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Government

Submission + - Voting Machines Should Be as Secure as Slot Machines (networkcomputing.com) 2

CowboyRobot writes: "The problems with elections in the U.S. are well-known, yet we seem to need reminding every four years about how bad it's getting.
Howard Marks at NetworkComputing has an essay, pointing out exactly what we need for reliable, accurate voting:
"A valid audit trail, such as a printed ballot the voter can verify; A mechanism for recounting the printed ballots on a machine made by another vendor so the results can be compared; and An audit of the software by an independent third party to insure that the software accurately records and tabulates the voter's true intent."
He then looks at his own experience working with casinos, who would never tolerate the kinds of problems voting machines have. So why not take a lesson from gaming machines and build voting machines the same way?
"The slot machine industry is several times bigger, and significantly more competitive, than the voting machine industry. If IGT, Bally's and Aristocrat can compete for the slot market, then Diebold and Election Systems and Software can stand the same level of scrutiny.""

Submission + - Last-minute, untested "experimental" software patch affects 80% of Ohio's vote (cbsnews.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A last minute "experimental" software update affects the tally machines which count 80% of OH's vote, and introduces absurd vulnerabilities into the system: precinct vote tallies in each county will be reformatted by the patch and put on personal thumb drives before submission to the secretary of state. The patch has read/write access to the electronic vote data-base, and hasn't been open to testing or review by any authority. Untested voting software is against Ohio law, but the secretary of state has designated the software "experimental", and so it slips by in a loophole. An injuction was refused this morning.
Hardware

Submission + - Hypergravity used to create lighter aircraft engines (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: One area where weight savings can be made in aircraft design is in the manufacture of the relatively heavy turbine engines used to power an aircraft. Engines typically rely on the use of nickel superalloys in their construction. They are very strong, stable, and don’t corrode easily, but there is a lighter alternative: titanium aluminide. TiAi is 45% lighter, but the main problem with using it is successfully molding it into the required shapes for use in an engine.

Engineers at the European Space Agency (ESA) set out to solve that problem and came up with a surprising solution: using hypergravity.

Technology

Submission + - Ferrofluid tattoos vibrate your skin in response to calls and texts (patexia.com)

ericjones12398 writes: "Nokia is bringing tattoos into the high-tech world. The telecommunications giant recently filed a patent for the world's first smart tattoos. Made of ferromagnetic material, the tattoo would vibrate when your smartphone received incoming phone calls, texts and emails.
The tattoo is either cool or creepy depending on your attitude toward such things as tattoos and cyborg implants. But human cyborg technology is nothing new. Indeed, Nokia's vibrating magnetic tattoos are part of a broader trend in technology. No longer content to carry gadgets, there's a movement toward getting the conveniences of smartphones and other electronic devices embedded right in your body."

Cloud

Submission + - The Plot To Get Larry Ellison (businessweek.com) 1

pacopico writes: "Facebook IPO got you down? Fear not, Silicon Valley has already picked another darling. It's Workday, a cloud computing start-up that is selling HR and finance software. Businessweek reports that it's going to IPO this month, seeking about $500 million and that it's taking some big, big money sales from Oracle and SAP. Dave Duffield, the founder of PeopleSoft, founded Workday to make life tough on Larry Ellison and seems to be succeeding, according to the story. Michael Dell, Jeff Bezos and Reid Hoffman have invested $250 million in this Ellison attack."
AMD

Submission + - CPUs of the future: AMD partners with ARM, Intel designs a brain on a chip (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "In the past week, both AMD and Intel have given us a tantalizing peek at their next-generation neuromorphic (brain-like) computer chips. These chips, it is hoped, will provide brain-like performance (i.e. processing power and massive parallelism way beyond current CPUs) while consuming minimal amounts of power. First, AMD last week announced that its future APUs will feature ARM Cortex cores, first to implement TrustZone (ARM Holdings' hardware DRM/security chip), but then eventually as part of a proper x86-ARM-GPU heterogeneous system architecture (HSA). It isn’t too crazy to think that a future AMD (or Texas Instruments) chip might have a few GPU cores, a few x86 CPU cores, and thousands of tiny ARM cores, all working in perfect, parallel, neuromorphic harmony — as long as the software toolchain is good enough that you don’t have to be some kind of autist to use all of those resources efficiently. Intel, on the other hand, today unveiled a neuromorphic chip design based on multi-input lateral spin valves (LSV) and memristors. LSVs are microscopic magnets that change their magnetism to match the spin of electrons being passed through them (spintronics). Memristors are electronic components that increase their resistance as electricity passes through them one way, and reduce their resistance when electricity flows in the opposite direction — and when no power flows, the memristor remembers its last resistance value (meaning it can store data). Unlike state-of-the-art CMOS transistors that require volts to switch on and off, the LSV neurons only require a handful of electrons to change their orientation, which equates to 20 millivolts. For some applications, Intel thinks its neuromorphic chip could be up to 300 times more energy efficient than the CMOS equivalent."
Graphics

