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Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

Hotel Keycard Lock Hack Gets Real In Texas

November 27th, 2012 11:16 admin View Comments

Privacy

Sparrowvsrevolution writes “You may remember a vulnerability in four million keycard locks presented at the Black Hat conference in July. Hacker Cody Brocious showed he could insert a device he built for less than $50 into the port at the bottom of the common hotel lock, read a key out of its memory, and open it in seconds. Two months later, it turns out at least one burglar was already making use of that technique to rob a series of hotel rooms in Texas. The Hyatt House Galleria in Houston has revealed that in at least three September cases of theft from its rooms, the thief used that Onity vulnerability to effortlessly open rooms and steal valuables like laptops. Petra Risk Solutions, an insurance firm focus the hospitality industry also reports that at least two other hotels in Texas were hit with the attack. Onity has been criticized for its less-than-stellar response to a glaring vulnerability in its devices. The Hyatt says Onity didn’t provide a fix until after its break-ins, forcing the hotel to plug its locks’ ports with epoxy. And even now, Onity is asking its hotel customers to pay for the full fix, which involves replacing the locks’ circuit boards.”

Source: Hotel Keycard Lock Hack Gets Real In Texas

Thousands of Lab Mice Lost In Sandy Flooding

November 2nd, 2012 11:41 admin View Comments

Science

An anonymous reader writes “While New York University’s Langone Medical Center in lower Manhattan was the site of heroism as 260 patients were evacuated from flooded floors and a nearly complete loss of power, similar floods at NYU’s nearby Smilow Research Building killed thousands of laboratory mice, including genetically altered specimens in-bred over many generations as research subjects for melanoma and other diseases. Other laboratory animals, cells, and living tissue used in medical research were also lost; because of the gestation period involved, some projects were likely set back a number of years. Past experience with storms such as Allison in Houston and Katrina in New Orleans has shown that keeping laboratory animals in basements is not good practice, but research institutions keep doing it anyway.

Source: Thousands of Lab Mice Lost In Sandy Flooding

Behind the Scenes At NASA’s Mission Control Center

November 1st, 2012 11:34 admin View Comments

NASA

willith writes “I was recently given the opportunity to spend several hours on the floor of Historic Mission Operations Control Room #2, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. MOCR2 was used to control almost manned Gemini and Apollo mission, including Apollo 11 & 13. More, my tour guide was none other than famous Apollo mission controller Sy Liebergot, one of the fellows behind the solution that saved Apollo 13. I go in-depth on the role of the flight controller during Apollo, and focus on how and why Mission Control functioned, and I spend a lot of time talking about the consoles and how they worked. The feature includes a ton of anecdotes and stories from Mr. Liebergot about mission control in general, and about what he did during Apollo 12 & 13 specifically. I also put together a supplemental report that goes through each and every station and describes their Apollo-era layout.”

Source: Behind the Scenes At NASA’s Mission Control Center

7.7 Magnitude Quake Hits British Columbia

October 28th, 2012 10:40 admin View Comments

Canada

schwit1 writes A magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit Canada’s Pacific coast province of British Columbia on Saturday night, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The quake was centered 123 miles south-southwest of Prince Rupert at a depth of 6.2 miles. ‘Earthquakes Canada said the quake in the Haida Gwaii region has been followed by numerous aftershocks as large as 4.6 and said a small tsunami has been recorded by a deep ocean pressure sensor. “It was felt across much of north-central B.C., including Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Quesnel, and Houston. There have been no reports of damage at this time,” the agency said in a statement on its website’”

Source: 7.7 Magnitude Quake Hits British Columbia

Russian High-Tech Export Scandal Produces 8 Arrests in Houston

October 4th, 2012 10:45 admin View Comments

Crime

Penurious Penguin writes “Millionaire Alexander Fishenko, owner of US-based Arc Electronics Inc, and seven others have been arrested in Houston Texas, with a total of 11 indicted in a conspiracy to smuggle advanced microelectronics from the U.S. to Russia. The technology allegedly involves components of radar, weapons guidance, and detonators. Amongst the evidence are accounting records indicating notable similarity between the revenue of Arc Electronics and the Russian Federation’s defense spending; intercepted phone calls and emails; and a letter to Arc Electronics from a Russian domestic intelligence lab complaining of defective microchips . A Russian foreign ministry spokesman has denied there were any intelligence connections in the affair.”

