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Submission + - Airline pilots allowed to dodge security screening (

OverTheGeicoE writes: Wired has a story about TSA's known crewmember program, which allows airline pilots to bypass traditional airport security on their way to the cockpit. Pilots will be verified using a system known as CrewPASS that relies on uniforms, identity cards, fingerprints, and possibly other biometrics to authenticate flight deck crews. Once they are authenticated, they can enter secure areas in airports without any further screening. Participation at present is voluntary, and applies at Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Pittsburg (PIT), Columbia (CAE) and now Chicago O'Hare (ORD) airports. TSA is hoping to expand the program nationally.

Bruce Schneier thinks this program is "a really bad idea". Pilots are already avoiding scanners and patdowns at security checkpoints. Is this new program just a way for TSA to hide this fact from the flying public?


Submission + - Space Elevator Conference Prompts Lofty Questions (

itwbennett writes: "Even the most ardent enthusiasts gathered at the annual Space Elevator Conference on Friday don't expect it to be built anytime soon, but that doesn't stop them from dreaming, planning, and trying to solve some of the more vexing problems. One of the trickiest questions is who's going to pay for the operational costs when an elevator is eventually built. 'It's been nine years we've been looking for someone' to study that, said Bryan Laubscher, one of the leading space elevator enthusiasts and principle at Odysseus Technologies, a company working on high-strength materials."

Submission + - Free Antivirus - What do you install on Windows? 2

Techman83 writes: After years of changing between AVG Free + avast, it's coming time to find a new free alternative for friends/relatives that run windows. AVG and avast have been quite good, but are starting to bloat out in size, and also becoming very misleading. Avast recently auto updated from 4.8 to 5 and now requires you to register (even for the free version) and both are making it harder to actually find the free version. Is this end of reasonable free av or is there another product I can entrust to keep the "my computers doing weird things" calls to a minimum?

Submission + - Losing Google would hit Chinese science hard 2

An anonymous reader writes: More than three-quarters of scientists in China use the search engine Google as a primary research tool and say their work would be significantly hampered if they were to lose it, a survey showed on Wednesday. In the survey, 84 percent said losing Google would "somewhat or significantly" hamper their research and 78 percent said international collaborations would be affected.

"Research without Google would be like life without electricity," one Chinese scientist said in the survey, which asked more than 700 scientists for their views

Submission + - Architects Develop Buckypaper for Use in Buildings (

MikeChino writes: Nanotechnology is generally pursued by scientists and those involved with high-tech gadgetry, weapons, and medical devices, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be applied in other fields. Recently NYC-based Decker Yeardon became the first architecture firm to synthesize a thin sheet of carbon nanotube buckypaper, and they plan on utilizing the super-strong and lightweight material in future building projects. The material is 10 times lighter and 500 times stronger than steel, it can conduct both heat and electricity, and it can filter particles, so it has incredible potential as a building material – in this case, Decker Yeardon hopes to use the material as a thin, flexible electrode surface for an “artificial muscle” developed for architecture. Are buckybuildings around the corner?

Submission + - SPAM: Infoworld journalist fired over fake alter ego

ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes: One of the more interesting people I've talked with in the last two years is a figment of his own imagination. "Craig Barth", the chief technology officer of Florida-based Devil Mountain Software, a company that makes and markets Windows performance metrics software, is, I have discovered, nobody. He doesn't exist.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:not getting it here (Score 1) 233

This isn't a case of "if my energy doesn't come from gasoline, then it's free". Electric cars consume no gasoline, hence have infinite miles per gallon for gas mileage by definition. If you want to discuss miles traveled per unit of energy consumed or dollar spent, then use the appropriate units.
United States

Submission + - Can the US Stop the Global Cyber Arms Race?

