Barence writes "U.S. government officials could be working under cover at Microsoft to help the country's cyber-espionage programme, according to one leading security expert. According to Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at security firm F-Secure, the claim is a logical conclusion to a series of recent discoveries and disclosures linking the U.S. government to 2010's Stuxnet attack on Iran and ties between Stuxnet and the recent Flame attack. 'It's plausible that if there is an operation under way and being run by a U.S. intelligence agency it would make perfect sense for them to plant moles inside Microsoft to assist in pulling it off, just as they would in any other undercover operation,' he said. 'It's not certain, but it would be common sense to expect they would do that.'"
beaverdownunder writes "In an effort to combat fraudulent claims lodged within its Centrelink welfare-payment agency, the Australian Government has asked auction-site eBay to name all Aussies who sold more than $20,000 worth of goods in the last year. Should someone be found to have been doing such a high-volume of business on eBay while claiming Centrelink benefits but not declaring that income, they could potentially face prosecution. However, the president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, Terry O'Gorman, says this action is a gross invasion of privacy. 'What we say should happen is that if police have probable cause for investigating someone, they go to a magistrate, they get a warrant and they access that person's eBay records that way,' he said."
An anonymous reader writes "The Ethiopian government has passed legislation criminalizing the use of VoIP services like Skype and Google Talk. Anyone using these services within the country now faces up to 15 years in prison. 'Ethiopian authorities argue that they imposed these bans because of "national security concerns" and to protect the state's telecommunications monopoly. The country only has one ISP, the state-owned Ethio Telecom, and has been filtering its citizen's Internet access for quite some time now to suppress opposition blogs and other news outlets. ... Reporters Without Borders also reports that Ethio Telecom installed a system to block access to the Tor network, which allows users to surf the Web anonymously. The organization notes that the ISP must be using relatively sophisticated Deep Packet Inspection to filter out this traffic.'"
FeatherBoa writes "A Manitoba man who was one of the first entrepreneurs in the cross-border online pharmacy industry has been arrested in Florida and is facing charges related to the sale of foreign and counterfeit medicines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration claimed many of the drugs promoted as Canadian actually came from other countries. An FDA spokesperson commented, 'Many of these websites are operating outside of the United States. However, the internet's broad reach allows these websites to reach U.S. consumers.'"
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from ZDNet: "The launch of the Orange San Diego, the first handset using an Intel Atom processor, marks a big milestone for the chipmaker: it's finally in the smartphone market. But does the market need Intel at all? ... Intel's scale and the reach of its other divisions gives [Mike] Bell's smartphone unit a boost; for example, it can reuse code optimizations for Atom done by the desktop team. ... Even so, the smartphone team has got a tough job on its hands — but it's one Intel has to tackle, according to Carolina Milanesi, mobile analyst at Gartner. 'This is certainly an attack strategy for Intel. The smartphone market is so large now that they need a piece of the pie,' she said. But will consumers care whether their handset runs on an Intel chip? Bell conceded that aside from the tech-savvy, most people probably don't know which chip is inside their phone. It's likely, given the lack of advertising on this, that most probably don't care — making Intel's job even harder."
JamieKitson writes "British primary school (elementary to those of you in the U.S.) pupil Martha/'Veg' has been taking photographs of her school dinners and writing about them at her blog Never Seconds since April. The blog has become popular, and Martha decided to do something with the popularity: namely, raising money for an international school dinners charity. Unfortunately, the local council, Argyll and Bute, having apparently not heard of the Streisand effect, didn't like the publicity that her blog was generating and have shut her down. They said the blog made the catering staff fear for their jobs. There is a happy ending though: donations have gone through the roof and she has already passed her target."
angry tapir writes "ICANN's program to expand the number of domains on the internet has suffered another embarrassing setback. The organization has been forced to temporarily take down details of domain suffix applications after it inadvertently published the addresses of applicants. In April, ICANN was forced to suspend the application process after it was found that its system could reveal details about top-level domain applicants. The organization is already facing criticism for its proposal to deal with TLD applications in batches of 500 instead of all at once."
