Nanotech companies may make radioactive sensors obsolete

The EE Times today reported that two tech companies have discovered that "green" smoke-alarm ionizers using field-emission from nanotubes instead of radioactive isotopes could eliminate a source of dirty-bomb material. Applied Nanotech Inc. in Texas and Sionex Corp. in Massachusetts both earned a U.S. Small Business Innovation Research contract sponsored by the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency and say they have proven in principle that carbon nanotube emitters can perform all the necessary ionization and identification steps without the use of radioactive materials. Under the contract, the companies are working to produce a small, safe, high-performance sensor using electron field emission from carbon nanotube arrays instead the ionizing alpha rays from radioactive isotopes. According to the Times, the companies' joint-development effort aims to "provide a safe, inexpensive, high-performance alternative method of ionizing samples by using carbon nanotube emitters integrated into air-flow passages ahead of a differential mobility spectrometer" (Johnson, EE Times, 5/20/08).

British national EHR system delayed at least four years

According to a National Audit Office report released Friday, England's National Health Service will not fully introduce its planned nationwide electronic health record system (EHR) until 2014 or 2015, four years later than planned, the Press Association reports. The report found "serious delays" in disseminating the software to NHS trusts as part of the £12.7 billion (roughly $24.7 billion) National Program for IT. According to the report, the original timeline, which projected EHR project completion by 2010, was unachievable, raised expectations and "put confidence in the program at risk." Specifically, the IT program involves rolling out an EHR system for 50 million patients and linking more than 30,000 general practitioners, deploying an online "choose and book" system for hospital appointments, electronic prescriptions, and network links between NHS organizations. Despite the delays, the report found the EHR project still is on budget and Tim Burr, head of the NAO notes that the project is progressing " and financial savings and other benefits are beginning to emerge" (Press Association, 5/16/08; Collins, Computer Weekly, 5/16/08; BBC News, 5/15/08).

U.S., German researchers studying new off-line hacking tools

German and U.S. researchers have developed two new techniques that tap cameras and telescopes for stealing data from a computer, IDG News Service reports. In separate studies, teams at the University of California-Santa Barbara (UC) and at Saarland University in Saarbrucken, Germany, describe attacks that manipulate data gleaned from off-line techniques. The UC team, for instance, has developed a method to analyze a video of hands typing on a keyboard in order to estimate what the user was typing. Specifically, the UC researchers' Clear Shot tool can analyze video of hand movements on a computer keyboard and transcribe them into text. However, researchers say the software is accurate roughly 40 percent of the time, but clear enough to offer the general aspects of information being typed. In Saarbrucken, meanwhile, researchers have read computer screens from tiny reflections on everyday objects such as glasses and teapots. Currently, the Saarland researchers are developing new image analysis algorithms and training astronomical cameras on their subjects in hopes of gaining better images from even more difficult surfaces such as the human eye. For example, thus far they have aimed their telescopes and cameras at a white wall and garnered readable reflections from a monitor 2 meters from the wall (McMillan, IDG News Service/InfoWorld, 5/19/08). 

Health IT acceptance could mirror Internet model, Steve Case says

At the Medco Health Solutions 2008 Drug Trend "Predictions" Symposium, Revolution Health CEO Steve Case predicted that consumers will overcome concerns about the security of electronic health records, comparing the trend to online banking, Healthcare IT News reports. Case, co-founder of America Online, compared skeptics of health information technology (IT) with those who downplayed the development of the Internet in the 1980s. Specifically, he noted that a secure, universal system will entice patients and payers, boasting financial efficiencies and clinical benefits.  He added that patient control of electronic health information is essential to consumer confidence. According to Case, empowering and engaging consumers to more actively manage their own health care is a vital component of boosting health IT adoption (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 5/16/08). 

Mass SQL attacks span China, Taiwan

A security company in Taiwan recently found that a mass SQL injection is attacking Web sites across China and Taiwan, implanting malware in thousands of sites, IDG News Service reports. According to Taipei-based Armorize Technologies, attack is coming from a server farm inside China, which has made no effort to hide its IP addresses. First detected on May 13, the SQL injection attack has infected 10,000 servers just last Friday. Officials note that most of the affected servers are located in China, while some are located in Taiwan. Under such a malware scheme, "an attacker attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in a Web site's database by entering SQL code in an entry field, such as a login. If successful, such an attack can give the attacker access to data on the database and the ability to run malicious code on the Web site," IDG notes (Lemon, IDG News Service/CIO, 5/19/08).

