• Under Obama: company audits up, illegal worker arrests way down

    Under Obama, employer audits are up 50 percent, fines have tripled to almost $3 million, and the number of executives arrested is slightly up over the Bush administration; the numbers of arrests and deportations of illegals taken into custody at work sites, however, plummeted by more than 80 percent from the last year of the Bush; both administrations agree that jobs are the magnet that attracts illegal immigrants to the United States, but critics of the Obama approach say it makes no sense to allow employees known to use fake or stolen identification to go free to duplicate the fraud again

  • DARPA looking for VTOL UAV to plant covert spy devices

    The Pentagon is looking for a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) UAV/UASs - or V-Bat - which will autonomously plant such surveillance devices as remote cameras/bugs, communications relays, marker beacons, small battery powered ground-crawler, or inside-buildings flying robots

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  • DARPA funds giant space nets to scoop up space trash

    One legacy of the space age is the growing amount of debris — defunct satellites, fragments of rockets, and any unused object originally built and launched by humans — accumulating in space; currently there are 2,465 identified objects of more than two kilograms in low Earth orbit, and these objects threaten projects such as the space elevator; a futuristic company proposes collecting the debris with a dozen space vehicles, each equipped with 200 nets, which would scoop up the debris and then either fling them into the South Pacific, send them closer to Earth where they would eventually decay, or recycle the materials

  • Intel wants security built directly into silicon

    A consensus is emerging that the main reason for Intel’s acquisition of McAfee is that Intel wants to build directly into its hardware the kind of security features more traditionally provided by software like McAfee’s

  • Small bridge sensors will give early warnings of anomalies, weaknesses

    University of Maryland researchers devised a lightweight, low-power, wireless, credit card-sized sensor that will detect weaknesses in bridges and other infrastructure before they can turn into calamities; the sensors would detect anomalies in the structure of even the most inaccessible parts of bridges and send alerts via cellular frequencies to its human masters. Among the things it would measure would be stress loads, vibration, temperature and the creation and growth of cracks

  • Technological challenges to Intel's embedded security approach

    Embedding security in silicon faces many challenges, among them: how much can be placed into a chip, and the fact that patching hardware or firmware is when a security vulnerability is discovered, is much harder than patching software

  • The reason for Intel's acquisition of McAfee

    The merger between the two companies takes place ahead of the release in 2011 of new — and as yet undisclosed — products developed by a joint venture the two companies have operated in the past eighteen months; those undisclosed products may be part of the reason why Intel decided to purchase McAfee instead of extending or expanding the two companies’ joint venture; says one analyst: “If what came out of that joint venture was revolutionary it could be that Intel wanted to lock that [intellectual property] down”

  • Minority Report comes to Leon, Mexico

    Leon, Mexico, a city of one million, has began implementing an iris scan biometric system from New York-based Global Rainmakers; the system, rolled out across the city; anyone taking money out of an ATM, paying for items in a store, or simply catching a bus will have their eyes scanned by hi-tech sensors; criminals will automatically be enrolled, their irises scanned once convicted; law-abiding citizens will have the option to opt-in; the company’s CEO believes people will choose to opt-in: “When you get masses of people opting-in, opting out does not help. Opting out actually puts more of a flag on you than just being part of the system. We believe everyone will opt-in”

  • Undersea oil remains in Gulf of Mexico

    A study of the effects of the Deepwater Horizon spill has confirmed the presence of a toxic chemical residue one kilometer below the sea surface; the investigation shows a plume of crude oil-based chemicals up to 200 meters high and 2 kilometers wide, extending 35 kilometers from the spill site

  • Scanning for oil from the air

    A Scottish firm develops technology to scan for underground oil deposits from the air; the technique called atomic dielectric resonance (ADR), detects and measures onshore oil reservoirs using radio and microwaves, reducing the need to drill test wells

  • Intel acquires McAfee for $7.68 billion

    Intel says security is now a fundamental component of online computing, but today’s approach to security is not adequate for the growing availability of Internet connections on mobile phones, medical devices, ATMs, automobiles, and elsewhere; the industry needs a new approach that combines software, hardware, and services to meet tomorrow’s needs

  • Shop Shield privacy protection expanded to IE browser

    Experts say that the best way to assure the safety of financial and personal identifying information (PII) transmitted on the Internet, and prevent it from being lost, stolen, or misused, is to keep it private by not transmitting it to Web sites in the first place; Shop Shield allows consumers to engage in commercial transactions on the Web without giving these Web sites information such as e-mail addresses, passwords, usernames, phone numbers, billing addresses, credit card numbers, or other user payment information; Shop Shield even allows consumers to do business on the Web without giving out their names

  • Cyberthreat "deniers" say cybersecurity experts are crying wolf

    There are those who argue that security experts warn about cyber threat are only scaring people in order to sell their security products and consulting services; one observer says: “To be sure, the financial interests of those warning about cybersecurity vulnerability should be disclosed, but their warnings shouldn’t be dismissed either— Just because you can still download movies from Netflix or update your Facebook status doesn’t mean everything’s fine”

  • Huntsville, Alabama, to become center for the war on cyber crimes

    Mayor Tommy Battle unveiled plans to build the Cyber Center complex — a 52-building campus housing government agencies and academic teams dealing with cyber crimes

  • In Georgia, immigration officials targeting criminals, employers

    A DHS report says 480,000 “unauthorized immigrants” were living in Georgia as of January 2009, ranking Georgia sixth among states behind California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois, respectively, and just ahead of Arizona; leaders of the $65-billion-a-year food and fiber production and processing industry in Georgia are worried about economic impact of get-tough immigration approach