GeekSpeak for 2006-10-21

Solar Mike and Zombies Are Among Us

[Solar Mike|http://solarmike.net/] joins The Geeks in a discussion on the latest from the solar power field. Also, the zombies — zombie PCs — are here in force, and they’re harder to find than ever before. IE version 7 on the other hand is much easier to find. Find out more about these and other stories on today’s episode of Geek Speak.


! Geek News

!! Evolutionary Nonsense

The BBC recently posted an article suggesting that humans would split into two distinct species, one “tall and beautiful” and the other “dumb and troll-like.” It’s a shame that the BBC was taken in by this nonsense as it belies a fundamental misunderstanding of how evolution works.

Biologist PZ Meyers [thoroughly debunks this nonsence|http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/10/utter_nonsense.php] (non-science?). The bottom line? Consider the source.

For more information on how it really works, check out this [online resource on evolution|http://evolution.berkeley.edu/] published by UC Berkeley.

!! Darwin Online

The [complete works of Charles Darwin|http://darwin-online.org.uk/] are being made available online, including the very first edition of Origin of Species. Unfortunately, Darwin’s original notebook was stolen in the 1980s. The notebook’s content will be available online however. It is hoped that the online release of this material will aid in finding the original.

!! Zombie PCs Harder to Detect

Those malicious individuals that control [Zombie PCs|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie_computer] have been changing their methods. Where they once were almost exclusively controlled through [[IRC|Internet Relay Chat]|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRC], now [botnets|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botnet] are [blending in better to the general network by transmitting their commands through [HTTP|HyperText Transport Protocol]|http://news.com.com/Zombies+try+to+blend+in+with+the+crowd/2100-7349_3-6127304.html?tag=nefd.lede] (the Web).

!! Internet Explorer 7 Released

Speaking of exploited systems, a new version of Microsoft’s popular web browser is available for free download. This release adds new features such as tabbed browsing and [phishing and fraud protection|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing]. Unfortunately, security with this browser is still an issue. An [exploit was found in the new browser within 24 hours|http://secunia.com/Internet_Explorer_Arbitrary_Content_Disclosure_Vulnerability_Test/] of release.

The Geeks still recommend alternative web browsers such as [Mozilla Firefox|http://www.mozilla.com/], [Safari|http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/safari/], and [Opera|http://www.opera.com/] instead. With the release of Microsoft’s next operating system, Vista, the security of Internet Explorer should improve. We’ll keep you posted.

! Solar Links

The [Clean Power Estimator|http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/renewables/estimator/index.html] to find some basic power requirements.

In related news, [the solar power business is on the rise|http://news.com.com/Solar-cell+business+poised+for+huge+growth/2100-1008_3-6126962.html] and well worth watching closely for new developments.

If you’re looking for more nuts and bolts, read about [how solar cells work|http://science.howstuffworks.com/solar-cell.htm] to generate electricity.