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The Guardian Backtracks On WhatsApp 'Backdoor' Report

Slashdot - 54 min 36 sec ago
Five months after The Guardian published an investigative report, in which it found a "backdoor" in the Facebook-owned service, the publication is finally making amendments. The January report immediately stirred controversy among security experts, who began questioning The Guardian's piece. Weeks later, Zeynep Tufekci, a researcher and op-ed writer for the New York Times, published an open letter with over 70 major security researchers working at major universities and companies like Google condemning the story, and asking the publication to retract it.. Paul Chadwick, The Guardian's reader's editor, said "The Guardian was wrong to report last January that the popular messaging service WhatsApp had a security flaw so serious that it was a huge threat to freedom of speech." From his article: In a detailed review I found that misinterpretations, mistakes and misunderstandings happened at several stages of the reporting and editing process. Cumulatively they produced an article that overstated its case. The Guardian ought to have responded more effectively to the strong criticism the article generated from well-credentialled experts in the arcane field of developing and adapting end-to-end encryption for a large-scale messaging service. The original article -- now amended and associated with the conclusions of this review -- led to follow-up coverage, some of which sustained the wrong impression given at the outset. The most serious inaccuracy was a claim that WhatsApp had a "backdoor", an intentional, secret way for third parties to read supposedly private messages. This claim was withdrawn within eight hours of initial publication online, but withdrawn incompletely. The story retained material predicated on the existence of a backdoor, including strongly expressed concerns about threats to freedom, betrayal of trust and benefits for governments which surveil. In effect, having dialled back the cause for alarm, the Guardian failed to dial back expressions of alarm.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Nerd News

Pricey electric bicycle wheel gets you to work sweat-free

Engadget - 1 hour 36 sec ago
Yes, I own a bike. But it's nothing to get excited about. A neighbor put it on the sidewalk with a "free" sign, and bam! I had a bicycle. It's old and rusty but perfect for neighborhood errands. I normally wouldn't use it to ride to work, but the $1,...
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Volkswagen’s cars will be ‘talking’ to each other by 2019

Engadget - 1 hour 19 min ago
Vehicles will be communicating with other as soon as 2019, if Volkswagen's plans come to fruition. Just one day after announcing its autonomous vehicle AI partnership with NVIDIA, the German car manufacturer says pWLAN (public wireless LAN) technolog...
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Microsoft's Telemetry Shows Petya Infections in 65 Countries Around the World

Slashdot - 1 hour 33 min ago
From a blog post by Microsoft: On June 27, 2017 reports of a ransomware infection began spreading across Europe. We saw the first infections in Ukraine, where more than 12,500 machines encountered the threat. We then observed infections in another 64 countries, including Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Russia, and the United States. The new ransomware has worm capabilities, which allows it to move laterally across infected networks. Based on our investigation, this new ransomware shares similar codes and is a new variant of Ransom:Win32/Petya. This new strain of ransomware, however, is more sophisticated. [...] Initial infection appears to involve a software supply-chain threat involving the Ukrainian company M.E.Doc, which develops tax accounting software, MEDoc. Although this vector was speculated at length by news media and security researchers -- including Ukraine's own Cyber Police -- there was only circumstantial evidence for this vector. Microsoft now has evidence that a few active infections of the ransomware initially started from the legitimate MEDoc updater process. A New York Times reports how rest of the world is dealing with Petya. From the article: A fuller picture of the impact will probably emerge in the coming days. But companies and government offices worldwide appeared less affected than the WannaCry attack, notably in places like China, which was hard hit in May. Reports from Asia suggested that many of the companies hit were the local arms of European and American companies struck on Tuesday. In Mumbai, India, a port terminal operated by A.P. Moller-Maersk, the Danish shipping giant, was shut after it disclosed that it had been hit by the malware. In a statement, Indian port authorities said they were taking steps to relieve congestion, such as finding places to park stranded cargo. The attack shut the terminal down on Tuesday afternoon. On the Australian island of Tasmania, computers in a Cadbury chocolate factory owned by Mondelez International, the American food company, displayed the ransomware message, according to the local news media.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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What Designers Can Learn From The New Science Of Eye-Tracking

AdaFruit - 1 hour 39 min ago

Via Fastcodesign

Designers loathe to be told to design something “eye-catching”—it’s the vaguest of briefs. But for Amy Alberts, a user research manager at the data visualization company Tableau, determining the things that catch a person’s eye is an exact science.

