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Cyber Weapons: The New Arms Race. In the early morning hours of May 24, an armed burglar wearing a ski mask broke into the offices of Nicira Networks, a Silicon Valley startup housed in one of the countless nondescript buildings along Highway 101.

Cyber Weapons: The New Arms Race

He walked past desks littered with laptops and headed straight toward the cubicle of one of the company’s top engineers. The assailant appeared to know exactly what he wanted, which was a bulky computer that stored Nicira’s source code. One Per Cent: Flame virus hijacked Windows' last line of defence. Paul Marks, senior technology correspondent When a novel computer threat hits the Windows ecosystem, Microsoft usually broadcasts an update online pretty quickly.

One Per Cent: Flame virus hijacked Windows' last line of defence

That way, 900 million PC users can "patch" the vulnerability that let the threat thrive in the first place. So a nightmare scenario for security engineers has always been this: an attacker creates a smart, spoofed Microsoft update that lets them install a virus rather than a patch. Well, it has happened at last. Engineers poring over Flame, the powerful (and massive) cyberespionage program that Iranian authorities reported finding in a number of industrial and military facilities last week, have discovered a module among its 20 megabytes of attack tools that creates updates that look like they hail from Microsoft. "Microsoft is aware of active attacks using unauthorised digital certificates derived from a Microsoft Certificate Authority," says the Redmond, Washington-based firm in a 3 June security advisory. Researchers Discover Hacker-Ready Computer Chips. A pair of security researchers in the U.K. have released a paper [PDF] documenting what they describe as the “first real world detection of a backdoor” in a microchip—an opening that could allow a malicious actor to monitor or change the information on the chip.

Researchers Discover Hacker-Ready Computer Chips

The researchers, Sergei Skorobogatov of the University of Cambridge and Christopher Woods of Quo Vadis Labs, concluded that the vulnerability made it possible to reprogram the contents of supposedly secure memory and obtain information regarding the internal logic of the chip. I discussed the possibility of this type of hardware vulnerability in the August 2010 Scientific American article “The Hacker in Your Hardware.” The security breach is a particular concern because of the type of chip involved. The affected chip, a ProASIC3 A3P250, is a field programmable gate array (FPGA). One Per Cent: The mystery code at the heart of a potent cyberweapon. Paul Marks, senior technology correspondent Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in Iran was the target of a cyber attack in 2010 (Image: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

One Per Cent: The mystery code at the heart of a potent cyberweapon

"Will Governmental Folly Now Allow for a Cyber Crisis?" by Kenneth Rogoff. Exit from comment view mode.

"Will Governmental Folly Now Allow for a Cyber Crisis?" by Kenneth Rogoff

Click to hide this space CAMBRIDGE – When the financial crisis of 2008 hit, many shocked critics asked why markets, regulators, and financial experts failed to see it coming. Today, one might ask the same question about the global economy’s vulnerability to cyber-attack. Indeed, the parallels between financial crises and the threat of cyber meltdowns are striking. Google+ is the social backbone. The launch of Google+ is the beginning of a fundamental change on the web.

Google+ is the social backbone

A change that will tear down silos, empower users and create opportunities to take software and collaboration to new levels. Social features will become pervasive, and fundamental to our interaction with networked services. Collaboration from within applications will be as natural to us as searching for answers on the web is today. It’s not just about Google vs Facebook Much attention has focused on Google+ as a Facebook competitor, but to view the system solely within that context is short-sighted. The sociological breakthrough of Google+

My last Facebook update said: Too busy playing on Google+ to check FB And that was five days ago.

The sociological breakthrough of Google+

Augmented Reality: Past, Present and Future - TNW Industry. You may have heard about augmented reality before.

Augmented Reality: Past, Present and Future - TNW Industry

If you haven’t, you’ll be hearing a lot about it from now on, with the smartphone and tablet revolution now in full-swing. What the Ultra-Personalized Internet Is Hiding from You - Technology. In the spring of 2010, while the remains of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig were spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, I asked two friends to google "BP.

