alphadogg writes "GSM cellular networks leak enough location data to give third-parties secret access to cellphone users' whereabouts, according to new University of Minnesota research. 'We have shown that there is enough information leaking from the lower layers of the GSM communication stack to enable an attacker to perform location tests on a victim's device. We have shown that those tests can be performed silently without a user being aware by aborting PSTN calls before they complete,' write the authors, from the College of Science and Engineering, in a paper titled 'Location Leaks on the GSM Air Interface' (Pdf). The researchers are working with carriers and equipment makers, including AT&T and Nokia, to address the security issues."
angry tapir writes "Intel's experimental solar-powered processor may have started off as a fun project, but the chip maker is now looking to extend the technology to hardware such as graphics processors, memory and floating point units. Intel last year showed the low-power processor — charged only by the light from a reading lamp — running Windows and Linux PCs. Intel is expected to share further details about the processor, which is code-named Claremont, at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco. The company is also expected to reveal information about efforts to integrate wireless capabilities into Atom chips for mobile devices."
First time accepted submitter rubeon writes "Companies can get a lot of mileage out of social networking services from the likes of Google or Facebook. Chat, document collaboration, and video conferencing using services like Google+ Hangouts or Facebook's Skype are seductive additions to an IT arsenal. But a lot of people have privacy concerns about these services, and there's no shortage of horror stories how these sites track and exploit their users' habits. Would you work for a company that forced its employees to join a social network?"
stupendou writes "Australian and American physicists have built a working transistor from a single phosphorus atom embedded in a silicon crystal. The group of physicists, based at the University of New South Wales and Purdue University, said they had laid the groundwork for a futuristic quantum computer that might one day function in a nanoscale world and would be orders of magnitude smaller and quicker than today's silicon-based machines."
snydeq writes "The Chrome dev team is working toward a vision of Web apps that offers a clean break from traditional websites, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister, in response to Google's new Field Guide for Web Applications. 'When you add it up, it starts to look as though, for all the noise Google makes about Web standards, Chrome is moving further and further apart from competing browsers, just by virtue of its technological advantages. In that sense, maybe Chrome isn't just a Web browser; maybe Chrome itself is the platform — or is becoming one.'"
Saint Aardvark writes "Canada's proposed online surveillance bill looked bad enough when it was introduced, but it gets worse: Section 34 allows access to any telco place or equipment, and to any information contained there — with no restrictions, no warrants, and no review. From the article: 'Note that such all-encompassing searches require no warrant, and don't even have to be in the context of a criminal investigation. Ostensibly, the purpose is to ensure that the ISP is complying with the requirements of the act — but nothing in the section restricts the inspector to examining or seizing only information bearing upon that issue. It's still "any" information whatsoever.'"
Hugh Pickens writes "An era begins to pass as only about 25 percent of today's American population were at least 5 years old when John Glenn climbed into the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule on Feb. 20, 1962 and became the first American to orbit the earth. This weekend John Glenn joined the proud, surviving veterans of NASA's Project Mercury to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his historic orbital flight as Glenn and Scott Carpenter, the two surviving members of the original astronaut corps, thanked the retired Mercury workers, now in their 70s and 80s, who gathered with their spouses at the Kennedy Space Center to swap stories, pose for pictures and take a bow. 'There are a lot more bald heads and gray heads in that group than others, but those are the people who did lay the foundation,' said 90-year-old Glenn. Norm Beckel Jr., a retired engineer who also was in the blockhouse that historic morning, said almost all the workers back then were in their 20s and fresh out of college. The managers were in their 30s. 'I don't know if I'd trust a 20-year-old today.' Bob Schepp, 77, was reminded by the old launch equipment of how rudimentary everything was back then. 'I wonder how we ever managed to launch anything in space with that kind of stuff,' said Schepp. 'Everything is so digital now. But we were pioneers, and we made it all work.'"
