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Preliminary analysis of Anonymosus-OS: lame, but no obvious malware


On Ars Technica, Sean Gallagher delves into the Anonymosus-OS, an Ubuntu Linux derivative I wrote about yesterday that billed itself as an OS for Anonymous, with a number of security/hacking tools pre-installed. Sean's conclusions is that, contrary to rumor, there's not any malware visible in the package, but there's plenty of dubious "security" tools like the Low Orbit Ion Cannon: "I don't know how much more booby-trapped a tool can get than pointing authorities right back at your IP address as LOIC does without being modified."

As far as I can tell, Sean hasn't compared the package checksums for Anonymosus-OS, which would be an important and easy (though tedious) step for anyone who was worried about the OS hiding malware to take.

Update: Sean's done the checksum comparison and found 143 files that don't match up with the published versions.

Some of the tools are of questionable value, and the attack tools might well be booby-trapped in some way. But I don't know how much more booby-trapped a tool can get than pointing authorities right back at your IP address as LOIC does without being modified.

Most of the stuff in the "Anonymous" menu here is widely available as open source or as Web-based tools—in fact, a number of the tools are just links to websites, such as the MD5 hash cracker MD5Crack Web. But it's clear there are a number of tools here that are in daily use by AnonOps and others, including the encryption tool they've taken to using for passing target information back and forth.

Lame hacker tool or trojan delivery device? Hands on with Anonymous-OS

California is OK

TSA Precheck: $100 application fee to skip the song and dance

The TSA has announced a new program rolling out at a few airports that allows selected customers to skip the security lines by checking in at a kiosk and going through a nominal screening, but only after they've paid a $100 application fee and been approved through a background check. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out expedited screening at big airports called "Precheck." It has special lanes for background-checked travelers, who can keep their shoes, belt and jacket on, leave laptops and liquids in carry-on bags and walk through a metal detector rather than a full-body scan. The process, now at two airlines and nine airports, is much like how screenings worked before the Sept. 11 attacks.

To qualify, frequent fliers must meet undisclosed TSA criteria and get invited in by the airlines. There is also a backdoor in. Approved travelers who are in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's "Global Entry" program can transfer into Precheck using their Global Entry number.

 I can't quite decide whether this is the TSA finally getting their shit together to put things back to normal with some intelligent screening practices that inexplicably can't be covered by the same budget that bought all those scanners, or if it's boldly admitting to the world that it's all been a horrific charade. Let's see what the TSA blog has to say about it:

 

Are you all "rararar why is this gif here i don't understand humor"? Here's a thorough explanation.

Choreography + EL wire = awesome dance party

Here's Japan's Wrecking Crew Orchestra performing some pretty wonderful dance moves made all the better by their electroluminescent wire garments, which cause them to seemingly wink in and out of existence on the dark stage

WRECKING CREW ORCHESTRA 20120208EL (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Copyright Math: the best TED Talk you'll watch all year

This may just be the best TED Talk video I've seen: listen.com/Rhapsody founder and extremely funny person (and soon-to-be debut science fiction author) Rob Reid examines the math behind the claims made by the copyright lobby and explains the mindbending awesomeness of the sums used to justify SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and the like. Here's Ars Technica's Ken Fisher discussing Reid's philosophy:

Reid’s goal was to capture and represent some of the rhetoric from that past decade and a half in a way that would fill the hall with laughter, even if some of it came at the expense of some clearly ridiculous industry arguments. “Everyone can laugh at silly infographics,” Reid opined while silently crushing the serious journalism dreams of hacks everywhere. “And who doesn't want to deface a Leave-it-to-Beaver-like Christmas scene with pirate-and-Santa graffiti?”

The brilliance of Reid’s talk is that he thoroughly skewers the content industry’s dubious appeal to quantitative reasoning. We’ve all see the headlines proclaiming huge numbers of dollars, jobs, and patents lost to piracy. The appeal to quantitative measures is supposed to undermine counterarguments by doing two things: slyly stepping into a (pretend) world of objectivity, and raising the alarm with big, scary numbers. It’s hard to look at those kinds of headlines in the same way after Reid’s elegantly hilarious skewering.

