Business

  • Sourcefire expands westward

    Maryland-based Sourcefire acquires Palo Alto-based Immunet for $21 million, expanding the company’s cybersecurity services; the acquisition will allow Sourcefire to accelerate its cloud-based initiative and provide a platform to expand its security services

  • Face recognition on the go

    New mobile phone software recognizes friends in real time; the smart phone’s camera picks out faces in the crowd and tags them with names — so that their latest entries in Facebook, LinkedIn, or tweet appears on the smart phone’s screen

  • Taiwan wants pigs potty-trained to curb pollution

    The Taiwanese government reports that experiments in potty-training pigs proved successful: a breeder of 10,000 pigs has established special pig “toilets” on the farm; the toilets were smeared with feces and urine to attract the pigs; within weeks, 95 percent of all pig waste was collected in the toilets, making the farm — as well as nearby rivers and fields — much cleaner; additional benefits: the cleaner farm helped reduce illness among the pigs and boosted their fertility by 20 percent

  • China Looks to Invest in California's High Speed Rail

    China looks to add California’s extensive high-speed rail project to its resume; with experience in rail projects both at home and throughout Asia, China can also bring financing to the table as well as project expertise

  • Twelve research teams to develop persistent-stare, visual-intelligence systems

    The U.S. military anticipates a significant increase in the role of unmanned systems in support of future operations, including jobs like persistent stare; by performing persistent stare, camera-equipped unmanned ground vehicles would take scouts out of harm’s way; these machines’ truly transformative feature will be visual intelligence, enabling these platforms to detect operationally significant activity and report on that activity so warfighters can focus on important events in a timely manner

  • Groundbreaking for $1.2 billion NSA Utah center

    Today is groundbreaking day for the Utah Data Center, a $1.2 billion project which will employ more than 10,000 people for its construction, and is thus seen as the salvation for the state’s beleaguered construction industry; the National Security Agency (NSA) will use the climate-controlled environment of its computerized core as a repository for information gathered by different branches of the country’s intelligence apparatus, hence the facility’s nickname, “The Spy Center.”

  • More airports consider replacing TSA with private contractors

    Airports around the United States — including airports in Los Angeles, the Washington, D.C. metro area, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Orlando, Florida — are considering replacing the TSA with private security contractors; privatizing security will not affect cost or protocol, but could bolster efficiency and customer relations

  • Edible optical tags to combat counterfeit drugs

    A Hawaii-based company offers a new way to combat counterfeit drugs; affix a tiny, readable tag to each pill; the tags are made from clear, 100 percent silicon dioxide, which has been safely used as an ingredient in food and drugs for decades; they are both edible and biologically inert

  • Hoyos shows cheap, dollar bill-size iris scanner

    Hoyos shows a small iris scanner which will allow scanning on the go; at just 5.5 inches wide, 4 inches tall, and 3 inches deep, the company’s latest iris scanner is not only a quarter of the size of the device’s previous iteration, the EyeSwipe Mini, but a quarter of its cost: the unit’s price is just $1,499

  • Voice biometrics company Persay sold for $6.7 million

    Persay, which was spun off from Comverse Technology Inc. subsidiary Verint Systems Inc. in 2000, raised $10.4 million in four financing rounds; the sale price is lower than the amount invested in the company

  • Biometrics goes mainstream -- and changes the way we live

    Biometrics will begin reaching a mainstream audience, changing the way we live; one change: we will see the beginning of the end of the wallet as it begins to move into our smart phones in ways that make it clear what is happening to the common observer

  • Aussies mull use of biometrics for gambling machines

    The Australian government wants to keep an eye on who uses poker and gambling machines installed in pubs, clubs, and casinos; many see biometrics as a solution — but agree that the Australian Privacy Act has to be modified, and standards set, to make sure the biometric information collected is not misused; there are worries about users stealing and reusing fingerprints from the readers, thus allowing gamblers to sign in as another, and bypass the financial controls

  • China says it has mastered the process of reprocessing nuclear fuel

    One way to extend to energy productivity of nuclear fuel is to reprocess it after it has been used; reprocessing nuclear fuel costs significantly more than using it once and storing it as waste; it is also controversial because extracted plutonium can be used in nuclear weapons; China has just announced that it has mastered the technology for reprocessing fuel from nuclear power plants, potentially boosting the supplies of carbon-free electricity to keep the country’s economy booming

  • China makes Skype illegal

    China announced that it had made illegal the use of Skype, the popular internet telephony service, as the country continues to shut itself off from the rest of the world

  • Privacy pants for airport security

    Privacy pants” would allow airport security personnel to do their job while keeping passengers’ privacy and dignity intact