Someone sent Brian Krebs an envelope of counterfeit $100 and $50 bills, apparently manufactured by Mrmouse, the counterfeiter whom Krebs outed for selling his notes openly on Reddit. Read the rest
blottsie writes In a move out of the anti-SOPA campaign playbook, Fight for the Future and other net neutrality activist groups have set up the Battle for the Net coalition, which plans to launch an "Internet slowdown day" later this month. No actual traffic will be slowed down. Instead, participating sites will display embeddable modules that include a spinning "loading" symbol and information about contacting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the White House, and members of Congress.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
If someone is doing things wrong, don't hold on to them for one massive criticism dump. Regularly let them know about mistakes so feedback becomes part of routine, rather than making them feel like they're being hauled up.
It has been a while since I did a Luminosity of Free Software episode. Real life has consistently gotten in between me and the show. I like doing the show, however, and it seems a couple thousand people other do as well (at least enough to watch each episode), so I sat down a couple months ago to think about what I wanted to do with Luminosity: Leave it behind forever? Pick it up again where I left off? Reboot it?
I've long wanted a show to tune into that was done by a free software "insider" that gave me new insights, not just reviews and interviews and guffahs. I mean, I love that stuff too and there some epic shows out there ... but I wanted something a bit different. I also wanted a show that wasn't just "open source software" but also "free software philosophy". Earlier series of Luminosity were my stabs at that.
An anonymous reader writes Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have used a program named Ash 3D to predict the impact of a Yellowstone volcano eruption, and found that cities within 300 miles from Yellowstone National Park may get covered by up to three feet of ash. From the article: "Ash3D helped the researchers understand how the previous eruptions created a widespread distribution of ash in places in the park's periphery. Aside from probing ash-distribution patterns, the Ash3D can also be used to identify potential hazards that volcanoes in Alaska may bring."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Disruptive Pattern Material: in plain words: camouflage. This massive tome features 5,000 images of all things camouflaged, from silly camouflage fashion (bikinis and handbags), to camouflage in contemporary ads, movies, and art, to natural camouflage among wild animals, to its historical uses in wars past, to the most recent scientific research in disruptive pattern materials.Read the rest
By now, you already have probably heard about the digital exposure, so to speak, of nude photos of as many as 100 celebrities, taken from their Apple iCloud backups and posted to the “b” forum on 4Chan. Over the last day, an alleged perpetrator has been exposed by redditors, although the man has declared his innocence The main stream media have leapt on the story and gotten reactions from the affected celebrities, who include Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, model Kate Upton, and a number of other young actresses.
Someone claiming to be the individual responsible for the breach has used 4Chan to offer explicit videos from Lawrence’s phone, as well as more than 60 more nude “selfies” of the actress. In fact, it seems multiple "b-tards" claimed access to the images, with one providing a Hotmail address associated with a PayPal account and another seeking contributions to a Bitcoin wallet. Word of the images launched a cascade of Google searches and set Twitter trending. As a result, 4Chan/b—the birthplace of Anonymous—has opened its characteristically hostile arms to a wave of curious onlookers hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite starlets’ naked bodies. Happy Labor Day!
This breach is different from other recent celebrity "hacks" in that it used a near-zero-day vulnerability in an Apple cloud interface. Instead of using social engineering or some low-tech research to gain control of the victims' cloud accounts, the attacker basically bashed in the front door—and Apple didn't find out until the attack was over. While an unusual, long, convoluted password may have prevented the attack from being successful, the only real defense against this assault was never to put photos in Apple's cloud in the first place. Even Apple's two factor authentication would not have helped.
An alien world, extraterrestrial exploration, and memory wipes on Mars sound like the makings of a Hollywood movie. Instead, it's a major IT project.
After a decade of exploring, the Opportunity rover's computer system will get a reboot to reformat its flash memory and eliminate its reliance on malfunctioning memory cells. In the last month alone, the rover has had to reset its systems a dozen times, a process that can take a day or two, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
"Worn-out cells in the flash memory are the leading suspect in causing these resets," John Callas, project manager for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project, said in a statement. "The flash reformatting is a low-risk process, as critical sequences and flight software are stored elsewhere in other non-volatile memory on the rover."
Last week, the eyes of volcanologists—and presumably a few nervous pilots—were fixed on Iceland. But unexpectedly, the volcanic eruption that made headlines happened on the other side of the world, in Papua New Guinea.
