The Null Device
A number of researchers, funded by the NSA and law enforcement agencies, are working on the problem of detecting steganography, or determining whether an innocuous file contains a hidden message. According to these researchers, most steganographic systems out there are hopelessly inadequate and easily revealed.
"What we've done is gone out, using Web spiders, and downloaded pictures from the Web and run the tool against them." Steganography, Gordon said, primarily turns up on hacker sites. But he and his associates also found instances of steganography on heavily traveled commercial sites such as Amazon and eBay.
First-generation stego programs typically embedded information in the least significant bits that represented the pixels of an image. But images, especially compressed ones, often have predictable patterns that are disrupted when an image is inserted.
The Hello Kitty Note PC is back; this time it is powered by a Transmeta chip. Wonder what it actually runs?
Loss of faith in social institutions: According to a BBC survey, 34% of young people in the UK believe that pop stars don't sing on their own records. Remember the uproar when Milli Vanilli were exposed as a fake? Well, nowadays it looks like pop stars are expected to be fake, and nobody expects the pretty boys and girls strutting their stuff in the video to be real musical artists any more than they expect pro wrestlers to be real competition athletes. Yes, it's all fake; yes, everyone's cool with that.
Nina Jablonski, an Australian anthropologist now based in California has discovered an elegant evolutionary theory of skin pigmentation, which explains why indigenous people from different regions evolved differing skin pigments.
In St Kilda, street prostitution is a major problem for the BMW-driving latte-sipping ad-exec residents, with kerb-crawling johns cruising their streets at night searching for bootywhang, consummating the transactions in their yards and dumping used condoms in their designer letterboxes. Professor Marcia Neave, architect of brothel legalisation in the 1980s, suggests that the answer may lie in legal street prostitution precincts, safely away from residential areas. Though given the rapid gentrification of St Kilda, a more practical answer may be to drive the prostitutes out to Brunswick or Coburg, as was done with artists, students, ferals and other non-yuppies formerly indigenous to the ritzy bayside area.
Eduardo Tagua, 62, was born in prison and spent most of his life there. Expelled into the vast, confusing real world, he has been unable to cope, and attempts to rehabilitate him have failed. Now he is protesting outside a prison in order to be allowed back in to live out the rest of his days behind bars.
Pinkness and horror: A woman is divorcing her husband because he didn't buy her flowers on Valentine's Day. Apparently, in her world-view, not honouring certain Hallmark Events and paying the floral industry's Feb. 14 markup constitutes evidence of not loving someone.
Some signs that democracy in the U.S. is not all that healthy. Or so say some people calling themselves the Progressive Review (who seem to be bleeding-heart leftists and not militia nutters or anything). In any case, the extremely dubious circumstances in which the current president was elected should raise red flags in anybody not terminally apathetic.
Actually, Lev, phenylethylamine (PEA) is a neurotransmitter; it is responsible for the condition commonly referred to as falling in love (and one develops a tolerance to it within 18 to 24 months, which is why most sexual relationships end after that time, unless other neurotransmitters kick in). I think you're thinking of phenylalanine, which gradually causes dementia (an unrelated, though some would argue superficially similar, condition).