Archive for February, 2012


IBM Busts Record for ‘Superconducting’ Quantum Computer

Posted February 29th, 2012


Today’s quantum computers are no more than experiments. Researchers can string together a handful of quantum bits — seemingly magical bits that store a “1″ and “0″ at the same time — and these ephemeral creations can run relatively simple algorithms. But new research from IBM indicates that far more complex quantum computers aren’t that far away.

On Tuesday, IBM revealed that physicists at its Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York have made significant advances in the creation of “superconducting qubits,” one of several research fields that could eventually lead to a quantum computer that’s exponentially more powerful than today’s classical computers.

According to Matthias Steffen — who oversees Big Blue’s experimental quantum computing group — he and his team have improved the performance of superconducting qubits by a factor of two to four. “What this means is that we can really start thinking about much larger systems,” he tells Wired, “putting several of these quantum bits together and performing much larger error correction.”

For the full skinny go HERE.

Posted in Cool Ideas, Tech News by  


In Attack on Vatican Web Site, a Glimpse of Hackers’ Tactics

Posted February 28th, 2012

From The New York Times

Anonymous has carried out Internet attacks on well-known organizations like Sony and PBS. In August, the group went after its most prominent target yet: the Vatican.

The campaign against the Vatican, which did not receive wide attention at the time, involved hundreds of people, some with hacking skills and some without. A core group of participants openly drummed up support for the attack using YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Others searched for vulnerabilities on a Vatican Web site and, when that failed, enlisted amateur recruits to flood the site with traffic, hoping it would crash, according to a computer security firm’s report to be released this week.

The attack, albeit an unsuccessful one, provides a rare glimpse into the recruiting, reconnaissance and warfare tactics used by the shadowy hacking collective.

Anonymous, which first gained widespread notice with an attack on the Church of Scientology in 2008, has since carried out hundreds of increasingly bold strikes, taking aim at perceived enemies including law enforcement agencies, Internet security companies and opponents of the whistle-blower site WikiLeaks.

The group’s attack on the Vatican was confirmed by the hackers and is detailed in a report that Imperva, a computer security company based in Redwood City, Calif., plans to release ahead of a computer security conference here this week. It may be the first end-to-end record of a full Anonymous attack.

For the full skinny go HERE.

Posted in cybercrime, Enforcement, Internet Security by  


Robot bee assembles in pop-up origami trick

Posted February 27th, 2012


Army-funded researchers at the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory are popping out Harvard Monolithic Bees (“Mobees”) from multi-layered, laser-cut blocks about the size of a quarter.

Inspired by pop-up books, the manufacturing process could allow for rapid production of dozens of flying robots and other electromechanical devices. The research is being published in the March edition of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

In the RoboBees project, Pratheev Sreetharan and colleagues want to build bee-size robots that can fly and act autonomously as a colony. Until recently, it used a painstaking manual assembly method.

For the full skinny go HERE.

Posted in Cool Ideas, Gadgets, Tech News by  


Apple tactics in China iPad deal unusual: experts

Posted February 27th, 2012

From Reuters

Proview Electronics, the firm trying to stop Apple Inc from using the iPad name in China, has a plausible claim over the unusual methods Apple used to conceal its identity when attempting to acquire Proview’s trademarks, according to several legal experts.

But Apple also has some strong defenses against a lawsuit Proview filed last week in California – including the argument that Proview cannot sue Apple, but can only sue the corporation that actually bought the trademarks, the experts said.

For the full skinny go HERE.

Posted in Intellectual Property, Tech News, trademark issues by  


Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

Posted February 13th, 2012

From Yahoo! News

LONDON (AP) — A hacker claims to have compromised the personal information of more than 350,000 users after breaking into a disused website operated by pornography provider Brazzers.

Kate Miller, director of communications for site owner Manwin Holding SARL, said Saturday it was “currently investigating the issue” but that no credit card information has been leaked.

Miller said it appeared that the hacker had gained access to an inactive forum to help enter other, linked websites. She said people who were potentially affected were being notified of the security breach by the company.