Before dawn on August 29, Tavurvur—a stratovolcano on the island of New Britain, in Papua New Guinea’s eastern archipelago—awoke spectacularly after two decades of dormancy. The eruption shot lava hundreds of meters into the air, while the accompanying ash cloud reached 18km, almost double the cruising altitude of most commercial aircraft. As a precaution, several flights from Australia were rerouted around the volcano.
The explosions at Tavurvur have since died down somewhat, though as of Sunday the volcano was still ejecting material from its crater. The activity may still intensify. Regardless of how the eruption proceeds, this is a volcano worth remembering.
I first heard about Synbiota at SXSWi this year, when they won an Accelerator Award. According to the announcement, "Synbiota is a virtual collaboration site that connects scientists, researchers, universities and others from around the world to solve complex problems using genetic engineering." That week they announced the world's first Massive Open Online Science (MOOS) event. Called #ScienceHack, hundreds of researchers from around the globe (some as clueless as us!) would use a new "wetware" kit to produce prohibitively expensive medicine at a fraction of the price.
A month later I got this email:
From: Connor Dickie
To: Joi Ito
Cc: Kim de Mora
Date: Apr 17, 2014, at 11:12
Subject: ML alumni wins SXSW prize for SynBio startup & Invitation to #ScienceHack
"I'm writing to invite you to participate in #ScienceHack, our distributed science effort to make real medicine for just a fraction of current costs using Synthetic Biology and the Synbiota platform. O'Reilly Radar recently called #ScienceHack the most ambitious distributed science project, and knowing your interest in biotech, I thought I'd reach out to you with a cool opportunity to learn with us.
Participation is easy - I'll ship you one of our "Violacein Factory" wetware kits, and connect you with Kim de Mora at iGEM HQ (CC'd) who is not only interested to build one of the kits, but also has the required wet lab skills. It will take about an hour and a half for the in-silico design and build of the actual DNA part. Kim would handle the incubation etc. You would then come back to his lab in about 5 days to look at the results.
We recently built a Violacein Factory kit here in Canada, and more recently at Genspace in NYC, and everyone learned a bunch and helped us make significant advances towards our goal of an optimized violacein-producing organism.
I'll be in Boston/Cambridge on the 27th-through-30th as part of a Canadian trade delegation, and will have some time to meet you and chat about the opportunity in person if it interests you.
I knew about iGEM. It was the spinout from MIT that brought high school and college students together to hack DNA much in the same way that robot competitions bring together kids interested in robots to hack and learn and compete. What's amazing is that iGEM, now bringing together over two thousand students at their Jamboree, takes the state of the art of synthetic biology and brings it to the masses.
Violacein is a natural purple compound made by Chromobacterium violaceum, a bacteria that is found in the soil in the tropics such as the Amazon. Violacein is created by the bacteria as a natural defense against amoebic creatures that try to eat it and is viewed as a potential anti-parasitic. It also appears to show promise as a treatment for cancer. The problem is that it currently costs $356,000 per gram because of the difficulty of harvesting it in the wild.
An opportunity to learn synthetic biology through doing it (my favorite way to learn) was too good to turn down so I immediately accepted the challenge. I started by taking the required safety courses for playing with recombinant DNA : General Biosafety for Researchers, check. Bloodborne Pathogens: Researchers, check. Hepatitis Information form, check. General Chemical Hygiene (web) and Managing Hazardous Waste (web). Check and check.
Then I started hunting for a place to do the actual work. That turned out to be a bit more of a challenge. Although the kit and process provided by Synbiota were basically safe and non-toxic, work with recombinant DNA and bacteria required a proper wet lab at MIT which are in short supply and used for more important things than the Media Lab director messing around with street bio.
After discussing with the team and looking at what we needed, we decided that my kitchen would be the least disruptive place to do the work.
On July 27, the Synbiota team and Kim from iGEM gathered at my house with a rag tag team of researchers from the Media Lab and elsewhere to work on the Violacein Factory #Sciencehack. We started with a briefing on what we were actually doing.
Our mission was to be one of the hundreds of teams participating in trying to innovate on developing the most effective method of synthesizing Violacein using synthetic biology.
Scientists have determined the metabolic pathway in Chromobacterium violaceum that converts tryptophan, a common amino acid, into violacein. This pathway involves five enzymes and various genetic sequences for their production. These "parts" of genetic code can be positioned differently in the DNA molecule and each combination has different attributes and tradeoffs - the optimal sequence and combination being currently unknown.
