Phishing by Phone

This got caught by the spam filters:

To speed up the process, you are required to call us at our free toll free number (+61) 731-235-996 to verify your Commonwealth Maestro Card.

First time I’ve seen a phishing attack that uses (presumably VOIP) phone numbers (in this case allocated to GoTalk in Brisbane, they own 0731230000 to 0731239999 according to the search you can do here) rather than a web site (though I suspect it’s been around for a while).

North Korea Tests Another Nuclear Bomb (11 kiloton?)

It’s being reported that North Korea has detonated another test nuclear device, and the USGS is showing a magnitude 4.7 quake in North Korea (the previous device test registered as a mag 4.2 one).

Using the code I mentioned when writing about the first test it appears that it was likely to be around an 11 kiloton device, significantly larger than the 2 kt device tested previously.

Mag.   Energy      Energy      TNT         TNT         TNT         Hiroshima
       Joules      ft-lbs      tons        megatons   equiv. tons  bombs
4.2   0.126E+12   0.929E+11   0.301E+02   0.301E-04   0.201E+04   0.134E+00
4.7   0.708E+12   0.522E+12   0.169E+03   0.169E-03   0.113E+05   0.753E+00
USGS image of DPRK nuclear test 2009/05/25

USGS image of DPRK nuclear test 2009/05/25

Digikam Problem with KDE 4.3 beta 1

If you’re using the Kubuntu 4.3 beta 1 packages for Kubuntu Jaunty you’ll likely find that you suddenly can’t view your albums any more. I traced it down to the following error in my ~/.xsession-errors file:

Could not open library '/usr/lib/kde4/'.
Cannot load library /usr/lib/kde4/ (/usr/lib/ undefined symbol: _ZN6Marble12MarbleWidget16addPlaceMarkDataERK7QStringS3_)

Basically Digikam needs recompiling against the version of Marble in KDE 4.3 to get its symbol names fixed. Doing it isn’t that hard, you need to do:

sudo apt-get build-dep digikam
apt-get source digikam
cd digikam-0.10.0

Once that’s done (and it’ll take a while) you’ll have 3 new packages in the parent directory of digikam-0.10.0, the Digikam package, a package for showfoto and a package for Digikams debugging symbols. Just use “sudo dpkg -i ” to install them.

Denis Ritchie’s Documents Gone From Bell Labs ? (Updated)

Oh dear, it looks like Denis Ritchie’s web pages, and all associated documentation, has gone 404 at Bell Labs and, worse still, it’s been removed from due to the Bell Labs robots.txt file.

Now I really wish I’d grabbed a copy of the B documents he had there! 🙁 If anyone has a copy or an alternative location if it’s moved elsewhere I’d love to hear from you..

Update: Thanks so much to Ian for providing copies and pointing out that the original webpages and documents have re-appeared.

KDE in Space – Planck Researchers Using Kst

A press release from the University of British Columbia (found via a tweet on the Planck CMB telecopes Twitter feed) talks about their use of the KDE program KST, a real-time large-dataset viewing and plotting tool, chosen because of the amount of data that would be generated:

But the cameras will produce a large amount of scientific data to process–with the LFI instrument alone producing more than 100 Gigabytes a year. Traditional data plotting and analysis packages like MATLAB and IDL wouldn’t cut it.

Both UBC and the University of Toronto have been involved with the development of the KST project, and the Canadian Space Agency has contributed funding to it.

KDE 4.3 beta1 Released

I so hope this finally fixes my Kopete TLS problems! Need to wait for the Kubuntu packages to appear..

Update: the Ubuntu Jaunty packages are currently in the Kubuntu experimental PPA. Downloading now..

Update 2: Upgrading ain’t for the faint hearted, I’ve had to remove packages, used dpkg --force-overwrite -i /var/cache/apt/archives/$foo.deb a couple of times and generally had a fun hour or so trying to upgrade. All done now so this is being edited with the new Konqueror:

Version 4.2.85 (KDE 4.2.85 (KDE 4.3 Beta1))
Using KDE 4.2.85 (KDE 4.2.85 (KDE 4.3 Beta1))

Fingers Crossed.. (updated)

We’ve got Kepler now starting it’s science mission after finishing commissioning, Atlantis at the Hubble Space Telescope for the final repair mission and in just over 1 hour the ESA will launch a single rocket with both the Herschel infra-red space telescope and the Planck CMB telescope. That’s two very expensive satellites sat on top of a rocket with a rather chequered launch history!

Best of luck folks (which is also what the Mars Exploration Rover “Spirit” needs given it’s gotten itself stuck on Mars!)..

Update: So far so good, first and second stages ran and separated OK, third stage running at the moment prior to separation of Herschel and Planck.

Update 2: Third stage burn complete, in ballistic phase.

Update 3: Herschel separated from third stage!

Update 4: The cylinder protecting Planck has been jettisoned.

Update 5: Planck has separated from the third stage!

That’s it for me for tonight, it’s almost midnight here…

Update 6: ESA has established communications with both telescopes and currently they’re both looking good for their journey to L2.

Belle Monte-Carlo Production on the Amazon EC2 Cloud

A few weeks ago Martin Sevior and Tom Ffield of the University of Melbourne did a talk at VPAC called “Belle Monte-Carlo production on the Amazon EC2 cloud” based on a paper they’d presented at the International Conference of Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics. The presentation is now available on the VPAC website.

It’s all about testing the cloud computing model via Amazon EC2 for Monte Carlo production for the SuperBelle experiment at the KEK collider in Japan. My favourite comment is that for a real full production run on Amazon EC2 to be useful it would need to be able to return data from S3 to the KEK collider at 600MB/s (~4.7Gb/s) sustained.

I don’t know what Amazon would say to that – well, apart from maybe “no”. 🙂

NB: This is the talk I mentioned in the comments on Joe Landman’s blog post called “Cloudy Issues“.