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Submission + - vandal-catching hardware suggestions needed 5

smellsofbikes writes: I have a friend who has a vandal problem: someone is routinely and repeatedly damaging her car. Over the last year, someone has scratched the paint and windows, dented every body panel, deflated and slashed tires, bent and stolen window wipers. She parks in a garage that is locked, so only other apartment residents have access. The garage is well-lighted, but has only one electrical outlet, near her car, and no easy way to attach stuff to walls. She thinks she knows who is doing it, and her apartment manager agrees and is willing to back her up, but without some evidence, nobody can do much. It only happens once every couple of weeks, so hiring a kid to sleep in the car is probably not viable. The garage is too far from her apartment to set up a wireless video camera. I'm looking for suggestions to help her out, that could include building hardware for this project. Thoughts?

Submission + - 20-state PIN pad tampering exploit (chicagotribune.com)

smellsofbikes writes: Michaels' Stores, a country-wide chain of craft stores, announced today that PIN pads had been tampered with across at least a 20 state region, saying that the pads had either had their software surreptitiously altered or outright replaced with machines that looked identical but saved PINs for later retrieval and usage. Many customers claim to have been affected, with multiple-of-$100 withdrawals from their bank accounts. The logistics involved in a multi-state hardware hack of this size seem overwhelming.
Hardware Hacking

DIY Laptop 178

Brietech writes "Ever felt like building your own laptop from (almost literally) scratch? This is a microcontroller-based "laptop" built from the ground up from a handful of chips and other hardware found lying around. It runs a self-hosted development environment, allowing the user to write and edit programs in "Chris++" on the machine, and then compile and run them. The carpentry looks like it could use some work, but it's a neat project!"

Self Cleaning Mouse 204

mikesd81 writes "LEWIS Wire is reporting on a self-cleaning mouse that disables the survival of bacteria with an auto-disinfecting surface. From the article: 'According to a recent survey from the University of Arizona, the average desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Despite this, office workers rarely have time to clean their desktops frequently or thoroughly enough to be effective. As a result, the presence of microbes contributes to the spread of pneumonia, the flu, pink eye and strep throat, among other extremely contagious viruses.'"

Work Around for New DVD Format Protections 466

An anonymous reader writes "For the new Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats, Hollywood implemented a complete copy protection scheme; almost everything has to be encrypted and authenticated. Despite the crypto-stuff in Advanced Access Content System and High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection, they left the backdoor wide open — they forgot about the PrintScreen button. Using this function you can create exact digital copies of a film picture-by-picture and reassemble them into a stream."

Das Keyboard II: A Switch for the Better 257

Last year, I reviewed the original Das Keyboard, the all-black, all-the-time keyboard from MetaDot, and found it disappointing. MetaDot was kind enough to pass on an example of their next generation keyboard for comparison. The upshot is that the new version is quite a bit better than the original: it's now equal in keyfeel to the best keyboards I could find at local superstores, which dampens my major complaint. It's still a cool-looking but questionably useful all-black, and is still more eye-candy than finger-food. Just the same, this unique product now bears more consideration. (Read on for the rest of my review.)

I've got a bad feeling about this.