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Showing posts from February, 2006

Cocoa consumers have lower disease risk: study

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Men who consumed the most cocoa had a 50 percent lower risk of dying from disease compared to those who did not eat cocoa, Dutch researchers said on Monday.Cocoa is known to lower blood pressure, though previous studies have disagreed about whether it staves off heart disease over the long-term particularly since it is contained in foods high in fat, sugar and calories.The new study in Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that it was not lower blood pressure that corresponded to the finding of a lower overall risk of death -- although the biggest cocoa consumers did have lower blood pressure and fewer cases of fatal heart disease than non-cocoa eaters.Instead, the report credited antioxidants and flavanols found in cocoa with boosting the functioning of cells that line blood vessels and for lessening the risks from cholesterol and other chemicals that can cause heart attacks, cancer and lung diseases. Flavanols are a class of healthy flavonoids that are found in…

Microsoft's Origami project

So today Microsoft officially flipped the switch on the buzz machine for their Origami Project -- an atypical viral marketing manuveur for a company whose products are usually known about years ahead of time. Scoble says its a device, the Internet's lighting up with rumors -- is it the Xbox portable? Well, we dunno, but as usual got our hands on some pictures. And as usual we can't guarantee they're the real deal, though we are pretty confident in their source. So, let's go over it: these were sent to us detailing it as a Microsoft portable media player, which wouldn't be too far off from what Jobs and BusinessWeek both prophesied Microsoft doing (despite being pretty broadly denied from within).Now, here's the tricky part with these pictures -- what's with the keyboard and stylus? Because the last time we checked, their Portable Media Center (PMC) OS didn't have (known) support for touchscreen and keyboard input. So is this some new portable OS platfor…

Hubble Confirms New Moons of Pluto

From Hubblesite.org
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have confirmed the presence of two new moons around the distant planet Pluto. The moons were first discovered by Hubble in May 2005, but the Pluto Companion Search team probed even deeper into the Pluto system with Hubble on Feb. 15 to look for additional satellites and to characterize the orbits of the moons. In the image, Pluto is in the center and Charon is just below it. The moons, provisionally designated S/2005 P 1 and S/2005 P 2, are located to the right of Pluto and Charon.Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Weaver (JHU/APL), A. Stern (SwRI), and the HST Pluto Companion Search Team

Google May Be Flirting with Social Bookmarks

From PCMagInternet search provider Google wants to capitalize on the social aspect of bookmarks, which are Internet addresses stored in Web browsers for one-click access, according to Google-watcher ValleyWag.Search providers have been trying to lure new customers, and keep their old ones, for years by tapping into the social aspect of what they offer, so what Google is supposedly working on is nothing new.Yahoo's photo-sharing site Flickr is one good example.But if this is true, Google's competitors and search consumers alike are bound to take notice because of Google's leading share of the Internet search market and its world-renowned brand. Read more here about Google's latest tool bar.In response to questions about the rumored effort, a representative of Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., wrote that "we're always exploring opportunities to expand our offerings, but don't have anything to announce at this time."The representative would neither…

High speed "WiFiber"

From TechnologyPreview.comAtop each of the Trump towers in New York City, there's a new type of wireless transmitter and receiver that can send and receive data at rates of more than one gigabit per second -- fast enough to stream 90 minutes of video from one tower to the next, more than one mile apart, in less than six seconds. By comparison, the same video sent over a DSL or cable Internet connection would take almost an hour to download. This system is dubbed "WiFiber" by its creator, GigaBeam, a Virginia-based telecommunications startup. Although the technology is wireless, the company's approach -- high-speed data transferring across a point-to-point network -- is more of an alternative to fiber optics, than to Wi-Fi or Wi-Max, says John Krzywicki, the company's vice president of marketing. And it's best suited for highly specific data delivery situations.*This kind of point-to-point wireless technology could be used in situations where digging fiber-opt…

An Unusually Smooth Surface on Saturn's Telesto

Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Explanation: Why is Saturn's small moon Telesto so smooth? Possibly Telesto is covered with a type of granular icy material similar to that suspected of covering Pandora, another of Saturn's small moon's. If so, Telesto might be more like a pile of rubble than a solid body. This recently uncovered Solar System mystery is currently a topic of research, however. The unexpected finding originated last October when the robot Cassini spacecraft, currently orbiting Saturn, swooped past the 24-kilometer moon and captured the first ever image of Telesto's surface. Telesto orbits Saturn always just ahead of the much larger moon Tethys. Pictured above, Telesto's unusually smooth surface was found to show some large craters and boulders, but not the high density of craters found on nearby Tethys or most other Saturnian moons.

