One hundred years ago, an American pharmacist named Wilbur Scoville developed a scale to measure the intensity of a pepper’s burn. The scale – as you can see on this widely used chart – puts sweet bell peppers at the zero mark and the blistering habenero at up to 350,000 Scoville Units. More…
With timelapse cameras, specialists recorded salt water being excluded from the sea ice and sinking.
The temperature of this sinking brine, which was well below 0C, caused the water to freeze in an icy sheath around it.
Where the so-called “brinicle” met the sea bed, a web of ice formed that froze everything it touched, including sea urchins and starfish.
The unusual phenomenon was filmed for the first time by cameramen Hugh Miller and Doug Anderson for the BBC One series Frozen Planet. More…
The 22-year-old was one of four New York-based students who launched Diaspora as a “privacy-aware, user-controlled” social network.
It was set up in response to criticism that Facebook was not handling the privacy of its users well. More…
Apple recently announced the passing of their beloved co-founder and chairman of the board, Steven P. Jobs (1955 – 2011), sparking an unstoppable flow of tributes coming from all corners of the world. This touching logo tribute, simply named “Thanks, Steve.” was created by Jonathan Mak Long, a 19-year-old designer living in Hong Kong. The silhouette of Jobs’ face as the bite in the Apple appears to be taken from the cover of ‘Inside Steve’s Brain’, a book about Steve Jobs written by Leander Kahney. #iSad. More…
RIP Steve Jobs. The master mind behind Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac and iTunes. And in the early years, brought home computing forward in leaps and bounds. My own first computer, in 1992, was a Mac LC. After I had previously I drooled over the NEXT computer when it came out in 1988.
When I logged on this morning, still groggy with my first cup of coffee barely touched, I was flabbergasted to see the enormous changes in Facebook… as were my friends. For hours today, we grumbled, complained, and basically decided… we did NOT like how Facebook is deciding upon what the “top feeds” are for us.
It may have the start-bar-and-icon Desktop look that Windows users are familiar with, but as the crowd at Anaheim, California, saw, any similarities with Windows 7 end there.
The new system has a new, touchscreen-optimized interface called ‘Metro,’ which looks more like the Windows Phone operating system.
Since my recent posting – more like a ranting – about the Princeton Random Generator which “predicted” 9/11, my curiosity rose. My abhoration for statistics had stopped me from researching previously. But now, this EGG contraption was eating away at my mind like termites devouring pine. So, off to the internet search engines I go.
Therefore, while perusing the internet, I came across The Telegraphs “21 Awful Truths About 9/11“…
OMG!…. Here is number eight on the list:
“Three hours before the attacks, a machine called a Random Event Generator at Princeton University predicted a cataclysmic event was about to unfold.”
Here are some incredible pictures from Astronomy Picture of the Day website. All sources and links provided.
Explanation: What kind of cloud is this? A type of arcus cloud called a roll cloud. These rare long clouds may form near advancing cold fronts. In particular, a downdraft from an advancing storm front can cause moist warm air to rise, cool below its dew point, and so form a cloud. When this happens uniformly along an extended front, a roll cloud may form. Roll clouds may actually have air circulating along the long horizontal axis of the cloud. A roll cloud is not thought to be able to morph into atornado. Unlike a similar shelf cloud, a roll cloud is completely detached from their parent cumulonimbus cloud. Pictured above, a roll cloud extends far into the distance as a storm approached in 2007 in Racine, Wisconsin, USA.
A Pileus Iridescent Cloud Over Ethiopia
Explanation: Yes, but how many dark clouds have a multicolored lining? Pictured, behind this darker cloud, is a pileus iridescent cloud, a group of water droplets that have a uniformly similar size and so together diffract different colors of sunlight by different amounts. The above image was taken just after the picturesque sight was noticed by chance by a photographer in Ethiopia. A more detailed picture of the same cloud shows not only many colors, but unusual dark and wavy bands whose origins are thought related to wave disturbances in the cloud.
Aurora Over Greenland
Explanation: This aurora arched from horizon to horizon. During the current Shelios expedition to observe and learn about the northern lights, the sky last weekend did not disappoint. After sunset and some careful photographic planning, the above image was taken from the expedition’s Qaleraliq campsite in southern Greenland. Visible straight through the center of the aurora, found with a careful eye, is the Big Dipper and the surrounding constellation of the Big Bear (Ursa Major). The brightest orb on the far right is the Moon, while Jupiter can be seen even further to the right. The Shelios expedition is scheduled to last until the end of August and include live broadcasts of ongoing auroras.
The Fairy of Eagle Nebula
Explanation: The dust sculptures of the Eagle Nebula are evaporating. As powerful starlight whittles away these cool cosmic mountains, the statuesque pillars that remain might be imagined as mythical beasts. Pictured above is one of several striking dust pillars of the Eagle Nebula that might be described as a gigantic alien fairy. This fairy, however, is ten light years tall and spews radiation much hotter than common fire. The greater Eagle Nebula, M16, is actually a giant evaporating shell of gas anddust inside of which is a growing cavity filled with a spectacular stellar nursery currently forming an open cluster of stars. The above image in scientifically re-assigned colors was released in 2005 as part of the fifteenth anniversary celebration of thelaunch of the Hubble Space Telescope.
