Friday, April 24, 2009

Hundreds of Thousands of Chinese Black-Hats

Posted by kdawson on Friday April 24, @09:33AM

from the defending-against-gnats dept.
An anonymous reader sends us to Popular Science for a long article on the loose, uncoordinated bands of patriotic Chinese hackers that seem to be responsible for much of the cyber-trouble emerging from that nation. QUoting:"For years, the U.S. intelligence community worried that China's government was attacking our cyber-infrastructure. Now one man has discovered it's more than that: it's hundreds of thousands of everyday Chinese civilians. ... Jack Linchuan Qiu, a communications professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong [says:] 'Chinese hackerism is not the American "hacktivism" that wants social change. It's actually very close to the state. The Chinese distinction between the private and public domains is very small.' ... According to [James Andrew Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies], 'The government at a minimum tolerates them. Sometimes it encourages them. And sometimes it tasks them and controls them.' In the end, he says, 'it's easy for the government to turn on and hard to turn off.'"

Grapefruit Juice Boosts Drug's Anti-cancer Effects, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Apr. 24, 2009) — In a small, early clinical trial, researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center have found that combining eight ounces of grapefruit juice with the drug rapamycin can increase drug levels, allowing lower doses of the drug to be given. They also showed that the combination can be effective in treating various types of cancer.

Read More

Thursday, April 23, 2009

DARPA's Map-Based Wiki Keeps Platoons Alive

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday April 23, @07:57AM

from the a-wiki-of-one dept.
The MilitaryGovernment
blackbearnh writes"One of the biggest problem that a platoon on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan faces is that when a new unit cycles in, all the street-sense and experience of the old unit is lost. Knowing where insurgents like to plant IEDs, or even which families have a lot of domestic disputes, can spell the difference between living and dying. In response to this, DARPA created TIGR, the Tactical Ground Reporting System. Developed as much on the ground in active warzones as in a lab, TIGR lets platoons access the latest satellite and drone imagery in an easy-to-use map based interface, as well as recording their experiences in the field and accessing the reports of other troops. In this O'Reilly Radar interview, two of the people responsible for the development of TIGR talk about the intel issues that troops face in hostile territory, the challenges of deploying new technology meant for combat areas, the specific tricks that they had to employ to make TIGR work over less-than-robust military networking, and how TIGR is impacting platoons in their day to day operations"

Toys You Control With Your Brain

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday April 23, @01:45PM

from the but-thinking-is-hard dept.
Kaliann writes"Toys that respond to brainwaves are the next generation of unique user interfaces. The Washington Post looks at the current market appeal and future uses of technology that can meaningfully respond to the thoughts of a user. Currently the toys have a fairly simple basic idea: the harder you concentrate the more the object moves. A sensor on the forehead picks up brain waves that are associated with concentration, then levitates a ball in response: basic biofeedback. While this may seem to be a rather humble beginning, progress in this field could have astounding consequences in the advancement of technologies devoted to thought-controlled devices. As the author points out, Jedi Beer Pong is within our grasp."

Researchers Show How To Take Control of Windows 7

Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday April 23, @12:18PM

from the hey-wait-a-minute dept.
alphadogg writes"Security researchers demonstrated how to take control of a computer running Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 operating system at the Hack In The Box Security Conference (HITB) in Dubai on Thursday. Researchers Vipin Kumar and Nitin Kumar used proof-of-concept code they developed, called VBootkit 2.0, to take control of a Windows 7 virtual machine while it was booting up. 'There's no fix for this. It cannot be fixed. It's a design problem,' Vipin Kumar said, explaining the software exploits the Windows 7 assumption that the boot process is safe from attack. While VBootkit 2.0 shows how an attacker can take control of a Windows 7 computer, it's not necessarily a serious threat. For the attack to work, an attacker must have physical access to the victim's computer. The attack can not be done remotely."Which makes me wonder why I'm posting this :)

New Mega-Botnet Discovered

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday April 22, @07:48PM

from the we're-gonna-need-a-bigger-internet dept.
yahoi writes" According to the DarkReading article, 'Researchers have discovered a major botnet operating out of the Ukraine that has infected 1.9 million machines, including large corporate and government PCs mainly in the U.S. The botnet, which appears to be larger than the infamous Storm botnet was in its heyday, has infected machines from some 77 government-owned domains — 51 of which are in the US government. Researchers from Finjan who found the botnet say it's controlled by six individuals, and includes machines in major banks.'"