Frog killer found after 6-year stakeout

You've got to respect frogs. The amphibians have an astonishing variety of survival skills.For example, gastric brooding frogs swallow their fertilized eggs to protect them from predators. When the eggs hatch and the tadpoles mature, the mother safely regurgitates her froglets.Such adaptations have kept frogs around for millions of years, but a recent checkup has scientists concerned. They fear a sudden mass extinction of amphibians on a scale and pace not experienced since the age of dinosaurs.Nearly a third of the world's 6,000 species of frogs, toads and salamanders are in danger of disappearing, according to the Global Amphibian Assessment.In the past 20 to 30 years, about 120 species of frogs are believed to have become extinct, the assessment found.Human destruction of habitat is one reason for the loss. But there is a new enemy for which there may be no defense.On the trail in Central AmericaIn 1998, Karen Lips, a young biologist from Southern Illinois University, helpe…

DNA 'could predict your surname'

Forensic scientists could use DNA retrieved from a crime scene to predict the surname of the suspect, according to a new British study. It is not perfect, but could be an important investigative tool when combined with other intelligence. The method exploits genetic likenesses between men who share the same surname, and may help prioritise inquiries. Details of the research from the University of Leicester, UK, appear in the latest edition of Current Biology. The technique is based on work comparing the Y chromosomes of men with the same surname. The Y chromosome is a package of genetic material found only in males. It is passed down from father to son, just like a surname. 'Cut down' "The evidence would not be hanging on the Y chromosome, all it would give you is an investigative tool to prioritise a sub-set of your suspects," said co-author Dr Mark Jobling from the University of Leicester. Mining the information would require building a database of at leas…

Scientists See Growing Animal-Disease Risk

Humans risk being overrun by diseases from the animal world, according to researchers who have documented 38 illnesses that have made that jump over the past 25 years.That's not good news for the spread of bird flu, which experts fear could mutate and be transmitted easily among people.There are 1,407 pathogens — viruses, bacteria, parasites, protozoa and fungi — that can infect humans, said Mark Woolhouse of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Of those, 58 percent come from animals. Scientists consider 177 of the pathogens to be "emerging" or "re-emerging." Most will never cause pandemics.Experts fear bird flu could prove an exception. Recent advances in the worldwide march of the H5N1 strain have rekindled fears of a pandemic. The virus has spread across Asia into Europe and Africa.Controlling bird flu will require renewed focus on the animal world, including the chickens, ducks and other poultry that have been sacrificed by the tens of millions to stem …

Intel to Open Technology Center in Gaza

Intel, the world's largest semiconductor company, is planning to build the first information technology education center in the volatile Gaza Strip.The Intel Information Technology Center of Excellence is intended to provide IT training to Palestinians and stimulate development of high-tech industry in an area where half the labor force is unemployed. The center is being developed in conjunction with Washington, D.C.-based American Near East Refugee Aid and the Islamic University of Gaza."We don't want to discount the tension in the area ... but from our perspective, we view it as something that can have a positive impact," said Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy. "If you talk to the leaders of the Palestinian Authority, this is exactly the kind of thing they want. They want education, they want paths to improve the economic well-being of their citizens."Intel has had a presence in Israel for more than three decades, but over the past few years has launched an in…

20 Things You Didn't Know About U.S. Presidents

Not only were these men leaders of the United States, they were multitalented, unique, and sometimes even downright quirky. We've heard a lot about their contribution to United States history. But would you have guessed the following?1. In warm weather, 6th president of the United States John Quincy Adams customarily went skinny-dipping in the Potomac River before dawn.2. 9th U.S. president William Henry Harrison was inaugurated on a bitterly cold day and gave the longest inauguration speech ever. The new president promptly caught a cold that soon developed into pneumonia. Harrison died exactly one month into his presidential term, the shortest in U.S. history.3.John Tyler, 10th U.S. president, fathered 15 children (more than any other president)--8 by his first wife, and 7 by his second wife. Tyler was past his seventieth birthday when his 15th child was born.4. Sedated only by brandy, 11th president of the United States James Polk survived gall bladder surgery at the age of 17.5…

