This porch pirate in Tracy, California noticed that he was being surveilled by a doorbell camera so he tried to swipe that too.
Scientists combined multiple imaging technologies to deliver an unprecedented 3D view inside the body of crawling cancer cells, spinal cord circuit development, and immune cells traveling within a zebrafish (above). Read the rest
China's Citizen Score system combines surveillance of your social media and social graph with your credit report, your purchase history and state spy agencies and police files on you to produce a "trustworthiness" score -- people who score low are denied access to high-speed travel, financial products, and other services like private school for their kids. Read the rest
Checkmarx researchers including Erez Yalon have created a "rogue Alexa skill" that bypasses Amazon's security checks: it lurks silently and unkillably in the background of your Alexa, listening to all speech in range of it and transcribing it, then exfiltrating the text and audio of your speech to the attacker. Read the rest
Our computers are home to a myriad of files and documents, many of which contain sensitive information. While storing this data on your computer is convenient, it's not exactly safe, and with news headlines highlighting data leaks and ransomware attacks on what seems like a daily basis, moving them to a safer location is a solid move. Read the rest
I have a lot of respect for ex-Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, but when I saw that he'd taken to promoting a Clipper-Chip-style key escrow system, I was disheartened -- I'm a pretty keen observer of these proposals and have spent a lot of time having their problems explained to me by some of the world's leading cryptographers, and this one seemed like it had the same problems as all of those dead letters. Read the rest
Eric Lundgren is an environmental hero, whose California business diverts literal tons of e-waste from landfills, refurbishes it, and puts it in the hands of people who can make good use of it. Read the rest
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is Elizabeth Warren's gift that keeps on giving -- one of the most effective US government agencies, handing out real punishment to banks that break the law, fighting loan-sharks that prey on poor people, and maintaining a database of vetted consumer complaints against banks that have ripped them off. Read the rest
There's a huge sale on MacBook Pros right now at Best Buy, but Casey Johnston convinced me not to upgrade. The current models' keyboards have severe reliability issues, and are so badly-designed that service and replacement can take hours or days under warranty and cost hundreds of dollars out of it. Read the rest
Opinion pieces are often treated as performances of no real consuequence, as entertainments and political groundskeeping. But in a study at Yale University, researchers found that op-eds have "large and long-lasting effects on people's views both among the general public and policy experts."
Moreover, the study also found that "Democrats and Republicans altered their views in the direction of the op-ed piece in roughly equal measure."
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"The time and energy it takes to produce an op-ed pieces raises a question: Are people persuaded by op-eds?" said Alexander Coppock, assistant professor of political science at Yale and the study's lead author.