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Privacy

Canadian Judge Orders Disclosure of Anonymous Posters 250

Posted by timothy
from the or-you'll-get-a-mountie's-hoofprint dept.
debrain writes "The Globe and Mail is reporting that Google and a newspaper called The Coast must disclose all information they have about the identity of individuals who posted anonymous comments online about top firefighters in Halifax. The story in question is titled 'Black firefighters file human rights complaint,' and there are some heated opinions in the comments."
Idle

Directed Energy Weapon Downs Mosquitos 428

Posted by samzenpus
from the two-pound-hammer-and-ten-penny-nail dept.
wisebabo writes "Nathan Myhrvol demonstrated at TED a laser, built from parts scrounged from eBay, capable of shooting down not one but 50 to 100 mosquitos a second. The system is 'so precise that it can specify the species, and even the gender, of the mosquito being targeted.' Currently, for the sake of efficiency, it leaves the males alone because only females are bloodsuckers. Best of all the system could cost as little as $50. Maybe that's too expensive for use in preventing malaria in Africa but I'd buy one in a second!" We ran a story about this last year. It looks like the company has added a bit more polish, and burning mosquito footage to their marketing.
The Almighty Buck

NASA Picks 5 Firms To Work On LEO Tech 116

Posted by timothy
from the quasi-private-at-best dept.
Gary W. Longsine writes "Five contracts have been awarded by NASA today, to firms exploring different aspects of the effort to develop a private launch industry for people to low earth orbit. Today's winners include: Sierra Nevada Corp (aka 'SpaceDev') for the Dream Chaser; Boeing in cooperation with Bigelow on a capsule design; United Launch Alliance (Boeing and Lockheed Martin) to explore safety issues related to upgrading Atlas and Delta rockets to human flight safety standards; Blue Origin to build a launch escape system; and Paragon Space Development Corp for 'air vitalization' (aka life support). Will the forecast $6 Billion allocation over five years be enough to inspire private industry to develop not one, but two human rated launch systems (a capsule, and the lifting body Dream Chaser)? NASA clearly wants competition in the private market, so they seek more than one vendor."
Math

Insurgent Attacks Follow Mathematical Pattern 181

Posted by Soulskill
from the news-from-terminus dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Nature reports that data collected on the timing of attacks and number of casualties from more than 54,000 events across nine insurgent wars, including those fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2008 and in Sierra Leone between 1994 and 2003, suggest that insurgencies have a common underlying pattern that may allow the timing of attacks and the number of casualties to be predicted. By plotting the distribution of the frequency and size of events, the team found that insurgent wars follow an approximate power law, in which the frequency of attacks decreases with increasing attack size to the power of 2.5. This means that for any insurgent war, an attack with 10 casualties is 316 times more likely to occur than one with 100 casualties (316 is 10 to the power of 2.5). 'We found that the way in which humans do insurgent wars — that is, the number of casualties and the timing of events — is universal,' says team leader Neil Johnson, a physicist at the University of Miami in Florida. 'This changes the way we think insurgency works.' To explain what was driving this common pattern, the researchers created a mathematical model which assumes that insurgent groups form and fragment when they sense danger, and strike in well-timed bursts to maximize their media exposure. Johnson is now working to predict how the insurgency in Afghanistan might respond to the influx of foreign troops recently announced by US President Barack Obama. 'We do observe a complicated pattern that has to do with the way humans do violence in some collective way,' adds Johnson."
Debian

Shuttleworth To Step Down As Canonical CEO In 2010 163

Posted by timothy
from the orderly-transition dept.
LinuxScribe writes "In a blog announcement today, Canonical Founder and CEO Mark Shuttleworth revealed he will be stepping down from his CEO role to be replaced by current COO Jane Silber. Both execs do not see major strategic changes on the horizon. Silber's official blog and Linux.com each have more details on how the change will be implemented."
Medicine

Scientists Crack 'Entire Genetic Code' of Cancer 235

Posted by samzenpus
from the whole-tumor dept.
Entropy98 writes "Scientists have unlocked the entire genetic code of skin and lung cancer. From the article: 'Not only will the cancer maps pave the way for blood tests to spot tumors far earlier, they will also yield new drug targets, say the Wellcome Trust team. The scientists found the DNA code for a skin cancer called melanoma contained more than 30,000 errors almost entirely caused by too much sun exposure. The lung cancer DNA code had more than 23,000 errors largely triggered by cigarette smoke exposure. From this, the experts estimate a typical smoker acquires one new mutation for every 15 cigarettes they smoke. Although many of these mutations will be harmless, some will trigger cancer.' Yet another step towards curing cancer. Though it will probably take many years to study so many mutations."
The Courts

Hacker McKinnon To Be Extradited To US 571

Posted by timothy
from the also-a-headache-sufferer dept.
Vainglorious Coward writes "When UK hacker and Asperger's sufferer Gray McKinnon lost the judicial review of his case it seemed likely that he would be extradited to the US to face charges of hacking almost a hundred systems causing $700,000 worth of damage. Today the UK home secretary rejected his last-ditch attempt to avoid extradition adding that 'his extradition to the United States must proceed forthwith.' McKinnon's relatives are expressing concerns for his health, with his lawyer going so far as to claim that extradition would make the 43-year-old's death 'virtually certain.'"
Security

Impressing Security Upon End-Users Visually? 157

Posted by Soulskill
from the shake-your-fist-and-glare dept.
get quad writes "I continually have to remind our end-users to be vigilant about the usual web security hazards, such as not clicking links in the occasional spam email that passes through our filters, avoiding suspicious websites, why some websites aren't entirely safe or appropriate for the work environment (Facebook apps, MySpace, remote access apps, proxies, etc), and the myriad other things an end-user can do to get into trouble. What I'm hoping to find are video or flash examples (mind you, in layman's terms) of what Web-based exploits/zero-day threats are capable of, how they can happen, and the harm they can ultimately cause — rather than posting links to technical docs the users will never bother to read. Getting the point across in a purely visual and less technical manner seems much more effective. Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with this type of training?"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Police Swarm Bungie Office Over Halo Replica Rifle 746

Posted by Soulskill
from the armed-and-nerdy dept.
sv_libertarian writes 'A panicked person in Kirkland, WA called local police on Wednesday, claiming they saw someone walking down the street with an AK-47. It was actually a Bungie employee carrying an overgrown model of a Halo sniper rifle, which resembles an AK-47 as much as a Volkswagen resembles a Formula 1 racer.' Halo 3: ODST is set to launch on September 22nd, and fans got some new details and early looks at the game during PAX.

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis

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