An anonymous reader writes "X-Prize Founder Peter Diamandis, speaking at SXSW, says he wants to set up a $10 million prize for fixing education — but he needs help figuring out how to target the problem. From the article: 'He said he has considered multiple directions that an Education X Prize could take, such as coming up with better ways to crowd-source education, or rewarding the creation of "powerful, addictive game" that promotes education. But he isn’t sure which way to go. There’s no shortage of high-tech visionaries and tycoons these days, running around with ideas about how to fix education. Many of them are finding, though, that technology alone isn’t enough. Exciting ideas founder quickly if they don’t sustain motivation in students who perform at widely different levels. Other challenges include the need to engage effectively with school districts, teachers and parents.'"
Trailrunner7 writes "When the long arm of the law reached in to arrest members of Anonymous's senior leadership on Tuesday, speculation immediately turned to the identities of the six men behind the Guy Fawkes mask. With the benefit of hindsight, it turns out that many had been hiding in plain sight, with day jobs, burgeoning online lives and — for those who knew where to look — plenty of clues about their extracurricular activities on behalf of the world's most famous hacking crew. Two of the accused, Darren Martyn (aka 'pwnsauce,' 'raepsauce,' and 'networkkitten,') and Donncha O'Cearbhail, formerly known as Donncha Carroll (aka 'Palladium'), sported significant online footprints and made little effort to hide their affinity for hacking. In other areas, however, Martyn (who was reported to be 25, but claimed to be 19), seemed to be on his way to bigger and better things. He was a local chapter leader of the Open Web Application Security Project in Galway, Ireland. He spent some of his free time with a small collective of computer researchers with Insecurety Research, under the name 'infodox.'"
Tackhead writes "Hot on the hooves of Sergey Glazunov's hack 5-minutes into Pwn2Own, an image of an axe-wielding pink pony was the mark of success for a hacker with the handle of Pinkie Pie. Pinkie Pie subtly tweaked Chromium's sandbox design by chaining together three zero-day vulnerabilities, thereby widening his appeal to $60K in prize money, another shot at a job opportunity at the Googleplex, and instantly making Google's $1M Pwnium contest about 20% cooler. (Let the record show that Slashdot was six years ahead of this particular curve, and that April Fool's Day is less than a month away.)"
An anonymous reader links to a short note at Tech Newest, according to which "Apple Inc. plans to create a $304 million campus in Austin, Texas, which will add 3,600 jobs over the next decade, more than doubling its labourforce in the city. The Cupertino, California, customer device [maker] already employs thousands in Austin, whose tasks include handling customer issues and support."
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Network World: "A lengthy report prepared for the U.S. government about China's high-tech buildup to prepare for cyberwar includes speculation about how a potential conflict with the U.S. would unfold — and how it might only take a few freelance Chinese civilian hackers working on behalf of China's People's Liberation Army to sow deadly disruptions in the U.S. military logistics supply chain. As told, if there's a conflict between the U.S. and China related to Taiwan, "Chinese offensive network operations targeting the U.S. logistics chain need not focus exclusively on U.S. assets, infrastructure or territory to create circumstances that could impede U.S. combat effectiveness," write the report's authors, Bryan Krekel, Patton Adams and George Bakos, all of whom are information security analysts with Northrop Grumman. The report, "Occupying the Information High Ground: Chinese Capabilities for Computer Network Operations and Cyber Espionage," focuses primarily on facts about China's cyberwar planning but also speculates on what might happen in any cyberwar."
An anonymous reader writes "Stanford's Ryan Calo has previously told us that 'that there is very little in American privacy law that would prohibit drone surveillance within our borders.' But will UAVs not only be legally permitted to monitor us in public, but also be used to 'peer' into homes with high-tech thermal and chemical sensors and alert police to the presence of illicit substances or other suspicious activity? Calo writes in Wired about a pending Supreme Court case, Florida v. Jardines, which will determine 'whether the police need a warrant before a dog can sniff your house' like they already do to luggage at airports. According to Calo, if the Court approves of these searches, it's a small leap to extend that same logic to the use of drones, allowing them 'to roam a neighborhood in search of invisible infractions such as indoor marijuana.' He concludes: 'The wrong decision in Jardines makes this and similar surveillance scenarios uncomfortably plausible.'"
OverTheGeicoE writes "When anti-TSA activist Jonathan Corbett exposed a severe weakness in TSA's body scanners, one would expect the story to attract a lot of media attention. Apparently TSA is attempting to stop reporters from covering the story. According to Corbett, at least one reporter has been 'strongly cautioned' by TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz not to cover the story. If TSA is worried that this is new information they need to suppress to keep it away from terrorists, that horse may have left the barn years ago. Corbett's demonstration may just be confirmation of a 2010 paper in the Journal of Transportation Security that concluded that 'an object such as a wire or a boxcutter blade, taped to the side of the body, or even a small gun in the same location, will be invisible' to X-ray scanners."
