CalTrumpet writes "Our research group recently spoke at Black Hat USA on the topic of cloud computing security. One of the interesting outcomes of our research was the discovery that the combination of virtualization technologies and public system images results in a problem for random number generation on guest operating systems. This is especially true for Linux, since its PRNG uses only a small set of entropy-gathering events, and virtual Linux images often generate SSH host keys within seconds of their initial boot. The slides are available; the PRNG vulnerability material begins at slide 63."
University of Massachusetts researchers have made a breakthrough with "Geobacter," a microbe that produces electric current from mud and wastewater. A conservative estimate puts the energy output increase at eight times that of the original organism, potentially allowing applications far beyond that of extracting electricity from mud. "Now, planning can move forward to design microbial fuel cells that convert waste water and renewable biomass to electricity, treat a single home's waste while producing localized power (especially attractive in developing countries), power mobile electronics, vehicles and implanted medical devices, and drive bioremediation of contaminated environments."
Jerod Venema writes "Today, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple's board of directors, citing conflicts of interest. Apple has released a statement that the company and Schmidt reached a decision to split ties as Google enters new markets that directly compete with Apple's iPhone and Mac operating systems. Schmidt had recused himself of portions of Apple's board meetings when conflicts of interest or anything Google-related arose. But Steve Jobs said Schmidt would have to leave much larger portions of the meetings after Google announced last month that it would enter the operating system sphere."
theodp writes "Admit it, IT is ingenious. Also, IT is surprisingly effective for certain uses, including real cops and mall cops. And if you tried IT, you probably smiled to yourself. So why all the Segway hate? Paul Graham looks into The Trouble with the Segway and offers a hypothesis about what prompts people to shout abuse at Segway riders: 'You look smug. You don't seem to be working hard enough.' Not that someone riding a motorcycle is working any harder, adds Graham, but because he's sitting astride it, he appears to be making an effort. When you're riding a Segway you're just standing there. Make a version that doesn't look so easy for the rider — perhaps resembling skateboards or bicycles — and Segway just might capture more of the market they hoped to reach."