Friday, October 24, 2008

stray bullets

Swiss boffins sniff passwords from (wired) keyboards 65 feet away Swiss researchers have demonstrated a variety of ways to eavesdrop on the sensitive messages computer users type by monitoring their wired keyboards. At least 11 models using a wide range of connection types are vulnerable. (similar to van Eck phreaking) Be sure to watch the video demonstration. (see also) (ht)

Packs of robots will hunt down uncooperative humans "What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed...." (also)

Woman arrested for killing virtual husband The spurned make-believe wife was so angry at being jilted that she logged into the game using her partner’s password and destroyed the character that he had spent a year creating.

Interview: Matt Bondurant Slushpile: Some authors can bog themselves down while researching. They spend all their time scrounging for some esoteric detail instead of writing. How do you balance the need to research for historical accuracy but also continuing to make progress with actually writing the book? Bondurant: I don’t really balance it at all; I get completely bogged down and sidetracked in my research all the time. But I think that is one of the things that drives me to write in that it satisfies my natural dilettante urge. I love research, particularly scattered, confused, and unorganized research. I get to read about all the things that interest me. Right now on my desk I have books about the islands of Ireland, nautical charts, seasonal temperatures in the North Atlantic, articles on goat farming, books and articles on long distance open water swimming, Spinoza’s Ethics, the Journals of John Cheever, scholarly articles on The Tempest, pictures of rocks, lists of types of seaweed, plus pages and pages of my own journals and notes, often scratched out on tiny scraps of paper I carry in my pockets. I sit down and sift through it and find something interesting. Some days I add things to the pile. My progress in the actual writing comes in fits and starts, and sometimes it seems to me a miracle that I get anything done at all. One day I sit down and realize I’ve got 300 pages written and it comes as a kind of shock.

Bulletproof hanky is life-saving accessory
Musée de la Musique Opens Serge Gainsbourg Exhibition
How to Live in Your Car

Jargon Watch: Popcorning v. A chain reaction in which the accidental explosion of one nuclear warhead causes others in the vicinity to detonate, releasing lethal radiation for miles in every direction. Newly declassified documents reveal that dropping a Trident missile while loading it onto a submarine could ignite a Jiffy Pop Nagasaki.

A Long Exposure: 100 years of Guardian photography
Homemade Trains as Transport Built with bamboo and tiny engines, do-it-yourself trains are ferrying Cambodians who, faced with unreliable public transportation, took matters into their own hands.
NFBC Vignette - Inuit Pipe (via)
The Arthur Lipsett Project: A Dot on the Histomap (2007) In the 1960's Arthur Lipsett defined experimental film making at the NFB. His second film, Very Nice, Very Nice, was nominated for an Academy Award. George Lucas claimed him as an important influence. A decade later, Lipsett's last attempt at filmmaking ended in failure. He chained his Steenbeck and film racks to prevent theft and disappeared into paranoia.

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