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Breakthrough in Electricity-Producing Microbe 177

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."

Has Conficker Been Abandoned By Its Authors? 174

darthcamaro writes "Remember Conficker? April first doom and gloom and all? Well apparently after infecting over five million IP addresses, it's now an autonomous botnet working on its own without any master command and control. Speaking at the Black Hat/Defcon Hat security conference in Las Vegas, Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at security firm F-Secure, was told not to talk in detail about the Conficker gang — the problem is that not all researchers were under the same gag order. Just ask Roel Schouwenberg, senior anti-virus researcher at security firm Kaspersky, who says 'The Conficker botnet is autonomous; that is very strange in itself that they made Conficker replicate by itself. Now it seems like the authors have abandoned the project, but because it is autonomous, it can do whatever it wants and it keeps on trying to find new hosts to infect.'"

Let's organize this thing and take all the fun out of it.