Posts about geeky (old posts, page 5)

Steampunk Etch-a-Sketch

Nothing on here is hot glued or slapped together. The screen is vaccu-formed to give it that old-timey bulbous look. The outer wood frame is custom built, painted, and wet-sanded to give it that gloss. The inner brass frame was laser cut. All the bits and pieces come from old machines and fittings. Nothing came from Home Depot. Some of the hoses and valves came from a 1902 boiler we just removed from our basement. Everything is made to fit and screwed or bolted in place. We were going for a grown up version of those old activity centers for toddlers- lots of levers and knobs and toggles to mess around with. Also, it still fully functions as an Etch-A-Sketch. Circles, however, are still a pain in the ass.

IP address exhaustion and the end of the open net

The net, Geoff said, is based on two "accidental technologies": Unix and packet switching. Both were new at their time, and both benefited from open-source reference implementations. That openness created a network which was accessible, neutral, extensible, and commercially exploitable. [Geoff Huston] As a result, proprietary protocols and systems died, and we now have a "networking monoculture" where TCP/IP dominates everything. Openness was the key: IPv4 was as mediocre as any other networking technology at that time. It won not through technical superiority, but because it was open.

WinPhone7 jailbreakers rewarded

To be a jailbreaker means different things depending on the device that you're busy hacking preinstalled walls from. If you're fiddling with consoles, a legal team would come highly recommended, but if you're tweaking mobile code, at least Windows Phone mobile code, you're in for a much sweeter ride. The ChevronWP7 guys that brought us the first jailbreak of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 are currently in Redmond having a sitdown and a frank exchange of views with WP7 dev experience director Brandon Watson, and the amicable nature of their discourse has been evidenced by the image above. Microsoft is clearly taking a light-hearted and community-friendly approach to handling the (now inevitable) efforts at disabling limitations to its software and we can only congratulate its mobile team for doing so.


Researchers from Aachen University's Media Computing Group have created a computer workstation where the desk and screen are transformed into one multi-touch display. The display is curved at the middle and uses infrared emitters and cameras to track user movement over the whole of the surface, which has its graphical user interface beamed onto it by a couple of short throw projectors hidden within its wooden frame.

Nuclear watchdog computer security role

THE International Atomic Energy Agency could add computer security at nuclear plants to its remit after it emerged that stuxnet, the first computer worm known to attack industrial machinery, is indeed targeted at nuclear energy equipment as many observers had suspected."It's not the IAEA's primary role to monitor how well nuclear plants are operating," says Greg Webb, spokesman for the nuclear watchdog in Vienna, Austria. "But if our 150 member states want us to, we could facilitate meetings that help nuclear operators develop more secure computing systems."Such measures might include ensuring there are no connections between office computers and PCs monitoring control systems - or ensuring plant staff cannot insert USB sticks which may carry malware into critical hardware.

New York Times Twitter > Print

The New York Times now has more Twitter followers than print circulation. Could a future of so long print and hello headlines in 140 characters or less be far away?The paper has long planned to begin charging readers for content online to increase revenue. But it gave a hat tip to the power of social media in announcing that it will allow people to read some stories online without charge if they come to the website from sites such as Facebook or Google.

incompetent robot self-destructs

Robots are usually designed to be useful, but an amateur robotics competition last weekend indulged in technology gone wrong.Organised by SparkFun Electronics in Boulder, Colorado, the Antimov competition mischievously subverts Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, one of which states that a robot must protect its own existence.Instead, the competition challenged people to build a robot that attempts a simple, menial task but fumbles it or fails, before destroying itself. Participants could either submit their entries as a video, or present their creation live, at an event on 16 October.

Stuxnet: Secret Weapon To Attack Iran Nukes?

A highly sophisticated computer worm that has spread through Iran, Indonesia and India was built to destroy operations at one target: possibly Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor.That's the emerging consensus of security experts who have examined the Stuxnet worm. In recent weeks, they have broken the cryptographic code behind the software and taken a look at how the worm operates in test environments. Researchers studying the worm all agree that Stuxnet was built by a very sophisticated and capable attacker -- possibly a nation-state -- and it was designed to destroy something big.Though it was first developed more than a year ago, Stuxnet was discovered in July 2010, when a Belarus-based security company found the worm on computers belonging to an Iranian client. Since then it has been the subject of ongoing study by security researchers, who say they have never seen anything like it before. Now, after months of private speculation, some of the researchers who know Stuxnet best say that it may have been built to sabotage Iran's nukes.