Sorry I can't give more info, but I just saw a TV ad for a new, improved control system for new Cadillac cars - They show the old-fashioned way to control things, with buttons - Then they show what appears to be an iPad-like tablet for controls (lights/heat/radio/etc) and tout it as an improvement. DUH—With the New system you're forced to take your eyes off the road to accomplish even the most mundane task. [Wex, Adding more info would not add much more other than artistic verisimilitude. The concept is inherently a risky one. It goes even further than multipurpose context-dependent controls. For example, there could be serious challenges for people with vision problems, such as near-sighted folks who wear glasses for distance vision while driving -- who cannot read screens up close without removing those glasses! Of course, bifocals or multifocals would help, but that only adds another layer of requirements for context switching. PGN]
[Andy Greenberg's item in Forbes on Mozilla developer Cody Brocious' talk at BlackHat is quite intriguing, although not surprising to RISKS readers. The following URL is sufficiently graphic. PGN via Earl Boebert] http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/07/23/hacker-will-expose-potential-security-flaw-in-more-than-four-million-hotel-room-keycard-locks/ This required only about $50 for equipment to exploit the lock mechanism. Each hotel has a unique 32-bit sitecode, which is stored at a fixed location in memory and requires no authentication to read. Thus, the strength of the crypto can be (as is often the case) more or less irrelevant.] http://www.extremetech.com/computing/133448-black-hat-hacker-gains-access-to-4-million-hotel-rooms-with-arduino-microcontroller
Never in the history of the Olympics has there been a more publicized series of security blunders before the actual event. People on terrorism watch lists are waved through airport security, contractors unable to hire qualified security personnel, busloads of Olympians temporarily lost in London, and a general public malaise about the whole thing are now permeating the global media. ... Meanwhile and probably as a result, the UK's Security Services (MI5, MI6 and GCHQ) are likely implementing further technical measures to compensate for the physical security shortfalls. Some such surveillance techniques will doubtlessly fire up privacy advocates worldwide and may even establish a precedent for world-class events. Already having had a chance to review the proposed plans, privacy advocates are primarily concerned over the plan to record all electronic communication. Period. ... Claudiu Popa, president, Informatica Corp. http://blogs.itbusiness.ca/2012/07/will-the-2012-olympics-set-new-surveillance-records/
http://j.mp/SO8uWk (Wired, via NNSquad) "It may look like a surge protector, but it's really a remote access machine that corporations can use to test security and log into branch offices. Called the Power Pwn, it's a stealthier version of the little box that can hack your network we wrote about last March. Hidden inside are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi adapters, along with a number of hacking and remote access tools that let security experts prod and poke the network, and even call home to be remotely controlled via the cellular network." [“Mongo only Pwn in the Game of Life''? (Blazing Saddles) Mayhaps we've been Rooked? PGN]
Bella English, Living with Screens, *The Boston Globe*, 20 Jul 2012 Dr. Larry Cohan, a pediatrician who has always kept voluminous files on his patients from birth through college, is used to examining his young charges, questioning and quipping, while scribbling notes in the medical record. But a few years ago a third party came between him and his patients: a computer screen. Prodded by the federal government, doctors are replacing their paper files with electronic records. There have been growing pains. As efficient as the technology is, neither physicians nor patients want a computer screen separating them. "I was faced with a choice," says Cohan, who has practices in Braintree and Boston. "When writing my exam notes in the computer, do I turn my back on my patients sometimes? Or do I try to maintain eye contact and write my notes later, when frankly there isn't time later?" Cohan has hit upon a third way, which seems to work: He invites his young charges to sit in a chair near his desk, so he can explain things to them as he's typing notes. But e-records are only part of e-medicine. Patients are increasingly turning to medical websites and message boards to become "experts" on their own health care. Many expect to keep in e-mail touch with their physicians. And some patients are even involved in home e-monitoring for chronic conditions. Together, these changes - all of them fueled by our increasing reliance on digital devices - are fundamentally altering the doctor-patient relationship, nudging health care from medical settings into people's day-to-day lives. ... http://articles.boston.com/2012-07-20/lifestyle/32744102_1_electronic-records-patients-medicaid
(John E. Dunn) This comes under the category of computer risks that do not appear to be computer risks at first glance. Computers are used a lot more than when I was in school. John E. Dunn, Article with the above title, subtitled Pennsylvania school assistant used passwords 110 times, *IT Business*, 24 Jul 2012 http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/cdn/News.asp?id=68357
Tessa Stuart, *Los Angeles Times*, 20 Jul 2012 The *Los Angeles Times* has an excellent story in A-1 today about a legendary Las Vegas sheriff. 85-year-old Ralph Lamb, "The Cowboy Sheriff," John M. Glionna writes, was once the most powerful man in Nevada—feared by gangsters, beloved by locals, respected by fellow lawmen. It's a great read—made even greater by what may be the best typo to ever run in the *L.A. Times*. ... [and perhaps enhanced by the ubiquitous spelling-and-grammar curekter. PGN] http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2012/07/best_typo_ever_runs_a-1_in_the.php
