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Submission + - Microsoft, FBI takedown Citadel botnet (paritynews.com) 1

hypnosec writes: Microsoft has successfully taken down Citadel botnet in collaboration with the FBI which was known to control millions of PCs across the globe and was allegedly involved in and responsible for bank fraud in tune of more than $500 million. Citadel was known to have over 1,400 instances across the globe with most of the instances located in the US, Europe, India, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The botnet a malware by the same name and this malware once on a system was used to install key-logging tools on target systems, which were then used to steal online banking credentials.

Submission + - The Age of Plenty (ieee.org)

kgeiger writes: The June 2013 IEEE Spectrum has a special survey section about the forthcoming age of plenty. Advancements in computerized crop management and logistics, biotechnologies, aquaponics, and remote sensing will increase the food supply through efficient production and distribution. Improved dietary management and AI-planned recipes make better, tastier, and healthier diets. And the future of chi-chi cuisine? 3-D printed, of course.

Submission + - NSA Building $860 Million Data Center in Maryland (datacenterknowledge.com)

1sockchuck writes: As its current data collection makes headlines, the National Security Agency is continuing to expand its data storage and processing capabilities. The agency recently broke ground on an $860 million data center at Fort Meade, Maryland that will span more than 600,000 square feet. The project will provide additional IT capacity beyond the NSA's controversial Utah data center. The new facility will be supported by 60 megawatts of power and use both air-cooled and liquid-cooled equipment.

Submission + - Google Plans Wireless Networks in Emerging Markets (wsj.com)

kgeiger writes: The next billion customers gotta come from somewhere. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) today reports that Google will fund, deploy, and manage wireless networks in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. From TFA:

The Silicon Valley company is deep in the throes of a multipronged effort to fund, build and help run wireless networks in emerging markets such as sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, said people familiar with the strategy. The wireless networks would be available to dwellers outside of major cities where wired Internet connections aren't available and could be used to improve Internet speeds in urban centers, these people said.


Submission + - New Fabrication Process May Realize Potential Of Solar Nanoantenna Arrays? (rdmag.com)

CCarrot writes: From the article:

A novel fabrication technique developed by UConn engineering professor Brian Willis could provide the breakthrough technology scientists have been looking for to vastly improve today’s solar energy systems.

For years, scientists have studied the potential benefits of a new branch of solar energy technology that relies on incredibly small nanosized antenna arrays that are theoretically capable of harvesting more than 70% of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation and simultaneously converting it into usable electric power.

The technology would be a vast improvement over the silicon solar panels in widespread use today. Even the best silicon panels collect only about 20% of available solar radiation, and separate mechanisms are needed to convert the stored energy to usable electricity for the commercial power grid. The panels’ limited efficiency and expensive development costs have been two of the biggest barriers to the widespread adoption of solar power as a practical replacement for traditional fossil fuels.

Unfortunately, the stumbling block for nanoantenna solar arrays has always been the inability to produce a rectifier small or fast enough to convert electron flows to usable energy at the speeds of visible (and infrared) light. Researchers at the University of Connecticut have now developed a way to use atomic deposition technology (widely used in the production of microelectronics) to create small, fast rectifiers (or 'rectennas') that should, in theory, convert the high frequency electron flows generated by the nanoantennae into usable electricity.

Could this really be the breakthrough moment that at last allows an alternative-energy source to truly compete with non-renewable sources on all fronts: convenience, availability, efficiency and cost?


Submission + - Global "Hyperwarming" Could Raise Oceans 600' (aaas.org)

kgeiger writes: Paging the Mariner: perhaps 'Waterworld' isn't so far-fetched. On the AAAS's Qualia blog Steven Edwards writes how hyperwarming would drown continents:

Greenhouse conditions of the geologic past were warm enough to melt all the world’s glaciers and icecaps, causing a sea level rise of about 100 meters. However, global sea level rise may have been more than twice that during the Cambrian and the Ordovician periods. Ed Landing, New York State Paleontologist and Curator of Paleontology, New York State Museum, has a theory to explain the extra water rise: global hyperwarming.

