German government warns against using Internet Explorer

internet-explorer-logo The warning applies to versions 6, 7 and 8 of Internet Explorer

The German government has warned web users to find an alternative browser to Internet Explorer to protect security.

The warning from the Federal Office for Information Security comes after Microsoft admitted IE was the weak link in recent attacks on Google’s systems.

Microsoft rejected the warning, saying that the risk to users was low and that the browsers’ increased security setting would prevent any serious risk.

However, German authorities say that even this would not make IE fully safe.

Thomas Baumgaertner, a spokesman for Microsoft in Germany, said that while they were aware of the warning, they did not agree with it, saying that the attacks on Google were by “highly motivated people with a very specific agenda”.

“These were not attacks against general users or consumers,” said Mr Baumgaertner.

“There is no threat to the general user, consequently we do not support this warning,” he added.

Read moreGerman government warns against using Internet Explorer

Mobile Protector: Taser Adds Mobile Phone Surveillance Tool For Parents To Its Arsenal

TASER to Introduce ‘PROTECTOR’ Family Safety Platform at CES in Las Vegas (CNN Money)


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“Mobile Protector,” allows a parent to screen a child’s incoming and outgoing calls and messages

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Stun gun maker Taser wants to help parents, not with jolts of electricity but with a tool which allows parents to effectively take over a child’s mobile phone and manage its use.

“Basically we’re taking old fashioned parenting and bringing it into the mobile world,” Taser chairman and co-founder Tom Smith said at the Consumer Electronics Show here, where the Arizona company unveiled the new product.

“Because when you give your child his mobile phone you don’t know who they’re talking to, what they’re sending or texting, all of those things,” Smith told AFP.

The phone application, called “Mobile Protector,” allows a parent to screen a child’s incoming and outgoing calls and messages, block particular numbers and even listen in on a conversation.

Read moreMobile Protector: Taser Adds Mobile Phone Surveillance Tool For Parents To Its Arsenal

Full-Body Scanners Emitting ‘High-Energy’ Radiation Increase Cancer Risk

Now they will force this very harmful technology unto the public, thanks to the dangerous underwear bomber:

US government lies about Flight 253 ‘crotch bomber’ patsy: Summary of the evidence; Yemen attack implication (Examiner)

Evidence Mounts for US Complicity in Terrorism (Veterans Today)


full-body-scanner

There are two types of scanners we will have to endure at the airport; the millimeter-wave scanner and the ‘backscatter’ X-ray scanner. Both emit ‘high-energy’ radiation and are dangerous.

Body scanners have revolutionized the practice of medicine and has saved many lives, but we must question the government’s mandate to have people endure high-energy radiation in a non-life-threatening situation. We must protest the use of full-body scanners on children and young adults as they are at greater-risk of developing brain tumors and cancer from these machines. Cancer and tumors especially in the young will likely increase as more body scanners are being installed on a nationwide scale. There is just no “safe” dose of radiation, 50% of America’s cancers are radiation-induced.

People with medical implants such as pace-makers should also avoid electromagnetic pulse generating body scanners as they can significantly alter the waveform of the pacemaker pulse.

The millimeter wave scanners emit a wavelength of ten to one millimeter called a millimeter wave, these waves are considered Extremely High Frequency (EHF), the highest radio frequency wave produced. EHF runs a range of frequencies from 30 to 300 gigahertz, they are also abbreviated mmW. These waves are also known as terahertz (THz) radiation. The force generated from terahertz waves is small but the waves can ‘unzip’ or tear apart double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the DNA that could interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication.

Clothing and organic materials are translucent in most millimeter-wave bands. Perfect for detecting metal objects on subjects at airports, but not so great at picking up low-density materials such as plastic, chemicals or liquid which were some of the items used by the underwear bomber.

