We will have more coverage all day on our social media channels and here on the TouringPlans blog. Got questions? Curious about anything? Let us know. Share This!We’ve got pictures rolling in from inside Galaxy’s Edge. And although crowds are pretty brisk, it’s still a feast for the eyes. By far, Oga’s Cantina is the hot ticket–it filled to capacity almost immediately at opening. The hot photo of was trying to take every possible angle of the Millennium Falcon. For Star Wars fans, this is a dream come true, and since a picture tells a thousand words, here’s a small novel.
20 April 2011The much-anticipated West Africa Cable System (WACS) linking southern Africa and Europe arrived at Yzerfontein in the Western Cape on Tuesday, promising to double South Africa’s broadband capacity.“The 14 000km long fibre optic submarine cable system will effectively raise South Africa’s current broadband capacity by over 500 Gigabits per second (Gbps),” Telkom said in a statement.“Spanning the west coast of Africa and terminating in the United Kingdom, WACS will enable seamless connectivity into the rest of Europe and America.”In addition to complementing existing high-bandwidth cable systems in the region, as well as supplying first-time fibre connectivity to several west African countries, WACS will provide much-needed diversity for large-volume broadband traffic from South Africa to Europe.The US$650-million submarine cable, which has been under construction since 2009, is an initiative of the WACS Consortium, whose South African members consist of Broadband Infraco, MTN, Telkom, Neotel and Vodacom.The cable also boasts 15 established terminal stations en route, and will reduce the cost to connect the west coast of Africa into the high-speed global telecommunications network for years to come.It is designed to support present and future internet, e-commerce, data, video and voice services while also making use of dense wavelengths division multiplexing (DWDM) technology, which enables bi-directional communications over one strand of fibre as well as multiplication of capacity.“Its design of 4 fibre pair and 128 wavelength technology make WACS the largest cable system to ever land in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Angus Hay of Neotel, co-chair of the WACS management committee. “WACS will meet the demand for capacity well into the first quarter of the 21st century.”Telkom’s Casper Chihaka said that various reasons had led to the choice of Yzerfontein as landing point for WACS and to allocating the responsibility to land the cable in South Africa to Telkom.“All submarine cables that enter South Africa are located at either Melkbosstrand or Mtunzini, thus effectively two international fibre gateways. Events such as earthquakes or even a large ship dragging its anchor have seen several cables being cut,” Chihaka said.“South Africa needs a third international fibre gateway to reduce the risk of complete isolation from the rest of the world.”Source: BuaNews
22 April 2014Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies officially launched the R8-million Durban branch of the South African Chemical Technology Incubator (Chemin) at the Westville Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban last week.The incubation centre offers free support services to small chemical technology businesses in the province, as well as access to a state-of-the-art laboratory containing specialised analytical equipment. Current incubated enterprises focus on chemical detergent, cosmetics and health care products.The centre includes a manufacturing pilot plant for recycling compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs using a patented technology.According to the DTI, Chemin’s focus is on developing the downstream chemicals manufacturing industry in South Africa. This includes the manufacture of relatively high-value pure chemicals for use as active ingredients in specialised chemicals for industrial and non-consumer applications (such as paints, mining chemicals, textile specialities, and paper chemicals).Chemin’s Durban branch was established in partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) under the DTI’s Incubation Support Programme, which has seen the establishment of 42 incubators in various sectors across the country.Davies, speaking at last week’s launch said a further four incubators had been approved and would be set up during the 2014/15 financial year.Seda acting CEO Sipho Zikode commented: “We are on course to see these incubators increasing as more small enterprises go the technology incubation route …. This can only bode well for our government’s drive to create employment.”SAinfo reporter
President Jim Cunningham has been with the Southern Boone Fire Protection District since 1985. He’s seen major growth in the Ashland area, meaning more work for his volunteer team.“So far, we’re ok. But we are seeing a disturbing trend where the increase in the number of call is increasing beyond the rate we can put on new firefighters.”The fire district has put a 12-cent property tax increase question on Tuesday’s ballot. Cunningham says it actually gets the rate back where it used to be, and this is the first time the fire district has requested a tax hike.The new money would go toward a paid on-call system for firefighters, and administrative costs for a chief and clerk, according to Cunningham.“The time is now to change the way we’re operating a little bit, and get some compensation flowing to some of the people who have been providing these services for free so that we can ensure they’re there in the future.”
