Google Search

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Reuters: Memory Issue in Software Causes Problems in US Air Traffic Control System

A vulnerability in the US air traffic control system’s software, triggered by a military aircraft’s complicated flight plan, caused flight delays and could crash the system in the future, according to a new report by Reuters. On 30 April 2014, a US U-2 spy plane flew through the Western US. Its lack of altitude information in the flight plan as well as its complexity—which was circular rather than point-to-point as is typical for commercial flights—caused the Federal Aviation Administration’s En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) air-traffic-control software to register an operational error and cycle on and off. This process used much of the system’s memory, leaving it unavailable for other tasks, causing problems throughout the Western US including the grounding or delaying of flights in Los Angeles. Experts cited by Reuters contend that attackers could use the same vulnerability to crash the system, although doing so would be complicated. The FAA has added memory to ERAM and changed some of its rules in an effort to prevent such problems. Weaknesses in the system will be the subject of two Def Con hacker convention talks in August 2014. (Reuters)(BBC)

View the original article here

Friday, May 30, 2014

US Bitcoin Hardware Maker Hit with Complaints

Roughly 300 complaints have been filed with the US Federal Trade Commission against a Bitcoin hardware maker that has failed to ship product to customers. Butterfly Labs, a Kansas-based manufacturing company that provides hardware for virtual currency mining operations, has faced numerous accusations of fraud and is in federal court now with a lawsuit, having previously lost a 2013 civil suit. The complaints lodged against the company are from customers around the world, including Argentina, Canada, and Estonia, filed between September 2012 and April 2014 whose orders were never filled or else requested refunds that never materialized, according to Ars Technica. In the court documents it obtained, a Kansas federal judge told the company’s co-founder, Sonny Vleisides, “his company had a ‘strong smell’ of fraud about it during a probation hearing.” (He is on probation after entering a guilty plea in connection with a 2010 lottery scam. The judge extended his probation an additional two years.) Butterfly Labs has claimed it has experienced manufacturing delays. “In light of new details from the recently published transcript of that January 2014 probation hearing,” concluded Ars Technica, “the legitimacy of the Butterfly Labs operation could soon be decided once and for all.” The FTC merely fields complaints, acting on them as warranted, which may include and investigation and possible litigation. It does not guarantee those complaining consumers that they will receive any refund. (Ars Technica – 1)(Ars Technica – 2)

View the original article here

Thursday, May 29, 2014

HP Announces $1 Billion Investment in Cloud Projects

Hewlett-Packard plans to invest $1 billion within the next two years on cloud-computing products and services. Among its projects is the development of services for the OpenStack open-source platform for public and private clouds, which HP will make available in 20 datacenters within the next 18 months. The company also recently announced a collaboration with contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group on creating servers for cloud-computing service providers. Other companies are also investing in cloud computing. For example, Cisco Systems plans to spend $1 billion on a cloud initiative. And Microsoft is making its cloud storage for businesses 40 times larger than it is now. (Reuters)(ZD Net)

View the original article here

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mozilla Elicits Controversy with Ads in New Firefox Browser Tabs

Mozilla is bucking customer opinion by adding advertisements to newly launched tabs in its Firefox browser. When Mozilla announced in February it would try adding advertisements to its Firefox browser when a new tab opens, users complained about them. Mozilla now says new versions of the browser may include what it calls promotional tiles on a newly launched tab pages featuring ads for Mozilla sites and other sites. Typically, Firefox shows “tiles” or views of pages the user has frequently visited when a new tab is opened.  One of these can be launched when double-clicked. This would change to include advertisements. Currently, Internet Explorer is the only major browser with advertising—for its Bing search engine—on its pages. (Telegraph)(Computerworld)(Gizmodo)

View the original article here

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Jury Reaches Verdict in Multimillion-Dollar Samsung-Apple Case

An eight-member federal jury in a trial related to an ongoing patent dispute between leading smartphone makers Apple and Samsung found that each company violated the other’s patented technology. The jury ruled that Samsung violated two Apple patents—the judge had already ruled that it has violated a third—and awarded Apple $120 million—much less than the $2.2 billion it had sought. The jury also found that Apple infringed a Samsung patent and awarded $158,400 in damages, much less than the $6 million Samsung originally sought. Jurors must still decide on a few matters, but experts say they won’t significantly affect the amount awarded. The judge has yet to decide on requests by both companies to ban products with patent-violating technologies. However, she has refused the companies’ requests to do so in the past. The recent trial is the latest salvo in an ongoing, worldwide patent battle between the companies over patents in the lucrative mobile-technology market. In the companies’ first trial in 2012, jurors initially awarded Apple $1.05 billion—less than the $2.75 billion the company asked for—but subsequently reduced the amount to $930 million. (The Associated Press)(San Jose Mercury News)(Tech Times -- 1)(Tech Times -- 2) (Businessweek)