Full Body X-ray Scanners provide exceptionally clear views of subjects by combining data from multiple images, but increased exposure to X-rays can also cause mutation in DNA, leading to cancer. X-rays are considered ionizing (penetrating) radiation, ionizing radiation in any dose causes genetic mutations, which set all living cells exposed on the path to cancer. Cancers associated with high dose exposure include leukemia, breast, bladder, colon, liver, lung, esophagus, ovarian, multiple myeloma, prostate, nasal cavity/sinuses, pharyngeal, laryngeal, pancreatic and stomach cancers.

Read moreFull-Body Scanners Emitting ‘High-Energy’ Radiation Increase Cancer Risk

Commit Web 2.0 Suicide And Delete Your Public Records

Are you tired of living in public, sick of all the privacy theater the social networks are putting on, and just want to end it all online? Now you can wipe the slate clean with the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine. (Warning: This will really delete your online presence and is irrevocable). Just put in your credentials for Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or LinkedIn and it will delete all your friends and messages, and change your username, password, and photo so that you cannot log back in.

The site is actually run by Moddr, a New Media Lab in Rotterdam, which execute the underlying scripts which erase your accounts. The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine is a digital Dr. Kevorkian. On Facebook, for instance, it removes all your friends one by one, removes your groups and joins you to its own “Social Network Suiciders,” and lets you leave some last words. So far 321 people have used the site to commit Facebook suicide. On Twitter, it deletes all of your Tweets, and removes all the people you follow and your followers. It doesn’t actually delete these accounts, it just puts them to rest.

The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine runs a python script which launches a browser session and automates the process of disconnecting from these social networks (here is a video showing how this works with Twitter). You can even watch the virtual suicide in progress via a Flash app which shows it as a remote desktop session. You can watch your online life pass away one message at a time. Taking over somebody else’s account via an automated script, even with permission, may very well be against the terms of service of these social networks.

From the FAQs:

If I start killing my 2.0-self, can I stop the process?
No!

If I start killing my 2.0-self, can YOU stop the process?
No!

What shall I do after I’ve killed myself with the web2.0 suicide machine?
Try calling some friends, take a walk in a park or buy a bottle of wine and start enjoying your real life again. Some Social Suiciders reported that their lives has improved by an approximate average of 25%. Don’t worry, if you feel empty right after you committed suicide. This is a normal reaction which will slowly fade away within the first 24-72 hours.

The light-hearted video below explains the benefits of committing Web 2.0 Suicide and disconnecting from “so many people you don’t really care about.” Unplugging from your social life online will leave you more time for your real life, which you’ve probably been neglecting. With the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine, you can “sign out forever.” Not that we are recommending you do this in any way. But you may enjoy the video.

by Erick Schonfeld
December 31, 2009

Source: TechCrunch

Stanford University: Ethanol burns dirtier than gasoline

corn-field-for-ethanol-production

(NaturalNews) A recent study conducted by researchers at Stanford University has revealed that ethanol fuel produces more ozone that regular gasoline. When ethanol is burned through combustion, it produces emissions that are substantially higher than gasoline in aldehydes, the carcinogenic precursors to ozone.

Much of the fuel dispensed at pumps in America today is a blend of both ethanol and gasoline. E85, a typical gasoline blend that is 85 percent ethanol, was found to emit more ozone pollutants than gasoline, especially during warm, sunny days. Diana Ginnebaugh, a doctoral candidate who worked on the study, explained that even on cold days when ozone is typically not a problem, E85 could result in problematic levels of ozone.

When a car is first started on a cold day, it takes the catalytic converter a few minutes to warm up in order to reach maximum efficiency. During the warmup period, the highest proportion of pollutants escape the car’s tailpipe, resulting in increased pollution. According to Ginnebaugh, even a slight increase in pollutants could cause places like Los Angeles and Denver, cities that already have smog problems, to have significantly more days when ozone limits are exceeded and public health is at risk.

