Death sentence for 'terrorist' hackers

8th Nov 2008 | 19:15

Death sentence for 'terrorist' hackers

While a speedy shrimp becomes an internet legend. What a week!

Hackers beware. President Asif Ali Zardari decreed yesterday that all hackers who cause death through "cyber terrorism" in Pakistan will be subject to capital punishment.

The Prevention of Electronic Crimes law isn't just applicable to Pakistani hackers. Anyone "who commits a crime detrimental to national security through the use of a computer or any other electronic device" - whether in the country or not - is subject to the law, Reuters reports.

Several definitions of a 'terroristic act' have been named, including stealing or copying, or attempting to steal or copy, classified information necessary to manufacture any form of chemical, biological or nuclear weapon.

Key duplication

In other strange news from the last seven days, advances in digital imaging and optics mean that it is possible to duplicate a set of keys using only a photograph.

That's according to scientists at the University of California, who have devised a software program capable of copying a key from a distance, and regardless of its angle.

With the increased use of digital cameras and even webcams, it seems that your keys may not be as safe as you thought - even in your own home.

Mission to Mars

Meanwhile, man's mission to Mars has become one step closer. New research has shown that a portable "mini magnetosphere" - similar to Earth's "natural 'force field'" - would be enough to protect a small spacecraft from deadly solar storms and cosmic rays.

The idea has existed in computer simulation form for years, says Physorg, but only now, thanks to an unspecified "apparatus originally built to work on fusion", have scientists been able to recreate a tiny piece of the Solar Wind to confirm the theory.

On yer bike

Researchers at Keio University in Yokohama, Japan, have designed a bike that can balance itself. Using a system of three rollers and two motors - one controlling steering; the other driving the rear wheels - to maintain balance, the bicycle boasts an average speed of 2.5 metres per second.

Sadly, it can only stay upright while travelling in a straight line, but scientists hope to remedy this problem soon. The idea is to make cycling safer for the elderly as well as others who find balancing a bike challenging.

And finally...

A shrimp has become an unlikely internet legend after learning how to run on a treadmill. The speedy crustacean, which was placed on a mini exercise bike in a tank of water, reached speeds of 20m (60ft) per minute during the experiment, according to the Metro.

The filmed exercise was all part of an investigation into how far shrimps will travel for food (a question we've all pondered). Almost a million people have logged on to catch a glimpse of the super-fit shrimp. More inspired fans have put music to the footage, with tunes from Chariots of Fire being among the favourites.

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