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Showing posts from July, 2014

Encrypt your face and foil the NSA

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How you look, like your fingerprint, is write-once, read-many data., a fact that surveillance systems use to track you in person and online. But what if they couldn't see you? The "they" of course is the computer vision (CV) software that automagically detects faces and then zeros in on the details. CV scans a photo or video image looking for faces, scoping out eyes, noses, ears, hair and chins. The most common CV systems uses OpenCV, a free CV library from Intel, so that's the enemy you're looking to defeat. It uses a combination of image sampling, transformation and processing techniques - among many others - to enable a computer to "see". A modern version of dazzle is used on pre-announcement cars to hide the details of its design while testing on public roads. Do you recognize this BMW?  CV Dazzle New York artist Adam Harvey has been investigating techniques for making CV not see a face. Dazzle is based on an older technique first used in WWI to pr…

Driverless cars set to grace UK’s public roads

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The UK government will announce plans today to permit driver-less cars on public roads as early as January 2015. So far, worries about legal and insurance issues have restricted autonomous vehicles to private roads.

Now, however, as part of its plan to signal that Britain can be a leader in such technology, the government wants to update the law to ensure that driver-less cars can take to the streets.

The move will require a change in the Highway Code and brings the UK in line with countries such as Japan, Germany and Singapore.

In the US, driver-less cars have been tested on public roads for months, with Google's fleet of autonomous vehicles racking up more than 300,000 miles in California alone.

All of the major automotive manufacturers, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, General Motors, Ford and Toyota are also working towards their own production models.

Chinese Hackers Stole Blueprints of Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense System

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Chinese hackers infiltrated the databases of three Israeli defense contractors and stole plans for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system, according to an investigation by a Maryland-based cyber security firm ‘Cyber Engineering Services Inc. (CyberESI)’.
Not just this, the hackers were also able to nab plans regarding other missile interceptors, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, ballistic rockets and the Arrow III missile interceptor which was designed by Boeing and other U.S.-based companies.
The intrusions were thought to be executed by Beijing's infamous “Comment Crew” hacking group – a group of cyber warriors linked to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) – into the corporate networks of top Israeli defense technology companies, including Elisra Group, Israel Aerospace Industries, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, between 10 October 2011 and 13 August 2012.

The three Israeli defense technology companies were responsible for the development of the “Iron Dome”…

The Cloud will bring you competitive advantage

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Still uncertain about adopting cloud services? A new study from the Cloud Industry Forum has found that cloud services have given more than 1 in 2 companies competitive advantage.
Some 55% of organisations say cloud has delivered competitive advantage, while another quarter believes such advantage is imminent.
Who was surveyed? Researchers at the CIF talked to 250 senior IT and business decision-makers about cloud adoption.
How cloud is giving firms competitive advantage
Fast adoption Some 47% of those surveyed said the ability to access latest technologies faster was the main benefit of cloud. For example, big data is revolutionising how the world does business. It is helping you learn more about what your clients like and what they don’t like.
Cloud is central to big data analytics. A study by IBM found that cloud pacesetters – firms which have broadly applied cloud services – are more than twice as likely to have leveraged analytics across the organisation to turn big data into ins…

How computer mouse work

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How Computer Mice Work
Mice first broke onto the public stage with the introduction of the Apple Macintosh in 1984, and since then they have helped to completely redefine the way we use computers. Every day of your computing life, you reach out for your mouse whenever you want to move your cursor or activate something. Your mouse senses your motion and your clicks and sends them to the computer so it can respond appropriately. We'll take the cover off of this important part of the human-machine interface and see exactly what makes it tick.
Evolution of the Computer MouseIt is amazing how simple and effective a mouse is, and it is also amazing how long it took mice to become a part of everyday life. Given that people naturally point at things -- usually before they speak -- it is surprising that it took so long for a good pointing device to develop. Although originally conceived in the 1960s, a couple of decades passed before mice became mainstream. In the beginning, there was no need t…

Android allow any app to make phone call Security Vulnerability

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An application normally needs permission and should alert user that it needs permission to make phone call, when it is being installed. Researchers at Security firm CureSec has discovered a security flaw in the Android system that allows malicious applications to initiate unauthorized phone calls.  
By exploiting this vulnerability, malicious apps can make phone calls to premium-rated numbers and terminate any outgoing calls.  It is also capable of sending Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes that can be used for enabling call forwarding, blocking your sim cards and so on.

The security bug appears to be introduced in Android Jelly bean 4.1.1  and it exits in all latest versions through Android Kitkat 4.4.2.
CureSec has also released a source code and proof-of-concept application to demonstrate the existence of vulnerability

Heightens Bomb Detection Sensitivity Tiny Laser Sensor (Optical Sensor)

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Berkeley, CA -- A team of researchers led by Xiang Zhang, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering, has found a way to dramatically increase the sensitivity of a light-based plasmon sensor to detect incredibly minute concentrations of explosives. They noted that it could potentially be used to sniff out a hard-to-detect explosive popular among terrorists.
Their findings are to be published Sunday, July 20, in the advanced online publication of the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
They put the sensor to the test with various explosives - 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT), ammonium nitrate and nitrobenzene - and found that the device successfully detected the airborne chemicals at concentrations of 0.67 parts per billion, 0.4 parts per billion and 7.2 parts per million, respectively. One part per billion would be akin to a blade of grass on a football field.
The researchers noted that this is much more sensitive than the published results to date for other optical sensors.
"Optical explosi…