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The Galaxy S8 iris scanner can be hacked with aging tech

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:16
Biometrics are becoming our next de facto security measure, and they're supposed to be a vast improvement on easily-forgotten and hackable passwords. Yet a point-and-shoot camera, laser printer and contact lens is all it took for German hacking group...
Categories: Nerd News

'Coding Is Not Fun, It's Technically and Ethically Complex'

Slashdot - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:00
An anonymous reader shares an article: For starters, the profile of a programmer's mind is pretty uncommon. As well as being highly analytical and creative, software developers need almost superhuman focus to manage the complexity of their tasks. Manic attention to detail is a must; slovenliness is verboten. Coding isn't the only job that demands intense focus. But you'd never hear someone say that brain surgery is "fun," or that structural engineering is "easy." When it comes to programming, why do policymakers and technologists pretend otherwise? For one, it helps lure people to the field at a time when software (in the words of the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen) is "eating the world" -- and so, by expanding the labor pool, keeps industry ticking over and wages under control. Another reason is that the very word "coding" sounds routine and repetitive, as though there's some sort of key that developers apply by rote to crack any given problem. It doesn't help that Hollywood has cast the "coder" as a socially challenged, type-first-think-later hacker, inevitably white and male, with the power to thwart the Nazis or penetrate the CIA. Insisting on the glamor and fun of coding is the wrong way to acquaint kids with computer science. It insults their intelligence and plants the pernicious notion in their heads that you don't need discipline in order to progress. As anyone with even minimal exposure to making software knows, behind a minute of typing lies an hour of study. It's better to admit that coding is complicated, technically and ethically. Computers, at the moment, can only execute orders, to varying degrees of sophistication. So it's up to the developer to be clear: the machine does what you say, not what you mean. More and more "decisions" are being entrusted to software, including life-or-death ones: think self-driving cars; think semi-autonomous weapons; think Facebook and Google making inferences about your marital, psychological, or physical status, before selling it to the highest bidder. Yet it's rarely in the interests of companies and governments to encourage us to probe what's going on beneath these processes.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Facebook defends content policy after guidelines leak

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:54
Facebook has caught its share of flak from critics of its leaked content rules. Some are worried that it's being too lenient on abusers, while others are convinced it's engaging in heavy-handed censorship. And apparently, Facebook has had enough --...
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Python library for Adafruit USB / Serial LCD Backpack

AdaFruit - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:37

Big thanks to dinofizz for sending this in! Find the GitHub repository here.

I have created a very simple helper library for the USB / Serial LCD backpack. It exposes functions to help clear the display, setting display options as well as writing text.

I created it for my own use, but I’m posting this here in case anyone else needs it.

Github: https://github.com/dinofizz/adafruit-us … d-backpack

And it is also available on PyPI:
$ pip install lcdbackpack

Read more.

Featured Adafruit Products!

USB + Serial Backpack Kit with 16×2 RGB backlight positive LCD – Black on RGB: Adding a character display to your project or computer has never been easier with the new Adafruit USB or TTL serial backpack! This custom-designed PCB sits on the back of our ‘standard’ character LCD (16×2 or 20×4 sized) and does everything you could want: printing text, automatic scrolling, setting the backlight, adjusting contrast, making custom characters, turning on and off the cursor, etc. It can even handle our RGB backlight LCDs with full 8-bit PWM control of the backlight. That means you can change the background color to anything you want – red, green, blue, pink, white, purple yellow, teal, salmon, chartreuse, or just leave it off for a neutral background. Read more.

Categories: Nerd News

Twitch adds video speed controls to slow down that amazing play

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:33
Now that Twitch is making a bigger deal out of pre-recorded videos, it's competing more directly with services like YouTube -- and that means adding the kind of playback controls you take for granted elsewhere. Accordingly, the service has introduced...
Categories: Nerd News

Stationary Bike Powered Slot Car Track

GeekOlogy - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:30
This is a Facebook video of a slot car track with cars powered by how fast you pedal on a stationary bike. It's a great way to get exercise without getting bored. And boredom is the number one killer of cardio workouts according to some idiot who hates exercising. Thank God the elliptical machines at the gym have screens with access to Netflix and Hulu, that way I don't feel so bad about not using them because I don't have Netflix or Hulu accounts. Keep going for the video.
Categories: Nerd News

Hackers Unlock Samsung Galaxy S8 With Fake Iris

Slashdot - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:21
From a Motherboard report: Despite Samsung stating that a user's irises are pretty much impossible to copy, a team of hackers has done just that. Using a bare-bones selection of equipment, researchers from the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) show in a video how they managed to bypass the scanner's protections and unlock the device. "We've had iris scanners that could be bypassed using a simple print-out," Linus Neumann, one of the hackers who appears in the video. The process itself was apparently pretty simple. The hackers took a medium range photo of their subject with a digital camera's night mode, and printed the infrared image. Then, presumably to give the image some depth, the hackers placed a contact lens on top of the printed picture.And, that's it. They're in.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Mouse semen experiment suggests humans can reproduce in space

