coondoggie writes: A study shows that if the U.S. mandates backdoors to decrypt secret messages in order to help law enforcement, there would still be hundreds of alternative encryption products made outside the reach of U.S. law that terrorists and criminals could get their hands on.
coondoggie writes: Few museums in the world can restore and preserve important historical items like the Smithsonian. So it comes as no surprise the level of detail and effort by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the conservation of the original TV studio model of Star Trek’s main attraction, the USS Enterprise.
coondoggie writes: The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in January said it has received reports of roughly 896,000 contacts since October 2013 and have become aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively paid over $26.5 million as a result of the scam.
coondoggie writes: NASA today said the first voyage of its heavy-lift rocket will include 13 tiny satellites or cubesats that will conduct a variety of experiments from taking a closer look at the moon to evaluating space weather.
coondoggie writes: The US Secret Service needs to upgrade its radio communications system before it creates difficulties in protecting the White House, the Vice President’s residence and foreign diplomatic embassies.
coondoggie writes: In the face of relenting network attacks and it seems that the government’s chief weapon for combatting the assault lacks some teeth. That weapon – the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS)—also known as Einstein has is intended to provide DHS with capabilities to detect malicious traffic traversing federal agencies’ computer networks, prevent intrusions, and support data analytics and information sharing. A tall tale no doubt but one that is imperative to protecting the gargantuan amount of government intelligence and personally identifiable information the feds watch over.
coondoggie writes: US researchers at Sandia National Laboratories say they are working on a design for gigantic wind turbine blades that are longer than two football fields which could support 50-megawatt-- more than six times the power output of the largest current turbines --offshore wind farms in the future.
coondoggie writes: Building a high-speed brain-to-computer interface that would offer “unprecedented signal resolution and data-transfer bandwidth between the human brain and the digital world” is the goal of a new program announced by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency recently.
coondoggie writes: Most people don’t typically associate the Central Intelligence Agency with historical UFO investigations but the agency did have a big role in such investigations many years ago. That’s why I thought it was unusual and kind of interesting that the agency this week issued a release called “How to investigate a flying saucer.” [The release is also a nod to the fact that the science fiction TV series X-Files returns to the screen this weekend]
coondoggie writes: There was a 20% increase in firearm discoveries at TSA airport checkins from 2014’s total of 2,212. It’s an astounding number really, but the details get worse. The TSA goes onto say 2,653 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging more than seven firearms per day. Of those, 2,198 (83%) were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at a total of 236 airports; 12 more airports than last year.
coondoggie writes: If you have ever tried to get tax help from the IRS over the phone and weren’t able to get any – you are not alone. That’s because the Internal Revenue Service provided the lowest level of telephone service during fiscal year 2015 compared to prior years, with only 38% of callers who wanted to speak with an IRS assistant able to reach one, according to a report this week from the Government Accountability Office. Perhaps worse yet is that the IRS and Department of Treasury have no real plans to improve the situation, the GAO stated.
coondoggie writes: In its annual Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, safety officials said they want to see more high-tech answers to car-crash prevention and operator monitoring capabilities.
coondoggie writes: In the not too distant future many consumers expect autonomous, self-driving cars that repair problems without human intervention, implement cognitive computing to adapt the car to a particular driver’s behaviors and react to the vehicle’s environment. Those are at least some of the conclusions gleaned from IBM’s “Auto 2025: A New Relationship – People and Cars” research involving 16,000 global consumers who were asked how they expect to use vehicles in the next ten years.
coondoggie writes: It may be time for the United States to rethink how the smallest parts of its monetary system — the penny, nickel and dime – are made. According to a report this week from watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office, since 2006 the prices of metals used in coins have risen so much that the total production unit costs of the penny and nickel exceed their face value resulting in financial losses to the U.S. Mint.
coondoggie writes: IARPA, the radical research arm of the of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence this week said it was looking at two groups to help develop this new generation of computers: computer scientists with experience in designing or building computing systems that rely on the same or similar principles as those employed by the brain and neuroscientists who have credible ideas for how neural computing can offer practical benefits for next-generation computers.