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Privacy

Should We Be Afraid of Google Glass? 307

Posted by Soulskill
from the watch-your-life-on-youtube dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An article at TechCrunch bemoans the naysayers of ubiquitous video camera headsets, which seems like a near-term certainty whether it comes in the form of Google Glass or a similar product. The author points out, rightly, that surveillance cameras are already everywhere, and increasingly sophisticated government drones and satellites mean you're probably on camera more than you think already. 'But there's something about being caught on video, not by some impersonal machine but by another human being, that sticks in people's craws and makes them go irrationally berserk.' However, he also seems happy to trade privacy for security, which may not be palatable to others. He references a time he was mugged in Mexico as well as a desire to keep an eye on abuses of authority from police and others. 'If pervasive, ubiquitous networked cameras ultimately make public privacy impossible, which seems likely, then at least we can balance the scales by ensuring that we have two-way transparency between the powerful and the powerless.'"
Japan

One Step Toward a Babel Fish: Real-Time Voice Translation For Phones 131

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-said-what? dept.
the_newsbeagle writes "Douglas Adams's fictional Babel fish, which lived in the brain and could translate any language in the universe, was so incredibly useful that it simultaneously proved and disproved the existence of God. This real-time translation app for mobile phones, offered by the Japanese telecom company NTT DoCoMo, isn't going to freak out theologians any time soon. The company admits it has lots of work to do to improve translation accuracy, and it can currently only translate between Japanese and three languages: English, Korean, and Mandarin. But by allowing phone calls to pierce the language barrier, we just might have taken a step toward the universe that Adams envisioned: one where open communication between people of different cultures leads to an onslaught of terrible bloody warfare."
Internet Explorer

Researchers Bypass IE Protected Mode 91

Posted by Soulskill
from the locked-doors-open-windows dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "A new paper from researchers at Verizon Business identifies a method through which an attacker can bypass Internet Explorer Protected Mode and gain elevated privileges once he's successfully exploited a bug on the system. Protected Mode in Internet Explorer is one of a handful of key security mechanisms that Microsoft has added to Windows in the last few years. It is often described as a sandbox, in that it is designed to prevent exploitation of a vulnerability in the browser from leading to more persistent compromise of the underlying system. In their research, the Verizon Business team found a method that, when combined with an existing memory-corruption vulnerability in the browser, enables an attacker to bypass Protected Mode and elevate his privileges on the compromised machine (PDF). The technique enables the attacker to move from a relatively un-privileged level to one with higher privileges, giving him complete access to the logged-in user's account."
Space

Spectrum of Light Captured From Distant World 32

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-are-you-made-of dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Cosmos: "Astronomers have made the first direct capture of a spectrum of light from a planet outside the Solar System and are deciphering its composition. The light was snared from a giant planet that orbits a bright young star called HR 8799 about 130 light-years from Earth, said the European Southern Observatory (ESO). ... The find is important, because hidden within a light spectrum are clues about the relative amounts of different elements in the planet's atmosphere. 'The features observed in the spectrum are not compatible with current theoretical models,' said co-author Wolfgang Brandner. 'We need to take into account a more detailed description of the atmospheric dust clouds, or accept that the atmosphere has a different chemical composition from that previously assumed.' The result represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the universe, said the ESO. Until now, astronomers have been able to get only an indirect light sample from an exoplanet, as worlds beyond our Solar System are called. They do this by measuring the spectrum of a star twice — while an orbiting exoplanet passes near to the front of it, and again while the planet is directly behind it. The planet's spectrum is thus calculated by subtracting one light sample from another."

Comment: Re:Unseen 'Mechs? (Score 2, Informative) 229

Nope, Catalyst Games Labs (who now have the rights for the Battletech game) have secured the rights for the Unseen again. The classic "Robotech" mechs are all available again in Battletech. http://catalystgamelabs.com/2009/06/24/catalyst-game-labs-brings-back-unseen/
Image

Gold Sold From Vending Machines In Germany 472 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the correct-change-only dept.
There are fewer hassles for an adventurer or business traveler bigger than lugging around bags of silver and copper pieces. Luckily TG-Gold-Super-Markt has installed gold vending machines in 500 locations including train stations and airports all across Germany. The machines charge about 30% more than the current trading price for gold, and are updated every few minutes. All are closely monitored by cameras, and like 3rd and 4th edition, electrum pieces are not accepted.
Security

