Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The road to hell ...

You can complete that adage, right?

On occasion, that road might be literal. See "Pluto's Gate Uncovered in Turkey." In the Latin, Plutonium. Considering the element plutonium -- highly radioactive, maker of big booms, and chemically toxic -- that's a very apt name even today.

Is the Internet your world? Here are some key finding of the Spamhaus attack that for a short while brought down much of said world. See, "Massive cyberattack: Here's what happened (Q & A)." (How big a deal was this? "At the peak of the attack, it was generating 300 gigabits per second of traffic."

Maybe your idea of the apocalypse involves rogue robots. 

Remember Keith Laumer's super-intelligent "bolo" tanks? People are starting to worry about such things. As in "Campaigners call for ban on 'killer robots' "

These bots aren't yet rogue -- and let's hope they never are. See "CMU Snake Robots Can Now Strangle Things on Contact." The video is creepy.

(Lest I creeped you out too much, here are some cuter -- and no less amazing -- robot videos. See "Robot Jellyfish, Robot Dragonfly, and a Crazy Game of Telepresence Soccer."

Prying eyes your idea of disaster? Look no further (perhaps) than the camera on your shelf. See "Hackers turn a Canon EOS camera into a remote surveillance tool."

Speaking of prying eyes, "IRS claims it can read your e-mail without a warrant."
The IRS continued to take the same position, the documents indicate, even after a federal appeals court ruled in the 2010 case U.S. v. Warshak that Americans have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their e-mail. A few e-mail providers, including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook, but not all, have taken the position that Warshak mandates warrants for e-mail.

For a short while, it seemed hackers had found another nightmare scenario, as I read "Hacking an Airplane With Only an Android Phone." Happily (though not surprisingly), that article overreached. The hack worked on a Windows-based training simulator, not actual avionic software. For reassurance, see "FAA Dismisses Android App Airplane Takeover."

Ending on the lighter side of the apocalypse, see "Windows' Worst Mistakes: From Clippy To Vista."

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