Wrap up from the weekend!
The Ramnit worm has hit approximately 45 000 Facebook accounts, primarily in France and the United Kingdom. Ramnit allows hackers to access the credentials needed to access bank accounts and corporate networks. Facebook is assisting users in regaining control of their accounts. The main problem is that people tend to use the same password for multiple sites; yet, many sites require a password where it's not really needed, adding to the password issue.
The American National Institute of Health is developing a database to assist harried doctors. Researchers are using over 200 000 questions compiled by AskTheDoctor.com and 9000 questions gathered by Stanford University and the University of Minnesota. The NIH has also contacted IBM over the possibility of using Watson to test the questions. The goal is to reduce the amount of time needed to research medical problems with doctors being able to ask their computer assistant to do the work instead. The takeaway here is the coming together of different knowledge bases towards a common goal. We'll be seeing more of this in the coming decade.
More Bad Internet Law to Come
This time, in Canada. The ruling Conservatives are expected to introduce a bill that will force Canadian ISPs to hand over client data to law enforcement without a warrant. The bill would also require ISPs to implement technology to intercept customers' communications. I'm not surprised, really – the Canadian Conservative Party tends to be a few years behind the American Republican Party when it comes to enacting bad laws like this. Tends to not work out as well, though. The Canadian privacy commissioner already has reservations and the activist group OpenMedia.ca is warning canadians about the proposed bill. (Also in the story, more security issues even with RIM's BlackBerry Messaging System, which is still more secure than text messaging. It's not a question if something can be hacked, just a question on when.)
Classic Getting a Remake
Wizards of the Coast has announced that the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons is open to playtesting. It's a way to see how games are created and refined.
The Future of the Consumer Electronics Show
With both Microsoft and Apple pulling out of the CES, people are starting to wonder if the expo has a future. The main question is without two of the biggest companies, will people and the media continue to go to CES.
Siri Doubles iPhone Traffic
Users of Siri have double the data traffic of people who don't use it. For people who have bandwidth caps, this could cause extra charges.
Microsoft Improving WiFi Networking
Microsoft has developed a new WiFi protocol that uses white spaces to improve speed even with interference. The network uses multiple transmitters and receivers and switches frequencies as needed.