Package thief tries to swipe doorbell camera

This porch pirate in Tracy, California noticed that he was being surveilled by a doorbell camera so he tried to swipe that too.

"It's kind of pointless to a certain extent because a lot of these devices store to the cloud," Tracy Police Captain Alex Neicu told Fox40. Read the rest

Amazing video of cells moving within an organism

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

The predictable dystopian trajectory of China's Citizen Scores

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

A who's-who of tech manufacturers sent scaremongering letters to the Illinois legislature to kill Right to Repair

Illinois is one of 18 states where Right to Repair legislation has been introduced -- rules that would force manufacturers to end the practice of undermining the independent repair sector with hidden service documents, unavailable parts, and DRM. Read the rest

Security researchers can turn Alexa into a transcribing, always-on listening device

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

Little Brother is 10 years old today: I reveal the secret of writing future-proof science fiction

It's been ten years since the publication of my bestselling novel Little Brother; though the novel was written more than a decade ago, and though it deals with networked computers and mobile devices, it remains relevant, widely read, and widely cited even today. Read the rest

Score 2TB of cloud storage from one of the best under-the-radar providers

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

"Phooey": a pre-eminent cryptographer responds to Ray Ozzie's key escrow system

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

Microsoft sends recycler to jail for reinstalling obsolete, licensed copies of Windows on refurbished PCs

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

Oft-cited student loan expert turns out to be fake persona affiliated with lenders

If you've been keeping up with the slow-burning student loan crisis -- the lifetime of debt imposed by the exploding cost of higher education -- you've probably read a thing or ten from Drew Cloud, one of the foremost experts on the subject. Read the rest

The Onion on Kanye West

The context is Kanye West's long-expected but nonetheless startling MAGA turn.

Nation Suddenly Concerned About Black Man's Opinion [The Onion] Read the rest

Trump's finance watchdog wants to make the taxpayer-funded database of crooked banks go dark

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

The ultimate 1990s mail-order panflute CD commercial

Behold the hauntingly beautiful strains of Gheorghe Zamfir, master of the panflute, viral once again in 2018 due to the retro 90s' charms of his cable TV ads. Read the rest

Experimental 1080p video footage offers an uncannily sharp snapshot of 1992 in Japan

Good-Night TOKYO was video recorded in 1992 using a high-definition camera with features that didn't become standard on consumer devices for 20 years: 1080 lines and 60 frames per second. Read the rest

MacBook Pro considered a bad buy even at Best Buy's fire sale

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

Yale study: Newspaper op-eds change minds

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."

"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.

Read the rest

Conan road trips around Italy acting like a big, dumb American (in the funniest way ever)

Conan O'Brien and his show's associate producer Jordan Schlansky recently traveled to Italy together. According to Conan, Jordan is a "self-proclaimed expert of all things Italian," as he's traveled there before 30 different times. Read the rest

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