View the original article here

Monday, May 26, 2014

Appeals Court Refuses to Re-Hear Apple-Samsung Patent Case

A US appeals court upheld the decision of a lower court in a patent infringement suit brought by Samsung against Apple. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit made its decision 14 May 2014 without offering any explanation. The companies have been locked in litigation worldwide regarding their smartphone and mobile device patents. Neither company issued a comment. Earlier this month, Samsung was ordered to pay $119.6 million for infringing three Apple patents, a matter that could also be appealed. (Reuters)

View the original article here

Sunday, May 25, 2014

AT&T Negotiating DirecTV Purchase

Telecommunications giant AT&T is in discussions to purchase satellite-TV provider DirecTV, in what may be a $50-billion deal, within two weeks, according to Reuters. AT&T is offering roughly $90 per share for DirecTV, although it previously said it would offer $100 share. Details are still being discussed, but DirecTV would reportedly operate as a unit of A&T. This is the latest telecommunications consolidation megadeal. Comcast and Time Warner Cable may also be merging in a deal valued at $45 billion. Together, AT&T and DirecTV would create a pay-television operation similar in size to the combined Comcast-Time Warner Cable company.(Reuters)(Businessweek)

View the original article here

Saturday, May 24, 2014

US Retailers Form Cyberintelligence Sharing Group

An industry trade group and leading US retailers are forming a center designed to allow them to exchange information about data breaches and cyber threats. The group -- formed by The Retail Industry Leaders Association and companies such as Gap, Nike, Target, and Walgreen -- says its efforts are designed to protect consumers’ personal and financial information. The trade group says it began forming the center long before a series of high-profile retail data breaches occurred in the US in late 2013. (The Associated Press)(The New York Times)

View the original article here

Friday, May 23, 2014

Internet Provider: ISPs Allowing Network Congestion

A newly released report contends major US ISPs are allowing Internet congestion to occur by not upgrading their peering connections. Level 3 Communications, a communications-services provider, studied 51 of its peer ISPs around the world and found that customers are experiencing delayed or dropped packets throughout the day on congested connections to six ISPs, five of which are in the US. The company also said that rather than ensure that their networks can meet demand, ISPs generally expect payments from either the network middlemen or from content providers to deliver content to consumers. In other words, they save the higher bandwidth connections for those content or intermediate network providers that pay. Level 3 didn’t name specific ISPs engaged in this practice. Level 3 is seeking to change US laws to address this issue. However, said PC World, Level 3 has engaged in similar practices and may be more concerned about business than about customer service or consumer fairness. (PC World)(Ars Technica)(Level 3 Communications Blog)

View the original article here

Thursday, May 22, 2014

3D-Printed “Liver” Detoxifies Body

University of California at San Diego scientists have used a 3D printer to create a device—inspired by the human liver—that attracts and removes toxins from the body. The biomimetic 3D detoxifier uses 3D-printed hydrogels—which contain nanoparticles that sense, attract, and capture toxins—arranged in a matrix. The researchers’ proof-of-concept device could lead to the creation of other 3D-printed medical devices. They published their findings in the journal Nature Communications. (re/Code)(Nature Communications)

View the original article here

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

IBM Watson Goes to School

Computer science students attending seven US universities will be able to work with IBM's Watson cognitive-computing system in classes starting this fall. The participants, primarily seniors and graduate students, will access the supercomputer via the cloud and use it to develop cognitive computing applications, which could include an application for consumer shopping personalization, for one of several possible industries, such as retail, travel or healthcare. These cognitive-computing applications will be built on data students gather, which they will then use with Watson’s existing knowledge base and its learning technologies, such as natural language processing and machine learning. This program is part of IBM’s $1 billion investment in expanding Watson’s profile. Participating schools will include New York University; the University of Michigan; Carnegie Mellon University; Ohio State University; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; the University of Texas at Austin; and the University of California, Berkeley. (The Associated Press)(IBM)

View the original article here

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

US Agency Funds New Network Infrastructure Projects

A total of $15 million in grants were awarded by the US National Science Foundation to address the creation and testing of new Internet network architectures and networking concepts. Among the pilot projects being developed with various cities, non-profit organizations, academic institutions and industrial partners include a vehicular network deployment in Pittsburgh, a context-aware weather emergency notification system for Dallas/Fort Worth, and a partnership with Open mHealth in San Francisco. The projects will address issues including security, new service challenges, and scalability. These projects were initially funded in 2010 through the NSF’s Future Internet Architectures program and the new funding should move the projects into the pilot testing stage. (SlashDot)(National Science Foundation)

View the original article here