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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 112975 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #4725 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 11:17am »

Tech Crunch

Japanese Service Lets You Stick Your Head On A Doll’s Body

4 August 2011
by John Biggs

Danny Choo (http://www.dannychoo.com/post/en/26119/Human+Cloning+in+Japan.html)

culture hound based in Tokyo, visited a service called CloneFactory (http://www.dannychoo.com/clickout.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fclonefactory.co.jp%2F)

where he had his head scanned, printed, and stuck onto the body of a Storm Trooper.

The service uses multiple DSLRs to take snapshots of your head, render it in 3D, and then print it out in plaster using a 3D printer. Hair, make-up, and coloring are added and then your head is stuck on a little plastic doll. You can then take said doll home and, I presume, stare at it until it starts to move.

The service costs 138,000 yen and is popular with new brides who want to capture their hairstyle and make-up in miniature before the big day. The heads are so detailed that they’re scary and I suppose there is some possibility for misuse if your doll falls into the wrong hands.

http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/04/japanese-service-lets-you-stick-your-head-on-a-dolls-body/

Crystal

edit to add: photos after the jump on the links above in the body of the article
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« Reply #4726 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 2:02pm »

.
This is the view I have when I jog.


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Looking south at Birch Bay.
A neighbor put this statue in their back yard.




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Bruce in his tree overlooking Birch Bay. The tree sits behind this home and hangs over the cliff.



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Birch Bay and the Sound



Crystal

« Last Edit: Aug 4th, 2011, 2:33pm by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

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« Reply #4727 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 8:25pm »

shocked

Washed up in Stanwood Washington.








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« Reply #4728 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 07:41am »

New York Times

August 4, 2011
Disapproval Rate for Congress at Record 82% After Debt Talks
By MICHAEL COOPER and MEGAN THEE-BRENAN

The debate over raising the debt ceiling, which brought the nation to the brink of default, has sent disapproval of Congress to its highest level on record and left most Americans saying that creating jobs should now take priority over cutting spending, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

A record 82 percent of Americans now disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job — the most since The Times first began asking the question in 1977, and even more than after another political stalemate led to a shutdown of the federal government in 1995.

More than four out of five people surveyed said that the recent debt-ceiling debate was more about gaining political advantage than about doing what is best for the country. Nearly three-quarters said that the debate had harmed the image of the United States in the world.

Republicans in Congress shoulder more of the blame for the difficulties in reaching a debt-ceiling agreement than President Obama and the Democrats, the poll found.

The Republicans compromised too little, a majority of those polled said. All told, 72 percent disapproved of the way Republicans in Congress handled the negotiations, while 66 percent disapproved of the way Democrats in Congress handled negotiations.

The public was more evenly divided about how Mr. Obama handled the debt ceiling negotiations: 47 percent disapproved and 46 percent approved.

The public’s opinion of the Tea Party movement has soured in the wake of the debt-ceiling debate. The Tea Party is now viewed unfavorably by 40 percent of the public and favorably by just 20 percent, according to the poll. In mid-April 29 percent of those polled viewed the movement unfavorably, while 26 percent viewed it favorably. And 43 percent of Americans now think the Tea Party has too much influence on the Republican Party, up from 27 percent in mid-April.

“I’m real disappointed in Congress,” Ron Raggio, 54, a florist from Vicksburg, Miss., said in a follow-up interview. “They can’t sit down and agree about what’s best for America. It’s all politics.”

There were signs that the repeated Republican calls for more spending cuts were resonating with the public: 44 percent of those polled said the cuts in the debt-ceiling agreement did not go far enough, 29 percent said they were about right and only 15 percent said they went too far. More than a quarter of the Democrats polled said that the cuts in the agreement did not go far enough.

But by a ratio of more than two to one, Americans said that creating jobs should be a higher priority than spending cuts.

