Archive for January 20, 2008

ILoveYou Virus Makes a Comeback

Posted: January 20, 2008 in Tech

Wikinews has learned that two users, one anonymous and the other only known as MODX, added code on the collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia for a computer virus known as the LoveLetter or ILOVEYOU virus.

The users inserted the VBScript code into various pages including the Wikipedia Sandbox, a page used for editorial testing. This was relatively harmless, as the code could not be activated despite causing some antivirus software to issue an alert.

A Wikipedia administrator began blocking the users and reverting their edits. “I went further and deleted the contributions of these editors where I could in the hopes of preventing follow-up attacks, copycat actions, and random editors stumbling into viral traps whilst walking through a page history”, said Scientizzle, the administrator who found the code and attempted to clean up the additions.

The ILOVEYOU virus or worm started in the Philippines on May 4, 2000 in e-mails titled ‘I Love You’. In less than a day, it managed to spread across the entire globe, traveling to Hong Kong, to Europe, and then the United States. At least 10% of the world’s computers that had Internet access were infected with the virus. The virus overwrote files on computers with copies of itself, including system files and multimedia.

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The Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) salutes the researchers of Stemagen, Inc. on their accomplishment of cloning human embryos towards a goal of creating patient-specific embryonic stem cells for human therapeutic use.

“This is a good day for stem cell research. SCNT (therapeutic cloning) is potentially an important first step towards finding cures and may lead to an array of promising discoveries,” said Bernard Siegel, executive director of GPI. “One day we may have patient-matched embryonic stem cells lines which will enable researchers to investigate the root cause of diseases, test drugs using cells in lab dishes rather than in human subjects and formulate individual cell therapies for patients.”

“Opponents of stem cell research foes often try to blur the distinction between unethical human reproductive cloning and SCNT, which is a form of stem cell research. Where there is so much suffering, it is imperative that scientists have all reasonable tools to seek lifesaving treatments and cures and that includes SCNT,” said Siegel.

Researchers Develop Bionic Contact Lens

Posted: January 20, 2008 in Tech

Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights.

The prototype device contains an electric circuit as well as red light-emitting diodes for a display, though it does not yet light up. The lenses were tested on rabbits for up to 20 minutes and the animals showed no adverse effects.

Researchers built the circuits from layers of metal only a few nanometers thick, about one thousandth the width of a human hair, and constructed light-emitting diodes one third of a millimeter across.

IBM reports $4 billion Q4 profit

Posted: January 20, 2008 in Tech

IBM announced fourth quarter earnings of $4.0 billion, up almost 12% from $3.5 billion reported for Q4 2006. Revenues were up 10% from $26.3 billion to $28.9 billion in the same time frame.

For the complete year, IBM reported sales of $98.8 billion, up 8% from $91.4 billion in 2006. Net income for the year climbed 11% from $9.4 billion to $10.4 billion.

China ended 2007 with 210 million internet users, the second largest worldwide after the US.  Around 73 million Chinese citizens began to use internet last year.

86.6 percent of the people connected to the web use Internet to listen to music and 81.4 percent for telecommunication in real time.

HP Board Declares Regular Dividend

Posted: January 20, 2008 in Tech

The HP board of directors has declared a regular cash dividend of 8 cents per share on the company’s common stock.

The dividend, the second in HP’s fiscal year 2008, is payable on April 2, 2008, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on March 12, 2008.

HP has approximately 2.6 billion shares of common stock outstanding.