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Supercomputing

Supercomputer Simulates Human Visual System 244

An anonymous reader writes "What cool things can be done with the 100,000+ cores of the first petaflop supercomputer, the Roadrunner, that were impossible to do before? Because our brain is massively parallel, with a relatively small amount of communication over long distances, and is made of unreliable, imprecise components, it's quite easy to simulate large chunks of it on supercomputers. The Roadrunner has been up only for about a week, and researchers from Los Alamos National Lab are already reporting inaugural simulations of the human visual system, aiming to produce a machine that can see and interpret as well as a human. After examining the results, the researchers 'believe they can study in real time the entire human visual cortex.' How long until we can simulate the entire brain?"
Security

Compressed VoIP Calls Vulnerable To Bugging 140

holy_calamity writes "Security researchers at Johns Hopkins report that a variable bit-rate compression scheme being rolled out on VoIP systems leaves encrypted calls vulnerable to bugging. Simpler syllables are squeezed into smaller data packets, with more complex ones taking up more space; the researchers built software that uses this to spot phrases of interest in encrypted calls simply by measuring packet size."
Privacy

Computer's Heat May Unmask Anonymized PCs 146

Virtual_Raider writes "Wired is carrying a story about a method developed by security researchers to identify computers hiding behind anonymity services. From the article: 'His victim is the Onion Router, or "Tor" — a sophisticated privacy system that lets users surf the web anonymously. Tor encrypts a user's traffic, and bounces it through multiple servers, so the final destination doesn't know where it came from. Murdoch set up a Tor network at Cambridge to test his technique, which works like this: If an attacker wants to learn the IP address of a hidden server on the Tor network, he'll suddenly request something difficult or intensive from that server. The added load will cause it to warm up.'"

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