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Contractors Lose Jobs After Hacking CIA's In-House Vending Machines

Slashdot - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 08:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechRepublic: Today's vending machines are likely to be bolted to the floor or each other and are much more sophisticated -- possibly containing machine intelligence, and belonging to the Internet of Things (IoT). Hacking this kind of vending machine obviously requires a more refined approach. The type security professionals working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) might conjure up, according to journalists Jason Leopold and David Mack, who first broke the story A Bunch Of CIA Contractors Got Fired For Stealing Snacks From Vending Machines. In their BuzzFeed post, the two writers state, "Several CIA contractors were kicked out of the Agency for stealing more than $3,000 in snacks from vending machines according to official documents... ." This October 2013 declassified Office of Inspector General (OIG) report is one of the documents referred to by Leopold and Mack. The reporters write that getting the records required initiating a Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit two years ago, adding that the redacted files were only recently released. The OIG report states Agency employees use an electronic payment system, developed by FreedomPay, to purchase food, beverages, and goods from the vending machines. The payment system relies on the Agency Internet Network to communicate between vending machines and the FreedomPay controlling server. The OIG report adds the party hacking the electronic payment system discovered that severing communications to the FreedomPay server by disconnecting the vending machine's network cable allows purchases to be made using unfunded FreedomPay cards.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Nerd News

Qualcomm's new fingerprint sensors work underwater

Engadget - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 07:45
Hot on the heels of Apple's plans to reinvent its iPhone's fingerprint reader, Qualcomm looks set to position itself at the forefront of the fingerprint sensor market. It claims that it will be one of the first, if not the first, companies to produce...
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You'll need an Xbox to enjoy Netflix's Dolby Atmos debut

Engadget - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 07:30
According to Dolby's website, Amazon and Vudu are the only streaming services with titles that support Atmos 3D sound technology. Now, Netflix has finally joined the very short list with the launch of Bong Joon Ho's (Snowpiercer) Cannes Film Festival...
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#TrueDungeon is a 40,000 Square Foot Immersive D&D Experience | #dungeons & #dragons

AdaFruit - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 07:26

Not to dig on escape rooms, but they’re just rooms. Whereas a dungeon is…lots of rooms, and, presumably, inhabited by monsters, puzzles, traps, and oh the occasional dragon:

I was completely unaware of True Dungeon until recently – I won’t be at GenCon this year but this immersive environment definitely makes it an interesting component of the ‘Con. Check out the video below to see more and also lots more photos here on the True Dungeon website. Kudos to this team for continually designing and developing new ‘adventures’ which require new tech, props, and of course puzzles and planning.

True Dungeon is a d20 variant that allows players to experience their D&D adventure within a life-size, walk through dungeon environment.

Not a LARP, True Dungeon instead focuses on problem solving, teamwork and tactics while providing exciting sets and interactive props. Players may find themselves creeping down a dark passageway and entering a long-forgotten crypt. After dispatching a lurking guardian, the players may have to solve a cryptic puzzle or find a secret door in order to gain a wondrous treasure chest. This might be a chest that might hold a shocking surprise if opened without care. It takes two hours to explore the dungeon, and teams of ten players need only bring their imagination and quick wit. No prior D&D or gaming experience is needed. In fact, a party with an array of different experience levels usually does well. This is a perfect vehicle to let some non-D&D gamers experience the fun and thrills of dungeoneering.

That being said…we are big D&D geeks and we made True Dungeon for D&D geeks. We wanted players to experience some of those classic D&D moments that only their characters got to enjoy. For instance, we thought, what about rogues…

Check it out in the video below and here:

Amazing!

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Toshiba's latest SSD tech squeezes 128GB onto a tinier chip

Engadget - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 07:01
Toshiba and (we think) its partner WD have just unveiled the next generation of rapidly evolving flash memory technology. Its 96-layer NAND tech will arrive in 2018 in 3-bit, 32GB (256 gigabit) chip sizes. That will allow for SSDs and other flash pro...
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LEGO-Inspired Kits Let You Produce Pixelated Cat Sculptures to Roam Your Home

AdaFruit - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 07:00

Via My Modern Met

LEGOs don’t have an age limit. From kids to adults, we’re continually enthralled by the compelling combinations of blocks and Minifigs that creative folks come up with. But if you’re not one for designing, Hong Kong-based JEKCA has created LEGO art that will add a quirky touch to your home. They’ve produced pixel-style sculptures of cats that are available in a variety poses—from walking to stretching. Small in stature, these pieces are perfect for “kidults” that want to have some decorating fun without going overboard.

If you’re looking for a specific color of cat, JEKCA probably has it. While they don’t offer “breeds” per say, they do feature a myriad of colors and patterns, including calico, tuxedo, and solid “fur.” But regardless of what you choose, you’ll get the joy of building. Each feline comes as a kit that you put together. But don’t worry, these aren’t flimsy toys. “These cats are like real sculptures,” JEKCA assures, “and will not collapse or break apart.”

See more!

