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Cellphones

Submission + - Smartphones Take on Silent Killers (foxnews.com)

Velcroman1 writes: New technology can turn your cellphone into a portable “silent killer” detector. And in the near future, this technology has the potential to convert the average cellphone into a handheld detector capable of warning you of chemical warfare attacks and automatically calling for help.

On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology division demonstrated at the California Fire Department’s training center exactly how this new Cell-All technology — which we learned about back in April of last year — can save lives. As of this week, Synkera Technologies has a Bluetooth version developed with DHS available to the public for trial and evaluation. An external sleeve that would go over the phone — and was developed by NASA's Center for Nanotechnology with a major smartphone manufacturer — may soon be available as well.

Space

Submission + - Mercury Turns Out to be a Weird Little World (jhuapl.edu) 1

sighted writes: "The robotic spacecraft MESSENGER, now orbiting the first planet, has found odd features on its surface, including unexplained, blueish 'hollows' that may be actively forming today. The new findings will be published this week in Science. One scientist said, 'The conventional wisdom was that Mercury is just like the Moon. But from its vantage point in orbit, MESSENGER is showing us that Mercury is radically different from the Moon in just about every way we can measure.'"
Chrome

Submission + - Chrome Set To Take No. 2 Spot From Firefox (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "Google's Chrome is on the brink of replacing Firefox as the second-most-popular browser, says the Web statistics firm StatCounter, which shows that Chrome will pass Firefox to take the No. 2 spot behind Microsoft's IE no later than December. As of Wednesday, Chrome's global average user share for September was 23.6%, while Firefox's stood at 26.8%. IE, meanwhile, was at 41.7%. The climb of Chrome during 2011 has been astonishing: It has gained eight percentage point since January 2011, representing a 50% increase. During that same period, Firefox has dropped almost four percentage points, a decline of about 13%, while IE has also fallen four points, a 9% dip. That means Chrome is essentially reaping all the defections from Firefox and IE."

Submission + - The Evolution of 'Star Trek' (Infographic) (space.com)

adumonit writes: TV producer, Gene Roddenberry's optimistic vision of the future has captivated fans for nearly half a century. Six television series and 11 films depict humanity hundreds of years in the future, exploring the stars and battling alien enemies that include Klingons, Romulans and Borg.
Power

Submission + - Apple Files Patent For A Zero-Power PSU (conceivablytech.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple just filed a patent for a simple, but rather ingenious invention that could cut overall power consumption in any electronic device that depends on a power supply unit (PSU). Apple thinks of a much more complex PSU for the future, which will effectively cut the power draw to zero from a PSU when an electronic device is shut off.
Businesses

Submission + - Algo trading rapidly replacing need for humans (computerworlduk.com)

DMandPenfold writes: Algorithmic trading, also known as high frequency trading (HFT), is rapidly replacing human decision making, according to a government panel which warned that the right regulations need to be introduced to protect stock markets.

Around one third of share trading in the UK is conducted by computers fulfilling commands based on complex algorithms, said the Foresight panel in a working paper published yesterday.

Nevertheless, this proportion is significantly lower than in the US, where three-quarters of equity dealing is computer generated.

The Foresight panel, led by Dame Clara Furse, the former chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, argued that there are both benefits and severe risks to algorithmic trading.

There was "no direct evidence" that the computer trading in itself increased volatility, it said, but in specific circumstances it was possible for a series of events with "undesired interactions and outcomes" to occur and cause massive damage.

Apple

Submission + - Samsung Tablet Banned in Germany (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "A German court has ruled that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is too similar to Apple's iPad 2 and may not be sold in Germany. But Samsung isn't giving up the fight: 'We will take all available legal options including continuing to aggressively pursue Apple for its ongoing violation of Samsung's wireless technology patents around the world,' a Samsung spokesman said."
Government

Submission + - HIPPA will bite over health-care privacy blunders (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "Healthcare organizations that are performing risk assessments as a way to craft patient-privacy policies might want to consider a new potential attack vector: federal regulators. Later this year, the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to start auditing up to 150 health providers at random through December 2012 in an effort to find medical entities that fail to comply with HIPAA and HITECH regulations about how personal data must be handled securely."
Transportation

Submission + - DoT Grants $15M to Test Car-to-Car Communication (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "Car-to-car communications is about to get its first large-scale, real-world test in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute will be putting as many as 3,000 cars equipped with short-range radio on the roads, thanks to a $14.9 million grant it just got from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. DoT reports predict that up to 82 percent of serious accidents among unimpaired drivers can be eliminated or reduced by a little car-to-car negotiation, or early warning that a sedan three cars ahead just hit the brakes even though you can't see it through the giant SUV directly in front of you."

Submission + - Man Faces 75 Year Sentence For Recording Police (youtube.com) 3

esocid writes: 42-year-old Michael Allison of Illinois could spend the rest of his life in prison for recording police in public. He faces five counts of eavesdropping, a class one felony. The Illinois Assistant Attorney General has joined the case and told the judge that citizens do not have the constitutional right to record police.
Security

Submission + - Kernel.org Trojan Attack Unnoticed for 17 Days (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: The attack that compromised the Linux kernel.org site went unnoticed for 17 days and was only discovered when one developer noticed an odd error message on his personal machine.

""Earlier today discovered a trojan existing on HPA's personal colo machine, as well as hera. Upon some investigation there are a couple of kernel.org boxes, specifically hera and odin1, with potential pre-cursors on demeter2, zeus1 and zeus2, that have been hit by this," an email from a kernel.org admin says.

The email says that the attack apparently happened on Aug. 12 and the Trojan was discovered on Aug. 29.

Businesses

Submission + - Bank of America in battle with bloggers (computerworlduk.com) 1

DMandPenfold writes: Bank of America (BoA) has taken on two prominent blog sites after accusing them of spreading incorrect rumours.

The bank last week faced two difficult stories on consecutive days, and moved to publicly correct them after the sites shocked investors and the company’s stock price seemed to be affected.

The bank refutes suggestions that its strong response to both blogs was a personal attack on the writers, according to sources close to the situation.

Nevertheless, it publicly attacked Henry Blodget’s credentials in particular, noting he was banned from the securities industry eight years ago after settling fraud charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US regulator.

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