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Technology

Xerox PARC Celebrates 40th Anniversary 57

CWmike writes "For 40 years, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center has been a place of technological creativity and bold ideas, writes Todd Weiss. The inventions it has spawned, from Ethernet networking to laser printing and the graphical user interface, have led to myriad technologies that allow us to use computers in ways that we take for granted today. When it opened on July 1, 1970, PARC was set up as a division of Xerox Corp. The idea was to invest in PARC as a springboard for developing new technologies and fresh concepts that would lead to future products. 'Conducting research at PARC four decades ago was like magic,' says Dr. Robert S. Bauer, who worked at PARC from 1970 to 2001. 'In an era of political and social upheaval, we came to work every day with a passion to free technology from the grip of the military-industrial complex and bring computation to the people.' Indeed, the company's 'technology first' culture has sometimes brought it under fire. PARC has often been criticized for its past failures to capitalize on some of its greatest inventions, allowing other companies to cash in on its ideas. (Today, PARC has a team working to protect its intellectual property.) Nevertheless, its reputation as a technology innovator is impeccable."
Government

Industrial Marijuana Farming Approved In Oakland 690

Trintech writes "According to MSNBC: 'The city of Oakland, California on Tuesday legalized large-scale marijuana cultivation for medical use and will issue up to four permits for "industrial" cultivation starting next year. The move by the San Francisco Bay Area city aims to bring medical marijuana cultivation into the open and allow the city to profit by taxing those who grow it. The resolution passed the city council easily after a nearly four-hour debate that pitted small-scale "garden" growers against advocates of a bigger, industrial system that would become a "Silicon Valley" of pot.' Yes, you read that right. MSNBC just compared computer chip fabrication to pot cultivation."
Classic Games (Games)

Sega To Bring Dreamcast Titles to PSN, Xbox Live 158

Sega announced yesterday that it plans to bring back a number of popular Dreamcast games, updating them and releasing them for download on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi will come first, with further announcements expected after E3. "Both of the games will be based on the Dreamcast originals, but will be updated with high-definition graphics, surround sound, online leaderboards, and Achievement and Trophy support." Kotaku has a list of other titles they hope to see — what game(s) would you like Sega to bring back?
Image

Scientists Discover Booze That Won't Give You a Hangover Screenshot-sm 334

Kwang-il Kwon and Hye Gwang Jeong of Chungnam National University have discovered that drinking alcohol with oxygen bubbles added leads to fewer hangovers and a shorter sobering up time. People drinking the bubbly booze sobered up 20-30 minutes faster and had less severe and fewer hangovers than people who drank the non-fizzy stuff. Kwon said: "The oxygen-enriched alcohol beverage reduces plasma alcohol concentrations faster than a normal dissolved-oxygen alcohol beverage does. This could provide both clinical and real-life significance. The oxygen-enriched alcohol beverage would allow individuals to become sober faster, and reduce the side effects of acetaldehyde without a significant difference in alcohol's effects. Furthermore, the reduced time to a lower BAC may reduce alcohol-related accidents."
Microsoft

Craig Mundie Wants "Internet Driver's Licenses" 427

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Craig Mundie, Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer, called for the creation of an 'Internet Driver's License' at the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying, 'If you want to drive a car you have to have a license to say that you are capable of driving a car, the car has to pass a test to say it is fit to drive and you have to have insurance.' Of course, there are quite a few problems with this. For starters, internet use cannot yet cause death or dismemberment like car accidents can; and this would get rid of most of the good of internet anonymity while retaining all of the bad parts, especially in terms of expanding the market for stolen identities. Even though telephone networks have long been used by scammers and spammers/telemarketers, we've never needed a 'Telephone Driver's License.'"
Security

Keep SSH Sessions Active, Or Reconnect? 307

borjonx writes "Is it safer to log out of an SSH session, and re-establish it later, or just keep the connection open? Like many of you, I use OpenSSH to connect to my Slackware Linux boxes remotely from Linux and WinXP (putty.exe) clients. At home and at work, I wonder if it would be safer to just leave the connection open (my clients are physically secured, the servers limit connections with hosts.allow). Is it more secure to re-establish the connection over an insecure link (big bad internet) where people can sniff that handshaking, or is it more secure to just remain connected? I connect 1 to 4 times per day, most days."
Earth

CIA Teams Up With Scientists To Monitor Climate 417

MikeChino writes "The CIA has just joined up with climate researchers to re-launch a data-sharing initiative that will use spy satellites and other CIA asets to help scientists figure out what climate change is doing to cloud cover, forests, deserts, and more. The collaboration is an extension of the Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis program, which President Bush canceled in 2001, and it will use reconnaissance satellites to track ice floes moving through the Arctic basin, creating data that could be used for ice forecasts." Even though the program is "basically free" in terms of CIA involvement, the Times notes: "Controversy has often dogged the use of federal intelligence gear for environmental monitoring. In October, days after the CIA opened a small unit to assess the security implications of climate change, Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, said the agency should be fighting terrorists, 'not spying on sea lions.'"
HP

HP's Free Adobe Flash Vulnerability Scanner 82

Catalyst writes "SWFScan is a free Flash security tool (download here), released by HP Software, which decompiles all versions of Flash and scans them for over 60 security vulnerabilities. The scan detects things like XSS, SQL inside of the Flash app, hard-coded authentication credentials, weak encryption, insecure function calls, cross-domain privilege escalation, and violations of Adobe's security recommendations. There is also this video explaining a real, and amusing, attack against a Flash app. These issues are fairly widespread, with over 35% of SWF applications violating Adobe security advice."

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