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Chinese Prison Inmates Forced to Moonlight as World of Warcraft "Gold Farmers" for Guards

Earlier this week, the Guardian newspaper based in London told the story of a former prisoner at northeast China's Jixi labor camp who spent his days breaking rocks and digging trenches in the open cast coalmines and his weary nights forcibly playing World of Warcraft (WoW) for hours on end to build up virtual currency that his jailers could sell for actual money...

May 27, 2011 — Larry Greenemeier

Secret to Stopping Spam: Follow the Money

Spam comprises upward of 80 percent of incoming e-mail, despite monumental efforts by help desks and security software companies to defeat it. The reason spam volumes continue to grow is that such efforts are often misplaced and fail to hit spammers where it hurts...

May 23, 2011 — Larry Greenemeier

Information Is Everywhere, How Can Science Protect It?

Editor's Note: The following blog post first appeared May 15 on the World Science Festival's Web site

Underscoring the importance of encryption in our increasingly data-driven digital lives, this year's World Science Festival features its first-ever session on cryptography, entitled "Keeping Secrets: Cryptography in a Connected World." During this discussion expect a well-rounded panel—including mathematician and computer scientist Brian Snow, scientist/journalist Simon Singh, cryptoanalyst Orr Dunkelman and cryptography researcher Tal Rabin—to break down cryptography, addressing its strengths and weaknesses as well as its impact on security and privacy...

May 16, 2011 — Larry Greenemeier
Participatory Urban Sensing

Participatory Urban Sensing

Through the use of sensors built into your mobile phone (cameras, motion sensors and GPS) and Web services that can aggregate and interpret the assembled information, a new collective capacity is emerging: one in which people like you participate in sensing and analyzing aspects of life that were previously invisible...

May 12, 2011
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