30 Nov 2011

Columbia University researchers Ang Cui and Salvatore Stolfo have discovered a vulnerability in HP LaserJet printers that could result in hackers remotely controlling it.

Hackers could then launch cyber attacks and steal information being printed.  In particular they could program the internal components to overload until a fire occurs.

However, more recently HP has released a statement, saying the information in this study is not accurate.  They argue that there is a thermal switch in all of its LaserJet printers and it cannot be remotely disabled.  They also have said that printers made since 2009 require digital signatures on updates.  HP insists that the researchers must have had an older printer, though Stolfo and Cui say it was purchased in September from a major retailer.

Despite, this, HP has conceded there is a security issue on some LaserJet printers where a firmware could be applied remotely, but only from a PC on the same network.  They also state that a bogus update forced via a print job would only work on a Linux based OS or a Mac.  HP will fix the issue, with.. irony here.. a Firmware Update.

Source:  MSNBC

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30 Nov 2011

Skyrim is the first western game to get a perfect 40/40 score from the picky Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu.  What makes it difficult to achieve is that Famitsu's scores for each game come from four different reviewers, each that can award as many as 10 points.

Among the recent winners were The Legend of Zelda: ocarina of Time and Soulcalibur.  By comparison games like Grand Theft Auto IV and Modern Warfare 2 and 3 received 39/40.

Japan will see the release of Skyrim officially on December 8th 2011.

Source:  Andriasang.com

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30 Nov 2011

As if slaying dragons and monsters wasn't enough.. It seems if you unnecessarily censor the dialogue it makes for an even better time:

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22 Nov 2011

The newest and biggest NASA mission to the Red Planet to date is about to take off.  It will be the first one to land under controlled flight.  It is going to use a multistage landing system, lowering the one-ton rover, via a tether.  NASA is hoping to use this mission as a prototype for rover landings on Mars and other locations.  See the video clip below depicting the animation of the rover landing and operation.

NASA has a window of opportunity that began November 18th and lasts three weeks, with the rover arriving at Mars in the August 2012 timeframe.

18 Nov 2011

Google Pages for business, Google Music, iTunes Match, Kindle Fire, Higgs Boson search ends for 2011, Xbox live dashboard update and more

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18 Nov 2011

Europa is one of many moons which orbit the planet Jupiter.  For years now we have known that Europa most likely has an ocean of water lurking deep under the frozen icy surface.  The surface of Europa is almost all water ice.  It has cracks on the surface resembling many found here on Earth.  How does it get warm enough for water to exist under the surface?  Tidal forces from Jupiter and other moons are causing Europa to flex, generating interior warmth.

Europa has been a prime focus for life as well, since the 1980s.  Arthur C. Clarke in "2010" used it.  If water exists on Europa and it most likely does, this would also change our focus on where to look for life in the universe and how it may come to exist.

New data from the Galileo spacecraft have found blocks of ice on the surface that suggest an interaction between the icy surface and a sub-surface lake of water.

18 Nov 2011

Giant Magnet part of the LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was created in 2008 to give physicists a glimpse into the mystery of the universe.  The question of why there is an abundance of normal matter, but hardly any opposite matter, called antimatter.  Back then, some groups believed this atomic smasher would usher the end of the world and create a black hole swallowing the Earth.  Everything is still holding together, years later, but what may not be intact is our understanding of modern physics.

New information, possibly explaining why there is more normal matter in the universe could be coming as the result of recent experiments.

16 Nov 2011

(click to enlarge)

Google has now officially opened up their music (buying) service for business.  Since last May it had been in beta and allowed users to upload (and stream) up to 20,000 tracks at any bitrate (MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC), there was no ability to purchase, until now.  Google music will emphasize "discovering, purchasing, sharing and enjoying digital music in new, innovative and personalized ways", writes Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google.  Google music will sync to the cloud both purchased and uploaded music from your entire library and across all types of devices, while maintaining playlists.

They have added a new music store in Android Market, fully integrated with Google Music.  Google Music will ultimately offer 13 million tracks from the major record labels (8 million today):  Universal, Sony, EMI, and global independent rights agency Merlin, as well as others like 1,000 prominent independent labels. They will offer an "Artist Hub" where the artist without a record label can distribute and sell their own music.  There will be an interface for building the hub interface.  This feature, the Artist Hub, may become one of the most talked about new features out there.

A rundown of how using Google Music will work and video from Google after the break

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