TIME Aviation

Here’s Why Wi-Fi on Planes Could Lead to a Terrifying Disaster

494327693
Getty Images

You'll never complain again about not having the Internet at 30,000 ft.

Yes, having access to Facebook on a long flight helps to pass the time, but it could also be putting passengers in the crosshairs of terrorists and hackers, according to a new report released this week by a U.S. watchdog agency.

In a dossier released Tuesday, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said new aircraft may be susceptible to having their inflight computer systems hacked through onboard wi-fi networks or remotely by individuals elsewhere.

“According to cybersecurity experts we interviewed, Internet connectivity in the cabin should be considered a direct link between the aircraft and the outside world, which includes potential malicious actors,” read the 56-page report.

The GAO stated that planes possess firewalls designed to block cyberattacks and protect the craft’s avionics; however, that software is still susceptible to being penetrated.

“Four cybersecurity experts with whom we spoke discussed firewall vulnerabilities, and all four said that because firewalls are software components, they could be hacked like any other software and circumvented,” the report said.

The situation is made all the worse by the prevalent use of smartphones and other mobile devices by passengers and pilots alike on flights worldwide everyday.

“The presence of personal smartphones and tablets in the cockpit increases the risk of a system’s being compromised by trusted insiders, both malicious and non-malicious, if these devices have the capability to transmit information to aircraft avionics systems,” stated the dossier.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it has already begun taking steps to make cockpits safer and is consulting security experts to single out areas of concern.

“This threat will continue to evolve and it is something that needs to be at the forefront of our thinking,” Michael Huerta, the FAA’s administrator, told a Senate oversight panel this week, according to Reuters.

Following the publication of the report, lawmakers demanded that the federal agencies act fast to counter any potential threats to the aviation industry.

“[The FAA] must focus on aircraft certification standards that would prevent a terrorist with a laptop in the cabin or on the ground from taking control of an airplane through the passenger wi-fi system,” Representative Peter DeFazio told CNN.

Read next: 9 Tips for Faster Wi-Fi Streaming

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME viral

This Is the First Doughnut to Be Launched Into Space

No, that isn't the title of a Flaming Lips album. It's an actual thing

It was one small step for two brothers and a giant leap for mankind after the duo succeeded in sending what is believed to be the first doughnut into space this month.

According to Swedish news outlet the Local, the brothers Alexander and Benjamin Jönsson from Lysekil, Sweden, crossed the border into Norway last week, where they attached a doughnut and camera to a weather balloon and launched the contraption, sending it almost 20 miles above the earth’s surface.

“I’m really into space and photography, and I used to play around with weather balloons back in school,” Alexander told the Local. “Then we had the idea that we should send something really crazy up into space and thought ‘Hey, nobody has ever sent a doughnut up before.’”

Hours after being launched, the vessel and the doughnut came crashing down to earth and was later recovered in Lake Vättern, Sweden. The doughnut, albeit soggy, was still intact.

TIME animals

Marijuana Treats for Dogs Are Now a Thing

A sticker is seen on a dog's back during
Yuri Cortez—AFP/Getty Images A sticker is seen on a dog's back during a demo in support of the legalization of marijuana in Mexico City on May 5, 2012.

Pet owners are using them to treat sickly animals or animals in pain

Medical marijuana has been known to help humans stave off the eye disease glaucoma, treat nausea induced by chemotherapy and ease the inflammation associated with arthritis.

But does the same go for dogs? Well, it just may.

Medical marijuana dispensaries have already begun concocting cannabis-laced treats for canines.

According to Quartz, the burgeoning pet-pot market is straddling a legal gray area. Enterprises hoping to market cannabis-derived products to animals are entering virgin territory in the absences of industry guidelines and sufficient scientific evidence.

However, that’s not stopping pet owners from giving their ailing animals edibles to ease chronic pain and illnesses.

Read more at Quartz

TIME celebrities

Alyssa Milano Had Her Breast Milk Confiscated by British Airport Staff

Alyssa Milano
Rich Fury — AP Alyssa Milano arrives at the LA premiere of Get Hard at the TCL Chinese Theatre on March 25, 2015, in Los Angeles

Apparently it's a security risk

Charmed and Mistresses actress Alyssa Milano lambasted officials at London’s Heathrow Airport on Tuesday, reports ABC, after 10 oz. of her own pre-expressed breast milk were taken from her as she passed through security.

“Every ounce of milk I’m able to produce for my child is nothing short of a miracle and to watch that milk be thrown away without any regard for my baby, was heartbreaking,” said Milano.

According to Heathrow’s screening protocol, passengers traveling with a baby or infant are supposed to be allowed to “carry a reasonable amount” of breast milk through security.

Milano conceded that security staff were “following orders to keep us all safe.” But the actress said she hopes the policy undergoes a “thoughtful consideration.”

Read next: Alyssa Milano Talks About the Joys of Breastfeeding

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Food & Drink

This Beer Poster Doesn’t Just Depict Beer, It Actually Dispenses It to Passersby

Well played, Carlsberg, well played

Thirsty Londoners were treated to free beer this week, thanks to a new Carlsberg billboard that offered fresh pints to lucky bystanders.