Top stars picked in alien search

An US astronomer has drawn up a shortlist of the stars most likely to harbour intelligent life. Scientists have been listening out for radio signals from other solar systems in the hope of detecting civilisations other than our own. Margaret Turnbull at the Carnegie Institution in Washington DC looked at criteria such as the star's age and the amount of iron in its atmosphere. Her top candidate was beta CVn, a Sun-like star 26 light-years away. Dr Turnbull had previously identified about 17,000 stellar systems that she thought could be inhabited. From these, she has selected five stars that look most likely to support intelligent extraterrestrial life forms - if they exist. "I've chosen five to advertise the very best places to move to if we had to, or to point the telescope at,&q…

Microsoft Plans Six Core Windows Vista Versions

After months of maintaining that it had not yet finalized its Windows Vista line up, Microsoft seems finally to have decided upon a half dozen core Vista versions. According to a posting on its Web site, Microsoft is readying six core Vista packages, or SKUs, plus two additional releases customized for the European Union that won't bundle in Windows Media Player, as ordered by European antitrust regulators. On the line up are Windows Starter 2007; Windows Vista Enterprise; Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista ultimate, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Home Basic N and Windows Vista Business N. The "N" releases are those which do not include Media Player.It's not clear whether the Starter release mentioned on Microsoft's site is the same as the current Windows XP Starter Edition product, which is a cut-rate, less fully featured version of Windows tailored for developing countries. The new SKU list contains relatively few surpris…

Osama bin Laden Vows Never to Be Captured Alive

Osama bin Laden promised never to be captured alive and declared the United States had resorted to the same "barbaric" tactics used by Saddam Hussein, according to an audiotape purportedly by the al-Qaida leader that was posted Monday on a militant Web site. The tape appeared to be a complete version of one that was first broadcast Jan. 19 on Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arab satellite channel, in which bin Laden offered the United States a long-term truce but also said his al-Qaida terror network would soon launch a fresh attack on American soil."I have sworn to only live free. Even if I find bitter the taste of death, I don't want to die humiliated or deceived," bin Laden said, in the 11-minute, 26-second tape.In drawing the comparison to American military behavior in Iraq to that of Saddam, the speaker said:"The jihad is continuing with strength, for Allah be all the credit, despite all the barbarity, the repressive steps taken by the American Army and its agent…

Bush satisfied with Cheney shooting the lawyer

News from AP thru Forbes.comPresident Bush was satisfied with Vice President Dick Cheney's account of his Texas hunting accident, but Bush's spokesman declined to say Thursday whether the president felt it should have been revealed earlier."I think that the vice president clearly explained the rationale behind that," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said, avoiding a direct response to questions about whether Bush felt the shooting accident was publicly disclosed in a timely manner.The accident happened on Saturday but was not publicly revealed until the next day.Cheney himself spoke publicly about the accident for the first time Wednesday in an exclusive interview with Fox News Channel. He said he did not see his hunting companion Harry Whittington until just after he fired on a covey of quail and peppered him with bird shot in the face, neck and chest.

Rice needs $75m for propaganda against Iran's Nuclear Project

The US secretary of state is seeking new funds for a policy aimed at putting pressure on Iran's government and promoting internal opposition to it.Condoleezza Rice asked Congress for $75m to increase TV and radio broadcasts and fund dissident groups.Correspondents say the move comes amid US fears that the world community will not countenance tough action over Iran's nuclear ambitions.Critics of the US plan say the funds are not enough to make a difference.Former Clinton administration official Martin Indyk told the Washington Post newspaper that the groups the US wants to fund have little support on the ground and have been unable to challenge the Islamic government in Iran.Ms Rice is planning to visit the Middle East next week to discuss the Iranian issue with regional leaders.

Firefox Slides In U.S., IE Gains Ground

By Gregg Keizer, TechWeb NewsMicrosoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer browser gained market share in the last two months, a Dutch Web metrics company announced Tuesday.While other measurement vendors said earlier this month that Internet Explorer (IE) continued its downward trend, Amsterdam-based OneStat's data had IE climbing by .37 percent since November 2005. According to OneStat, Microsoft's browser now accounts for 85.8 percent of all browsers used worldwide.In the U.S., IE's rise was half as much -- .18 percent -- with 80.9 percent of Americans using the browser.Mozilla Corp.'s Firefox, meanwhile, slipped .28 percent during the same period, ending up with 11.2 percent of the global market."The global usage shares of Mozilla and Microsoft's Internet Explorer browsers remain stable, and it seems that people are not switching so often to Firefox as before," said Niels Brinkman, co-founder of OneStat, in a statement.But in the U.S., Firefox dropped dram…

The Next Big Fuel Source: Microbes?

