Sep 8, 2009 | 39
When hackers want to break into a computer system, they often attempt to reverse engineer the operating software to better understand how it works (and, of course, its vulnerabilities). While researchers have for years taken a similar approach to better understanding parts of our gray matter, neuroscientists now say that within a decade it will be possible to create a digital model that replicates all functions of the human brain.
Though the brain has trillions of synapses, billions of neurons, millions of proteins, and thousands of genes, scientists have already begun to build detailed models of the mouse, rat, cat, primate and human brain, says Henry Markram, director of neuroscience and technology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, where he founded the Brain Mind Institute (BMI) in 2002. One of the keys to furthering this work is cooperation among scientists who are gathering together fragments of information collected over the past century about the how the brain works.
Aug 7, 2009 | 3
The same week that the Obama Administration lost its acting cyber security czar, cyber attacks torpedoed several of the Web's most popular social-networking sites, in particular Twitter and Facebook. Although the denial-of-service attacks (which overwhelm Web servers with phony requests) were the latest reminder of the difficulties of defending the Web against cyber threats, it appears that these crashed sites were collateral damage in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Georgia. Or were they?
Apr 13, 2009 | 3
When computer programmers find security flaws in the programs they use (particularly software running on the Web), they have a choice: report the glitch to the software maker (which may ignore the warning) or find some way of publicly (and often illegally) exploiting it to make clear to the company how vulnerable its software is. A 17-year-old hacker claiming to be from Brooklyn, N.Y., this past weekend chose the latter path, unleashing at least two worms after discovering a weak spot in the social network site Twitter; the worms wended their way into a reported 190 user accounts and infected about 10,000 tweets (messages sent via the Twitter network), the company said yesterday.
Dec 5, 2008 | 16
The "Koobface" software worm tormenting Facebook and MySpace users is still going strong, prompting them to download bogus software that infects their computers, sends spam out to their friends and allows hackers to redirect their Web searches.
The worm is activated when a person logs into his or her Facebook or MySpace account, creating and sending spam messages to listed friends via the Facebook or MySpace sites. The messages and comments include sophisticated fare such as "Paris Hilton Tosses Dwarf On The Street" and "My friend catched [sic] you on hidden cam" as well as a purported link to a video of the advertised content, according to security software maker Kaspersky Lab, based in Woburn, Mass. Clicking on that link delivers a message telling the user to download the latest version of Flash Player.
Nov 18, 2008 | 15
It's been in stores for only one week, but Mirror's Edge (a first-person video game developed by Electronic Arts, Inc.) is apparently causing quite a stir. Literally. People playing the game have reported feeling dizzy and, in some cases, so nauseous that they vomit, writes Clive Thompson in his Wired.com blog, "Games without Frontiers."
Mirror's Edge, available for Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 (a PC version of Mirror’s Edge will ship in North America in January 2009), is set in a police state in the near future. The game has its players assume the persona of Faith, a courier whose mission is to deliver sensitive information, which requires a lot of leaping between rooftops to elude agents of the totalitarian government. Whereas many other first-person shooter games stabilize a player's vision as their characters perform, in Mirror's Edge, players can see their arms and legs pumping as they run, and their perspective is jostled when they jump, slide, fight or climb over obstacles. The action is reminiscent of Parkour, which involves a lot of running, hopping fences, climbing parking garages—anything to get from Point A to Point B as efficiently as possible. (Several examples are can be seen at the Parkour.tv Web site.)
Deadline: Jun 29 2013
Reward: $7,000 USD
The Seeker for this Challenge desires proposals for chemical methods that could rapidly degrade a dilute aqueous solution
Deadline: Jun 30 2013
Reward: $1,000,000 USD
This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation and&
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