We live in curious times. People are doing more things online than ever before. Many employees telecommute instead of driving to work. We communicate more often through email. As a result, life is much more convenient. For example, if I am not feeling well or am buried in the snow, I don’t have to choose between infecting my coworkers and tackling a giant pile of tasks that had to wait; instead, it will be business as usual, except I will be at home. I don’t have to hand-carry or use “snail mail” to send or receive sensitive documents anymore; I can get them where they need to be in seconds via email. I, for one, would not want to go back to the way things were. However, all of this convenience comes with a price: It opens the enterprise to additional security risks. In response to this, the industry has come up with some great solutions that companies use to mitigate these risks.In order to be productive, telecommuting employees must be able to use network resources as if they were physically in the office. This means that all network traffic, including sensitive information, must travel over the internet where it might be snooped. In order to safely access company networks, enterprises set up Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections for their employees to use. VPN connections authenticate the user with a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) key and login information, and then establish a secure, encrypted connection between the employee and the company network.Email is a great way to communicate with people both inside and outside of your organization. It delivers almost instantly and you can attach files or documents. However, email can be insecure and email senders can be spoofed. For these reasons, when you send an email you can optionally sign and/or encrypt the email. When you sign an email, you use a PKI key to create a digital signature of the email which is verified by the receiver. This signature confirms to the recipient both that you are the person who sent the email and that the email has not been altered since you sent it. Your email client usually does this process in the background, and will notify you, loudly, if an email’s signature is invalid. Signing prevents an attacker from either sending you an email pretending to be someone you trust, or altering a message sent by someone you trust before it gets to you. Encrypting uses a PKI key to encrypt the email and any attachments, which are decrypted by the sender on the other end. It prevents anyone but who you send the email to from reading it.The point of commonality between these solutions is the Public Key Infrastructure. PKI key pairs are made up of two parts: the public key and the private key. These two keys are mathematically related so that anything encrypted by the public key can only be decrypted by the private key and anything encrypted by the private key can only be decrypted by the public key. The public key is freely available to anyone who wants it. The private key is kept secret. The strength of this system lies in the fact that people don’t have to share private keys (which could be intercepted) to communicate securely. However, the system is only as secure as the private key. If the private key is compromised, the entire system breaks down. An attacker who steals a person’s private key can impersonate them (through false digital signatures), read their private documents (such as encrypted email), and any number of other equally disturbing things.Many companies mitigate this risk by using smart cards to provide additional protection for the private key by separating the private keys and sensitive PKI operations from the operating system. Smart cards can store some data and process cryptographic operations on the card. Another security benefit is a second factor of authentication: “Something you have” (a smart card) and “Something you know” (a user PIN). Smart Cards do provide added security, but with added expense of a smart card for each employee and smart card readers for each computer. These cards must be replaced if employees lose them, break them, or run them through the washing machine. All in all, this system, while good, creates added expense and complexity for an organization.Intel® Identity Protection Technology with public key infrastructure (or Intel® IPT with PKI), is a new product from Intel designed to enhance the security of PKI operations. It uses the Intel® Management Engine (or ME) available on 2012 Intel® vPro™ systems to protect the private key and perform sensitive PKI operations at the firmware level. Protecting the key this way prevents malware or other forms of attack from compromising the private key. You can think about it like a smart card built in to your computer; a smart card that you can’t leave in your pocket and put through the wash (unless you have really big pockets); a smart card that you probably won’t forget (at least not if you remembered your computer). Also, for companies that already use Intel® vPro™ systems and PKI certificates, no additional infrastructure is required, and you can use it out of the box.Intel® IPT with PKI was designed from the ground up for ease of use. It integrates directly into Microsoft’s CryptoAPI, which is a mature interface for cryptographic operations in the Windows operating system. CryptoAPI is an extensible framework that uses plugins (called Cryptographic Service Providers, or CSPs) to do the actual cryptographic operations. Many applications are designed to work with CryptoAPI, and thus are able to support Intel® IPT with PKI with little to no changes to the program. As far as applications are concerned, Intel® IPT with PKI works the same way as Microsoft’s cryptographic service providers, but the real magic happens behind the scenes. Unlike Microsoft’s implementation, where PKI operations are done within Windows (where they can be