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Cellphones

Shake a Secure Bluetooth Connection 107

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the trembling-with-anticipation dept.
heilbron writes "The Austrian researcher Rene Mayrhofer of the British Lancaster university and his colleague Hans Gellersen developed a technology to simplify a secured wireless connection of mobile devices. With the so-called shake-to-connect technology an authenticated Bluetooth connection between two mobile phones is established by rhythmic shaking. Integrated oscillation sensors, contained in some mobile phone models, form the basis. The two researchers sketched out a prototype, which is intended for Nokia mobile phones. An example is documented in this YouTube video clip. If two mobile phones are shaken together, the software in both devices registers the same shaking frequency and authenticates the radio link. The principle is summed up in a four page PDF document."
Software

What's the Right Amount of Copy Protection? 561

Posted by kdawson
from the no-dongles-is-all-i-ask dept.
WPIDalamar writes "I'm currently working on a piece of commercial software that will be available through a download and will use a license key to activate it. The software is aimed at helping people schedule projects and will be targeted mostly to corporate users. With the recent Windows Vista black screen of death, it got me thinking about what sort of measures I should go through to prevent unauthorized users from using the software. While I don't wish to burden legitimate users, I do want to prevent most piracy. How much copy protection is appropriate? Is it acceptable for the software to phone home? If so, what data is appropriate to report on? The license key? Software version? What about a unique installation ID? Should I disable license keys for small amounts of piracy, like when there's 3 active installations of the software? What about widespread piracy where we detect dozens or hundreds of uses of the same license key? Would a simple message stating the software may be pirated with instructions on how to purchase a valid license be sufficient?"
Networking

"Spooky" Science Points Towards Quantum Computing 294

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the more-success-quantum-theory-has-the-sillier-it-looks dept.
Stony Stevenson writes to tell us that University of Michigan physicists have been able to establish an "entanglement" between two atoms trapped more than a meter apart in different enclosures using light. This shows how two different atoms can have a sort of communication, something Einstein referred to as 'spooky action-at-a-distance'. "By manipulating the photons emitted from each of the two atoms and guiding them to interact along a fibre-optic thread, the researchers were able to detect the resulting photon clicks and entangle the atoms. Professor Monroe explained that the fibre-optic thread was necessary to establish entanglement of the atoms. But the fibre could be severed and the two atoms would remain entangled, even if one were 'carefully taken to Jupiter'."
Microsoft

Microsoft Launches OSS Site, Submits License For Approval 261

Posted by Zonk
from the working-together-hand-in-hand dept.
prostoalex writes "Microsoft has launched a site dedicated to collaboration between Microsoft and open source community. The site helps developers, IT administrators, and IT buyers find out what Microsoft's product offerings are, and read articles about open source such as 'Open Source Provider Sees Sales Doubling After Moving Solutions to the Windows Platform.'" Relatedly, CNet has the news that the company has submitted its shared-sources license to the OSI for approval.
Microsoft

Seven Reasons Microsoft Loves Open Source 154

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the conference-trolls dept.
tlockney writes "Next week at Microsoft's MIX, whurley will be leading a discussion on 'Open Source, the Web, Interoperability, and Microsoft'. To kick off a bit of pre-session discussion and enlist the help of others in putting Microsoft on the spot, whurley, king of all things open source at BMC has written an article entitled 'Seven Reasons Microsoft Loves Open Source'."
Robotics

Cisco Develops Mobile Robots for Wireless Nets 51

Posted by samzenpus
from the can-you-follow-me-now dept.
coondoggie writes "Cisco has developed a set of small smart robots, which can act as wireless communications relays, that sense when a mobile user is moving out of service range, and can follow the user to maintain connectivity. According to Dave Buster, product marketing manager for the Cisco Global Government Solutions Group, the robots can follow a user almost anywhere to maintain connectivity. Published reports said the robots were part of Cisco's "Information on the move" initiative — a wide ranging plan to secure all things wireless. Whether or not the systems has an enterprise application, it is of interest to the military and initiatives such as the Army's Future Combat Systems which uses a variety of advanced systems to achieve battleground superiority."
Apple

