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Jan 2013

Japanese police arrest cat carrying computer virus

General News

Tags: virus

Japanese authorities have captured a cat said to be carrying a computer virus on a memory card attached to its collar.

On New Year’s day a number of media outlets received emails containing a set of riddles which would direct them to a memory card said to contain the iesys.exe virus - a virus which has the ability to control a compromised computer from a remote location.

The riddles revealed the location of the ‘Remote Control’ virus, and it turned out it was attached to a cat.

Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) caught the feline on an island near Tokyo on Monday (January 7th).

The reason these emails were taken so seriously is because the anonymous cyber criminal behind them is believed to have also been behind a number of terrorist threats send by email last year.

These included a bomb threat against the school attended by the Emperor’s grandchildren, and a warning of an impending killing spree in Osaka.

The NPA has announced a three million yen (£21,400) reward for the cyber criminal's capture.




Dec 2012

Firefox and Chrome dip; Internet Explorer rises

General News

Tags: firefox

Mozilla Firefox has fallen below 20 per cent maket share for a second time in just six months as Internet Explorer sees continued growth.

The statistics released by Net Marketshare show that both Firefox and Google Chrome suffered during the month of October, which closed with Firefox sitting at 19.99 per cent and Chrome at just 18.55 per cent.

Meanwhile, Internet Explorer's usage has continued to rise, climbing half a point to 54.13 per cent and its highest level since September 2011.

The figures also highlight the continued decline in desktop web browsing.

Whilst not a significant drop by any means, mobile browsers accounted for a 10.3 per cent market share, meaning desktop browsing dropped below the 90 per cent mark and its lowest level of all time.

Of course, this is a trend widely expected considering the growth in popularity and market for tablet, smartphone and other mobile devices.




Oct 2012

NASA Envisions Ironman-Like Exoskeleton For Walking

General News

Tags: science, technology, nasa

Exoskeletons have fascinated us at least since the first two Alien movies in which Ellen Ripley commands a power loader robot.

More recently we may think of Tony Stark as Iron Man wearing robotic suit. NASA said that it uses the same idea, albeit with a different intention. The X1 robotic exoskeleton won't lift heavy cargo boxes and it won't provide superpowers. Instead it is intended to be an exercise device for astronauts in space.
The X1 is worn over the legs and is tied to a harness that stretches over the shoulder of a person. There are motorized joints at the hips and the knees, and passive joints that allow for sidestepping, turning and pointing, and flexing a foot. The total weight is about 57 pounds. For now, NASA envisions the X1 to be a device to keep space crews in good shape while on extended missions to an asteroid or possibly to Mars.
However, the model could also work down here on Earth, NASA said, and help individuals to walk. "It's exciting to see a NASA-developed technology that might one day help people with serious ambulatory needs begin to walk again, or even walk for the first time," said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology Program. "That's the sort of return on investment NASA is proud to give back to America and the world."
The X1 exoskeleton was developed by NASA in collaboration with The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition as well as engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems in Houston.