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Darth Vader Robs Long Island Bank 190

Apparently the destruction of the second Death Star has stretched the Galactic Empire's coffers so thin that Lord Vader himself is robbing banks. From the article: "Impotent Rebel Alliance security forces tell Newsday (paywall) that Vader marched into a Chase bank in Setauket around 11:30 a.m. today. Brandishing a completely unnecessary handgun — as he had the power to choke the oxygen out every teller's throat — the fallen Jedi demanded cash."
Input Devices

New I/O Standard Bids To Replace Mini PCI Express 31

DeviceGuru writes "LinuxDevices reports that a group of companies today unveiled — and demonstrated products based on — a tiny new PCI Express expansion standard. Although it's somewhat larger than the PCI Express Mini Card, the tiny new 43mm x 65mm FeaturePak card's high density 230-pin edgecard connector provides twice the number of PCI Express and USB 2.0 channels to the host computer, plus 100 lines dedicated to general purpose I/O, of which 34 signal pairs are implemented with enhanced isolation for use in applications such as gigabit Ethernet or high-precision analog I/O. While FeaturePaks will certainly be used in all sorts of embedded devices (medical instruments, test equipment, etc.), the tiny cards could also be used for developing configurable consumer devices, for example to add an embedded firewall/router or security processor to laptop or notebook computers, or for modular functionality in TV set-top-boxes and Internet edge devices." The president of Diamond Systems, which invented the new card, said "Following the FeaturePak initiative's initial launch, we intend to turn the FeaturePak specification, trademark, and logo over to a suitable standards organization so it can become an industry-wide, open-architecture, embedded standard" (but to use the logo you have to join the organization).

Comment New feature for motherboard venders (Score 2, Interesting) 398

Full memory encryption. Set a chip on the memory buss, it encrypts/decrypts all the data as it passes between the CPU and RAM chips. At first this would be something like old MMUs before they were built into the CPU itself. They sit on the address bus and add/subtract offsets. This would sit on the data bus and do some simple crypto. Put a capacitor right next to it, first time the chip powers up it selects a random key, when the motherboard looses power the capacitor keeps the chip running long enough for it to overwrite the key that it was internally storing.

Then if they manage to break into your super secure datacenter, wheal in their tank of liquid nitrogen and pump your server full of it just so they can steal your RAM chips...it still doesn't get them anything.

(If you read the paper, they talk about how if you cool the chips with liquid nitrogen they keep their contents with power off and removed for 'several hours'...they argue that simply modifying the bios to zero at startup isn't sufficient as they may physically *remove* the ram chips before you have a chance to zero them)

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