The Final Frontier

Please Try to Contain Yourselves: NYU Professors Develop a Real Live Tractor Beam

(Photo: Dvice)

Advanced 3D printing technology is getting close to resembling replicators from Star Trek and iPads look a whole lot like the gadgets Geordi was always carrying around. Now, physicists have taken another step towards making Starfleet technology a reality by inventing a working tractor beam, which is essentially a laser that can move things. Sure, currently it can only move itty bitty molecules, but the fact that it works at all opens up all sorts of exciting possibilities.

NYU professors David Ruffner and David Grier have developed a way to harness Bessel beams in order to pull particles towards a laser source. The result is the beginnings of a very tiny tractor beam capable of moving silica spheres suspended in water. Read More

Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Hackers ‘Team GhostShell’ Leak 120,000 Records From 100 Major Universities

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Team GhostShell returned late Monday with Project WestWind: a leak of 120,000 records from 100 major universities around the world.

Team GhostShell is the hacking group behind Project Hellfire, which launched in August this year. Project Hellfire lifted 1 million accounts from 100 websites around the world, compromising data from the CIA and from Wall Street.

The hacked data leaked in Project WestWind does indeed appear to come from a who’s who of major learning institutions. They include Harvard, Cambridge, Princeton, Tokyo University, Cornell and New York University.

In their Pastebin announcement, Team GhostShell said Project WestWind was a serious effort to jump-start a dialogue on the state of higher education today. Apparently this hack wasn’t pranksterism for the lulz, but hacktivism for the greater good: Read More

Teach Me How to Startup

NYU Senior’s Cellphone Startup Faces ‘Malicious Network Attack’ on Launch Day

Voyager Mobile

We were immediately intrigued by AllThingsD‘s story about enterprising NYU senior John Mardini’s new startup, Voyager Mobile. For one, Mr. Mardini wants to open cheap cellphone services to the public via the suddenly-popular process of reselling service on another carrier’s network.

For $19 a month, reported CNET, Voyager would give users unlimited text and calling on last year’s models of prepaid mobile phones. For $39 a month, you could get unlimited data, talk and text. As a mobile virtual network operator or MVNO, Voyager does this by spreading “its service across Sprint’s wireless backbone.”

And then there was the quote Mr.Mardini, who hails from Knoxville, gave AllThingsD: Read More