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:12
Humans have become relatively experienced at living and working in space aboard the International Space Station. Now, we're looking forward to the next step: reproduction. Mouse sperm, which was freeze-dried and stored aboard the ISS for nine months...
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@tdicola’s talk at #PyCon 2017

AdaFruit - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:03

Carter, Tony and I are back from an awesome PyCon 2017 in Portland. Over the next few days I’ll cover different parts of our experience there.

For us, the conference started with the EDU summit where Tony presented Tangible Tools for Teaching with Python. The video is now available here:

If it doesn’t start in the middle of the video, then use this link.

Overall, the EDU summit was a nice gathering of folks focused on education. We met Nicholas Tollervey and Carol Willing there too! Here are all the EDU videos: Morning presentations, Afternoon Track 1, and Afternoon Track 2

Categories: Nerd News

Electric Wallpaper #ArtTuesday

AdaFruit - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:00

Via dezeen:

Wallpaper company Flavor Paper collaborated with furniture brand UM Project to combine sounds, lights and motions in a decorative and playful display titled Connect, which they showcased at this year’s Collective Design fair in New York.

The designers intended the display to create a unified system between the wallpaper tiles and the speakers, lighting and moving objects, setting it apart from other projects using conductive ink.

“What interests us in the collaboration is of course using simple technology, connective ink, but the opportunity to bring together 2D design and 3D design together into some kind of an immersive experience,” UM Project founder François Chambard told Dezeen.

“Connective ink is not a new thing, you may have seen it in other projects that people can buy and use,” he added. “But often the devices or the objects which are actually triggered by connective ink feel disconnected.”

To carry the current to the electrical items, the tiles were screen-printed with lines of conductive ink and linked by copper tabs at each join.

See More

Every Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!
Categories: Nerd News

Microsoft made a version of Windows 10 for the Chinese government

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:51
Microsoft and the Chinese government's relationship in the past hasn't been the best. That rocky past makes the news that the pair have worked together on a version of Windows 10 for government computers all the more interesting. It's based on Window...
Categories: Nerd News

NEW PRODUCT – @altium Skill Badge, iron-on patch

AdaFruit - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:40

NEW PRODUCT – Altium Skill Badge, iron-on patch

This skill badge is for those who’ve mastered any of Altium‘s sophisticated PCB design platforms, such as CircuitStudio and Altium Designer. Designers need tools that help them make the most of modern technologies, successfully manage projects, and deliver connected, intelligent products. Altium creates the tools designers need.

Adafruit offers fun and exciting “badges” of achievement for electronics, science and engineering. We believe everyone should be able to be rewarded for learning a useful skill, and a badge is just one of the many ways to show and share.

This is the “I’m using Altium to design PCBs” badge for use with educators, classrooms, workshops, Maker Faires, TechShops, Hackerspaces, Makerspaces and around the world to reward beginners on their skill building journey, because understanding cyber security is only going to become a more and more valuable skill. This beautiful badge is made in the USA.

The badge is skillfully designed and sturdily made to last a lifetime. The backing is iron-on but the badge can also be sewn on.

In stock and shipping now!

Categories: Nerd News

Chinese Giant Huawei Gets Serious About PC Business, Announces Plans For Global Expansion

Slashdot - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:40
Speaking of new laptops, Chinese conglomerate Huawei plans a global expansion into computers, it said on Tuesday, posing a fresh challenge to established PC players in a market that has suffered two years of falling sales volumes and pressure on margins. From a report: At a news conference in Berlin, the Shenzhen-based company introduced its first line-up of three personal computer models, including a 15.6-inch screen notebook, a 2-in-1 tablet and notebook hybrid and an ultra slim, metallic 13-inch notebook. Initially, Huawei plans to target the premium-priced consumer market, competing with Lenovo, HP and Dell, which together sell more than 50 percent of all PCs. To a lesser extent, it will also go up against Apple's high-end, but shrinking, Mac computer business. Huawei's Matebook X is a fanless notebook with splash-proof screen and combined fingerprint sign-on and power button, priced between 1,399 and 1,699 euros ($1,570-$1,900). Its Matebook E 2-in-1 hybrid will run from 999 to 1,299 euros while the Matebook D with 15.6-inch display is priced at 799 to 999 euros, it said. Huawei said it aims to offer the new PCs in 12 countries in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East in early June.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Nerd News

