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Author Topic: Tech News Weekly: Edition 27-09  (Read 4664 times)


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Tech News Weekly: Edition 27-09
« on: July 06, 2009, 06:54 AM »
The Weekly Tech News
TNWeekly01.gifHi all.
Not sure if anyone was caught by the bug in which only 3 stories were visible last week, but this should be fixed from now on. Pleeeeease let me know if it happens again, thanks guys.
Sorry for being late people, had a (sober mind you) 21st yesterday. Laser tag is fuuuuuun!!  8)
As usual, you can find last week's news here.

1. Researchers Claim First "Real" Quantum Processor (Thanks 40hz!)
Researchers at Yale University claim that they have created the world's first true quantum processor.

Quantum computing has the potential to easily crack current cryptography systems, simulate chemical and nanochemical quantum systems, and speed up the search for solutions of certain types of math problems called NP Complete problems.  Many have raced to create the world's first quantum processor.

In 2007 D-Wave, a Canadian firm, claimed to have created the world's first quantum computing chip.  Debate about whether the chip is a true quantum computer has raged, while the company has continued to release claims of improved "quantum chips" -- with the latest being a 128 qubit chip.  Researchers, though, are skeptical of these claims.

Now, researchers at Yale University claim that they have created the world's first solid state quantum processor.  The new chip, at the very least is the first processor to be officially reported in a peer-reviewed journal.  The research appears in the journal Nature's June 28 advanced publication listing.

2. Researcher Barred from Demoing ATM Security Vuln
A less than surprising turn of events has seen a much anticipated presentation at Black Hat pulled from the line-up.

A talk demonstrating security weaknesses in a widely used automatic teller machine has been pulled from next month's Black Hat conference after the machine vendor placed pressure on the speaker's employer.

Juniper Networks, a provider of network devices and security services, said it delayed the talk by its employee Barnaby Jack at the request of the ATM vendor. The talk promised to "explore both local and remote attack vectors, and finish with a live demonstration of an attack on an unmodified, stock ATM," according to a description of the talk pulled from the Black Hat website in the past 24 hours.

"Juniper believes that Jack's research is important to be presented in a public forum in order to advance the state of security," the company said in a statement. "However, the affected ATM vendor has expressed to us concern about publicly disclosing the research findings before its constituents were fully protected. Considering the scope and possible exposure of this issue on other vendors, Juniper decided to postpone Jack's presentation until all affected vendors have sufficiently addressed the issues found his research."

3. Boomerang Attack Against AES Better Than Blind Chance
A theoretical attack against Rijndael (AES) has been proposed that could provide a faster alternative to brute force attacks against the algorithm.

Cryptographic researchers have uncovered a chink in the armour of the widely used AES algorithm.

The attacks pose no immediate threat to the security of AES, but they do illustrate a technique for extracting keys that is better than simply trying every possible key combination.

Instead of such a brute force approach, the researchers have derived a technique based on "finding local collisions in block ciphers and enhanced with the boomerang switching techniques to gain free rounds in the middle". Collisions in cryptographic happen when two different inputs produce the same output.

4. Cablevision Remote DVR Stays Legal: Supremes Won't Hear Case
The Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought by the content makers that would prevent the content providers from offering recording services to their customers.

The US Supreme Court this morning refused to hear a final appeal in the Cablevision remote DVR case, thereby bringing the years-long litigation to a close. Despite the continued objections of broadcasters, video providers like Cablevision will be allowed to offer "box less" DVR service to customers.

The central question in the case might seem an arcane one: does it matter where a hard drive lives? Cablevision said no, and prepared to launch a service in which all of the digital video recorder's hardware lived in the cable company's central office. Subscribers would still have to choose which shows to record, how long to keep them for, and when to view them, using their television sets and cable boxes as a front-end to the system. Cable companies would no longer need to service and distribute hundreds of thousands of DVRs to customer homes.

To broadcasters, though, this was an unacceptable blurring of the line between a cable company and a rights holder. In their view, Cablevision had no right to archive and retransmit Their programming at its discretion. They sued.

5. Pirate Bay Sold, to Become More Like Carnival Cruise Lines
ThePirateBay has been sold for almost $8 million, and not the kind of people you might think...

The Pirate Bay has been sold—and the new owners plan to make it a legal service that allows "content providers and copyright owners [to] get paid for content that is downloaded via the site."

Global Gaming Factory X AB, a Swedish firm that runs Internet cafes and game centers, plans to buy The Pirate Bay for 60 million kronor, twice the fine that was slapped on The Pirate Bay defendants by a Stockholm court earlier this year.

6. Scientists Find a Black Hole That's "Just Right"
Typically, black holes are either enormous, or extremely small. Scientists believe they've found one that is somewhere in the middle.

Some black holes are too big. Some black holes are too small. A letter appearing in this week's edition of Nature describes how astronomers may have found one that is just right.

The letter, written by a team of British and French astronomers, does not state that they have found an intermediate mass black hole—one that could be termed just right—but that they have found an object where most other explanations fail to explain its behavior.

The object, 2XMM J011028.1-460421 or (more conveniently) HLX-1, is a source of ultraluminous X-rays near the spiral galaxy ESO 243-49. These X-rays have been postulated to be the product of an intermediate mass black hole, one between 100 and 10,000 solar masses, but to date no candidate object has been widely accepted.

7. New Linux Patch Could Circumvent Microsoft's FAT Patents
A patch has been applied to the Linux Kernel that could see Linux dodging Microsoft's patent on the FAT filesystem.

Microsoft's recent lawsuit against TomTom, alleging infringement of filesystem patents, has left many questions unanswered about the legal implications of distributing open source implementations of Microsoft's FAT filesystem. A new Linux kernel patch that was published last week offers a workaround that might make it possible to continue including FAT in Linux without using methods that are covered by Microsoft's patents.

The patent dispute erupted in February when Microsoft sued portable navigation device maker TomTom. Microsoft claimed that TomTom's Linux-based GPS products infringe on several of its patents, including two that cover specific characteristics of FAT, a filesystem devised by Microsoft that is widely used on removable storage devices such as USB thumb drives and memory cards. The dispute escalated when TomTom retaliated with a counter-suit, but it was eventually settled in March when TomTom agreed to remove the relevant functionality.

8. China Hits Pause On Mandatory Filtering Software
Contrary to last week's news report, PC makers shipping their goods to China will not, as yet, be required to ship it with the Green Dam Youth Escort as the Chinese Government has backed off on the requirement that it be shipped with each new PC starting July 1.

The Chinese government has decided to delay the implementation of its controversial client-side filtering software, Green Dam Youth Escort. The deadline for PC makers to preinstall or package the software was originally set for July 1, but it has now been pushed back to an unspecified date.

A representative from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) confirmed to Xinhua that the deadline had been moved at the request of some computer makers. As a result, the deadline of July 1 won't be enforced for PC makers, though the ministry still plans to provide free downloads of Green Dam for schools and Internet cafes as of that date. "The ministry would also keep on soliciting opinions to perfect the preinstallation plan," wrote Xinhua.

9. Jeff Goldblum Will Be Missed
For anyone familiar with Australian Mass Media, this won't come as a surprise. For anyone unfamiliar with it...experience the horror...


« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 07:01 AM by Ehtyar »


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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 27-09
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2009, 10:22 AM »
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 10:24 AM by Edvard »