With a masters degree in applied cognitive psychology, Alberts has done years of research on what involuntary patterns in eye movement reveal about the human brain. As a researcher at Microsoft and now at Tableau, Alberts has applied her psychology background to examine what those eye movements can teach us about interface and data design.

At last year’s Tableau Conference, Alberts conducted an eye-tracking study with the conference’s participants. She asked them to look at various dashboards—the presentation displays that show a company’s analytics—while an eye tracker traced the movement of their gaze across the page. She recently released the results of those tests in a whitepaper, which details the elements of the data visualizations and layout design that most draw a viewer’s attention.

Designers know implicitly that certain things, like strong imagery and high contrast colors, will grab a viewer’s attention. But the value of the Tableau study is that it shows that even within commonly held standards of good design, there are some approaches that work better, and more consistently, than others. “The thing that I think was interesting is that there seems to be—in this research as well as general brain research—certain elements like maps, big number, line graphs, and so on, that are more compelling than others,” Alberts says. “They draw attention faster than other ones; there’s a hierarchy.”

In tracking attention-grabbing design, this nascent science seeks to quantify user experience by viewing design and functionality through the user’s eyes.

WHAT DRAWS THE EYE? BIG NUMBERS–AND HUMANS

One of the most striking patterns that the study showed was how effective large numbers were at drawing a viewer’s attention.

The analysis showed that numbers set in large type got a lot of “visual attention”—a term Alberts uses to distinguish eye movement from actually seeing and absorbing content, the latter of which can’t be proved just from eye-trackers. Numbers set in large type were also consistently one of the first things on the page that received that attention. “A big number is the neon sign of dashboards,” says Alberts. “Eyes go to it immediately.”

See more!

Categories: Nerd News

Pornhub will sync videos with your interactive sex toys

Engadget - 1 hour 39 min ago
If you own either the Fleshlight Launch or Kiiroo's Onyx, then you'll know that both are capable of syncing with a certain group of adult movies. These specially-made interactive videos contain a data layer that lets the hardware jerk and thrust alon...
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Report details Facebook’s bizarre logic on hate speech

Engadget - 2 hours 4 min ago
Facebook has more than two billion users, and ensuring that the discussion between them remains civil is an understandably difficult task. But, if evidence found by ProPublica is true, the company's own policy on hate speech may cause unreasonable di...
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Hardware Hump Day: Fourth of July Project Roundup

Sparkfun news - 2 hours 9 min ago

Tuesday is the Fourth of July — i.e., the official start of summer fun! We here at SparkFun are just jazzed about the warm weather, long days and many delicious BBQs ahead of us. In honor of July Fourth, we have rounded up a handful of our favorite patriotic projects from across the internet for your perusing pleasure.

USA Flag Made With Diffused LED

Make your very own American flag entirely out of LEDs! So fun and dazzling. Guaranteed to at least impress your uncle, and maybe a small child.

Unveiling it to your friends and family will be all like:

Arduino Fireworks Controller

That's right. You can control your fireworks display with this awesome project. They did a great job with the enclosure too, so, brownie points!

Smart Smoker for a Better Barbecue

This project is for all the BBQ enthusiasts out there. Make one and let us know if it made for better-tasting meat!

Ron Swanson would approve.

EZ–EL Wire July Fourth Hat

This is a great one to do with the kids — simple, clean, easy…and no risk of starting a fire or blowing something up!

Make sure to master this dance move before revealing the awesome hat you made:

USA–USB: American Flag Memorial

Find the true meaning of what it means to own a PC (Patriotic Computer) with this USB-powered flag.

Now every time you power up your computer, you'll swell with American pride, like so:

A very happy Fourth of July to you and yours! Tell us which project is your favorite, and let us know about patriotic projects that you have made in the comments below!

