Category: Buone Notizie

Endangered species Symposium

At the EBI there is an annual symposium which is organized by the Science and Society committee which I’ve been involved in the past years (some video are available on the youtube channel), but not this one. But no fear!

New people get on with the job and pull out a really nice symposium.

If you in Cambridge, you've got to come

This year the committee has chosen the topic of Biodiversity and Endangered Species, the 6th of May at Fitwilliam College Auditorium, Cambridge, Uk.

It’s free for all, so if you’re around don’t forget to come over 🙂

Yeah, there is even a Facebook event, if you are into that thing 🙂


Quello che ha fatto Roberto Benigni al festival di Sanremo 2011, quando ha fatto l’esegesi dell’Inno di Mameli.

Stand your ground

The story, picked up also by the guardian here is rather interesting. In few words, a student @Darwin College at the University of Cambridge has published, on his personal website a MPhil thesis about how to construct a device which shows a flaw on the credit card system, which makes possible to make a transaction with a stolen card using any PIN.

The bankers has asked to take this information down. Now think about it for a moment. Instead to fix it, they asked to take it down.

I can foresee your objection.. They should give them time to act and then disclose the flaw. They actually did, because the problem was reported in 2009 (yes, last year) as said on this letter.

In the letter they also write why they will not take it down:

you seem to think that we might censor a student’s thesis, which is lawful and already in the public domain, simply because a powerful interest finds it inconvenient. This shows a deep misconception of what universities are and how we work. Cambridge is the University of Erasmus, of Newton, and of Darwin; censoring writings that offend the powerful is offensive to our deepest values.

This the right way to go. Full disclosure. Fix the problem, don’t hide it. It was also the position expressed @ the Moka Olografix. (An Italian camping about security which I went ages ago).

Hat tip to Ross Anderson and Omar Choudary.

Terna joins the Desertec project


Terna, the Italian Transmission and System Operator, has joined the Desertec project. I got known the DESERTEC project some years ago and I was really excited about it for two reasons:

  • the possibility to harvest a great amount of energy from the sun, in a more efficient way than the photovoltaic1
  • enhance the collaboration within the countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the European Union, where the south countries, like Italy, Greece, France and Spain have to play a really particular and important role.

In my idea Italy should lead this effort, given the geographical position. To achieve that we need to create a culture that is able to integrate with the other, in a way of respect, with the possibility to be free to like or dislike.

One interesting initiative on this line was the Adriatic Festival, happened in Ancona.

1 The photovoltaic panel are the right solution for roofs, however under a certain latitude the concentrated solar power should be preferred due to the better performance per land unit use, the buffer ability and the bigger output.