Everything with software is hackable

Avi Rubin tells us how people can hack medical implants, cars, secure law enforcement communications, and how you can use an iPhone to listen to someone else’s keystrokes.

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What’s in the box!?

1913554601 67913a3317 450x299 Whats in the box!?

Bedroom engineering taken literally. (img by Kaspar Metz)

Motherboard addresses “the war on DIY electronics“:

“I think that is changing the culture… because the technology is more magical and people are more and more distanced from it,” [iFixit co-founder Kyle] Wiens said. “What we’re trying to do is connect people with their things again.” The way to do that, he said, is simply get more people tinkering, hacking, and understanding how electronics work in general. One the best points of entry is through self-repair: If we start seeing more stay-at-home moms out there replacing batteries in their kids’ iPods, he suggested, attempts by the government or anyone else to cast hobbyists and amateur engineers in [a dangerous] light will be universally dismissed as ludicrous.

The last time I owned an Apple product, I ended up taking it apart twice within weeks of the extended warranty expiring – once to replace a hard drive (success!), once to see if I could fix the blown screen backlight CFL (FAIL). Since then, I’ve helped friends try to solder internal iPhone antennas, build desktop computers from components, and found new life for my old (non-Apple) laptop by installing Linux instead of resource-hungry Windows 7 (it’s still running smoothly 5+ years in, which is 2 years longer than the Powerbook lasted).

Getting comfortable monkeying around in your electronics hardware is essential. It’ll save you money, for one, and it will teach you all kinds of stuff… from where to procure bizarre goddamn screwdriver attachments to how to keep all of the stuff you dismantle organized (hint: ubiquitous digital cameras make this a lot easier). It will also get you in touch with local groups of people who do stuff like this.

Check your town/city for a Hackerspace or a group of people who modify equipment that you’re interested in (people modify everything from electronics to other stuff to pewter figurines). It’s a lot easier to tackle the terrifying innards of stuff you’ve been taught never to fuck with on pain of warranty-voiding if you’ve got someone to back you up or tell you that “there’s a trick” to opening something. And makers/hackers tend to be fascinating people. Even if your project fails, I think you’ll come out ahead.

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Condorman IRL?

Condorman 01 450x323 Condorman IRL?

This can't be real...

I absolutely loved Condorman when I was a kid. I loved it so much that I will not watch it now, despite its availability for free all over the tubes, for fear that my age and jadedness will perceive the movie as an implausible and horrendously filmed piece of garbage. I still want a laser boat.

Anyway, this dude in Holland is like a less heroic Condorman, and his flight might not even be the work of a special effects team.

UPDATE: it’s the work of a special effects team. Oh well, I’ll keep believing in Condorman…

Anyway, here was the lede that got me there:

Using videogame controllers, an Android phone and custom-built wings, a Dutch engineer named Jarno Smeets has achieved birdlike flight.

Just watch him:

There’s some doubt as to the authenticity of the feat, but I care not. Also, fuck words are cross-cultural.

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Defeating multi-billion-dollar airport security with needle and thread

This video is here to demonstrate that the TSA’s insistence that the nude body scanner program is effective and necessary is nothing but a fraud, just like their claims that the program is safe (radiation what?) and non-invasive (nude pictures who?). The scanners are now effectively worthless, as anyone can beat them with virtually no effort. The TSA has been provided this video in advance of it being made public to give them an opportunity to turn off the scanners and revert to the metal detectors. I personally believe they now have no choice but to turn them off.

Please share this video with your family, friends, and most importantly, elected officials in federal government. Make sure they understand that your vote is contingent on them fixing the abuse that 200,000 passengers face from the TSA on a daily basis.

This guy could easily have slipped a small-caliber pistol past this form of security.  He is also currently suing the TSA and wants your money to help.  You can donate or just check out the rest of his article, including a transcript, right here.

Still, I can see this leading to something.  Something like the TSA scanning people twice, from two different angles.  So don’t worry, double a “safe” level of radiation is still a safe level, right?  (more…)

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Your double-edged cell phone

1175966858 bdd8167f55 450x299 Your double edged cell phone

"Deploy!" (img by Devon D'Ewart)

Every tool can be used for lots of different purposes. Shovels are for digging and throwing at your enemies, screwdrivers are for stabbing people, screwing Apple, and fixing stuff.

That’s pretty easy to understand, for physical tools that we’re familiar with the workings of. But what about the computers most of us carry around in our pockets all day long? According to Wired, DARPA’s a little nervous that regular people have tools that used to be exclusive to the government. (more…)

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“1 foot mobile and 1 air support element. How copy over?”

T4HHL 450x345 1 foot mobile and 1 air support element. How copy over?

Swiss_Cheese9797 and MisterLogic @Reddit

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