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Hackers create tools for disaster relief

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Hackers create tools for disaster relief

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo may be tough competitors when it comes to Internet software and services, but they are putting their differences aside to build a developer community to tackle bigger picture problems like saving lives in emergencies, writes CNet.

The companies have joined with Nasa, the World Bank and PR agency SecondMuse to organise the first Random Hacks of Kindness event, which was held at a warehouse-space-cum-community-centre called Hacker Dojo this weekend.

For two days, coders worked on ways to use technology to help solve real-world problems, such as how people can get information and find each other during disasters.

Mental health data stolen from NHS

According to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), an NHS trust has lost data relating to 1 000 occupational therapy patients and staff members, reports Computing.co.uk.

Great Yarmouth and Waveney Primary Care Trust informed the ICO of the theft of two desktop computers containing sensitive personal data, including information about people's physical or mental health, and trade union membership.

The premises did not have an intruder alarm system, the internal office doors did not have security locks and the computers were not protected with any form of encryption software.

Boffins fight pacemaker hacks

Researchers are looking to ultrasound waves as a way to prevent attacks on radio-controlled pacemakers, says The Register.

The plan - floated by doctors from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control - uses ultrasound waves to determine the precise distance between the patient and the wireless reader. Readers that aren't close enough to the device are automatically shut out.

The fledgling access-control system comes after US researchers demonstrated the risks of enabling radio communication in implanted medical devices. They found the devices were susceptible to leakage of personal information or remote attacks that drained the batteries or caused the devices to malfunction.

'Sabbath' protest targets Intel

Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem have protested outside the offices of the US firm, Intel, against the plant operating on the Jewish day of rest, writes the BBC.

The demonstrators chanted "Shabbes! Shabbes!", the Yiddish word for Sabbath, when Jews are forbidden to work.

Intel, the world's biggest maker of computer chips, ringed its offices with barbed wire before the protest. There were no reports of violence.

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