The WSJ opinion piece was an abomination. I feel bad that an ancient quote of mine has been taken out of context, in support of an underlying argument with which I do not agree. There are many things wrong with this article; but to briefly summarize the obvious: * It was written by the former publisher of the WSJ. * It appeared on the Opinion page of the WSJ. * There were many sources of funding, around the globe, for early work on data communications, packet-networking, inter-networking, and local networks. * But, clearly, the US government (through DARPA) played an important role in funding the development of the Arpanet (at BBN and elsewhere) and inter-networking (at Stanford, BBN, ISI, SRI and elsewhere). * Beyond the direct funding of these projects, DARPA funding provided the second-order benefit of training a whole cadre of graduate students, who went on to contribute at many organizations. We accomplished a lot at Xerox PARC, with corporate support, in local networks and inter-networking; we can have a healthy debate about who invented what, who implemented what, and who commercialized what; but that should not be used to diminish the contributions of DARPA, and other government support of research...... [John Shoch is well-known to long-time readers as the coauthor with J.A. Hupp of what seems to be the first paper on computer worms: The “Worm'' Programs—Early Experience with a Distributed Computation, Comm.ACM, 25, 3, 172--180, March 1982, also Reprinted in Peter Denning (ed.), Computers Under Attack. PGN]
Besides funding the underlying core packet-switching and inter-networking research and the development of most underlying and user-visible core protocols that remain in operation, the US government funded the original infrastructure service providers, via the National Science Foundation's NSFNet backbone and regions networks. Converting these to commercial operations began the commercial Internet. The article was correct that the PARC team did seminal work in this space too—and for a time their XNS protocols did provide the basis for a number of other company's networking products, including the ones I worked on at Ungermann-Bass—but what we use today is a very simple, straight-line continuation of all that government-funded research, starting in the 60s up through the 90s. Much of what worked in the mid-80s, on the NSFNet/et-al Internet still works on today's Internet. Dave Crocker, Brandenburg InternetWorking, http://www.bbiw.net
On the poorly fact-checked WSJ piece, the LA Times' rebuttal is just as bad. See: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/23/news/la-mo-who-invented-internet-20120723 Everyone (at least here) knows that Ted Nelson coined the terms "hypertext" and "hypermedia" and began popularizing the concept back in 1963, well before the SRI 1968 demo. [NOTE: Doug Engelbart was already developing hypertext in the NLS system at SRI in 1962, independently of Ted Nelson. However, I believe Ted gave talks about hypertext and hyperlinks even earlier than that. I would be surprised if they had not learned from each other. PGN]
No credit for Uncle Sam in creating Net? Vint Cerf disagrees http://j.mp/Onm9Rp (CNET) "I would happily fertilize my tomatoes with Crovitz's assertion."
As I see that *The Register* has it wrong on at least one account. No, the Cour de Cassation (the "French Supreme Court) did *not* say that Google could not be held responsible for people downloading illegal content; that was said by the Appellate Court—I think I should mention at least two points: Minor one: The "French Supreme Court" (Cour de Cassation) did *not* order any censoring: it cannot do so. What it did was cancel ("casser", hence its name) an order from an appellate Court (Cour d'Appel) which had rejected such a censoring. The difference is that the Cour de Cassation did not enter a final decision on the case as such; it has decided that the case should be tried again by an appellate Court. This court may still find against censoring, and the Cour de Cassation may have to re-reexamine this issue, this time in a plenary session, with a chance (admittedly small) that they change their minds, for instance if the appellate arguments are different from the ones currently Major one, because it somewhat waters down the "censorship" point: The news is only about Google Suggestions, not Google Search results. Users just need to add "megaupload" (RIP) or a similar term by themselves, and they'll get their results.
More Arabic Font Shenanigans: Westfield is a *huge* new multi-billion shopping mall near Stratford where the London Olympics are about to be held. The mall started to display 'Welcome to the Olympics' posters in lots of different languages. One was supposed to have been in Arabic. Yet the printers got the font wrong and the message was 'gibberish' just like First Capital Connect did last week. Again, one wonders why they didn't proof read it first - using a native speaker of course. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18971686.
... Perhaps proof-reading by a native speaker would have been an idea. As a native Russian speaker I can assure you that I can't remember one multilingual ad with Russian text in it on a city bus, nor a single English-language movie with original Russian in it (written or spoken), that has been proof-read by a native speaker. Best case scenario is a technically correct sentence constructed by someone unfamiliar with contemporary spoken language, and those are a rare find. Why would Arabic be any different? Dimitri Maziuk, Programmer/sysadmin BioMagResBank, UW-Madison—http://www.bmrb.wisc.edu
> I've noticed that with every browser "update", the browser gets noticeably > slower. Henry Baker should consider using a webkit-based browser like Safari. Here's why: We have a zero-tolerance policy for performance regressions. If a patch lands that regresses performance according to our benchmarks, then the person responsible must either back the patch out of the tree or drop everything immediately and fix the regression. Source: http://www.webkit.org/projects/performance/ Steven Klein Computer Service 1-248-YOUR-MAC
LADC2013 - Sixth Latin-American Symposium on Dependable Computing http://www.ft.unicamp.br/ladc2013 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1-5 April 2013 LADC is the major Latin-American event dedicated to computer system dependability. The LADC 2013 program will present technical sessions, workshops, tutorials, industrial track, keynote talks from top international experts in the area. LADC organization invites you to submit original works. In its 6th Edition, LADC is going to have its proceedings published by IEEE Computer Society, and indexed on IEEE Xplore. There is also going to be a Best Paper Award. Papers and Practical Experience Reports must be submitted by 14 Sep 2012, tutorials and workshops a week later: https://submissoes.sbc.org.br.
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