Most Famous Picture in the History of Science

February 26, 2006 @ 4:14 pm

Solvay Conference

Click the image for bigger size.

One of the most famous photos in the history of physics captures the illustrious participants at the fifth Solvay Conference in Brussels, October 1927.
29 physicists, the main quantum theorists of the day, came together, 17 of the 29 attendees were or became Nobel Prize winners.
One realizes importance of the meeting when it recognizes the faces of Pauli, Schrödinger, Einstein, Dirac, Marie Curie, Bohr, Planck, Lorentz and Heisenberg to mention among the most well-known.

Original Site Translated to English

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Skype Use May Make Eavesdropping Passe

February 19, 2006 @ 9:42 am

Even as the U.S. government is embroiled in a debate over the legality of wiretapping, the fastest-growing technology for Internet calls appears to have the potential to make eavesdropping a thing of the past.

Skype, the Internet calling service recently acquired by eBay Inc., provides free voice calls and instant messaging between users. Unlike other Internet voice services, Skype calls are encrypted — encoded using complex mathematical operations. That apparently makes them impossible to snoop on, though the company leaves the issue somewhat open to question.

Skype is certainly not the first application for encrypted communications on the Internet. Secure e-mail and instant messaging programs have been available for years at little or no cost.

More here…

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Federal Court Ruled That Firm Not Negligent in Failure to Encrypt Data

February 18, 2006 @ 10:36 pm

A federal court has thrown out a lawsuit that accused a student-loan provider of negligence in failing to encrypt a customer database that was subsequently stolen.

Stacy Lawton Guin, a customer of Brazos Higher Education Service, sued the corporation on the grounds that encryption should be used as a routine security precaution.

But U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle in Minnesota dismissed the case last week, saying Brazos had a written security policy and other “proper safeguards” for customers’ information and that it acted “with reasonable care” even without encrypting the database.

CNet News

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UK Government Wants a Backdoor Into Windows

@ 4:31 pm

UK officials are talking to Microsoft over fears the new version of Windows could make it harder for police to read suspects’ computer files.

Windows Vista is due to be rolled out later this year. Cambridge academic Ross Anderson told MPs it would mean more computer files being encrypted.

He urged the government to look at establishing “back door” ways of getting around encryptions.

The Home Office later told the BBC News website it is in talks with Microsoft.

BBC News

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PGP Adds Encryption to IBM Mainframe

February 15, 2006 @ 7:23 am

PGP announced on Feb. 13 its new PGP Command Line for the IBM zSeries and IBM iSeries platforms at the RSA Conference in San Jose, Calif.

The move allows organizations and financial institutions to extend encryption toward mainframe environments and IBM-based midrange platforms.

EWeek News

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Most Men ‘Unhappy with Penis Ops’

February 14, 2006 @ 7:19 pm

The majority of men who have penis enlargements end up dissatisfied with the results, a study says.

Surgeons at St Peter’s Andrology Centre in London quizzed 42 men who underwent operations, the European Urology journal reported.

The average increase was 1.3cms (0.5in), but more than 70% said they were unhappy with the results.

Experts said spam e-mails and advertising were giving men unrealistic expectations about penis surgery.

Read it here

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Secret Court’s Judges Were Warned About NSA Spy Data

@ 5:16 pm

Twice in the past four years, a top Justice Department lawyer warned the presiding judge of a secret surveillance court that information overheard in President Bush’s eavesdropping program may have been improperly used to obtain wiretap warrants in the court, according to two sources with knowledge of those events.

The revelations infuriated U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly — who, like her predecessor, Royce C. Lamberth, had expressed serious doubts about whether the warrantless monitoring of phone calls and e-mails ordered by Bush was legal. Both judges had insisted that no information obtained this way be used to gain warrants from their court, according to government sources, and both had been assured by administration officials it would never happen.


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US Plans Massive Data Sweep

February 11, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

The US government is developing a massive computer system that can collect huge amounts of data and, by linking far-flung information from blogs and e-mail to government records and intelligence reports, search for patterns of terrorist activity.

The system – parts of which are operational, parts of which are still under development – is already credited with helping to foil some plots. It is the federal government’s latest attempt to use broad data-collection and powerful analysis in the fight against terrorism. But by delving deeply into the digital minutiae of American life, the program is also raising concerns that the government is intruding too deeply into citizens’ privacy.

More of that..

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Advances In Subliminal Manipulation

@ 2:06 pm

Almost 50 years ago, Vance Packard wrote The Hidden Persuaders, an interesting book about subliminal advertising. You don’t hear much about subliminal advertising these days, but apparently mind manipulation is popular than ever.

Some of the biggest advertisers are taking their advertising away from full page ads and television spots and spending up on hidden persuasion. You won’t find these secret messages in ice-cubes or flickering film footage like they were in the sixties. Subliminal advertising has gone mainstream – fake news, mind control scripts, propaganda and stealth voicemail are in wide use by corporations, government bodies, and industry groups. Have you spotted any of these?

1. The article briefly describes these methods:
2. Point of sale mind control scripts
3. Doctor-patient drug kickbacks
4. In-store sensory manipulation
5. Private conversation rental
6. Neuromarketing
7. Chatbots and stealth voicemail
8. Real-time bugging of personal data
9. Sidewalk stalkers
10.Planted news stories
11. Government propaganda


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Privacy fears hit Google search

@ 11:54 am

A leading US digital rights campaign group has warned against using Google software which lets people organise and find information on their computers.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation said the latest version of Google Desktop posed a risk to privacy.

This is because a feature in the software lets Google keep personal data on its servers for up to 30 days.

Google says it plans to encrypt all data transferred from users’ hard drives and restrict access.

BBC News

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