snooped by malware), Intel® IPT with PKI works with the ME, which is a small, self-contained platform embedded in the chipset. This platform has an internal processor and some storage space—much like a smart card does—and is completely segregated from the operating system. All sensitive operations that involve the private key are performed at this level and are protected from hackers or malicious software that might try to steal the private key.As a final security measure, PKI keys can optionally be PIN protected. When you try to use the key, you will be prompted to enter the PIN. This prevents someone from accessing your computer and using one of the Intel® IPT with PKI protected keys without your knowledge. This additional layer of security uses a product called Intel® IPT with protected transaction display, to render a PIN pad on the screen in such a way that the operating system cannot see it. Malicious software like screen scrapers will only see a black square in the area where the PIN pad is displayed. This is a new technology developed by Intel which makes use of Intel branded integrated graphics and Protected Audio Video Path (PAVP) to securely display a PIN pad to the screen. PAVP creates a secure connection from the graphics card to the monitor, bypassing the operating system entirely. It was originally developed to display high definition video from Blu-Ray disks while protecting them from being copied, but can also be used to make passwords secure from host based malware.Below is a video that shows a Intel(R) IPT with PKI being used to sign an email in Outlook. It also demonstrates the protected transaction display. Intel® IPT with protected transaction display works by reserving screen space with the operating system, then filling it with an encrypted image that was rendered in the ME. The user can see the image on the screen, but the operating system doesn’t know what is there. The result is that any attempt to snoop at what is on the screen (such as a malicious screen scraper, a hacker mirroring the user’s screen, or even a simple “Print Screen”) will see a black square instead of a protected pin pad. The two real screenshots below demonstrate the concept. The first image is what the user sees, and the second is what a hacker would see. This is what the user sees. This screenshot was taken specifically using an IP/KVM connectionto a remote computer (essentially, a photograph of the moniter),otherwise, the PIN-pad would not be visible. To protect against key-logging malware, the user interacts with Intel® IPT with protected transaction display via the mouse only, no keyboard input is accepted. The numbers zero through nine are arranged in a random order, and the user clicks the numbers that make up their PIN. Every time Intel® IPT with protected transaction display is used, the order of these numbers is randomized, making it unlikely that a hacker would guess a PIN simply by location. All of the processing is done in the hardware. This produces a PIN that was never exposed in the clear to the operating system or a hacker.Over the course of development of IPT with PKI, the engineering team worked closely with Symantec, one of the leaders in managed PKI tools to integrate this product with their solution, The Symantec Managed PKI Service. The collaboration with Symantec allowed Intel® IPT with PKI to be tested with a live piece of software, one that is actually used by the target market. This sort of real-world exposure from day one was important to make sure we weren’t developing something that wouldn’t work or have value in the wild. Intel® IPT with PKI will be distributed with the next release of the Symantec Managed PKI Solution.Intel® IPT with PKI and Intel® IPT with protected transaction display are two of the Intel® Identity Protection Technology family of products. Another product in this family is Intel® IPT with one-time password (OTP)—a system that uses the ME to provide secure two-factor authentication to websites, such as eBay or PayPal. On the Enterprise side of the fence, Intel® IPT with OTP can be used to make a company’s intranet more secure. By providing the same functionality as one-time password generating tokens issued to employees by enterprises (such as key fobs that periodically generate new passwords), Intel® IPT with OTP can provide the same security without the additional cost of managing and replacing those tokens. The one time passwords generated by OTP can be used in the enterprise environment to help secure access to company websites, VPN connections, and more. The Identity Protection Technology suite represents a collaborative effort between several groups within Intel. PC Client Architecture developed the common infrastructure used by the IPT family of products, the Chipset and SoC IP Group built the protected environment found on the ME, and Business Client Platform Division Engineering developed Intel® IPT with PKI.It is ironic that while businesses are adopting cloud solutions, accommodating their employees’ needs to work anywhere on any device, the internet is simultaneously becoming more and more unsafe. There is really no such thing as privacy on the internet any more. Attackers are getting more skilled and focused and their tools more advanced. Private information (both business and personal) is now a commodity to be bought and sold to the highest bidder. The only way for an organization to be safe is to continually improve and upgrade their security systems and processes. Intel® Identity Protection Technology with public key infrastructure makes an organization more secure by pulling sensitive information out of the software in to tamper-resistant hardware and gives people the tools to better protect themselves. This is what a hacker would see. Actual screenshot using Windows’ Print Screen button while theIntel® IPT with protected transaction display window was on screen.