The #ScienceHack Violacein Factory Kit co-designed with Genomikon which develops synthetic biology kits, had vials of all of the various genetic "parts" and the other materials needed to assemble these parts into a plasmid. According to Synbiota:
This Kit includes everything you need except:
• pipettes, nitrile gloves, petri dishes, PCR tubes, lab coats (for the full biotech experience, but any ol' trench coat will do!)
• ice buckets and ice
• 42 C water bath with epi tube floaty blanket
• 37 C incubator
All the above can be found around the house, from online suppliers, at your local university lab store, or in a friendly scientist's stash.
Kim from iGEM brought everything from the iGEM lab. He walked us through the kitchen version of the protocol for using all of the equipment safely.
Synbiota, in addition to putting together this amazing #ScienceHack project has developed a suite of online tools to publish and share lab books online (I guess I don't need that fancy paper notebook I bought!), design DNA using a very nice graphical interface and provide researchers with a whole suite of tools to do synthetic biology as a community. Everything was very well designed and worked well.
First, I created an account on the Synbiota website and logged into our notebook. Justin explained the violacein pathway and explained how we can use the online gene editor, GENtle3, (video) to design the gene sequence online.
In GENtle3, we were able to drag and drop any of the genetic parts that came in the kit into our sequence and as long as we followed the basic rules of which parts could be connected to each other. The sequence I designed was Anc-ABEDDDC-Cap, where A, B, C, D, E represent the enzymes that make up the violacein metabolic pathway. (Visit the sequence tab in the Sciencehack project to view this and other designed sequences.)
The sequence had to start with the Anchor--Origin-X' part because that was the part that was attached to the magnetic bead. One of the keys to being able to do all of this amazing work in a kitchen had to do with this innovation.
In the kit were tiny sub-micron magnetic beads with the anchor part - a strand of DNA attached to it. What this meant is that we could use a small but very strong external magnet held to the side of the container - the epi tube - to pull all of the genetic material we were working with to the side of the epi tube allowing us to insert and extract liquids from the container using pipettes while leaving our working material secured to the container.
What we needed to do after designing our sequence was to assemble it. We did this putting the beads in a epi tube, adding a "wash", removing the wash, adding a genetic part from a color coded tube that corresponded with the next link in our design, adding the T4 DNA ligase, the "genetic glue" to attach that new part to the strand on the bead, removing the excess material, washing again, and then repeating until we had added each part in order to the bead. Theoretically, we should now have a long strands of DNA attached to each bead representing our version of the DNA sequence (plasmid) that we designed.
The last step was to use a buffer to remove the bead from the strands and we had a little drop of genetic material that when inserted into a living bacteria should create all of the enzymes necessary to produce violacein from tryptophan.
The next step was what was called "transformation" which is the process that takes our plasmid and inserts it into a bacteria, in our caseE. coli. The "competent" E. coli designed for easier transfection were created at iGEM. The process we used for transformation was called "heat shock" which involved adding our genetic material to a salt solution with the E. coli and then rapidly heating it which caused the genetic material to be absorbed into the E. coli. The device used for heating, I noticed, had a sticker from the "MIT Property Equipment Office" on it. Definitely a bit punk rock. After the "shock" we added liquid material with nutrients and minerals that "rebooted" the E. coli, waking it up and preparing it to be incubated for execution of the DNA code we just inserted.
The E. coli were then spread onto petri dishes with Jello-like "food" as well as an antibiotic, chloramphenicol. The chloramphenicol would kill all other bacteria on the dish except our own because we had cleverly included a chloramphenicol resistance building genetic part in our sequence.
We then sent the petri dishes back to iGEM for incubation. The results were not perfect, but none-the-less, it looks like violacein and other molecules from the pathway were created (some other got different colours). The images of my petri dish show a kind of blackish zig-zag smear which are billions of bacteria producing metabolites because the executed DNA I designed and created. At this point I don't know for sure whether violacein was created - I need to do more verification and experimentation, but for a first go at building a complex metabolic pathway, not too shabby. Something else that is cool, is that my intended DNA design was very long, 12,000 base pairs, the next #ScienceHack step is to verify that the entire code I designed was actually assembled properly. We shared our designs, protocols and procedures with the rest of the teams. The next step was to look at the work of the other teams and try to find out what we could improve and try again.
