Archive for February 16th, 2005

Life in Martian Caves


WASHINGTON — A pair of NASA scientists told a group of space officials
at a private meeting here Sunday that they have found strong evidence
that life may exist today on Mars, hidden away in caves and sustained
by pockets of water.

he scientists, Carol Stoker and Larry Lemke of NASA’s Ames Research Center
in Silicon Valley, told the group that they have submitted their findings
to the journal Nature for publication in May, and their paper currently
is being peer reviewed.

What Stoker and Lemke have found, according to several attendees of the
private meeting, is not direct proof of life on Mars, but methane signatures
and other signs of possible biological activity remarkably similar to
those recently discovered in caves here on Earth.


Collision Search Attacks


was first broken last night by Wikinews! We have a
feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more out of Chinese computer scientists
(and Wikinews) in the

Security experts are warning that a security flaw has been found
in a powerful
data encryption
dubbed SHA-1,
a team
of scientists
from Shandong University in China. The three scientists are circulating
a paper within the cryptographic research community that describes
successful tests of a technique that could greatly reduce the speed with
which SHA-1
could be compromised.

SHA-1 is used to create signatures by most of the popular security protocols
on the Internet, including SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and PGP (Profile,
Products, Articles) (Pretty Good Privacy), he said.

A research team of three scientists: Xiaoyun Wang, Yiqun Lisa Yin, and Hongbo
Yu, is circulating a paper called "Collision Search Attacks on SHA-1" that
describes methods for creating so-called "collisions" with the SHA-1
algorithm 2,000 times more quickly than had been possible before.

from Infoworld

Nulla Dies Sinelinea


An excellent column in the Boston
by elegant literary stylist
Donald M. Murray, who writes with penetrating insight and gentle humor
about many things, including the art of growing old. He recently lost
his wife of 50 years, Minnie Mae.

The column ends with this lovely paragraph:

Don’t worry, Minnie Mae, the instruction from Horace,
nulla dies sinelinea [never a day without a line], will remain on my
writing desk, and each
morning when I sit to practice my craft, you will be beside me, correcting
the spelling, pointing out what needs to be cut.

Sounds like that Horace was a natural born blogger. Our sympathies go
out to Mr. Murray. Nulla dies sinelinea, indeed.

from the Boston Globe