E85 emissions contain several other different pollutants including ones that cause throat and eye irritation and lung problems. Crop damage may also occur from the aldehydes emitted from the burning of ethanol. In the worst-case scenario, E85 was found to potentially add 39 parts per billion more ozone into the air a day than normal gasoline.

Read moreStanford University: Ethanol burns dirtier than gasoline

Scientists develop electronic ‘Sex chip’ to be implanted into the brain to stimulate pleasure

WTF!


brain

The chip works by sending tiny shocks from implanted electrodes in the brain.

The technology has been used in the United States to treat Parkinson’s disease.

But in recent months scientists have been focusing on the area of the brain just behind the eyes known as the orbitofrontal cortex – this is associated with feelings of pleasure derived from eating and sex.

A research survey conducted by Morten Kringelbach, senior fellow at Oxford University’s department of psychiatry, found the orbitofrontal cortex could be a “new stimulation target” to help people suffering from anhedonia, an inability to experience pleasure from such activities. His findings are reported in the Nature Reviews Neuroscience journal.

Neurosurgery professor Tipu Aziz, said: There is evidence that this chip will work. A few years ago a scientist implanted such a device into the brain of a woman with a low sex drive and turned her into a very sexually active woman. She didn’t like the sudden change, so the wiring in her head was removed.”

Read moreScientists develop electronic ‘Sex chip’ to be implanted into the brain to stimulate pleasure

Not Just Drones: Militants Can Snoop on Most US Warplanes (Updated)

militants-can-snoop-on-most-us-warplanes

Tapping into drones’ video feeds was just the start. The U.S. military’s primary system for bringing overhead surveillance down to soldiers and Marines on the ground is also vulnerable to electronic interception, multiple military sources tell Danger Room. That means militants have the ability to see through the eyes of all kinds of combat aircraft – from traditional fighters and bombers to unmanned spy planes. The problem is in the process of being addressed. But for now, an enormous security breach is even larger than previously thought.

The military initially developed the Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver, or ROVER, in 2002. The idea was let troops on the ground download footage from Predator drones and AC-130 gunships as it was being taken. Since then, nearly every airplane in the American fleet – from F-16 and F/A-18 fighters to A-10 attack planes to Harrier jump jets to B-1B bombers has been outfitted with equipment that lets them transmit to ROVERs. Thousands of ROVER terminals have been distributed to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But those early units were “fielded so fast that it was done with an unencrypted signal. It could be both intercepted (e.g. hacked into) and jammed,” e-mails an Air Force officer with knowledge of the program. In a presentation last month before a conference of the Army Aviation Association of America, a military official noted that the current ROVER terminal “receives only unencrypted L, C, S, Ku [satellite] bands.”

So the same security breach that allowed insurgent to use satellite dishes and $26 software to intercept drone feeds can be used the tap into the video transmissions of any plane.

Read moreNot Just Drones: Militants Can Snoop on Most US Warplanes (Updated)

University of Maryland Develops Insect Terminators For US Military

The US Army granted engineers at the University of Maryland a 5 year, 10 million dollar contract to develop tiny micro air vehicles to be used in war zones.

They believe that these insect robots could save soldiers’ lives by assisting them with reconnaissance and surveillance in the most hostile environments.


Added: 13. December 2009

See also:

Pentagon’s Cyborg Insects All Grown Up (Wired)

The Pentagon’s battle bugs (Asia Times)

Iron Mountain: 22 Stories Underground, Experimental ‘Room 48’

Now that is an underground!


(Click on images to enlarge.)
iron-mountain-22-stories-underground-01
The mine shafts in Iron Mountain’s underground data center are supported with huge limestone columns. Most limestone mines excavate up to 85% of the mineral, but miners for U.S. Steel took away only 65% for added stability.

Click to view a slide show of The Underground

Computerworld – Down a road that winds through the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, just across from a cow pasture, the bucolic scenery of Butler County is interrupted by a high chain-link fence topped with razor wire.