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Censors pull 'BoJack Horseman' two days after Chinese debut

Engadget - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 06:35
Two days after its debut on China's iQiyi streaming service, Netflix's critically acclaimed animated show BoJack Horseman is no longer on the platform. The move is a blow to Netflix's ongoing attempts to gain a foothold in the region, which stretch b...
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Amazon Will Offer Prime Video At Half-Price In All New Markets For Six More Months

Slashdot - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 06:30
An anonymous reader writes: Amazon is leaving no stones unturned with its Prime Video, which it expanded to over 200 international markets last December. For the last six months, the company has been offering Prime Video, the sticker price of which is $5.99 or 5.99 Euro a month, at $2.99 or 2.99 Euro as part of its "introductory offer". That introductory offer will now be valid till the end of the year, the company said. In comparison, Netflix charges over $9 every month. According to estimates from last year, Amazon Prime Video has four times as many films available for streaming.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Starry Night Prom Dress #WearableWednesday

AdaFruit - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 06:00

Maddy made this beautiful dress and posted it on Hackster.io:

So for my Junior prom, I really wanted a dress I had seen online that was blue with a sequin ombre, but it was out of my price range, and way too voluminous. My mom and I had made my Homecoming dress the year before, so we decided we could tackle a prom dress, and after some internet surfing lead me to discover the Arduino had a sewable model, I was sold on the idea of making my prom dress. We stocked up on beautiful fabric and a simple pattern from our local sewing/crafts store and got to work two months before prom. With AP exams rolling out at the same tome, it wasn’t until two weeks before prom that I had finished construction of the dress to the point where I could put lights in. Then it was crunch time.

Read more

Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

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The first commercial astronaut training center will be built in the UK

Engadget - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 05:54
The government's mission to put the UK at the forefront of commercial spaceflight has been given a big boost after plans were announced to build the world's first private space research centre in Bedfordshire. The £120 million Blue Abyss facili...
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Amazon Will Offer Prime Video At Half-Price In All Markets For Six More Months

Slashdot - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 05:30
An anonymous reader writes: Amazon is leaving no stones unturned with its Prime Video, which it expanded to over 200 international markets last December. For the last six months, the company has been offering Prime Video, the sticker price of which is $5.99 or 5.99 Euro a month, at $2.99 or 2.99 Euro as part of its "introductory offer". That introductory offer will now be valid till the end of the year, the company said. In comparison, Netflix charges over $9 every month. According to estimates from last year, Amazon Prime Video has four times as many films available for streaming.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Nerd News

Vivo beats Apple to an under-display fingerprint scanner

Engadget - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 05:15
There have been rumours of Apple exploring under-display fingerprint scanning technology, but you probably didn't expect the first of such demos to come from China. At MWC Shanghai, Qualcomm announced its latest ultrasonic fingerprint solution, with...
Categories: Nerd News

Glow-in-the-dark bike paths

AdaFruit - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 05:00

Via curbed

Talk about combining sustainability and safety: Poland recently unveiled a glow-in-the-dark bike path that is illuminated by sunlight particles collected during the day.

Biking on a narrow path next to a road in the dark may have been dangerous before, but is now turned into an exciting experience. The path, which is near Lidzbark Warminski, lights up in bright blue at night to guide cyclists safely home.

TPA Instytut Badan Technicznych Sp. z o.o. is the first company to design a luminous bike path in Poland. They were inspired by similar concepts in Amsterdam, where one company designed a path influenced by Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” painting.

Unlike the Starry Night path, however, TPA’s glowing path doesn’t require a power source. Instead, it is completely self-sufficient. It relies on phosphor—a synthetic material— to collect sunlight which then enables it to light up luminophores at night for up to ten hours.

While this path is the next step in creating smart and sustainable roads of the future, it is still in its test phase as the creators do not know how long the material will last before it wears out.

See more!

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The Morning After: Wednesday, June 28th 2017

Engadget - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 05:00
Welcome to your humpday. Amazon is offering cheaper smartphones (with a caveat) and we explain how electric is going to kill the gas station. Oh, and Google got slammed with a $2.7 billion fine in Europe.
Categories: Nerd News

Blue Origin To Build Its BE-4 Rocket Engine In Alabama, Creating Hundreds of Jobs