Reid’s examination of Copyright Math began when he started working on his soon-to-be published debut science fiction novel, Year Zero, which Random House is publishing in early July (we’ll be reviewing it). Year Zero tells the story of how the toxic legal byproducts of some overly litigious lawyers cause problems that make global warming seem downright cozy. Not to give it away, but could you imagine how pissed off an alien music lover might get if he was sued into bankruptcy for pirating a few lousy Rick Astley songs?

Copyright Math: a quantitative reasoning master class by Rob Reid (video)

Using Kickstarter to make fine art without galleries or grand committees or gazillionaires


Molly Crabapple sez, "While cultural institutions, from record labels to newspapers, are crumbling around us, the fine art world has remained relatively unchanged. Medici is The Crowd is an article about how I decided to create large, elaborate, political art without waiting for permission, and to fund it with the speed and populism of the internet. Shell Game, my art show about the financial crisis, whose Kickstarter inspired this article, is here."

Molly is a brilliant and principled artist, and a Kickstarter genius. She's got something to say.

What I wanted to figure out was a way to create work that was funded neither by rich collectors, nor by grant committees, nor by someone's supportive sugar daddy. I wanted to make giant, fancy, glittering art, paid for by small donors, all of whom, even if they couldn't afford the pieces I was making, got something of value in exchange. I wanted to make and fund art with the democracy and speed of the internet.

I decided to turn to the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter, where I had done three other successful projects.

Kickstarter is run on small backers, with most people donating between $20 and $100 dollars.

Here was my plan to give them something awesome:

I broke my rewards into four categories: "Access," "Artifact," "Art Objects," and "Art." "Access" was livestreams and parties and interactions with my backers. I wanted to hear their thoughts, and give them mine. "Artifact" meant the brushes, drawing scraps and paint battered palates that went into making giant paintings. I got the idea watching baseball players sell their baseballs. For "Art Objects," I made postcards, art-adorned poker chips, and other reasonably-priced reproductions.

Comment: Medici is the Crowd (Thanks, Molly!)

Android screen lock bests FBI

A court filing from an FBI Special Agent reports that the Bureau's forensics teams can't crack the pattern-lock utility on Android devices' screens. This is moderately comforting, given the courts' recent findings that mobile phones can be searched without warrants. David Kravets writes on Wired:

A San Diego federal judge days ago approved the warrant upon a request by FBI Special Agent Jonathan Cupina. The warrant was disclosed Wednesday by security researcher Christopher Soghoian,

In a court filing, Cupina wrote: (.pdf)

Failure to gain access to the cellular telephone’s memory was caused by an electronic ‘pattern lock’ programmed into the cellular telephone. A pattern lock is a modern type of password installed on electronic devices, typically cellular telephones. To unlock the device, a user must move a finger or stylus over the keypad touch screen in a precise pattern so as to trigger the previously coded un-locking mechanism. Entering repeated incorrect patterns will cause a lock-out, requiring a Google e-mail login and password to override. Without the Google e-mail login and password, the cellular telephone’s memory can not be accessed. Obtaining this information from Google, per the issuance of this search warrant, will allow law enforcement to gain access to the contents of the memory of the cellular telephone in question.

Rosenberg, in a telephone interview, suggested the authorities could “dismantle a phone and extract data from the physical components inside if you’re looking to get access.”

However, that runs the risk of damaging the phone’s innards, and preventing any data recovery.

FBI Can’t Crack Android Pattern-Screen Lock

Daily Show's Kristen Schaal on GOP attack on women's reproductive rights

Here's a transcript of some of Kristen Schaal's Daily Show routine on the current mandatory transvaginal ultrasound disgrace and the national attack on women's reproductive rights:

I just flew in from Virginia, and boy is my vagina tired! From the involuntary ultrasound wanding — AM I RIGHT, LADIES? (Beat.) And by the way, why do they call it a ‘wand’? Where are we — Hogwarts? The only thing magically disappearing was my dignity and privacy, BOOM!!!

…What’s the difference between a fertilized egg; a corporation; and a woman? (Beat.) One of them isn’t considered a person in Oklahoma! BOOM!!!

