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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 87 declined, 17 accepted (104 total, 16.35% accepted)

+ - Back to the Future's Hoverboard is HERE!->

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: A company has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to build something they call an "airboard". Basically it is a souped-up, MORE powerful version of Marty's McFlyh;s hoverboard. Software limits how high above ground it can go and it has "power" as the movie says, so you don't need to push it with your feet. Yes, it's a bit bulkier and more expensive than the movie version, but maybe they can fix that on version 2.0.
Link to Original Source

+ - Holder Severely limits Civil Forfeiture->

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: As most people know, the US has for quite some time let police steal pretty much anything they wanted to, forcing you to (expensively) go to court to get back your stuff. Most of the problems came about because the Federal government let the local cops keep most of what they took.
Eric Holder, the US Attorney General, has changed the rules of that program, making it more difficult for the police to do it under the federal program. They can still use local state programs, but that accounts for only about 57% of the cash taken. Note he did not end the program entirely, he left in some excepts that amounted to about 1% of the current federal program. Still with this action he will have struck a serious blow to a despicable practice that serious newspapers and comedy TV shows decried as nothing more than legalized theft.

Link to Original Source

+ - Marriot decides to obey wireless laws->

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: Marriot Hotels had been illegally blocking Wifi hotspots in Nashville. They thought they owned the airwaves inside their hotel and wanted to charge guests for using them. They claimed to be 'surprised' they were breaking the law. Other hotels have complained to the FCC, asking for permission to do it legally.

The FCC had fined Marriot $600,000 for their actions, among other things.

They have stopped their illegal blockage, in part because of public backlash and in part because the government told them they were criminals.

Link to Original Source

+ - How to convince my company to stop using passwords. 1

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: People hate passwords more than 4chan hates, well everything. Any password policy sufficiently complex to be secure is too complex to remember so people write them down. Worse, company policy is to leave a message on your answering machine describing it — when the software uses a 6 number password to get your 8 letter/symbol/number/capital/no dupes (ever) real password.



I want to suggest a better method. I want to go with a two factor system — either token based or phone based (LaunchKey, Clef, Nok Nok). Does anyone have any advice on specific systems — or points I should bring up? Or alternatives such as graphical based passwords?

+ - Man fired for posting pictures to Facebook

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: As per this CNN article a US Navy veteran working for the Drury hotel was fired when his boss discovered that he had posted pictures of a large number of police cars marked "Homeland Security" parked near Ferguson. His boss called the navy veteran a terrorist.

Unlike the Hotel chain, Homeland Security is not attempting to hide their presence — having admitted it, using marked cars, and have even issued bulletins telling people to be on alert.

+ - Unpowered Navy Exoskeleton being tested->

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: A very interesting article about an unpowered exoskeleton system called Fortis. Unlike the more famous TALOS system, this exoskeleton uses zero electricity, so it does not need batteries or an extension cord. Power requirements have always been the problem with powered exoskeletons, as batteries are heavy.

The system consists of lightweight aluminum and heavy tools connect directly to it. The weight of the tools is supported by the exoskeleton, so your arms, back and legs don't have to carry it. You only need to use muscle to move the tool, not simply carry it.

The exoskeletong does not make you stronger. Instead it effectively increases your stamina by relieving fatigue caused by carry the heavy tool.

Link to Original Source

+ - How Google has been implenting "Forget Me" requests.->

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: CNN Money has a short, interesting piece on the results of Google's implementing Europe's "Right to be Forgotten".

They are denying most requests, particularly those made by convicted criminals, but are honoring the requests to remove salacious information — such as when a rape victim requested the article mentioning her by name be removed from searches for her name.

All in all, they seem to be doing a good job of respecting privacy, the law, and free speech.

Link to Original Source

+ - Great Ted Talk about Privacy ->

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: Glenn Greenwald gave a great TED talk about why privacy matters.

The basic argument he gave against the standard "Only bad people need to worry about privacy", is that we don't live in a black and white world, there are shades of gray. The absence of privacy forces everyone to avoid the gray area, resulting in a society conforming to it's culturally accepted behavior. Not only does this prevent totally legal actions that are too close to the gray line (i.e. taking pictures of your own children wearing bathing suits), but that it also prevents society from evolving and growing. That is, no one tries marijuana out of fear of getting caught, so no one ever realizes it is harmless and in fact has health benefits.