In an email, she said that security was “a priority at all times” and that the company would do all it could to safeguard its users’ information. The email went on to blame the hacker for “illegal and prohibited cyber criminal activities.”

The breach is a potential embarrassment for Luxembourg-based Manwin, which runs some of the world’s best-known pornography websites.

See the full skinny HERE.

Posted in cybercrime, Oh No, Security by  


“Charlie Bit My Finger”

Posted February 10th, 2012

From The New York Times


MAIDENHEAD, England — Visiting the local park not long ago, Shelley Davies-Carr and her four sons were suddenly surrounded by a gaggle of overexcited teenagers wielding cellphones and taking photographs. “Oh, my God!” the teenagers shrieked, as only teenagers can. “ ‘Charlie Bit My Finger!’ ”

Indeed, it is hard to find anyone in the video-watching world who has not heard of “Charlie Bit My Finger,” a YouTube video featuring tiny Charlie Davies-Carr chomping on his older brother, Harry. Since it was posted in 2007, the 56-second clip of English-accented toddler indignation and infant bliss has been viewed a mind-boggling 417.6 million times, making it the most successful noncommercial video in YouTube history.

See the full skinny HERE.



Posted in Oh No, Social Networks by  


Lady Gaga Launches Little Monsters

Posted February 10th, 2012

From CNN

Lady Gaga is already the reigning queen of Twitter, with her nearly 19 million followers topping those of anyone else on the site.

Now, she’s launching a site of her own.

Little Monsters, now in invite-only beta testing, is the pop princess’s effort at creating a network built around her fan base — which she’s dubbed the aforementioned “monsters.”

An early look at the site suggests it will be designed a lot like Pintrest, the fast-emerging mobile app that lets users “pin” locations and items that they like. Gaga’s site also will emphasize sharing and creating photos and videos, as well as letting other users promote content from others that they like (something similar to sites like Reddit and Digg).

See the full skinny HERE.

Posted in Events, Social Networks by  


ICANN Reaffirms Commitment to Second Round in New gTLD Program

Posted February 10th, 2012

From ICANN News

On 7 February 2012, the ICANN Board reaffirmed ICANN’s commitment to opening a second round of applications in the New gTLD Program as expeditiously as possible.

ICANN will publish a document describing the work plan required prior to initiating a second application window for the New gTLD Program.

It is not possible yet to state a specific date for the second round because of the work ICANN has committed to related to the first round. First, the applications from the first round must be processed, and the amount of applications to be received will not be known until the first-round application window ends. In addition, ICANN previously committed to addressing the recommendations of the Governmental Advisory Committee requirements for assessment of trademark protections and root zone operation as a result of the first round.

In furtherance of the resolution, after the publication of the description of the work plan, ICANN will continue working with the community to refine that work plan.

The full text of the resolution is available on ICANN’s website HERE.

Get the full skinny HERE.

Posted in gTLDS, ICANN by  


.XXX Sites Hit by Rapid Takedown

Posted February 10th, 2012

From Domain Incite

The National Arbitration Forum has ordered the secret takedown of 12 .XXX domains since the adults-only gTLD launched in December.

NAF yesterday published statistics about the .xxx Rapid Evaluation Service (RES), which ICM Registry created and NAF exclusively administers.

Fifteen RES complaints have been filed since December 6, 12 of which have been resolved so far. All of the cases were won by the complainant — a trademark holder in 11 of the cases.

See the full skinny HERE.

Posted in Enforcement, gTLDS, NAF by  


Manifold Clock: A 3D timepiece for math geeks

Posted February 8th, 2012

From Amanda Kooser on CNET

The Manifold Clock doesn’t just tell time with flat hands, it expresses it with ever-changing shapes created by a flexible sheet of Tyvek attached between the hands. Every minute looks slightly different.

There’s some delightful mathematical geekiness behind all of this. The design uses the concept of Riemann surfaces.

See the full story HERE.

Posted in Cool Ideas, Gadgets by