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Businesses

Autism Traits Prove Valuable for Software Testing 180

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-got-99-problems-but-a-glitch-aint-one dept.
Back in 2009 we ran a story about a Chicago based non-profit company that trained high-functioning autistic people to be software testers. Two years later Aspiritech has grown to offer services in Belgium, Japan and Israel. Autistic debuggers are used by large clients like Oracle and Microsoft and have proven to be so good in fact that companies are now recruiting to meet demand. From the article: "Aspiritech's board of directors includes social service providers, therapists, a vocational expert and a software engineer. The nonprofit also received start-up advice and consultation from Keita Suzuki, who has co-founded a similar company, called Kaien, in Japan. Aspiritech has hired and trained seven recruits with Asperger's syndrome. These recruits have since worked on software-testing projects for smartphone and cloud-computing applications. Aspiritech now offers functional-, compatibility- and regression-testing, as well as test-case development, with experience in cloud-computing platforms including Salesforce."
Transportation

China Defends Its IP Practices, Says 'We Paid Up' 214

Posted by kdawson
from the one-man's-theft dept.
hackingbear writes "Countering accusations that China's high-speed rail technologies are knockoffs, the head of China's Intellectual Property Administration in a conference said (paraphrasing): "We bought technologies from German, Japan, France, and Canada. We paid up. It is perfectly legal. We then innovate on top of them like most other inventions in the world. Why is that pirating?' (Link is to a Google translation; here is the original.) He cited China's ability, the world's first, to build high-speed rail in a high mountain area as an example of additional innovation."
Novell

Attachmate To Acquire Novell For $2.2B Cash 221

Posted by kdawson
from the old-order-passeth dept.
wiredmikey and a few others wrote in to let us know that Novell has agreed to be acquired by Attachmate Corporation for $6.10 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at approximately $2.2 billion. The Boston Globe reports that the deal also includes the sale of some intellectual assets to a consortium organized by Microsoft. Attachmate plans to operate Novell and SUSE as separate business units. Here is the press release.

Comment: Already in use for NEXUS, sort of. (Score 1) 221

by sarahemm (#33573126) Attached to: Dept. of Homeland Security To Test Iris Scanners
The summary makes it sound like nobody is using iris scanning technology now, but Homeland Security has been using it for the NEXUS program (to cross between Canada/US without talking to anyone) for years. I've been looking into a machine's "eyes" for a couple years now, and it's been really reliable from my point of view. It looks like what is actually new is that this system can pick up irises from a few feet away, instead of 8-12 inches.
Encryption

UVB-76 Explained 222

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-don't-feel-better-about-this dept.
Useful Wheat writes "Recently slashdot covered the reappearance of UVB-76. The function of the mysterious transmitter has been revealed: UVB-76 is used to transfer orders to military personnel, along with the time at which they should be executed. 'Words for the radio messages and code tables are selected mainly from the scientific terms of chemistry (Brohman), Geology (ganomatit), philology (Izafat), geography (Bong), Zoology (kariama), history (Scythian), cooking (drying), sports (krolist) and others, as well as rare Russian words (glashatel).' The page continues to list all 23 transmissions that have been made from the station in the past, showing that UVB-76 may be more active than believed."
Encryption

Crack the Code In US Cyber Command's Logo 380

Posted by samzenpus
from the hardy-boys-wanted dept.
Dan writes "According to Wired: 'The US military's new Cyber Command is headquartered at Ft. Meade, Maryland, one of the military's most secretive and secure facilities. Its mission is largely opaque, even inside the armed forces. But the there's another mystery surrounding the emerging unit. It's embedded in the Cyber Command logo. On the logo's inner gold ring is a code: 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a.'"
Government