From WiredTermite guts and canvas-eating jungle bugs could be the key to kicking the oil habit and achieving energy independence. At least that's what scientists working on creating ethanol from plant waste are hoping. In a process much like making grain alcohol or beer, microbes that can process woody cellulose into sugar are put to work on plant waste; after a few microbiological twists and turns, the result is ethanol without the corn. Last year, current practices yielded only 4 billion gallons of ethanol last year (compared to the 140 billion gallons of gasoline used in the U.S.), and there's growing concern throughout the Midwestern corn belt that the 95 U.S. ethanol plants are increasingly poaching corn meant for the dinner table or livestock feed. The plant-waste process, called "cellulosic ethanol," dodges this problem by making fuel from farm waste such as straw, corn stalks and other inedible agricultural leftovers.Breaking cellulose into sugar to spin stra…

How babies do maths at 7 months

Babies have a rudimentary grasp of maths long before they can walk or talk, according to new research. By the age of seven months infants have an abstract sense of numbers and are able to match the number of voices they hear with the number of faces they see. The research could be useful in devising methods for teaching basic maths skills to the very young, say researchers in the US. The study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Look and listen Adults can easily recognise the numerical equivalence between two objects they see and two sounds they hear. This is also the case for some animals, such as the monkey, but until now there has been conflicting evidence about the ability of very young babies to do this. Kerry Jordan and Elizabeth Brannon of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, played a video of two or three adult women strangers simultaneously saying the word "look" to babies aged seven months. The videos were displayed on two monit…

Microsoft plans virtual information wallet: Gates

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) Chairman Bill Gates on Tuesday showed off a new software tool aimed at giving consumers a virtual wallet to securely store their personal information for Internet transactions.As part of that effort, Gates said the virtual personal information wallet, code-named "InfoCard," would allow consumers to safely manage their identities online. It seeks to provide better security by reducing reliance on usernames and passwords which are often the target of computer criminals.This time around, however, Microsoft puts the power in the hands of the user, Gates said. In a demonstration, Microsoft showed how easily a consumer logged onto a car rental site to quickly reserve and pay for an automobile using a card from the virtual wallet.Speaking at the annual RSA computer security conference, Gates provided a broad overview of how the industry needs to meet what he said were growing cyber threats and that consumers would not embrace technology which is…

325,000 names on U.S. terror suspect list: report

News from ReutersA government database of alleged international terrorism suspects or associates includes 325,000 names, four times more than when the central list was created in 2003, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing counterterrorism officials. The list maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, or NCTC, contains far more names in a single government database than has previously been disclosed, the newspaper said.But the report cited NCTC officials as saying the true number of individuals listed is estimated to be more than 200,000 because the same person may show up under different spellings or aliases.

You are ignorant of the law, says Saddam to judge

From TimesOnline.co.ukSADDAM HUSSEIN said that he was being forced to appear at his own trial yesterday as he and seven co-defendants reappeared in court after boycotting the last two sessions. Abandoned by his defence team, who are protesting at the alleged bias of the judge, a Kurd, Saddam and his half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti were in full attack mode, belittling the judge and railing against the legal process. “You don’t have the right to sit on that chair because you are ignorant of the law,” Saddam told Judge Raouf Abdel Rahman, slamming his fist on the railing of his metal pen. “This is not a court, this is a game.” Mr al-Tikriti also became enraged, pushing away security guards and, at one point, sitting on the floor with his back to the judge. The accused said that they had been forced from their cells to appear in court, allegations also voiced by the day’s two principal witnesses. Hassan al-Obeidi, Iraq’s intelligence director from 1980 to 1981, and Ahmed Khudayir, the form…

UN report calls for closure of Guantánamo

From Guardian UnlimitedA UN inquiry into conditions at Guantánamo Bay has called on Washington to shut down the prison, and says treatment of detainees in some cases amounts to torture, UN officials said yesterday.The report also disputes the Bush administration's legal arguments for the prison, which was sited at the navy base in Cuba with the purpose of remaining outside the purview of the US courts, and says there has been insufficient legal process to decide whether detainees continued to pose a threat to the US.The report, prepared by five envoys from the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and due for release tomorrow, is bound to deepen international criticism of the detention centre. Drafts of the report were leaked to the Los Angeles Times and the Telegraph newspapers, but UN envoys refused to comment yesterday.During an 18-month investigation, the envoys interviewed freed prisoners, lawyers and doctors to collect information on the detainees, who have been held for…

