French fighter planes grounded by computer virus

French fighter planes were unable to take off after military computers were infected by a computer virus, an intelligence magazine claims.


French fighter jets were unable to take off after military computers were attacked by a virus Photo: AFP

The aircraft were unable to download their flight plans after databases were infected by a Microsoft virus they had already been warned about several months beforehand.

At one point French naval staff were also instructed not to even open their computers.

Microsoft had warned that the “Conficker” virus, transmitted through Windows, was attacking computer systems in October last year, but according to reports the French military ignored the warning and failed to install the necessary security measures.

The French newspaper Ouest France said the virus had hit the internal computer network at the French Navy.

Jérome Erulin, French navy spokesman told the paper: “It affected exchanges of information but no information was lost. It was a security problem we had already simulated. We cut the communication links that could have transmitted the virus and 99 per cent of the network is safe.”

However, the French navy admitted that during the time it took to eradicate the virus, it had to return to more traditional forms of communication: telephone, fax and post.

Read moreFrench fighter planes grounded by computer virus

Google Offers “Latitude” To Track People

New, Free Software Enables You To Keep Tabs On Others’ Whereabouts, And Vice Versa, Using Cell Phones, Says Natali Del Conte

(CBS) Google is releasing free software Wednesday that enables people to keep track of each other using their cell phones.

CNET got a sneak peek at it, and CNET-TV Senior Editor and Early Show contributor Natali Del Conte explained how it works on the show Tuesday.

She says “Latitude” uses GPS systems and what’s called cell tower triangulation to do the job. The software seeks the closest three cell towers and, with GPS, combines the data to show where someone is.

It is designed to work on any phone with Internet capabilities, except the iPhone.

“Latitude” is being marketed as a tool that could help parents keep tabs on their children’s locations, but it can be used for anyone to find anyone else, assuming permission is given.

“What Google Latitude does is allow you to share that location with friends and family members, and likewise be able to see friends and family members’ locations,” Steve Lee, product manager for Google Latitude, told CNET. “For example, a girlfriend could use it to see if her boyfriend has arrived at a restaurant and, if not, how far away he is.”

CNET points out that, “To protect privacy, Google specifically requires people to sign up for the service. People can share their precise location, the city they’re in, or nothing at all.”

“What we found in testing,” Lee added to CNET, “is that the most common scenario is a symmetrical arrangement, where both people are sharing with each other.”

For complete details from CNET on “Latitude,” click here.

But how accurate is “Latitude”?

Del Conte found a family willing to give it a try. The results? Mixed:

The family lives in an area with spotty cell phone reception, Del Conte points out. They found that, if they went to more urbanized areas, the accuracy of the program increased.

Feb. 4, 2009

Source: CBS News

Boeing: We zapped a UAV with a laser


There’s still a lot of blue sky in Boeing’s plans for directed-energy weapons like the Laser Avenger. (Credit: Boeing)

Updated 2:40 p.m. with details on how the laser damaged the UAV and on the Laser Avenger’s targeting system.

Boeing is seeing a glimmer of progress in its work toward fielding laser weapons.

The defense industry giant on Monday said tests of its Laser Avenger system in December marked “the first time a combat vehicle has used a laser to shoot down a UAV,” or unmanned aerial vehicle. In the testing, the Humvee-mounted Laser Avenger located and tracked three small UAVs in flight over the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and knocked one of the drone aircraft out of the sky.

Boeing didn’t go into much detail about the shoot-down. In response to a query by CNET News, it did say this much about the strike by the the kilowatt-class laser: “A hole was burned in a critical flight control element of the UAV, rendering the aircraft unflyable.”

While decades of Hollywood imagery may conjure up a vision of a target disintegrating in a sparkle of light, the actual workings of the laser beam are probably more prosaic. For instance, the beam from Boeing’s much, much larger Airborne Laser, which is intended to disable long-range missiles in flight, uses heat to create a weak spot on the skin of the missile, causing it to rupture in flight. Boeing hopes to conduct the first aerial shoot-down test with the much-delayed 747-based Airborne Laser later this year.

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Face scanners to be installed in schools

Schools could be fitted with futuristic face scanners which screen pupils’ faces with an invisible infra-red light as they attempt to enter the building to keep out strangers.

The system, which is being trialled in a UK school next week, can also be used to allow children to take out library books and buy their lunch.

It is among a host of high-tech security measures introduced in schools in a bid to keep pupils safe.

Some schools have brought in fingerprint and eye scanners, while others are planning to put radio transponder chips in pupils’ uniforms to keep tabs on them.

But there are fears the technology breaches children’s civil liberties.

One school installed an iris scanner in 2003 but removed it a year later after it failed to recognise some students and led to lengthy queues.

Read moreFace scanners to be installed in schools

Extinct animals could be brought back to life thanks to advances in DNA technology

Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park film may have been pure science fiction – but extinct creatures such as Neanderthals to Sabre-toothed tigers could soon be brought back to life thanks to advances in DNA technology.


A scene from Jurassic Park III – maybe not too far from the truth

The idea of resurrecting extinct animals moved a step closer to reality last year when scientists announced that they had decoded almost all of the genome of the woolly mammoth, from 60,000-year-old remains found frozen in Siberia.