schliz writes "Australian data center and telecommunications provider Vocus has installed two new underwater fiber links across the Sydney Harbor in a bid for the lowest connection latency between the city's financial district and the Australian Securities Exchange's recently opened data center, north of the CBD. The project involved 1.6 kilometers of custom, 312-core single-mode optical fiber cable, and was expected to deliver a route that is 400 meters shorter than existing links. RTFA for pretty installation photos."
eldavojohn writes "A new report (PDF) from Climate Central shows that climate change has been affecting some states more than others for the past 100 years. As you can see from a video released by NASA, things have become most problematic since the 70s. Among the states most affected is Minnesota, where moose populations are estimated to have dropped 50% in the past six years. Now the U.S. Department of Energy is spending $50 million on a massive project at the Marcell Experimental Forest to build controlled sections of 36 feet wide and 32 feet tall transparent chambers over peatland ecosystems. Although peat bogs only account for 3% of Earth's surface, they contain over 30% of carbon stored in soil. They aim to manipulate these enclosures to see the effects of warming up to 15 degrees, searching for a tipping point and also observing what new ecosystems might arise. The project hopes to draw attention and analysis from hundreds of scientists and researchers around the globe."
miller60 writes "Calling your product the 'Big Brain Computer' is a heady claim. It helps if you have Dr. Stephen Hawking say that the product can help unlock the secrets of the universe. SGI says its UV2 can scale to 4,096 cores and 64 terabytes of memory, with a peak I/O rate of four terabytes per second and runs off-the-shelf Linux software. Hawking says the UV2 'will ensure that UK researchers remain at the forefront of fundamental and observational cosmology.'"
sighted writes "Yesterday, someone tweeting for the Voyager 2 spacecraft posted: 'Interesting. Compare my data 4 high-energy nucleons w V1's That increase is attracting attention!' Today, NASA says that scientists looking at this rapid rise draw closer to an inevitable but historic conclusion — that humanity's first emissary to interstellar space is on the edge of our solar system. Project scientist Ed Stone said, 'The latest data indicate that we are clearly in a new region where things are changing more quickly. It is very exciting. We are approaching the solar system's frontier.'"
MrSeb writes "In an interview with ExtremeTech, Mike Bell — Intel's new mobile chief, previously of Apple and Palm — has completely dismissed the decades-old theory that x86 is less power efficient than ARM. 'There is nothing in the instruction set that is more or less energy efficient than any other instruction set,' Bell says. 'I see no data that supports the claims that ARM is more efficient.' The interview also covers Intel's inherent tech advantage over ARM and the foundries ('There are very few companies on Earth who have the capabilities we've talked about, and going forward I don't think anyone will be able to match us' Bell says), the age-old argument that Intel can't compete on price, and whether Apple will eventually move its iOS products from ARM to x86, just like it moved its Macs from Power to x86 in 2005."
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft seems to have a pocketful of billions sitting around. First Skype, now Yammer – an enterprise social network service launched back in September 2008 that looks almost like Facebook minus the title bars. According to Bloomberg, the deal could reach up to a billion dollars. To date, Yammer claims 200,000 companies which include more than 400 of the 500 Fortune companies. One reason for the purchase may stem from their social-like Sharepoint platform which has been a lost cause to solutions by Salesforce.com and Oracle."
An anonymous reader writes in with a story about a milestone in stem cell medicine. "A ten year old girl became the first person in the world to get a major blood vessel replaced by one grown using her own stem cells. The 10-year-old from Sweden had a blockage of a vein from her liver. The doctors decided to give her a new vein instead of a liver transplant or giving her a vein from her own body, Associated Press reported. The team from University of Gothenburg first took 9 cm vein segment from a dead man and stripped all living cells from it, leaving behind only a protein structure. They later reconstructed the vein by using cells from the girl's own bone marrow. The new graft was then put in the girl's body two weeks later."
ananyo writes "Monkeys infected with Ebola have been cured by a cocktail of three antibodies first administered 24 hours or more after exposure. The result raises hopes that a future treatment could improve the chances of humans surviving the disease caused by the deadly virus, which kills up to 90% of infected people and could potentially be used as a biological weapon. Most treatment regimes tested to date only improve chances of survival if administered within one hour of infection (abstract)."