Source: Russian High-Tech Export Scandal Produces 8 Arrests in Houston

It’s Easy To Steal Identities (Of Corporations)

September 8th, 2012 09:15 admin View Comments

Businesses

jfruh writes “Two lawyers in Houston were able to exploit business filing systems to seize control of dormant publicly traded corporations — and then profit by pushing their worthless stock. In many states, anyone can change important information about a publicly registered company — including the corporate officers or company contact information — without any confirmation that they have anything to do with the company in the first place. Massachusetts requires a password to do this through the state registry’s website, but they’ll give you the password if you call and ask for it. Long focused on individual ID theft, state governments are finally beginning to realize that corporate ID theft is a huge problem as well.”

Source: It’s Easy To Steal Identities (Of Corporations)

Bill Clinton Backs 100 Year Starship

September 5th, 2012 09:56 admin View Comments

Space

astroengine writes “The light-years between the stars is vast — a seemingly insurmountable quarantine that cuts our solar system off from the rest of the galaxy. But to a growing number of interstellar enthusiasts who will meet in Houston, Texas, for the 100YSS Public Symposium next week, interstellar distances may not be as insurmountable as they seem. What’s more, they even have the support of former U.S. President Bill Clinton.”

Source: Bill Clinton Backs 100 Year Starship

Space Station Spacewalkers Stymied By Stubborn Bolt

September 2nd, 2012 09:11 admin View Comments

ISS

Hugh Pickens writes writes “Reuters reports that astronauts at the International Space Station ran into problems after removing the station’s 100-kg power-switching unit, one of four used in a system that distributes electrical power generated by the station’s solar array wings, and were stymied after repeated attempts to attach the new device failed when a bolt jammed, preventing astronauts from hooking it up into the station’s power grid. Japanese Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide got the bolt to turn nine times but engineers need 15 turns to secure the power-switching unit. ‘We’re kind of at a loss of what else we can try,’ said astronaut Jack Fischer at NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston after more than an hour of trouble-shooting. ‘If you guys have any thoughts or ideas or brilliant schemes on what we can do, let us know.’ Hoshide suggested using a tool that provides more force on bolts, but NASA engineers are reluctant to try anything that could make the situation worse and as the spacewalk slipped past seven hours, flight controllers told the astronauts to tether the unit in place, clean up their tools and head back into the station’s airlock. NASA officials says the failure to secure the new unit won’t disrupt station operations but it will force engineers to carefully distribute electrical power from three operating units to various station systems and says another attempt to install the power distributor could come as early as next week if engineers can figure out what to do with the stubborn bolt. ‘We’re going to figure it out another day,’ says Fischer.”

Source: Space Station Spacewalkers Stymied By Stubborn Bolt

Wave Glider Robot Helps Forecast Hurricane Isaac’s Path

August 29th, 2012 08:36 admin View Comments

Communications

redletterdave writes with news of a drone that’s helping weather forecasters this hurricane season. From the article: “Hurricane prediction is not always an exact science — back in 2005, Hurricane Rita was projected to hit Houston, but missed the region entirely — but the NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) is already on the case. A few weeks ago today, the agency launched an experimental Wave Glider robot named Alex into the ocean, hoping the unmanned drone can forecast the direction of future storms. The Wave Glider, which is completely powered by the waves and the sun thanks to solar panels and a unique thrust engine, contains a GPS unit, satellite communications systems, and sensors for measuring water temperature, wind speed, and various wave characteristics. With its ability to withstand strong winds and thrashing waters — which are typically prohibitive for humans and even aerial vehicles — and its ability to theoretically drift in the ocean endlessly without refueling, a single Wave Glider could be used to monitor not just one storm, but several hurricanes occurring over an entire seasonal period. The NOAA hopes to soon use more Wave Glider robots like Alex to help determine more accurate hurricane watches and warnings.”

Source: Wave Glider Robot Helps Forecast Hurricane Isaac’s Path

Weekly Wrap-Up: Microsoft Announces New Windows 8 Tablet, Surface

June 23rd, 2012 06:00 admin View Comments

Weekly Wrap UpThis week Microsoft announced its upcoming tablet Surface. Eliot Weisberg compared the announcement of Surface with Steve Job’s initial announcement of the iPad. After the jump you’ll find more of this week’s top news stories on some of the key topics that are shaping the Web – Location, App Stores and Real-Time Web – plus highlights from some of our six channels. Read on for more.