Though Republicans prevented tax increases from being included in the debt-ceiling deal, half of those polled said the agreement should have included increased tax revenue, while 44 percent said it should have relied on cuts alone. That issue is likely to be revisited soon: Congress is preparing to appoint a special committee to recommend ways to reduce the deficit. Sixty-three percent of those polled said that they supported raising taxes on households that earn more than $250,000 a year, as Mr. Obama has sought to do — including majorities of Democrats (80 percent), independents (61 percent) and Republicans (52 percent).

The poll found that Mr. Obama was emerging from the crisis less bruised than the Republicans in Congress.

The president’s overall job approval rating remained relatively stable, with 48 percent approving of the way he handles his job as president and 47 percent disapproving — down from the bump up he received in the spring after the killing of Osama bin Laden, but in line with how he has been viewed for nearly a year. By contrast, Speaker John A. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, saw his disapproval rating shoot up 16 points since April: 57 percent of those polled now disapprove of the way he is handling his job, while only 30 percent approve.

Americans said that they trusted Mr. Obama to make the right decisions about the economy more than the Republicans in Congress, by 47 percent to 33 percent. They were evenly divided on the question of whether he showed “strong qualities of leadership” during the negotiations, with 49 percent saying he did and 48 percent saying he did not. And they were still more likely to blame President George W. Bush for the bulk of the nation’s deficit: 44 percent said that the deficit was mostly caused by the Bush administration, 15 percent said it was mostly caused by the Obama administration and 15 percent blamed Congress.

The growing fears about the economy — amid a sinking stock market and warnings that the nation risks sliding back into recession — were reflected in the nationwide telephone poll, which was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday with 960 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The number of Americans who rated the economy “very bad” was the highest it had been in a year. But there was uncertainty about whether the debt-ceiling deal would help or hurt the economy: nearly half said it would have no effect, while 24 percent said it would make the economy worse and 22 percent said it would improve it.

Americans were evenly divided on the parameters of the debt-ceiling deal, in which Congress agreed to allow the federal government to borrow the money needed to pay its current obligations and avoid default on the condition that it reduce the deficit by at least $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years. Over all, 46 percent of those polled approved of the deal, while 45 percent disapproved of it.

Most of those polled said that the spending cuts included either did not go far enough or were about right. But with the nation’s unemployment rate at a stubborn 9.2 percent, 62 percent of those polled said that creating jobs should be the priority.

“Cutting spending is important, but getting people back to work is more important,” said Diane Sherrell, 56, a Republican from Erwin, N.C. “If people are working, they are more productive. There is less crime, there is less depression, there is less divorce. There are less hospital and medical bills. If you put people back to work, you are cutting spending.”

Stanley Oland, 62, a Republican from Kalispell, Mont., said that the government needed new jobs to generate the economic activity and the revenue it requires.

“That revenue supports the basic foundation for the economy, creates more jobs and stimulates the economy,” he said. “Unless you have working people you don’t have revenue from taxes. If you cut spending, jobs will be eliminated and you won’t get any revenue. Every dollar spent creates jobs.”

Marjorie Connelly, Allison Kopicki and Marina Stefan contributed reporting.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/05/us/politics/05poll.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #4729 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 07:46am »

LA Times

It's all in the names at U.S. Open of Surfing

Sponsors such as Pacifico Beer and Nike pay for naming rights and help keep the nine-day competition completely free for hundreds of thousands of spectators.

By Douglas Farmer
6:30 PM PDT, August 4, 2011

When two-time defending U.S. Open surfing champion Brett Simpson was eliminated in his heat Wednesday, his week did not end there. Instead, he made appearances at Huntington Beach bars on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and will do so again Friday, in partnership with Pacifico Beer.

Pacifico also has a healthy presence at the beach, though not a drop of alcohol is served at the event. Then why is Pacifico here? Well, it is just one of many sponsors who make the nine-day competition completely free for its hundreds of thousands of spectators.

"People have asked why don't we charge admission," said James Leitz of IMG, which owns and operates the U.S. Open. "One year they tried, something like 15 years ago, and it kind of ripped the soul right out of it."

Without ticket sales, IMG turns to aggressive sponsorship sales to offset the long list of expenses, which includes more than 20 days of setting up and tearing down, 12 generators, 140,000 square feet of carpet and platform, and a staff of 1,500.