Slashdot - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 05:00
Blue Origin has recently announced its plans to manufacture the company's new rocket engine, the BE-4, at a state-of-the-art facility in Huntsville, Alabama. According to The Verge, the benefits for Blue Origin are both practical and political. From the report: On the surface, it's a seemingly innocuous decision meant to capitalize on Huntsville's decades-long history of rocket development. The city is home to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, where the Saturn V rocket was developed and where NASA's future massive deep-space rocket, the Space Launch System, will also be worked on. Plus, many private space contractors are based in Huntsville, making spaceflight a key part of the city's economy and a huge jobs creator. It's why Huntsville has been nicknamed Rocket City. But the move is most likely motivated by politics as well, given Blue Origin's plans for the BE-4. The company ultimately hopes to use seven BE-4 engines to power its future massive rocket called the New Glenn, which is supposed to launch sometime before 2020. But that's not the only rocket that the BE-4 could fly on. The United Launch Alliance -- a company responsible for launching most of the satellites for the U.S. military -- is developing a new rocket called Vulcan, and it needs new U.S.-made engines for the vehicle. Blue Origin's move to Huntsville will supposedly generate 342 jobs at the new facility, with salaries averaging $75,000, reports The Verge. Given the city's history, the company should have no problem finding aerospace experts in the area. The only problem that could arise would be if ULA doesn't select the BE-4 as the Vulcan's main engine. "ULA is also considering a second option in case the BE-4 doesn't work out: an engine being developed by longtime manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne called the AR-1," reports The Verge. "Aerojet is only meant to be Plan B for ULA. But it has one advantage that Blue Origin didn't have until now: it's building its engine in Huntsville, Alabama -- and that comes with some very key political protection."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Nerd News

When You Want Tech Bling on Your Fingers #WearableWednesday #wearabletech #tech #DIY #3Dprinting

AdaFruit - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 04:00

Here’s some bling with tech appeal, especially for those that favor large rings. This beauty by Cabe Atwell gets attention with its 3D printed case and color coordinated OLED screen. His screen is rather unusual as it has three color bands permanently on the front, allowing for black text/graphics. His tutorial on Element 14 mentions getting an Adafruit OLED screen, as I imagine this vintage one is harder to find. There’s more Adafruit inside with a Trinket Pro 5V microcontroller powered by two coin cells. It’s definitely a small package.

Apparently Cabe imagined this ring for Geek Pride Day, but we all know that every day is filled with geek pride. Cabe’s Twitter feed revealed yet another image for the ring. Would that be a reference for studs keeping the case together? Speaking of case, if you don’t have a 3D printer, you can always get one printed at Shapeways.

So far the tutorial for the project covers the 3D printing, so you still have the installment of the circuit and code to look forward to. It’s a crazy piece of knuckle decoration that is sure to get some awe from friends. I’m leaving you with the Trinket Pro 5V microcontroller so you can get a jump on the project. Have fun designing a ring with messages that will evoke smiles, and don’t forget to send us a pic of what you make.

Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

Categories: Nerd News

Microsoft's next big Windows update will use AI to fight malware

Engadget - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 03:30
Windows Fall Creators Update will come with a hefty serving of security upgrades, made timely by the increasingly rampant cyberattacks targeting the platform these days. In a blog post, Microsoft has revealed how the upcoming major update will level...
Categories: Nerd News

How to Build a Simple Gesture Control Glove #WearableWednesday #wearabletech #tech #DIY

AdaFruit - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 02:00

This looks like an ordinary disposable glove, but thanks to some DIY magic it has become a gesture glove. It’s inspired by the gesture controlled interface in Ironman, which was created by John Underkoffler. A post on Hackaday explains this proof of concept by maker B. Aswinth Raj.

The project uses an Arduino on the glove and Processing on the PC. The PC has a webcam which tracks the hand motion and the glove has two Hall effect sensors to simulate mouse clicks. Bluetooth links the glove and the PC.

An interesting aspect of this project is having to isolate a color for the Processing to track, which in this case is the blue disk mounted on the palm of the glove. When everything is calibrated the wearer can click on screens and even do some simplistic drawing.

I have to admit that I had not heard of Hall Effect Sensors until finding this project. Apparently they react to a magnet, which in this case was mounted on the thumb of the glove. It just so happens we carry Hall Effect Sensors in our shop, so you can create your own gesture control accessory. What movement would you like to use to create magic on the screen?

Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

Categories: Nerd News

August Solar Eclipse Could Disrupt Roads and Cellular Networks

Slashdot - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 02:00
GeoGreg writes: On August 21, 2017, the contiguous United States will experience its first total solar eclipse since 1979. According to GreatAmericanEclipse.com's Michael Zeiler, approximately 200 million people live within one day's drive of the eclipse. Zeiler projects that between 1.85 to 7.4 million people will attempt to visit the path of totality. As the eclipse approaches, articles are appearing predicting the possibility of automobile traffic jamming rural roads. There is also concern about the ability of rural cellular networks to handle such a large influx. AT&T is bringing in Cell On Wheel (COW) systems to rural locations in Kentucky, Idaho, and Oregon, while Verizon is building a temporary tower in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The disruption could be frustrating to those trying to get to the eclipse or share their photos via social networking. If cellular networks can't handle the data, apps like Waze won't be much help in avoiding the traffic. If communication is essential near the eclipse path, Astronomy Magazine recommends renting a satellite phone.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Nerd News

Intel's SSD 545s has size and speed at an affordable price

Engadget - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 00:49
It's not too hard to find inexpensive solid-state drives that offer either a lot of storage or brisk performance, but finding both? That's hard. Intel, however, thinks it has a chance. It's launching a budget 2.5-inch drive, the SSD 545s, that theore...
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