US University Dumps Windows to go All Mac 368

Posted by Zonk
from the shiny-white-plastic-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see dept.
MacKeyser passed us a link to a MacWorld article about a University doing things a little differently. Instead of sticking with their inefficient mix of Apple and PC systems, the college is doing a 'total technology refresh', and adopting an all-Mac policy on the campus. Previously, a class at Wilkes University would be outfitted with something like 20 Macs and 20 PCs, to allow for individual preferences in software and OS use. With Boot Camp students at the Pennsylvania liberal arts college will be able to switch between Windows and OSX, choosing which applications and OS to use at any given time. "[Scott Byers, vice president for finance and the head of campus IT said] 'We think it will save $150,000 directly, in buying fewer units - even though the Macs cost more per unit than PCs.' The school, which enrolls about 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students, will reduce its inventory from nearly 1,700 computers to around 1,450 after the change over. Other costs savings, however, will be harder to measure. 'By standardizing, the IT department should be more productive,' Byers said."
Hardware Hacking

DIY Laptop 178

Posted by Hemos
from the from-the-ground-up dept.
Brietech writes "Ever felt like building your own laptop from (almost literally) scratch? This is a microcontroller-based "laptop" built from the ground up from a handful of chips and other hardware found lying around. It runs a self-hosted development environment, allowing the user to write and edit programs in "Chris++" on the machine, and then compile and run them. The carpentry looks like it could use some work, but it's a neat project!"
Movies

BitTorrent Video Download Store Falls Flat 195

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the working-as-intended dept.
seriously writes "We've all heard about BitTorrent going legit this week with legal movie and TV show downloads. Ars Technica took a look at the service to see how usable it was and ran into a few snags, including not being able to download or even open the video files on some computers. However, the ones that they did manage to open varied a lot in quality. Overall, they blame DRM: 'Without knowing whether browser compatibility and dysfunctional video files are a rare occurrence or not, it's hard to say whether BitTorrent's service is a good one overall. Our initial experiences have been disappointing and frustrating, and guess what the culprit is once again? DRM. Why the DRM failed to work on 50% of our purchases is not clear, but whatever the cause, it's simply unacceptable.'"
Space

Fuel Efficient Five-Gear Rocket Engine Designed 122

Posted by Zonk
from the next-they-need-to-make-a-death-ray-for-peaceful-purposes dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Georgia Tech researchers have had a brilliant idea. Rocket engines used today to launch satellites run at maximum exhaust velocity until they reach orbit. For a car, this would be analog to stay all the time in first gear. So they have designed a new space rocket which works as it has a five-gear transmission system. This rocket engine uses 40 percent less fuel than current ones by running on solar power while in space and by fine-tuning exhaust velocity. But as it was designed with funds from the U.S. Air Force, military applications will be ready before civilian ones. Here is how this new rocket engine works."
The Courts

Sweden to Make Denial of Service Attacks Illegal 108

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the play-nicer dept.
paulraps writes "Sweden is to pass legislation making Denial of Service attacks illegal. The offense will carry a maximum jail term of two years, and is thought to be a direct response to the attack which crashed the Swedish police's web site last summer. Nobody was charged for that, but the fact that it came shortly after a raid on the Pirate Bay's servers was thought by many to be not entirely coincidental. Sweden's move follows the UK, which is even tougher on web attackers — there the sentence can be over five years in prison."
Censorship

Congress Hears From Muzzled Scientists 664

Posted by kdawson
from the global-mmpphhhh dept.
BendingSpoons writes "More than 120 scientists across seven federal agencies have been pressured to remove the phrases 'global warming' and 'climate change' from various documents. The documents include press releases and, more importantly, communications with Congress. Evidence of this sort of political interference has been largely anecdotal to date, but is now detailed in a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings on this issue Tuesday; the hearing began by Committee members, including most Republicans, stating that global warming is happening and greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are largely to blame. The OGR hearings presage a landmark moment in climate change research: the release of the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC report, drafted by 1,250 scientists and reviewed by an additional 2,500 scientists, is expected to state that 'there is a 90% chance humans are responsible for climate change' — up from the 2001 report's 66% chance. It probably won't make for comfortable bedtime reading; 'The future is bleak', said scientists."

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