"We are already selling for 2012, so I can even say it's a 12-month process," Leitz said. "We are using this year's event as a hospitality tour to invite people to come down and take a look at it … We are always trying to renew and upgrade with current sponsors, and bring younger ones along."

Of the current sponsors, the biggest ones can be spotted from a mile away. Officially, the 2011 Nike U.S. Open of Surfing also hosts the Converse Coastal Carnage (a skateboarding competition), the Nike 6.0 HB BMX Pro (a BMX freestyle competition), the Hurley Walk the Walk National Championship (a high school fashion show) and the Pacifico Nose Riding Invitational (a longboard competition). Nike has owned Hurley since 2002 and Converse since 2003.

Paying for these naming rights, and the booths and displays that come along with them, is not cheap, though sponsors wouldn't give any actual figures.

"This is our largest event sponsorship in the nation," was all Pacifico brand manager Steve Nichols would say.

Pacifico complements its alcohol-free beach presence with deals at many local bars, including $5 taxi vouchers given on Pacifico's behalf.

"The core thing is we want people to be able to go there and enjoy the event for free and get to see some of the best surfing talent out there," Nichols said. "The fact that they can't get a beer on the beach, that's OK with us. We know that those people who are old enough to legally drink can go into the establishments in the area just across the road and do so."

Relying on that business strategy has helped Pacifico and the Open avoid a key difficulty with the spectators on the beach.

"Three-quarters of our crowd comes down in their bikinis and board shorts and probably doesn't have anywhere to put their money anyways," Leitz said.

"I think my bosses would be very pleased if we charged admission, and probably ask themselves that every year. But they also recognize the event has a certain position in the space, and it is a California public beach, and it is kind of unique in that way."

The surfing competition continues through Sunday, while the Coastal Carnage qualifiers are Saturday and finals Sunday.


http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-0805-us-open-surfing-20110805,0,7225019.story

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« Reply #4730 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 07:49am »

NASA.gov

Juno Ready to Launch to Jupiter
08.04.11

The Juno spacecraft will soon be on its way to Jupiter on a mission to look deep beneath the planet's swirling curtain of clouds to find out what lies beneath. The answer might confirm theories about how the solar system formed, or it may change everything we thought we knew.

"The special thing about Juno is we're really looking at one of the first steps, the earliest time in our solar system's history," said Scott Bolton, the principal investigator for the Juno mission. "Right after the sun formed, what happened that allowed the planets to form and why are the planets a slightly different composition than the sun?"

Starting the 4-ton spacecraft on its five-year journey to the largest planet in the solar system is the job of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V equipped with five solid-fueled boosters. Even with that much power, Juno will still require a flyby of Earth to get up enough energy to swing out to Jupiter.

With three 34-foot-long solar arrays and a high-gain antenna in the middle, the spacecraft is reminiscent of a windmill. It even spins slowly as it goes through its mission. Those arrays will be the sole power source for Juno as it conducts its mission, a first for a spacecraft headed beyond the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The Atlas V has proven a reliable option for NASA's Launch Services Program, or LSP, the organization that oversees NASA launches and chooses the best launchers for different spacecraft.

"It's flown 28 times, pretty challenging missions, pretty challenging payloads," said Omar Baez, launch director for Juno. "It's got a heritage that goes back to the Atlas I in some of the components and in the upper stage, so it's an evolution of a family in its current configuration and shape and form. I'd say it's pretty robust."

The spacecraft is to lift off at 11:34 a.m. on Aug. 5 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The mission faces a limited launch window to get off Earth before Jupiter's orbit took it out of alignment.

"Juno only has a 22-day launch window, or else we're down for another 13 months until our next opportunity," said John Calvert, mission manager for Juno. "So it's those kinds of challenges with making sure you do all the little things necessary to maximize the opportunities you get for those 22 days."

After arriving at Jupiter in August 2016, the spacecraft will spend about a year surveying Jupiter and its moons to draw a detailed picture of its magnetic field and find out whether there is a solid core beneath its multi-colored clouds.

