3/12/2006

New Software Tackles Colorblind Challenges

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Like many colorblind people who have adapted all their lives to a particular way of seeing things, Harry Rogers says his inability to discern red and green hasn’t caused him much trouble over the years.

Even so, there is one particular challenge: Making sense of charts, graphs and other colorful material on his computer screen. Sometimes he sees a weather map online and says to himself, “Is it raining or snowing there?”

And so the 48-year-old electrical engineer was eager to try eyePilot, a new program that gives colorblind people several ways to filter multichromatic images on their computer screens.

Move the PC’s cursor over an item, and eyePilot reports what the color is. If the user clicks on a color name, all instances of it on the page will flash. Or one color can be made to stand out by converting the rest of a page to gray and white.

EyePilot also offers the software equivalent of a TV hue knob, allowing users to adjust the overall spectrum of a page until telling contrasts are more easily viewed.

“It’s kind of refreshing that somebody’s looking at it,” said Rogers, who lives in Andover, Mass. EyePilot “has enabled me to do some things that I have not been able to do before.”

Source: AP

Israeli army deploys RFID technology

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Israeli military will be the second outside the U.S. to adopt RFID technology to manage its supplies.

RFID technology will allow the army to manage storage facilities, implement ongoing monitoring of fuel stocks and track equipment transferred from storage facilities to the field. The army said it is also deploying the technology to cut logistics costs and ensure that equipment and supplies aren’t “disappearing.”

Source: EETimes

Google Payments Seller Reputation Revealed

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Techcrunch revealed more information about Google鈥檚 new payments system along with some screenshots of how it looks and works. Google has built a reputation system that allows buyers to rate sellers and leave comments.

The rating system is very simple with the user giving the seller a rating between 1 to 5 stars, as well as a comment that Google says should be about 鈥渉ow did the seller handle your order and communication with you鈥?. Other buyers are then able to check comments that other users have left as well as a sellers overall rating.

This is another proof that Google is going to invade eBay’s territory as is was suspected.

Related: Google Wallet One Step Closer

Open-source bugs undermine digital signatures

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A pair of security bugs in cryptography software could allow an attacker to insert content into a digitally signed message or forge signatures on files.

The flaws lie in the open-source GNU Privacy Guard software, also known as GnuPG and GPG, the GnuPG group said in two alerts. The software, a free replacement for the Pretty Good Privacy cryptographic technology, ships with many open-source operating systems such as FreeBSD, OpenBSD and many Linux distributions.

The vulnerabilities could pose a threat to the value of digital signatures, Tavis Ormandy of the Gentoo Linux security team wrote in an e-mail interview on Friday. For example, a miscreant could add information to a security alert sent via e-mail or forge the digital signature on software updates, wrote Ormandy, who discovered both flaws.

This poses a risk to those who use the open-source cryptographic technology to authenticate e-mail communications or digitally sign files and, even more so, to the recipients of those messages and users of the files.

Fixes for the flaws are available from the GnuPG team. In addition, those who include the technology in their own products, such as Gentoo and Novell, have been pushing out updates for their products.

Source: News.com

Intel says will fight AMD on quality

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Intel Corp. will fight off inroads into its market share by rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) with a quality offensive, not by cutting prices, Intel’s European sales chief told Reuters on Friday.

“We can cut prices or bring out better products. We prefer the second option,” Juergen Thiel told Reuters in an interview at CeBIT, the world’s biggest IT and telecoms trade fair.

“Of course, our competition doesn’t sleep,” he added.

Intel, the world’s biggest chipmaker, acknowledged this week it was under “tremendous competitive pressure” from AMD after it warned last Friday this quarter’s sales would be lower than expected, partly because it lost more market share to AMD.

It said, however, it was reversing a trend of making chips that guzzle more power and that it expects to regain its footing when it launches new processors in the third quarter.

Source: Reuters

Program Teaches Kids About Cyber Security

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A group of students at Rome Catholic School are learning how to become the future defenders of cyberspace through a pilot program that officials say is the first of its kind in the country.

The program teaches students about data protection, computer network protocols and vulnerabilities, security, firewalls and forensics, data hiding, and infrastructure and wireless security.

Most importantly, officials said, teachers discuss ethical and legal considerations in cyber security.

“It’s a great course. It’s a littler harder than I expected,” said Catherine Gudaitis, a junior interested in theater. “But I know in the world I’m going to live in, this will be necessary information, even common knowledge.”

The pilot program was developed with help from computer experts at the U.S. Air Force’s Research Lab in Rome, who four years ago created a 10-week long Advanced Course in Engineering Cyber Security Boot Camp for the military’s Reserve Officers Training Corps, said Kamal Jabbour, the lab’s principal computer engineer.

Source: AP

Samsung Shows Flash-Disk-Based Laptop

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Samsung Electronics has developed a higher-capacity version of its solid-state disk, a flash-memory-based replacement for hard disks, and is showing it here at the CeBIT technology show.

The drive packs 32GB of flash memory into a case the same size as a 1.8-inch hard drive. That capacity is double the 16GB of a prototype device announced by Samsung last year and was made possible by the continuing miniaturization of flash-memory chip technology.

At CeBIT, the solid-state disk is being demonstrated inside a Samsung laptop computer. Because the SSD is the same size and shape as the computer’s hard drive it was relatively easy to replace the hard-disk drive with the SSD, said Yun Mini, a spokesperson for Samsung.

Source: PCWorld

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