A Sun Pillar Over Ontario
Explanation: What is that on the horizon? No, it’s not an alien starship battling distant Earthlings, but rather a sun pillar. When driving across Ontario, Canada in early June, the photographer was surprised to encounter such an “eerie and beautiful” vista, and immediately took pictures. When the atmosphere is cold, ice sometimes forms flat six-sided crystals as it falls from high-level clouds. Air resistance then causes these crystals to lie nearly flat much of the time as they flutter to the ground. If viewed toward a rising or setting Sun, these flat crystals will reflect sunlight and create an unusual column of light — a sun pillar as seen above. Such columns of light are not uncommon to see, and a retrospective of past APODs that have featured picturesque sun pillars can be found here.
Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) — In the Masquerade wing of the Rio Hotel and Casino in the gambling capital of the world, there’s a giant statue of a head hanging over a lobby of slot machines.
The masked figure has two faces and four digital eyes — clairvoyant blue — that track back and forth constantly, as if recording the movements of everyone who enters.
That awkwardly self-conscious — even slightly paranoid — feeling you get from seeing being watched by that enormous casino head is pretty much a steady-state for most of the hackers who attend the DEF CON hacker event, taking place at the Rio this weekend.
Started 19 years ago as an underground gathering of sometimes-nefarious computer wizards, DEF CON has sprawled into a 15,000-person, four-day convention where anyone with $150 — in cash only, please, lest these hackers give up their identities — can learn the latest tricks and trade of computer hacking, lock picking and security breaching.
The aim of the event is to better inform both insiders and everyday people about the risks of operating in our increasingly digital world and to work on solutions. But the practical result of gathering this many highly skilled hackers in one building — in a Las Vegas casino, no less — is that everyone here is experiencing some level of terror.
Insiders say there’s no place on Earth where you’re more likely to get hacked.
“You’re on the most hostile network in the world. If you can perform business here, you can do it anywhere,” said Brian Markus, referring to the public Wi-Fi network at DEF CON, which veterans know to steer clear of.
Unlike at other tech events, which tend to focus on Facebook-like concepts such as “sharing” and “connecting,” DEF CON is all about who can stay the most private, and therefore, who will remain the most secure in this digital war zone.
Those who don’t are shamed into doing so.
Markus, for example, sits in a dark room in the Rio’s conference center watching Internet traffic. When he sees a password fly across the connection, which is often, he posts part of it, along with the user’s log-in name and the site he or she was using, on a large projection screen, which he calls the “Wall of Sheep” (pictured above).
Within an hour of watching for passwords on Friday morning, his team from Aries Security had racked up 10 half-shaded passwords. (The team, and others, can see the full passwords and usernames, but they choose to protect the victims by only displaying the first three characters of each password. Kind of them, huh?)
So, how does one avoid the “Wall of Sheep”?
Markus suggests scrambling your Internet connection.
There are several free services that will do this, including OpenVPN and Ace VPN. That way, if someone like him is “sniffing” the Wi-Fi connection you’re using, they won’t be able to see exactly what you’re up to.
Another method: Type in “https” instead of “http” in your browser bar. That puts you on a more secure version of many major websites.
Plenty of people, however, are subjected to more sophisticated hacks.
Dan Kaminsky, one of the world’s most notable do-gooder hackers, said he had his personal passwords, e-mails and instant messages with a girlfriend dumped out into the public domain at a previous DEF CON event.
“If you walk onto a battlefield, you might get shot,” he said.
People still try to dodge the bullets, though.
As he darted through a mob of black-T-shirt-wearing convention attendees, Eli, better known by his hacker handle “Dead Addict,” told me how much he hates crowds.
Not only is there the social anxiety, there’s also the chance someone with an RFID reader and an antenna in their backpack could swipe your credit card info right out of your pocket.
The readers are the size of an old Walkman and, with a proper antenna, can grab data right off of credit cards that use quick-swipe technology (you can tell if you have one of these cards by looking for a little radio-wave symbol).
Eli, who started hacking in his teens and stopped breaking into corporate sites after all of his friends got arrested for doing the same thing, carries a metal-lined wallet to block this attack.
Other DEF CON veterans said they purchase junk computers they can throw away after the convention because they figure they’re going to get infected. Eli says he just leaves the laptop at home.
Most of the attendees carry cash. No one uses the ATMs after an incident in 2009 in which someone rolled a fake ATM machine into the event, according to Wired, and apparently used it to collect credit card information instead of dispensing money.
There’s also the anonymity of it all. Some hackers only go by their handles. Others don’t want digital records they attended the event, which does not require attendees to register or give their real names.
I got an e-mail warning me about some of these security idiosyncrasies before I got on a plane for Vegas. Written by a DEF CON spokeswoman, and reprinted with her permission, the note was full of jaw-dropping advice:
Great talking with you!
