Army Awards $32 Million Contract to Improve iRobot's PackBot: Nifty remote control "toy-like" tank. Uses WiFi, Linux, compact flash memory and video camera. Soldiers use it to examine and detonate bombs or mines. iRobot also makes the Roomba vacuum cleaner. The military spec version (400 G of force, sand and mud, 15 mph, etc) sells for $50,000 and up. 2:48:21 PM
"Mobile sales pros, small businesses, and flea marketeers, take note: You can now use a cell phone to take credit card payments anywhere you have access to Nextel's wireless network. The Creditel PowerSwipe is a phone-based credit card machine that frees you from needing a landline to process transactions. .. Creditel claims its security technology makes the system more secure than an ATM machine." $250 plus $12/mo plus .15/transaction. 2:42:00 PM
Danes tag kids with Bluetooth: "Copenhagen's famous Tivoli Gardens opened its gates today for the Summer season and, for the first time, mums and dads do not have to worry about their kids getting lost in one of the world's oldest amusement parks. Tivoli Gardens has introduced a Bluetooth surveillance system .. based on Bluetooth wristbands and 63 access points ..
Parents can buy a armlet for their child for DKK 20 (about $3). Should a child wander off, they merely have to send a SMS requesting information on the particular tag. Shortly thereafter they receive a message back specifying the location of the child's nearest Bluetooth receiver. The access points can pinpoint the location down to 20 metres." 2:38:45 PM
Industrial control systems seen as 'undeniably vulnerable': "In a hearing yesterday on the security of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems, which are used to manage infrastructure such as the electric power grid and oil and gas pipelines, Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) said the lack of a national strategy to deal with SCADA system security makes the nation "undeniably vulnerable" to cyberterrorism. Putnam is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census.
"The more I've learned [about the lack of SCADA system security], the more concerned I've become," said Putnam. "I've learned that today's SCADA systems have been designed with little or no attention to computer security. Data are often sent as clear text; protocols for accepting commands are open, with no authentication required; and communications channels are often wireless, leased lines or the Internet." ..
Gerald Freese, director of information security at American Electric Power, said SCADA systems remain "open books" to any terrorist organization that wants to learn how to exploit them. In fact, U.S. energy companies assisted Pakistan in developing that country's SCADA and supporting telecommunications infrastructure. Modeling the Pakistani electric power infrastructure on the U.S., these companies used many of the same technologies and many of the same vendors to do the work, Freese said.
Richard Clarke and Howard Schmidt, the two former chairmen of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, acknowledged in interviews that raids conducted during the war on terrorism have uncovered evidence that al-Qaeda has been actively studying vulnerabilities in U.S. SCADA systems 11:04:22 PM