wiredmikey writes "The popular free security tool HijackThis has been open sourced by its owner, Trend Micro. The tool scans systems to find settings that may have been modified by spyware, malware or other programs that have wiggled their way onto a system and caused problems. Downloaded over 10 million times, HijackThis generates reports to help users analyze and fix an infected or problem computer. But the tool is not designed for novices – and doesn't actually determine what's good or bad. That's up to you, but it is a good way to keep an eye on things and possibly locate anomalies that may have been missed by other security products. Trend Micro warns that if you don't know what you're doing, it's probably not a good idea to make any changes to your computer settings and system files. Trend Micro acquired the tool from creator Merijn Bellekom in 2007, and has offered it for free ever since, but now is making the code available to the public. The code, originally written in Visual Basic, is now officially available at Sourceforge here."
Layzej writes "Bloggers around the world have been commenting on recently leaked Heartland Institute documents that reveal their internal strategies to discredit climate science. These posters are now under threat of legal action. According to the Heartland Institute 'the individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages'"
First time accepted submitter debiangruven writes "Human rights Groups are making one final plea to save the life of Canadian programmer, Saeed Malekpour, who was sentenced to death for writing a program to upload photos to the Internet. From the article: 'Malekpour's supporters have created Facebook pages and websites in his support dating to at least 2009. Amnesty International has requested on its website that concerned individuals write Iranian authorities inside and outside the country to demand that Malekpour not be executed."
theodp writes "Microsoft is working on a touch-friendly version of Office for Windows 8, writes GeekWire's Todd Bishop. But what about Microsoft Office on the iPad? 'The decision,' Bishop says, 'will say a lot about Microsoft's priorities in this new era. The company can give Windows 8 a boost if it makes Office exclusive to Windows-based tablets. But that's also a risk. The iPad's momentum not only in the home but in the workplace opens the door for Office alternatives to take hold on the Apple tablet, posing a challenge to Microsoft Office.' Over at Minimal Mac, Patrick Rhone feels Microsoft has bigger problems than the lack of Office apps for iOS and Android. 'Like the curtain finally falling from the Wizard of Oz to find just a small, frail, man pretending to be far more powerful and relevant than he really was,' writes Rhone, 'Microsoft's biggest miss was allowing the world to finally see the truth behind the big lie — they were not needed to get real work done. Or anything done, really. And that will be what ultimately kills them.' Perhaps, but BusinessInsider — which finds it just can't quit Excel — also makes a case for why Microsoft should put Office on every platform. Speaking of the future of Office, did you ever notice how people use MS-Word to convince people to use Google Docs?"
An anonymous reader sends word that Masten Space Systems' Xombie rocket has successfully demonstrated vertical takeoff and landing for NASA's Flight Opportunities Program. It was guided autonomously by the GENIE system from Draper Laboratory. "The rocket rose 164 feet, moved laterally 164 feet, and then landed on another pad after a 67-second flight. The flight represents the first step in developing a test bed capability that will allow for landing demonstrations that start at much higher altitudes-several miles above the ground." This navigation technology is laying the groundwork for future exploration of planets, moons, and asteroids.
Wowsers writes "In vogue with other countries cracking down on freedom and democracy on the internet as discussed in Slashdot recently, the UK is joining in with plans to track all phone calls, text messages, email traffic and websites visited online, all to be stored in vast databases under new government anti-terror plans. As reported in The Telegraph, security services will have access to information about who has been communicating with each other on social networking sites such as Facebook, direct messages between subscribers on Twitter would also be stored, as well as communications between players in online video games. The scheme is a revised version of a plan drawn up by the ex-Labour government which would have created a central database of all the information. The idea was later dropped in favor of requiring communications providers to store the details at the taxpayers' expense."
Trailrunner7 writes "Google is in the process of developing a tool to help users generate strong passwords for the various and sundry Web sites for which they need to register and authenticate. The password-generator is meant to serve as an interim solution for users while Google and other companies continue to work on widespread deployment of the OpenID standard. The tool Google engineers are working on is a fairly simple one. For people who are using the Chrome browser, whenever a site presents them with a field that requires creating a password, Chrome will display a small key icon, letting the users know that they could allow Chrome to generate a password for them."