You are about to enter one the most hostile environments in the world. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind …
• Your hotel key card can be scanned by touch, so keep it deep in your wallet.
• Do not use the ATM machines anywhere near either conference. Bring cash and a low balance credit card with just enough to get you through the week.
• Turn off Fire Sharing, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on all devices. Don’t use the Wi-Fi network unless you are a security expert; we have wired lines for you to use.
• Don’t accept gifts, unless you know the person very well – a USB device for instance.
• Make sure you have strong passwords on ALL your devices. Don’t send passwords “in the clear,” make sure they are encrypted. Change your passwords immediately after leaving Vegas.
• Don’t leave a device out of sight, even for a moment.
• People are watching you at all times, especially if you are new to the scene.
• Talk quietly. Conduct confidential phone calls off site …
That is it for now.
After seeing that, I left my credit cards, debit card and company laptop in my hotel room — hidden, of course, since I’m on this newly paranoid kick. I kept my iPhone on “airplane” mode for most of Friday, turning it on only to send a couple texts.
I was particularly concerned about this phone hacking stuff, so I asked Austin Steed, another security researcher-slash-hacker about that.
He said mischievous hackers can install their own cell phone towers to intercept your calls before passing them on to the real mobile carrier. These “man-in-the-middle attacks,” he said, let hackers eavesdrop, but they can also alter the conversation you’re having, without your knowledge.
“You send a text saying ‘I love you,’ and he (the hacker) says, ‘I want to break up with you.’” Or worse than that, Markus said, you could be doing business — maybe the hacker would change “sell it all” to “buy it all,” with potentially huge ramifications.
The hackers who attend DEF CON — now in their thirties instead of their teens as they were at the start of the hacker movement — hope, in a strange way, that by teaching people about hacking they will make the tech world safer.
DEF CON is their playground of sorts. Many of the hacks aren’t necessarily malicious. They are people toying around just to see what’s possible.
If they don’t do it, then the really bad guys will, they say. There are sessions on cracking Google, PayPal, Apple — even cars and prison cells.
DEF CON attendees can also learn how to pick locks. On Friday, 17-year-old Cherry Rose de los Reyes picked her first lock while her dad, Roselito, an IT professional, watched admiringly.
“I think I got it,” she said, turning a key she had reverse-engineered.
“There, now I don’t have to pay Home Depot no more!” her dad said with a laugh.
Some parents might cringe at a dad helping his teenage daughter learn a skill that could be used for breaking and entering. But Roselito de los Reyes says they’d be missing the point.
It’s not about breaking the lock, he said, it’s about learning the lock can be broken.
“If you educate them not to have a false sense of security just because you have a lock, then being able to open a lock might teach them to use a barbell on the door at home.”
So maybe there’s a point to the paranoia after all.
Source: CNN by John D. Sutter
Welcome to the dungeon. First computer virus created 25 years ago, and Mikko Hypponen goes to visit the creators – who provided their address within the coding of the virus.
It is worthy to note that these viral creators have, themselves, had their own systems infected many times since then.
In this video, Mikko is able to run and show examples of old, outdated viruses from the 80′s and 90′s. “Centipede” virus. “Crash” virus. They actually look as though they are old games rather than viruses. Most were written by kids just because they could.
He then goes to show the number of viruses their systems currently seek out and find – which number in the mind-boggling range of hundreds of thousands in just a matter of minutes. Today, organized criminal gangs create these viruses simply because they make money. For example, gangstabucks.com – an operation in Moscow which actually buys infected computers. What they do is keylogging – watching you (while on an infected computer) for online purchases. Looking for that credit card entry with your security code. Mikko delves into this in more detail.
Mikko goes on to talk about the high level of opertion involved with today’s cyber-criminals, hire people to create and test codes. In fact, it’s rather amazing how he tracked down a Russian hacker via code the hacker embedded in his own virus.
Ends with a little tongue-in-cheek humor. Top-notch presentation.
Russia is now becoming the leader in virus creation – but it also contains the leader in viral protection.. Kaspersky. Please read my other posting on an interview with Evgeny Kaspersky. Very interesting…..
Evgeny Kaspersky is one of Russia’s top Internet virus hunters and IT entrepreneurs. In a SPIEGEL interview, he discusses a raft of recent hacker attacks on multinationals, the “total professionals” behind the Stuxnet virus and his fear of both personal and widespread cyber violence.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Kaspersky, when was the last time that a virus hunter like you fell victim to a cyber attack?
Evgeny Kaspersky: My computer was almost infected twice recently. When someone returned my flash card to me at a conference, it was infected with a virus. But then our own virus program helped me. The second time, the website of a hotel in Cyprus was infected. These kinds of things can happen to anyone, no matter how careful you are. I need protection just like anyone else. After all, a specialist on sexually transmitted diseases also relies on condoms for protection.
SPIEGEL: Virologists sometimes rave about the deadly perfection of the viruses they study. Do you still ever get excited yourself about the technology of a computer virus?
