David Kirkpatrick

April 23, 2012

Is your computer a zombie?

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:21 am

Find out here.

From the PhysOrg link:

For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer.

Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. In a highly unusual response, the  set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down.

The FBI is encouraging users to visit a website run by its security partner,http://www.dcwg.org , that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.

August 23, 2010

Microsoft’s Arc Touch Mouse

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:11 pm

Here’s some photos of Microsoft’s latest mouse tech — the Arc Touch Mouse — from CIO.com:

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse
(Photos are from WinFuture.de)

June 3, 2010

Google’s Chrome OS coming out this fall

As much as I love the Chrome browser, I don’t see myself switching to the Chrome OS, but it will be very interesting to see how quickly it’s adopted and how it actually works out in the wild stability- and privacy-wise. Particularly the latter of those two.

From the link:

Google said Wednesday it is planning to release its Chrome operating system, seen as a rival to Microsoft’s Windows system, for free in the autumn.

June 3, 2009

Smartbooks are coming

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:34 pm

What? You’re just getting used to smartphones and netbooks are still something of a tiny little mystery computer? Look out because synergy is ongoing and the smartbook is the next device in the pipeline.

All joking aside price- and feature-wise smartbooks look interesting. With a port to plug in an external drive I can see these being decent alternatives to full-on laptops.

From the link:

What exactly is a smartbook, aside from a term drawn from the the obvious blend of “smartphone” and “netbook”?

Slideshow: 10 Hot Netbooks – From Pricey to Dirt Cheap

First mentioned last November in a speech by a marketing executive from hard drive maker Western Digital, a smartbook will be a computing device similar in size or slightly smaller than today’s netbook with smartphone-like features.

Glen Burchers, consumer marketing director at Freescale Semiconductor Inc., says those features could include all-day battery life, instant-on capability and “persistent connectivity,” and specs such as an ARM-based chip core, a Linux OS version like Google Inc.’s Android, and, most importantly to consumers, a price point significantly lower than today’s netbooks.

“We fully expect $199 devices with 8.9-inch screens, Wi-Fi, full-sized keyboard, 8-hour battery life, 512MB of RAM and 4-8 Gigabytes of [solid-state] storage by the end of the year,” Burchers said.

By comparison, the cheapest netbooks based on Intel Corp.’s Atom CPU, such as Hewlett-Packard Co.’s just-announced Mini 110, sell for under $300.

October 22, 2008

Keep your computers safe, folks

Filed under: et.al., Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:25 pm

Some sobering information on “zombie” boxes.

From the link:

In a windowless room on Microsoft’s campus here, T. J. Campana, a cybercrime investigator, connects an unprotected computer running an early version of Windows XP to the Internet. In about 30 seconds the computer is ”owned.”

An automated program lurking on the Internet has remotely taken over the PC and turned it into a ”zombie.” That computer and other zombie machines are then assembled into systems called ”botnets” — home and business PCs that are hooked together into a vast chain of cyber-robots that do the bidding of automated programs to send the majority of e-mail spam, to illegally seek financial information and to install malicious software on still more PCs.

May 20, 2008

Nanoscale cell spying and bacterial computing

Two Kurzweil AI.net bit with a biological bent today — a 3D light microscope that resolves to 40 nanometers and E. coli engineered to compute a math puzzle.

Looking into Live Cells at Nanoscale Resolution
Technology Review, May 20, 2008

A super-high-resolution 3-D light microscope developed at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry will allow biologists to watch the workings of the tiniest organelles and even individual clusters of proteins in living cells at a resolution of 40 nanometers.

Mitochondrion images (Nature Methods/Stefan Hell)

The Max Planck group developed a way to get around light‘s fundamental wavelength limitations by using two beams instead of one. The first light beam plays the same role–and is the same spot size–as light in a conventional microscope. It moves through the cell under study, exciting fluorescently labeled molecules inside the cell to fluoresce. The second beam “sculpts” the first, says Hell, inhibiting fluorescence created by the edges of the first beam. That reduces the effective spot size to 40 to 45 nanometers in diameter.
Molecular-resolution microscopy is expected to improve patient care and play an important role in advancing personalized medicine in the future.

Read Original Article>>


Engineered bacteria become the first living computer
Science News, May 19, 2008

Davidson College researchers genetically engineered the bacterium E. coli to coax its DNA into computing a classic mathematical puzzle known as the burned pancake problem.

The problem: start with a stack of pancakes of varying sizes burned on one side, and try to get the pancakes into order from largest to smallest — all burned side down — through a series of flips. The figurative spatula can flip at any point in the stack, but has to include all the pancakes above.

The researchers inserted the Hin recombinase enzyme into E. coli. The enzyme could then flip segments of E. coli’s DNA that are marked by genetic flags. The researchers designed these segments so that, when lined up in the correct order like pancakes stacked from biggest to smallest (burned side down, of course), the DNA spells out the code for a gene that gives the bacterium resistance to an antibiotic.

That way, applying the antibiotic to the colony of engineered bacteria killed all of the bacteria that had not yet solved the puzzle. Only those that had “stacked their pancakes” would survive. Measuring how long it took the bacteria to reach the solution indicated how many flips were required.

Read Original Article>>