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Government

US Couple Arrested For Transmitting Nuclear Secrets In Sting Operation 372

DesScorp writes "Recalling the famous Rosenberg nuclear spy case of the '50s, the US Justice Department has arrested a couple working at a 'leading nuclear research facility' for giving nuclear secrets to Venezuela. Pedro and Marjorie Mascheroni 'have been indicted on charges of communicating classified nuclear weapons data to a person they believed to be a Venezuelan government official and conspiring to participate in the development of an atomic weapon for Venezuela,' the department said in a statement. If convicted, the couple would receive life in prison."
Worms

Stuxnet Worm Infected Industrial Control Systems 167

Sooner Boomer writes "ComputerWorld has an article about the Stuxnet worm, which was apparently designed to steal industrial secrets and disrupt operations at industrial plants, according to Siemens. 'Stuxnet has infected systems in the UK, North America and Korea, however the largest number of infections, by far, have been in Iran. Once installed on a PC, Stuxnet uses Siemens' default passwords to seek out and try to gain access to systems that run the WinCC and PCS 7 programs — so-called PLC (programmable logic controller) programs that are used to manage large-scale industrial systems on factory floors and in military installations and chemical and power plants.' If the worm were to be used to disrupt systems at any of those locations, the results could be devastating."
Japan

New HRP-4 Humanoid Robots From Japan To Go On Sale 157

An anonymous reader writes "Kawada Industries and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have unveiled their new humanoid robot, HRP-4. The new humanoid stands 151cm tall and is much thinner than its predecessors. For Japan, HRP-4 is another step forward in creating useful mechanical workers to deal with a forthcoming shortage in the labor force and care for an aging population. HRP-4's creators expect to start selling the robot to universities and other research institutions as early as January 2011 for a price tag of $300,000, which is not that bad for a humanoid." The HRP-4s are a whole $100,000 cheaper than Willow Garage's PR2 (non-humanoid) robots, which became available earlier this month. The difference really adds up when building your robot army. Ron Moore could not be reached for comment.
Robotics

Honda's Exoskeletons Help You Walk Like Asimo 135

kkleiner writes "Honda has created two walking exoskeletons based on Asimo research that assist humans in walking. The Bodyweight Support Assist exoskeleton is a set of thin legs attached to a seat. Users sit on the seat and slip their feet into shoes on the robotic legs. This system supports bodyweight to assist people in walking and moving up and down steps. The other, Stride Management Assist, is a brace worn around the hips and thighs that provides added strength when flexing that joint. It's currently under development and being tested by 130 patients in the field. Both devices may prove to be valuable tools in helping the elderly maintain their mobility, assisting the disabled, and easing the stress on physical laborers."

Comment Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (Score 1) 702

Mainstream PC makers in the United States have chosen to do a number of things with new PCs, including Windows Vista, Linux (RH and Ubuntu) distros with wine packages, and invasive shovelware the novice end user can't get rid of without thermite.

Dell being the most obvious example in the US, there are others outside the US (like Acer, for example).

In the light of these widely varied good/bad decisions, what they choose to "make a business out of" or not demonstrates.. very little.
Linux

Torvalds Becomes an American Citizen 654

netbuzz writes "Having brought his open-source work and family to the United States from Finland some time ago, Linus Torvalds has marked an important personal milestone by attaining US citizenship. A casual remark on the Linux kernel mailing list about registering to vote led to the community being in on the news. Torvalds has acknowledged being a bit of a procrastinator on this move, writing in a 2008 blog post: 'Yeah, yeah, we should probably have done the citizenship thing a long time ago, since we've been here long enough (and two of the kids are US citizens by virtue of being born here), but anybody who has had dealings with the INS will likely want to avoid any more of them, and maybe things have gotten better with a new name and changes, but nothing has really made me feel like I really need that paperwork headache again.' In that post he also expresses dislike for the American style of politics in which he will now be able to participate directly."
Security

Stuxnet May Represent New Trend In Malware 58

Trailrunner7 writes "As more information continues to come out about the Stuxnet worm and the vulnerabilities that it exploits, it's becoming increasingly clear that this kind of attack may be a preview of the attacks that are likely to become commonplace in the months and years ahead. The most interesting aspect of all of this is the fact that the attackers behind Stuxnet clearly knew about the vulnerability in the Siemens WinCC system before the malware was written. That implies the malware authors had some advance intelligence about the configuration of the Siemens software and knew exactly where there was a weakness."

Comment Two small things. (Score 1) 335

1. A *LOT* of software looks in /etc/passwd because you can get uid, gid, homedir etc. from there (try grep $USER /etc/passwd - go on) 2. Passwords are very rarely stored in /etc/passwd these days. 3. I've written scripts that touch firefox profiles for stuff as innocuous as protocol handlers..yeah, erm. 4. Why is AppArmor a link to an ubuntu wiki? Are Ubuntu about to invent AppArmor like they invented networkmanager et al?

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