bradgoodman (964302) writes "CNN is reporting that the NSA in conjunction with the UK equivalent QCHQ has "cracked much online encryption". This seems to have been done by an ongoing attempt to systematically add "backdoors" and other hidden vulnerabilities into a multitude of commercial services, products and web sites. It does not go on to explicitly state there has necessarily been any "new math" in attacking the underlying algorithms themselves, though it does mention the use of "supercomputers" in the cracking." Link to Original Source top
bradgoodman (964302) writes "The Independent reports: "If you grew up thinking there were nine planets and were shocked when Pluto was demoted five years ago, get ready for another surprise. There may be nine after all, and Jupiter may not be the largest.
The hunt is on for a gas giant up to four times the mass of Jupiter thought to be lurking in the outer Oort Cloud, the most remote region of the solar system. The orbit of Tyche (pronounced ty-kee), would be 15,000 times farther from the Sun than the Earth's, and 375 times farther than Pluto's, which is why it hasn't been seen so far.
But scientists now believe the proof of its existence has already been gathered by a Nasa space telescope, Wise, and is just waiting to be analysed. "" Link to Original Source top
bradgoodman (964302) writes "According to email notice and Blog posting, popular cross-browser synchronization service Xmarks (formerly "Foxmarks") will be shutting down it's operations as of January 10, 2011." Link to Original Source top
bradgoodman writes "CNN reports that Google Wave, a product that promises to revolutionize online communication, will go out to about 100,000 beta testers Wednesday. Google demonstrated Wave at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, California, in May. The closed group of beta testers will help Google fish bugs out of the application before a public release by the end of the year, according to the Google Wave Web site." Link to Original Source top
bradgoodman writes "Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of the original Macintosh. Two days after the legendary Super Bowl ad, the Mac was available. Has it really been that long? Wow, do I feel old! Happy Birthday, Macintosh!" Link to Original Source top
bradgoodman writes "There is no doubt that the landing and rescue of US Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River was nothing short of remarkable — but am I alone in my outrage? Everyone on the Titanic would have survived had it gone down in the middle of the Hudson river in the middle of the afternoon. Didn't the Titanic teach us that we needed life rafts for everyone on board? There were none for the vast majority of passengers. Even with the landing as flawless as it was, had this happened even a few miles off shore, hypothermia could have killed dozens of people. One of the rafts inflated even upside down. Is this going to ignite some major changes? I think we got very lucky." top
Chicka Chick Boom Boom: Cryptography for Toddlers?
bradgoodman writes "Am I just having one of those psychotic episodes where you see similarities and correlations between random things, or...
Is the popular Children's alphabet book "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" really about cryptography?
For those who aren't familiar with it — the first page reads like a textbook case from a cryptography text:
"A told B, and B told C: "I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree."
The illustrations go on to depict the letters of the alphabet — scrambled, mangled, contorted and rearranged.
Is there a conspiracy here, or do I just need to lay-off of the cold medicine?"
bradgoodman writes "I've seen the Central Park release event, and been hearing all the buzz about Wii Fit on the web, in the media, and from other users. I'd frantically gone from store to store every day until I finally got my hands on one. I rushed home and tried it, and, what a let down! I don't want to go into detail on why it is so bad, and how it is nearly impossible to get even a moderate workout from this device. My Wife was all excited for it, tried it once, and that was the end of that. My question to Slashdot is: Why is everyone so up on Wii Fit? Why hasn't everyone realized how poor it is? Where is all the hype coming from? Is this an artifact of Nintendo's artificial short-supply — i.e. if you can't get it, you want it even more? Who can I slap to snap them out of it?" top
bradgoodman writes "We've all heard of Google's coveting of the 700MHz spectrum, and of their desire to keep it "open" with respect to equipment that can be used on it. Then there is of course the "gPhone", and it's OS, etc. Today I heard for the first time (I live under a rock) about their acquisition of a service called "GrandCenteral". GrandCenteral does a lot with integrating land-lines, multiple phones, incoming calls, contact managment, voice-mail, etc. etc. and of course wraps it in with web-based management. I initially thought it was pretty different and interesting, imagining what you could do with it. That's when the light-blulb turned on: Using custom equipment (gPhone) on a spectrum (700MHz) which would integrate it into a completely new type of telecom paradigm (GrandCentral) — is there a coup brewing in the world of telephony as we know it???" top
bradgoodman writes "BEND, Oregon (AP) — Last weekend, Kent Couch settled down in his lawn chair with some snacks — and a parachute. Attached to his lawn chair were 105 large helium balloons.
Balloons suspend Kent Couch in a lawn chair as he floats in the skies near Bend, Oregon, on Saturday.
With instruments to measure his altitude and speed, a global positioning system device in his pocket, and about four plastic bags holding five gallons of water each to act as ballast — he could turn a spigot, release water and rise — Couch headed into the Oregon sky." Link to Original Source