— KRISTEN SCHAAL, on The Daily Show (via Beth Pratt)

Anonymosus-OS: an OS for Anons


A group working under the Anonymous banner has release Anonymosus-OS, a derivative of the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution optimized for doing Anonymous-style stuff, with a bunch of "security testing" tools included in the distro. Given recent revelations about the infected version of the Low-Orbit Ion Cannon, it would be prudent to manually verify all the package checksums before using this.

Here some of preinstalled apps on Anonymous-OS:

- ParolaPass Password Generator
- Find Host IP
- Anonymous HOIC
- Ddosim
- Pyloris
- Slowloris
- TorsHammer
- Sqlmap
- Havij
- Sql Poison
- Admin Finder
- John the Ripper
- Hash Identifier
- Tor
- XChat IRC
- Pidgin
- Vidalia
- Polipo
- JonDo
- i2p
- Wireshark
- Zenmap
…and more

Anonymosus-OS

Speech synthesizer in 1K of Javascript

Mathieu 'P01' Henri, a French Web developer, has produced a functional speech synthesizer in 1k of JavaScript. It's an entry in the fourth JS1K competition.

JS1K#4 was colliding with our long awaited family vacation. I had very little time to work. Audio was ON this time and I had this tiny speech synthesizer laying around waiting to be ported to JavaScript and optimized to oblivion.

* Based on Tiny Speech Synth by Stepanov Andrey
* Optimized and minified manually, by yours truly
* Compressed down to 1020 bytes using First Crush by @tpdown

To go under 1K, I had to limit the synthesizer to two formant filters using either a sawtooth or noise and discard plosive sounds. In other words I had to sacrifice quality a bit.

Hope you like this entry.

JSK1K Speech Synthesizer

(via Waxy)

Revealed! Kony 2012's sinister Musical Comedy roots

From the first time I watched "Kony 2012," I always sensed a link with the storyline of Matt Stone and Trey Parker's Book of Mormon musical. But sweet fancy Moses, I did not know how closely linked the two truly were.

Aaron Stewart-Ahn tells us about the video above (which has been taken down by Invisible Children, but mirrored elsewhere):

Here's where the money has been going to: Invisible Children founder Jason Russell's vanity dance musical numbers which start off with exploitative footage of suffering children. How did no one else catch this? It makes the Kony 2012 video look subtle and sane. He's basically using this to fund his desire to make Glee.

This is where the millions are being spent: vanity musicals. Did Trey Parker write this??!! Russell has mentioned repeatedly how his ambitions were to make musicals. He intimated that he was going to make the musical popular again á la Glee, but this didn't work out—so he ended up in advocacy. It was that chat at the evangelical conference. So, here's a direct youtube link to 9m 10secs in the video where he talks about making musicals, and casually talks about his dream of documenting genocide.

That bit with the t-shirt with the African child on it is just... I'm speechless. Wonder why they've removed it from their YouTube channel, since it looks so damn expensive? It's insane, isn't it? I mean, seriously: it makes Scientology videos look charmingly naive.

UK funnyman Charlie Brooker has a bit of fun with Invisible Children and the Kony 2012 viral phenomenon, in the video embedded below.

Bonus round, below. Brooker asks, "Can ANYONE explain how this EPIC visual embarrassment helps Africa? OH GOD THERE'S MORE. Also: how much did this cost, did donations fund it, and what the TWIRLING FUCK does it mean?"

Read the rest

The Snowfield: A game of small mercies

On Play This Thing, Greg Costikyan reviews The Snowfield, a game developed as a student project at the Singapore MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. It sounds like a very odd and compelling experience: in The Snowfield, you're tasked with gathering up the survivors of a brutal battle on the eastern front in WWII and coaxing them to gather at a ruined house where a fire will keep them from freezing to death. Greg calls it "a game of small mercies."

You begin on what was clearly a battlefield not long ago, strewn with corpses, barbed wire, and broken fences, covered in snow. You are huddled and obviously freezing. There are some other soldiers in the area, mostly standing in a daze, shell-shocked; they speak to you (a handful of catch-phrases repeated), in German; evidently, this is the Eastern Front in World War II, though none of the corpses are wearing Russian uniforms. The setting is stark, and emotionally impactful.

