Spammers find a way to abuse out-of-office replies

By jessicaf at 11:33 pm on March 2, 2008 | 1 Comment

We’ve all recieved those helpful out-of-office replies when someone is not going to respond to your email for a while.  At work, I always like recieving these because then I know I shouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a response for whatever problem I am facing.  I would have never thought these could be harmful, but, of course, spammers have found a way to abuse them.

(Read on …)

Filed under: Current Events1 Comment »

Collaborative Current Event: Counterfeit Cisco Network Hardware Imported From China Seized

By Max Aller at 10:41 pm on | 5 Comments

USA and Canadian law enforcement has seized US$78 million worth of Cisco routers, switches, and network cards in 400 seizures since the coordinated operation between the two nations was launched in 2005. The reason for the seizures is “illegal importation and sale of counterfeit network hardware”. Personally, I’m a little confused as to how network hardware can be imported legally, but apparently there are laws governing it. (If you’re wondering what “counterfeit” network hardware is, I’d imagine it’s the sale of previously illegally imported hardware). The involved agencies are the U.S. FBI’s Cyber Division, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and apparently, to some extent, the U.S. Department of Justice.

(Read on …)

Filed under: Current Events,Integrity,Policy5 Comments »

Current Event: Wikileaks — a source of private and leaked information

By mgklous at 9:39 pm on | 2 Comments

On Februrary 19, 2008, the Wikileaks domain name was shut down as a result of a lawsuit filed by a group of Swiss bankers. Wikileaks is a website where people can confidentially and anonymously post sensitive, often leaked, information. (Read on …)

Filed under: Current Events2 Comments »

Humanoid Robot has future in Japan

By Fabian at 9:31 pm on | 1 Comment

Japan can be considered to be the leading pioneer of robots, especially in the case of humanoid robot. It began with the introduction of Honda Asimo; then it keeps proceeding and developing. Now, they take a little step further by making robots to live among the population. They are developing robots that can animate face expression by corresponding words. In addition, they also make robots that can do daily task such as being receptionist, vacuuming corridors, feeding the elderly and many

Many might question, why such effort? The Japan population is approximately 127.77 million with 343 people per square kilometer in 2006. The population has declining birth rate and it is predicted in 2050 there will be more elderly people. Younger age is predicted to have more responsibility to take care of the elderly. However, they also need to make sure the productive generation will not too occupy in caring the elderly. Robots might be a solution to help caring for the elderly.
Perhaps, in the future, we will see more robots doing more tasks that are too dangerous for human. The news had revealed a female humanoid that can mimic human face expression. It can smile in response to “love” or frown when it hears “war”. This can be considered to be an amazing achievement where the future of robot development can be positive to the society.

Japan has one of the highest life expectancy in the world. Unfortunately, this is not balanced with its birth rate. The declining birth rate and increasing divorce rate also contributes to the aging population.
How far will this progress? Can the science fiction depicted in Matrix or Terminator become reality? We will see.
The Japan’s government has taken steps to increase the birth rate by cutting tax and more incentive. So far, the result of the plan can only be seen when the future comes.

Broader Issue
Japan’s population condition gives a good cause for the robot development. They are developing robot to serve the society and increase productivity where humans could not achieve. However, some lingering question might not been answered yet, such as the usage of robots for war effort. Using robots for war will reduce human casualty and perhaps increase the probability of winning the war. Robots never get tired and will always accurate in its movement. It can be a perfect soldier in the battlefield for a short or long combat period.
Furthermore, if the future the Japan population re-bounces, will this slow down the robot development? The people have to take back the place which they are replaced.

Possible Reaction
Although robots have many application benefits, its societal impact might be in question. As many have thought, robots can be considered more productive than humans, especially in factories that suitable for high automation. People might be afraid of robot development that might soon replace their jobs. Another consideration, how smart this robot can be? They manage to mimic human expressions; can in the future robots make decision?
Another possible reaction, the government might limit robot production and its usage to make robots are used as it is intends to be used. With the flexibility in its use, there are unlimited possibilities of its misuse.

Filed under: Current Events,Miscellaneous1 Comment »

Security Vulnerability in Mac OS X –

By robert at 3:19 pm on | 2 Comments

A security vulnerability in on Mac OS X was reported to bugtraq this week. The vulnerability is that the user password is still resident in memory after the system authenticates the user. (Read on …)

Filed under: Current Events,Privacy2 Comments »