In two half days of work, we were able to do in our kitchen what would have been Nobel Prize winning work a decade ago. We designed a sequence of genes, actually assembled the genes and then injected them into a bacteria and rebooted the bacteria.
Also, unlike traditional labs where one team would do the work and publish a paper and then other teams would try to replicate the work, we worked as one large team of parallel labs sharing our work as we went along, iterating, innovating and discussing.
I think that there is a good chance that one of the hundreds of teams will discover an efficient way of synthesizing, extracting, and purifying violacein and that soon we will have something that will probably initially look something like a homebrew beer brewing contraption producing the extremely rare compound for researchers with instructions on how anyone can build one of these violacein factories.
Disclosure : After this experience, I was so excited that I donated to iGEM and decided to invest in Synbiota.
Last year, a group of Media Lab students visited Shenzhen with, bunnie, an old friend and my hardware guru. He's probably best known for hacking the Xbox, the chumby, an open source networked hardware appliance, and for helping so many people with their hardware, firmware and software designs. bunnie is "our man in Shenzhen" and understands the ecosystem of suppliers and factories in China better than anyone I know.
With his help, my students saw and experienced a ecosystem that we all benefit from, but mostly don't see or even realize exists. I have been living vicariously through the stories and reports of my students until last week, when I finally got my own tour of Shenzhen with bunnie.
bunnie insisted that we keep the group size very small because we would be going to places that couldn't fit many people and we wanted to be nimble. As chance would have it, Reid Hoffman, my old friend and founder of LinkedIn and the provost of MIT, Marty Schmidt, both were interested and available so this formed our odd little tour group.
The first stop on the tour was of a small factory run by AQS -- a manufacturer with operations in Fremont, California as well as Shenzhen. They mostly focus on putting chips on circuit boards. The factory was full of Surface-Mount Technology (SMT) machines which use computer programmed pneumatics to pick and place chips and other components onto circuit boards. In addition to the rows of SMT machines, there were lots of factory workers setting up the lines, programming the equipment, testing the results using x-rays, computers and eye balls and doing parts of the process that made more sense economically or technically to do by hand. AQS is the factory that is manufacturing thecircuit stickers designed by Media Lab student Jie Qi and Media Lab grad, Ayah Bdeir's, littleBits. What's great about AQS is that, with the help of bunnie, they have started working closely with startups and other projects that previously would have had a very hard time finding a partner in China because of the small volume, high risk and usually unconventional requests that go hand-in-hand with working with entrepreneurs and our creative students.
What was more impressive to me even than the technology were the people that bunnie introduced us to, such as the factory boss, John, and the project managers and engineers. They were clearly hard-working, very experienced, trustworthy and excited about working with bunnie and our friends. They were willing and able to design and try all kinds of new processes to produce things that have never been manufactured before. Their work ethic and their energy reminded me very much of what I imagined many of the founding entrepreneurs and engineers in Japan must have been like who built the Japanese manufacturing industry after the war.
In all of the small factories that we visited, including AQS, the factory workers lived in dorms surrounding the factory and ate together and lived together. All of their living expenses were supported by the factory and their salaries went entirely to savings or disposable income. Also, all of the managers and even the boss lived together with the workers. I'm sure we were picking good factories to visit, but everyone seemed happy, open and very close.
After AQS, we visited King Credie, which made the actual printed circuit boards (PCBs). The PCB manufacturing process is a sophisticated process involving adding layers while also etching and printing all kind of materials such as solder, gold, and various chemicals involving many steps and complex controls. They were working on some very sophisticated hybrid PCBs that included ceramic layers and flexible layers -- processes that are very difficult and considered exotic anywhere else in the world, but directly accessible to us thanks to a close working relationship with the factory.
We also visited an injection molding plant. bunnie has been helping me with a project that requires some relatively complicated injection molding. Most of the plastic parts for everything from cellphones to baby car seats are made using an injection molding process. The process involves creating "tools" which are the huge steel molds that the plastic is injected into. The process is difficult because if you want a mirror finish, the mold has to have a mirror finish. If you need 1/1000th of an inch tolerance in production, you have to cut the steel molds at that precision. Also, you have to understand how the plastic is going to flow into the mold through multiple holes in the mold and make sure that it enters evenly and cools properly without warping or breaking.