The research is building on what previous missions found about Jupiter, particularly the data Galileo gathered during a mission that ended in 2003. It may even provide clues about what to look for in planets outside the solar system.

"If we could start to understand the role that Jupiter played and how the planet formed and how that eventually governed the creation of the other planets and the Earth and maybe even life itself," Bolton said, "then we know a little bit about how to look for other Earth-like planets, maybe orbiting other stars and how common those might be and the roles that those giant planets that we see orbiting the other stars play."

With Juno on its way, the LSP team is looking at the moon as it prepares the GRAIL mission for launch in September. Following that, the next mission beyond Earth also is being prepared at Kennedy as teams ready the roving Mars Science Laboratory "Curiosity" for liftoff in late November.

"Really, all these missions that LSP is involved in, that NASA's involved in, they're all precursors to the bigger picture of getting humans out beyond Earth orbit, to Mars, to an asteroid," Calvert said.

Steven Siceloff
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/juno/launch/Juno_launchpreview.html

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« Reply #4731 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 07:50am »

back in a bit....................
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« Reply #4732 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 10:42am »

Fannie Mae to Taxpayers: We Need Another $5.1 Billion

Published August 05, 2011
| Reuters

Mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae said it would ask for an additional $5.1 billion from taxpayers as it continues to suffer losses on loans made prior to 2009.

The largest U.S. residential mortgage funds provider on Friday also reported a second-quarter net loss attributable to common shareholders of $5.2 billion, or 90 cents per share.

Including the latest funding request, Fannie Mae has needed $104 billion in government capital injections since the U.S. Treasury seized control of it in 2008 during the financial crisis. Fannie Mae has paid back $14.7 billion in dividends.

Fannie said in a statement that its second-quarter loss "reflects the continued weakness in the housing and mortgage markets, which remain under pressure from high levels of unemployment, underemployment and the prolonged decline in home prices since their peak in the third quarter of 2006."

It said expenses related to mortgage modifications also contributed to its loss in the quarter.

"Fannie Mae expects its credit-related expenses to remain elevated in 2011 due to these factors," the company added.

The $5.2 billion loss attributable to shareholders follows a loss of $8.7 billion in the first quarter and compared with a loss of $3.125 billion in the second quarter of 2010.

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2011/08/05/fannie-mae-to-taxpayers-need-another-51-billion/#ixzz1UASmoJM6

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« Reply #4733 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 11:20am »

on Aug 5th, 2011, 10:42am, Swamprat wrote:
Fannie Mae to Taxpayers: We Need Another $5.1 Billion

Published August 05, 2011
| Reuters

Mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae said it would ask for an additional $5.1 billion from taxpayers as it continues to suffer losses on loans made prior to 2009.

The largest U.S. residential mortgage funds provider on Friday also reported a second-quarter net loss attributable to common shareholders of $5.2 billion, or 90 cents per share.

Including the latest funding request, Fannie Mae has needed $104 billion in government capital injections since the U.S. Treasury seized control of it in 2008 during the financial crisis. Fannie Mae has paid back $14.7 billion in dividends.

Fannie said in a statement that its second-quarter loss "reflects the continued weakness in the housing and mortgage markets, which remain under pressure from high levels of unemployment, underemployment and the prolonged decline in home prices since their peak in the third quarter of 2006."

It said expenses related to mortgage modifications also contributed to its loss in the quarter.

"Fannie Mae expects its credit-related expenses to remain elevated in 2011 due to these factors," the company added.

The $5.2 billion loss attributable to shareholders follows a loss of $8.7 billion in the first quarter and compared with a loss of $3.125 billion in the second quarter of 2010.

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2011/08/05/fannie-mae-to-taxpayers-need-another-51-billion/#ixzz1UASmoJM6



Well so do I!!! And I would do a better job of spending it! rolleyes

Good morning Swamprat. cheesy

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« Reply #4734 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 11:31am »

Wired

DIY Spy Drone Sniffs Wi-Fi, Intercepts Phone Calls
By Kim Zetter
August 4, 2011 | 2:13 pm
Categories: Black Hat Conference, Surveillance


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LAS VEGAS — What do you do when the target you’re spying on slips behind his home-security gates and beyond your reach?