Support for saving XP operating system grows

The InfoWorld-sponsored petition SaveXP.com as of May 15 had reached more than 200,000 supporters who all aim to extend the availability of Window's XP operating system, InfoWorld reports. InfoWorld in January asked businesses and individuals to sign the online petition, which requests that Microsoft keep Windows XP for sale beyond the planned June 30 general end-of-sales date. As of May 15, the count was 200,805 signatures, excluding duplicates and fake signups. InfoWorld reports that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer a few weeks ago indicated that the company may give XP a reprieve similar to what it had done six months ago when it extended the system's end-of-sales date. However, Microsoft's PR firm Waggener Edstrom "quickly issued denials that any change was imminent, suggesting that the voices seeking to keep XP were a small minority," according to InfoWorld. Meanwhile, Microsoft has declined to meet with InfoWorld to receive the petition and discuss the concerns of its customers who have signed it (InfoWorld, 5/19/08).

Microsoft announces possible new Yahoo deal proposal

Microsoft on Sunday said it has proposed a new deal with Yahoo that may involve buying a part but not all of the company, IDG News Service reports. Though the details were limited, the company said it does not plan at this time to make a new bid to acquire all of Yahoo, but that it is exploring other options to expand its online services and advertising businesses. The announcement comes a few weeks after Microsoft's May 3 withdrawal of its offer to buy Yahoo. Since then, the activist investor Carl Icahn has said he will launch a proxy battle to replace Yahoo's board and force it back to the negotiating table with Microsoft, according to IDG. A Yahoo spokeswoman, meanwhile, declined to comment on Microsoft's statement (Niccolai, IDG News Service/Computerworld-Australia, 5/19/08). 

U.S Jaguar supercomputer upgraded

The U.S. Department of Energy recently upgraded its Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jaguar supercomputer to more than doubled its performance, United Press International reports. According to officials, the Jaguar system, a Cray XT4, recently completed various tests that included running applications in climate science, quantum chemistry, combustion science, materials science, nanoscience, fusion science and astrophysics, as well as benchmarking applications that test supercomputing performance. Jaguar now uses more than 31,000 processing cores to deliver up to 263 trillion calculations a second, or 263 teraflops. Commenting on the change, the lab's director notes that "this upgrade is an essential step along that path, bringing us ever closer to the era of petascale computing," which UPI notes is capable of thousands of trillions of calculations per second (UPI, 5/19/08).

Support for saving XP operating system grows

The InfoWorld-sponsored petition SaveXP.com as of May 15 had reached more than 200,000 supporters who all aim to extend the life of Window's XP operating system, InfoWorld reports. InfoWorld in January asked businesses and individuals to sign the online petition, which requests that Microsoft keep Windows XP for sale beyond the planned June 30 general end-of-sales date. As of May 15, the count was 200,805 signatures, excluding duplicates and fake signups. InfoWorld reports that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer a few weeks ago indicated that the company may give XP a reprieve similar to what it had done six months ago when it extended the system's end-of-sales date. However, Microsoft's PR firm Waggener Edstrom "quickly issued denials that any change was imminent, suggesting that the voices seeking to keep XP were a small minority," according to InfoWorld. Meanwhile, Microsoft has declined to meet with InfoWorld to receive the petition and discuss the concerns of its customers who have signed it (InfoWorld, 5/19/08).

World IT convention meets in Kuala Lumpur

The 16th World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) began on Monday in Kuala Lumpur, Xinhua News Service reports. Often billed as the Olympics of ICT, the 16th WCIT is themed "Enable, Empower and Enrich" to reflect its potential to enable businesses, empower societies, and enrich economics. Held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center on May 18-22, the five-day event has drawn more than 3,000 delegates from 92 countries worldwide. At the opening ceremony, the Chairman of World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) George Newstrom announced that the WCIT will be held in the Netherlands in 2010 and Montreal, Canada, in 2012. In 2006, the event was held in the United States. Commenting on the congress, Newstrom notes "this event is designed so that the leaders of government and industry from around the world share their vision of their world and how we in information technology and communications can support their dreams and direction" (Xinhua News Service, 5/19/08). 

Showing 3,911 - 3,920 of 4,575 results.
Items per Page 10
of 458