The factory we visited had a precision machine shop and the engineering expertise to design and machine our injection molding tools, but our initial production volume was too low for them to be interested in the business. They wanted orders of millions of units and we only needed thousands.
In an interesting twist, the factory boss suggested that we could build the precision molding tools in China and then send these tools to a US shop for running production. Due to our requirement for clean-room processing, he thought it would be cheaper to run production in the US -- but the US shops didn't have the expertise or capability that his shop in China had to produce the tools; and even if they did, they couldn't touch his cost for such value-added services.
This role reversal is an indicator of how the technology, trade, and know-how for injection molding has shifted to Shenzhen. Even if US has the manufacturing capacity, key parts of the knowledge ecosystem currently exist only in Shenzhen.
bunnie then took us to the market. We spent half of a day there and only saw a very small part of the huge network of buildings, stalls and marketplaces. The market was several large city blocks full of 5-10 story buildings with stalls packed into each floor. Each building had a theme or themes ranging from LEDs to cellphone hacking and repair. I realize it's cliché to say this, but it REALLY felt like blade runner in a way that even Akihabara never did. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that many of vendors were selling to factories so were focused on wholesale and not retail and the volumes were huge and the interfaces were rough.
We started in the section of the market where people were taking broken or trashed cellphones and stripping them down for all of the parts. Any phone part that conceivably retained functionality was stripped off and packaged for sale in big plastic bags. Another source of components seemed to be rejected parts from the factory lines that were then repaired, or sheets of PCBs in which only one of the components had failed a test. iPhone home buttons, wifi chipsets, Samsung screens, Nokia motherboards, everything. bunnie pointed to a bag of chips that he said would have a street value of $50,000 in the US selling for about $500. These chips were sold, not individually, but by the pound. Who buys chips by the pound? Small factories that make all of the cellphones that we all buy "new" will often be short on parts and they will run to the market to buy bags of that part so that they can keep the line running. It's very likely that the "new" phone that you just bought from ATT has "recycled" Shenzhen parts somewhere inside.
The other consumer of these parts are the people who repair phones. Phone repair starts with simple stuff like replacing the screen to full-on rebuilds. You can even buy whole phones built from scrap parts -- "I lost my phone, can you repair it for me?"
After this market where phones were "recycled" we saw equivalent markets for laptops, TVs, everything.
Next we went to another kind of market. When we walked in, bunnie whispered to me, "EVERYTHING here is fake." There were "SVMSMUG" phones and things that looked like all kinds of phones we know. However, the more interesting phones were the phones that weren't like anything that existed anywhere else. Keychains, boom boxes, little cars, shiny ones, blinky ones -- it was an explosion of every possible iteration on phones that you could imagine. Many were designed by the so-called Shanzhai pirates who started by mostly making knockoffs of existing phones, but had become agile innovation shops for all kind of new ideas because of the proximity to the manufacturing ecosystem. They had access to the factories, but more importantly, they had access to the trade skills (and secrets) of all of the big brand phone manufacturers whose schematics could be found for sale in shops. These schematics and the engineers in the factories knew the state of the art and could apply this know-how to their own scrappy designs that could be more experimental and crazy. In fact many new technologies had been invented by these "pirates" such as the dual sim card phone.
The other amazing thing was the cost. There is a very low cost chipset that bunnie talks about that seems to be driving these phones which is not available outside of China, but they appear to do quad-band GSM, bluetooth, SMS, etc. on a chip that costs about $2. The retail price of the cheapest full featured phone is about $9. Yes. $9. This could not be designed in the US -- this could only be designed by engineers with tooling grease under their fingernails who knew the manufacturing equipment inside and out, as well as the state of the art of high-end mobile phones.
While intellectual property seems to be mostly ignored, tradecraft and trade secrets seem to be shared selectively in a complex network of family, friends and trusted colleagues. This feels a lot like open source, but it's not. The pivot from piracy to staking out intellectual property rights isn't a new thing. The United States blatantly stole book copyright until it developed it's own publishing very early in US history. The Japanese copied US auto companies until it found itself in a leadership position. It feels like Shenzhen is also at this critical point where a country/ecosystem goes from follower to leader.
