Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Water Wars Break Out in India

India prays for rain as water wars break out

In Bhopal, which bills itself as the City of Lakes, patience is already at breaking point. The largest lake, the 1,000-year-old, man-made Upper Lake, had reduced in size from 38 sq km to 5 sq km by the start of last week.

The population of 1.8 million has been rationed to 30 minutes of water supply every other day since October. That became one day in three as the monsoon failed to materialise. In nearby Indore the ration is half an hour's supply every seven days.

The UN has warned for many years that water shortages will become one of the most pressing problems on the planet over the coming decades, with one report estimating that four billion people will be affected by 2050. What is happening in India, which has too many people in places where there is not enough water, is a foretaste of what is to come.
He and a group of friends slapped Gyarasi, 35; Raju tried to stop him. Someone produced a sword and, a few minutes later, the Malviyas lay dying. "We were too afraid to do anything," said a woman who gave her name as Shanno. "Dinu didn't want them to take any water. He wanted it for himself."

Everyone stood around, looking down at the hole in the ground. The pipe is dry. "It is a terrible thing, that people should be fighting over water," said Shanno.

Related: Water Pump Merry-go-Round - Agricultural Irrigation with Salt Water - Water From Air

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bad Security on Government Required RFID e-passports

Those that understood security and RFID said from the beginning embedding RFID chips in passports was a very bad idea. Now the Feds are saying you need to make sure you completely encase your e-passport inside something that blocks RFID transmission or take security risks. That sure is a recipe for disaster - how many millions of people are going to fail to do that. We sure do need the government to start making better technology decisions now that such decisions are so critical to the functioning of society.

Insecurity of Homeland Security RFID passports shown by researcher

The current EPC Gen 2 RFID tags used in the wallet-sized Homeland Security passports use no encryption, and are unable to selectively transmit any data. Instead, the RFID tags broadcast sensitive information, enabling anyone with the proper equipment -- such as Chris Pagent -- to collect information that could potentially be used for identity theft, or other nefarious purposes. "The passport card is a real radio broadcast, so there's no real limit to the read range. It's conceivable that these things can be tracked from 100 meters -- a couple of miles," he was quoted as saying.

Chris had no trouble collecting -- and copying -- information from the RFID passports of six people, in a half-hour of driving around.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Google Operating System

Google Chrome Operating System

the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010.
Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.
The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.


Related: Ubuntu 7.1 - Viewing Unpersonalized Google Search Results - Google's Search Results: Should Factors Other Than User Value be Used - Last Google Toolbar PageRank Update of 2008