Submission + - Zero Power Displays: Solution Searching for a Problem (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: E Ink--makers of the zero stand-by power electrophoretic displays used in the first Kindles--thought they were home free, ready to retire on the millions of units being shipped for eReaders. Unfortunately for them, the iPad came along and now every eReader is switching to backlit LCDs despite the fact that you have to charge their batteries daily instead of weekly like when using a E Ink display. The company's new owners--Taiwan's YFY Group--however is landing contracts for a wide variety of applications where zero standby power is still a big advantage, like smartcards and like turning the black back of an iPhone into an auxiliary display that tells you the time, how many waiting emails and messages you have, and remaining battery life all without having to power up the main LCD display. These and a bunch of other new designs are on display at this week's Society of Information Displays (SID 2012, Boston), but you can see them online here.
Security

Submission + - SCADA Systems Found to Have Numerous Built-In Flaw (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: A long list of industrial-control modules manufactured by Schneider Electric and used to control operations at various industrial facilities contain multiple weaknesses and vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to modify the firmware, login remotely and run arbitrary code on the vulnerable components. Security researcher Ruben Santamarta discovered and disclosed the problems and the ICS-CERT is warning users about the issue, as well.

The devices in question are Ethernet modules that are designed to communicate with programmable logic controllers over a network. They're used in industrial control systems and Santamarta took a look at the firmware that's used on the modules and found that not only were they accessible over the Internet, but also had a slew of hidden accounts, many with hard-coded passwords. His research shows that, with services such as Telnet, FTP and others exposed and available for attackers to probe, the systems running on these Schneider Electric Quantum Ethernet Modules are vulnerable to several kinds of attack.

Submission + - EPA fracked up report (thefiscaltimes.com)

Freddybear writes: A recent EPA report which claimed that "fracking" could cause hydrocarbon pollution of the water table was based on 900-foot deep wells (much deeper than the usually 300-foot deep water wells) which penetrated into the gas field.

"In short, they drilled into the natural gas reservoir that has long attracted industry producers. It may the single most productive moment in EPA history."

China

Submission + - China-Based Hacking of 760 Companies Reflects Unde (bloomberg.com)

lacaprup writes: Chinese-based hacking of 760 different corporations reflects a growing, undeclared cyber war. From giants like Intel and Google to unknowns like iBahn, the Chinese hackers steal everything isn't nailed down. Simply put, it is easier and cheaper to steal rather than develop the legal way.
China has consistently denied it has any responsibility for hacking that originated from servers on its soil, but — based on what is known of attacks from China, Russia and other countries — a declassified estimate of the value of the blueprints, chemical formulas and other material stolen from U.S. corporate computers in the last year reached almost $500 billion

Piracy

Submission + - Anti-Piracy Ad Caught Using Pirated Music (summify.com)

addam666 writes: "You wouldn't steal a car, you wouldn't steal a handbag...

We all know how the rest goes, because thanks to the Motion Picture Association Of America and their foreign associates, every time you hire a DVD, you have to sit through this ad before you get to the main menu. But in what must be the most delicious slice of irony served this year, it has just been discovered that that the music used to soundtrack this 50-second pain in the ass is actually stolen."

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 378

Same here. I own a PS3 that I primarily use to watch BD. Other than when I first got it, I haven't connected the network cable to it since. I make sure that anyone who asks me about technology buying decisions (quite a lot of the neighborhood and my office) gets as much info on why they should NOT buy a Sony.

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