October 5, 2012 |
If you fret about viruses, Trojan horses, or other malicious software infecting your home or office computer, there was reason to be cheered by this week's Federal Trade Commission multi-barreled crackdown on some smarmy malware profiteers. But not really to be reassured. The FTC announced on Tuesday a $163 million judgment against a "scareware" operation it first targeted four years ago, centered on a company that called itself "Innovative Marketing Inc. " - scammers with a sense of humor!
October 4, 2012 |
Daniel Spielman's parents knew he was good at math, just not how good, because his private school used written evaluations instead of letter grades. Then at the end of seventh grade at the Philadelphia School, teachers asked the Spielmans if their son would be willing to work with a tutor - from the University of Pennsylvania. Now 42, Spielman earned a much more public accolade on Tuesday. He and 22 others are this year's winners of the MacArthur fellowships - sometimes informally called "genius grants," though award administrators discourage that term.
September 28, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - A software program developed by a Pennsylvania company to track the locations of rented computers secretly collected confidential and personal information about consumers, including medical records, bank statements, and even webcam pictures of couples engaged in sex, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday in a settlement that bars eight companies from any further cyber-spying. The case involved seven rental companies and an Erie County, Pa., firm called DesignerWare L.L.C., which licensed its PC Rental Agent software to stores so they could shut off and recover computers that had not been returned in time or had been stolen.
September 2, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said Friday it had established a new procedure for the very oldest state residents to obtain the newly required voter ID after its computer system would not recognize the age of a 105-year-old woman. PennDot spokeswoman Jan McKnight said supervisors would inform staff about the new process, developed two days after Alice Carlson ran into trouble getting identification because of her age. Carlson showed up Wednesday at a PennDot licensing center in Snydersville, about 25 miles north of Easton, but the computer would not recognize an age above 104, the Pocono Record reported.
July 28, 2012 |
Want to see how your kitchen will look dressed in a nice sky blue? Or see if you'd like a set of chairs in that breakfast nook? What about checking out the view from the kitchen table after you knock out the dining room wall - without opening a can of paint, moving a piece of furniture, or swinging a sledgehammer? With this kind of power, who needs a professional? Lots of DIYers, apparently. As the market bulges with do-it-yourself interior design software - the most popular comes from Chief Architect, Better Homes & Gardens, and even HGTV - interior designers have felt the impact, just not in the way you might think.
July 25, 2012 |
Four years ago, Kathy Sweet had just started a new job, and her coworkers didn't quite understand all the commotion coming from her desk. But, while Sweet was trying to contain her emotions in front of her new colleagues, she had bigger things on her mind. It was the summer of 2008, and one of her closest friends and fellow Delran High graduate, Carli Lloyd, was playing soccer in her first Olympics. "No one really understood why I was getting so excited," Sweet said. "I had to hide watching the games on my computer.
June 14, 2012 |
The ubiquity and utility of electronic devices has transformed almost every facet of modern life, from sparking popular uprisings to making the wristwatch obsolete. But too many kids are still using computers much as they do a technology that's more than half a century old: television. According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids 8 to 18 years old spend more than nine hours a day with their electronic gadgets, including cellphones. Those with lower incomes or less educated parents spend — or waste — more time playing games, watching videos, and on other forms of passive entertainment than do their peers.
June 12, 2012 |
Fingering an orange flash drive like a good-luck totem, Teisha Reynolds took a break from the computer class she hopes will change her life. At a KEYSPOT computer-access center within the Families First/People's Emergency Center in West Philadelphia, Reynolds is enrolled in computer classes to help get off welfare. Reynolds, 36, keeps hearing the whole world is online. That's not entirely true. "When you're poor and without a computer, there's a big gap between you and everyone else," Reynolds said.
June 2, 2012 |
LOS ANGELES - It reads like a riveting sci-fi novel, but it's stunningly real: A super-sophisticated malicious computer virus burrowed its way into Iran's nuclear facilities and took down several parts of the operation. Oh, and it apparently came from us. In 2010, it was the United States who launched Stuxnet, a seek-and-destroy cyber missile so sophisticated that some briefly thought it might have an other-than-earthly origin, against Iran's nuclear infrastructure, according to a New York Times report.
May 28, 2012 |
The best way for a patient to understand what happens in a heart attack is not to have one at all, but to have the doctor simulate it on a computer. That is the idea behind new research at the University of Pennsylvania, in which scientists created computer models of the blood of three volunteers and correctly predicted their response to various anticlotting medications. In one case, they were able to determine that a donor's blood would have no response to aspirin, and indeed that person turned out to have a previously unknown genetic mutation that caused exactly that problem.