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Cellphones

Turning a Smartphone Display Into a Biometric Scanner 2

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-make-the-obvious-jokes dept.
New submitter jan_jes writes: Recent mobile phones integrate fingerprint scanners to authenticate users biometrically and replace passwords, making authentication more convenient. Researchers at Yahoo Labs have created a new technology called "Bodyprint," which turns your smartphone's touchscreen display into a biometric scanner. It allows the touch sensor to scan users' body parts (PDF) such as ears, fingers, fists, and palms by pressing them against the display. Bodyprint implements the four-eye principle for locking sensitive documents — accessing the document can require the presence of two or more people involved with the project. Another application is authenticating a user to answer a call by scanning their ear pressed against the phone.
Patents

Microsoft Increases Android Patent Licensing Reach 26

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you-can't-beat-'em,-bleed-'em dept.
BrianFagioli writes: Microsoft may not be winning in the mobile arena, but they're still making tons of money from those who are. Patent licensing agreements net the company billions each year from device makers like Samsung, Foxconn, and ZTE. Now, Microsoft has added another company to that list: Qisda Corp. They make a number of Android and Chrome-based devices under the Qisda brand and the BenQ brand, and now Microsoft will be making money off those, too.

+ - Giant Survival Ball Will Help Explorer Survive a Year on an Iceberg

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Ben Yeager writes in Outside Magazine that Italian explorer Alex Bellini plans to travel to Greenland’s west coast, pick an iceberg, and live on it for a year as it melts out in the Atlantic. But it is a precarious idea. Bellini will be completely isolated, and his adopted dwelling is liable to roll or fall apart at any moment, thrusting him into the icy sea or crushing him under hundreds of tons of ice. His solution: an indestructible survival capsule built by an aeronautics company that specializes in tsunami-proof escape pods. " I knew since the beginning I needed to minimize the risk. An iceberg can flip over, and those events can be catastrophic.” Bellini plans to use a lightweight, indestructible floating capsules, or “personal safety systems" made from aircraft-grade aluminum in what’s called a continuous monocoque structure, an interlocking frame of aluminum spars that evenly distribute force, underneath a brightly painted and highly visible aluminum shell. The inner frame can be stationary or mounted on roller balls so it rotates, allowing the passengers to remain upright at all times.

Aeronautical engineer Julian Sharpe, founder of Survival Capsule, got the idea for his capsules after the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. He believes fewer people would have died had some sort of escape pod existed. Sharpe hopes the products will be universal—in schools, retirement homes, and private residences, anywhere there is severe weather. The product appeals to Bellini because it’s strong enough to survive a storm at sea or getting crushed between two icebergs. Bellini will spend almost all of his time in the capsule with the hatch closed, which will pose major challenges because he'll have to stay active without venturing out onto a slippery, unstable iceberg. If it flips, he’ll have no time to react. “Any step away from [the iceberg] will be in unknown territory,” says Bellini. “You want to stretch your body. But then you risk your life.”
Earth

7.8 Earthquake Rocks Nepal, Hundreds Dead 49

Posted by Soulskill
from the rest-in-peace dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Nepal was struck by an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 today, with an epicenter 80 km east of the country's second biggest city, Pokhara. Its effects were also strongly felt in the capital, Kathmandu. Casualty reports conflict, but authorities have indicated at least 500 are dead and many more are feared to be trapped. Nepal has declared a state of emergency for the affected areas, and asked for international humanitarian assistance. India and Pakistan have both offered help. Some Indian cities were affected by the earthquake as well, and there are reports of avalanches on Mt. Everest, which has many climbers at any given time.

+ - 7.8 Earthquake Rocks Nepal, Hundreds Dead->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Nepal was struck by an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 today, with an epicenter 80 km east of the country's second biggest city, Pokhara. Its effects were also strongly felt in the capital, Kathmandu. Casualty reports conflict, but authorities have indicated at least 500 are dead and many more are feared to be trapped. Nepal has declared a state of emergency for the affected areas, and asked for international humanitarian assistance. India and Pakistan have both offered help. Some Indian cities were affected by the earthquake as well, and there are reports of avalanches on Mt. Everest, which has many climbers at any given time.
Link to Original Source
Power

Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes 107

Posted by timothy
from the but-in-the-meantime-here's-this-preemptive-announcement dept.
Okian Warrior writes: Billionaire Elon Musk will announce next week that Tesla will begin offering battery-based energy storage for residential and commercial customers. The batteries power up overnight when energy companies typically charge less for electricity, then are used during the day to power a home. In a pilot project, Tesla has already begun offering home batteries to SolarCity (SCTY) customers, a solar power company for which Musk serves as chairman. Currently 330 U.S. households are running on Tesla's batteries in California. The batteries start at about $13,000, though California's Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PCG) offers customers a 50% rebate. The batteries are three-feet high by 2.5-feet wide, and need to be installed at least a foot and a half off the ground. They can be controlled with a Web app and a smartphone app.

