Posts tagged engineering

Intel doubles notebook fan speed

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Intel has invented a way to double the air flow generated by fans used to cool ultrathin notebook computers.

Demonstrating a prototype of the technology in public for the first time at its developer forum taking place this week in San Francisco, Intel says the upshot will be cooler computers–and it’s not referring to style.

Intel Notebook Fan

“This will have the same power consumption and noise level of current fans,” said Bradley Urban, an engineer inside Intel’s thermal technology development unit.

As with other engineering advances coming out of its research side, Intel intends to license the proprietary design to computer makers–the idea being that anything which fosters more demand for Intel-based computers will, by definition, add to the company’s bottom line.

Call it a product announcement by stealth: you’ll find the technology demonstration in a nondescript booth at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, a half stone’s toss away from the myriad Atom-based notebook PCs Intel is putting on display at its developer forum.

In a side-by-side comparison, the Intel fan flow moves a Styrofoam ball around a track significantly faster. “It’s a 2x comparison,” Urban said. He added that Intel took less than a year to work out the kinks for a reliably faster fan to fit into ultrathin notebooks.

“As soon as we can get it into production, we will,” he said. It was unclear how long this next step in the process will take before faster fans wend their way into the commercial market. “Maybe two years,” he offered.

Scientists closer to invisibility cloak

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Scientists say they are a step closer to developing materials that could render people and objects invisible.

Researchers have demonstrated for the first time they were able to cloak three-dimensional objects using artificially engineered materials that redirect light around the objects.

Previously, they only have been able to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects.

The findings, by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, led by Xiang Zhang, are to be released later this week in the journals Nature and Science.

The new work moves scientists a step closer to hiding people and objects from visible light, which could have broad applications, including military ones.

People can see objects because they scatter the light that strikes them, reflecting some of it back to the eye.

Cloaking uses materials, known as metamaterials, to deflect radar, light or other waves around an object, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream.

Metamaterials are mixtures of metal and circuit board materials such as ceramic, Teflon or fibrecomposite. They are designed to bend visible light in a way ordinary materials don’t.

Scientists are trying to use them to bend light around objects so they don’t create reflections or shadows.

It differs from stealth technology, which does not make an aircraft invisible but reduces the cross-section available to radar, making it hard to track.

The research was funded in part by the U.S. Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation’s Nano-Scale Science and Engineering Center.

Google’s Android comes to life

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Google’s Android comes to life
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Google demonstrated its Android mobile phone software at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco.
The project, under development by Google and a number of partners in the Open Handset Alliance,
is due to ship as open-source software when the first Android phones go on sale later this year.
This is a view of the home screen, demonstrated by Steve Horowitz, Android’s engineering director.

Quake 3 for real-time statistics

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An experimental network analysis tool built upon the shoot-’em-up classic Quake is making it easier for network administrators to frag ghosts in the machine.

Researchers at Melbourne’s Swinburne University are using the 3-D graphics engine at the core of first-person shooter Quake 3 to visualise real-time statistics such as CPU usage and network traffic.

The L3DGEWorld project allows users to walk through a 3-D world interacting with computers on the network and, for example, shoot suspiciously behaving servers to enforce a firewall quarantine.

Early applications for L3DGEWorld include monitoring the performance of Swinburne’s supercomputer cluster and uninterruptible power supplies.

After starting to build an Open GL-based virtual world from scratch, project head Grenville Armitage soon realised they were reinventing the wheel.

“Lots of information that one tends to monitor is traditionally displayed by two-dimensional graphs or numbers rolling back and forth,” Associate Professor Armitage, director of Swinburne’s Centre for Advanced Internet Architectures, says.

“I’d always thought about representing this somehow within a virtual 3-D world where you could convert multiple metrics simultaneously into 3-D objects. The neat thing with 3-D objects is that you can easily convey three or four different characteristics of a network simultaneously, because people can quite easily differentiate between something bobbing up and down and changing colour.”

After evaluating several game engines, Professor Armitage and PhD student Warren Harrop were drawn to the Quake 3 engine by the fact it was mature, open source and available on a wide variety of operating systems. The project has since become one of only a handful of Australian university projects to receive funding from networking giant Cisco – funding which Professor Armitage used to hire telecommunications engineering undergraduate Lucas Parry to further modify the Quake 3 engine.

“We showed L3DGEWorld to a couple of engineers out of the US side of Cisco that we’d been working with and their reaction was basically, ‘You are insane, this could be really cool’.”

L3DGEWorld can also be used to monitor virus activity, with a network-wide port scan showing up as a ripple travelling across the virtual landscape.

This article was found here.

Mass Website Hack Compromises 200,000 Sites

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Hot on the heels of a recent hack in which 10,000 sites were compromised, researchers have disclosed a new large-scale attack..

Researchers at McAfee estimated that the attack has been active for roughly one week, and in that time frame has managed to place itself on roughly 200,000 web pages.

Most of the infected pages are running the phpBB forum software, said McAfee. The compromised pages are embedded with a Javascript file that links to the site hosting the attack.

Rather than attempt to exploit browser vulnerabilities, the attack attempts to trick a user into manually launching its malicious payload.

This contrasts [Thursday’s] attack in that the vast majority of those were active server pages (.ASP),” explained McAfee researcher Craig Schmugar on a company blog posting.

“The ASP attacks are different than the phpBB ones in that the payload and method are quite different. Various exploits are used in the ASP attacks, where the phpBB ones rely on social engineering.”

The infected pages bring up what appears to be a pornographic web site. Upon loading the page, a ‘fake codec’ social engineering attack is attempted. The user is told that in order to view the movie on the page, a special video codec must be installed.

The user then downloads a trojan program which installs a malware package on the users system then delivers a fraudulent error message telling the user that the supposed codec could not be installed.

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