When we visited DJI which makes the Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter we saw a company that was ahead. They are a startup that is growing at 5X / year. They have one of the most popular drones ever designed for the consumer market. They are one of the top 10 patent holders in China. They were clearly benefiting from the tradecraft of the factories but also very aware of the importance of being clean (and aggressive) from an IP perspective. DJI had the feel of a Silicon Valley startup mashed together with the work ethic and tradecraft of the factories we had been visiting.
We also visited a very high-end, top-tier mobile phone factory that made millions of phones. All of the parts were delivered by robots from a warehouse that was completely automated. The processes and the equipment were the top of the line and probably as sophisticated any factory in the world.
We also visited a tiny shop that could assemble very sophisticated boards in single-unit volumes for a price comparable to a typical monthly cable TV bill, because they would make them by hand. They place barely visible chips onto boards by hand and had a soldering technique that Americans will tell you can only be done by a $50,000 machine. What amazed me was that they used no assisted vision. No microscopes, magnifying lenses, etc. - workers in the US can do some of what they do, but they need assisted vision. bunnie posits that they do it mostly by feel and muscle memory. It was amazing and beautiful to watch.
We visited PCH International where we saw supplies coming in just in time to be assembled, boxed, tagged and shipped. What used to take companies three months from factory to store, now only took three days -- to anywhere in the world.
We visited the HAXLR8R, a hardware incubator in the middle of the market district run by a pair of French entrepreneurs.
What we experienced was an entire ecosystem. From the bespoke little shop making 50 blinking computer controlled burning man badges to the guy rebuilding a phone while eating a Big Mac to the cleanroom with robots scurrying around delivering parts to rows and rows of SMTs -- the low cost of labor was the driving force to pull most of the world sophisticated manufacturing here, but it was the ecosystem that developed the network of factories and the tradecraft that allows this ecosystem to produce just about anything at any scale.
Just like it is impossible to make another Silicon Valley somewhere else, although everyone tries -- after spending four days in Shenzhen, I'm convinced that it's impossible to reproduce this ecosystem anywhere else. What Marty, Reid, bunnie and I talked a lot about was what could we learn from Shenzhen to help the Boston and Silicon Valley (and more broadly the US) ecosystems and how can we connect more deeply with Shenzhen.
Both Shenzhen and Silicon Valley have a "critical mass" that attracts more and more people, resources and knowledge, but also they are both living ecosystems full of diversity and a work ethic and experience base that any region will have difficulty bootstrapping.
I do believe that other regions have regional advantages - Boston might be able to compete with Silicon Valley on hardware and bioengineering. Latin America and regions of Africa may be able compete with Shenzhen on access to certain resources and markets. However, I believe that Shenzhen, like Silicon Valley, has become such a "complete" ecosystem that we're more likely to be successful building networks to connect with Shenzhen than to compete with it head on.
I recently did a TED Talk where I provide a higher level context for my trip to and observations about Shenzhen.
Only some days until the yearly Akademy starts.
Its a real great thing to get known to other KDE/Qt contributors and meet old and new friends.
Already amazed, lets hope the airlines don’t go on strike during my travel :=)
See you all there, lets have fun & be productive! Already now thanks to all people that help to organize this cool event and all our sponsors!
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
President Obama heads to Europe this week to take part in the NATO summit. The alliance is weighing how to respond to Russia's incursions into Ukraine.
Ebola has exposed weaknesses in Africa's health networks and a failure to work together to arrest the spread of the virus. The "not our problem" response is taking an economic toll on the continent.
Four decades after Studs Terkel's famous collection of oral histories was published, Radio Diaries revives one of his interviews with Helen Moog, an Ohio taxi driver and grandmother of five.
In interviews with CNN and The Associated Press, Kenneth Bae, Jeffrey Fowle and Matthew Miller appealed to the U.S. to send a senior representative to secure their release.
Apple says it is "actively investigating" an alleged exploit to its iCloud service that allowed hackers to post dozens of private celebrity photos to public message boards this weekend. "We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report," said an Apple spokesperson to Recode. Among the pictures posted to the Reddit and 4chan message boards were nude photos of celebrities Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, and numerous other models, actresses, and athletes.
"We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report."
Though it hasn't yet been confirmed that the pictures came from iCloud accounts, reports have speculated that the hackers used a recent tool called iBrute, which...