Until next time…

comments | comment feed

Categories: Nerd News

These drone racing goggles could spark the sport's digital era

Engadget - 2 hours 24 min ago
Drones with digital video capabilities already exist, but in the racing world, analog is still king. For now, at least. Fat Shark has been the go-to maker of racing drone goggles for several years, and it's about to double down on digital, which in t...
Categories: Nerd News

Hand-Beaded and Sequinned Temple of Doom Willie Scott Costume

AdaFruit - 2 hours 39 min ago

When Willie Scott makes her entrance in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, she’s wearing a gown covered in sequins and beads. Major Sam Cosplay studied the dress and has spent the last six months creating it by hand to wear at San Diego Comic-Con. She’s strung all the beads and sequins by hand — which is hard to imagine — and applied them to the “Anything Goes” dress, mostly by sewing without a machine. She put the fabric panels in a frame to ensure they were as flat as possible before she attached the sequins and beads. You can get an idea of the level of details and the tedious amount of work by looking at the below photos.

View more of the beading process for this dress at Major Sam’s Facebook page.

via Facebook

Categories: Nerd News

Tablo easily turns Android TV boxes into standalone DVRs

Engadget - 2 hours 39 min ago
If you already have a TV antenna and an Android TV box like the NVIDIA Shield, then you're very close to having everything you need for a DIY Tablo DVR. Instead of picking up one of the company's boxes that can start at $180, now you can simply add i...
Categories: Nerd News

Contractors Lose Jobs After Hacking CIA's In-House Vending Machines

Slashdot - 2 hours 39 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechRepublic: Today's vending machines are likely to be bolted to the floor or each other and are much more sophisticated -- possibly containing machine intelligence, and belonging to the Internet of Things (IoT). Hacking this kind of vending machine obviously requires a more refined approach. The type security professionals working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) might conjure up, according to journalists Jason Leopold and David Mack, who first broke the story A Bunch Of CIA Contractors Got Fired For Stealing Snacks From Vending Machines. In their BuzzFeed post, the two writers state, "Several CIA contractors were kicked out of the Agency for stealing more than $3,000 in snacks from vending machines according to official documents... ." This October 2013 declassified Office of Inspector General (OIG) report is one of the documents referred to by Leopold and Mack. The reporters write that getting the records required initiating a Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit two years ago, adding that the redacted files were only recently released. The OIG report states Agency employees use an electronic payment system, developed by FreedomPay, to purchase food, beverages, and goods from the vending machines. The payment system relies on the Agency Internet Network to communicate between vending machines and the FreedomPay controlling server. The OIG report adds the party hacking the electronic payment system discovered that severing communications to the FreedomPay server by disconnecting the vending machine's network cable allows purchases to be made using unfunded FreedomPay cards.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Qualcomm's new fingerprint sensors work underwater

Engadget - 2 hours 54 min ago
Hot on the heels of Apple's plans to reinvent its iPhone's fingerprint reader, Qualcomm looks set to position itself at the forefront of the fingerprint sensor market. It claims that it will be one of the first, if not the first, companies to produce...
Categories: Nerd News

You'll need an Xbox to enjoy Netflix's Dolby Atmos debut

Engadget - 3 hours 9 min ago
According to Dolby's website, Amazon and Vudu are the only streaming services with titles that support Atmos 3D sound technology. Now, Netflix has finally joined the very short list with the launch of Bong Joon Ho's (Snowpiercer) Cannes Film Festival...
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#TrueDungeon is a 40,000 Square Foot Immersive D&D Experience | #dungeons & #dragons

AdaFruit - 3 hours 13 min ago

Not to dig on escape rooms, but they’re just rooms. Whereas a dungeon is…lots of rooms, and, presumably, inhabited by monsters, puzzles, traps, and oh the occasional dragon:

I was completely unaware of True Dungeon until recently – I won’t be at GenCon this year but this immersive environment definitely makes it an interesting component of the ‘Con. Check out the video below to see more and also lots more photos here on the True Dungeon website. Kudos to this team for continually designing and developing new ‘adventures’ which require new tech, props, and of course puzzles and planning.

True Dungeon is a d20 variant that allows players to experience their D&D adventure within a life-size, walk through dungeon environment.