According to Landing, hyperwarming is a feedback effect as shallow seas overlap the continents. Shallow seas absorb sunlight and warm, and will also cause the world ocean to become warmer; there is also an increase in atmospheric water vapor with greater evaporation from the shallow seas and ocean. Water vapor is itself a potent greenhouse gas, causing yet more heating. The extremely high sea levels come about because of thermal expansion of the world ocean — a phenomenon already being detected as a result of modern anthropogenic warming.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Reading Minds to Predict Game Addictiveness (ieee.org)

kgeiger writes: Researchers at Taiwan's Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica are measuring emotional reactions caught in facial expressions to determine whether a game will be addictive. From TFA:

It’s difficult to evaluate an online game’s addictiveness prior to the release, says [Researcher Seng-Wei] Chen. The gaming industry’s approach is simply based on designers’ intuition and experience and the feedback from focus groups, the latter of which could be limited and biased.

Chen’s team, composed of researchers at the institute and at the electrical engineering department of National Taiwan University, aims to help game publishers avoid risky or blind investments. Using archival game data and dozens of electromyography (EMG) experiments, they constructed a forecasting model that predicts a game’s ability to retain active players for a long time.

The team reported their findings at the November 2012 IEEE/ACM Netgames conference.

Submission + - Federal Reserve Website Hacked, Data Compromised (reuters.com)

Dave_Minsky writes: The Federal Reserve acknowledged that their servers were breached by hackers and a limited amount of data was accessed, Reuters reported Wednesday.

No critical functions have been affected, according to the Federal Reserve.

ZDNet separately reported that Anonymous appeared to have published the information containing login information, credentials, internet protocol addresses and contact information of more than 4,000 U.S. bankers on Sunday night.

The claim was made via Twitter over an account registered to OpLastResort.


Submission + - MRI maps how cellphone radiation heats brains (ieee.org) 1

kgeiger writes: From TFA: "Two scientists have now developed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that they say could [...] be an important tool for researchers who are trying to discover whether extensive cellphone use can cause brain tumors or other health problems.

The technique creates high-resolution 3-D images of the heat created by cellphone radiation absorbed in the brain. In research reported this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists demonstrate the method on cow brain matter and a gel that emulates brain tissue. But the procedure could easily be adapted for tests on human brains, says David Gultekin, a medical physicist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in New York, who led the development of the technique."


Submission + - Is safe, green thorium power finally ready for prime time? (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "If you’ve not been tracking the thorium hype, you might be interested to learn that the benefits liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTRs) have over light water uranium reactors (LWRs) are compelling. Alvin Weinberg, who invented both, favored the LFTR for civilian power since its failures (when they happened) were considerably less dramatic — a catastrophic depressurization of radioactive steam, like occurred at Chernobyl in 1986, simply wouldn’t be possible. Since the technical hurdles to building LFTRs and handling their byproducts are in theory no more challenging, one might ask — where are they? It turns out that a bunch of US startups are investigating the modern-day viability of thorium power, and countries like India and China have serious, governmental efforts to use LFTRs. Is thorium power finally ready for prime time?"

Submission + - IEEE Standards for Voting Machines (ieee.org)

kgeiger writes: Voting machine designs and data formats are a free-for-all. The result is poor validation and hence opportunity for fraud. From TFA:

IEEE Standards Project 1622 is working on electronic data interchange for voting systems. The plan is to create a common format, based on the Election Markup Language (EML) already recommended for use in Europe. This is a subset of the popular XML (eXtensible Markup Language) that specifies particular fields and data structures for use in voting.

Submission + - Kim Dotcom Outs Mega Teaser Site, Finalizes Me.ga as Domain Name (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Kim Dotcom has let out more information about the launch of Megaupload’s successor Mega, which he claims will be "bigger, better, faster, stronger, [and] safer." Mega is currently looking for partners those are willing to provide servers, supports and connectivity and become "Mega Storage Nodes." The prime requirement, according to Dotcom, is that the servers should be located outside the US and that the companies should also be based outside of the US. For this reason, Dotcom has decided that the new service will be launching with "Me.ga" domain name.

Submission + - Megaupload Successor Mega Launching January Next Year Confirms Dotcom (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Kim Dotcom has announced that the new service ‘Mega’ will be launching on the anniversary of Megaupload's police raid. The raid took place in January this year following which Megaupload was shut but, despite the ongoing legal battle Dotcom hasn’t given up on file-sharing services and is already working on a new one that will be more than just a file hosting service. The new service, according to Dotcom, will be a massive global network and raid proof. In a tweet, Dotcom announced, “The new Mega will launch exactly 1 year after the raid with a #MansionPressConference & #DoomsdayLaunchButton.”

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