What the Ultra-Personalized Internet Is Hiding from You - Technology

" They're pretty similar—educated, white, left-leaning women who live in the Northeast. But the results they saw were quite different. One of my friends saw investment information about BP. The other saw news. China rules the rare earth. Asia is at the centre of an inevitable development of our digital world: the coming mineral wars.

China rules the rare earth

The computer you are using to read this article is already involved in a global war. Oil wars? The Omnivore. Jeff Bezos is channeling Steve Jobs. It’s mid-September and the wiry billionaire founder of (AMZN) is at his brand-new corporate headquarters in Seattle, in a building named Day One South after his conviction that 17-year-old Amazon is still in its infancy. Almost giddy with excitement, Bezos retrieves one by one the new crop of dirt-cheap Kindle e-readers—they start at $79—from a hidden perch on a chair tucked into a conference room table. When he’s done showing them off, he stands up, and, for an audience of a single journalist, announces, “Now, I’ve got one more thing to show you.” He waits a half-beat to make sure the reference to Jobs’s famous line from Apple (AAPL) presentations hasn’t been missed, then gives his notorious barking laugh.

With that, Bezos pulls out the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s long-anticipated tablet computer—and the first credible response to the Apple iPad. Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles" One Per Cent: Full-disc encryption is too good, complain CSI teams. Paul Marks, senior technology correspondent Full-disc encryption is good at keeping your computer secure. So good, in fact, that it's got digital CSI teams tearing their hair out. Computer security engineers, including a member of the US Computer Emergency Response Team, are complaining in a research paper this week that crooked bankers, terrorists and child abusers may be getting away with crimes because it is proving impossible for digital investigators to unlock their encrypted hard drives.

As New Scientist related in February, full-disc encryption is a major consumer security leap. It scrambles everything on a drive when you turn off your computer, time out or log out. The authors of the paper say they face four major problems. First Digital Message Sent Using Neutrinos. A couple of years ago, we looked at the possibility of using neutrinos to communicate with submarines. The problem with underwater comms is that only the lowest frequency electromagnetic waves penetrate water to any depth and these are only capable of data rates of around 50 bits per second.

Neutrinos on the other hand pass more or less unhindered through anything. That makes them ideal for submarine communication, except for one thing. Neutrinos are somewhat reluctant to interact with matter and this makes them hard to measure. So any neutrino communications beam would have to be hugely powerful and any neutrino detector extremely big. Nevertheless, neutrinos raise the possibility of communication at data rates some three orders of magnitude higher than is currently possible with submarines.

Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit. David Graeber [from The Baffler No. 19, 2012] A secret question hovers over us, a sense of disappointment, a broken promise we were given as children about what our adult world was supposed to be like. I am referring not to the standard false promises that children are always given (about how the world is fair, or how those who work hard shall be rewarded), but to a particular generational promise—given to those who were children in the fifties, sixties, seventies, or eighties—one that was never quite articulated as a promise but rather as a set of assumptions about what our adult world would be like.

And since it was never quite promised, now that it has failed to come true, we’re left confused: indignant, but at the same time, embarrassed at our own indignation, ashamed we were ever so silly to believe our elders to begin with. Where, in short, are the flying cars? Philip Hensher: The state wants to know what you're up to. But why do we let it? - Philip Hensher - Commentators.

Apple's Supply-Chain Secret? Hoard Lasers. About five years ago, Apple (AAPL) design guru Jony Ive decided he wanted a new feature for the next MacBook: a small dot of green light above the screen, shining through the computer’s aluminum casing to indicate when its camera was on.

The problem? It’s physically impossible to shine light through metal. Ive called in a team of manufacturing and materials experts to figure out how to make the impossible possible, according to a former employee familiar with the development who requested anonymity to avoid irking Apple. Half a million Mac computers 'infected with malware' Like A Leaf From A Tree: The Gene Patent Ruling - Andrew Cohen - National. Can companies lay claim to pieces of the human genome? A federal appeals court decision says yes. The US government is sueing Apple and a number of other major publishers for conspiring to raise the price of e-books. Thursday 12 April 2012 16.26 The US government has sued Apple and five other publishers, saying they conspired to fix the prices of ebooks.