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Government

US Military Blocks Websites To Free Up Bandwidth 164

Posted by timothy
from the but-why-is-virgin-mobile-doing-it-to-me? dept.
DJRumpy writes "The US military has blocked access to a range of popular commercial websites in order to free up bandwidth for use in Japan recovery efforts, according to an e-mail obtained by CNN and confirmed by a spokesman for US Strategic Command. The sites — including YouTube, ESPN, Amazon, eBay and MTV — were chosen not because of the content but because their popularity among users of military computers account for significant bandwidth, according to Strategic Command spokesman Rodney Ellison. The block, instituted Monday, is intended 'to make sure bandwidth was available in Japan for military operations' as the United States helps in the aftermath of last week's deadly earthquake and tsunami, Ellison explained."

DreamPlug ARM Box Brings Power To Plug Computing 182

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it's-so-adorable dept.
Blacklaw writes "UK GlobalScale distribution partner New IT has announced its latest ARM-based plug-top computer, the DreamPlug — and it's a major improvement over its predecessors, packing some serious hardware into a tiny case. The DreamPlug packs some serious power in its tiny case. The Marvell Sheeva ARM-based processor at its heart runs at 1.2GHz — a significant boost over the 800MHz version found in the SheevaPlug — and while 512MB of DDR2 memory might not sound very generous, if you need more then your project probably isn't suited to the plug computing model. Unlike the SheevaPlug, the DreamPlug goes all-out to impress, packing integral Bluetooth, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, a 3Gb/s eSATA port, two USB 2.0 ports, a pair of gigabit Ethernet ports, and even analogue and SP/DIF digital audio ouputs. ARM developers will be pleased to hear that the JTAG-over-USB feature of the SheevaPlug has been replaced with full hardware JTAG and UART connectivity — although the breakout board is an optional extra."
Botnet

Botnets Using Ubiquity For Security 95

Posted by kdawson
from the whack-a-c-and-c dept.
Trailrunner7 sends in this excerpt from Threatpost: "As major botnet operators have moved from top-down C&C infrastructures, like those employed throughout the 1990s and most of the last decade, to more flexible peer-to-peer designs, they also have found it much easier to keep their networks up and running once they're discovered. When an attacker at just one, or at most two, C&C servers was doling out commands to compromised machines, evading detection and keeping the command server online were vitally important. But that's all changed now. With many botnet operators maintaining dozens or sometimes hundreds of C&C servers around the world at any one time, the effect of taking a handful of them offline is negligible, experts say, making takedown operations increasingly complicated and time-consuming. It's security through ubiquity. Security researchers say this change, which has been occurring gradually in the last couple of years, has made life much more difficult for them. ... Researchers in recent months have identified and cleaned hundreds of domains being used by the Gumblar botnet, but that's had little effect on the botnet's overall operation."

Comment: Re:Actually it usually does (Score 1) 336

by hitchhacker (#32477408) Attached to: Mysterious Radio Station UVB-76 Goes Offline

Oh and I do love the saying "correlation is not causation" often said here, which is where crackpot anti-logic spills over into the /. group think. Correlation is in fact a prerequisite of causation, certainly a lack of correlation is evidence against causation?

The actual saying goes "Correlation does not denote causation", which I hope you agree, makes more sense.

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Open Source

Why We Still Need OSI 108

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the both-sides-of-the-debate dept.
ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes "In response to a comment on yesterday's blog, Simon Phipps writes about the old rivalry between the Free Software Foundation and the Open Source Initiative (OSI). 'I have been (and in plenty of ways still am) a critic of OSI, as well as a firm supporter and advocate of the FSF. I believe OSI should be a member organisation with a representative leadership. ... But the OSI still plays a very important and relevant role in the world of software freedom.' For instance: Licence approvals have become a much more onerous process, with the emphasis on avoiding creation of new licences, updating old or flawed ones, and encouraging the retirement of redundant ones. It would be great to see the stewards of some of the (in retrospect) incorrectly approved licences ask for their retirement."
Space

Project M Could Send Every Scientist To the Moon, By Proxy 150

Posted by timothy
from the why-leave-the-house dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this interesting bit of speculation: "NASA can put humanoids on the Moon in just 1000 days. They would be controlled by scientists on Earth using motion capture suits, giving them the feeling of being on the lunar surface. If they can achieve this for real, the results for science research of our satellite could be amazing."
Power

Fuel Cell Marvel "Bloom Box" Gaining Momentum 562

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the new-hotboxing dept.
Many sources are continuing to excitedly report on the latest in a long line of startups chasing the holy grail of power sources. This incarnation, the "Bloom Box" from Bloom Energy, promises a power-plant-in-a-box that you can literally put in your backyard, and has received backing from companies like eBay, Google, Staples, FedEx, and Walmart. CBS recently aired an exclusive interview with K.R. Sridhar about his shiny new box. "So what is a Bloom Box exactly? Well, $700,000 to $800,000 will buy you a 'corporate sized' unit. Inside the box are a unique kind of fuel cell consisting of ceramic disks coated with green and black 'inks.' The inks somehow transform a stream of methane (or other hydrocarbons) and oxygen into power, when the box heats up to its operating temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius. To get a view of the cost and benefits, eBay installed 5 of the boxes nine months ago. It says it has saved $100,000 USD on energy since."

Comment: Re:It's friendly (Score 1) 428

by hitchhacker (#31132042) Attached to: Directed Energy Weapon Downs Mosquitos
Like I said, the article didn't say, but I doubt they are using object detection like facial recognition. It's easy to toss around concepts like "see humans", and impossible to get software to do it 100% of the time. I'd be willing to bet they are using infrared to detect heat, and motion to detect the size and direction of the moving objects. Maybe when the TED talk comes out we will have more info.. can't wait.

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Comment: Re:Use it (Score 1) 532

by hitchhacker (#31131706) Attached to: Learning and Maintaining a Large Inherited Codebase?

What do you think about intermediate variables that are not strictly necessary?

I'll often find myself coding some physics equations from specifications written on paper. Obviously, they are always written in math notations. What I end up doing, if not limited by cpu/ram, is to create a stack variable for each term in the equations. Basically, I'll try to make the code look as much like the paper specs as possible. The specs will ALWAYS change, and trying to figure out how the two relate some years later is a real pita. Also, I'll always preface everything with some comment like "The following is from foobar specs dated Jan 1st 2002" for the reverse reasons.

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"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)." -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.

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