Posts Tagged ‘Wired’

Adafruit To Teach Electronics Through Puppets In New Kids Show

December 27th, 2012 12:53 admin View Comments


coop0030 writes Wired has an article up about how Adafruit, the kit-based electronics retailer and promoter of hobbyist engineering, is aiming to teach electronics to a younger demographic. So young that they’re enlisting the help of puppets. Their new online show, titled Circuit Playground, will teach the essentials of electronics and circuitry to children through kid-friendly dolls with names like Cappy the Capacitor and Hans the 555 Timer Chip. Limor ‘Ladyada’ Fried, Adafruit’s founder and chief engineer (and 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year), will host the episodes, with her team assisting with onscreen and puppeteering duties. Episodes will premiere this March, and Fried holds hope for them to help inspire the next generation of designers and builders.”

Source: Adafruit To Teach Electronics Through Puppets In New Kids Show

Wired Proclaims the Death of the Game Console

October 27th, 2012 10:26 admin View Comments

PlayStation (Games)

SternisheFan points out an article at Wired arguing that game consoles and the business model that sustained them are now “obsolete.” Quoting: “Years from now, 225 million devices will almost certainly be seen as the point at which the console business peaked. Gamers are going elsewhere for their fix. The console’s time at the top of the heap is drawing to an end, and these machines won’t survive without radical change. … Consoles used to do everything best, but those strengths are now being wiped away. Unlike PC games, which may require finicky custom settings, consoles ‘just work,’ fans have long pointed out. Well, so does the iPad. Consoles are cheaper than PCs? Not when you factor in the growing disparity in game prices. Consoles have all the good content? Well, if you want Nintendo- or Sony-exclusive games, you’ll need to buy their hardware. But for many gamers, Angry Birds is becoming more attractive than Mario.

Source: Wired Proclaims the Death of the Game Console

Anonymous’ Barrett Brown Raided By FBI During Online Chat

September 14th, 2012 09:12 admin View Comments


SternisheFan sends this excerpt from Wired: “For the second time this year, self-proclaimed Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown was raided by the FBI. The latest dramatic incident occurred late Wednesday evening while Brown and another woman identified by some as his girlfriend were participating in an online chat on TinyChat with other individuals. Two minutes into the recorded chat session, loud voices could be heard in the background of Brown’s residence in Texas while the woman in the room with him was in front of the computer screen. She quickly closed the computer screen, but the audio continued to capture events in the room as the FBI appeared to strong-arm Brown to put handcuffs on him. Brown could be heard yelling in the background. A spokeswoman in the Dallas County sheriff’s office confirmed to Wired that Brown was raided last night and was booked into the county jail around 11 p.m.” (Warning: the video embedded with the article contains mature language.)

Source: Anonymous’ Barrett Brown Raided By FBI During Online Chat

US Gov’t Can’t Be Sued For Warrantless Wiretapping

August 7th, 2012 08:07 admin View Comments


Wired has an article about a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals saying the government can’t be sued over intercepting phone calls without a warrant. The decision (PDF) vacated an earlier ruling which allowed a case to be brought against the government. The plaintiffs in the case argued that the government had implicitly waived sovereign immunity, but today’s ruling points out that it can only be waived explicitly. Judge McKeown wrote, “This case effectively brings to an end the plaintiffs’ ongoing attempts to hold the Executive Branch responsible for intercepting telephone conversations without judicial authorization.” The ruling does, however, take time to knock down the government’s claim that the case was brought frivolously: “In light of the complex, ever-evolving nature of this litigation, and considering the significant infringement on individual liberties that would occur if the Executive Branch were to disregard congressionally-mandated procedures for obtaining judicial authorization of international wiretaps, the charge of ‘game-playing’ lobbed by the government is as careless as it is inaccurate. Throughout, the plaintiffs have proposed ways of advancing their lawsuit without jeopardizing national security, ultimately going so far as to disclaim any reliance whatsoever on the Sealed Document. That their suit has ultimately failed does not in any way call into question the integrity with which they pursued it.”

