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Businesses

Submission + - This Tech Bubble is Different 3

theodp writes: Tech bubbles happen, writes BW's Ashlee Vance, but we usually gain from the innovation left behind. But this one — driven by social networking — could leave us empty-handed. Math whiz Jeff Hammerbacher provides a good case study. One year out of Harvard, 23-year-old Hammerbacher arrived at Facebook, was given the lofty title of research scientist and put to work analyzing how people used the social networking service. Over the next two years, Hammerbacher assembled a team that built a new class of analytical technology, one which translated insights into people's relationships, tendencies, and desires into precision advertising and higher sales. But something gnawed at him. Hammerbacher looked around Silicon Valley at companies like his own, Google, and Twitter, and saw his peers wasting their talents. 'The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads,' he says. 'That sucks.' Silicon Valley historian Christophe Lecuyer agrees: 'It's clear that the new industry that is building around Internet advertising and these other services doesn't create that many jobs. The loss of manufacturing and design knowhow is truly worrisome.'
Censorship

When the Senate Tried To Ban Dial Telephones 506

An anonymous reader writes "With the Senate now looking to have the government block access to websites it deems to be bad (which seems to be called 'censorship' in other countries), it's worth pointing out that the Senate doesn't exactly have a good track record when it comes to deciding what technologies to ban. Back in 1930, some Senators came close to banning the dial telephone, because they felt that it was wrong that they had to do the labor themselves, rather than an operator at the other end."
Medicine

The Lancet Recants Study Linking Autism To Vaccine 590

JamJam writes "The Lancet, a major British medical journal, has retracted a flawed study linking the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine to autism and bowel disease. British surgeon and medical researcher Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues originally released their study in 1998. Since then 10 of Wakefield's 13 co-authors have renounced the study's conclusions and The Lancet has said it should never have published the research. Wakefield now faces being stripped of his right to practice medicine in Britain. The vaccine-autism debate should now end."
Cellphones

New iPhone Attack Kills Apps, Reroutes Web Traffic 125

Trailrunner7 sends in a threatpost.com article on exploiting flaws in the way the iPhone handles digital certificates. "[Several flaws] could lead to an attacker being able to create his own trusted certificate and entice users into downloading malicious files onto their iPhones. The result of the attack is that a remote hacker is able to change some settings on the iPhone and force all of the user's Web traffic to run through any server he chooses, and also to change the root certificate on the phone, enabling him to man-in-the-middle SSL traffic from that phone. ... Charlie Miller, an Apple security researcher at Independent Security Evaluators, said that the attack works, although it would not lead to remote code execution on the iPhone. 'It definitely works. I downloaded the file and ran it and it worked,' Miller said. 'The only thing is that it warns you that the file will change your phone, but it also says that the certificate is from Apple and it's been verified.'"
Security

Botnet Targets Web Sites With Junk SSL Connections 64

angry tapir writes "More than 300 Web sites are being pestered by infected computers that are part of the Pushdo botnet. The FBI, Twitter, and PayPal are among the sites being hit, although it doesn't appear the attacks are designed to knock the sites offline. Pushdo appears to have been recently updated to cause computers infected with it to make SSL connections to various Web sites — the bots start to create an SSL connection, disconnect, and then repeat." SecureWorks's Joe Stewart theorizes that this behavior is designed to obscure Pushdo's command and control in a flurry of bogus SSL traffic.
Government

Give Space a Chance, Says Phil Plait 279

The Bad Astronomer writes "A lot of pundits, scientists, and people who should know better are decrying the demise of NASA, saying that the President's budget cutting the Constellation program and the Ares rockets will sound the death knell of manned space exploration. This simply is not true. The budget will call for a new rocket design, and a lot of money will go toward private space companies, who may be able to launch people into orbit years ahead of Ares being ready anyway."
Communications

Radio Hams Fired Upon In Haiti 265

Bruce Perens writes "A team of radio ham volunteers from the Dominican Republic visited Port-au-Prince to install VHF repeaters, only to be fired upon as they left the Dominican embassy. Two non-ham members of the party were hit, one severely. ARRL is sending equipment, and there is confusion as unfamiliar operators in government agencies join in on ham frequencies."

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