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Submission + - Nanorobots eradicate Hepatitis C in the lab (ieee.org)

Joiseybill writes: The IEEE reports that University of Florida researchers have designed a particle on a gold substrate that selectively kills the Hepatitis C virus with 100% effectiveness in the lab. Cool, but instead of calling it a 'nanoparticle', or 'nanozyme' as the science folks wanted, the press release is calling this a 'nanobot' to sound 'cool' and garner more headlines.

Submission + - World's First Smart Meter Hacking Framework Released (securestate.com)

An anonymous reader writes: SecureState, just announced the public release of the full open source code of Termineter, a framework that allows users to assess the security of Smart Meter utility meters over the optical interface. This is the first framework designed to give authorized individuals access to manipulate and test the security of smart meters.
The press release with full open source code is attached.
Please contact me if you have any questions for Spencer.



Submission + - How Close Is America to a Closed Internet? (vice.com)

pigrabbitbear writes: "Three years after Facebook-friendly dissidents took to the streets of Tehran and made techno-optimists giddy about the Internet’s liberating potential, things have gotten bleak. Once again, the mullahs are taking on democracy-minded netizens — but nowadays, the government is the one getting creative with technology. And they’re winning, doing things to Internet access that makes China’s “Great Firewall” seem tame."

Submission + - Kaspersky Lab Defeats Patent Troll (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: A patent suit filed in 2009 by IPAT (Information Protection and Authentication of Texas) targeted nearly every security vendor you can imagine. The list included Kaspersky Lab, along with Microsoft, AVG, Check Point, Comodo, ESET, F-Secure, Symantec, McAfee, PC Tools, Sophos, Trend Micro, Webroot, and several others.

The suit was filed in the Eastern District of Texas, a haven for patent trolls looking to make a quick buck via legal extortion. The lawsuit alleged that they were infringing on IPAT’s patents by, "...making, using, providing, offering to sell, and selling (directly or through intermediaries), in this district [Eastern Texas] and elsewhere in the United States, hardware and/or software for protecting and/or authenticating information."

What's interesting is that while many chose to settle and pay licensing fees, Kaspersky held its ground. "Back in 2008 I said to our lawyers that there would be no backing down – we would go to court and fight it out with them," Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky said.

The firm, much smaller and with fewer resources than giants including Symantec, Microsoft, Check Point, and others, put up a strong fight and came out victorious following a three-year court battle.

"It was our first experience of a patent legal battle and we decided to stand our ground and stand up for our rights," Kaspersky said. "Now we are mulling over ideas to strike back at the trolls. Not only are they extorting money, more importantly they are endangering technological progress."


Submission + - Neanderthal sex boosted immunity in modern humans (bbc.co.uk)

NotSanguine writes: Sexual relations between ancient humans and their evolutionary cousins are critical for our modern immune systems, researchers report (subscription only) in Science journal.

Mating with Neanderthals and another ancient group called Denisovans introduced genes that help us cope with viruses to this day, they conclude.

Wireless Networking

Submission + - M2Z's Free, Wireless Broadband Killed (fastcompany.com)

mspohr writes: "Despite a seemingly stout business plan, and all the financial, social, and educational benefits it would bring, the FCC's just turned down M2Z's application for a coast-to-coast free wireless broadband system. The FCC is known to have heard complaints about M2Z's plan from existing wireless carriers. Though M2Z's network would've operated at under 1 mbs peak speeds--meaning it was very slow by today's standards, and probably snail-like by tomorrow's--its free pricing may well have tempted many folks away from spending cash with an established ISP. Those carriers are now reported to be pleased with the FCC's decision, though they argue it's in line with the greater National Broadband Plan. Whenever that actually gets off the ground."

This is obviously a commercial battleground and I am sure that there is lots more to this story...


Submission + - Game Publishers Using Stealth P2P Clients (torrentfreak.com)

An anonymous reader writes: TorrentFreak has shed some light on the dark practice of installing stealth-mode P2P clients during game downloads and using unsuspecting gamers' PCs as "bandwidth slaves". The clients operate in the background and largely go unnoticed until problems arise caused by overactive uploading/seeding, as seen in the examples given here and here.

While the Akamai NetSession Interface and Pando Media Booster are specifically called out, there appear to be other offendors as indicated in the comments left by TF readers. TF is calling for support an industry "best practices" effort to promote transparency, control and privacy on behalf of gamers' that otherwise are being abused for their bandwidth without their consent.

Submission + - IBM's Surprise: New World's Fastest CPU

BBCWatcher writes: This month a new world's fastest microprocessor was revealed at the Hot Chips conference in the final presentation slot, and it's a shocker. IBM starts shipping their z196 servers, and (surprise!) the fastest microprocessor is exclusively inside their latest mainframe. As chip designers slam hard into the physical limits of Moore's Law, get used to a new world of mainframe performance dominance. For decades mainframes have excelled in delivering high throughput for multiple concurrent applications (i.e. cloud computing), but you would have had to look elsewhere (to a supercomputer, to Intel or to IBM's POWER) to find the world's fastest computational performance. Not this time: Mainframe and Supercomputer have combined their DNA. The quad-core z196 CPU design is clocked at a world record 5.2 GHz (with no "burst" cheats), but the clock speed only partly explains why the z196 screams. The z196 has out-of-order execution, a first for IBM mainframes, and insane amounts of cache, including on-chip DRAM, spread across a record number of levels. There are also hardware instructions that accelerate advanced cryptography, precision decimal floating point operations, compression, and other complex tasks. (This is CISC design in all its glory.) Unfortunately the "press" gets a lot of details wrong (ahem, Fox News), but that's sometimes what happens with unexpected technical news.