Source: US Gov’t Can’t Be Sued For Warrantless Wiretapping

Wired Writer Hack Shows Need For Tighter Cloud Security

August 7th, 2012 08:57 admin View Comments


Nerval’s Lobster writes “Between 4:52 and 5:12 on August 3, attackers used Wired writer Mat Honan’s Apple ID to wipe his MacBook, before seizing control of his Gmail and other online identities (‘My accounts were daisy-chained together,’ he wrote in an Aug. 6 postmortem on Wired), and posting a message on Twitter for all to see: ‘Clan Vv3 and Phobia hacked this twitter.’ In the wake of Honan’s high-profile hack, there are some key takeaways. Even if a typical user can’t prevent a social-engineering attack on the company hosting their cloud account, they can armor their online life in ways that make attacks more difficult. First, two-factor authentication can prevent an attacker from seizing control of those vital ‘hub’ accounts (such as Gmail) where users tend to store much of their most vital information. Google offers two-step verification for signing in, as does Facebook. The truly security-conscious can also uncouple their cloud accounts; for example, making sure that iCloud and iTunes use two different sets of credentials. That might rob daily life in the cloud of some of its convenience, but it could also make you a harder target.”

Source: Wired Writer Hack Shows Need For Tighter Cloud Security

Google Blockly Lets You Hack With No Keyboard

June 10th, 2012 06:34 admin View Comments

Following on from recent discussions about graphical languages in the Russian space program, here’s a recent story about Google’s new visual programming language.

Cade Metz, “Google Blockly Lets You Hack With No Keyboard”, Wired Enterprise.

Now available on Google Code — the company’s site for hosting open source software — the new language is called Google Blockly, and it’s reminiscent of Scratch, a platform developed at MIT that seeks to turn even young children into programmers.

As the Blockly FAQ says, “Blockly was influenced by App Inventor, which in turn was influenced by Scratch.” So if you’ve seen Scratch before, this will look very familiar. If you haven’t seen Scratch, and want to have a go with Blockly, you can find the maze demo from the Wired story here.

Source: Google Blockly Lets You Hack With No Keyboard

Flame: The Massive Stuxnet-Level Malware Sweeping the Middle East

May 28th, 2012 05:36 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “Wired is reporting on a massive, highly sophisticated piece of malware has been newly found infecting systems in Iran and elsewhere and is believed to be part of a well-coordinated, ongoing, state-run cyberespionage operation. Kaspersky Lab, the company that discovered the malware, has a FAQ with more details.”

Source: Flame: The Massive Stuxnet-Level Malware Sweeping the Middle East

U.S. In Danger of Losing Earth-Observing Satellite Capability

May 7th, 2012 05:50 admin View Comments


New submitter crazyjj writes “As reported in Wired, a recent National Research Council report indicates a growing concern for NASA, the NOAA, and USGS. While there are currently 22 Earth-observing satellites in orbit, this number is expected to drop to as low as six by the year 2020. The U.S. relies on this network of satellites for weather forecasting, climate change data, and important geologic and oceanographic information. As with most things space and NASA these days, the root cause is funding cuts. The program to maintain this network was funded at $2 billion as recently as 2002, but has since been scaled back to a current funding level of $1.3 billion, with only two replacement satellites having definite launch dates.”

Source: U.S. In Danger of Losing Earth-Observing Satellite Capability

Finally, a Shark With a Laser Attached To Its Head

May 2nd, 2012 05:28 admin View Comments


Freshly Exhumed writes in with a Wired story about a nerd/super-villian dream come true. “Marine biologist-cum-TV personality Luke Tipple attached a 50-milliwatt green laser to a lemon shark off the coast of the Bahamas in late April. The escapade was sponsored by Wicked Lasers, a consumer-focused laser manufacturer based in Hong Kong that produces some of the most brilliant — and potentially dangerous — handheld lasers in the world. ‘This was definitely a world first,’ Tipple told Wired. ‘Initially, I told them no. I thought it was a frivolous stunt. But then I considered that it would give us an opportunity to test our clips and attachments, and whatever is attached to that clip, I really don’t care. It was a low-powered laser that couldn’t be dangerous to anyone, and there’s actually useful applications in having a laser attached to the animal.’”

Source: Finally, a Shark With a Laser Attached To Its Head

Innocent Or Not, the NSA Is Watching You

April 8th, 2012 04:51 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Wired: “Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.”

Source: Innocent Or Not, the NSA Is Watching You