Medical institutions partner on network surgery

A group of universities is testing technology that would let surgeons collaborate from multiple hospitals by videoconference, using the networking consortium Internet2. The technology uses a 30-Mbit-per-second video stream, which is broadcast with Microsoft’s Conference XP system. In previous networking attempts, video quality was too poor for physicians to perform delicate surgeries. The University of Puerto Rico, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Michigan, National Library of Medicine, and Rochester Institute of Technology were involved in the project. (Science Daily)

Spam reduced after host is shut down

McColo, a Web hosting company based in San Jose, Calif., had multiple Internet connections severed by its ISPs following an investigation by the Washington Post that revealed the company’s connection to major spam activity. According to security experts, worldwide spam dropped by two-thirds following the shutdown. But they also predicted spam volume to recover as spammers move to new homes. (Washington Post)

E-waste tracked to China town

In a 60 Minutes report that aired in the US on Monday, a container filled with CRT screens from discarded computer monitors was tracked from recycling company Executive Recycling in Englewood, Colo., to Guiyu, China, described in the report as “a sort of Chernobyl of electronic waste.” According to the report, the town is dangerously polluted because of unsafe recycling, including high levels of cancer-causing  dioxins. Executive Recycling chief executive officer Brandon Richter denied that the e-waste was filled at the company’s facility. (CBS News)

SQL injection attacks not easy to kill

A wave of SQL injection attacks that began last week has proven resilient, sometimes infecting Web sites a second time, Dark Reading reported. A Kaspersky Lab researcher said that removing malicious links from targeted Web sites isn’t enough to stop the problem because the attackers will infect the sites again. The attacks appear to originate through  DRM-protected SQL injection toolkits sold primarily in China. Security company Websense said that attackers had infected 1,200 Web sites in Europe, the US, and Asia as of Monday. (Dark Reading)

Virtualization materializes for mobile phones

VMware is expanding virtualization into the smart phone market with the introduction of its Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP), which it says will reduce development time and enable consumers to have two profiles on one device. According to the company, MVP is a thin layer of software that can be embedded on a mobile phone, decoupling applications and data from the underlying hardware. Vendors can use the technology to develop a software stack with their operating systems and install it on a variety of devices. (Information Week)

Jaguar becomes fastest supercomputer

The Cray XT Jaguar supercomputer is now the fastest in the world for unclassified scientific research, according to scientists. The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee recently upgraded the machine to handle 1.64 petaflops; one petaflop is equivalent to one quadrillion mathematical computations per second. The Associated Press reported that the only supercomputer faster than the Jaguar is devoted to classified research on nuclear weapons at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. (Information Week)

AVG misidentifies critical Windows file as Trojan

AVG Technologies’ antivirus software update identified a critical Windows XP file as a Trojan horse last weekend, causing some computers to fail to reboot. The company acknowledged the problem on its support Web site, provided details to help customers affected by the problem, and updated its signatures. The false alarm, which occurred in the free and regular versions of AVG 8.0 and AVG 7.5, identified “user32.dll” as a Trojan and recommended that the file be quarantined. According to some reports, the problem only affected Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish versions of Windows XP. (Computerworld)

Botnets get few responses to spam

A university research team that hijacked a small part of the Storm botnet found that  spam  profits are lower than they previously thought – they estimated that campaigns could bring in  US$7,000 to $9,500 per day. Researchers at the University of California,San Diego infiltrated Storm last spring and modified some  of the spam messages to redirect respondents to the team’s own servers, which mimicked the botnet creators’ pharmacy Web sites but gave error messages to anyone trying to make a purchase. The team’s spam messages attracted 28 buyers – mostly for male enhancement pills – averaging US$100 each, which is less than .00001 percent of its spam output. (Ars Technica)

Smolt spreads through Linux world

Smolt, an open source hardware profiling tool available through the Fedora Project, is gaining traction as the best way to profile Linux users’ hardware, according to Internetnews.com. Smolt is available in Fedora 7 and will be included in OpenSUSE 11.1, and Ubuntu is considering adding it, even though Ubuntu developers say their OS already has a similar tool. “It’s absolutely a good thing whenever distributions work together to improve the overall coverage of hardware in Linux,” Fedora Project leader Paul Frields said. (Internetnews)

Live VM migration breaks down barriers

AMD and Red Hat teamed to demonstrate a way for virtual machines to migrate live across CPU architectures, marking a breakthrough for virtualization. Using Red Hat open source software, AMD moved a VM from a dual socket Intel Xeon DP Quad Core E-5420-based system to an AMD 45nm Quad-Core Opteron-based system. In a blog post, AMD product marketing director Margaret Lewis said the demonstration disproves the idea that live migration across rival processors could never be done, although there are still technical challenges before the process gets to market. (Computerworld)

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