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Current Topic: Technology

AlterNet: TECHSPLOITATION: Nanophobia
Topic: Technology 7:03 pm EDT, Aug 21, 2003

]Instead of quibbling over whether nanotech is antihuman, we need to
]be asking how we can use it to benefit the greatest number of

An analysis of (well, more accurately, a preemptive strike against) the coming wave of anti-nanotech sentiment. Nanotechnologists vs Luddites! Round 1! FIGHT!

[I love Annalee Newitz....her writing is awesome - Nano]

AlterNet: TECHSPLOITATION: Nanophobia

Edinburgh Evening News - Top Stories - A spray-on computer is way to do IT
Topic: Technology 10:36 pm EDT, Aug 20, 2003

] SPRAY-ON computers the size of a grain of sand are set to
] transform information technology across the world thanks
] to pioneering research at Edinburgh University.

Edinburgh Evening News - Top Stories - A spray-on computer is way to do IT

Overused, misused nano becoming pervasive prefix
Topic: Technology 8:37 pm EDT, Aug  3, 2003

" NEW YORK, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Even though nanotechnology is still in its infancy, the nano prefix is quickly growing into one of the most over-used and misused phrases in the English language."
"Nano-tex, which is majority owned by Burlington Industries Inc. (OTC BB:BRLG.OB - News) and aims to improve textiles at the molecular level, could have you outfitted in nanopants before long."
"They have already listed trademarks such as nano-care and nano-pel for their stain- and wrinkle-resistant materials."
"The environmental crusaders from Greenpeace may not be sure what nanotechnology is, but they are already against it.Greenpeace has called for a moratorium on the release of nanoparticles in commercial products until studies of potential nano pollution can be completed."

" Enthusiasts are referred to as nano reefers, which apparently has nothing to do with minuscule marijuana cigarettes."

[hey now.....I started it damnit.....they are all just trying to be like me.....yeah....thats me! - Nano]

Overused, misused nano becoming pervasive prefix

Researchers Use Lab Cultures to Create Robotic ‘Semi-Living Artist’
Topic: Technology 1:10 pm EDT, Jul 28, 2003

] The network of brain cells, located in Professor Steve
] Potters lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology
] in Atlanta, and the mechanical arm, located in the lab of
] Guy Ben-Ary at the University of Western Australia in
] Perth, interact in real-time through a data exchange
] system via an Internet connection between the robot and
] the brain cells.

Researchers Use Lab Cultures to Create Robotic ‘Semi-Living Artist’

Publish books for Free
Topic: Technology 3:31 pm EDT, Jul 17, 2003

Cafe Press now sells books. Fairly cheap too when you consider how much kinkos charges for this. You no longer need a book publisher as long as you can market yourself.

Publish books for Free

Interz0ne Press Release - re: Blackboard Settlement
Topic: Technology 10:14 am EDT, Jul 16, 2003

From Wed Jul 16 10:59:47 2003
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 06:14:52 -0400
From: Rockit []
Subject: [se2600] Interz0ne Press Release re: Blackboard Settlement

Interz0ne Press Release:

Censorship via lawsuit wins again.

Lawyers working for Blackboard Inc., the maker of a card transaction, vending and ID system used by approximately 275 colleges and universities globally, as well as an undiscosed number of government and military installations, succeeded in silencing two college students who have found numerous flaws in Blackboard's flagship product over the last two years.

Georgia Tech student Billy Hoffman, along with University of Alabama student Virgil Griffith, initially kept the discoveries quiet while attempting to report them to Blackboard engineers, along with possible fixes. Traditionally, the discoverers of such flaws allow the vendors time to fix problems before going public; this provides the vendors with essentially free quality control labor while the discoverers get later bragging rights and items to pad their resumes. This unofficial system has worked well in the past, to the extent that Blackboard even boasts of working with the hacker community on their website.

Instead of taking an interest in news of these flaws, however, Blackboard engineers first dismissed Hoffman as a know-nothing "kid", then attempted to have him expelled from Georgia Tech after he voiced his concerns about Tech's Blackboard system to campus administrators and student organizations. Hoffman responded by first publishing his (and later Griffith's) findings, and then updating his articles via talks at various vendor and security conferences.

It was at such a conference, Interz0ne II in Atlanta, that Hoffman and Griffith were planning to discuss the most severe problems they had uncovered to date, including a demonstration of several easy-to-assemble hardware devices that could supposedly allow anyone with malicious intent free reign on a Blackboard system.

Hoffman and Griffith never gave their talk.

Instead, they and the convention organizers were served with both restraining orders and cease and desist orders. Court dates soon followed, along with legal threats. Several months after the convention, both Hoffman and Griffith settled out of court. They refuse to discuss the issue, so one can assume that the settlement includes an NDA.

Blackboard spokesdrone Michael Stanton stated to AP reporters on Monday, July 14th (a day before the settlement was officially filed) that "...the claims [Hoffman and Griffith] were making were silly," that "...they really didn't do a lot of the things they were claiming to [have done]" and that the settlement reaffirms that Blackboard's systems are secure.


The settlement does nothing of the sort.

If Hoffman and Griffith's clai... [ Read More (0.4k in body) ]

Interz0ne Press Release - re: Blackboard Settlement

The Register - Blackboard press release
Topic: Technology 10:46 am EDT, Jul 15, 2003

] Blackboard said the settlement shows its systems are
] secure but the whole case is better understood as a
] successful attempt to protect the firm's reputation
] against the possibly exaggerated claims of a pair of
] student hacker/crackers

The register got caught up in the spin as well.

Since when is using the law an appropriate way to silence critics? Thats the very definition of censorship.

Can we accept that this is really the final word on the story, given that its coming from blackboard, and that Acidus and Virgil are injoined from responding?

Is Blackboard's technology secure?

We may never know. What we do know is that Blackboard has effectively silenced their critics, with extreme prejudice. My lawyer is bigger then your lawyer should not trump the first amendment. In this case it has. These student settled because they did not have the means to defend themselves.

Acidus and Virgil owe $20,000 in (clears throat) "legal fees." They are college students. They can't really afford this and they need help. If you would like to contribute, you can paypal the following email address:

The Register - Blackboard press release

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: BlackBoard press release
Topic: Technology 10:45 am EDT, Jul 15, 2003

] Two computer hackers admitted in a settlement Monday that
] they never completed a device that could cheat university
] campus debit card systems out of food, laundry machine
] use or sports tickets.

Spin Spin Spin...

More on this in a minute...

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: BlackBoard press release
Topic: Technology 12:05 pm EDT, Jul 14, 2003

Just caught this one in my inbox.. Psyiode has started up a site to keep track of the Blackboard case.

Its important to note that Psyiode has no connection to Acidus, Virgil, or any of the Interz0ne con staff. Blackboard may decide to come after him too.

I like the domain. :)

[werd. - Nano]

Wired News: Taking a Quick Swipe at Cancer
Topic: Technology 11:26 pm EDT, Jul 13, 2003

] A new handheld scanner may mean patients being screened
] for cancer will no longer have to cram into the narrow
] tunnel of an MRI or CT scanner for a grueling 40-minute
] exam -- the patient won't even need to undress.

Wired News: Taking a Quick Swipe at Cancer

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