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Bell Labs is working on new ways of detecting botnets by studying network behaviour.
The research is based on the idea that antivirus protection can be bypassed or disabled, and that firewalls cannot stop use of the HTTP and DNS protocols. Given this, the researchers are trying to characterise the behaviour of botnet-related DNS traffic in particular, so as to make it easier to identify infected machines.
The S-Book is a joint project between Bell Labs, Cambridge University Press and Abilene Christian University in Texas.
The idea is to combine social networking with e-books. As shown in this shot of an S-Book on an iPad, students would be able to see who of their classmates is reading the same page and who has annotated certain paragraphs. They could then join in a virtual discussion about the meaning of certain extracts.
Bell Labs is working on several projects related to the 'internet of things', where everyday objects are imbued with connectivity.
In one demonstration, researcher Benoit Christophe showed how an elderly woman's lamp and telephone could be networked together to overcome her degraded hearing. Using a smartphone app, a relative could make the lamp flash on and off when they call the woman, so she can see as well as hear when the call is incoming.