Category: news & announcements

Open source database new engine of France’s social security

The open source database management system (DBMS) Postgresql is the new engine for France’s Caisse Nationale d’Allocations Familiales (CNAF). The organisation, responsible in 2009 for some 69 billion Euro in benefits distributed to 11 million claimants, earlier this year replaced its proprietary DBMS with the open source alternative. According to a statement published in September by IT company Bull, assisting […]

Short, on-Chip Light Pulses Will Enable Ultrafast Data Transfer Within Computers

Electrical engineers generated short, powerful light pulses on a chip — an important step toward the optical interconnects that will likely replace the copper wires that carry information between chips within today’s computers. University of California, San Diego electrical engineers recently developed the first ultra compact, low power pulse compressor on a silicon chip to be described in the scientific […]

Methane-Powered Laptops? Materials Scientists Unveil Tiny, Low-Temperature Methane Fuel Cells

Making fuel cells practical and affordable will not happen overnight. It may, however, not take much longer. With advances in nanostructured devices, lower operating temperatures, and the use of an abundant fuel source and cheaper materials, a group of researchers led by Shriram Ramanathan at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) are increasingly optimistic about the commercial […]

EFF Tool Offers New Protection Against ‘Firesheep’

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a new version of HTTPS Everywhere, a security tool that offers enhanced protection for Firefox browser users against “Firesheep” and other exploits of webpage security flaws. HTTPS secures web browsing by encrypting both requests from your browser to websites and the resulting pages that are displayed. Without HTTPS, your online reading habits and […]

Tab stacking in Opera 11

Tabbed browsing, one of the essential features in all browsers, has evolved yet again thanks to its long-time pioneer. Opera 11 beta introduces tab stacking, a better way to organize your open tabs. Traditionally, tabs were opened side-by-side, but now people using Opera can stack their tabs, grouping them by site or by theme. Tab stacking reduces clutter and makes […]

Controlling screen cursors with thoughts

Using a new brain-computer training approach, 14 volunteers learned in only six minutes how to move a screen cursor with their thoughts. Near-instant feedback helped the people quickly master some of their own brain responses. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2010, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held in San Diego. Researchers have developed a speedier system […]

What Factors Contribute to the Success or Failure of Software Firms?

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, news about 20-somethings becoming billionaires from the sale of their software companies flooded the media, giving the impression that a good idea was all it took to succeed in the software industry. Jennifer Shang, an associate professor of business management in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, along with colleagues Shanling Li of […]

‘Space-Time Cloak’ to Conceal Events

The study, by researchers from Imperial College London, involves a new class of materials called metamaterials, which can be artificially engineered to distort light or sound waves. With conventional materials, light typically travels along a straight line, but with metamaterials, scientists can exploit a wealth of additional flexibility to create undetectable blind spots. By deflecting certain parts of the electromagnetic […]

New Standard Proposed for Supercomputing

A new supercomputer rating system will be released by an international team led by Sandia National Laboratories at the Supercomputing Conference 2010 in New Orleans on Nov. 17. The rating system, Graph500, tests supercomputers for their skill in analyzing large, graph-based structures that link the huge numbers of data points present in biological, social and security problems, among other areas.

‘Racetrack’ Magnetic Memory Could Make Computer Memory 100,000 Times Faster

Imagine a computer equipped with shock-proof memory that’s 100,000 times faster and consumes less power than current hard disks. EPFL Professor Mathias Kläui is working on a new kind of “Racetrack” memory, a high-volume, ultra-rapid non-volatile read-write magnetic memory that may soon make such a device possible. Annoyed by how long it took his computer to boot up, Kläui began […]

Three New Android Vulnerabilities Released

Smartphone security has become a popular topic amongst security researchers, with three new vulnerabilities released in the last two weeks alone. Speakers at BlackHat Abu Dhabi, HouSecCon, and Intel’s Annual Security Conference have released new vulnerabilities in Android that allow attackers to execute arbitrary code or install apps without user intervention. Last week, Alert Logic released exploit code that targets […]

Updated Software Uses Combination Testing to Catch Bugs Fast and Easy

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have released an updated version of a computer system testing tool that can cut costs by more efficiently finding flaws. A tutorial on using the tool accompanies the new release. Catching software “bugs” before a program is released enhances computer security because hackers often exploit these flaws to introduce malware, […]

Bjoern A. Zeeb receives second Itojun Service Award at IETF 79 Meeting

source – Internet Society Monthly Newsletter: The second Itojun Service Award was presented today at this week’s Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meeting in Beijing, China. Bjoern A. Zeeb received the award for his dedicated work to make significant improvements in open source implementations of IPv6. IPv6 is the next generation of Internet protocol that will help ensure the continued […]

Quantum Computers Easier to Build: Can Tolerate Faulty or Missing Components, Researchers Say

Quantum computers should be much easier to build than previously thought, because they can still work with a large number of faulty or even missing components, according to a study published in Physical Review Letters. This surprising discovery brings scientists one step closer to designing and building real-life quantum computing systems — devices that could have enormous potential across a […]

Hyper-Texting and Hyper-Networking Pose New Health Risks for Teens

Texting while driving can be a deadly combination for anyone. Yet, new data reveal that the dangers of excessive texting among teens are not limited to the road. Hyper-texting and hyper-networking are now giving rise to a new health risk category for this age group. Scott Frank, MD, MS, lead researcher on the study and director of the Case Western […]

Turbo charge your Android Opera Mobile 10.1 beta

source: Android users now have a new choice when it comes to browsers. Today, Opera Software announced that Opera Mobile 10.1 beta is available in the Android Market for free, providing the many millions of Android users better browser performance and an improved user experience. Android users are known to appreciate speed and functionality. They are also known for their […]

Computer Program Recognizes Human Emotions from Conversation Analysis

Researchers from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s Facultad de Informática have developed a computer program capable of human emotion recognition from automated voice analysis. The application analyses the sound measurements of a conversation, output by another purpose-built program. Then, based on the rules described in the new application, it is able to identify the emotions hidden in an expression and […]

Computer Scientist, Student Design Software to Combat Hacking Using Keystroke Anti-Spoofing Technique

One of the serious threats to a user’s computer is a software program that might cause unwanted keystroke sequences to occur in order to hack someone’s identity. This form of an attack is increasing, infecting enterprise and personal computers, and caused by “organized malicious botnets,” said Daphne Yao, assistant professor of computer science at Virginia Tech. To combat the “spoofing […]

Russian government to invest in open source desktop

The Russian government is planning to invest 150 million rouble (about 3.5 million Euro) in developing an secure open source desktop for public administrations, a Russian business newspaper reported on Wednesday and confirmed by the AFP news agency. According to the news item in Vedomosti, the government wants to reduce it’s dependence on single vendor of a proprietary operating system […]

Govt must stop breaking procurement rules and move to open source

The Portuguese Association for Free Software (Ansol) is urging the government to stop buying proprietary software licences without a public tender, and to switch to free and open source software. The advocacy group uncovered that five public administrations in 2009 spent more than 120 million Euro in total on proprietary software licences for operating systems and office applications, without properly […]