Sunday, December 1, 2013

Why China is fixated on the Moon

Source: BBC News

I asked him if the idea of a Chinese moonbase extracting minerals was remotely plausible.

"It's perfectly plausible from the technical point of view, absolutely plausible from the finance point of view because they have great buying power, so I think, yes, there's nothing at all to stop them doing that probably within something like 10 years."

So a great deal is riding on the Chang'e 3 launch - national prestige, the quest for technological prowess and the desire to harness all available natural resources.

If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft will take six days to reach the Moon and then face the challenge of a soft landing.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

How to Hack the Backbone of the Internet

Source: The Motherboard blog at Vice Magazine

The highlight of the NSA’s Powerpoint presentation is a hand-drawn slide of two circles that shows where the public internet meets Google's private cloud. That meeting point is a prime spot for the NSA to intercept traffic,  encryption is “added and removed here!” as the slide states, with a smiley face no less.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

5 Fun Facts From the Latest NSA Leak

Source: Wired - Threat Level

1) The NSA generally destroys communication of U.S. persons that are collected incidental to collecting data on foreign individuals — unless the communication is encrypted...

2) The NSA maintains a massive database of U.S. email addresses and phone numbers...

3) The NSA also maintains a database of information incidentally collected from GSM and Home Location Registers...

4) When the NSA does pick up purely domestic communications, it can still use or pass the intercepted call or email to the FBI or other federal agencies if there is evidence of a crime or a national security leak...

5) If the NSA intercepts data between an attorney and client, it will still be retained...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Adobe kills Creative Suite, moves software entirely to cloud

Adobe's future looks cloudy with a strong chance of monthly recurring revenue.

Source: San Jose Mercury News

Adobe Systems said Monday that it will not release new versions of its Creative Suite software package. Instead, the maker of Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat, is shifting focus to Creative Cloud, which makes its software available through a monthly subscription that starts at $50 for an individual if they sign up for at least a year.

"Customers have to come to terms with the end of perpetually licensed software," said IDC analyst Al Hilwa. "Adobe is ahead of the game."

Scott Morris, a senior marketing director at Adobe, said the shift will help the San Jose-based company respond to changes in the marketplace much faster. Adobe's engineers, he said, will be freed up to release updates and improvements much faster than the company's traditional 18 to 24-month upgrade cycle.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bitcoin Really Us an Existential Threat to the Modern Liberal State

Source: Bloomberg

Technology enabled governments to grow more powerful and more centralized in the 19th and 20th centuries, as Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, has argued. The intriguing possibility is that technologies of the 21st century -- such as Bitcoin -- might push the other way.