He points out that because shades of gray exist, EVERYONE has something to hide and requests you give him all your email addresses if you think you don't have something to hide. No one has ever taken him up on the offer.

Finally, he talks a bit about Snowden, providing some great thoughts on the controversy.

Link to Original Source

+ - Secret App poorly designed->

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: The app "Secret" is supposed to let you tell your friends secrets, without them ever knowing it was your secret. Basically, you sign up, connect at least 6 friends, and post a secret. Your secret does not get sent to people unless they have at least 7 friends that have posted secrets and then it does not identify which friend posted which secret.

This has an obvious problem that a child could figure out. Your "friend" (and I use this term loosely) could sign up themselves and also create six other fake accounts, all posting six fake secrets, and only connect to one real person — you. If your friend does this, then they know that any secret they don't post comes from you.

The real silly thing, is that anyone slightly intelligent could have solved this problem, simply by having the app send secrets to two levels out, not one. That is, my secret is told to both my friend and my friend's friends. That way, even if you only have one 'real' friend', you don't know who the secret came from.

Link to Original Source

+ - New way for Spys to listen in on us->

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: Sound is just vibrating air. When it hits glass, it vibrates the glass and it is well established that a laser aimed at the glass can detect those vibrations and computers can turn it back into sound. Now, we don't need the glass or the laser. Researchers at MIT, Microsoft and Adobe have shown that by analyzing a video that contains something vibrating — say a bag of chips — a computer program can work figure out what noise caused those vibrations, even to the point of reconstructing speech.
Link to Original Source

+ - Is there an app that ignores stupid headlines 1

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: You know the ones I mean "This one trick...", "You won't believe...", ANY headline that asks a question (and you know the answer is 'no' because it always is), anything headline that tells you to 'never' do something, any headline that describes someone that invented something using a family word (dad, mother, son, etc.)

Yes, we know that humans are attracted to these headlines and pay attention to them.

Similarly, we pay attention when someone yells "FIRE" in our face. That doesn't mean it is ever appropriate to do so.

If we can't outlaw the idiots using this 'one genius trick — that I never believe', is there an addon that blocks these crap-lines from google news and other aggregators?

+ - FBI concerned about criminals using driverless cars->

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: As per the Guardian, The FBI is concerned about dirverless cars. It discussed such issues as letting criminals shoot while the car drives (silly in my opinion, apparently they haven't heard of "partners" or considered requiring such cars have a police controlled "slow down" command), the use of such vehicles as guided bullet, (safeties again should stop this), and loading it with explosives and using it as a guided missile. This last concern is the only one that I considered a real issue, but even that is not significantly more dangerous than loading up a regular van full of explosives with a timer, then setting the timer to explode before you leave the vehicle next to a school, etc.
Link to Original Source

+ - Untrackable cellphone?

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: We all know how easy it is for the NSA to bug and track your cellphone.

Does anyone sell a cellphone with:

1) Hard wired bright light that always comes on when the cellphone has power.

2) With a physical power on/off that connects and disconnects the battery?

+ - US miltiary base in Ukraine? -> 2

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: There is a petition to ask the Ukraine to lease land near Crimea to the US as a naval/air base.
Assuming it gets created, If this happens, it would be an ideal location for electronic espionage. No longer would the US have to send submarines secretly off the coast of Russia, we could have them openly sitting within yards of Russian controlled waters.

Link to Original Source

+ - Best Idea for a Universal Translator (FreeSpeech tm)->

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc writes: An Indian company developed an all picture based software to help speech impaired (autistic, mute, etc.) children communicate fully formed ideas. Then he developed translator engines to convert the all picture based system into English — and other verbal languages. The interesting part is that his system consists of 2-dimensional pictures, not 1-dimensional sound. This makes it much simpler and intuitive grammatically and therefore be much simpler to translate into any language. It is just as easy to convert his pictures into English as it is to convert it into Chinese, Arabic, Swahili, whatever. It gets rid of most of the problems that plague Google and similar computer based translation programs. Note the solution is one way, from his pictures to all other languages, because other languages do not have the exactness offered by the 2-dimensional advantage of his software (FreeSpeech)

In effect, he has created a far superior core translation engine for a Universal Translator. Their web site includes a link to his TED talk.

Link to Original Source

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