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3D Systems goes high-end with CubeX 3D printer Now 3D Systems is getting serious.
Along with the new midrange Cube, 3D Systems has also introduced a new, higher-end desktop 3D printer, the CubeX, with technical specs that puts it in direct competition with MakerBot's Replicator 2 and forthcoming dual-color Replicator 2X 3D printers.
Starting at $2,499, the CubeX boasts a 10.8x10.45x9.5-inch build area, dwarfing that of MakerBot's Replicator 2 (11.2x6x6.1 inches). And while you will soon be able to purchase a two-color capable Replicator 2X from MakerBot, 3D Systems will offer the CubeX in both two- and three-color options. (CNet News)
Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants Proposed law scheduled for a vote next week originally increased Americans' e-mail privacy. Then law enforcement complained. Now it increases government access to e-mail and other digital files. - A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law, CNET has learned.
Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns, according to three individuals who have been negotiating with Leahy's staff over the changes. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans' e-mail, is scheduled for next week. (CNet News)
Urban model for cybersecurity ed: San Diego A Slovakian antivirus company with its American headquarters in San Diego is trying to make good cybersecurity just as much a part of the local fabric as good beaches and Chargers football.
Eset launched the Securing Our eCity program with the San Diego Chamber of Commerce two years ago to offer free workshops to consumers and small businesses on how to stay safe online. Today it has become a model for similar initiatives being launched in Malaysia, Buenos Aires, and London. And it helped with the creation of the Stop Think Connect campaign launched last week as part of National Cyber Security Awareness month.
"San Diego is the first community to implement the messaging in a complete awareness campaign," with billboards, public service announcements, and radio and print ads, Darin Andersen, chief operating officer at Eset, told CNET in an interview this week. (CNET News)
Feds admit storing checkpoint body scan images For the last few years, federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they're viewed. The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded."
Now it turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images after all. The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse.
This follows an earlier disclosure (PDF) by the TSA that it requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for "testing, training, and evaluation purposes." The agency says, however, that those capabilities are not normally activated when the devices are installed at airports.
Body scanners penetrate clothing to provide a highly detailed image so accurate that critics have likened it to a virtual strip search. Technologies vary, with millimeter wave systems capturing fuzzier images, and backscatter X-ray machines able to show precise anatomical detail. The U.S. government likes the idea because body scanners can detect concealed weapons better than traditional magnetometers. (CNet News)
Bomb-making tips, hit list behind Blogetery closure More details are surfacing about why Blogetery.com, a blogging platform that claimed to service more than 70,000 blogs, was mysteriously booted from the Internet by its Web-hosting company.
The site was shut down after FBI agents informed executives of Burst.net, Blogetery's Web host, late on July 9 that links to al-Qaeda materials were found on Blogetery's servers, Joe Marr, chief technology officer for Burst.net, told CNET. Sources close to the investigation say that included in those materials were the names of American citizens targeted for assassination by al-Qaeda. Messages from Osama bin Laden and other leaders of the terrorist organization, as well as bomb-making tips, were also allegedly found on the server.
But Marr said a Burst.net employee erred in telling Blogetery's operator and members of the media that the FBI had ordered it to terminate Blogetery's service. He said Burst.net did that on its own. (CNet News)
Internet 'kill switch' proposed for US A new US Senate Bill would grant the President far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of, or even shut down, portions of the internet. - The legislation says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines or software firms that the US Government selects "shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed" by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined. That emergency authority would allow the Federal Government to "preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people," Joe Lieberman, the primary sponsor of the measure and the chairman of the Homeland Security committee, told reporters on Thursday. Lieberman is an independent senator from Connecticut who meets with the Democrats. (CNet News)
Drudge Report accused of serving malware, again For the second time in less than six months, visitors to the Drudge Report say they got malware in addition to the Web site's usual sensational headlines.
Matt Drudge denied that his site was infecting visitors, however it's likely that the malware is coming from ads delivered by a third-party ad network and not the site itself.
"I can personally vouch for disinfecting my mom's desktop yesterday after visiting this Web page, even taking a screenshot after beginning remedial steps to address the attempted infection," a CNET reader wrote in an e-mail early on Tuesday. "I'm an IT professional in South Carolina so I know and understand the technology involved."
The screenshot the reader provided to CNET shows a pop-up warning the viewer that the system is infected with malware and looks like a typical fake antivirus warning that criminals use to scare people into paying for software they don't need.
The reader, who asked to remain anonymous, said he did not know exactly where on the site his mother had clicked before the fake warning appeared. (CNet News)
iPhone app scans bar codes for health, enviro ratings Just in time for the crazed holiday shopping season, San Francisco-based GoodGuide releases the first iPhone app that lets you scan bar codes for what the guide calls "impartial" health, environmental, and social responsibility ratings of not only the products you are scanning but their companies, too.