Infrared Fibers Can Protect Against Chemoterrorism 71

Posted by timothy
from the movie-plot-waiting-to-happen dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Although most Americans take the safety of their drinking water for granted, ordinary tap water can become contaminated within minutes, says Prof. Abraham Katzir of Tel Aviv University's School of Physics and Astronomy who has developed a fiber-optic system that can detect poisons such as pesticides in water in amounts well below the World Health Organization safety threshold using 'colors' in the infrared spectrum which distinguish between pure and contaminated water. 'With our naked eyes we can't distinguish between pure water and water that contains a small amount of alcohol or acetone. They're all clear,' says Katzir. 'But we can clearly distinguish between liquids using an infrared spectrometer which can distinguish between "colors" in the invisible infrared spectrum.' Connected to a commercial infrared spectrometer, the fibers serve as sensors that can detect and notify authorities immediately if a contaminant has entered a water reservoir, system, building or pipeline. 'Toxic materials are readily available as pesticides or herbicides in the agriculture industry, and can be harmful if consumed even in concentrations as low as few parts per million,' says Katzir. Cities like New York are especially susceptible to a chemoterrorist threat. With many skyscrapers holding water reserves on the top of the building, a terrorist only needs to introduce poison into a tank to wreak havoc. 'A terrorist wouldn't have to kill tens of thousands of people. Only 50 deaths — as horrible as that would be — would cause nationwide panic,' says Katzir."
Space

Telepresence — Our Best Bet For Exploring Space 309

Posted by Soulskill
from the until-we-perfect-the-bussard-ramjet dept.
Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute recently wrote an opinion piece for the NY Times discussing the limitations of our space technology. He makes the harsh point that transporting human beings to other star systems isn't a reasonable goal even on a multi-generational time frame. However, advances in robotics and data gathering could instead bring the planets and stars to us, and do it far sooner. Quoting: "Sending humans to the stars is simply not in the offing. But this is how we could survey other worlds, around other suns. We fling data-collecting, robotic craft to the stars. These proxy explorers can be very small, and consequently can be shot spaceward at tremendous speed even with the types of rockets now available. Robot probes don't require life support systems, don't get sick or claustrophobic and don't insist on round-trip tickets. ... These microbots would supply the information that, fed to computers, would allow us to explore alien planets in the same way that we navigate the virtual spaces of video games or wander through online environments like Second Life. High-tech masks and data gloves, sartorial accessories considerably more comfortable than a spacesuit, would permit you to see the landscape, touch objects and even smell the air."
Biotech

+ - Designer Babies - Like It Or Not, Here They Come->

Submitted by
Singularity Hub
Singularity Hub writes "The Fertility Institutes recently stunned the fertility community by being the first company to boldly offer couples the opportunity to screen their embryos not only for diseases and gender, but also for completely benign characteristics such as eye color, hair color, and complexion. The Fertility Institutes proudly claims this is just the tip of the iceberg, and plans to offer almost any conceivable customization as science makes them available. Even as couples from across the globe are flocking in droves to pay the company their life's savings for a custom baby, opponents are vilifying the company for shattering moral and ethical boundaries. Like it or not, the era of designer babies is officially here and there is no going back."
Link to Original Source
Biotech

Human-Animal Hybrids Fail 554

Posted by timothy
from the good-help-hard-to-find dept.
SailorSpork writes "Fans of furries and anime-style cat girls will be disappointed by the news that attempts to create human animal hybrids have failed. Experiments by British scientists to create embryonic stem cells by putting human DNA into cow or rabbit eggs had raised ethical concerns, but the question of how we would treat sub-humans will have to wait until we actually figure out how to make them."
The Internet

Who Protects the Internet? 177

Posted by samzenpus
from the guarding-the-tubes dept.
strikeleader writes "TechCrunch has an article from an interview with General Kevin Chilton, US STRATCOM commander and the head of all military cyber warfare. Who protects us? 'Basically no one. At most, a number of loose confederations of computer scientists and engineers who seek to devise better protocols and practices — unincorporated groups like the Internet Engineering Task Force and the North American Network Operators Group. But the fact remains that no one really owns security online, which leads to gated communities with firewalls — a highly unreliable and wasteful way to try to assure security.'"
NASA

"Dark Flow" Outside Observable Universe 583

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-comes-galactus dept.
DynaSoar writes "NASA astrophysicists have discovered what they claim is something outside the observable universe exerting an effect on the observable. The material is pulling clusters of galaxies towards a region of space known not to contain sufficient matter to create the effect. They can only speculate on what the material is and how space might differ there: 'In these regions, space-time might be very different, and likely doesn't contain stars and galaxies (which only formed because of the particular density pattern of mass in our bubble). It could include giant, massive structures much larger than anything in our own observable universe. These structures are what researchers suspect are tugging on the galaxy clusters, causing the dark flow.'"

Real Programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who wear white socks.

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