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Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans As Antarctic Ice Melts 784

mdsolar (1045926) writes "The collapse of large parts of the ice sheet in West Antarctica appears to have begun and is almost certainly unstoppable, with global warming accelerating the pace of the disintegration, two groups of scientists reported Monday. The finding, which had been feared by some scientists for decades, means that a rise in global sea level of at least 10 feet may now be inevitable. The rise may continue to be relatively slow for at least the next century or so, the scientists said, but sometime after that it will probably speed up so sharply as to become a crisis."

Submission + - BIOS attacks and defenses on display at CanSecWest

An anonymous reader writes: In October 2013 Dragos Ruiu published some details about his systems purportedly being infected by a sophisticated airgap-jumping, USB-infecting, BIOS-resident piece of malware called badBIOS. Definitive proof of its existence has yet to be found, but Snowden leaks published in December by Der Spiegel showed that the types of attacks described did already exist in the NSA's offensive toolbox. It makes sense then that this past week at the CanSecWest conference organized by Dragos, there were three talks and a training class related to BIOS security.

Researchers from MITRE presented a proof of concept system management mode man in the middle (SMMMitM) attack, "Smite'em the Stealthy" that could hide an attacker in the BIOS/SMM from MITRE's own Copernicus, the open source Flashrom, and any other software-based BIOS capture or measurement systems. MITRE countered Smite'em with Copernicus 2, which is able to perform more trustworthy BIOS captures by building on the CMU open source Flicker project which uses Intel Trusted Execution Technology. In a separate talk, Intel researchers released a new open source tool Chipsec, which while still vulnerable by Smite'em, is focused instead at helping security researchers find new problems and helping OEMs check that their BIOSes are locked down before shipping. In the final talk Intel and MITRE researchers jointly spoke about problems they have disclosed to vendors that allow bypassing UEFI SecureBoot. They discussed a number of issues discovered by Intel, and one co-discovered by the MITRE team.

Submission + - EU Project Aims To Switch Data Centres To Second Hand Car Batteries (

judgecorp writes: An €2.9 million European Commission funded project aims to make data centres more efficient, and one of its ideas is to use second hand car batteries to power data centres. The GreenDataNet consortium includes Nissan, which predicts a glut of still-usable second hand car batteries in around 15 years, when the cars start to wear out. Gathered into large units, these could store enough power to help with the big problem of the electricity grid — the mismatch between local renewable generation cycles and the peaks of demand for power.

Submission + - Deeper Insights Into The Prisoner's Dilemma (

cold fjord writes: The American Scientist reports, "Prisoner’s Dilemma has been a subject of inquiry for more than 60 years, not just by game theorists but also by psychologists, economists, political scientists, and evolutionary biologists. Yet the game has not given up all its secrets. A startling discovery last year revealed a whole new class of strategies, including some bizarre ones. For example, over a long series of games one player can unilaterally dictate the other player’s score (within a certain range). Or a crafty player can control the ratio of the two scores. But not all the new strategies are so manipulative; some are “generous” rules that elicit cooperation and thereby excel in an evolutionary context."

Submission + - The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

theodp writes: "Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore," explains The Boston Globe's Amy Crawford in The Poor Neglected Gifted Child, "have national laws requiring that children be screened for giftedness, with top scorers funneled into special programs. China is midway through a 10-year 'National Talent Development Plan' to steer bright young people into science, technology, and other in-demand fields." It seems to be working — America's tech leaders are literally going to Washington with demands for "comprehensive immigration reform that allows for the hiring of the best and brightest". But in the U.S., Crawford laments, "we focus on steering all extra money and attention toward kids who are struggling academically, or even just to the average student" and "risk shortchanging the country in a different way." The problem advocates for the gifted must address, Crawford explains, is to "find ways for us to develop our own native talent without exacerbating inequality." And address it we must. "How many people can become an astrophysicist or a PhD in chemistry?" asks David Lubinski, a psychologist at Vanderbilt University. We really have to look for the best — that's what we do in the Olympics, that's what we do in music, and that's what we need to with intellectual capital."

Comment What if this wasn't a child porn case... (Score 1) 417

What if the defendant was a journalist accused of some sort of snooping/hacking offence. The police have evidence suggesting that proof of guilt may reside on the laptop, but the journalist refuses to unlock it because it contains other secrets that may or may not be even related to this case: - Their list of sources, for example, or evidence to do with other stories that have yet to be published. When you remove the child porn aspect, it seems pretty unreasonable to force the defendant to unlock the data.

Comment Meh... old phones are better. (Score 1) 349

I still use a Nokia 6310 most of the time. Sure, it doesn't have any internet connectivity, but it's a better phone than anything being sold today, the battery lasts for a week, I can drop it without it breaking, and no one's going to steal it. There's certainly no shame involved. Quite the opposite in fact. When people are boasting about their new phones and I pull my old Nokia out the reaction is: "Wow! I used to have one of those. Now that was a good phone!"

Last Bastion For Climate Dissenters Crumbling 963

Layzej writes "The New York Times reports: 'For decades, a small group of scientific dissenters has been trying to shoot holes in the prevailing science of climate change, offering one reason after another why the outlook simply must be wrong.' Initially they claimed that weather stations exaggerated the warming trend. This was disproven by satellite data which shows a similar warming trend. Next, solar activity was blamed for much of the warming. This looked like a promising theory until the '80s, when solar output started to diverge from global temperatures. Now, climate contrarians are convinced that changes in cloud cover will largely mitigate the warming caused by increased CO2. The New York Times examines how even this last bastion for dissenters is crumbling. Over the past few years, Several papers have shown that rather than being a mitigating factor, changes in cloud cover due to warming may actually enhance further warming."

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