA|
|Dead Rising 3||Capcom||November 22, 2013||TBA||19GB|
|Dragon Age Inquisition||BioWare||Fall 2014||TBA|
|Elder Scrolls Online||Bethesda/Zenimax||TBA||Yes|
|Fable Legends||Lionhead Studios||TBA||TBA|
|Fantasia: Music Evolved||Harmonix||TBA||TBA|
|FIFA Soccer 14||EA||November 22, 2013||TBA||8GB|
||Daoka||November 22, 2013||TBA||9.2GB|
|Final Fantasy XV||Square-Enix||TBA||TBA|
|Forza Motorsport 5||Turn 10||November 22, 2013||Yes||31GB|
|Halo for Xbox One||343 Studios||TBA||TBA|
|Halo: Spartan Assault||343 Studios|
|Just Dance 2014||Ubisoft||November 22, 2013||TBA||22GB|
|Killer Instinct||Double Helix||November 22, 2013||TBA||3.4GB|
|Kinect Sports Rivals||Rare||TBA||TBA|
|Kingdom Hearts 3||Square-Enix||TBA||TBA|
|Lego Marvel Super Heroes||TT Games||November 22, 2013||TBA|
|The Lego Movie Videogame||TT Games||February, 2014|
|LocoCycle||Twisted Pixel||November 22, 2013||TBA||13GB|
|Lords of the Fallen||Deck 13||2014|
|Madden 25||EA||November 22, 2013||TBA||12GB|
|Max:The Curse of Brotherhood||Press Play||2014|
|Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain||Kojima Productions||TBA||TBA|
|Mighty No. 9||Comcept||2015|
|Mirror's Edge||EA DICE||When it's ready||TBA|
|NBA 2K14||Visual Concepts||November 22, 2013||TBA||43GB|
|NBA Live 14||EA||November 22, 2013||TBA||9GB|
|Need for Speed Rivals||EA||November 22, 2013||TBA|
|Peggle 2||PopCap||November 22, 2013||TBA|
|Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare||PopCap||TBA||TBA|
|Powerstar Golf||November 22, 2013||3.9GB|
|Quantum Break||Remedy Entertainment||TBA||TBA|
|Ryse: Son of Rome
||November 22, 2013||TBA||34GB|
|Shantae: Half-Genie Hero||WayForward||TBA 2014|
|Skylanders Swap Force||Vicarious Visions||November 22, 2013||TBA||15GB|
|Sniper Elite 3||Rebellion Developments||TBA 2015|
|Star Wars Battlefront||DICE||TBA||TBA|
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