The new 12-meter wide poster outfitted with a beer tap sticks with a minimal design and simply declares: “Probably the best poster in the world.” Beer fans in East London seem to agree.

TIME Environment

Check Out This Photo of a Pet Fish That Grew Into a Feral Aquatic Killer

Photo provided by Murdoch University's Freshwater Fish Group & Fish Health Unit

It's what happens when you ditch little Otto into a local lake

Setting a pet fish free in a local lake or waterway is not an act of liberation — it’s ecological sabotage.

According to researchers at Australia’s Murdoch University, once pet fish are introduced into lakes and rivers they have the potential to decimate an ecosystem.

While a goldfish or koi might remain miniature when housed in a bowl or aquarium, once freed into a larger environment the fish are able to grow at an exponential rate. They also eat up food that native species depend on and introduce exotic diseases.

A study published last year by Murdoch University’s Freshwater Fish Group and Fish Health Unit claims “introduced freshwater fishes are one of the major global threats to aquatic biodiversity.”

“They are eating up the food resources and using up the habitat that our native fish would otherwise be using,” Jeff Cosgrove, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Murdoch University, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

In addition, once they’ve been introduced into a new ecosystem they can be “extremely difficult to eradicate,” says Cosgrove.

Read next: The Brontosaurus Comes Back from the Dead

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Syria

Canadian Jets Have Begun Bombing ISIS Targets in Syria

A Canadian Armed Forces CF-18 Fighter jets arrive at the Canadian Air Task Force Flight Operations Area in Kuwait
Reuters Canadian Armed Forces CF-18 fighter jets arrive at the Canadian Air Task Force Flight Operations Area in Kuwait on October 28, 2014 .

They joined a coalition sortie attacking the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa

Two Canadian fighter jets conducted their nation’s first air strikes targeting ISIS forces in Syria on Wednesday, following the passage of a new mandate in Ottawa last week that expands Canada’s role in the ongoing war against the militant group.

“The [Canadian Armed Forces’s] first airstrike against ISIS in Syria has been successfully completed,” said General Tom Lawson, the country’s Chief of Defense Staff, in a statement. “Canadians can be proud of the work that their Canadian Armed Forces are doing, and the contribution they are making to coalition efforts.”

During Wednesday’s mission, two Canadian CF-18 Hornets joined eight other coalition jets in a sortie targeting an ISIS garrison near the group’s stronghold in Raqqa, Syria. The Canadian aircrew and aircraft returned safely to base following the raid.

TIME golf

Phil Mickelson Drops the Best Golfing Humble Brag Ever

The Masters - Preview Day 2
David Cannon — Getty Images Phil Mickelson speaks to the media following a practice round ahead of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia.

Lefty’s got 99 problems but a green jacket ain’t one

Phil Mickelson likes to have one of his prized green blazers on him during a round of golf, you know, in case it gets cold.

According to the three-time Masters Tournament winner, he relishes in showing up to corporate events with a green jacket in tow. (The jackets are awarded to the winners of the annual Masters Tournament).

“If it was chilly in the morning, I would pull it out,” Mickelson told reporters ahead of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Tuesday.

“I wouldn’t carry three [green jackets] around with me, but I would say, ‘I’ve got two more if you’re cold.’”

However, Mickelson admits he’s got to be careful whom he brags in front of.

“Some people can take it, some people can’t,” he joked.

Mickelson is scheduled to tee off on Thursday morning alongside Rory McIlroy for the first round of the 2015 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

TIME movies

A She’s All That Remake May Be on The Way

Fans of 90s rom-coms rejoice

Hollywood news outlet The Wrap is reporting that the Weinstein Company and Miramax are currently in talks to remake the late-90s romantic comedy She’s All That.

According to the site, Tony award winner Kenny Leon is set to direct the film, while Spike Lee’s wife Tonya Lewis Lee is on board as a producer.

In a statement to TIME, a representative for Miramax denied the news: “There is no deal between Miramax and The Weinstein Company on this title,” she said.

Forgot what the movie was about? Don’t worry, this original trailer will remind you:

[The Wrap]

TIME nature

Sardine Fishing Off the U.S. West Coast Could Be Banned As Stocks Are So Low

482149911
Getty Images

The phrase "packed like sardines" could soon sound obsolete

Correction appended, April 10

A rapid decline in sardine populations along the U.S. Pacific Coast may push authorities to impose a widespread ban on harvesting the species soon.

Conservationists argue that chronic overfishing has caused sardine numbers in U.S. waters to fall by an estimated 90% since 2007. However, others suggest the decline is part of a natural fluctuation in biomass.

With fewer sardines in the wild, malnourished sea lions are struggling to find food and washing up on Californian shores in records numbers, while predatory birds, like the brown pelican, are also suffering.

If the ban is enacted, it’s expected to hit West Coast seafood producers hard.

“Most sardine fishermen also fish for other species such as mackerel, anchovy, or squid,” Kerry Griffin, a staff officer with the Pacific Fishery Management Council, told Reuters. “But not having sardines available as one of their staples could be difficult.”

The council is set to make its ruling on Sunday.

[Reuters]

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated who blamed overfishing for the reduced sardine populations. It was conservationists.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com