Movement is via WASD; some items can be picked up, though only one at a time, and handed to others. In a ruined house nearby is a fire; if you spend too much time away from it, you freeze to death, the view becoming blurry about the edges and what seem like ice cracks appearing in your vision as warning. It's easy to lose your bearings in the snow and freeze to death; the controls are also a bit awkward and you cannot climb even a fairly shallow slope, so you sometimes find it hard to extricate yourself from your current position.

The Snowfield

Synchrotrons explained (with donuts)

Synchrotrons are a type of particle accelerator—a family of machines that includes the famous Large Hadron Collider.

Different synchrotrons do different jobs. The Diamond Light Source synchrotron in the United Kingdom focuses on producing high-energy beams of light, which are used to aid all different kinds of scientific research—from microbiology to archaeology.

In this short video, Harriet Bailey and Alice Lighton of Elements, a British science news page, explain how Diamond produces light to begin with and how synchrotrons work. They do this, using a model built out of donuts.

This is part of a package of stories on the Diamond Light Source synchrotron. Go to Elements to check out the rest of their coverage, and learn about how this synchrotron is being used for tasks like preserving historic ships and fighting cancer!

Video Link

Via Ed Yong

Laser de-printer lifts ink from paper, leaving it ready to be reused

An experimental printer documented by Cambridge University scientists in a paywalled Royal Society paper is capable of laser-ablating the toner off of sheets of previously printed paper, leaving them ready to be reused. The device uses picosecond pulses of a green laser that passes through the cellulose in the paper, but vaporizes the toner.

The primary goal of unprinting is to cut down on the carbon footprint of the paper and printing industries. Manufacturing paper is incredibly messy business that produces millions of tons of CO2 every year. Recycling paper is definitely a step in the right direction, but it’s still a very resource-intensive process. If we could simply delete sheets of paper, rather than re-pulping them, we could cut down on electricity usage, CO2 output, and most importantly fresh water, which is growing more scarce by the year. It would also be rather handy if you never had to buy another ream of paper, too.

In a worst-case scenario, The University of Cambridge unprinting method has half the carbon emissions of recycling; best-case, unprinting is almost 20 times as efficient. It’s now a matter of building the technology into a commercial device, which the team admits is probably a long way off. High-powered picosecond lasers are the reserve of labs… for now!

The laser unprinter (via /.)

Darth Vader wheezing for ten hours straight

Need ten hours of Darth Vader's mechano-asthmatic wheeze? Look no further, for Murdock129's YouTube video has the soundtrack for your days.

10 Hours of Darth Vader Breathing (via IO9)

Mid-century cat scientists

What did people do for fun before photoshop? I don't even remember.

Please enjoy the entire blog at Tumblr (of course): Cat Scientists of the 1960s.

Via Heather Fenoughty

The beautiful surface of the Sun

Phil Plait linked to this amazing photo of the Sun on the Bad Astronomy blog today. It's incredible. Like nothing I've ever seen before. The photographer is Alan Friedman. Plait explains how Friedman got this look, which is a very nice reminder that space photography is seldom really about "point and click".

Alan uses an Hα filter, which cuts out almost all the light from the Sun except for a narrow slice of color emitted by warm hydrogen. This reduces the glare hugely, and reveals delicate structures in the Sun’s plasma. He then inverts the image, so bright things appear dark, and vice-versa. That’s an old astronomer’s trick that makes fainter things easier to see.

Like this close-up? Go to the Bad Astronomy blog to see Alan Friedman's photo of the full Sun. Your mind will be blown. I promise.

This Explains a Lot

Noticed this on the street in LA this morning. Anyone know who the artist is? 

Update: Castro Burger has left us a comment and is the artist behind the poster.  Nice work Mr. Burger!