MrSeb writes "Yesterday, James Cameron completed a five-mile-deep test dive in the Pacific Ocean, in preparation for a seven-mile (36,000ft, 11,000m) dive to Challenger Deep, in the Mariana Trench; the deepest place in the world. We don't know when the actual dive will occur, but it will probably be soon. At 36,000ft, the pressure exerted on the hull is 16,000 psi; over 1000 atmospheres, and equivalent to eight tons pushing down on every square inch of your body. Understandably, building a submersible (and equipment, such as cameras, motors, and batteries) that can withstand that kind of pressure, and then safely return to the surface, is difficult. This article digs into the technology required to get Cameron safely to the bottom of the ocean, film some 3D, IMAX footage, and then return to the surface."
An anonymous reader writes "Speaking at a tech conference in Seattle this week, former Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie had some interesting things to say about the state of the computing industry. 'People argue about "are we in a post-PC world?" Why are we arguing? Of course we are in a post-PC world. That doesn't mean the PC dies, that just means that the scenarios that we use them in, we stop referring to them as PCs, we refer to them as other things.' Ozzie also thinks Microsoft's future as a company is strongly tied to Windows 8's reception. 'If Windows 8 shifts in a form that people really want to buy the product, the company will have a great future. ... It's a world of phones and pads and devices of all kinds, and our interests in general purpose computing — or desktop computing — starts to wane and people start doing the same things and more in other scenarios.'"
S810 writes "Discovery News is running an article about the U.S. Navy developing a robot capable of 'throwing extinguisher grenades.' From the article: 'SAFFiR would need finger and hand coordination to wrestle fire hoses into place or accurately throw extinguisher grenades. It similarly would need the sure-footed balance of a veteran sailor's sea legs to confidently walk the wave-tossed decks of warships. An infrared camera could allow such a robot to see through smoke-filled hallways, and perhaps it could detect the location of fires through gas sensors. The robot's battery is intended to pack enough energy for half an hour of firefighting action.'"
Hugh Pickens writes "Jay Cline writes that not all privacy issues are created equal and proposes a privacy Richter scale to rank the bad things that could happen to our privacy. A privacy Richter 1 or 2 event is a temporary bad turn for you or a handful of people, but nothing systemic, posing no lasting harm to individuals or society as a whole. Examples include receiving someone else's mail, having someone expose something embarrassing about you to co-workers or friends, or losing your wallet or purse. Privacy events measuring 4 to 7 on the scale are risks that can cause real and lasting damage to a lot of people and include stolen laptops containing thousands of Social Security numbers and credit-card numbers that would allow identity thieves to make fraudulent transactions that could impact credit scores for years. Finally events topping 8 are points of no return for large numbers of people and society as a whole. DARPA's Total Information Awareness program, proposed in 2002 and defunded by Congress in 2003, would have topped the scale. 'The massive collection of data about U.S. citizens could have created a perpetual bureaucracy that put at risk our right of due process and protection against unlawful search and seizure.' So where does Google's plan to consolidate its 60 privacy policies into a single approach rank? 'The current change ranks at a 3,' writes Cline. 'Larry Page's company will weather this change. I don't see irreparable or lasting harm or loss of liberty. If you don't like Google, use Bing. Don't watch weird things on YouTube. You shouldn't be sending confidential things through Gmail in the first place.'"
itwbennett writes "Server naming is well-trod ground on Slashdot. But as new generations enter the workforce, they're relearning the fundamentals of what makes a good scheme. Can servers named after characters from The Simpsons or The Howard Stern show stand the test of time? If you name your servers after the Seven Dwarfs, can you have any doubt that Grumpy will cause you trouble? Striking a balance between fun and functional is harder than it seems."
uigrad_2000 writes "Yesterday, we learned that one of the top members of LulzSec (Sabu) had been an FBI informant for almost 6 months, and that this confidant of the LulzSec leader 'anarchaos' had given the feds what they needed to take him down. More details have come out now, completing a picture of how the sting took place from start to finish. It turns out that even the server space given from Sabu to anarchaos storing the details of 30,000 credit cards (from the Stratfor hack) had been funded by the FBI."
An anonymous reader writes "Surviving members of anonymous and/or lulzsec have hacked Panda Security's systems and defaced their site. Looks like revenge is coming back." El Reg has screenshots of the defacement. Panda Security says the intruders only managed to exploit the web server and did not compromise their internal networks.
GlobalEcho writes "Researchers have created a second version of the Raven robotic surgeon, with open-source control code. 'UW researchers also created software to work with the Robot Operating System, a popular open-source robotics code, so labs can easily connect the Raven to other devices and share ideas.' Unfortunately for them, according to The Economist, 'there is [a] legal problem. Intuitive Surgical, the company behind the da Vinci [robot], holds patents that could make launching a commercial competitor tricky — at least in the immediate future."