Businesses Beefing Up on IT Security Specialists

policeIn the wake of increased high-profile cybersecurity breaches, new research shows businesses are beefing up on their IT security specialists.

The 2012 Career Impact study by (ISC)2, a nonprofit organization representing security specialists worldwide, found that 72 percent of businesses hired new employees last year specifically for their information security skills.

Sixty-two percent of businesses reported they are looking to hire additional information security employees in 2012.

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shiny brainThe US Department of Defense has a good reason to fund research in advanced bionic limbs—in fact, it has a couple thousand good reasons. In the last thirteen years, 2,000 men and women have lost a limb in military service. And of course, military amputees are hardly the only amputees. Far from it.

Advanced prosthetic research in clinical settings is providing a ray of hope for all these folks—military or civilian—as participants in DARPA’s Reliable Neural-Interface Technology (RE-NET) program continue to make progress in the realm of brain-interfacing prosthetic devices.

Two recently released DARPA videos demonstrate just how far researchers have come. In the first video (below) a man manipulates a prosthetic arm using targeted muscle re-innervation (TMR) developed by Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. TMR allows direct manipulation of the prosthetic with thoughts alone.

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Aireal: Disney tests air-flow tactile gaming technology

xbox controllerGamers could be able to feel the thwack of a ball or bullets whooshing past their faces if Disney’s experimental air-flow technology takes off.

Dubbed Aireal, the technology allows users to feel physical feedback from virtual images without having to wear gloves, belts or vests.

Puffs of compressed air blown at different strengths and speeds simulate tactile experiences, the inventors say.

It is the latest innovation in haptic – or tactile – technology.


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Masdar City – One of the most sustainable communities on Earth

Wind turbineMasdar City is a project in Abu Dhabi, that will present the world’s first zero-carbon, car and skyscraper-free city. In Arabic Masdar means “the source” and refers to Masdar the company and Masdar City, being a source of knowledge, innovation and human capital development in the areas of renewable energy and clean technologies.

Project was initiated in 2006. with the projected cost approximately US$18-US$19 billion. Masdar City is a unit of Masdar, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company, which is an Abu Dhabi Government-owned vehicle set up to spur economic development and diversification in the emirate.

Masdar City is planned to be a hub for cleantech companies and it will host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

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Sky Deutschland to broadcast adverts directly into train passengers’ heads

Subway Station in MunichSky Deutschland has developed technology to transfer adverts from train windows directly and silently into commuters’ heads.

Passengers leaning their head against the window will “hear” adverts “coming from inside the user’s head”, urging them to download the Sky Go app.

The proposal involves using bone conduction technology, which is used in hearing aids, headphones and Google’s Glass headset, to pass sound to the inner ear via vibrations through the skull.

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China unveils world’s most powerful computer

circuit boardChinese scientists have unveiled a supercomputer twice as powerful as any existing machine.

Aside from the Milky Way Two’s extraordinary speed, the massive computer is remarkable in a number of other ways.

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It’s official: Google buys Waze for $1.1B

Paper MapThis is a rare achievement for the Raanana-based company’s founders – Uri Levine, Ehud Shabtai and Amir Shinar – and CEO Noam Bardin, who within five years turned Waze into one of the most popular mapping applications in the world, which serves some 50 million users on a daily basis.

Waze achieved all the demands it presented to Google in the negotiations: Waze’s activity will remain in Israel for years, Google cannot fire a single employee out of Waze’s 107 workers, and the entire acquisition sum – about $1 billion – will go into the pockets of the investors, founders and employees in cash, without stocks whose value would change unexpectedly.

Google will complete the acquisition within about a month in a bid to integrate Waze into the Android 5.0 operating system, expected to be launched this year.

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This Guy Reinvented the Wheel … by Turning It Into a Cube

SK8board parts 2What’s better at being a wheel than … a wheel?

That is not a rhetorical question or a Zen kōan or the start to an awesome joke (sorry). Inventor David Patrick, an avid skateboarder, stumbled (or, you know, skated) onto a way to reinvent the wheel as something that he claims is better than the tradition cylindrical model — something faster, more stable, and more ground-gripping. Its inspiration, Patrick says, “came from a cube.” He calls his creation the “SharkWheel,” and he has patented the invention — and is now raising money for its production on Kickstarter. (A week into the campaign, the modified wheel has taken in almost double the amount of its original $10,000 funding goal.)

So what is the SharkWheel, exactly? And how is it possible that a cube — an object defined, after all, by its 90-degree angles — would inspire an object whose whole point is its lack of points?

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The Wi-Fi in your home can track your moves like Xbox Kinect

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWant to switch off the living room lights from bed, change channels while washing dishes, or turn the heat up from the couch? A team at the University of Washington has rigged a standard Wi-Fi home network to detect your movements anywhere in the home and convert them into commands to control connected devices.

Gesture recognition is the latest fad in games and tech, but even the newest systems require high-tech depth-sensing cameras or other special hardware. Microsoft’s new Kinect, for instance, uses a photon-measuring method called “time of flight” sensing that was, until the Kinect was announced, limited to high-tech laboratories. And Kinect isn’t small, either.

UW computer science students, led by assistant professor Shyam Gollakota, looked at the gesture-detection puzzle another way — specifically, how people affect the environment they’re already in.

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Irish documentary looks to Thorium as a fuel of the future

Danger radioactive 1Two Irish film-makers have set out to discover why a growing number of environmentalists are changing their minds about nuclear power.

They believe they have found that an innovative reactor design using thorium instead of uranium is safe enough and green enough to convince heavyweight anti-nuclear campaigners that these reactors should be built.

This design first appeared in the US in the 1960s where an experimental reactor successfully ran on thorium for five years.

It was soon shelved, however, in large part because these reactors don’t produce the plutonium required to make atomic bombs.

After gathering dust for four decades, recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in the technology with Australia, China, India and the Czech Republic all announcing major funding for research.

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