CNET News reported on August 28 that it had obtained a draft copy of a Senate bill (S. 773) that would “permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.”
The Obama Administration, under the rubric of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, poured a few more letters in the giant pot of acronym soup. Officially styled the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP), Congress has provided $7.2 Billion to facilitate the deployment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas of the United States.
Microsoft and Yahoo are joining a coalition to oppose Google’s creation of what could become the largest virtual library the world has ever seen. Amazon may also join, but has so far declined to comment, BBC News said on August 21.
Microsoft on August 18 filed an appeal to a judge’s ruling that the company’s Word application violates a Canadian firm’s patent. The ruling would require Microsoft to stop selling its flagship word processor within the United States in 60 days, InformationWeek reported on August 19.
In order to meet the demand for ever smaller and faster computer chips, IBM and the California Institute of Technology have been researching the use of DNA molecules in microprocessors. It turns out that the building blocks of life may help keep alive Moore’s Law that computer performance doubles every two years.
CNET News reported on August 6 that “a Georgian blogger with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Google's Blogger and YouTube was targeted in a denial-of-service attack that led to the sitewide outage at Twitter and problems at the other sites on Thursday, according to a Facebook executive.”
A denial-of-service attack took down the Twitter short messaging service on the morning of August 6. As of this writing, the Twitter status blog says that “the site is back up, but we are continuing to defend against and recover from this attack.”
The Los Angeles Times reported on August 5 that the Defense Department is studying how to use social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter without compromising security. In a similar story, the New York Times mentioned on August 3 that the National Football League is clamping down on Twitter and text messaging.
PC World reported on August 3 that the U.S. Secret Service is investigating some ATM machines in Las Vegas that are subtracting money from a user’s account without dispensing any cash. Ironically, the problem was first reported by one of the presenters from a Defcon hacker conference being held in Vegas.