Computer Software

Get ready to update Firefox

FirefoxBonn, Germany - People whose computers use the Firefox browser should plan on an upgrade.

Eleven different bugs have been found in the free browser created by Mozilla, according to the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology in Bonn.

Similar problems have been discovered in Seamonkey and Thunderbird, two other applications from the same company.

Five of the flaws have been characterized as critical. A new bug- free version of Seamonkey, a browser and e-mail program, has already been released.

However, a new version of the mail client Thunderbird is not yet available (dpa)

Computer simulation reveals how quasi-crystals form

London, March 7: Using a computer simulation, scientists at the University of Michigan have cast some light on how quasi-crystals form.

Unlike ordinary crystals, quasi-crystals are solids whose atoms are not arranged in a repeating pattern. However, they still form intricate patterns that are technologically useful.

Sharon Glotzer, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, says that quasi-crystals incorporate clusters of atoms as they are, without rearranging them as regular crystals do.

When a normal crystal grows upon the freezing of liquids into solids, a crystallite nucleus develops first. The atoms in the liquid attach one-by-one to the crystallite, as though following a template.

Now, a computer program that lets you "feel" the weather on the map

London, March 7: Climate researchers have developed a weather map interface that lets the user physically feel weather features.

Developed by Haptics researcher Cagatay Basdogan of Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey, the new system involves a computer system that lets climate researchers "feel" wind speeds and other weather features on their maps using a joystick that simulates touching objects

According to a report in New Scientist, climate data is normally displayed as layers of symbols on 2D or 3D maps of terrain. For example, arrows of different lengths represent wind direction and strength, and colors indicate changes in air pressure.

Wireless worms may spread in the same manner as flu

London, February 27 :Computer Virus Software worms may spread between Bluetooth-enabled mobiles in the same manner as flu viruses in humans, say researchers.

Christopher Rhodes, an expert on infectious diseases at Imperial College London, joined Maziar Nekovee, a researcher at BT's research lab in Suffolk, UK, to create a mathematical model to discern how a wireless computer worm could spread between portable devices.

The researchers involved a crowd of people carrying Bluetooth-enabled smartphones in their study. The participants had to move in a straight line, and at a fixed speed.

New computer software might help build a winning baseball team

Washington, Feb 18: Sophisticated techniques using computer modeling might help baseball scouts to select players who have the potential to perform well during a match, thus building a winning team.

According to a report in New Scientist, baseball managers have long used basic batting and pitching statistics to evaluate player performance. Now, analysts of the game have taken "sabermetrics" - the fledgling science of baseball statistics - to new heights.

New technique makes combining of programming languages safe

Washington, Jan 25: Software will now be safer from the most common method of misuse by hackers: so-called injection attacks, thanks to new techniques developed by Dutch computer scientist Martin Bravenboer that makes it combining programming languages easier.

Bravenboer, in his PhD thesis, presented techniques making it possible to combine programming languages in a safer and more reliable manner.

His method provides absolute security unlike previously proposed solutions for dealing with such attacks.

Also this method is simpler for the programmer to apply and can be used in all environments where injection attacks occur.

Now, 3D snowflakes on your desktop computer

Washington, Jan 18: A team of mathematicians from UC (University of California) Davis and the University of Wisconsin-Madison
(UWM) has developed a 3D computer model of snowflakes.

Snowflakes grow from water vapor around some kind of nucleus, such as a bit of dust. The surface of the growing crystal is a complex, semi-liquid layer where water molecules from the surrounding vapor can attach or detach.

The model, built by Gravner and David Griffeath of UWM, takes these factors, as well as temperature, atmospheric pressure and water vapor density, into account for developing the virtual snowflakes.

Computer software that classifies dog barks better than humans

Computer SoftwareWashington, January 17 : Hungarian researchers have shown that computer programs can be better than humans at classifying dog barks.

Csaba Molnar, a researcher from Eotvos Lorand University, says that a new piece of software is able to classify dog barks according to different situations.

The software may even identify barks from individual dogs, something that humans find challenging.

He says that his team’s work, published in the journal Animal Cognition, suggests computer programs to be the most accurate tool for studying acoustic communications amongst animals.

Aptech's ACCP chosen as Best ICT Training program

AptechNew Delh, Jan 3 : Aptech Computer Education's flagship program ACCP (Aptech Certified Computer Professional) has been selected as the "Best ICT Training program" in the "Best ICT Choice of Mongolia-2007" competition.

Aptech's Mongolia Training Centre was given this award.

The competition was organised by The Information, Communication and Technology Authority of Mongolia and Midas Monita NGO, National IT Park, MFMC Co. Ltd. and Biz Online Co. Ltd.

"My Computer" magazine was the initiator of this selection.

Search for aliens to get 500 times boost with upgraded SETI@home software

Washington, Jan 3: The search for extraterrestrial life is all set to get a major boost with the upgrading of the SETI@home software, which has been improved to deal with 500 times more data generated by the world's largest radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

SETI@home (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), launched eight years ago at the University of California, Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory, is basically a distributed computing project using Internet-connected computers, which support an observational analysis to detect radio signals from intelligent life outside Earth.

It has signed up more than 5 million interested volunteers and boasts of the largest community of dedicated users of any Internet computing project: 170,000 users on

Green IT, XP reprieve and Linux among top 2008 IT forecasts

LinuxWashington, January 1 : Technology freaks may get to read about green IT, an extension for Windows XP, greater Linux adoption, and more open mobile networks during 2008.

Forecasts by the InfoWorld website suggest that Microsoft may announce an extension for Windows XP availability somewhere at the end of the year.

Many other companies had recently postponed their plans to switch to Vista. Experts believe that the migration from Windows XP to Vista will remain to be slow for at least the first half of 2008.

One-fifth of Windows applications users don’t install security patches

WindowsWashington, Jan 1: A Copenhagen-based vulnerability tracker has discovered that one in five applications installed on Windows PCs do not have security patches.

Secunia APS reported that more than 20 percent of the applications checked by its Personal Software Inspector (PSI) utility were at risk, as available fixes for security flaws had not been applied.

"More than 20 percent of all applications installed on users' PCs have known security flaws, but the users have yet to install the patch provided by the vendor of [the] product," InfoWorld quoted Jakob Balle, Secunia's development manager, as saying.

Software to analyse employees’ e-mails on the anvil

Washington, November 29: Cyber CrimeUniversity of California, Irvine (UCI) researchers are developing software to deal with cybercrime, one of the biggest causes of damage to a business.

The software will allow companies to flag up employees who are potential saboteurs, industrial spies or data thieves. It might also flag up whistle-blowers.

The move follows recent findings that at least one-third of cybercrimes affecting businesses are committed by insiders.

New software transforms digital images into mixed media artwork

Washington, October 7 : Dr. Stephen Brooks, an assistant professor in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Computer Science, has created a new software that allows transformation of digital images into mixed media artwork.

The self-taught artist has revealed that his program enables a user to break an image into various coherent regions, which can then be processed differently—for instance a watercolour touch for the sky and pastel scribbles for the tree.

He says that his approach involves the use of various filters—such as paint daubs, soft glow, crystallize, ink outlines, cartoons etc—that a user can choose to process various regions of an image.

New software converts speech into sign languages, uses avatar to communicate

Washington, Oct 1 : Researchers at IBM, UK, have developed a software that converts spoken words into sign language and engages an avatar to communicate using gestures.

Its developers say the onscreen translator, named “Say It Sign It”, could work as a pop-up on a television, personal computer, mobile phone or auditorium screen, giving the hearing impaired wider access to television, radio and education.

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