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Australia

Submission + - Australia creates cyberwarfare unit (securecomputing.net.au)

An anonymous reader writes: Australia's Federal Government computer emergency response team and other spy agencies are teaming up to create a cyberspooks unit to counter threats from other countries, the nation's chief lawmaker said last night. In a speech referencing Stuxnet and GhostNet, Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the unit would protect sensitive Australian Government and business information from espionage by the nation's foes. Recently new powers were handed spymasters to deal with the enhanced security threat that the Greens party said were "excessive".
Security

Nuclear Bunker Houses World's Toughest Server Farm 152

Lanxon writes "Deep inside the Swiss Alps, a former nuclear bunker is now the ultimate hiding place for the world's most sensitive secrets — the Swiss Fort Knox. In a lengthy feature, Wired gains access to the server farm designed to survive a full-scale military attack. From the article: 'As we punch our codes at the checkpoint, the yellow door opens into what looks like a city of server towers, their green LEDs flickering as a technician in a white jumpsuit runs diagnostic checks. [Later], we are in a dimly lit tunnel next to what looks like a metal oven door carved into the side of the rock. "These are expansion rooms in case you have an atomic explosion outside," Christoph Oschwald, a retired Swiss paratrooper turned contractor, says. The thinking behind the rooms, he explains, is that if there were a nuclear explosion, the rush of high-pressure air would fill them through vents in the opposite side. Then, the vents would snap shut, trapping the air before it had a chance of damaging the fortress. "There is a lot of protection you can't see," he says. We stroll past an intricate network of insulated pipelines that carry water up from the underground glacial lake to the cooling system.'"
United States

An Anonymous, Verifiable E-Voting Tech 236

Kilrah_il writes "After the recent news items about the obstacles facing E-voting systems, many of us feel it is not yet time for this technology. A recent TED talk by David Bismark unveiled a proposal for a new E-voting technology that is both anonymous and verifiable. I am not a cryptography expert, but it does seem interesting and possibly doable."

Submission + - EU backs Symbian with €22M in a smartphone ba (symbian.org)

kriksu writes: The European Commission decided to boost the Symbian development with €22millon. The consortium called SYMBEOSE (Symbian — the Embedded Operating System for Europe) will contribute in a symbian-based device creation. "The overall aim of the SYMBEOSE project is to foster collaboration across the industry: conducting the work in an open manner will allow the wider Symbian community to take a special interest in the consortium’s work, monitor its progress and contribute to the work to support their own plans for service development." This doesn't have to mean that Symbian will close it's doors outside Europe. "The precise aim of the SYMBEOSE consortium is to instigate a series of state-of-the-art development projects that will create new opportunities for Symbian’s global stakeholders."
Education

Submission + - NSF Funds Data Anonymization Project (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: A group of researchers from Purdue University has been awarded $1.5 million from the National Science Foundation to help fund an ongoing project that's investigating how well current techniques for anonymizing data are working and whether there's a need for better methods.

The grant will help the researchers further their research, which includes work from computer scientists and linguists, who are looking at ways in which people can still be identified through textual clues even after explicitly identifiable data has been removed. The Purdue anonymization project has been ongoing for some time, and also includes researchers from a number of other institutions, including Indiana University and the Kinsey Institute.

Consumers in many cases know little about how their data is collected, analyzed and sold to other companies, and privacy advocates have been putting pressure on a variety of organizations to improve their disclosures, as well as their efforts to keep user data private. By way of compromise, some organizations have taken to anonymizing certain kinds of data by removing identifiable portions, such as names, birth dates and Social Security numbers. And many data-protection laws have carved out exemptions for data breaches that involve anonymized data.

But there are questions about how well those techniques work, as well as whether the subsequent analysis of anonymized data has any validity.

Medicine

Researchers Find 70-Year-Olds Are Getting Smarter 115

Pickens writes "AlphaGalileo reports that researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden have found in a forty-year study of 2,000 seniors that today's 70-year-olds do far better in intelligence tests than their predecessors, making it more difficult to detect dementia in its early stages. 'Using the test results, we've tried to identify people who are at risk of developing dementia,' says Dr. Simona Sacuiu. 'While this worked well for the group of 70-year-olds born in 1901-02, the same tests didn't offer any clues about who will develop dementia in the later generation of 70-year-olds born in 1930.' The 70-year-olds born in 1930 and examined in 2000 performed better in the intelligence tests than their predecessors born in 1901-02 and examined in 1971. 'The improvement can partly be explained by better pre- and neonatal care, better nutrition, higher quality of education, better treatment of high blood pressure and other vascular diseases, and not least the higher intellectual requirements of today's society, where access to advanced technology, television and the Internet has become part of everyday life,' says Sacuiu."
Games

Submission + - Why Warhammer Failed - Insider Story

sinij writes: EA insider, airs dirty laundry over what went wrong with Warhammer and what could this mean for upcoming Bioware Old Republic mmorpg.

