Archive for the ‘computers’ Category

Laptop of Doom

August 31, 2014

Laptop of Doom

A unit from a moderate Syrian rebel force raided an ISIS hideout earlier this year and found a Dell laptop. It appears to have belonged to a former Tunisian university student who dropped out to fight for the Islamic State in Syria. Documents hidden on the hard drive indicated the owner was trying to teach himself how to weaponize bubonic plague.

Is this an active threat? It sounds pretty grave, but this is a drop-out we’re talking about …

More:

“Found: The Islamic State’s Terror Laptop of Doom,” Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa, Foreign Policy

“Recovered ISIS Laptop Reveals Terror Group’s Bio-Warfare Plans,” Andrew Tarantola, Gizmodo

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Image (“Blogging the Dunes, after René Péan) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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3-D Printing Sporks

July 9, 2014

3-D Printing Sporks

The rise of 3-D printing heralds the new Maker Revolution, dawn of a new era of post-industrial digital manufacturing. Or something.

So what do Americans and Germans want to print? Sporks.

And the French? Haute Couture, bien sûr.

Related:

“The spork’s weird history,” Bee Wilson, Salon

“The Maker Economy Won’t Be As Massive As Expected,” Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman, Big Think

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Vonnegut on Computers

May 6, 2014

Vonnegut on Computers

Commencement speaker at Agnes Scott College, May 15, 1999, Kurt Vonnegut: 

“Computers are no more your friends, and no more increasers of your brainpower, than slot machines…

Only well-informed, warm-hearted people can teach others things they’ll always remember and love. Computers and TV don’t do that.

A computer teaches a child what a computer can become.

An educated human being teaches a child what a child can become. Bad men just want your bodies. TVs and computers want your money, which is even more disgusting. It’s so much more dehumanizing.”

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Keyboard Commandos

January 19, 2014

Keyboard Commandos

The British Ministry of Defence is escalating cyberspace combat capabilities by assembling a laptop army of computer nerd reservists. “The Cyber Reserves will be an essential part of ensuring we defend our national security in cyberspace,” said UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. “This is an exciting opportunity for internet experts in industry to put their skills to good use for the nation, protecting our vital computer systems and capabilities.”

The Defence Cyber Operations Group (DCOG) is under the MoD Joint Forces Command (recruitment info here). The UK is thought to lag far behind the USA, Israel, and China in militarizing the digital domain.

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The Stalker Economy

December 4, 2013

The Stalker Economy

“Surveillance is the business model of the Internet ….”

— “‘Stalker economy’ here to stay,” Bruce Schneier, CNN

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Et Tu, Skype? Yipe.

October 16, 2013

Et Tu, Skype? Yipe.

“Skype is being investigated by Luxembourg’s data protection commissioner over concerns about its secret involvement with the US National Security Agency (NSA) spy programme Prism, the Guardian has learned.

The Microsoft-owned internet chat company could potentially face criminal and administrative sanctions, including a ban on passing users’ communications covertly to the US signals Intelligence agency.

Skype itself is headquartered in the European country, and could also be fined if an investigation concludes that the data sharing is found in violation of the country’s data-protection laws.”

— “Skype under investigation in Luxembourg over link to NSA,” Ryan Gallagher The Guardian

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Image (“The Miracle of Skype, after Stan Galli”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Apple’s True Believers

July 18, 2013

Apple's True Believers

“As everyone knows, the world-religion of the educated and prosperous in the twenty-first century is Apple, with its Vatican in Cupertino and its cathedrals in the light-filled Apple Stores that draw pilgrims gripping iPhones and iPads like rosaries. Apple’s flock is secured against heresy by censors who rule the online App Store; only applications with Apple’s imprimatur are allowed on an iPhone. Programmers risk excommunication—with all their works condemned to being listed in an Index of Prohibited Software—if they violate canon law by bypassing Apple’s banking system or ignoring its infallible doctrine.”

— “Faith and Works at Apple,” Edward Mendelson, New York Review of Books blog

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Image (“Dashboard Savior”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here.  Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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iCat

May 28, 2013

iCat

The iPad as cat toy. Because your cat is bored with her iPod.

“Cat-App Fever: 3 Ways to Turn Your iPad Into a Cat Toy,” Lore Sjöberg, Wired

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-gKh

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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MOOC: Mock Education

April 29, 2013

MOOC Mock Education

“The online education utopians ignore the fact that free learning has existed for decades in the form of the public library and despite that availability, every kid within bicycling distance to his local branch didn’t turn into a self taught entrepreneur. Suggesting that online courses are the cure-all for our educational needs is like saying all you have to do to teach kids in the ghetto is give away textbooks on the corner.”

— “Why online education is mostly a fantasy,” Francisco Dao, PandoDaily

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Google Street View Hyperlapse (Dramamine recommended)

April 16, 2013

“Hyper-lapse photography – a technique combining time-lapse and sweeping camera movements typically focused on a point-of-interest …. Creating them requires precision and many hours stitching together photos taken from carefully mapped locations. We aimed at making the process simpler by using Google Street View as an aid, but quickly discovered that it could be used as the source material. It worked so well, we decided to design a very usable UI around our engine and release Google Street View Hyperlapse.”

— Teehan+Lax Labs

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-gvL

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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