Kaspersky: The more sophisticated a virus is, the more exciting it is to crack its algorithm. I’m happy if I can do it. Okay, sometimes there’s a little professional respect involved, too. But it has nothing to do with enthusiasm. Every virus is a crime. Hackers do bad things. I would never hire one.
SPIEGEL: You and your company are the winners of a new era in warfare.
Kaspersky: No, because this war can’t be won; it only has perpetrators and victims. Out there, all we can do is prevent everything from spinning out of control. Only two things could solve this for good, and both of them are undesirable: to ban computers — or people.
SPIEGEL: Although your company Kaspersky Lab now employs more than 2,000 employees, it’s a small business compared with antivirus software makers like McAfee and Symantec. Can you ever catch up with them?
Kaspersky: We’re certainly trying. Russia is our most important competitive advantage. Moscow produces the world’s best programmers. It has a large number of outstanding technical universities. And although Russians can’t build cars the way you Germans can, they do write brilliant software.
SPIEGEL: You were once trained as a cryptologist by the KGB. Does that at all hinder your expansion in the West?
Kaspersky: No, but the fact that we are a company with Russian roots does. We occasionally sense a certain amount of suspicion. Nevertheless, we are now No. 1 in Germany, are growing rapidly in the United States and even have customers within NATO.
Kaspersky: A defense ministry. I won’t reveal the name of the country.
SPIEGEL: Which countries do most viruses come from?
Kaspersky: It’s hard to say because viruses unfortunately don’t carry ID cards. We can at least usually identify the originator’s language, and that’s at the moment the inventor communicates with his virus and gives it a command.
SPIEGEL: Russian programmers don’t only do good things. We assume that they also dominate the virus business.
Kaspersky: Based on the number of programmed viruses, we are in third place behind China and Latin America. Unfortunately, Russians are also among the most sophisticated and advanced players in criminal cyber activity. These days, they invent viruses and complex Trojan programs on demand. They launder money through the Internet. However, the largest number of harmful programs are written in Chinese. This means that they can be coming directly from the People’s Republic, but also from Singapore, Malaysia and even California, where there are Mandarin-speaking hackers.
SPIEGEL: Surprisingly enough, very few viruses seem to be coming from India even though it’s a rising star in the IT world.
Kaspersky: In general, the crime level in India is low. It’s probably a matter of the mentality. India and China have roughly the same population, the same computer density, a similar standard of living and similar religious roots. But China spits out viruses like they were coming off an assembly line.
Part 2: Amateurs and Professionals
SPIEGEL: Why is Russia producing some of the most dangerous hacker rings but very few world-class software companies like your own?
Kaspersky: There are a few, but I see a basic problem: In Russia, the level of technical training has traditionally been high, and it has been transferred from teachers to students for generations. But there are no teachers who know how to build a business with this training because, over seven decades of communism, doing business was never allowed to be the focus. Most of today’s business leaders are around 50, which means they were born during the Soviet era. They often have a type of Iron Curtain in their minds. They like to go abroad for vacation; but when they do business, they limit themselves to countries that once belonged to the Soviet Union because that’s where people speak their language and understand them culturally. I hope to see a new generation that is no longer afraid of other cultures and that speaks English.
SPIEGEL: The Russian search engine Yandex recently raised $1.3 billion (€912 million) in its initial public offering in New York, which was the highest IPO figure in the industry since Google…
Kaspersky: …which is an unbelievably important signal for many people here. A Russian company has shown that it can be successful with the power of our brains rather than with our natural resources. There is an American dream, and now there is a Russian dream, as well: to make money without oil and gas.
SPIEGEL: You once described yourself as an extremely paranoid person. What is the worst possible disaster that a computer viruses could cause?
Kaspersky: In the Soviet days, we used to joke that an optimist learns English because he is hoping that the country will open up, that a pessimist learns Chinese because he’s afraid that the Chinese will conquer us, and that the realist learns to use a Kalashnikov. These days, the optimist learns Chinese, the pessimist learns Arabic…
SPIEGEL: …and the realist?
Kaspersky: …keeps practicing with his Kalashnikov. Seriously. Even the Americans are now openly saying that they would respond to a large-scale, destructive Internet attack with a classic military strike. But what will they do if the cyber attack is launched against the United States from within their own country? Everything depends on computers these days: the energy supply, airplanes, trains. I’m worried that the Net will soon become a war zone, a platform for professional attacks on critical infrastructure.
SPIEGEL: When will that happen?
Kaspersky: Yesterday. Such attacks have already occurred.
SPIEGEL: You’re referring to Stuxnet, the so-called “super virus” that was allegedly programmed to sabotage Iranian nuclear facilities.
Kaspersky: Israeli intelligence unfortunately doesn’t send us any reports. There was a lot of talk — on the Internet and in the media — that Stuxnet was a joint US-Israeli project. I think that’s probably the most likely scenario. It was highly professional work, by the way, and one that commands a lot of respect from me. It cost several million dollars and had to be orchestrated by a team of highly trained engineers over several months. These were no amateurs; these were total professionals who have to be taken very seriously. You don’t get in a fight with them; they don’t mess around.
