26 September, 2005

Armed and dangerous: Flipper the firing dolphin let loose by Katrina -Guardian:

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico. Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

Dolphins have been trained in attack-and-kill missions since the Cold War. The US Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have apparently been taught to shoot terrorists attacking military vessels. Their coastal compound was breached during the storm, sweeping them out to sea. But those who have studied the controversial use of dolphins in the US defence programme claim it is vital they are caught quickly.
Your keyboard's clatter can reveal your e-mail's content! - Newindpress.com:
Next time when you are typing something secret on your computer keyboard, make sure no one is snooping around, as even if the person is not in sight, the very sound of your typing can reveal all the secrets of your confidential text, with researchers in America now claiming that eavesdroppers can decipher your messages just by listening to the sound of your keyboard.

Using a 10 dollar microphone, which needn't be placed in the same room as the typist, they are able to recreate up to 96 percent of what was typed. Our algorithms require no information about the typist, keyboard, room, or text typed," New Scientist quoted Tygar, as saying. The method relies on the 'tap' produced when your finger strikes the keyboard, as keys at the edges sound different to those in the centre. Every key makes an ever so slightly different noise. It's a very clever attack.

Thanks Ayan for the link.

21 September, 2005

Speakers till 10 ..Earphones after then ! -Midday
This happens only in Mumbai. Members of the Naidu Club Navratri Mandal in Kora Kendra, Borivli, have found a unique way to play garba till the next morning, without violating the Supreme Court order of the 10 pm loudspeaker deadline. All the dancers will be given wireless earphones and the music will be relayed through a radio frequency.

Says the mandal’s chairman Ganesh Naidu, "Recorded music will be relayed through a transmitter in the earphones. We are going to use radio frequency for which we have got a license. We are also getting permission from the Telecom Department. People will have to pay a deposit for the earphones, which they have to return when they leave".

Thanks for the link Amrita :)

16 September, 2005

Price fears for next gen games -BBC
The games for the new consoles, such as the PS3, Xbox 360 and the Revolution, are set to wow players with heightened realism and cinematic graphics.

Some of the next-generation games showcased at the E3 games expo have already drawn gasps of amazement from the audience. But there is a price to pay for getting to play something that is years ahead of current games.

New games are set to cost twice as much as current ones to make, say analysts. With the bill for some big budget games now reaching $10m, producers are facing costs of up to $20m a title. EA has teams as large as 200 people or potentially as large as 300," he said, "but we also have teams as small as 50.
Nintendo plans one-handed joypad -BBC
In a demonstration at the Tokyo Game Show, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata showed off a wireless controller that closely resembled a TV remote control. Motion sensors on the controller translate its movements into game action, allowing it to be used as a virtual sword, baseball bat or racket.

09 September, 2005

Oh my God, Google hires Vinton Cerf !! -OmMalik

Google just announced that Vinton (Vint) Cerf, the longtime technologist who is widely known as a “founding father” of the Internet, as Chief Internet Evangelist. This is their continuing bid to acquire the best brains in the world. Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the Internet clearly qualifies. The kind of stuff that forces Steve Ballmer to throw chairs at office walls. Cerf, 62 will will remain chairman of ICANN and will continue as a visiting scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has been focusing on a very Google-like project - trying to figure out a way to connect the Internet to outer space. He will help Google build network infrastructure, architectures, systems, and standards for the next generation of Internet applications.

Google has already made tremendous strides in making access to information on the web a reality for users across the globe, but we’re still in the Internet’s early innings,” he said. “This medium will enjoy wider-spread use than television, radio or phones, and will ultimately expand beyond planet Earth. Google has always believed in doing things differently, and I believe that places us in a unique position to help bring even the wildest Internet visions into reality.

03 September, 2005

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: 'I'm going to f***ing kill Google'

Dunno how much of this is true, but this is what the article says.

Probably due to the Microsoft suit against Google over human resources, some very heated exchanges have turned up in some court documents. Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer has apparently vowed to kill Internet search leader Google, according to documents filed in the increasingly bitter battle between the rivals. From the article: At some point in the conversation, Mr. Ballmer said: 'Just tell me it's not Google,' Lucovosky said in his statement. Lucovosky replied that he was joining Google. 'At that point, Mr. Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office,' Lucovosky recounted, adding that Ballmer then launched into a tirade about Google CEO Eric Schmidt. 'I'm going to f***ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f***ing kill Google.' Schmidt previously worked for Sun Microsystems and was the CEO of Novell.

Also, google hired former Microsoft executive Kai Fu-Lee to oversee a research and development centre that Google plans to open in China. Lee started at Google the day after he resigned from Microsoft. Microsoft is trying to demonstrate that Google wanted Lee largely because he knows intimate details about Microsoft's strategy for expanding in China and for the booming search engine market. Microsoft alleged that Lee sent confidential documents about the company's China strategy to Google a month before he was hired.

Google paid Lee a $US2.5 million signing bonus and promised a $US1.5 million bonus after one year, plus a $US250,000 salary and options on 10,000 shares of Google stock, according to court documents. If he stays for four years, Lee also will receive another 20,000 Google shares, currently worth $US5.8 million. Lee also demanded that Google pay all his legal fees if Microsoft sued, a request that was granted.

01 September, 2005

Fake Yahoo site phishes for identities -ZdNet
The fake site, which was still live on Wednesday afternoon, is being hosted on a Yahoo Geocities account and asks users to log in with their Yahoo user ID and password. Victims are being lured to the Web site by spam sent over Yahoo's instant messenger service. This means a user will receive a message often from someone on their friends list telling them to visit the site, which makes the scam more believable.

Viruses making use of instant messenger are becoming far more popular. This is really showing that identity theft is where the next big threats are heading. The only reason for this site to exist is, it is not stealing credit cards or taking any money off you in any way, it is just after personal details.
Mobile Middleware -Sadagopan

Mobile middleware allows mobile devices with different capabilities to communicate with the complex programs that reside on the enterprise server, regardless of compatibility issues that might otherwise thwart a direct connection between the two. These compatibility issues include differences between operating systems and applications, or even the memory and processor characteristics of the accessing devices.

Mobile middleware market includes a broad range of different application types like CRM for customer information or helping field workers get the information they need. Then there is mobile-workforce management, a set of middleware applications designed to track time and travel expenses. Also, there is a growing number of mobile security applications, the foremost being centrally controlled mobile-device lockdown, encryption and authentication.