. Space Industry and Business News .

Tech giants get lecture on perils of gadget worship
by Staff Writers
Long Beach, California (AFP) Feb 29, 2012

Apple to hold March 7 event, new iPad expected
San Francisco (AFP) Feb 28, 2012 - Apple sent out invitations Tuesday to a March 7 press event expected to be the unveiling of the next generation of the hot-selling iPad tablet computer.

The invitations featured a picture of an iPad and the words: "We have something you really have to see. And touch."

The event is to be held at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where Apple has unveiled numerous products over the years.

Dow Jones-owned technology blog All Things Digital reported earlier this month that the "iPad 3" will be shaped like the current model, but run on a faster computer chip and have improved graphics.

Apple has sold more than 55 million iPads since launching the device in April 2010.

Silicon Valley giants at the prestigious TED innovation conference here on Tuesday were warned that the worship of technology will ruin the world before it saves it.

Activist and author Paul Gilding made a case for the peril of obsession with modern technology and how lust for the latest gadgets is distracting people from acting to stop global disasters such as climate change.

"The Earth is full," argued Gilding, author of "The Great Disruption," in which he reasons that as technology drives efficiency and economic growth it powers breakneck consumption that the planet cannot endure.

"It is full of us. It is full of our stuff, full of our waste, and full of our demands," he said. "We have created too much stuff. This is not a philosophical statement, this is just science."

The world's population has topped seven billion people and resources are being devoured faster than they can be replenished, he said.

"Our approach is simply unsustainable," said Gilding, the former director of Greenpeace International. "Thanks to those pesky laws of physics, it will stop. The system will break."

On a TED stage famous for presentations from leading entrepreneurs developing ways to make the world a better place, Gilding argued that technology was making matters worse.

With China and other developing countries booming, in many cases thanks to technology, the world's resources are being rapidly devoured, the author argued.

"The Earth doesn't care what we need," Gilding said. "Mother Nature doesn't negotiate; she just sets rules and administers consequences."

He cited national debt crises, the Occupy Wall Street movement and rising global temperatures as signs the breakdown of modern life is underway.

"We've had 50 years of warnings and pretty much done nothing to change course," he lamented, his eyes watering with tears.

"Those people who think technology will get us through are right; they are only missing that it takes a crisis to get us going... We really do love a good crisis and this one is a master."

The head of the nonprofit X Prize Foundation, which is devoted to technology breakthroughs for the good of mankind, was then brought on stage to provide a counter-point to Gilding's dark vision.

"I'm not saying that we don't have our share of problems -- climate change, species extinction, resource shortage -- but ultimately we have the ability to see problems way in advance and knock them down," Peter Diamandis said.

He argued that rapidly improving sensors, robotics, digital medicine, synthetic biology and computing power in the Internet "cloud" provided hope for a better future.

He added that a Slingshot device about the size of a college dorm room refrigerator and capable of cheaply making drinking water from even the most tainted of sources was being tested with the backing of a beverage company.

Diamandis also heads Singularity University in Silicon Valley, which serves as a training ground and academic boot camp for entrepreneurs, inventors and technology industry executives.

The strongest defense against overpopulation is making people educated and healthy, he said, adding: "I have extraordinary confidence in the innovators who are out there."

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

Firm warns of hacker threat to mobile gadgets
San Francisco (AFP) Feb 29, 2012 - Cyber security veterans behind startup CrowdStrike will demonstrate at the RSA conference on Wednesday that the types of attacks used against computers are heading for smartphones.

Former McAfee chief technical officer George Kurtz and Dmitri Alperovitch, who has researched major cyberespionage operations, have figured out how to take over smartphones using booby-trapped text messages.

"The reality is that those attacks are probably already in the wild and no one has discovered them," Alperovitch, the author of reports on cyberespionage operations Aurora, Night Dragon, and Shady Rat, told AFP.

