Sunday, March 21, 2010

"A Chinese student, Wang Jianwei, his professor, wrote an academic paper on the vulnerability of the American power grid to a computer attack."

~~ I hope the paper got an "A" grade.
Surely it did get noticed !! ~~~

Academic Paper in China Sets Off Alarms in U.S.

New York Times
March 20, 2010

“We usually say ‘attack’ so you can see what would happen,” he said. “My emphasis is on how you can protect this. My goal is to find a solution to make the network safer and better protected.” And independent American scientists who read his paper said it was true: Mr. Wang’s work was a conventional technical exercise that in no way could be used to take down a power grid.

The difference between Mr. Wang’s explanation and Mr. Wortzel’s conclusion is of more than academic interest. It shows that in an atmosphere already charged with hostility between the United States and China over cybersecurity issues, including large-scale attacks on computer networks, even a misunderstanding has the potential to escalate tension and set off an overreaction.

“Already people are interpreting this as demonstrating some kind of interest that China would have in disrupting the U.S. power grid,” said Nart Villeneuve, a researcher with the SecDev Group, an Ottawa-based cybersecurity research and consulting group. “Once you start interpreting every move that a country makes as hostile, it builds paranoia into the system.”

Friday, March 12, 2010


~` So Mr. Smith , you would like to work here?
First fill , out this application.
After we do a background check, drug test , and credit search,
you can go to room "A" for your polygraph ,
and then to room "B" for your Brain Scan.

Let the moral and legal debate begin.

Brain Scan Can Read Your Thoughts

New insights into brain activity could explain how memories are formed and how they change over time.

Thu Mar 11, 2010 02:30 PM ET | content provided by AFP


  • Brain scans could reveal what a person is thinking.
  • Using fMRI scans, scientists can distinguish memories of a past event a person is recalling.
  • The brain scans could provide fresh insight into how memories are stored and how they may change through time.

A scan of brain activity can effectively read a person's mind, researchers said Thursday.

British scientists from University College London found they could differentiate brain activity linked to different memories and thereby identifythought patterns by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

The evidence suggests researchers can tell which memory of a past event a person is recalling from the pattern of their brain activity alone.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Justice Department Decides To Break Up E-Voting Company

~~ I really , really do not like electronic voting. I feel it could threaten the functioning of our democracy. Anything electronic can get hacked . ( See other posts on this topic.)

Re-counting electronic votes needs techie geeky types. I still like paper ballots , marked in hand by the voter. Primitive , yes ; slow yes ' but it is easier and truer to recount. The less that can go wrong , the less that will go wrong ~~~


Justice Department Decides To Break Up E-Voting Company

from the how-about-just-opening-the-source-code? dept

As was rumored at the end of last year, the US Justice Department has decided to break up Election Systems & Software (ES&S), the dominant e-voting provider in the country. You may recall that just a few months earlier, ES&S (who has a long and troubled history of inaccurate, buggy and insecure e-voting machines) had purchased the remains of Diebold's e-voting business for just $5 million. Of course, Diebold also had a long and troubled historyof inaccurate, buggy and insecure e-voting machines, so the two made a perfect match. In both cases, the companies relied on security by stonewalling -- insisting that nothing was wrong, despite lots of proof to the contrary, and refusing to let third party security experts ever look at their machines. Rather than breaking up the companies, why don't the feds just require that any e-voting machine use open source software that can be tested by anyone?