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Security

+ - Rogue PDFs Behind 80% of Exploits in Q4 '09->

Submitted by CWmike
CWmike (1292728) writes "Just hours before Adobe is slated to deliver the latest patches for its popular PDF viewer, ScanSafe announced that by its counting, malicious Adobe Reader documents made up 80% of all exploits at the end of 2009. In the first quarter of 2009, malicious PDF files made up 56% of all exploits tracked by ScanSafe. That figure climbed above 60% in the second quarter, over 70% in the third and finished at 80% in the fourth quarter. Mary Landesman, a ScanSafe senior security researcher, said, 'Attackers are choosing PDFs for a reason. It's not random. They're establishing a preference for Reader exploits." Exactly why hackers choose Adobe as their prime target is tougher to divine, however. 'Perhaps they are more successful,' she said. 'Or maybe it's because criminal attackers are human, too. We respond when we see a lot of people going after a particular product.... We all want to go after that product, too. In the attacker arena, they might be thinking, 'Gee, all these reports of Adobe Reader zero-days, maybe I should get in on them too.''"
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+ - Utah Passes Resolution Denying Climate Change-> 2

Submitted by cowtamer
cowtamer (311087) writes "The Utah State Assembly has passed a resolution decrying climate change alarmists and urging " ... the United States Environmental Protection Agency to immediately halt its carbon dioxide reduction policies and programs and withdraw its "Endangerment Finding" and related regulations until a full and independent investigation of climate data and global warming science can be substantiated." Full text of H.J.R 12."
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United States

+ - US backs loans for first nuke plant in 30yrs-> 1

Submitted by SpuriousLogic
SpuriousLogic (1183411) writes "President Barack Obama has announced more than $8bn (£5bn) of federal loan guarantees to help build the first US nuclear power stations for 30 years.
Two new plants are to be constructed in the state of Georgia by US electricity firm Southern Company.
President Obama said the plants would be "safe and clean" and were needed to meet the country's future energy needs.
There have been no new nuclear power plants built in the US since the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island."

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Image

Australian Farmers Told To Dynamite Rabbits 12

Posted by samzenpus
from the black-rabbit-of-inle dept.
The South Australian Environment Department has told farmers that they should use poison gas or even explosives to deal with the out-of-control rabbit population. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization Invasive Animals chief Professor Tony Peacock, owner of the largest business card ever, says that blowing up rabbits isn't as inhuman as people might think, and has been ranked by the RSPCA as one of the best ways to destroy warrens.
Power

+ - 1 kW fuel cell runs on most fuels->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The objective of Cleveland-based Technology Management Incorporated, Inc.'s 1 kW modular fuel cell has been to make the technology more accessible to the little guy and in low density markets, which puts them in rural and remote areas of the world. Hence they intentionally engineered their cells to run on a wide range of indigenous fuels. Their module can run on fuels including methane, syngas, propane, ethanol, digester biogas, JP-8 kerosene, diesel, ammonia, vegetable oils, used cooking oil, corn oil, soybean oil, biodiesel and jatropha — without modification of the system from one fuel to the next. Hence, TMI plans to market this distributed energy solution to the developing world where they don't have power, enabling them to grow their own. Each 1 kW system is small enough and light enough to be handled by one person."
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Space

A Hyper-Velocity Impact In the Asteroid Belt? 114

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-played-that-game dept.
astroengine writes "Astronomers have spotted something rather odd in the asteroid belt. It looks like a comet, but it's got a circular orbit, similar to an asteroid. Whether it's an asteroid or a comet, it has a long, comet-like tail, suggesting something is being vented into space. Some experts think it could be a very rare comet/asteroid hybrid being heated by the sun, but there's an even more exciting possibility: It could be the first ever observation of two asteroids colliding in the asteroid belt."
Image

Own Your Own Fighter Jet 222

Posted by samzenpus
from the only-one-on-the-block dept.
gimmebeer writes "The Russian Sukhoi SU-27 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (more than 1,300 mph) and has a thrust to weight ratio greater than 1 to 1. That means it can accelerate while climbing straight up. It was designed to fight against the best the US had to offer, and now it can be yours for the price of a mediocre used business jet."
User Journal

Journal: What A Year 1

Journal by vague_ascetic

This year has come and is almost gone. I was unable to complete any of my goals for the year. Something unexpected came up, and yes, it was significant enough to throw me off course. I started this year with about 50k in the bank. I am effectively broke now.

Censorship

+ - China: Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail, Others Blocked ->

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Two days ahead of the Tiananmen Square 'incident' several high profile Internet sites have been blocked in mainland China, these include Twitter.com, Flickr.com, Live.com, and Bing.com. While Internet blocks in mainland China, blocking such high profile sites is unusual. In addition, blog reports suggest even state-owned television broadcasts are suffering multiple instances of muting lasting several seconds (again, not unusual for some foreign stations broadcast over cable, but unusual for local state-owned media) suggesting state security, online or through other technology, has tightened significantly, perhaps in anticipation or discovery of protest plans."
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Windows

+ - Malware found on brand new Windows netbook->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "After discovering attack code on a brand new Windows XP netbook, antivirus vendor Kaspersky Labs warned users yesterday that they should scan virgin systems for malware before connecting them to the Internet."
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Robotics

+ - Nanomaker's Toolkit->

Submitted by
gabrlknght
gabrlknght writes "Because nanoparticles are small, a large proportion of their atoms are near the particle's surface. Having fewer neighbors, those relatively unconfined atoms can link in unusual ways, giving materials made of nanoparticles novel properties. But the same characteristic that makes nanostructures useful--size--also makes working with them no small task. Engineering on the nanoscale is like building a ship in a bottle while wearing mittens. It would be far cheaper and easier, researchers agree, if nanoparticles could just arrange themselves into nanomaterials --like dropping the pieces of the ship into the bottle and then sitting back to watch the ship build itself. What scientists are working on now is finding the right chemistry — creating just the right conditions so that natural properties such as charge or magnetism direct the pieces of the ship to come together just so, with the mast above the deck and never below or to the side. This idea, called self-assembly, isn't exactly new. Examples range from the simple separation of oil and vinegar in a bottle of salad dressing to the complex movements of proteins and enzymes — themselves nanosized — reacting in living cells. Scientists have long been inspired by these naturally self-assembling systems. But designing self-assembling systems in the lab, with nanoparticles, presents its own scale of difficulty. And making self-assembled nanomaterials grow large enough to actually be useful is even more challenging."
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