As our Webware staff wrote in August, "GoodGuide is the reason we have awards for tech services and products: it's a small and relatively unknown service that demonstrates real leadership on the Web." And as we report in Health Tech just this week, GoodGuide is an invaluable resource when shopping for toys, as it provides the levels of lead, mercury, chlorine, etc., that might be in the toys.
But GoodGuide's newest app is quite possibly the group's pinnacle achievement thus far. Now, instead of having to be organized enough to do your research online before hitting the stores, or using the app's 2008 iteration, which involves entering a product into a GoodGuide database on your phone, now anyone with an iPhone can literally scan bar codes while shopping. (CNet News)
Rogue ad hits New York Times site The New York Times' Web site is grappling with problems created by an "unauthorized advertisement," but it is unknown how the ads managed to appear on the site and whether the site had been compromised.
The rogue ad warns readers that their computer may be infected with a virus and redirects them to a site that purports to offer antivirus software, according to a note posted to the newspaper's Media & Advertising section:
Some NYTimes.com readers have seen a pop-up box warning them about a virus and directing them to a site that claims to offer antivirus software. We believe this was generated by an unauthorized advertisement and are working to prevent the problem from recurring. If you see such a warning, we suggest that you not click on it. Instead, quit and restart your Web browser. (CNet News)
Debate on energy, climate bill to begin next week -- At a summit on energy and climate policy at MIT, Obama administration leaders John Holdren and Carol Browner make the case for clean energy investments. Congressional hearings will begin next Tuesday on an energy and climate bill that backers say will spur innovation in clean energy technologies and use the marketplace to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions.
One of the bill's sponsors, Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Edward Markey, hosted a forum on clean energy policy and climate change at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Monday where he announced the planned hearings.
Two influential figures in the Obama administration--Carol Browner, assistant to the president for energy and climate change, and John Holdren, the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy--also delivered speeches at the event, arguing for a sustained commitment to green technologies for economic and environmental reasons. - Large-scale geoengineering projects designed to cool the Earth could "conceivably" be done, John Holdren said, repeating an assertion he first made last week. (CNet News)
Senator: Illegal images must be reported -- Millions of commercial Web sites and personal blogs would be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000, if a new proposal in the U.S. Senate came into law. The legislation, drafted by Sen. John McCain and obtained by CNET News.com, would also require Web sites that offer user profiles to delete pages posted by sex offenders.
In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, the Arizona Republican and former presidential candidate warned that "technology has contributed to the greater distribution and availability, and, some believe, desire for child pornography." McCain scored 31 of 100 points on a News.com 2006 election guide scoring technology-related votes.
After child pornography or some forms of "obscenity" are found and reported, the Web site must retain any "information relating to the facts or circumstances" of the incident for at least six months. Webmasters would be immune from civil and criminal liability if they followed the specified procedures exactly.
McCain's proposal, called the "Stop the Online Exploitation of Our Children Act" (click for PDF), requires that reports be submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which in turn will forward them to the relevant police agency. (The organization received $32.6 million in tax dollars in 2005, according to its financial disclosure documents.) (CNet News)
Congress may consider mandatory ISP snooping: It didn't take long for the idea of forcing Internet providers to retain records of their users' activities to gain traction in the U.S. Congress Last week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a Republican, gave a speech saying that data retention by Internet service providers is an "issue that must be addressed." Child pornography investigations have been "hampered" because data may be routinely deleted, Gonzales warned.
Now, in a demonstration of bipartisan unity, a Democratic member of the Congressional Internet Caucus is preparing to introduce an amendment--perhaps during a U.S. House of Representatives floor vote next week--that would make such data deletion illegal.
Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette's proposal (click for PDF) says that any Internet service that "enables users to access content" must permanently retain records that would permit police to identify each user. The records could not be discarded until at least one year after the user's account was closed. (CNet News)
Drone aircraft may prowl U.S. skies Unmanned aerial vehicles have soared the skies of Afghanistan and Iraq for years, spotting enemy encampments, protecting military bases, and even launching missile attacks against suspected terrorists. - Now UAVs may be landing in the United States.
A House of Representatives panel on Wednesday heard testimony from police agencies that envision using UAVs for everything from border security to domestic surveillance high above American cities. Private companies also hope to use UAVs for tasks such as aerial photography and pipeline monitoring.
"We need additional technology to supplement manned aircraft surveillance and current ground assets to ensure more effective monitoring of United States territory," Michael Kostelnik, assistant commissioner at Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection Bureau, told the House Transportation subcommittee. (CNet News)
Probing IBM's Nazi connection Since its publication in February, Edwin Black's book "IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation" has stirred unprecedented controversy among students of the Holocaust, American enterprise and information technology (CNet News)
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