Urgent action urged on Pakistan landslide threat

Landslides present a substantial threat to survivors of last October's catastrophic earthquake in Pakistan and urgent action is needed ahead of summer rains to prevent large-scale loss of life, experts say.Professor David Petley of the International Landslide Center at Britain's University of Durham and Dr Mark Bulmer of the Landslide Observatory at the University of Maryland in the United States visited the quake zone in northern Pakistan in January.In a joint report made available on Monday, they said that while the response of Pakistani and international relief agencies to the October 8 quake had been remarkable, landslides posed a "substantial threat" to survivors.The experts noted during their visit that a number of refugee tent villages were located in highly dangerous positions in river valleys vulnerable to landslides and needed to be moved.The earthquake and more than 1,500 aftershocks triggered countless landslides in mountainous Pakistani Kashmir and adjoi…

US under simulated hacking attack

For the past week, the US has been under a simulated cyber attack. The exercise, known as Cyber Storm, was intended to test America's defences in response to a full-scale cyber attack by hackers. The main aim was to discover how well the US is prepared to respond not only to attacks on military and other security services but also against energy, information technology, telecommunications, and transport infrastructures. Among the simulated assaults, one of the scenarios simulated a cyber incident where an electricity company's computer system is compromised and causing disruption to the national grid.The Federal government examined the speed and effectiveness of its response, the co-ordination between different agencies and recovery. The exercise involved Federal, State and local governments, national and international agencies and private companies.The Department for Homeland Security, which coordinated the exercise, says the operation was purely hypothetical and was not inte…

BT, Virgin and Microsoft in TV alliance

From TimesOnline.co.ukBT, Microsoft and Virgin Mobile are expected to use the telecoms industry's annual convention, the 3GSM Congress, which takes place in Barcelona this week, to announce an alliance to launch a digital television service for mobile phones.The service is among several developments expected to be unveiled at the Congress, as suppliers seek to capture the imagination of consumers for their often expensively acquired third-generation mobile offerings.BT's involvement in the TV alliance should help to avoid the capacity problems that some analysts say will limit operators of 3G technology as they try to increase subscriber levels.

BT, Virgin and Microsoft in TV alliance

From TimesOnline.co.ukBT, Microsoft and Virgin Mobile are expected to use the telecoms industry's annual convention, the 3GSM Congress, which takes place in Barcelona this week, to announce an alliance to launch a digital television service for mobile phones.The service is among several developments expected to be unveiled at the Congress, as suppliers seek to capture the imagination of consumers for their often expensively acquired third-generation mobile offerings.BT's involvement in the TV alliance should help to avoid the capacity problems that some analysts say will limit operators of 3G technology as they try to increase subscriber levels.

Pakistanis 'killed in US strike'

Two Pakistani nomad women have been killed after a rocket fired across the border from Afghanistan landed on their tent, Pakistani officials say. Four children were hurt in the attack late on Saturday in North Waziristan. Locals say US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan fired four rockets into Pakistan's tribal area after coming under fire from unknown attackers. A US spokesman confirmed coalition forces had returned fire into Pakistan, but was not aware of casualties. Post 'attacked' The incident is the third this year in which civilians have been killed inside Pakistani territory in apparent missile strikes by US-led forces who are hunting al-Qaeda and Taleban suspects in the mountainous border area. A number of villagers lost their homes in the Bajaur strike Pakistan complained twice in January to US-led forces after two strikes within a week left at least 26 people dead in North Waziristan and in the Bajaur tribal area. Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf sai…

Tech Giants Tackle Mobile Phone Gaming

Several big companies in the mobile phone and gaming industry, including Microsoft and Nokia, are teaming to support an open gaming architecture designed to lower development costs, speed up delivery times and create richer content, the group said Friday.In addition to Microsoft and Nokia, the mobile gaming development alliance includes Electronic Arts, Symbian, Samsung Electronics, Texas Instruments (TI), Activision, Digital Chocolate, Ideaworks3D, Konami, MontaVista Software, SK Telecom, Square Enix, and Tao Group.By working together, the group hopes to streamline the process for developing games for multiple handset models and operating systems, and reduce the current platform fragmentation in mobile phone gaming market.Common GroundThe planned open architecture will provide different handsets and operating systems with a common set of minimum capabilities that game developers can use to make game porting easier and more efficient, the companies said. By spending less time developi…

