What is entropia universe?

Entropia Universe is a massive virtual universe with a real cash economy. There are no experience points or levels within the game, and it is not officially categorized as a MMORPG; however, it shares elements of regular MMORPGs, in that skills and special items figure prominently in game play. The game is produced in Sweden and has a universal following of ever growing fans.

Entropia Universe started life as Project Entropia and has since transformed once more, into the platform on which individual game development companies can create new planets for the Universe.

The original planet is now called ‘Planet Calypso’ and run by First Planet Company AB. Read more of this post

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COLD PLASMA KILLS BACTERIA BETTER THAN ANTIBIOTICS

Scientists may have found a way to treat infections that works better than antibiotics. The solution is not another drug, but a feat of physics: cold plasma.

Before you ask whether that is an oxymoron, let me explain. Cold here is not cold in the Arctic sense; rather the opposite of scalding hot. Plasma — an ionized gas sometimes called the fourth state of matter — typically exists at thousands of degrees Celsius, and hot plasmas are regularly used to sterilizing surgical equipment.

Cold plasmas are closer to room temperatures. And only recently have researchers been able to make plasmas at a steady 35 to 40 degrees Celsius and at atmospheric pressure. This is cold enough to touch safely. Read more of this post

BACTERIA WORK AS HARD DRIVES

A group of students at Hong Kong’s Chinese University are making strides towards storing such vast amounts of information in an unexpected home: the E. coli bacterium better known as a potential source of serious food poisoning.

“This means you will be able to keep large datasets for the long term in a box of bacteria in the refrigerator,” said Aldrin Yim, a student instructor on the university’s biostorage project, a 2010 gold medallist in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology prestigious iGEMcompetition.

Biostorage — the art of storing and encrypting information in living organisms — is a young field, having existed for about a decade. Read more of this post

Uncertainty principle: How evolution hedges its bets

Variety is the key to survival in a changeable world – and evolution may have come up with an extraordinary way of generating more variety

A man walks into a bar. “I have a new way of looking at evolution,” he announces. “Do you have something I could write it down on?” The barman produces a piece of paper and a pen without so much as a smile. But then, the man wasn’t joking.

The man in question is Andrew Feinberg, a leading geneticist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; the bar is The Hung, Drawn and Quartered, a pub within the shadow of the Tower of London; and what’s written on the piece of paper could fundamentally alter the way we think about epigenetics, evolution and common diseases.

Before setting foot in the pub, Feinberg had taken a turn on the London Eye, climbed Big Ben and wandered into Westminster Abbey. There, as you might expect, he sought out the resting place of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. He was struck by the contrast between the lavish marble sculpture of a youthful Newton, reclining regally beneath a gold-leafed globe, and Darwin’s minimalist floor stone. Read more of this post

Amazon servers used to crack Wi-Fi passwords

Security expert Thomas Roth has used Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing service to break the Wi-Fi protected access (WPA) encryption method often used to store Wi-Fi passwords. Roth took advantage of Amazon’s new graphics processing unit (GPU) clusters to crack his neighbour’s network in 20 minutes, and now says an updated version of his software could do the job in 6.

WPA stores passwords using an algorithm known as SHA-1, which has already been shown to be insecure, but Roth didn’t actually exploit this kind of insecurity. Instead, he brute-forced the algorithm by running through around 400,000 passwords per second in an attempt to find the correct password – and he plans to increase the speed to 1 million passwords per second. Read more of this post

Sony sues over PS3 encryption hack

PlayStation 3 hackers have been hit with a lawsuit from Sony for publishing details of how to bypass the security features on its game console.

Sony claims that disclosing this information has caused “irreparable injury and damage” to the company because it now allows people to run pirated games on the PS3.

The PS3 was once considered invulnerable and the most secure games console ever built. It was the only one to have consistently withstood hacking attempts. But in December 2010 at the Chaos Communication Conference in Berlin a group of European programmers calling themselves fail0verflow revealed they had finally broken specific lower levels of the PS3’s encryption system that let them run their own programs on the console. Read more of this post

Cyberwar countermeasures a waste of money, says report

When the writer of an infamous book for hackers says we should stop panicking about cyberwar it’s probably time to sit up and take notice.

“Governments should take a calm, disciplined approach and evaluate the risks of each type of attack very carefully rather than be swayed by scare stories,” says Peter Sommer of the London School of Economics.

Under the pseudonym “Hugo Cornwall”, Sommer published the infamousHacker’s Handbook in 1985. Since then he has become a noted security researcher and expert witness. Now he has co-authored a report for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which warns governments against swallowing wholesale stories about “cyberwar” and “cyberweapons”.

Published today, Reducing Systemic Cybersecurity Risk says that a truecyberwar would have the destructive effects of conventional war but be fought exclusively in cyberspace – and as such is a “highly unlikely” occurrence. Like others, New Scientist has often used the term. Read more of this post