SPIEGEL: What kind of damage can a super virus like this inflict?
Kaspersky: Do you remember the total power outage in large parts of North America in August 2003? Today, I’m pretty sure that a virus triggered that catastrophe. And that was eight years ago.
SPIEGEL: Firemen tend to describe the dangers of fire in particularly dramatic terms because they make their money fighting fires. Aren’t you just trying to scare people about viruses because that’s your bread and butter?
Kaspersky: If I were only interested in the money, my company would have gone public by now. Believe it or not, my primary concern is making the world a cleaner place. Money is important; but if I do my job well, that will take care of itself.
SPIEGEL: Hackers have recently been taking aim at companies like Lockheed Martin, Google and Sony…
Kaspersky: …simply because they can now infiltrate their well-protected security systems to access secret information. This puts companies at risk, but it also jeopardizes entire nations. It’s a matter of private industrial espionage, but countries are also involved.
SPIEGEL: Are you saying that governments are behind many of the attacks?
Kaspersky: I don’t rule it out.
SPIEGEL: Google has claimed that the attack on its e-mail services was traced back to China.
Kaspersky: I have no information pointing toward China as the actual originator. Professionals do their work through proxy servers. They can be located in China but controlled from the United States. Perhaps it was just competitors — but people then pointed the finger at China. Anything can happen in our business.
Part 3: Sources of Future Threats
SPIEGEL: In 2007, Estonia provoked the Russians when it moved a Soviet-era war memorial. Do you think the Kremlin was behind the subsequent cyber attack on the small country?
Kaspersky: Not the government, but enraged Russian spammers who directed special computer networks known as “botnets” against Estonia. It became the prototype of a belligerent cyber attack on a country. The attackers didn’t just cripple government websites; they also sent so many spam e-mails that the entire Internet channel to Estonia quickly collapsed. The country was cut off from the world. The banking system, trade, transportation — everything ground to a halt.
SPIEGEL: Could Russian hackers figuratively “checkmate” Germany?
Kaspersky: (laughing) We won’t do that. If we did, who would buy our natural gas?
SPIEGEL: A number of computer geeks and hackers have banded together into an elusive online group known as “Anonymous,” which is constantly staging fresh guerilla cyber campaigns. What are your thoughts about it?
Kaspersky: I don’t think Anonymous has done any major damage yet. But I also don’t support this group. Some of these people have good intentions and are merely trying to draw attention to security loopholes. But there are also those with bad intentions. Imagine you left the key in your front door. Some would call to let your know, whereas others would spread the news throughout the entire city that your front door is open. That’s Anonymous; it’s unpredictable.
SPIEGEL: In the future, terrorist organizations like al-Qaida could also wage cyber wars.
Kaspersky: Terrorists primarily use the Internet for communication, propaganda and recruiting new members and funding sources. So far, highly qualified cyber criminals have had enough sense to not get involved with terrorists. But, in the future, we should count on seeing cyber attacks on factories, airplanes and power plants. Just think of Die Hard 4…
SPIEGEL: …in which Bruce Willis had to fight his way through an army of young hackers.
Kaspersky: Half of the film is Hollywood fiction, but the other half is quite realistic. That really worries me.
SPIEGEL: Your 20-year-old son Ivan was recently kidnapped by a gang but liberated unharmed a few days later. How dangerous is it to be rich in Russia?
Kaspersky: More dangerous than it is in Munich, but not as dangerous as it is in Colombia, where I usually traveled in an armored car when I was there on vacation. The children of successful entrepreneurs are kidnapped in other countries, too. Thank God the Russian authorities and my security service were able to rescue Ivan. My son was partly to blame for his kidnapping: He had broadcast his address on Facebook even though I’d been warning him for years not to reveal any personal information on the Internet. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter make it easier for criminals to do their work.
SPIEGEL: Your son is studying mathematics and works as a programmer. Do you expect him to take over your company one day?
Kaspersky: If he’s good, maybe so.
SPIEGEL: Silicon Valley is teeming with Russian scientists. Didn’t you ever want to emigrate to America?
Kaspersky: Once, in 1992. I had just returned to Moscow from Hanover, from my first trip to the West. At the time, I could do nothing but shake my head in disgust over my country. The prosperity gap was enormous. It’s become significantly smaller today. And because I travel so much, I know there are pros and cons everywhere — whether social, economic or political.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Kaspersky, thank you for this interview.
Interview conducted by Matthias Schepp and Thomas Tuma
A gallery of close-ups of the pests who inhabit our homes, clothes, and bodies. Electron Microscopic scans from the book, Micro Monsters, by Tom Jackson, published by Amber Books.
SPL / BARCROFT MEDIA / FAME PICTURES
More closely related to shrimp than insects or spiders, the woodlouse anatomy features an exoskeleton that protects it from attack. It has 14 clawed legs and can climb just about anywhere.