Launch your personal, specially equipped WASP drone — short for Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform — to fly overhead and sniff his Wi-Fi network, intercept his cellphone calls, or launch denial-of-service attacks with jamming signals.

These are just a few of the uses of the unmanned aerial vehicle that security researchers Mike Tassey and Richard Perkins demonstrated at the Black Hat security conference here Wednesday.

At a cost of about $6,000, the two converted a surplus FMQ-117B U.S. Army target drone into their personal remote-controlled spy plane, complete with Wi-Fi and hacking tools, such as an IMSI catcher and antenna to spoof a GSM cell tower and intercept calls. It also had a network-sniffing tool and a dictionary of 340 million words for brute-forcing network passwords.

The GSM hack was inspired by a talk given at last year’s DefCon hacker conference by Chris Paget, who showed how to create a cellphone base station that tricks nearby handsets into routing their outbound calls through it instead of through commercial cell towers.

That routing allows someone to intercept even encrypted calls in the clear. The device tricks phones into disabling encryption, and records call details and content before they’re routed to their intended receiver through voice-over-internet protocol or redirected to anywhere else the hacker wants to send them.

The drone takes that concept and gives it flight. The plane weighs 14 pounds and is 6 feet long. Per FAA regulations, it can legally fly only under 400 feet and within line of sight. But the height is sufficient to quiet any noise the drone might produce, which the researchers said is minimal, and still allow the plane to circle overhead unobtrusively.

It can be programmed with GPS coordinates and Google maps to fly a predetermined course, but requires remote control help to take off and land.

The two security researchers created the spy plane as a proof of concept to show what criminals, terrorists and others might also soon be using for their nefarious activities.

Tassey, a security consultant to Wall Street and the U.S. intelligence community, told the conference crowd that if the two of them could think up and build a personal spy drone, others were likely already thinking about it, too.

The spy drones have multiple uses, both good and bad. Hackers could use them to fly above corporations to steal intellectual property and other data from a network, as well as launch denial-of-service or man-in-the-middle attacks. They could also transmit a cellphone jamming signal to frustrate an enemy’s communications.

“It’s hard to keep something that’s flying from getting over your facility,” Tassey said.

A drone could also be used to single out a target, using the target’s cellphone to identify him in a crowd, and then follow his movements. And it would be handy for drug smuggling, or for terrorists to trigger a dirty bomb.

But the drones don’t just have malicious uses. The researchers point out that they would be great for providing emergency cellular access to regions hit by a disaster.

The drones could also be outfitted with infrared cameras and shape-recognition technology to run search-and-rescue missions for lost hikers. The military could use them for electronic countermeasures to jam enemy signals or as communication relays flown over remote areas to allow soldiers on two sides of a mountain, for example, to communicate.

“You don’t need a PhD from MIT to do this,” Perkins said.

Video after the jump
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/08/blackhat-drone/

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« Reply #4735 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 2:05pm »

I saw Logan Hawkes on, I believe it was Ancient Aliens, and got his book on Amazon.

"Close Encounters of The Old West"
published May 2011

I'm really enjoying it. His story is fiction but he uses real reports from the 19th century. So if you like westerns and aliens it's a great read.

Crystal
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« Reply #4736 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 2:59pm »

DiscoveryNews

Should We Respond to an Interstellar RSVP?


Analysis by Ray Villard
Fri Aug 5, 2011

Imagine surfing to your favorite science news website tomorrow to see headlines announcing the detection of a radio signal coming at us from an extraterrestrial civilization.

Impossible? Not really.

Yes, it’s true that over the past 50 years approximately 100 SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) programs have come up empty handed. But veteran SETI scientist Jill Tarter has pointed out that in terms of the volume of the Milky Way, we have only surveyed the equivalent volume of a Starbucks cup of coffee as compared to the volume of Earth’s oceans. The galaxy is a big place.

