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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How much average bandwidth consumed by ad banners? (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: I've been attempting to do research on how much bandwidth ad banners use up, on average, on websites around the internet. I have found 1 evidence so far (see below). However, I require more.

"The paper (lead author Abhinav Pathak at Purdue, http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/people/mzh/eurosys-2012.pdf), to be presented at the EuroSys 2012 conference in April, finds that most of the energy used by free apps is spent handling third-party advertising modules. In addition, code bugs can also be energy-wasters, doing things like leaving idle comms channels open (source = http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/19/ads_suck_batteries/ )"

Can anyone shed anymore light on the subject of how much data, cpu cycles, and room for the introduction of malware that ad banners introduce to users dismay online? Thank you.

Security

Submission + - 'Stuxnet-like' Malware Hits Manufacturing Industries in Iran (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: Iranian officials on Tuesday said that a “Stuxnet-like” cyber attack against hit some industrial units in a southern province.
"A virus had penetrated some manufacturing industries in Hormuzgan province, but its progress was halted," Ali Akbar Akhavan said, quoted by the ISNA news agency.

Akhavan said the malware was "Stuxnet-like" but did not elaborate and that the attack had occurred over the "past few months." One of the targets of the latest attack was the Bandar Abbas Tavanir Co, which oversees electricity production and distribution in Hormuzgan and adjacent provinces. He also accused "enemies" of constantly seeking to disrupt operations at Iran's industrial units through cyber attacks, without specifying how much damage had been caused.

Iran has blamed the US and Israel for cyber attacks in the past. In April, it said a voracious malware attack had hit computers running key parts of its oil sector and succeeded in wiping data off official servers.

Submission + - Scientists Construct First Map of How the Brain Organizes Everything We See

An anonymous reader writes: Our eyes may be our window to the world, but how do we make sense of the thousands of images that flood our retinas each day? Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that the brain is wired to put in order all the categories of objects and actions that we see. They have created the first interactive map of how the brain organizes these groupings.

Submission + - BLAKE2: An Alternative to SHA-3, SHA-2 and MD5 Announced (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: BLAKE2 has been recently announced as a new alternative for the existing cryptographic hash algorithms — MD5 and SHA-2/3. With applicability in cloud storage, software distribution, host-based intrusion detection, digital forensics and revision control tools, BLAKE2 performs a lot faster than MD5 algorithm on Intel 32 and 64-bit systems. Developers of BLAKE2 insist that even though the algorithm is faster, there are no loose ends when it comes to security. BLAKE2 is an optimized version of the then SHA-3 finalist BLAKE.
Mars

Submission + - NASA plans to `lasso' asteroid and turn it into space station (indiatimes.com)

SternisheFan writes: Times of India reports: NASA scientists are planning to capture a 500 ton asteroid, relocate it and turn it into a space station for astronauts to refuel at on their way to Mars.
  The 1.6bn-pound plan will be considered by the White House's Office of Science and technology in the coming weeks, as it prepares to set its space exploration agenda for the next decade, the Daily Mail reported. According to a report prepared by NASA and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) scientists, a, 'asteroid capture capsule' would be attached to an old Atlas V rocket and directed towards the asteroid between the earth and the moon. Once close, the asteroid capsule would release a 50ft diameter bag that wrap around the spinning rock using drawstrings. The craft would then turn on its thrusters, using an estimated 300kg of propellant, to stop the asteroid in its tracks and tow it into a gravitationally neutral spot. From here space explorers would have a stationary base from which to launch trips deeper into space. Though NASA declined to comment on the project, it is believed that technology would make it possible within 10-12 years.
  The technology would also open up the possibility of mining other asteroids for their metals and minerals. Some are full of iron which could be used for in the making of new space stations, others are made up of water which could be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen to make fuel.
  It is hoped that the project will increase our understanding of asteroids, and even shed new light on the origin of life on Earth.

You can download the pdf from Caltech's site here:
http://www.caltech.edu/search/sites/asteroids%20nasa#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=asteroids%20nasa&gsc.page=1

Education

Mathematicians Deconstruct US News College Rankings 161

An anonymous reader writes "US News makes a mint off its college rankings every year, but do they really give meaningful information? A pair of mathematicians argues that the data the magazine uses is all likely to be at least somewhat relevant, but that the way the magazine weights the different statistics is pretty arbitrary. After all, different people may have different priorities. So they developed a method to compute the rankings based on any possible set of priorities. To do it, they had to reverse-engineer some of US News's data. What they found was that some colleges come out on top pretty much regardless of the prioritization, but others move around quite a lot. And the top-ranked university can vary tremendously. Penn State, which is #48 using US News's methodology, could be the best university in the country, by other standards."

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