SPL / BARCROFT MEDIA / FAME PICTURES
Though they are known for eating wood, wood is not this insect’s food. Their stomachs turn the food into a mush, which, after excretion, is used to build gardens inside their nest. A fungus which grows on the droppings is their real food.
SPL / BARCROFT MEDIA / FAME PICTURES
These beetles not only eat grain, but lay their eggs in it as well. In human homes, they sometimes find their way into pasta, which is often made from wheat.
SPL / BARCROFT MEDIA / FAME PICTURES
Though it looks like a worm, the maggot is in fact, a baby fly. These insects eat several times their body weight each day. Some types like meat; others like fruit and vegetables.
SPL / BARCROFT MEDIA / FAME PICTURES
This insect gets its name from the females’ preference for laying its eggs on cow patties and horse manure. For food, the males like other flies. To eat, they suck the blood-like liquid from their prey through the mouth part (off-white in this photo).
SPL / BARCROFT MEDIA / FAME PICTURES
Yellow Fever Mosquito
Though rare in most countries, yellow fever can still claim victims in the developing world. This female has just eaten. Her abdomen is swollen with blood.
SPL / BARCROFT MEDIA / FAME PICTURES
These wasps cut up their prey with powerful slicing mouth parts. Its favorite prey is honeybees.
Original source: Time
What a better way to catch a glimpse of Disneyland Paris but through Tilt Shift??? “Tilt-shift photography” refers to the use of camera movements on small- and medium-format cameras, and sometimes specifically refers to the use of tilt for selective focus, often for simulating a miniature scene. Sometimes the term is used when the shallow depth of field is simulated with digital post processing; the name may derive from the tilt-shift lens normally required when the effect is produced optically.
Official Disneyland Paris Link : youtube.com/watch?v=WhieInBgTq8
Could there is a better way to illustrate the tilt-shift technique but by photographing a theme park ?
With its various settings, numerous parades and constant excitement, Disneyland Paris was only waiting for the Audiovisual Service to meet a team willing to apply the tilt-shift technique and reduce the park to its original model look.
Director, Céranne Gantzer
Director of photography , Daniel Meyer and Christian Van Hanja
Quel sujet pouvait aussi bien se prêter à la technique du tilt-shift qu’un parc d’attractions?
Avec sa variété de décors, ses nombreuses parades et sa constante animation, Disneyland Paris n’attendait plus qu’une envie commune entre le service Audiovisuel du parc et une équipe désireuse d’exploiter la technique du tilt-shift pour être réduit à l’échelle d’une maquette.
Réalisateur, Céranne Gantzer
Directeurs photo, Daniel Meyer et Christian Van Hanja
These photos are taken from Brandon Brill’s book, “Microcosmos.” London England. Book includes SEM images (Scanning Electron Microscope) of items most of which are too small for the naked eye to see.
An infographic dissecting the nature and ramifications of Stuxnet, the first weapon made entirely out of code. This was produced for Australian TV program HungryBeast on Australia’s ABC1.
According to fastcodesign.com:
There’s a powerful, under-reported takeaway here: The Stuxnet virus, having already done its job, now enjoys a scary afterlife. Its code is available online for anyone to look at and play with — and keep in mind, this is a virus capable of shutting down entire power grids. Could hackers re-engineer the virus to other ends, posing far greater threats to the international economy?
It’s hard to know, as the hacking still continues apace (and the video seems a bit all too invested in scaring the bejesus out of you). Certainly, you’d have to have a deep knowledge of a specific target to make it work again, in another setting. But it’s worth wondering whether the tool, while successful, has ended up spreading dangerous knowledge worldwide. Once its complexity and ambition becomes absorbed by the hacker community — and governments such as China — who knows what will emerge as a result.
In 100 years, historians will probably look back at Stuxnet’s emergence as the Trinity Test for a new age of warfare — a harbinger of danger in an uncertain era.
Direction and Motion Graphics: Patrick Clair patrickclair.com
Written by: Scott Mitchell
Production Company: Zapruder’s Other Films
Very interesting video (and loved how he created it). The question, apparently, still remains well… unanswered. To sum up this video, when a person is blindfolded, or unable to orientate themselves properly – such as in a thick fog – then when they think they are walking straight, they are actually walking in circles.
Notice, the direction of path always seems to circle clock-wise – except for the automobile example, which I will touch on in a moment. My first thought is what is always in constant motion on our planet? Well, our planet itself. Always rotating around our axis, and revolving around the sun. Although we cannot feel this movement, our human balance is very delicate and subconsciously, our body “feels” this rotation. Would this not have an effect on our path as given in these experiments?
Now, with the man driving the car, he actually circles counter-clockwise. Could this be because, sub-consciously, his body is thinking it is moving to the right more than it actually is simply due to the higher speed than when on foot, therefore, the person unknowingly over-compensates when driving, thus turning the wheel more left?
Just some thoughts….. Enjoy the video.
Google, Facebook, amongst many other sites auto-filter your search results. Although this may be appealing to many people, myself amid a significant percentage of other internet searchers, prefer a myriad of results. Ideally, I want to see both sides of the issue if I am searching for an item in the news. Not just conservative, or not just liberal viewpoints. Or primarily mainstream news sites, as they themselves filter the news.