Roy Doty illustrates a new book on economics


I've been a fan of Roy Doty's ever since I discovered his Wordless Workshop comics for Popular Science magazine, which he's been doing since the 1950s. He started illustrating professionally in 1948 after serving in WWII and at age 90, Roy is showing no signs of slowing down. His illustrations are as fantastic as ever. It's an honor to feature his work in every issue of MAKE, and I love receiving his scanned pencil roughs (I approve them every time, and he inks them beautifully). His latest book (he's done over 300) is called Easy Economics: A Visual Guide to What You Need to Know, by Leonard Wolfe.

New hypothesis proposes a link between obesity and carbon dioxide

Let me preface anything else in this post by clarifying something important. What we are talking about here is a hypothesis—it's not been proven. In fact, it's not even really been tested yet. The studies that will put the hypothesis to the test are currently underway. So please (please, please, please) do not walk away assuming this is a given. It's not. It could very well be completely and utterly wrong. But it's interesting. And it will be in the news. And I want you guys to hear about it in the proper context.

Make sense? Okay, then ...

There are scientists who think that there could, possibly be a connection between air pollution and obesity.

This idea is (for now) based on "what if" extrapolation rather than data. But it's not totally crazy. We know air pollution affects health in ways would not have been obvious just a few decades ago. For instance, there is a strong, well-documented connection between air pollution and heart disease. In 2009, Aruni Bhatnagar, professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, told me that studies from 250 different metropolitan areas in the United States showed that a spike in air pollution was reliably followed by a spike in cardiac deaths within next 24-48 hours. The people primarily at risk are those who already have underlying heart health problems, but it's not always clear who those people are. We don't yet know exactly how pollution affects the heart—it could well be a cascade of effects that actually starts in the lungs—but we can see that the affect is there.

This new hypothesis, proposed by Arne Astrup, head of the department of obesity and nutrition at the University of Copenhagen, does not come with that kind of supporting evidence. Instead, it's more of an extrapolation.

At Discovery News, Emily Sohn explains why this hypothesis could make sense—and why it's way too early to say whether or not it's actually right.

The idea proposes that breathing in extra CO2 makes blood more acidic, which in turn causes neurons that regulate appetite, sleep and metabolism to fire more frequently. As a result, we might be eating more, sleeping less and gaining more weight, partly as a result of the air we breathe.

...Obesity and its associated health risks have escalated dramatically in the last few decades. And even though just about everyone thinks the reason is obvious -- we are eating too many calories and exercising too little -- research has revealed that obesity is far more complex than that, with multiple genes, metabolic pathways and even gut microbes involved, said obesity researcher David Allison, director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Read the full story at Discovery News

Image: Pollution, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from akeg's photostream

Patent troll takes aim at taxpayers

Martin Jones patents obvious ideas. A holding company, ArrivalStar, is shaking down cash-strapped cities nationwide over one for public transport scheduling—and they're paying up, to avoid costly litigation. The EFF has launched a campaign to invalidate the patent, and you can help.

Wasteland sequel kickstarted


Wasteland, the classic post-apocalyptic sandbox RPG, is to receive a sequel a quarter of a century later. "We wanted to make a Wasteland sequel, but didn't have the rights," says creator Brian Fargo of the publishing environment back then. "So we made Fallout instead."

Flipping the Bird: Is the Fed on Twitter a Horrible Idea?

Even the farsighted Founding Fathers could not have foreseen this--the Fed is now on Twitter! Just think of the possibilities-- one fine Friday any Fed functionary could foment a world crisis in 140 characters or less! It could be as simple as a typo.

For example, the Fed's second tweet was: "Watch a video of Chairman #Bernanke explaining the structure of the Federal Reserve. #fed #economy"

What if it accidentally read: "Watch a video of Chairman #Bernanke exploding the structure of the Federal Reserve. #fed #economy"

Or even worse, what if a disgruntled Fed employee tweeted: "New Fed figures fuel inflation fears--discount rate will be set at 11% next week"

Get the idea?