A woman applying for a tenure-track faculty position in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) at a U.S. university is twice as likely to be hired as an equally qualified man, if both candidates are highly qualified, according to a new study.The results run counter to widely held perceptions and suggest that this is a good time for women to be pursuing academic careers. Some observers, however, say that the study—which involved actual faculty members rating hypothetical candidates—may not be relevant to real-world hiring. And they worry the results may leave the incorrect impression that universities have achieved gender parity in STEM fields.Still, the “important” results will spark “a lot of discussion,” predicts psychologist Virginia Valian of Hunter College in New York City. “It will definitely make people think more thoroughly and more subtly” about the issue.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In previous research, the authors, psychologists Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci of Cornell University, found that men and women generally fare equally well once they are hired into tenure-track positions (although some critics have challenged those findings). For this study, the researchers focused on the hiring phase. It “is a key juncture in understanding the problem of women’s underrepresentation” on STEM faculties, they wrote in an e-mail.To better understand hiring dynamics, the researchers invented three hypothetical candidates for an assistant professorship: an extremely well-qualified woman, an extremely well-qualified man, and a slightly less qualified man. Then, they wrote a job application summary for each candidate. It included a description of a search committee’s impression of the candidate, quotes from letters of recommendation, and an overall score for the candidate’s job talk and interview. In the last step, they asked 873 tenure-track faculty members from four fields, randomly selected from institutions across the United States, to rank the candidates. The group included an approximately equal number of men and women.Overall, raters in most fields were twice as likely to tag the woman as the best candidate, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The one exception was economics, where male raters showed a slight preference for the well-qualified male candidate.Williams and Ceci say they were shocked when they saw how much better the woman fared. And although they did not investigate the potential causes of the outcome, they suspect it may be due to some combination of successful training programs about gender and hiring, a growing belief that gender balance among STEM faculty is important, and the retirement of older faculty.The authors also investigated how a candidate’s marital and family status influenced ratings. They varied the description of the candidates, making them single or married, childless or parents. Some had working spouses, others did not. In general, these factors did not change the outcome.Again, however, there was one exception. Rating differences did arise when they described the female candidate as having had a child during graduate school. Male raters preferred a candidate who took a 1-year parental leave, whereas female raters preferred the one who did not take a leave.University of Mississippi, Oxford, business school management professor H. Kristl Davison found this result particularly intriguing. “I almost wonder if there’s a bit of paternalism going on” from the male raters, she says. “It also made me wonder if there’s a female bias present in terms of, ‘I struggled through grad school without taking leave; I think others should do so as well.’ ”Some worry that the study does not sufficiently take into account the many factors at play in hiring decisions. “My major concern is really the generalizability of this, whether what they found … would translate to the real world,” Davison says. “That’s the ultimate question.”Potential bias may arise even earlier in the hiring process, she and others note, before candidates even make it to the final selection round. Men and women can be perceived differently during preliminary interviews, for instance, based on personality traits that have nothing to do with their qualifications or potential for success. The new study, however, focuses only on “a very specific and late point in the game,” Valian says. “We need to understand the subtleties of evaluation at each stage in the process. Right now we have fragments of data that tell us about different parts of the process, but we don’t have a good picture of how it all fits together.”Others object to the authors’ assertion that men and women fare the same after hiring. “I think it’s fair to say that the women who have run the gauntlet and gotten advanced STEM degrees will find the labor market quite welcoming if they choose to seek employment in academic STEM jobs,” writes Jennifer Glass, a sociologist at the University of Texas, Austin, in an e-mail. “What happens once they are there is another matter entirely.” She says studies suggest that women still have higher attrition rates in some STEM careers.Despite apparent good news in the findings, “I think it’s too soon to say, ‘OK, problem solved,’ ” Valian says. “We haven’t solved the problem of underrepresentation of women in the sciences,” she says, “and I wouldn’t want people to think that this paper demonstrates that we have solved it.”