In this video by TED, you will see how the same search for “Egypt” resulted in quite different results.
I’m sure we have all seen the odd drop-down search results that Google will automatically pull up based upon the number of searches previously done on that topic. So thought I’d have some fun and see what the majority of some searches are…
So kids being turned on by their mother is occurring enough to be in the top 5 searches? Are they all named Oedipus?
Is this before or after you have had sex?
These all made me scratch my head, so I took a peek. The buying a bag of air is not a poor infomercial purchase, but is referencing a Facebook posting “I hate it when I buy a bag of packaged air and there are chips inside.” Well, couldn’t you tell when you picked it up that there were no chips in it? Or when there is very little rustling, there probably are not many in there? Pick another bag…
The others are all Facebook postings, as well. I guess they don’t have anything better to do. Wait… what am I doing? I’m actually searching this stuff……. Uhhhh…. on to the next one, then.
Okay, no comment. Next…………
To all the people who google these items, the next item to google should be “divorce lawyer.”
Any husband who is googling borderline personality disorder… just watch your back.
And is there an epidemic of wives having ear infections?
Looks like Facebook has reached number 5 in the world of addiction.
This comes as no surprise.
“What smells like…”
Ummm… Answers are: skunk, rotten eggs, weed… but the blue paint one? Why are you asking?So, there you go. This was mildly entertaining, but not enough to do it again.
Oh, sure, human astronauts will be on board Space Shuttle Endeavour’s STS-134 mission set to launch Monday. But so will five microscopic life forms: Water Bears, also known as Tardigrades (shown above); the bacteria Deinococcus radiodurans and Bacillus subtilis; and the archaea Haloarcula marismortui and Pyrococcus furiosus.
Water Bears (or Tardigrades)
Members of the animal kingdom, the Water Bears are “huge” microorganisms compared to the other LIFE travelers. Their bodies are composed of four segments, each with two legs ending in claws. Water bears are extremophiles, which means they can adapt to some pretty hostile environments — from 150 degrees Celsius (302 Fahrenheit or hot enough to bake biscotti) to just a few degrees above absolute zero. Plus, they’re radiation resistant.
The tardigrades had already been coaxed into an anhydrobiotic state, during which their metabolisms slow by a factor of 10,000. This allows them to survive vacuums, starvation, dessication and temperatures above 300 degrees Fahrenheit and below minus 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once in orbit, the tardigrade box popped open. Some were exposed to low-level cosmic radiation, and others to both cosmic and unfiltered solar radiation. All were exposed to the frigid vacuum of space…
Just how the invertebrate astronauts protected themselves “remains a mystery,” wrote the researchers.
… personally, I think it looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie….
Conan the Bacterium (common nickname for Deinococcus radiodurans or "terrifying berries")
This strain of bacteria is so hardy it has the nickname, Conan the Bacterium. Whereas 10 Gy (Grays) of radiation would kill an average human, Deinococcus radiodurans can survive a whopping 5000 (five thousand) Gy. More than a third of the cells will even survive a dose of 15,000 Gy! That’s an ideal trait for long journeys through the dangerous radiation of outer space.
The Average Joe of Bacteria (Bacillus subtilis)
Bacillus subtilis is a “model organism,” a standard bacteria used over and over again in many different biological experiments. tThe MW01 strain will fly on Shuttle LIFE. Bacillus subtilis is also quite radiation resistant and has a long history of space biology missions, going back to the days of Apollo. That will allow a good comparison point between Shuttle LIFE and some of the other space flights of this bacterium.
Poison Lover (Halomonadaceae sp. GFAJ-1)
These rod shaped bacteria from the family Halomonadaceae made headlines as the first known microorganisms that are apparently able to thrive and reproduce using the toxic chemical, arsenic. The bacteria appear to substitute arsenic for phosphorus in their cell components. If these results are confirmed, they may imply a separate biochemistry for life. And that means that life might arise in planetary conditions we never before thought suitable.
Old Salty (Haloarcula marismortui, an archaeon)
Many archaeons — a type of single-celled organism — are extremophiles that thrive under conditions that would destroy other organisms. Haloarcula marismortui lives in extremely salty environments. Why are we testing an organism that seems to enjoy high salinity? If ancient Mars had water on its surface at some point in the past, it was in all likelihood very salty and briny. Any life existed that there would probably have lived in those salty seas. It’s important to learn if such a salt-loving organism can survive a long journey through space.
Fire Eater (Pyrococcus furiosus, an archaeon)
These extremophiles love heat. Pyrococcus furiosus was discovered in 1986 in volcanically heated ocean sediments off the coast of Italy, and it thrives in temperatures between 70 and over 100 degrees Celsius (158 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit). But interplanetary space isn’t hot; nor is the surface of Mars or Phobos. So why send a heat-seeking extremophile on the journey? There is always the small risk that somewhere in processing the payload, some mistake would cause the payload to overheat. In that case, Pyrococcus furiosus will serve as a kind of temperature control. If it is the only LIFE organism to survive the trip, this will indicate that overheating rather than conditions in space caused the loss of the other organisms.