Assuming there are other technological civilizations in our galaxy, and that some subset of them attempt interstellar communication via radio beacons, then detecting a signal is only a matter of when, not if.

For example, the planned Square Kilometer Array radio telescope being built by an international consortium could detect a powerful pulsed beacon anywhere in the galaxy. But such beacons might simply be overlooked as anomalous pulsating neutron stars.

But an unequivocally artificial transmission should eventually pop up. Once the shock and awe of at last realizing we're not alone in the universe has settled in, there will be a spirited debate over whether we should send a response to the aliens.

But who speaks for Earth?

John Billingham of the SETI Institute, and James Benford of Microwave Sciences in Lafayette, Calif., say that in anticipation of such a “Day the Earth Stood Still” moment, we need to establish an international symposium now to reach a consensus on how and if we should respond to E.T.

They would like to see a moratorium on any METI (Message to Extraterrestrial Intelligence) broadcasts until such discussions take place.

Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking made world headlines last year when he warned that contact with extraterrestrials would be dangerous.
Hawking cited anthropological examples where an advanced culture crushes an inferior culture. But this is horribly simplistic when applied to alien minds evolved under alien suns.

Hawking doesn’t know any more about the mindset and mores of extraterrestrial civilizations that anyone else on Earth does. It’s naïve to think that they would be bellicose or altruistic.

Finally, I would argue that any number of curious civilization already know we are here by observing Earth passing in front of the sun, just as NASA’s Kepler space observatory is now doing in search of Earth clones across the galaxy.

Alien astronomers who are not much more technologically advanced than us may have already spectroscopically sniffed Earth’s atmosphere and found that it screams of a planet covered with life -- especially methane polluting cows.

More advanced alien observations might measure the glow of our city lights on the nighttime side of our planet. And, monstrous radio antenna arrays the size of the city of Chicago might have already picked up the faint whisper of TV, radio and radar signals leaking off of our planet.

Bear in mind that this latter experiment can only work to a range of several dozen light years -- the length of time our civilization has had telecommunications. And, the leak off signals get so weak and jumbled they are quickly lost in galactic radio noise. It would be like trying to hear the sound of a penny dropped inside a bustling airport terminal.

Finally, if E.T. has the same worries that Billingham, Benford, and Hawking have, then maybe nobody’s transmitting and everyone’s only listening.....

http://news.discovery.com/space/should-we-respond-to-an-interstellar-greeting-110805.html - mkcpgn=emnws1
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« Reply #4737 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 8:56pm »

Forbes

by Andy Greenberg

Microsoft Offers $200,000 Prize For Silver Bullet Against Hackers

Aug. 3 2011 - 2:17 pm

Security researchers have long criticized Microsoft for refusing to pay bounties for bugs they find in its software, a practice adopted by Google, Facebook and other tech firms. Now Redmond is taking a different approach: paying outside hackers to find new defenses, instead.

The company announced at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas Wednesday that it’s launching the Blue Hat Prize, a contest to invent new software security defense technologies, offering $250,000 in prizes to be awarded at next year’s Black Hat.

“Microsoft wants to encourage more security experts to think about ways to reduce threats to computing devices,” Katie Moussouris, a strategist for Microsoft’s Security Response Center wrote in a statement to reporters. “We’re looking to collaborate with others to build solutions to tough industry problems. We believe the BlueHat Prize will encourage the world’s most talented researchers and academics to tackle key security challenges and offer them a chance to impact the world.”

In the inaugural round of the competition (see the rules here) Microsoft is challenging researchers to build a new defense against memory exploitation–essentially a way to prevent hackers from using a computer’s memory to perform malicious commands. Two examples of those sorts of defenses that already exist in Windows and Mac operating systems are Data Execution Prevention, which prevents data masquerading as mere content like a number or name to be used as an executable command, and Address Space Layout Randomization, which scrambles where commands are kept in memory so that hackers can’t find them to hijack them for malicious purposes.

