Daily TIPs: GENI Grant, Facebook for Nerds, Hacker Trial, & More

7/31/08

NSF Grant Supports Study of Next Generation Internet

A project to re-think the Internet from the ground up has received $12 million in funding from the National Science Foundation. The Associated Press reports that the money will go toward developing prototypes for the Global Environment for Network Innovations, a testbed to try out new networking ideas. Actual construction of GENI would cost about $350 million.

Social Networking May Stimulate Science

A new social network site, Labmeeting, is designed to let scientists easily upload their papers and lab notes to be shared with other members of their research team. TechCrunch tells us the site was started by Harvard graduate Mark Kaganovich with $500,000 in seed funding and opened last week to anyone with a college email account. His hope is to spur researchers to talk with each other more.

California Sues EPA Over Greenhouse Gases

The state of California is suing the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming the EPA has ignored its duty to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from ships, aircraft, and construction and agricultural machinery. Reuters reports that state Attorney General Jerry Brown says he tried to work with the EPA but was met with only weak responses.

Is the FCC Ignoring Metered Broadband?

The Federal Communications Commission has been cracking down on Comcast for slowing down connections of customers using peer-to-peer networks to share files. But a columnist at GigaOm argues that that’s just a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the lack of FCC action on proposals to charge extra to customers who use more than a certain amount of broadband each month. Om Malik worries such a policy will reduce use of services from YouTube to Facebook.


British Hacker to Face Trial in U.S.

A British computer hacker who rummaged through military computer systems looking for evidence of space aliens will be extradited to the United States to stand trial. Gary McKinnon is charged with accessing computer networks at the Pentagon, the Army, the Navy, and NASA in 2001 and 2002, New Scientist reports. If found guilty, he could face up to 70 years in prison.

California Sticking to Paper Ballots, Hand Counting

Given the fears about possible flaws and abuses with electronic voting machines, the California Secretary of State has announced the state will be relying on paper ballots that can be optically scanned and recounted by hand this election season. Debra Bowen says she opted for the paper ballots because they preserve the original vote, CNET News reports. Bowen commissioned a study last year that showed that electronic voting can be tampered with or have programming mistakes that alter results.

Air Force Developing Anti-Laser Protections

Anticipating a day when enemy combatants will be armed with lasers capable of melting holes in its equipment and weapons, the U.S. Air Force is looking for technology that will protect its weapons. Among the possibilities listed in a request for proposals is a spray-on coating to deflect laser energy or a broadband reflector that can be embedded in a weapon’s skin, Wired tells us. Such technologies, the Air Force suggests, could also protect commercial airliners from terrorists with lasers.

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