Robotic Penguins

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday April 23, @12:17AM

from the unending-march-of-the-penguins dept.
Corporate Troll writes"Robotic penguins were unveiled by German engineering firm Festo this week. Using their flippers, the mechanical penguins (video) can paddle through water just like real ones, while larger helium-filled designs can "swim" through the air. The penguins are on show at the Hannover Messe Trade Exhibition in Germany. Each penguin carries 3D sonar which is used to monitor its surroundings and avoid collisions with walls or other penguins."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Who is buying the most online music?

Submitted by Shawn on Tuesday, 21 April 2009

music_pirateBI Norwegian School of Management did a study and found that those who download free music are the biggest legitimate consumers of downloadable music.

The study was based on 1,901 participants all at the age of 15.  They found that those who download free music were 10x more likely to download pay music.  So the pirates that the music industry is always trying to stop are the very group that is purchasing the most online music.  The study also found that 50% of the participants had bought a CD in the last six months.

Cloud Computing: A New Horizon

ScienceDaily (Apr. 21, 2009) — The outlook is bleak for laptops, hard drives and desktops – clouds are on the horizon and could change the way we use computers forever. For some, the ‘cloud’ is just the latest technological craze, but for others it is the future of computing, and it has already generated a large body of research literature. What seems certain is that cloud computing has the potential to bring about irreversible changes in the way computers are used around the world.

Read More

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Energy-Beaming Space Collector to Also Alter Weather?

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Monday April 20, @01:57PM

from the don't-microwave-me-bro dept.
Recently we covered California utility company PG&E's ambitious deal with upstart Solaren to beam energy to earth from a space-based solar collector. What we didn't know is Solaren's patent also covers the alteration of weather elements with that very same system."By heating up the upper and middle levels of an infant hurricane, they say they could disrupt the flows of air that power the enormous storms. Air warmed by tropical waters flows up through a hurricane and is vented through the eye into the upper atmosphere. Theoretically, you could heat up the top of the storm and lower the pressure differential between layers, resulting in a weaker storm. "

Computer Music

Standardized Plug for Electric Vehicles

Submitted by Shawn on Monday, 20 April 2009

plug_electric_carThe automakers and energy firms have come to an agreement on a three-point, 400 volt plug that will allow electric cars to recharge anywhere in the world.  This is coming from the German energy firm RWE.  Caroline Reichert with RWE stated “a car can be recharged in Italy in exactly the same way as in Denmark, Germany or France.”  Some of the automakers in agreement include BMW, Ford, General Motors, Toyota and several other companies.  This is certainly a step in the right direction.  Now if the mobile phone manufactures could agree on one connection type.

Fair Use Affirmed In Turnitin Case

Posted by timothy on Tuesday April 21, @02:00PM

from the sensing-sensibility dept.
The CourtsEducation
Hugh Pickens writes"The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an opinion affirming a ruling that will be cheered by digital fair use proponents for allowing a fair use of students' work when their teachers electronically file students' written work with the Web site so that newly submitted work can be compared against Turnitin's database of existing student work to assess whether the new work is the result of plagiarism. The court stepped through the fair use analysis, dropping positive notes that affirm commercial uses can be fair uses, that a use can be transformative 'in function or purpose without altering or actually adding to the original work,' and that the entirety of a work can be used without precluding a finding of fair use. Techdirt suggests that all of these points could have been helpful to Google in defending its book scanning efforts, 'since it could make pretty much the identical arguments on all points.' Unfortunately Google caved in that lawsuit and settled, 'denying a strong fair use precedent and making Google look like an easy place for struggling industries to demand cash.'"