Hugh Pickens writes: "Jack Goldsmith writes in the Washington Post that everyone agrees on the need to curb the cyber arms race by creating proper norms of network behavior but that US cybersecurity policymakers are in the habit of thinking too much about those who attack us and too little about our attacks on others. One large hurdle is the federal government's refusal to acknowledge more fully its many offensive cyber activities, or to propose which such activities it might clamp down on in exchange for reciprocal concessions by our adversaries. For example, the US is a leading source of "hacktivists" who use digital tools to fight oppressive regimes. "Scores of individuals and groups in the United States design or employ computer payloads to attack government Web sites, computer systems and censoring tools in Iran and China," writes Goldsmith. The US government has perhaps the world's most powerful and sophisticated offensive cyberattack capability. This capability remains highly classified but the New York Times has reported that the Bush administration used cyberattacks on insurgent cellphones and computers in Iraq, and that it approved a plan for attacks on computers related to Iran's nuclear weapons program. "We are not, like the Chinese, stealing intellectual property from US firms or breaking into the accounts of democracy advocates," concludes Goldsmith. "But we are aggressively using the same or similar computer techniques for ends we deem worthy.""

Making Sense of the Cellphone Landscape 185

Charlie Stross has a blog post up that tries to make sense of the mobile phone market and where it's going: where Apple, Google, and the cellcos fit in, and what the point of Google's Nexus One may be. "Becoming a pure bandwidth provider is every cellco's nightmare: it levels the playing field and puts them in direct competition with their peers, a competition that can only be won by throwing huge amounts of capital infrastructure at their backbone network. So for the past five years or more, they've been doing their best not to get dragged into a game of beggar-my-neighbor, by expedients such as exclusive handset deals... [Google intends] to turn 3G data service (and subsequently, LTE) into a commodity, like Wi-Fi hotspot service only more widespread and cheaper to get at. They want to get consumers to buy unlocked SIM-free handsets and pick cheap data SIMs. They'd love to move everyone to cheap data SIMs rather than the hideously convoluted legacy voice stacks maintained by the telcos; then they could piggyback Google Voice on it, and ultimately do the Google thing to all your voice messages as well as your email and web access. (This is, needless to say, going to bring them into conflict with Apple. ... Apple are an implicit threat to Google because Google can't slap their ads all over [the App and iTunes stores]. So it's going to end in handbags at dawn... eventually.)"

Submission + - Scarlet Knight First Robot to Cross Atlantic Ocean 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "She was at sea for 221 days, alone, often in dangerous places, and usually out of touch. Most of the time she was out of contact underwater, moving slowly up and down to depths of 600 feet, safe from ships, nets and storms. Her predecessor had disappeared on a similar trip, probably killed by a shark, yet she was always able to do what was asked, to head in a different direction on a moment's notice and report back without complaint. "She was a hero," says Rutgers University oceanographer Scott Glenn after retrieving the 7-foot-9-inch submersible robot from the stormy Atlantic off western Spain. "We think this will just be a precursor, like Lindbergh's trip across the Atlantic," says Clayton Jones. "In a decade we think it will be commonplace to have roving fleets of these gliders making transoceanic trips around the world." The people responsible for building, funding and flying Scarlet hope the end of the robot's successful voyage will mark a new start in ocean and climate research. From its position at each surfacing, researchers could calculate the net effect of currents deep and shallow. After surface currents were measured, the scientists could then make inferences about what was happening deeper in the water column. The data were uploaded to researchers three times a day, when the glider surfaced and called home via an Iridium telephone parked in its tail. "When we have hundreds of them, or thousands of them, it will revolutionize how we can observe the oceans," says Jerry L. Miller, a senior policy analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, who accompanied the research team to Spain."

Submission + - Games 'permit' virtual war crimes ( 2

wdef writes: Video games depicting war have come under fire for flouting laws governing armed conflicts. Human rights groups played various games to see if any broke humanitarian laws that govern what is a war crime. The study condemned the games for violating laws by letting players kill civilians, torture captives and wantonly destroy homes and buildings. It said game makers should work harder to remind players about the real world limits on their actions.

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