Hackers could send a text message worded like a warning from the telecom service provider that the account will be canceled if the smartphone user doesn't click an enclosed link to resolve the matter.

Clicking the link then triggers the installation of malicious software that lets a hacker control the smartphone remotely.

"We can monitor and record all calls, get all inbound and outbound SMS messages... basically take over the phone," Kurtz said.

"Imagine sitting in a board meeting and someone accesses your phone and listens remotely."

A hacker could even track a smartphone user's whereabouts using a handset's location-sensing capabilities.

Tricking computer users to click on links or to open rigged email attachments has been a longtime technique used to infect computers.

When it comes to smartphones, experts have mainly focused on the potential for makers of "apps" to program in nefarious tasks such as stealing data.

"When we look around we see people worried about malicious apps," Kurtz said. "We think the real issue is vulnerability in those phones."

Kurtz and Alperovitch have been operating freshly-launched CrowdStrike in "stealth mode," but it has gotten $26 million in backing from global private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

Relentless waves of cyber attacks that appeared to be the work of states inspired the researchers come up with a different way of taking on the threat.

"Most companies are focused on detecting malware, and there are millions of pieces of that, with new ones coming all the time," Kurtz said.

"It really is akin to focusing on the bullets in the gun as opposed to the shooter... We think most companies have an adversary problem, not a malware problem."

CrowdStrike is building tools to figure out who is behind attacks, how they move after invading systems and what they are out to steal or accomplish, according to the researchers.

"You can't know how best to fight a war without knowing who the enemy is, and it is the same thing in cyber space," Alperovitch said, describing China and Russia as the most prominent threats.

CrowdStrike plans to have a security product to market in the second half of this year.

"At the end of the day it is another guy sitting at a keyboard somewhere going after your data," Alperovitch said. "You don't have a malware problem, you have a people problem."


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Walker's World: The threat to books
Zurich, Switzerland (UPI) Feb 27, 2012
How much do we value books these days? It is a question that the Swiss people will answer in a referendum March 11 and the country is bedecked in posters urging people to vote. The question is simple: Should all bookshops be required to charge the same price for books or should the free market prevail, allowing large chains and supermarkets to sell books at big discounts that small and ... read more

IBM takes giant step to faster, quantum computers

Tech giants get lecture on perils of gadget worship

NIST reveals switching mechanism in promising computer memory device

A Rainbow for the Palm of Your Hand

Raytheon's US Air Force Satellite Terminal Achieves Two Critical Milestones

Northrop Grumman Airborne Network Demonstrates Tactical Potential at Army Integration Exercise

Lockheed Martin Delivers Second AEHF Satellite To U.S. Air Force For Upcoming Launch

United Launch Alliance Atlas V Launches Mobile User Objective System-1 Mission

Ariane 5 readied for dual-satellite launch fpr Asia-Pacific telco

Aiming For An Open Window To Launch Into Space

Sea Launch on Track to Loft Intelsat 19

NuSTAR Mated to its Rocket

Galileo on the ground reaches some of Earth's loneliest places

China launches 11th satellite for independent navigation system

Chinese province school buses to have GPS

NASA Pinning Down "Here" Better Than Ever

ISRO bets on satellite navigation for aviation services

Boeing to sell ten 777s to China Southern

Aircraft of the future could capture and re-use some of their own

Solar Impulse completes 72 hour simulated flight

Solving a Spintronic Mystery

Transforming computers of the future with optical interconnects

Penn Researchers Build First Physical "Metatronic" Circuit

Single-atom transistor is end of Moore's Law; may be beginning of quantum computing

Facility for Climate and Environmental Monitoring from Space

Google Street View to launch in Botswana

NASA Map Sees Earth's Trees In A New Light

NASA Satellite Finds Earth's Clouds are Getting Lower

China orders more accurate air-quality measure

EU takes France to court over nitrates water pollution

China accuses US firm over child lead poisoning

Gases drawn into smog particles stay there

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement