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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 21 declined, 11 accepted (32 total, 34.38% accepted)

+ - Congressmen Invite Schneier to Brief them on the NSA->

Submitted by saccade.com
saccade.com (771661) writes "Six members of Congress invited security expert Bruce Schneier to brief them on the NSA. Why Bruce? Because, with access to the Snowden documents, he's more forthcoming about the NSA's activities than anybody at the NSA itself. He writes:

Rep. Lofgren asked me to brief her and a few Representatives on the NSA. She said that the NSA wasn't forthcoming about their activities, and they wanted me — as someone with access to the Snowden documents — to explain to them what the NSA was doing. Of course I'm not going to give details on the meeting, except to say that it was candid and interesting. And that it's extremely freaky that Congress has such a difficult time getting information out of the NSA that they have to ask me. I really want oversight to work better in this country.

Ironic: Even though the contents of top-secret, unpublished documents was discussed, the meeting was held in a regular conference room, because Bruce didn't have the necessary security clearance to enter a secure government facility."
Link to Original Source

+ - Google Glass Teardown

Submitted by saccade.com
saccade.com (771661) writes "Ever wonder how Google packed all of the Google Glass functionality into a slender eyeglass frame? Find out by checking out this teardown by Scott Torborg and Star Simpson. Goodies found inside include proximity, light and inertial sensors, sound transducers, a TI OMAP CPU, flash, RAM, camera and tiny projection display."
Hardware

+ - Opportunties From the Twilight of Moore's Law->

Submitted by
saccade.com
saccade.com writes "Andrew "bunnie" Huang just posted an excellent essay, Why the Best Days of Open Hardware are Yet to Come. He shows how the gradually slowing pace of semiconductor density actually may create many new opportunities for smaller scale innovators and entrepreneurs. It's based on a talk presented at the 2011 Open Hardware Summit.

Are we entering an age of heirloom laptops and artisan engineering?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Telehack re-creates the Internet from 25 years ago->

Submitted by
saccade.com
saccade.com writes "Telehack.com has meticulously re-created the Internet as it appeared to a command line user over a quarter century ago. Drawing on material from Jason Scott's TextFiles.com, the text-only world of the 1980's appears right in your browser.

If you want to show somebody what the Arpanet looked like (you didn't call it the "Internet" until the late '80s) this is it.

Using the "finger" command and seeing familiar names from decades ago (some, sadly, ghosts now) sends a chill down your spine."

Link to Original Source
Space

+ - Missing Apollo 11 tapes may have been found->

Submitted by
saccade.com
saccade.com writes "The Register and several other outlets are reporting that the missing tapes of the first manned lunar landing may have been found at a storage facility in Perth, Australia. If found, these could have much clearer pictures than the recordings we currently have that were downsampled for TV broadcast. We don't have pictures yet, though: 'Whether the world will finally enjoy high-quality pics of Aldrin and Armstrong strolling the Moon's surface remains to be seen. When NASA coughed to having lost the original tapes, John Sarkissian of the Parkes Observatory noted that even if a machine could be found to replay them, they would be "so old and fragile, it's not certain they could even be played.'"
Link to Original Source
Hardware Hacking

+ - Taking Electronic Prototypes Through TSA Security? 1

Submitted by
saccade.com
saccade.com writes "I've recently built a prototype electronic gadget, and I'd like to show it to my folks when I fly to visit them over the July 4th holiday. After the Star Simpson fiasco, I'm a little concerned about getting a prototype with exposed batteries and wires through the TSA, or having it confiscated from my checked luggage. Only a moron would confuse my prototype with an explosive device, but, well, we are dealing with the TSA. I'd like to hear your experiences taking handmade electronic gadgets through airport security. No big deal, or major hassle?"
Hardware Hacking

+ - China's "Shanzai" electronic mash-up desig->

Submitted by
saccade.com
saccade.com writes "Bunnie (of XBox hacking and Chumby fame) has written an insightful post about how a new phenomena emerging out of China called "Shanzai" has impacted the electronics business there.

A new class of innovators, they're going beyond merely copying western designs to producing electronic "mash-ups" to create new products. Bootstrapped on small amounts of capitol, they range from shops of just a few people to a few hundred. They rapidly create new products, and use an "open source" style design community where design ideas and component lists are shared."

Link to Original Source
Businesses

+ - Circuit City shutting down, closing all US stores->

Submitted by
saccade.com
saccade.com writes "Electronics retailer Circuit City is unable to find a buyer, and is shutting down it's remaining 567 US retail stores. The 30,000 employees will lose there jobs. The chain was trying to find a buyer, but with credit markets tight they were unable to secure a deal. Certain stores will begin close-out sales as early as Saturday."
Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Google tries to revive :CueCat concept.->

Submitted by
saccade.com
saccade.com writes "One of noteable flops of the last Internet Bubble was the :CueCat, a feline shaped bar code scanner that, essentially, typed in a URL for you. While the original business model was nonsense, the cat was quickly reverse engineered and put to good use as a free/cheap general purpose bar code scanner. Now Google is trying the same concept again, this time using your cell phone instead of a plastic cat. Joel Spolsky is skeptical, noting "...it doesn't say much for the quality of those 150 people Google hires every week that they're now chasing some of the worst of the bad ideas of the fin de siecle.""
Link to Original Source
Cellphones

+ - Verizon's "Open Network" is Not Really tha->

Submitted by
saccade.com
saccade.com writes "TechCrunch is reporting that Verizon's "Open Network" is not really so open. Reporter Erick Schonfeld "...asked Verizon whether any of the new apps developed for the bring-your-own devices would also be available to its existing customers who bought their phones through Verizon. The answer for now is, 'No.' Although a spokesperson tells me that they are looking into it. Unless it figures that out, Verizon is not really building an open network. It is building a two-tiered network: One for its preferred customers who play by its rules (i.e., its current 64 million subscribers), and one for the rabble not satisfied with its choice of phones and apps.

...If there is no crossover capability on the apps, then the "open" part of Verizon's network will be barren. The appeal of developing an open app for Verizon would be to gain access to those 64 million subscribers. Nobody is going to go through the trouble of creating apps just for the handful of people who want a CDMA phone that Verizon does not already sell. Making the whole open network even less appealing will be the fact that these phones are not likely to be subsidized by Verizon, and thus far more expensive.""

Link to Original Source
Robotics

+ - DARPA Turning Moths into CyberSpies->

Submitted by
saccade.com
saccade.com writes "The Times reports on a project where the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is growing insects around computer chips to turn them into surveillance cyber-bugs:

DARPA is implanting computer chips in moths while still in the pupa stage. The moth grows around the the chip and its nervous system can be controlled by a remote control.

The project is called the Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (HI-MEMS) and it also includes outfitting other insects with miniscule sensors and a wireless transmitter which could send data from places inaccessible to humans.

Ultimately, the moth will be able to land in enemy camps in remote location unobserved, beaming video and other information back via what its developers refer to as a reliable tissue-machine interface."
This gives new meaning to the term 'computer bug'."

Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Google's Blogger output fails XHTML standards

Submitted by
saccade.com
saccade.com writes "The headers generated by Google's Blogger web site assert it's output is complient with the "XHTML 1.0 Strict" document type definition. Well, John Walker tested it against that standard, and discovered even the simplest Blogger page fails with 73 errors. Walker comments:

...whatever standard you choose, you should be willing to be held to it, and in this case the blogging platform used by tens of millions of people falls flat on its face. Personally, I would be stone ashamed to ship something in this state. That Google, with what amounts to unlimited funds in our talent-constrained industry, plus the putatively smartest and certainly most smug technical staff, contents themselves with this is perhaps an indication that before expounding on issues of good and evil, one should first address the more mundane matter of competence.
"

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