Friday, December 10, 2010

Déjà vu - Military Bans Removable Disks AGAIN

It's too late to stop WikiLeaks from publishing thousands more classified documents, nabbed from the Pentagon's secret network. But the U.S. military is telling its troops to stop using CDs, DVDs, thumb drives and every other form of removable media — or risk a court martial.

More info is available at Military-bans-disks-threatens-courts-martials-to-stop-new-leaks

NOTE: Removable disks were disabled on military computers and networks two years ago. It proved to be impracticable because many military users of imagery and other critical data only have access to low speed networks or no network access at all. In some cases critical operational readiness and project executions were being negatively impacted so the policy was changed. Removable media could be temporarily enabled under controlled conditions if documented. So one of three things occurred that allowed the WikiLeaks: (1) the military agency had not implemented the control procedures, (2) the WikiLeaks perpetrator who burned the documents to CDs had the authority to enable removable disks on the classified network, or (3) the WikiLeaks perpetrator convinced someone to enable removable disks on the classified network. The bottom line is the WikiLeaks were caused by weak management controls over classified networks and data.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

ActiveWords – a program you need

ActiveWords is a simple, intuitive macro-program that allows you to create brief words or shortcuts to substitute text (up to 32kb in size); open programs, files and folders; navigate the Internet; open Windows settings; and execute scripting actions. After using the free trial program for a couple of days I purchased ActiveWords PLUS for $49.95. I have already created several dozen shortcuts. Examples:

    cs + F8 inserts "Charles Stone" wherever the cursor is located

    ad + F8 inserts my address wherever the cursor is located

    w + F8 opens Microsoft Word

    wc + F8 opens the web site

    cp + F8 opens the Control Panel

    cw + F8 closes the current window

I prefer my shortcuts to be 1-3 characters in length but you can make them any length you like. For example, you could use Word F8 to open Microsoft Word. ActiveWords joins my list of MUST HAVE Windows PC productivity applications: Alarm++, askSam Free-Form Database, Bookmark Buddy and Snagit. Try them – they will simplify your computing life. Trials are available for all of them.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Arsenic-munching germ redefines "life as we know it”

A strange, salty lake in California has yielded an equally strange bacterium that thrives on arsenic and redefines life as we know it, researchers reported Thursday.

The bacteria do not merely eat arsenic -- they incorporate the toxic element directly into their DNA, the researchers said.

The finding shows just how little scientists know about the variety of life forms on Earth, and may greatly expand where they should be looking for life on other planets and moons, the NASA-funded team said.

Read more at Arsenic_bacteria

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

IBM chip breakthrough may lead to exascale supercomputers

IBM researchers have made a breakthrough in using pulses of light to accelerate data transfer between chips, something they say could boost the performance of supercomputers by more than a thousand times. Such supercomputers should dramatically improve weather and climatic predictions by allowing larger parts of the earth to be simultaneously modeled and analyzed.

Read more at IBM Chip Breakthrough