dtmos writes: Spaceweather reports "A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth on Oct. 24th at approximately 1800 UT (2:00 pm EDT). The impact strongly compressed Earth's magnetic field, directly exposing geosynchronous satellites to solar wind plasma, and sparked an intense geomagnetic storm. As night fell over North America, auroras spilled across the Canadian border into the contiguous United States." Aurora were seen as far south as Baileyton, Alabama.
dtmos writes: This summer, 'Starcraft II' has become the newest barroom spectator sport. Fans organize so-called Barcraft events, taking over pubs and bistros from Honolulu to Florida and switching big-screen TV sets to Internet broadcasts of professional game matches.
As they root for their on-screen superstars, "Starcraft" enthusiasts can sow confusion among regular patrons... But for sports-bar owners, "Starcraft" viewers represent a key new source of revenue from a demographic—self-described geeks—they hadn't attracted before.
“According to a preliminary review of the data collected prior to the anomaly encountered by the HTV-2 during its second test flight,” said DARPA Director Regina Dugan, “HTV-2 demonstrated stable aerodynamically controlled Mach 20 hypersonic flight for approximately three minutes. It appears that the engineering changes put into place following the vehicle’s first flight test in April 2010 were effective. We do not yet know the cause of the anomaly for Flight 2.”
dtmos writes: Robert Morris, a major contributor to the Unix password and security features while at Bell Labs, has passed at the age of 78. His interesting life was made even more interesting by his son, Robert Tappan Morris, who invented the computer worm.
dtmos writes: IEEEXtreme is a global challenge in which teams of student members, supported by an IEEE Student Branch, advised and proctored by an IEEE Member, compete in a 24-hour time span against each other to solve a set of programming problems. IEEEXtreme 4.0 will take place on Saturday 23 October, 2010. Not a student? The IEEE is looking for proctors.
The number RSA-768 was taken from the now obsolete RSA Challenge list as a representative 768-bit RSA modulus. This result is a record for factoring general integers. Factoring a 1024-bit RSA modulus would be about a thousand times harder, and a 768-bit RSA modulus is several thousands times harder to factor than a 512-bit one. Because the first factorization of a 512-bit RSA modulus was reported only a decade ago it is not unreasonable to expect that 1024-bit RSA moduli can be factored well within the next decade by an academic effort such as ours . . . . Thus, it would be prudent to phase out usage of 1024-bit RSA within the next three to four years.
dtmos writes: Tired of seeing poor-quality patents issue? Have a great way to solve the problem? Well, here's your chance to be part of the solution. The USPTO has issued a Request for Comments on Enhancement in the Quality of Patents [pdf], seeking public comment on ways to improve "the process for obtaining the best prior art, preparation of the initial application, and examination and prosecution of the application." Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 8, 2010.