[Video] Surface vs. iPad: Microsoft’s Getting Rusty At Stealing from Apple

Eliot Weisberg did a video mixup that compares Steve Job’s initial presentation of the iPad to Steve Ballmer’s presentation of the Surface. Played side by side, you can see the similarities. Take a close look at the clothing choices, similar phrases and even the touted features. It’s a short video, but definitely worth a look. More

Survey: Tablet Owners Prefer Browsers to Native Apps

Survey: Tablet Owners Prefer Browsers to Native Apps

Browser or app: Which is a better way to reach readers on mobile platforms like iOS and Android? Publishers and developers haven’t been shy about offering their opinions, but what about the people who actually use the devices? Among tablet owners, at least, reading on the mobile Web is preferable to using native apps, according to a recent survey from the Online Publishers Association. More

Startup Accelerator Fail: Most Graduates Go Nowhere

Startup Accelerator Fail: Most Graduates Go Nowhere

Startup accelerators continue to grow in popularity. There are now more than 200 around the world attracting twice as many applicants as they did just two years ago. But there’s a dirty little secret: A lot of accelerators are just spinning their wheels. Last year, Aziz Gilani, a director at Houston venture capital firm DFJ Mercury, ran a study of 29 North American accelerators for the Kauffman Fellows Program. He found that 45% of them produced not a single graduate who went on to raise venture funding. More

More Top Stories

Top Trends of 2012: The Consumer Cloud

Top Trends of 2012: The Consumer Cloud

In 2012 we’ve seen amazing growth in the Consumer Cloud, meaning cloud computing for everyday users. There are three main categories in the Consumer Cloud: storage, sync and notes. Dropbox, Apple’s iCloud and Evernote (respectively) have been the most impressive performers in each category so far this year. More

Nobody Is Using Facebook’s Life Events – Not Even Mark Zuckerberg

When Facebook announced Timeline in September last year, a key new feature was the ability to define different types of “life events.” Events such as starting a new job, entering a new relationship or getting married, making a home improvement, getting a tattoo. The idea behind Life Events was to better structure Timeline data. Unfortunately for Facebook, very few people are using Life Events. More

How To Track Topics On The Web

It’s easy to get obsessed with the super-fast, real-time cycle of online news. But don’t forget that the Web is a massive treasure trove of information about any topic. With just a bit of work, you can set up tracking and get regular updates about topics you’re passionate about. In this how-to article, we share our tips on topic tracking. More

Why Security Could Be Apple’s Greatest Threat

Apple is sitting on top of the tech world. The company has set the standard for smartphones and tablets, tech’s biggest growth markets, and the company’s Mac sales in the U.S. are growing faster than the industry average. So what could derail the most valuable company in the world? Forget rivals like Microsoft and Google: Apple’s biggest threat may come from hackers. These cyber-criminals are upending Apple’s carefully cultivated perception that the Mac is more secure than Windows PCs. Hackers smashed that notion in April when 650,000 Macs were infected by the Flashback Trojan. More

Retailer’s Tax on IE 7 Users Opens New Front in Browser Wars

When Australian retailer Kogan.com enacted a “tax” on customers using Internet Explorer 7 last week, it may not have been trying to become the poster child for worldwide Web-developer frustration with Microsoft browsers. But the stunt seems to have tapped into a seething undercurrent of animosity for Internet Explorer that could bring new combatants to the ongoing browser wars. More

Reimagining Books: How Citia’s iPad App Compares to a Paper Book

Kevin Kelly’s book “What Technology Wants” was one of our favorite nonfiction books of 2011. In Richard’s April 2011 review, he gave it five out of five stars. It’s fitting that Kelly’s book is the first to be turned into an iPad app on a new iOS platform called Citia. The result isn’t an e-book, though; it’s more like a condensed summary of the book’s main ideas. So is Citia just a modern-day CliffsNotes, or something more substantial? More

How to Keep Facebook from Recognizing Your Face

Now that Facebook has bought facial recognition vendor Face.com, many users are worried that the giant social network will use the technology to infringe on their privacy. While you can’t stop Facebook from grabbing the facial-recognition data, there are ways to limit the service’s use of that information. More

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Source: Weekly Wrap-Up: Microsoft Announces New Windows 8 Tablet, Surface