Archive for February, 2010

Lousy reporting, but interesting nonetheless

February 23, 2010

BBC News – Turning wood into bones

After about 10 days, the rattan wood has been transformed into the bone-like material.

The team is lead by Dr Anna Tampieri.
An X-ray of the new bone fusing with the old
Within months, the real and artificial bone will have fused

“It’s proving very promising,” she says. “This new bone material is strong, so it can take heavy loads that bodies will put on it.

“It is also durable, so, unlike existing bone substitutes, it won’t need replacing.”

Several types of wood were tested before they found rattan works best.

That is because of its structure and porous properties, which enable blood, nerves and other compounds to travel through it.

When I was a kid, I used to make rattan blowtorches — light one end of a piece on fire, put your lips to the other end, and watch the flame intensify. So I can imagine the open columns would be useful.

And in general I like to see this notion of materials scientists co-opting natural materials, which is even a step more humble than trying to synthesize mimics of them.

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Bad guys suffer from information overload too

February 16, 2010

Report Details Hacks Targeting Google, Others | Threat Level | Wired.com

Many entities that are compromised by APT remain so even after they’ve instituted measures to rid themselves of the intruders, Mandia says. If they do manage to eradicate the intruders, the most they can hope for is a three- to six-month respite before the attackers return.

The worst thing a company can do, when it discovers a breach, is to shut down an infected system or remove it from the internet before understanding the extent of the breach. Otherwise, the attackers just switch tactics and focus on other parts of the network.

“If you do a remediation effort that fails, the sophistication of the next wave you deal with is higher,” Mandia says.

(Yeah, I know Clay Shirky says we should call it filter failure). But really. If only they had enough resources everyone would have this stuff on their machines.