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Communications

Submission + - What Would A Post-Email World Look Like? (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: "Pundits have been gleefully predicting the death of email for years, but nobody has really been able to explain what will replace email, especially for the medium's archiving capabilities that businesses and governments have come to rely on. It's possible that email won't vanish, but rather become insivible, one component of an integrated communication stream that will be transparent to users but still present — and useful — under the hood. It may turn out that Google's Wave, which was built on this idea, was just a bit ahead of its time."

Submission + - Keeper Of Shadows: A New Game of Crypto-archaeology (posterous.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Keeper of Shadows is a new alternative history game where you decode an ancient archaeological puzzle. This features a real 3800-year old tablet from Ancient Iraq which contains a mathematical table. The numbers on it follow a strange relationship according to the Theorem of Pythagoras....more than a thousand years before he was born.

Speculations suggest that this is a trigonometric table, but the ratios are not in such a sequence. Some say this is a school exercise but questions remain... why does the 3rd column contain 8 prime numbers out of 15? What if this isn't a school exercise....but an astronomical record of some planetary event?

This alternate history game is part of the ZetaTrek project, which was mentioned on Slashdot last year.

Submission + - The Netherlands rejects ACTA (webwereld.nl)

Peetke writes: The Dutch House of Representatives unanimously accepted motion to urge the Cabinet to reject ACTA (if they ever get the change to do so; it may already end in the European Parlement). Additionally an even stronger motion was accepted to reject any future treaty that may harm a free and open Internet. This is a good day for the Internet.
Security

Submission + - Yahoo Includes Private Key in Source File For Axis Chrome Extension (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Yahoo on Wednesday launched a new browser called Axis and researchers immediately discovered that the company had mistakenly included its private signing key in the source file, a serious error that would allow an attacker to create a malicious, signed extension for a browser that the browser will then treat as authentic.

The mistake was discovered on Wednesday, soon after Yahoo had launched Axis, which is both a standalone browser for mobile devices as well as an extension for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer. Yahoo is touting the browser's predictive search capability, which will guess what the user is trying to search for as she is typing and bring up thumbnail images of potential matches.

But that's not the thing that got the most attention. Within hours of the Axis launch, a writer and hacker named Nik Cubrilovic had noticed that the source file for the Axis Chrome extension included the private PGP key that Yahoo used to sign the file. That key is what the Chrome browser would look for in order to ensure that the extension is legitimate and authentic, and so it should never be disclosed publicly.

Space

Submission + - DARPA Funds "100 Year Starship" to Develop Human Interstellar Travel (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: Voyager 1, which is now in the outermost layer of the heliosphere that forms the boundary between the Solar System and interstellar space, is set to be the first man-made object to leave the Solar System. It has taken the car-sized probe over 35 years to reach its current point, but at its current speed of about 3.6 AU (334,640,905 miles) per year it would take over 75,000 years to reach our nearest star, Proxima Centauri. Despite the mind-boggling distances involved, DARPA has just awarded funding to form an organization whose aim is to make human interstellar travel a reality within the next century.
Microsoft

Submission + - Visual Studio 11 Express Is Metro Only (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: Microsoft has finally demonstrated its corporate insanity for all to see. The next version of VS Express 11 will only produce Metro and not desktop apps — and it gets worse.
The next generation of Express products will be much more limited with just three editions — Express 11, Express for Windows Phone and Express for Azure. The Express 11 IDE will support C++, C#, VB and JavaScript in one neat and easy-to-use package. This sounds great until you realize that this neat package only supports the creation of Metro applications.
There are no templates and no targets defined for the desktop.
If you want to develop a .NET app then you need to stick with Express 2010 and don't even think about going forward with new editions. To stay current you have no choice but to convert your apps to Metro. If you don't agree then you need to start looking for an alternative desktop environment — perhaps this is the opertunity Linux has been waiting for.