Now New Scientist magazine has named the 10 other beasts most likely to rise again, including the Irish elk deer whose antlers measured 12 feet across, the dodo and Neanderthal man.

Animals that died out thousands of years ago could be recreated using genetic information retrieved from well-preserved specimens recovered from permafrost, dark caves or dry desserts.

Read moreExtinct animals could be brought back to life thanks to advances in DNA technology

Satellite device will allow parents to plot child’s location to within 10ft

A satellite tracking device that will allow parents to plot their child’s location to within 10ft will go on sale in the UK in March, its manufacturer said.


The GPS watch can be securely fastened to a child’s wrist and will trigger an alert if forcibly removed. Photo: PA

Concerned parents will be able to receive text or email updates of their child’s location.

Nu.M8, thought to be the world’s first GPS locator device specifically designed to be worn by children, is concealed within a digital watch.

It can be securely fastened to a child’s wrist and will trigger an alert if forcibly removed.

Parents who text “wru”, or click “where r you” on the secure website, will be able to see the child’s location on Google maps and the street address and postcode will also be displayed.

So-called “safe zones” can also be set up in which children can play safely and an alert will be sent to the parent’s mobile phone and computer if the child strays out of that area.

The watch, which will go on sale in March, is expected to cost £149.99, with a standard monthly subscription fee of £9.99.

Read moreSatellite device will allow parents to plot child’s location to within 10ft

Japan taps into power of volcanoes with geothermal energy plants

Japan has announced plans to build its first new geothermal power stations in nearly two decades in a bid to tap the nation’s domestic energy sources.

A string of geothermal power plants are to be developed by a number of firms keen to capitalise on the active volcanic landscape that spans the country, while the government is also currently compiling guidelines supporting the development of such energy sources.

Home to 108 active volcanoes – ten per cent of the world’s active volcanoes – Japan is in a prime position to tap into underground geothermal energy sources.

As a nation with few natural resources, Japan has long been dependent on importing substantial quantities of crude oil and natural gas. The country’s renewed focus on geothermal energy marks a desired shift away from its dependency on imported energy sources which has made it susceptible to increasingly volatile prices.

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Scientists create world’s thinnest material

Researchers have created the world’s thinnest sheet – a single atom thick – and used it to create the world’s smallest transistor, marking a breakthrough that could spark the development of super-fast computer chips.

This innovation will allow ultra small electronics to take over when the current silicon-based technology runs out of steam, according to Prof Andre Geim and Dr Kostya Novoselov from the University of Manchester.

They reveal details of transistors that are only one atom thick and fewer than 50 atoms wide in the journal, Nature Materials.

Read moreScientists create world’s thinnest material

Sold as non-lethal, Tasers killed 400 in US, Canada since 2001

Take a closer look at the Taser logo. That logo is overlaying planet earth. Compare it to the logo of the Waffen SS. So what it means here is: ‘Fascism rules the world.’

The symbol Taser uses is immediately understood by the subconscious mind because the language of the subconscious mind are pictures.

What I have learned about this symbol is that it means ‘artificial activation’ to the subconscious mind. Hitler was aware of this and maybe thought : “Doppelt hält besser.” “Make assurance double sure.”

The New World Order is closing in from all sides.

And if you realize this, when you will have the microchip under your skin, then it will be too late.

Understanding the symbolism behind the logos of corporations, Homeland Security etc. may be shocking, but the truth ‘can’ set you free.

When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. – Sinclair Lewis
___________________________________________________________________________

Source: The Raw Story

They are marketed as non-lethal weapons that allow police to capture suspects or criminals without causing any permanent harm.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and businessman Bernard Kerik made millions selling the idea to police departments across the country.

But Tasers have killed more than 400 people in the United States and Canada since 2001, according to a new study commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Police departments across Canada began banning use of Tasers by their officers after the report found that Tasers deliver more power than the manufacturer says is possible.

It is unknown if U.S. police departments will follow suit.

The study includes a medical analysis that concluded someone shot with a Taser could face as high as a 50 percent chance of cardiac arrest.

The Taser company, however, still says its weapons can’t kill.

“It is unfortunate that false allegations based on scientifically flawed data can create such uncertainty,” Steve Tuttle, a Taser vice president, told The Arizona Republic.

Stories of Taser-related deaths have stacked up over the years, many involving police officers who never realized the harm their Taser could cause.

Read moreSold as non-lethal, Tasers killed 400 in US, Canada since 2001

Video: Air Force’s Killer Bugbots Attack

The U.S. military has been working for a while on tiny, buglike drones – to serve as miniature flying spies, Defense Department robot-makers say.

But this video, from the Air Force Research Laboratory, shows that the military is also interested in turning these “Micro Air Vehicles,” or MAVs, into biomorphic weapons that can lie in secret for weeks at a time – and then strike an adversary with lethal accuracy.

“Individual MAVs may perform direct-attack missions,” says the video’s gravelly voiced narrator. “They can be equipped with incapacitation chemicals, combustible payloads or even explosives for precision-targeting capability.”

“Individual MAVs may perform direct-attack missions,” says the video’s gravelly voiced narrator. “They can be equipped with incapacitation chemicals, combustible payloads or even explosives for precision-targeting capability.”

Read moreVideo: Air Force’s Killer Bugbots Attack