The W3C Advisory Committee has elected Mark Nottingham (Akamai Technologies) to the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG). The mission of the TAG is to build consensus around principles of Web architecture and to interpret and clarify these principles when necessary, to resolve issues involving general Web architecture brought to the TAG, and to help coordinate cross-technology architecture developments inside and outside W3C.
ashshy writes Unlike the obvious battery needs for smartphones or electric cars, many consumers are unaware of the exploding need for enormous battery banks as modern power grids are bringing a whole new set of requirements. From the article: "'Our electricity grid was built a certain way, and that way is to have on-demand production,' Argonne National Laboratory battery researcher Jeff Chamberlain explained. 'So as I flip my light switch on at home, there's some little knob somewhere that turns the power up. There is no buffer. It's a very interesting production cycle compared to other consumer goods. It was built a certain way, and the grid is currently changing in two different ways. One is, first our demand is increasing. But another is, around the world human beings are trying to get off fossil fuels and that means using solar and wind. Well, we cannot turn up the sun or wind, or turn down the sun or wind according to our energy needs. So the more those technologies penetrate the grid, the more you need energy storage. You need a buffer. And that is a very difficult challenge that's similar to transportation because it's cost-driven,' Chamberlain said. 'But it's also different from transportation because we're not limited by volume or mass like we are in vehicles. We're working on energy storage systems that are stationary.'"
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
In a good year, the management of water resources in the American West is contentious. When a drought hits, most everyone feels it, and this year is certainly no exception. The notion of sustainability in water-strapped places isn’t much more complicated than balancing a checking account. And the budget projections aren’t exactly encouraging.
The last thing this situation needs is a decrease on the supply side. Unfortunately, precipitation in the Southwestern US is projected to decline as a result of anthropogenic climate change. Double unfortunately, the last century isn’t even a very good baseline for the region’s climate without climate change. Records from things like tree rings show drier periods in the past. A recent study led by Cornell’s Toby Ault attempts to pull this all together to improve our understanding of future drought risk in the region.
The worst US droughts of the 20th century were the 1930s “Dust Bowl” in the central US and the 1950s in the Southwest. In the past, the Southwest has averaged one or two of these almost-decade-long droughts per century, but there have also been droughts longer than anything in the historical record—droughts lasting several decades.
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|Digital History Hacks (2005-08)||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Dullicious.net||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||02:00, Tuesday, 02 September|
|eon||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Future of the Internet - And how to stop it.||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Geek Feminism Blog||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Geek&Poke||XML||11:00, Monday, 01 September||23:00, Monday, 01 September|
|goatee||XML||16:00, Monday, 01 September||22:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Greg Goodale||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Hacker News||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|
|INHABITAT||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Interprete||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Jimmy Wales||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Joho the Blog||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Joi Ito's Web||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Lessig Blog, v2||XML||11:00, Monday, 01 September||23:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Lifehacker||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Mel Chua||XML||16:00, Monday, 01 September||22:00, Monday, 01 September|
|MichaelZimmer.org||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Ming Thein | Photographer||XML||11:00, Monday, 01 September||23:00, Monday, 01 September|
|mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|miromi||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||02:00, Tuesday, 02 September|
|NeuroLogica Blog||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||22:00, Monday, 01 September|
|News||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|
|NikkiNikki »||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||22:00, Monday, 01 September|
|OkTrends||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|ongoing by Tim Bray||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||22:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Open Wiki Blog Planet||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|
|patdavid.net||XML||11:00, Monday, 01 September||23:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Paul Resnick's Occasional Musings||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Philip Greenspun's Weblog||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Planet KDE||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|
|PressThink||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Professional-Lurker: Comments by an academic in cyberspace||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|
|ProfHackerProfHacker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|quarlo||XML||11:00, Monday, 01 September||23:00, Monday, 01 September|
|ragesoss||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Slashdot||XML||19:00, Monday, 01 September||19:30, Monday, 01 September|
|SlickDeals.net||XML||19:00, Monday, 01 September||19:30, Monday, 01 September|
|Strobist||XML||19:00, Monday, 01 September||19:12, Monday, 01 September|
|Sublime Blog||XML||11:00, Monday, 01 September||23:00, Monday, 01 September|
|The Baffler | Blog||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|
|The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss » Blog||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|The Verge - All Posts||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|
|tinywords||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||22:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Valerie Aurora||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|W3C News||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Wikipedia Signpost||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Wikizine||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Women4Wikipedia||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||20:00, Monday, 01 September|
|Wooster Collective||XML||18:00, Monday, 01 September||19:00, Monday, 01 September|