Archive for September, 2015

Analysis: China-US Hacking Accord Is Tall On Rhetoric, Short On Substance

China cyber agreement

 

28 September 2015 – Ars Technica takes a look at the cyberspying agreement between the U.S. and China. The article looks at what the accord does but more importantly, what it does not:

“But even assuming both sides would follow the pact, the accord is tall on rhetoric and short on substance. The deal, for instance, defines the method of enforcement as requiring the two nation’s to create a ‘high-level joint dialogue mechanism,’ according to a joint statement from Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson. More important, the two superpowers make no commitment not to hack one another for intelligence-gathering purposes. That means the recent hack of the Office of Personnel Management’s background investigation data—5.6 million sets of fingerprints from US federal employees, contractors and other federal job applicants—doesn’t run counter to the accord. The OPM hack is believed to have originated in China and the data, as Ars has previously reported, is ‘in the hands of the foreign intelligence services of China.'”Read more

Light-based memory chip is first to permanently store data

Light-based memory chip

 

28 September 2015 – Scientists have developed the first ever memory chip that’s entirely light-based and can store data permanently. Sciencemag reports:

“Today’s electronic computer chips work at blazing speeds. But an alternate version that stores, manipulates, and moves data with photons of light instead of electrons would make today’s chips look like proverbial horses and buggies. Now, one team of researchers reports that it has created the first permanent optical memory on a chip, a critical step in that direction. If a more advanced photonic memory can be integrated with photonic logic and interconnections, the resulting chips have the potential to run at 50 to 100 times the speed of today’s computer processors.”Read more

Deadline extended to submit proposals for Ada Lovelace 200 Symposium (Oxford UK, 8 December 2015)

Ada Lovelace

 

Texts and contexts: the cultural legacies of Ada Lovelace

“That brain of mine is more than merely mortal; as time will show.”

A workshop for graduate students and early career researchers

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Mathematics Institute and St Anne’s College, Oxford

The mathematician Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), daughter of poet Lord Byron, is celebrated as a pioneer of computer science. The notes she added to her translation of Luigi Menabrea’s paper on Charles Babbage’s analytical engine (1843) are considered to contain a prototype computer program. During her short life, Lovelace not only contributed original ideas to the plans for this early computer; she also imagined wider possibilities for the engine, such as its application to music, and meditated on its limitations. Lovelace leaves a legacy not just as a computer scientist, but also as a muse for literary writers, a model to help us understand the role of women in science in the nineteenth century, and an inspiration for neo-Victorian and steampunk traditions.

As part of the University of Oxford’s celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of Lovelace’s birth, … Read more