California To Drop State Rock Over Asbestos Concerns 256

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-tax-dollars-at-work dept.
Diamonddavej writes "The LA Times reports that Californian legislators are close to dropping the translucent green rock Serpentine as the state rock of California because of its tenuous association with chrysotile asbestos. Sen. Gloria Romero declares in her bill (SB 624) that Serpentine should be dropped as California's state rock because it 'contains the deadly mineral chrysotile asbestos, a known carcinogen, exposure to which increases the risk of the cancer mesothelioma.' The bill has backing from mesothelioma support groups. Critics point out that Serpentine is a group of 20 different minerals, and Californian Serpentine rarely contains much chrysotile, never mind its dangerous fibrous asbestos form. Its is suspected that lawyers involved in asbestos compensation claims and cleanup companies will profit from the bill. Vast tracts of California where bedrock is made of Serpentine could be declared hazardous to health... even if it contains no crysotile at all! It looks like SB 624 will be passed; it won unanimous bi-partisan support from an Assembly committee last week."
Handhelds

A Close Look At Apple's A4 Chip 245

Posted by timothy
from the a-novel-in-five-parts dept.
PabloSandoval48 writes "Apple's A4 processor is heavily influenced by Apple's long-established relationship with Samsung and represents an evolution rather than a revolution in circuit design. A team of experts takes a look at the evidence on A4 in an attempt to determine its origins and the influence of recent Apple acquisitions in the area of chip design."
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."
Networking

IEEE Ethernet Specs Could Soothe Data Center Ills 51

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'm-on-pins-and-crimpers dept.
alphadogg writes "Cisco, HP and others are waging an epic battle to gain more control of the data center, but at the same time they are joining forces to push through new Ethernet standards that could greatly ease management of those increasingly virtualized IT nerve centers. The IEEE 802.1Qbg and 802.1Qbh specifications are designed to address serious management issues raised by the explosion of virtual machines in data centers that traditionally have been the purview of physical servers and switches. In a nutshell, the emerging standards would offload significant amounts of policy, security and management processing from virtual switches on network interface cards (NIC) and blade servers and put it back onto physical Ethernet switches connecting storage and compute resources. 'There needed to be a way to communicate between the hypervisor and the network,' says Jon Oltsik, an analyst at Enterprise Systems Group. 'When you start thinking about the complexities associated with running dozens of VMs on a physical server the sophistication of data center switching has to be there.'"

Microsoft Plans Flickr Competitor 156

Posted by Zonk
from the piktrs-maybe-or-photoz dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Judging by newly posted job calls, Microsoft is now working on a Flickr-like online photo service. ZDNet reports: '"This feature team is building a next-generation photo and video sharing service that will compete with Flickr, SmugMug and other photo web solutions today. This is a 'v1' opportunity," the ad said. And video will be a part of the effort, too: "This role will work across the new Windows Live division with teams like Spaces, SkyDrive, Messenger and Hotmail to construct a winning strategy for Microsoft in photo and video sharing." Evidently, Microsoft sees the effort as an online extension of its current desktop technology.' Gundeep Hora, at CoolTechZone, feels that such a service is unlikely to succeed, and lays out the numerous challenges the company will face upon entering the market."
Security

+ - VM-based rootkits proved easily detectable->

Submitted by paleshadows
paleshadows (1127459) writes "A year and a half has passed since SubVirt, the first VMM (virtual machine monitor) based rootkit, was introduced. The idea spawned two lively slashdot discussions: the first, which followed the initial report about SubVirt, and the second, which was conducted after Joanna Rutkowska has recycled the idea (apparently without giving credit to the initial authors). Conversely, in this year's HotOS workshop, researchers from Stanford, CMU, VMware, and XenSource have published a paper titled " Compatibility Is Not Transparency: VMM Detection Myths and Realities" which shows that VMM-based rootkits are actually easily detectable. The introduction of the paper explains that

"While commodity VMMs conform to the PC architecture, virtual implementations of this architecture differ substantially from physical implementations. These differences are not incidental: performance demands and practical engineering limitations necessitate divergences (sometimes radical ones) from native hardware, both in semantics and performance. Consequently, we believe the potential for preventing VMM detection under close scrutiny is illusory — and fundamentally in conflict with the technical limitations of virtualized platforms."

The paper concludes by saying that

"Perhaps the most concise argument against the utility of VMBRs (VM-based rootkits) is: "Why bother?" VMBRs change the malware defender's problem from a very difficult one (discovering whether the trusted computing base of a system has been compromised), to the much easier problem of detecting a VMM.""

Link to Original Source

A CONS is an object which cares. -- Bernie Greenberg.

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