The first prize in that competition will be $200,000, with $50,000 for the second place prize and a less thrilling free subscription to Microsoft’s developer network for the third place winner. Prizes will be awarded at next year’s Black Hat conference.
The contest is open to researcher outside of Microsoft or government employees. And in a canny recognition of teenagers’ ability to out-think adults on many security issues, it welcomes minors as young as 14.

Microsoft has been careful to stress that it won’t own the winning invention, but it claims the right to license it non-exclusively from the inventor. “We wish to share this with the rest of the world,” Mossouris told reporters.

Mirosoft’s security prize payout contrasts with the rest of the industry’s trend towards offering cash rewards for specific vulnerabilities they find in its code. Google offers as much as $3,1337 for a single bug, (a reference to a numerical method of writing “elite” in hacker jargon) and Facebook launched a program to buy researchers’ bugs for $500 apiece two days ago.

But Microsoft’s Mossouris argues that researchers have never hesitated to share their findings of flaws in the company’s code for free. Despite the existence of projects like HP’s Tipping Point and Verisign’s iDefense, both of which pay for bugs and then share them with vendors, Mossouris says 90% of Microsoft’s bugs are given to the company directly by researchers without reward.

Even as it decline to pay for bugs, the company hasn’t hestitated in the past to put bounties on the heads of hackers themselves, including $250,000 for the cybercriminals behind the Conficker worm and the same amount for the author of the Rustock botnet. At least in this case, it’s offering a quarter-million dollar carrot along with its usual stick.

http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2011/08/03/microsoft-offers-200000-prize-for-silver-bullet-against-hackers/

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4738 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 8:57pm »

on Aug 5th, 2011, 2:59pm, Swamprat wrote:
DiscoveryNews

Should We Respond to an Interstellar RSVP?


Analysis by Ray Villard
Fri Aug 5, 2011

Imagine surfing to your favorite science news website tomorrow to see headlines announcing the detection of a radio signal coming at us from an extraterrestrial civilization.

Impossible? Not really.

Yes, it’s true that over the past 50 years approximately 100 SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) programs have come up empty handed. But veteran SETI scientist Jill Tarter has pointed out that in terms of the volume of the Milky Way, we have only surveyed the equivalent volume of a Starbucks cup of coffee as compared to the volume of Earth’s oceans. The galaxy is a big place....

Finally, if E.T. has the same worries that Billingham, Benford, and Hawking have, then maybe nobody’s transmitting and everyone’s only listening.....

http://news.discovery.com/space/should-we-respond-to-an-interstellar-greeting-110805.html - mkcpgn=emnws1


Depends on who's paying for the call. grin

Thanks for this article Swamprat.

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #4739 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 9:52pm »

S&P Downgrades U.S. Credit Rating From AAA

Published August 05, 2011
Associated Press

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's on Friday downgraded the United States' credit rating for the first time in the history of the ratings.

The credit rating agency said that it is cutting America's top AAA rating by one notch to AA-plus. The credit agency said that it is making the move because the deficit reduction plan passed by Congress on Tuesday did not go far enough to stabilize the country's debt situation.

A source familiar with the discussions said that the Obama administration feels the S&P's analysis contained "deep and fundamental flaws."

S&P said that in addition to the downgrade, it is issuing a negative outlook, meaning that there was a chance it will lower the rating further within the next two years. It said such a downgrade to AA would occur if the agency sees less reductions in spending than Congress and the administration have agreed to make, higher interest rates or new fiscal pressures during this period.

S&P first put the government on notice in April that a downgrade was possible unless Congress and the administration came up with a credible long-term deficit reduction plan and avoided a default on the country's debt.

After months of wrangling and negotiations with the
administration, Congress passed this week a debt reduction package that averted a possible default.

In its statement, S&P said that it had changed its view "of the difficulties of bridging the gulf between the political parties" over a credible deficit reduction plan.

S&P said it was now "pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government's debt dynamics anytime soon."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/05/us-official-says-sp-reconsidering-us-credit-downgrade/#ixzz1UDGtQ6HR
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