Matt’s Favorites: How China Hacked Our Defense Tech, Ancient Torah, Twitter Too Complex, And More
SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) — What’s the latest in the super-cool world of technology? Hey, pay attention, all you Detroit movers and shakers and opinion makers up there on Mackinac, this is important…
* To steal the designs for America’s advanced weapons systems, as Chinese hackers are alleged to have done by in a confidential report prepared for the Pentagon, you don’t necessarily have to break into classified Department of Defense systems. Many of America’s military secrets can be stolen by exploiting the networks over which unclassified information is shared by military contractors and subcontractors. Great!
* An Italian expert in Hebrew manuscripts said Wednesday he had discovered the oldest known complete Torah scroll, a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225. It was right under his nose, in the University of Bologna library, where it had been mistakenly catalogued a century ago as dating from the 17th century.
* Glad I’m not the only one who felt this way at first: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo believes that the 7-year-old information network is still far too complex for the masses to grasp. Wednesday, the CEO fielded questions from Kara Swisher at the D: All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. When asked what Twitter was missing, Costolo said, “Simplicity.” Twitter, he said, makes communication too complex.
* Four years after a final shuttle servicing mission, the Hubble Space Telescope is operating like a fine watch, with no major technical problems that would prevent it from continuing its trail-blazing observations through the end of the decade — 30 years after launch — project officials say.
* You don’t see many cars that were manufactured in the 1970s still on the road. But a spacecraft from that era just keeps on going, traveling through the heavens at 38,000 miles an hour. Voyager 1 has been hurtling through space for 35 years. Now 11 billion miles from the sun, it’s approaching the outer limit of our solar system.
* Facebook has lost more than a dozen advertisers after a campaign drew attention to pages on the social media site that promoted violence against women. Women, Action, and the Media launched the campaign last week to get Facebook to end hate speech on its site and urged advertisers to pull their support. The content included pages and images that had grisly photos of abuse, and mottos that encouraged rape, abuse and other violence against women.
* Unapproved genetically engineered wheat has been discovered in an Oregon field, a potential threat to trade with countries that have concerns about genetically modified foods. USDA officials said the wheat is the same strain as a genetically modified wheat that was tested by seed giant Monsanto (MON) a decade ago but never approved. Monsanto stopped testing that product in Oregon and several other states in 2005.
* Here’s a good column about what exactly is the crux of the biscuit when it comes to Bring Your Own Device controversies.
* Scientists say they have found both blood and muscle tissue – perfectly preserved in the ice – from a Siberian mammoth. The blood had dripped out of the giant animal into a natural ice capsule and it represents a dream discovery for researchers.
* Planetary Resources, a pioneer in asteroid mining, announced today that it is planning to launch the world’s first publicly accessible space telescope. The company, led by X Prize Foundation Chairman Peter Diamandis, said in April, 2012, that it planned to prospect and mine asteroids. But today the company expanded on that mission, saying that it is engaging “in another passion of our team: to make space exploration accessible to everyone.”
* Are you too drunk to drive? The Floome device plugs into your smartphone to tell you if you’ve had too much and how long you need to wait to get behind the wheel.