Last night, Wed. May 11, 2011, I was just about to go to bed and doing one last peek at Facebook, when I saw someone posted on my wall. I take a look, and immediately knew it was spam – and that my friend did not send this. We’ve all seen these posts come through many times, I’m sure.
However, this one was different… suddenly, within a matters of seconds, there were over a hundred of this same posting on my wall coming from various friends posting to everyone in their friend list. Since most of my friends are a large local circle, many of us have anywhere from 20 to 100+ common friends amongst us. Therefore when a friend posted to another common friend, it showed on my wall. Within one refresh of my screen, my wall was entirely full of these posts.
The posting stated: “In order to PREVENT SPAM, I ask that you VERIFY YOUR ACCOUNT. Click VERIFY MY ACCOUNT right next to comment below to start the process…”
I watched in utter amazement last night watching these posts fill my wall and spread faster than the Swine Flu did last year.
This appears to be phishing which is a way of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. By clicking the the “verify your account”, the sender was then able to acquire your user information, including your password.
Now, I spent a few hours last night stepping my friends through the correct way to change your password on Facebook, especially in this situation. And simply, FIRST (very important)… go to your account / account settings / account security (change) / and click on:
Secure Browsing (https) Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible (make sure this box is checked) (see picture below)
After you have set (or verified) that you have a secure connection… THEN you need to change your password. If you change your password without a secure connection, and you have been phished, then the phisher will have your new password.
Although I have a bit an animosity towards Facebook for allowing something like this through, I do need to commend them on reacting quickly and shutting down this post. At one point, all posts on my wall were gone, and only new posts showed. It appeared as though they somehow stopped these posts, and others in between, from showing. This morning, all was normal.
I love the internet, but some people really need to find something better and more positively constructive to do then cause havoc for complete and total strangers.
Additionally, Facebook will NEVER ask for your credit card. If you get an email or post requesting you for your credit card… Run! “Run, Forrest, Run!”
More than 23,000 people will soon be notified by their internet service providers that their subscriber information is being turned over to lawyers suing over the 2010 Sylvester Stallone flick The Expendables.
As we first reported Monday, the case is the largest BitTorrent file-sharing lawsuit in U.S. history.
We just updated our IP Detective tool with the 23,322 IP addresses targeted between Feb. 5 and April 22 in the mass lawsuit filed by the Washington-based U.S. Copyright Group on behalf of Nu Image.
All told, more than 140,000 BitTorrent downloaders are being targeted in dozens of lawsuits across the country, many of them for downloading B-grade movies and porn. Film companies pay snoops to troll BitTorrent sites, dip into active torrents and capture the IP addresses of the peers who are downloading and uploading pieces of the files.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a great resource on what to do if you’re a target.
As before, our (WIRED) widget also will attempt to check if you’re one of the nearly 6,000 targets in the controversial Nude Nuns with Big Guns case, or the OpenMind Solutions lawsuit going after nearly 3,000 alleged porn downloaders.
A Twitterer briefly brought down the asocial self-promotional site last night after posting what were claimed to be details of famous folk said to have shagged one another.
These folk with more money than morals have been hiding behind so-called superinjunctions in a bid – in many cases – to stop their spouses finding out they’ve been indulging in a bit of extra-marital hanky-panky.
Footballers, TV presenters and luvvies have been able to use the injunctions to stop newspapers running stories about their private lives. But the likes of Twitter it seems are beyond the reach of the law, so long as you can first find out who’s dipped their wick in whom, it seems.
The one bloke we do know to have used a superinjunction to stop the fact he had poked a woman he’s not married to is BBC journalist Andrew Marr, which is indeed bizarre as he’s the person perhaps least likely to have had such allegations about him believed – which may be why he came out and and confessed. A bit like John Major, he’s one of the few who’d go up in the public’s estimation on revelations he was able to pull.
Superinjunctions are apparently sent out to media outlets to let them know who doesn’t want certain things written about them. We didn’t get any, so we don’t know who we can’t write about and who’s fair game. At best we could probably ask Twitter.
We do know that Gabby Logan didn’t sleep with Alan Shearer because she said so, erm, on Twitter. And Gemima Khan didn’t sleep with Jeremy Clarkson because she’s got more sense – and she said so on Twitter. We’ve no idea who Ryan Giggs has been sleeping with.
There’s a #superinjunction hashtag on Twitter for those with nothing better to do.
Technology giants Sony, Apple and Google have all faced major scandals in recent weeks that raise a host of questions about privacy in the digital age. Apple’s popular iPhone was designed to secretly track a user’s location without the user’s knowledge, and so was Google’s Android system for smartphones. Sony’s PlayStation Network has exposed the personal records of more than 100 million of its customers. We speak to Mark Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, who notes that in addition to privacy breaches, these private companies are essentially doing a better job with popular surveillance than the government, creating a detailed personal record that then can be released by a subpoena.