Infrastructure

  • Fly ash as source material for fireproof concrete

    Australia’s coal-fired power plants produce 13.5 million tons of fly ash every year; researchers show that this ash may be used as valuable source material for fireproof concrete;

  • ABI Research: DHS a "potential goldmine" for wireless kit providers

    Obama’s stimulus package earmarks $6.8 billion for wireless communications upgrades and new deployments; the health care and education market will receive some of it, but the real money is in selling wireless equipment to DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a new ABI Research report says

  • Aussie government to make Great Australian Firewall optional

    The Australian government proposed to create a firewall which would protect Australians from disagreeable Web contents such as child pornography; when the proposed blacklists were leaked, however, they were shown to include content like poker sites, Wikipedia pages, religious sites, ordinary pornography, and business sites

  • U.S. will create cybersecurity czar

    President Obama is set to name a cyber security czar; announcement to be timed with the release of the administration’s much-anticipated cybersecurity review; the czar would have two bosses — the national security adviser and the White House economic adviser — in order to strike a balance between homeland security and economic concerns

  • Opposition growing to LNG project near Baltimore

    Virginia-based gas company AES wants to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in eastern Baltimore County; the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission placed 169 conditions, mostly related to safety and environment, on its approval of the project; residents in the neighboring communities say the company is far from meeting these conditions

  • Cobham acquires Argotek

    The trend of large defense contractors acquiring smaller companies specializing in IT security continues; the latest: U.K.-based Cobham buy U.S. specialist Argotek; Cobham says Argotek’s expertise will be in demand for upcoming projects such as the U.S. Comprehensive National Cyber Initiative

  • U.S. military developing simple-to-use cyber attack devices

    Most soldiers are not IT specialists, so DARPA is looking to develop simple-to-use cyber warfare gadgets which would allow nonspecialists to penetrate satellites, VoIP networks, and supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA)

  • Dounreay nuclear dismantling team to use giant robot

    The U.K.’s experimental fusion nuclear reactor was ordered shut down and dismantled; dismantling team unveils a design for a 75-ton robot which will cut up radioactive equipment

  • Glass-based coating for reinforcement bars for sturdier infrastructure

    Researchers develop glass-based coating for reinforcement bars that helps prevent corrosion and strengthens the bond between steel and concrete; the material could help engineers build stronger bridges and increase the longevity of other steel-reinforced structures

  • Wanted: high school hackers, crackers, and other digital deviants

    The Pentagon is looking for a few good high-school hackers; in an effort to counter sustained Chinese and Russian hacking of U.S. government and industry networks, the Pentagon is launching a new military-funded program aimed at leveraging an untapped resource: the U.S. population of geeky high school and college students

  • SCADA more vulnerable than ever

    Modern SCADA networks are more vulnerable than ever because they use open networking standards (such as TCP/IP), are now deployed under less secure operating systems (Windows), are connected to other networks (including Internet), and cannot be easily updated and rebooted

  • Debate over alternatives to Yucca Mountain project

    The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project is being deliberately starved for funds by the Obama administration; some argue the United States should use UREX reprocessing technology to reprocess waste (this was the Bush administration’s preference); MIT and Harvard scientists say it is perfectly safe to store nuclear waste above ground for 60 or 70 years, while working on a better alternative to UREX

  • Mobile WiMax to be rolled out in Atlanta in June

    Clearwire says it will roll out mobile WiMax in Atlanta next month, with other cities to follow

  • U.S. reassesses safe water levels in New Orleans' outfall canals

    New Orleans has three outfall canals, the role of which is similar to that of a storm drain under a city street; since Katrina, there have been disagreements among engineers as to how much water would it be safe for each of the three canals to handle during a storm

  • Tech giants buying tech security companies

    Tech security appears to be recession-resistant industry; tech giants position themselves to benefit from the greater emphasis on IT security in the U.S. 2010 budget by buying smaller cybersecurity companies; the prices are attractive: VCs who, a few years ago, invested in promising security start-ups can no longer count on cashing in by going public