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Harrison started by picking out the perfect green tarp, then taking it to the hardware store and having them color match a quart of semi-gloss interior latex paint. He then painted the air soft helmet, boots, and gun with several coats of the green paint. Next, he cut out cardboard in an oval shape, painted it green, and used duct tape in a loop to stick to his boots.
As for the uniform, he picked out a long-sleeve shirt and a pair of pants he was willing to sacrifice, and cut them both along the seams. Harrison then spread the chopped shirt and pants out on the tarp, pinned them to the tarp, and cut around the fabric, leaving about a half inch of extra tarp (the sleeves were done separately). He used duct tape to “sew” the tarp back together, leaving half of the tape’s sticky side exposed and putting it on the inside of the seam, and then connecting the matching part of the tarp, adjusting to the right fit.
Many websites will allow you to "recover a lost password" if you (or a crook) can supply your date of birth, mother's maiden name, etc. So, of course, crooks buy and sell data like dates of birth, mothers' maiden names, Social Security Numbers, and other easily mined minutae. Brian Krebs reports from superget.info, a site that sells would-be fraudsters this information, and also has a wholesale program so that entrepreneurial crooks can resell your personal information to their friends.
Superget lets users search for specific individuals by name, city, and state. Each “credit” costs USD$1, and a successful hit on a Social Security number or date of birth costs 3 credits each. The more credits you buy, the cheaper the searches are per credit: Six credits cost $4.99; 35 credits cost $20.99, and $100.99 buys you 230 credits. Customers with special needs to can avail themselves of the “reseller plan,” which promises 1,500 credits for $500.99, and 3,500 credits for $1000.99.
“Our Databases are updated EVERY DAY,” the site’s owner enthuses. “About 99% nearly 100% US people could be found, more than any sites on the internet now.”
Customers who aren’t choosy about the identities they’re stealing can get a real bargain. Among the most trafficked commodities in the hacker underground are packages called “fullz infos,” which include the full identity information on dozens or hundreds of individuals.
Scott Lynch was kind enough to place this photo of Ben "Ben and Jerry's" Cohen scooping up free ice-cream for the Occupy Wall Street protesters in the Boing Boing Flickr pool.
From the annals of history, this ad for Western Electric's picture phone, which wouldn't catch on for decades more -- probably needed more Chatroulette.
[Video Link] Todd Bieber (the fellow who made that video about the snapping turtle that tries to bite a guy that looks like Will Ferrel) says, "I planted this illegal vegetable garden in Brooklyn and documented the experience."
Several years ago, I wrote a MAKE: article about Greg Leyh, a brilliant, understated high-voltage engineer/artist in San Francisco who builds the world's largest Tesla coils. For as long as I've known Greg, his dream has been to create a massive lightning laboratory with two 10-story Tesla Coil towers to study high-power scientific phenomena. Indeed, Greg's operation is called Lightning On Demand. With the only barrier being money, Greg has now come up with a "highly cost-optimized version" of the Lightning Laboratory. With this new design, Greg only needs $348,000 to make it happen. And he's launched a Kickstarter project to seek funding to build this magnificent DIY scientific instrument. Greg says:
"The Lightning Foundry" (Kickstarter)
Rather than being a purpose-built, conservatively designed machine, the new approach is literally designed around used materials, scrap and salvaged equipment. There’s a lot of great obtainium out there these days!
This new design should still be able to produce the conditions needed to trigger a relativistic avalanche as per Gurevich and Zybin’s calculations [200kV/m, 50m characteristic avalanche length.] Ultimately I hope to trigger a super-long discharge event and discover if there’s any connection with Gurevich’s relativistic runaway breakdown theory, or at least get some gamma-ray precursors.
"Power Tripping" (MAKE: Volume 11)
Wired.com has a new photo policy: "Beginning today, we’re releasing all Wired.com staff-produced photos under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC) license and making them available in high-res format on a newly launched public Flickr stream." They've commemorated the event by releasing 50 of their archival images under the same terms, including this fab Jim Merithew shot from The Toy and Action Figure Museum. Bravo!
The announcement will be made at the Whisky A Go Go in LA where they performed for the first time in LA, 41 years ago. The video above is from a Sabbath show in Paris that same year.
You know how old rock-n-roll reunion tours tend to go. But if they bring back 1971-era Ozzy and 1971-era LSD, I'm totally there.
"We The People" is a White House initiative where the US government will respond to any petition that can land 25,000 signatures (a recently increased threshold) in a month. Today, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy's Phil Larson responded to petitions for the President to "Immediately disclose the government's knowledge of and communications with extraterrestrial beings" and "formally acknowledge and extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race - Disclosure." Guess what -- the White House says there's nothing to disclose. Sure there isn't. Phil must not read the Weekly World News or he'd know The Truth. From the White House:
"Searching for ET, But No Evidence Yet"
The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye.
However, that doesn't mean the subject of life outside our planet isn't being discussed or explored. In fact, there are a number of projects working toward the goal of understanding if life can or does exist off Earth.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has more on the deadly Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the most extreme, anti-Internet, anti-privacy, anti-free speech copyright proposal in US legislative history. Today, EFF responds to claims from the Chamber of Commerce that SOPA isn't a blacklist because the law doesn't actually contain the word "blacklist":
First, the new law would allow the Attorney General to cut off sites from the Internet, essentially “blacklisting” companies from doing business on the web. Under section 102, the Attorney General can seek a court order that would force search engines, DNS providers, servers, payment processors, and advertisers to stop doing business with allegedly infringing websites.
Second, the bill encourages private corporations to create a literal target list—a process that is ripe for abuse. Under Section 103 (cleverly entitled the “market based” approach), IP rightsholders can take action by themselves, by sending notices directly to payment processors—like Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal—demanding that they cut off all payments to the website. Once notice is delivered to the payment processor, that processor has only five days to act.1 The payment processor, and not the rightsholder, is then responsible for notifying the targeted website. So by the time Visa or Mastercard—who will no doubt be receiving many of these notices—processes the notice, informs the website, and the website decides whether to file a counter notice, the five days will almost certainly have elapsed. The website will then be left without a revenue source even if it did nothing wrong.
Third, section 104 of SOPA also allows payment processors to cut websites off voluntarily—even if they haven’t received a notice. Visa and Mastercard cannot be held accountable if they cease processing payments to any site, as long as they have a “reasonable belief” that the website is engaged in copyright violations of any kind. Hmm, wonder how long it will take big media to publicly post a list of allegedly infringing sites, and start pressuring payment processors to cut them off? As long the payment processors are willing to comply, the rightsholders can essentially censor anyone they see fit. Even well-meaning payment processors might do this to avoid liability down the road.