Matrix-style screensavers have been around almost as long as the "Matrix" movies, and in many variations of the original falling-code theme. It's an iconic look that says "computers" the way Greek columns say "buildings," and is just as easily renewed. Vastimil Burian's Infected Screen Saver is a good example. It's based on the original Matrix code look, but it "infects" your screen with code when it's activated. The effect is cool, of course, like the many "original" variations, but Infected Screen Saver is different. For starters, … Read more
Pneumonia, which claims the lives of more than 1.2 million children under the age of 5 every year, is the leading cause of death in children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. And in certain regions, such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, pneumonia alone accounts for 85 percent of pediatric deaths.
So it comes as little surprise that Microsoft, through its Imagine Cup Grants program, has awarded its second-place prize of $75,000 to a team out of Australia that is developing a tool to diagnose the infection quickly and affordably. (The first-place prize went to a … Read more
The same researchers who last year developed "electronic tattoos" that bend and stretch on skin are now unveiling similar ultra-thin electronics, only these dissolve when their job is done.
Made of silicon, magnesium, and magnesium oxide and surrounded by a protective layer of silk, these "transient" electronics aren't built to last but rather to melt away and, in the process, reduce the need to pass or surgically remove tiny medical implants, researchers from Tufts and the University of Illinois write in the current issue of Science.
The researchers -- who have begun using their devices … Read more
Even if you run reliable antivirus software -- and you do, don't you? -- it's never a bad idea to have a supplemental program that can pick up malware that your regular antivirus application might miss. HitmanPro 3 (32-bit) is an easy-to-use program that can quickly scan for and remove a variety of nasty things that might be lurking on your computer.
HitmanPro 3 has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to get started. If you're ready to plow ahead with the default scan, just click Next. If you'd like to do some customizing, the … Read more
Don't be alarmed if you open up your Facebook account and get a large warning message that says, "Your computer or network might be infected."
Facebook announced today that its security team has joined a consortium of computer security experts working to clean up malicious malware called DNSChanger. As a result, the social network can now notify victims, who may have infected computers, and help them figure out how to rid their networks of the botnet. (See full warning below).
"Facebook's Product Security Team is working constantly to protect users from malicious content and malware … Read more
UPDATE: New developments suggest the malware threat may not be as contained as previously thought.
The Flashback threat for OS X has been one of the biggest malware attacks on the platform to date, with an estimated 1 percent, or around 600,000 Mac systems, being affected at the peak of the malware's activity on April 9, 2012. Further analysis of the threat by security firm Kindsight has suggested that up to 1 in every 15 households with Macs in the U.S. may have been affected by this malware.
Since the initial reports of the Flashback findings, a … Read more
Last year's DNSChanger malware scam was an effort by a small crime ring of Estonian nationals to steal personal information. The scam worked by distributing malware that when installed would change the user's DNS settings to point to the crime ring's rogue DNS network. Since the DNS system is essentially the Internet's phone book, this allowed the crime ring to route seemingly valid Web site URLs to malicious servers.
There hasn't been another major radioactive leak, but soon we could see flesh wounds glowing in the dark. Researchers at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. have developed a gel that glows under ultraviolet light when it comes in contact with many kinds of bacteria.
The gel also appears to be effective in fighting the bacteria at the same time.
"The polymers (in the gel) incorporate a fluorescent dye and are engineered to recognize and attach to bacteria, collapsing around them as they do so," Sheffield Professor Sheila MacNeil explains in a statement. "This change in polymer shape generates a fluorescent signal that we've been able to detect using a handheld UV lamp."
Project lead Dr. Steve Rimmer adds that the technology could help reduce the overuse of antibiotics. In testing, the gel has been able to detect the presence of serious bacterias including Salmonella, E. Coli, MRSA, and meningitis.… Read more
Germaphobes may want to navigate away from this page, lest they find themselves tempted to scrub their cell phones as often as their hands. Because cell phones are not only dirty, some of them even play host to what researchers are calling "worrisome" drug-resistant bacteria.
A team from the Department of Medical Microbiology at Inonu University in Malatya, Turkey, set out to answer the question that serves as the title of their report: Do mobile phones of patients, companions, and visitors carry multidrug-resistant hospital pathogens?
They cultured 200 mobile phones, collecting swab samples from three parts of each … Read more
Has your computer been acting funny, crashing, running slow, or displaying unusual error messages? Have you been promiscuously clicking on Web links and opening up attachments from strangers? You could have a malware infection.
I get questions all the time from readers and friends asking what to do when they think their computers are infected. Here's a primer that should help. It's focused on Windows-based PCs because that's where most of the malware is targeted.
What are the warning signs of an infection? An infection may cause the computer to run more slowly than normal, stop responding, … Read more