+ - Tiredness enhances the brain's creativity

Submitted by monkeyzoo
monkeyzoo writes: Research has found that people perform better on creative tasks when they are a bit tired than when they are fully awake. One study published in Thinking and Reason divided people into two groups (night owls and morning people) according to their answers to a questionnaire and then asked them to solve two types of problems: "analytical" math-based problems and "insight" problems that require creative thinking. Both groups of subjects did consistently better on the insight problems during their sleepier time of day. The explanation offered is that creative problem solving requires seeing things from a new point of view, and during your most productive hours of the day, your ability to focus and block out distracting thoughts is higher. When you are a bit groggy, the brain is more prone to random, passing thoughts, and these can lead to a breakthrough in solving a challenging problem.
Space

Mystery of the Coldest Spot In the CMB Solved 22

Posted by timothy
from the also-known-as-the-wet-spot dept.
StartsWithABang writes: The cosmic microwave background is a thing of beauty, as not only does its uniform, cold temperature reveal a hot, dense past that began with the hot Big Bang, but its fluctuations reveal a pattern of overdensities and underdensities in the very early stages of the Universe. It's fluctuations just like these that give rise to the stars, galaxies, groups and clusters that exist today, as well as the voids in the vast cosmic web. But effects at the surface of last scattering are not the only ones that affect the CMB's temperature; if we want to make sure we've got an accurate map of what the Universe was born with, we have to take everything into account, including the effects of matter as it gravitationally grows and shrinks. As we do exactly this, we find ourselves discovering the causes behind the biggest anomalies in the sky, and it turns out that the standard cosmological model can explain it all.

+ - Mystery of the coldest spot in the CMB solved

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: The cosmic microwave background is a thing of beauty, as not only does its uniform, cold temperature reveal a hot, dense past that began with the hot Big Bang, but its fluctuations reveal a pattern of overdensities and underdensities in the very early stages of the Universe. It’s fluctuations just like these that give rise to the stars, galaxies, groups and clusters that exist today, as well as the voids in the vast cosmic web. But effects at the surface of last scattering are not the only ones that affect the CMB’s temperature; if we want to make sure we’ve got an accurate map of what the Universe was born with, we have to take everything into account, including the effects of matter as it gravitationally grows and shrinks. As we do exactly this, we find ourselves discovering the causes behind the biggest anomalies in the sky, and it turns out that the standard cosmological model can explain it all.

+ - Bodyprint turns your smartphone's touchscreen display into a biometric scanner

Submitted by jan_jes
jan_jes writes: Recent mobile phones integrate fingerprint scanners to authenticate users biometrically and replace passwords, making authentication more convenient for users. Researchers at Yahoo Labs have created a new technology called ‘Bodyprint’ that turns your smartphone’s touchscreen display into a biometric scanner. It allows the touch sensor to scan users body parts such as ears, fingers, fists, and palms by pressing them against the display. Bodyprint implements the four-eye principle for locking sensitive documents; accessing the document requires the presence of the people involved, it may 2 or more. Another application is "it authenticates the user
by their ear for an incoming call".

+ - Tesla to announce home battery-based energy storage->

Submitted by Okian Warrior
Okian Warrior writes: Billionaire Elon Musk will announce next week that Tesla will begin offering battery-based energy storage for residential and commercial customers.

The batteries power up overnight when energy companies typically charge less for electricity, then are used during the day to power a home.

In a pilot project, Tesla has already begun offering home batteries to SolarCity (SCTY) customers, a solar power company for which Musk serves as chairman. Currently 330 U.S. households are running on Tesla's batteries in California.

The batteries start at about $13,000, though California's Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PCG) offers customers a 50% rebate. The batteries are three-feet high by 2.5-feet wide, and need to be installed at least a foot and a half off the ground. They can be controlled with a Web app and a smartphone app.

Link to Original Source

+ - Privileged malware coming to a CPU near you?->

Submitted by ArmoredDragon
ArmoredDragon writes: For the past few years, Intel has been developing a new technology called Software Guard Extensions. The gist of it is that software can be protected from snooping or manipulation from untrusted higher privileged processes, or even from processes running outside of a VM. This sounds good in principle because it could protect your trusted software from malware, especially for cloud environments where IT security is paramount. The problem however is that it is very much a double edged sword. Malware, such as that found in a botnet, could easily hide itself from any kind of scanning software, or even a white-hat hacker trying to debug it. Or even worse, entities like the NSA could potentially issue an NSL to give themselves authority to create trusted applications that are allowed to spy on protected processes, while everybody who isn't whitelisted by Intel would be placed at a major disadvantage if they ever wanted to audit such software.
Link to Original Source

+ - Teachers Might Profit From Watching This Teen Game Developer Learn ->

Submitted by Xconomy'sBT
Xconomy'sBT writes: As I interviewed this teenager who first got hooked on first-person-shooter games when he was 12, I saw lessons for teachers and educational technology companies. The pursuit of fun led Harrison Yuan to teach himself computer programming and earn $thousands on the game design site ROBLOX. He's 18 now, and headed for UCLA soon to study engineering.
Link to Original Source
Piracy

Pirate Bay Blockade Censors CloudFlare Customers 80

Posted by timothy
from the broad-brush-swung-wildly dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The blockade of the Pirate Bay by UK ISPs is causing trouble for CloudFlare customers. Several websites have been inadvertently blocked by Sky because a Pirate Bay proxy is hosted behind the same IP-addresses. In a response, CloudFlare threatened to disconnect the proxy site from its network. Like any form of censorship web blockades can sometime lead to overblocking, targeting perfectly legitimate websites by mistake. This is also happening in the UK where Sky's blocking technology is inadvertently blocking sites that have nothing to do with piracy.

+ - Pirate Bay Blockade Censors CloudFlare Customers-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The blockade of the Pirate Bay by UK ISPs is causing trouble for CloudFlare customers. Several websites have been inadvertently blocked by Sky because a Pirate Bay proxy is hosted behind the same IP-addresses. In a response, CloudFlare threatened to disconnect the proxy site from its network.

Like any form of censorship web blockades can sometime lead to overblocking, targeting perfectly legitimate websites by mistake.

This is also happening in the UK where Sky’s blocking technology is inadvertently blocking sites that have nothing to do with piracy.

Link to Original Source

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