Doctors Remove Part of Sharon's Intestines

Doctors removed nearly 2 feet of Ariel Sharon's large intestines Saturday during emergency surgery, his seventh operation since suffering a debilitating stroke last month.Surgeons managed to stabilize the comatose Israeli prime minister after initially fearing for his life, but the latest complication makes it even more unlikely he will recover.Israelis closely followed their 77-year-old leader's latest ordeal, with TV stations repeatedly breaking into regular programming for updates, but the country already has come to terms with his departure from politics.Sharon's political heir, Ehud Olmert, quickly took the reins as acting prime minister after Sharon's Jan. 4 stroke and appears poised to lead Sharon's centrist Kadima Party to victory in March 28 elections.Sharon was rushed to surgery Saturday morning after doctors, who had noticed abdominal swelling, conducted a CT scan and a laparoscopy, or insertion of a small camera through the abdominal wall.Surgeons detec…

Microsoft, partners to challenge Apple iPod--Gates

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) and its hardware partners will continue to develop new digital media devices aimed at challenging the dominance of Apple Computer Inc.'s (Nasdaq:AAPL - news) ubiquitous iPod music player, Chairman Bill Gates said on Friday."I don't think what's out on the market today is the final answer," Gates said, speaking to a group of minority students. "Between us and our partners, you can expect some pretty hot products coming out over the next few years."The Microsoft founder praised Apple's iTunes music store and said the software giant was talking with hardware partners to create media devices that can be less expensive and easier to connect and can handle pictures and video better.Gates said the market share for digital music players compatible with Microsoft software is around 20 percent, a figure that is lower than he would like.Microsoft's strategy has been to allow various device manufacturers to create player…

Intel shows off its quad core

Just as the bragging rights for dual-core chip supremacy are dying down, Intel gave the first glimpse of a quad-core chip coming next year. Clovertown, a four-core processor, will start shipping to computer manufacturers late this year and hit the market in early 2007. Clovertown will be made for dual-processor servers, which means that these servers will essentially be eight-processor servers (two processors x four cores each). The company will also come out with a previously announced version called Tigerton around the same time for servers with four or more processors. Core expansion will be a dominant theme for Intel over the next few years, said Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner. By the end of the decade, chips with tens of cores will be possible, while in 10 years, it's theoretically possible that chips with hundreds of cores will come out, he added. Rattner showed off a computer running two Clovertown processors. Multiplying the number of cores brings distinct ad…

New iPod nano uses human skin to transmit audio

A Korean company wants the iPod to get under your skin, literally.A chip conference in San Francisco on Thursday had a presentation by the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology titled "Silicon in Biology," and such under-the-skin chips were on display and in the talk waves. The prototype sits just under the skin of the forearm and uses the body's own propensity to create electricity to power the transmission sequences from the portable music player.KAIST officials say that their solution can alleviate personal-area network concerns by taking them inside the body, thereby reducing power consumption. The chip, KAIST claims, has signals that are wideband but lower-impulse than their currrent counterparts, which do the exact opposite. According to Seong-Jun Song, a KAIST professor, the chips achieve data rates of up to 2 megabits a second but uses up less than 10 microwatts of power.KAIST officials stressed that the chip was merely a prototype and that achievin…

Google Copies Your Hard Drive - Government Smiles in Anticipation

From EFF.orgConsumers Should Not Use New Google DesktopSan Francisco - Google today announced a new "feature" of its Google Desktop software that greatly increases the risk to consumer privacy. If a consumer chooses to use it, the new "Search Across Computers" feature will store copies of the user's Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and other text-based documents on Google's own servers, to enable searching from any one of the user's computers. EFF urges consumers not to use this feature, because it will make their personal data more vulnerable to subpoenas from the government and possibly private litigants, while providing a convenient one-stop-shop for hackers who've obtained a user's Google password."Coming on the heels of serious consumer concern about government snooping into Google's search logs, it's shocking that Google expects its users to now trust it with the contents of their personal computers," said EFF Staff Att…