Candy For Breakfast: Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts

GeekOlogy - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:30
Pop-Tarts: you used to love them when you were a kid. Jolly Ranchers too. Don't you lie to me. And soon you'll be able to relive your cavity-filled youth thanks to limited edition Jolly Rancher flavored Pop-Tarts. They'll be available in cherry, watermelon (the best) and green apple flavors and probably all be equally disgusting and cause stomach bleeding. And I'm not just saying that to prevent people from buying them so I can have them all, but I didn't spread rumors that Girl Scout Cookies cause reproductive harm for no reason. Thanks to Stephanie B, who's holding out for Starburst flavored Toaster Strudels. I call the icing packets!
Categories: Nerd News

We're not getting Luke Skywalker's prosthetics any time soon

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:30
In 1937, robot hobbyist "Bill" Griffith P. Taylor of Toronto invented the world's first industrial robot. It was a crude machine, dubbed the Robot Gargantua by its creator. The crane-like device was powered by a single electric motor and controlled v...
Categories: Nerd News

Facebook can keep your trash talk private during live events

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:00
Facebook wants to be a serious destination for online video, and it's fleshing out its Live streaming experience to help it get there. Consider the process of talking about up-to-the-minute events unfolding in a Facebook Live stream. Rather than just...
Categories: Nerd News

Twitter’s new interactive cards help you slide into brands’ DMs

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:00
Twitter has been working hard to find new ways for brands and advertisers to connect with its users, especially since becoming a public company in 2013. Hey, shareholders need to make that money. But while customer service experiences are clearly a m...
Categories: Nerd News

Nokia Uses Lawsuit To Make Apple Its Friend

Slashdot - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:00
Apple has settled a patent dispute with Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia and agreed to buy more of its network products and services. The deal means Nokia will get bigger royalties from Apple for using its mobile phone patents, helping offset the impact of waning demand for its mobile network hardware. Nokia's shares were up by seven percent following the announcement. WSJ puts things into perspective: Nokia's deal with Apple follows a highly unusual playbook: using a lawsuit to win business from your adversary (could be paywalled). When the first iPhone was unveiled a decade ago, Apple became a major competitor to the Finnish group, which was then the world's leading mobile-phone maker. As Nokia's business dwindled, the companies became legal antagonists. Now they are set to become business partners. The settlement announced Tuesday involves Apple paying Nokia a lump sum plus royalties for each device it sells using Nokia's technology. This is broadly the same kind of agreement the two sides reached in 2011 following a two-year lawsuit. The previous deal expired last year, which is why both sides launched fresh suits in December. In the aftermath of the lawsuit last year, Apple had pulled all Withings products from its stores. As part of the settlement, Apple said it will reverse that move.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Nerd News

Apple plans to make Safari scrolling a lot smoother

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:43
Apple is making changes to its mobile Safari browser that will make scrolling work smoother across all websites, according to posts on Hacker News and Daring Fireball. Right now, regular pages scroll differently on iOS Safari than sites like Reddit t...
Categories: Nerd News

‘Solar Draw’ is a Sun-Focused Burning Drawbot, Powered by Adafruit Feather

AdaFruit - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:25

Instructables user rabbitcreek’s Solar Draw uses the sun to burn drawings onto small pieces of wood. The primary circuit is an Adafruit Feather 32u4 basic proto and a DC Motor + Stepper FeatherWing – awesome! Be sure to find this project at Burning Man this year – and thanks to Donald Bell for plugging the project in Maker Update #30 (subscribe for more maker-tastic news). The sub-circuit that routinely blocks the focal length of the lens with a shield of aluminum is a clever solution for protecting the material from overburn (and, y’know, catching on fire!).

Featured Adafruit Products!

Adafruit Feather 32u4 Basic Proto: At the Feather 32u4’s heart is at ATmega32u4 clocked at 8 MHz and at 3.3V logic, a chip setup we’ve had tons of experience with as it’s the same as the Flora. This chip has 32K of flash and 2K of RAM, with built in USB so not only does it have a USB-to-Serial program & debug capability built in with no need for an FTDI-like chip, it can also act like a mouse, keyboard, USB MIDI device, etc. This chip is well supported in the Arduino IDE and can run just about every sensor/library out there. Read more.

DC Motor + Stepper FeatherWing Add-on For All Feather Boards: A Feather board without ambition is a Feather board without FeatherWings! This is the DC Motor + Stepper FeatherWing which will let you use 2 x bi-polar stepper motors or 4 x brushed DC motors (or 1 stepper and 2 DC motors). Using our Feather Stacking Headers or Feather Female Headers you can connect a FeatherWing on top or bottom of your Feather board and let the board take flight! Read more.

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