Cars entering the compound are channeled into gated lanes before being searched by a guard. A short distance beyond the security point, the road disappears into a gaping hole in a cliff face. The hole is sealed off by the thick, steel bars of a tall sliding gate controlled by guards carrying semiautomatic pistols. They are protecting a 25-foot-high passage that leads 22 stories down to Iron Mountain’s main archive facility, which takes up 145 acres of a 1,000-acre abandoned limestone mine.

Behind steel doors

Among dozens of red steel doors inserted in the rock face along corridors that create an elaborate subterranean honeycomb, you’ll find Room 48, an experiment in data center energy efficiency. Open for just six months, the room is used by Iron Mountain to discover the best way to use geothermal conditions and engineering designs to establish the perfect environment for electronic documents.

Room 48 is also being used to devise a geothermal-based environment that can be tapped to create efficient, low-cost data centers. (For information on more companies using geothermal conditions to improve data center efficiency, see “Riding the geothermal wave.”)

There is no raised floor in Room 48. Instead, networking wires are suspended above rows of server racks and cooled both by the limestone walls and vents attached to ceiling-mounted red spiral ducts 36 inches in diameter. The HVAC system uses the cool water of an underground lake hundreds of acres in size.

Outside light is beamed into the main aisle of the room through a long ceiling tube to reduce heat. Rows of server racks are encased in rectangular metal containers that trap electrical heat and force it up through perforated ceiling tiles, allowing the 55-degree limestone roof to absorb heat that otherwise would build up in the 4,100-square-foot room.

“Limestone can absorb 1.5 BTUs per square foot,” Charles Doughty, the vice president of engineering at Iron Mountain, said during a recent tour of the facility by Computerworld. Facts on molecular chemistry and mineral properties roll off 61-year-old Doughty’s tongue. He has worked as a technologist and archivist in the tunnels of the one-time mine for 37 years, studying thermodynamics in an ever-evolving effort to create the perfect environment for storing paper and electronic records.

An underground office

Doughty’s underground office is adorned with dark wood furniture that’s upholstered in the type of rich leather befitting his executive status. The furniture and carpeted floors contrast sharply with a rough-hewn wall of prehistoric rock. The office sits just off a larger room filled with cubicles that also butt up against rock walls, which are painted white to better reflect light and suppress any limestone dust.

iron-mountain-22-stories-underground-02
Charles Doughty, Iron Mountain’s vice president of engineering, in his underground office. Note the stark contrast between the executive surroundings and prehistoric rock.

The Underground, as the mine is called by employees, has its own cafe and a fire department with three engines. Like the other 2,700 workers here, Doughty traverses miles of roadways and tunnels in golf carts. Iron Mountain employs just 155 people in The Underground, the rest work for companies renting space in the facility.

An endurance kayaker who owns a working 30-acre farm and is training for an iron-man competition, Doughty is an idea man in a subterranean environment. He calls it “the best job in the world. I only get to create ideas. Other people do the work to make it happen. “

Read moreIron Mountain: 22 Stories Underground, Experimental ‘Room 48’

Big Brother Google Expands Tracking To Logged Out Users

Now, everyone has their activities tracked in the name of a better service

big-brother-google
Google wants to make sure everyone takes it personally

Anyone who’s a regular Google search user will know that the only way to avoid the company tracking your online activities is to log out of Gmail or whatever Google account you use. Not any more.

As of last Friday, even searchers who aren’t logged into Google in any way have their data tracked in the name of providing a ‘better service’.

Anonymous cookie

The company explained: “What we’re doing today is expanding Personalized Search so that we can provide it to signed-out users as well. This addition enables us to customise search results for you based upon 180 days of search activity linked to an anonymous cookie in your browser.”

However, if you’ve previously been a fan of the log-out method to avoid being tracked, there’s still the option to disable the cookie by clicking a link at the top right of a search results page.

Read moreBig Brother Google Expands Tracking To Logged Out Users