Anyway, back to Warhammer. We shouldn’t have released when we did, everyone knows it. The game wasn’t done, but EA gave us a deadline and threatened the leaders of Mythic with pink slips. We slipped so many times, it had to go out. We sold mor ethan a million boxes, and only had 300k subs a month later. Going down every since. It’s “stable” now, but guess what? Even Dark Age and Ultima have more subs than we have. How great is that? Games almost a decade make more money than our biggest project.

Read it all here!

Science

Brilliant Pics of Bizarre Sea Critters 63

An anonymous reader writes "Today, scientists have announced the completion of the first ever Census of Marine Life. The colossal 10-year effort involved 2,700 researchers from 80 countries. To mark the occasion, Discover's blog 80beats has a photo gallery of some of the most marvelously strange sea creatures photographed in the course of the census. The blog post also explains some of the census's most important findings, including the dramatic decline of many commercially important large marine animals, and troubling new evidence of a decline in the phytoplankton that serves as the base of the marine food chain."
Canada

Submission + - The binary code in Canada's Gov-Gen coat of arms (www.cbc.ca)

Lev13than writes: Dr. David Johnston, formerly the president of the University of Waterloo, was installed as Canada's new Governor-General on Friday. As de facto head of state and the Queen's representative in Canada he is required to design a personal coat of arms. One modern detail has attracted particular attention — a 33-digit palindromic binary stream at the base. Efforts to decode the meaning of the number using ASCII, Morse, grouping by 3/11 and other theories has so far come up empty (right now it's a toss up between random, the phone number 683-077-0643 and Morse code for "send help — trapped in a coat of arms factory"). Is 110010111001001010100100111010011 the combination to his luggage, or just a random stream of digits?

Submission + - Anonymous Knocks Out Ministry of Sound Website 1

An anonymous reader writes: The latest DDoS attack from Anonymous has knocked offline UK solicitor Gallant Macmillian's website, the Ministry of Sound Website and their payment website. Macmillian is currently looking for several hundred identities of suspected file-sharers, accused of uploading artists under the Ministry of Sound label.
Crime

Julian Assange Faces Rape Investigation In Sweden — Updated 1017

mpawlo was one of many readers who have sent news that a warrant has been issued in Stockholm, Sweden for WikiLeaks founder and spokesman Julian Assange. The investigation apparently involves "one report of rape and one report of harassment." The story was broken by Swedish tabloid Expressen (original in Swedish), and later picked up by more reputable sources like CNN and the BBC, who say the warrant has been confirmed by Swedish authorities. The WikiLeaks Twitter feed has commented three times about the charges so far, first saying they were warned of 'dirty tricks,' then that they hadn't been contacted by Swedish police, and then a statement from Assange saying the charges are without basis.
Update: 08/21 15:58 GMT by S : Multiple sources are now reporting that the warrant for Assange's arrest has been withdrawn. Aftonbladet has coverage in Swedish. Chief prosecutor Eva Finne said, "I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape."
Operating Systems

Linux Distribution Popularity Trends Plotted 209

DeviceGuru writes "In order to get a sense of the popularity of various Linux distributions over the past several years, LinuxTrends entered their names into Google's search insights tool and grabbed images of the resulting graphs. The graphs display some fascinating trends and bode well for the future of Linux, particularly its ability to adapt to changing requirements and opportunities. What's especially noteworthy is that Android is the first Linux spin to take on a life of its own within consumer devices. It's certainly not the first use of Linux as an OS for devices; what's unique, however, is that it's the first branded Linux-based OS to be widely marketed to consumers."
AMD

Open-Source 2D, 3D Drivers For ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series 245

An anonymous reader writes "AMD has now rolled out open-source 2D and 3D drivers for their ATI Radeon HD 5000 series graphics processors. As described at length over at Phoronix, it's taken nearly a year to complete but there is now public code released that enables 2D, 3D, and video hardware-acceleration for this latest generation of ATI GPUs. For now this code is intended for developers and enthusiasts but with time it will make its way into stable Linux distribution updates. AMD's open-source developers are also beginning to work on ATI Radeon HD 6000 series support, which is hardware not to be released until late in the year."
Earth

'Exploding Lake' Provides Electricity For Rwanda 102

reillymj writes "There are three known 'exploding lakes' in the world, where volcanic gases build up near the lake bottom until they suddenly fizz over, suffocating people with huge amounts of carbon dioxide. But the lakes also hold methane and one of them, Rwanda's Lake Kivu, is being actively tapped as a source of natural gas to fuel a power plant on the lake's shore. The government hopes that within two years, the plant will be covering a third of the country's needs. By siphoning off the gas, engineers simultaneously defuse a ticking time bomb in the lake and provide power to local communities."

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