Not a LARP, True Dungeon instead focuses on problem solving, teamwork and tactics while providing exciting sets and interactive props. Players may find themselves creeping down a dark passageway and entering a long-forgotten crypt. After dispatching a lurking guardian, the players may have to solve a cryptic puzzle or find a secret door in order to gain a wondrous treasure chest. This might be a chest that might hold a shocking surprise if opened without care. It takes two hours to explore the dungeon, and teams of ten players need only bring their imagination and quick wit. No prior D&D or gaming experience is needed. In fact, a party with an array of different experience levels usually does well. This is a perfect vehicle to let some non-D&D gamers experience the fun and thrills of dungeoneering.

That being said…we are big D&D geeks and we made True Dungeon for D&D geeks. We wanted players to experience some of those classic D&D moments that only their characters got to enjoy. For instance, we thought, what about rogues…

Check it out in the video below and here:

Amazing!

Categories: Nerd News

Toshiba's latest SSD tech squeezes 128GB onto a tinier chip

Engadget - 3 hours 38 min ago
Toshiba and (we think) its partner WD have just unveiled the next generation of rapidly evolving flash memory technology. Its 96-layer NAND tech will arrive in 2018 in 3-bit, 32GB (256 gigabit) chip sizes. That will allow for SSDs and other flash pro...
Categories: Nerd News

LEGO-Inspired Kits Let You Produce Pixelated Cat Sculptures to Roam Your Home

AdaFruit - 3 hours 38 min ago

Via My Modern Met

LEGOs don’t have an age limit. From kids to adults, we’re continually enthralled by the compelling combinations of blocks and Minifigs that creative folks come up with. But if you’re not one for designing, Hong Kong-based JEKCA has created LEGO art that will add a quirky touch to your home. They’ve produced pixel-style sculptures of cats that are available in a variety poses—from walking to stretching. Small in stature, these pieces are perfect for “kidults” that want to have some decorating fun without going overboard.

If you’re looking for a specific color of cat, JEKCA probably has it. While they don’t offer “breeds” per say, they do feature a myriad of colors and patterns, including calico, tuxedo, and solid “fur.” But regardless of what you choose, you’ll get the joy of building. Each feline comes as a kit that you put together. But don’t worry, these aren’t flimsy toys. “These cats are like real sculptures,” JEKCA assures, “and will not collapse or break apart.”

See more!

Categories: Nerd News

Censors pull 'BoJack Horseman' two days after Chinese debut

Engadget - 4 hours 4 min ago
Two days after its debut on China's iQiyi streaming service, Netflix's critically acclaimed animated show BoJack Horseman is no longer on the platform. The move is a blow to Netflix's ongoing attempts to gain a foothold in the region, which stretch b...
Categories: Nerd News

Amazon Will Offer Prime Video At Half-Price In All New Markets For Six More Months

Slashdot - 4 hours 9 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Amazon is leaving no stones unturned with its Prime Video, which it expanded to over 200 international markets last December. For the last six months, the company has been offering Prime Video, the sticker price of which is $5.99 or 5.99 Euro a month, at $2.99 or 2.99 Euro as part of its "introductory offer". That introductory offer will now be valid till the end of the year, the company said. In comparison, Netflix charges over $9 every month. According to estimates from last year, Amazon Prime Video has four times as many films available for streaming.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Nerd News

Starry Night Prom Dress #WearableWednesday

AdaFruit - 4 hours 39 min ago

Maddy made this beautiful dress and posted it on Hackster.io:

So for my Junior prom, I really wanted a dress I had seen online that was blue with a sequin ombre, but it was out of my price range, and way too voluminous. My mom and I had made my Homecoming dress the year before, so we decided we could tackle a prom dress, and after some internet surfing lead me to discover the Arduino had a sewable model, I was sold on the idea of making my prom dress. We stocked up on beautiful fabric and a simple pattern from our local sewing/crafts store and got to work two months before prom. With AP exams rolling out at the same tome, it wasn’t until two weeks before prom that I had finished construction of the dress to the point where I could put lights in. Then it was crunch time.

Read more

Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

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