by Sean Gallagher - Feb 10 2014, 12:25pm PSTUsing Wget and scripts, Snowden is alleged to have mirrored 1.7 million documents from NSA’s intranet.
All it took for Edward Snowden to grab roughly 1.7 million classified documents from the National Security Agency’s network was an open-source Web crawler and a few scripts, according to a New York Times report on Sunday. An investigation of Snowden’s activities at the NSA outposts in Hawaii apparently found that he was able to retrieve millions of classified documents in an automated fashion using what the Times described as “low-cost” software. That software was likely based on the open source GNU Wget utility.
Intelligence officials would not say what the tool was, but said they believed it was “more powerful” than Wget. The anonymous sources don’t add much to the narrative of Snowden’s extraction of secret documents, though they do start to put a number on the volume of what officials believe he made off with. But the real sting of the latest data is that the NSA’s internal IT operations are portrayed as even more fast and loose than before. Anyone with admin access might have been able to do what Snowden did.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would count computer programming classes toward fulfilling foreign-language requirements in public schools.
The goal is to enhance programming skills, enabling more Kentucky students to land high-paying jobs in the growing computer industry, said Sen. David Givens, the bill’s sponsor.
“Those opportunities are there,” the Greensburg Republican said, noting that an estimated 1 million programming jobs will be available by 2020.
Kentucky isn’t preparing enough students to acquire the skills to fill those programming jobs, Givens said.
The measure cleared the Senate on a 28-8 vote. The opponents remained silent during the discussion of the bill, which now goes to the House.
Expanding the definition of foreign languages to include computer programming would help more students squeeze programming courses into their schedules, Givens said.
Why not also include LOLCATS as a foreign language?
I actually think this is a great idea. Kudos to Kentucky. http://t.co/h9LdpNaKrf
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 4, 2014
While I’m impressed by this artificial intelligence technology, its shocking how many sexual predators there are out there who target unsuspecting children. Make no mistake, I’m glad they created this thing, despite what it reveals about how depraved people can be. Maybe law enforcement here in the US could use similar software to catch child predators here.
A Dutch organization called Terre des Hommes has identified some 1,000 alleged child-sex predators by luring them in with a computer-animated prepubescent Philippine girl on Internet chat rooms. The online victimization of children, it would appear, is far worse than imagined.
The virtual girl, named Sweetie, was created by TDH Netherlands to notify the public — and police organizations — about how frequently children in developing countries are being victimized online.
Dogs respond better to robots behaving in a social manner than those acting passively, according to Hungarian researchers. The study of 41 dogs provides important insights into the mental processes of living creatures.
(Credit: University of Southampton)
In the future, we might be able to save our history to a glass storage medium that could potentially outlive humankind. The new type of memory also touts mind-blowing specifications, such as 360TB per disc data capacity and the ability to withstand extreme temperatures up to 1,832 Fahrenheit.
By harnessing the power of a speedy femtosecond laser, researchers successfully wrote and read 300KB of data to an everlasting medium that consists of self-assembled nanostructures within fused quartz. Think of it as a real-life version of the memory crystals seen in the old “Superman” movies.
Amazingly, the femtosecond laser, which emits short and powerful pulses of light, can encode data to three layers of nanostructured dots within the glass only five micrometers apart. The researchers claim the femtosecond laser writes data in five dimensions — a figure based on the size, orientation, and three-dimensional position of the nanostructures.
A team from University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Center and Eindhoven’s University of Technology took part in the storage breakthrough. The team leader was Led by Jingyu Zhang.
“It is thrilling to think that we have created the first document [that] will likely survive the human race,” said Professor Peter Kazansky of the Optoelectronics Research Center. “This technology can secure the last evidence of civilization: all we’ve learnt will not be forgotten.”
In a study that evaluated some of the latest in automatic facial recognition technology, researchers at Michigan State University were able to quickly identify one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects from law enforcement video, an experiment that demonstrated the value of such technology.
In the Pattern Recognition and Image Processing laboratory, Anil Jain, MSU Distinguished Professor of computer science and engineering, and Josh Klontz, a research scientist, tested three different facial-recognition systems.
By using actual law-enforcement video from the bombing, they found that one of the three systems could provide a “rank one” identification - a match - of suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev.
“The other suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the one ultimately killed in the shootout with police, could not be matched at a sufficiently high rank, partly because he was wearing sunglasses,” Jain said. “The younger brother could be identified.
Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have developed an immersive, first-person player video game designed to teach students in elementary to high school how to program in Java, one of the most common programming languages in use today.
The researchers tested the game on a group of 40 girls, ages 10 to 12, who had never been exposed to programming before. They detailed their findings in a paper they presented at the SIGCSE conference in March in Denver. Computer scientists found that within just one hour of play, the girls had mastered some of Java’s basic components and were able to use the language to create new ways of playing with the game.
“CodeSpells is the only video game that completely immerses programming into the game play,” said William Griswold, a computer scientist at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego.
The UC San Diego computer scientists plan to release the game for free and make it available to any educational institution that requests it. Researchers are currently conducting further case studies in San Diego elementary schools.
Imagine taking a college exam, and, instead of handing in a blue book and getting a grade from a professor a few weeks later, clicking the “send” button when you are done and receiving a grade back instantly, your essay scored by a software program.
And then, instead of being done with that exam, imagine that the system would immediately let you rewrite the test to try to improve your grade.
EdX, the nonprofit enterprise founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to offer courses on the Internet, has just introduced such a system and will make its automated software available free on the Web to any institution that wants to use it. The software uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers, freeing professors for other tasks.
The new service will bring the educational consortium into a growing conflict over the role of automation in education. Although automated grading systems for multiple-choice and true-false tests are now widespread, the use of artificial intelligence technology to grade essay answers has not yet received widespread endorsement by educators and has many critics.
When the TV series Star Trek set out to “boldly go where no one has gone before,” it pointed our imagination toward the far reaches of the universe. But scientists today are revealing an equally fascinating world — with startling possibilities for solving problems once thought to be impossibly complex — in the tiny realm of quantum mechanics.
You might think quantum theory is, by itself incomprehensible to a lay person, but a new section in LM Tomorrow, our free app for iPad users, explores quantum physics in an interactive, easy-to-understand format. The LM Tomorrow app received the gold-level “W3 Award” in 2012 for creative excellence on the web.
The Quantum Theory section draws on Lockheed Martin’s expanding research into the astonishing potential of quantum computing to solve challenges ranging from designing lifesaving new drugs to instantaneously debugging millions of lines of software code.
Nasa’s Curiosity Mars rover has been put into “safe mode” after a computer glitch caused by corrupted files.
The robot, which is analysing rock samples on the Red Planet, is now running from a back-up computer.
Nasa engineers are looking into possible causes for the files on the robot’s flash memory being damaged.
The fault means the rover’s work has been put on temporary hold while the back-up computer is reconfigured so it can take full control.
“We’re still early on in the process,” said project manager Richard Cook, in an interview with Space.com.
“We have probably several days, maybe a week, of activities to get everything back and reconfigured.”
The rover has been running on the back-up computer since Thursday.
“We switched computers to get to a standard state from which to begin restoring routine operations,” Mr Cook said.
On the robot’s Twitter feed, Nasa wrote: “Don’t flip out: I just flipped over to my B-side computer while the team looks into an A-side memory issue.”
The corrupted files may have been caused by stray cosmic rays.