Comment Re:Bad astronomy (Score 3, Informative) 177

Wait, meteors that hit the ground are cold to the touch? That doesn't make sense - they enter the atmosphere, and as we know objects entering the atmosphere travel so fast that they get hot...real hot...so hot that our space ships need to have heat shields to keep the folks inside from getting burnt to a crisp...which makes it not cold to the touch. So when the rock hits the ground why would it become cold all of a sudden? Maybe if it sat around in cold climate for a while but after touch-down it should be very hot.

There is a difference between a space vehicle, which is as light as possible and hollow, and a meteor which is solid rock (or, much more rarely, metal). The heat shield is thin and light (comparatively speaking) but keeps everything inside quite cool despite a very lengthy heating period (due to the shallow re-entry angle of manned vehicles, and most unmanned ones, which cannot stand severe deceleration forces).

A meteor (one meter across or less) typically enters at a steep angle, decelerates rapidly (in several seconds) at a few hundred Gs, and becomes a rock falling under the influence of gravity through the lower atmosphere same as any other rock of similar size dropped from a high-altitude airplane.

For those several seconds a very small part of the rock gets very hot indeed - a thin layer vaporizes, and a thin layer melts. But it is physically impossible for the bulk of the rock to get significantly heated in the few seconds of re-entry, conduction is far too slow. During the longer part of its descent (when it is simply falling through the air for a few tens of seconds), there is enough time for the thin molten surface layer to get cooled down to near normal temperatures by the cold airflow. Then when it hits the ground within a minute or two there is enough time for the icy cold interior to cool down the surface to frigid temperatures.

The special effect of burning a pyrotechnic in the crater was perfect to take in the ignorant, but is laughable to anyone knowing something about meteors.

Submission + - Student Faces Prison for Disrupting Oil Auctions

pickens writes: Hugh Pickens writes:

The NY Times reports that last December Tim DeChristopher went to a federal auction of oil and gas leases offered in the Bush administration's closing days and even then the subject of protests and lawsuits — and bid on contracts that he had neither the money nor intent to actually fulfill. "My intention was to cause as much of a disruption to the auction as I could," says DeChristopher, a 27-year-old student at the University of Utah. "Making that decision — that keeping the oil in the ground was worth going to prison — that was the decision I made." DeChristopher is now charged with two felony counts of interfering with an auction and making false statements on bidding forms even as most of the specific leases DeChristopher protested — many of them near national parks or monuments — have not only been deferred or taken off the table by federal land managers in the Obama administration but also scathingly disavowed. "There was a headlong rush to leasing in the prior administration that led to the kinds of shortcuts we have demonstrated," says Obama's Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. DeChristopher praised Salazar's decision, saying it represents government taking a "serious stance in the defense of our land and climate." Federal prosecutors argue that whether DeChristopher was on some level correct in opposing the leases is irrelevant and DeChristopher now faces up to five years in prison on each of the two counts and up to $750,000 in fines. DeChristopher's attorney has asked the judge to allow a so-called necessity defense at the trial.enabling DeChristopher to argue that he faced a "choice of evils" that justified breaking the law. "Bush and the [Bureau of Land Management] should be on trial here," says DeChristopher's lawyer.

Comment Re:Hmm. (Score 3, Interesting) 52

As much as I hate to say it.... because twitter has a very open API and there are a ton of programs for any OS that interface with it.

I'm setting up some home automation. Nothing fancy, just garage door open/closed. Temperature in a few rooms. HVAC status.

I could write a ton of stuff from scratch for reporting & control... or just make a private twitter account "my_house" and subscribe to it. I can get a text message every X minutes with the temp. A text message when the garage door cycles. I can easily text back commands.
@my_house 'heat on 75F'.

They've already taken care of the interface between phones, e-mail, blackberries, iphones, etc.

With this tool I can have a cheap display at my desk at work or even in my own house for the temperature, HVAC status, etc.


Submission + - Fifth Amendment Ruling Protects Passwords 1

PhysicsPhil writes: A few websites (here, here and here) have reported on a recent ruling in US computer law. A federal magistrate judge in Vermont has ruled (PDF) that the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination protects a suspect against having to reveal his computer password. The case centres around a (legal) search of a Canadian man's laptop at a border crossing, during which evidence of encrypted child pornography was found. A grand-jury instruction to disclose the password was challenged on Fifth Amendment grounds, leading to this ruling. A columnist at Findlaw.com has an article with legal analysis of some of the issues.
The Internet

Submission + - Microsoft Misleads on Canadian Copyright Reform

An anonymous reader writes: As the battle rages over a Canadian DMCA, Microsoft Canada has published an op-ed in a political newspaper that Michael Geist describes as astonishingly misleading and inaccurate. Microsoft tries to argue that Canadian copyright law provides no legal protections, even after it received the largest copyright damages award in Canadian history just one year ago.

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