Computer Spies Breach $300B Fighter-Jet Project

Posted by CmdrTaco on Tuesday April 21, @09:25AM

from the we're-still-number-one-at-this dept.
SecurityThe MilitaryUnited States
suraj.sun writes"Computer spies have broken into the Pentagon's $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project — the Defense Department's costliest weapons program ever — according to current and former government officials familiar with the attacks. Similar incidents have also breached the Air Force's air-traffic-control system in recent months, these people say. In the case of the fighter-jet program, the intruders were able to copy and siphon off several terabytes of data related to design and electronics systems, officials say, potentially making it easier to defend against the craft"

Monday, April 20, 2009

The FBI Has a Trojan To Watch You

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday April 20, @11:00AM

from the who-watches-the-watchers dept.
G_of_the_J writes"A man who had cut 18 cables affecting Verizon and Comcast was blackmailing them. He had demanded bank accounts be set up and information be provided on web sites that he specified. Although he used anonymous access to get to the web sites, the FBI had planted a trojan which was downloaded to his computer. The trojan then sent his IP address and other information to the FBI."

Oracle Buys Sun

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday April 20, @08:11AM

from the there-can-be-only-one dept.
Sun MicrosystemsOracleIT
bruunb writes"Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Oracle will acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun's cash and debt. 'We expect this acquisition to be accretive to Oracle's earnings by at least 15 cents on a non-GAAP basis in the first full year after closing. We estimate that the acquired business will contribute over $1.5 billion to Oracle's non-GAAP operating profit in the first year, increasing to over $2 billion in the second year. This would make the Sun acquisition more profitable in per share contribution in the first year than we had planned for the acquisitions of BEA, PeopleSoft and Siebel combined,' said Oracle President Safra Catz."

Subaru yanks concept label, begins testing Stella plug-in EV

by Darren Murph, posted Apr 20th 2009 at 8:21AM

Anyone that follows the automobile sector with any semblance of regularity would know that quite a few concepts never make it beyond the drawing board. Thankfully, Subaru's Stella is one of the lucky ones. Fuji Heavy Industries, parent company and maker of Subaru automobiles, has just announced its plans to begin testing prototypes of its Subaru plug-in Stella electric vehicle, which will be introduced in Japan this summer. Furthermore, the company has managed to boost power output from 40kW in the previous iteration to 47kW, and it also stripped away some unnecessary weight and fine-tuned the output management system. There's no mention of a price or expected launch date in North America, but you'll never stop us from hoping the answer to the latter is "soon."

World's first waterproof solar cellphone from Sharp makes Somalian pirates say arggg!

by Thomas Ricker, posted Apr 20th 2009 at 7:19AM

In continuation of a recent trend of major manufacturers announcing a new-found interest in making a buck off developing nations solar-powered cellphones, AU (KDDI) and Sharp have announced the June launch of this unnamed solar handset. Besides being the world's first waterproof solar handset, it charges to a minute of talk or 2-hours of standby after just 10 minutes in the sun. No other specs were announced though we seriously doubt it'll be a power-sucking feature- or smart-phone. Naturally, it'll still be a boon to people where electricity is scarce but what about the industrious guy who owns the village car battery?

President Obama Appoints First Chief Technology Officer

Submitted by Shawn on Saturday, 18 April 2009

President Obama has appointed Aneesh Paul Chopra as Chief Technology Officer.  Currently Chopra is serving as Virginia’s Secretary of Technology.

The White House explains the CTO will develop national strategies for using advanced technologies to transform our economy and our society, such as fostering private sector innovation, reducing administrative costs and medical errors using health IT, and using technology to change the way teachers teach and students learn.

It will be interesting to see what Chopra will be able to accomplish.

Next-Gen Nuclear Power Plant Breaks Ground In China

Posted by timothy on Monday April 20, @02:09AM

from the plenty-safe-bye-now-call-later dept.
An anonymous reader writes"The construction of first next-generation Westinghouse nuclear power reactor breaks ground in Sanmen, China. The reactor, expected to generate 12.7 Megawatts by 2013, costs 40 billion Yuan (~US$6 billion; that's a lot of iPods.) According to Westinghouse, 'The AP1000 is the safest and most economical nuclear power plant available in the worldwide commercial marketplace, and is the only Generation III+ reactor to receive Design Certification from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).' However, Chinese netizens suspect China is being used as a white rat to test unproven nuclear technologies (comments in Chinese)."