Data Storage

Submission + - 60TB Disk Drives Could Be Reality In 2016 (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "The maximum areal densities of hard disk drives are expected to more than double by 2016, according to IHS iSuppli. Hard drive company Seagate has also predicted a doubling of drive density, and now IHS iSuppli is confirming what the vendor community already knew. Leading the way for greater disk density will be technologies such as heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), which Seagate patented in 2006. Seagate has already said it will be able to produce a 60TB 3.5-in. hard drive by 2016. Laptop drives could reach 10TB to 20TB in the same time frame, IHS iSuppli stated. It said areal densities are projected to climb to a maximum 1,800 Gbits per square inch per platter by 2016, up from 744 Gbits per square inch in 2011. Areal density equals bit density, or bits of information per inch of a track multiplied by tracks per inch on a drive platter. From 2011 to 2016, the five-year compound annual growth rate for HDD areal densities will be equivalent to 19%, IHS iSuppli wrote in its report. This year, hard drive areal densities are estimated to reach 780Gbits per square inch per platter, and then rise to 900Gbits per square inch next year. '"The rise in areal density will pave the way for continued growth of the [hard disk drive] industry,' said Fang Zhang, an analyst for storage systems at IHS."
Google

Submission + - Court Rules NSA Doesn't Have To Confirm Or Deny Secret Relationship With Google (forbes.com) 1

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: A DC appeals court has ruled that the National Security Agency doesn’t need to either confirm or deny its secret relationship with Google in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and follow-up lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. The NSA cited a FOIA exemption that covers any documents whose exposure might hinder the NSA’s national security mission, and responded to EPIC with a "no comment." Beyond merely rejecting the FOIA request, the court has agreed with the NSA that it has the right to simply not respond to the request, as even a rejection of the request might reveal details of a suspected relationship with Google that it has sought to keep secret.

Google was reported to have partnered with the NSA to bolster its defenses against hackers after its breach by Chinese cyberspies in early 2010. But to the dismay of privacy advocates who fear the NSA's surveillance measures coupled with Google's trove of data, the company has never explained the details of that partnership.

Security

Submission + - New .secure Internet Domain on Tap (darkreading.com)

CowboyRobot writes: "A new top-level domain (TLD) in the works for the Internet will bake security in from the outset: The .secure domain will require fully encrypted HTTPS sessions and a comprehensive vetting process for websites and their operators. If the new domain takes off, it could shift the way Web domains are secured. ICANN is expected to sign off on .secure, and for the new TLD to be up and running June or July 2013."
China

Submission + - Volkswagen Crowdsources its Way to a Hover Car (gizmag.com) 1

Zothecula writes: The world of personal mobility transporters doesn't bring a whole lot of glamor. The Segway was never exactly an enviable ride, and newer concepts like the GM EN-V aren't any better. But a Volkswagen that hovers a few feet over the ground? That channels a mix of Back to the Future and The Jetsons that adds some excitement to the personal mobility segment. The Hover Car is one of three top concepts that Volkswagen procured through the crowd-sourced "People's Car Project" (PCP). Since debuting the project in China nearly a year ago, Volkswagen has inspired 33 million website visitors and 119,000 unique ideas for possible products and technologies.
Science

Submission + - Microsoft makes ambitious carbon neutral pledge (computerworlduk.com) 1

Qedward writes: Chief operating officer Kevin Turner says Microsoft will be “carbon neutral across all our direct operations including data centres, software development labs, air travel, and office buildings” from July 1, the start of the 2012 fiscal year.

Turner added: "We are hopeful that our decision will encourage other companies, large and small, to look at what they can do to address this important issue.

Science

Submission + - Anti Wi-Fi Wallpaper To Go On Sale In 2013, Costs A Tad More Than Normal Ones (itproportal.com)

hypnosec writes: A new type of wallpaper, which has been developed by scientists from the "institut polytechnique Grenoble INP" and the "Centre Technique du Papier", will go on sale in 2013 after a Finnish firm, Ahlstrom acquired the license. What looks like a bog standard wallpaper roll actually contains silver particles that allows it to filter out up to three different frequencies simultaneously. It is not the first time that such a technology has surfaced. Back in 2004, BAE Systems was tasked by Ofcom to come up with a similar solution based on what was then called a stealth wallpaper. It used copper instead of silver and blocked Wi-Fi signals while letting GSM, 4G and emergency calls through. Back then though, a square meter cost £500 whereas the Wi-Fi wallpaper devised by the French researchers should be priced reasonably, with costs matching those of a "classic", mid-range wallpaper according to M. Lemaître-Auger, from Grenoble INP.

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