Perhaps it's a laudable thing that the Fed wants to move into the 21st century by means of instant communication through Twitter. But I wonder--does anyone really need a "cool Fed" or a "fab Fed?" Remember the famous "briefcase theory" during the tenure of Alan Greenspan? That theory held that if Greenspan left his house (on a day when the Open Market Committee was meeting) with a bulging briefcase, it was because the Chairman had armed himself with a battery of statistical reports and planned to argue a rate change. However, a slimmer briefcase indicated that the FOMC would leave rates alone (this was, of course, in pre-iPad times.) If people actually resorted to measuring the thickness of a briefcase for a sign of policy change, how long would it be before almost anything that was tweeted acquired major significance? After all, just a couple weeks ago the price of gold dropped by a whopping four percent, evidently because Chairman Benrnanke made a comment about improving employment conditions. So, in a world where the images of the Virgin Mary regularly appear on tuna melts, it's a safe bet that someone somewhere will find Nostradamus-like predictions cleverly hidden in the verbiage of an otherwise banal tweet.

Read the rest

TEDxConejo: March 31 in Thousand Oaks, Ca

Don Levy says:"Inventor and Innovator Ravi Sawhney (founder of RKS Design), the producer, engineer and recording artist Alan Parsons, music tastemaker Nic Harcourt, Homeboy-Industries founder Father Greg Boyle, human educator Zoe Weil, and filmmaker Lindsay Doran, are among a variety of speakers at TEDxConejo on March 31 in Thousand Oaks, CA. Now in its 3rd year as an independently organized TEDx event operated under license from TED and produced in association with the Conejo Valley Unified School District and the Conejo Schools Foundation, TEDxConejo is an exciting community of thinkers and doers, interested and interesting people of all ages and backgrounds. Under the theme 'Together,' the 3 full sessions and interactive lunch of this 3rd Edition of TEDxConejo 2012 explores the always fascinating, often inspiring, occasionally surprising and sometimes vexing interconnectedness of our world."

Rebecca Gates and the Consortium - "Dangerous" (MP3 download)

Sound it Out # 21: Rebecca Gates and the Consortium - "Dangerous"

Rebecca Gates originally blew my mind with her fantastic duo The Spinanes. She and Scott Plouf (who now drums for Built to Spill) created a passionate and full-bodied sound that you'd never guess could come from a 2-piece band. Rebecca's lyrics were at once vulnerable and bold and she managed to play lead and rhythm guitar parts live. 

But it was always the vocals that set her apart. She has possibly the sexiest, least contrived voice out there. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I heard her band’s new cover of “Dangerous”, originally done by the 80’s R&B group Cool’R. This song is part of the “Jackpot Covers Portland” series, in which Jackpot studios in Portland (Oregon) gets local artists to record versions of songs originally done by other Portlanders.

“Dangerous” is a lot of fun. Gates and her Consortium band-mates Joanna Bolme (who also plays in Steven Malkmus’ The Jicks) and Ji Tanzer (Blue Cranes) embrace the 80’s keyboard breaks and silly percussion sounds while throwing down a serious bass line. Rebecca’s voice is as seductive as ever.

Rebecca Gates and the Consortium will be releasing a new album of originals called The Float on May 15.

BONUS! Listen the original version of Cool’R’s “Dangerous” here

Download  “Dangerous” below for one week only!

Free Claude Lalumière and Richard A. Lupoff in San Francisco

The next installment in San Francisco's excellent SF in SF reading series will feature Claude Lalumière and Richard A. Lupoff, on Mar 17. Jameson's will be served at the cash bar. Admission is free, as always, though donations are solicited for Variety Children’s Charity of Northern California.

Sponsor shout-out: Watchismo

Our thanks go to Watchismo for sponsoring Boing Boing Blast, our once-daily delivery of headlines by email.

Here's a BoingBoing-only offer! Watchismo is offering the ODM Time Track Watches for only $77 each, for one week only. Just enter coupon code BOINGTRACK at checkout to redeem almost 65 percent off the original $220 price.

An experimental design fusing military aesthetics with comic book wit, designer Jean Charles de Castelbajac created the ODM Time Track for his JCDC watch collection. Featuring big colorful casings brandished with a monochromatic protective bumpers and rails surrounding the timepiece, each watch is packed inside a collectible custom clamped military box. See all ODM Watches.

Bunnie Huang's open Geiger counter: design notes and reference


Bunnie Huang, cracker of the Xbox and creator of the Chumby, wanted to do something to help people in Japan following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. He created a reference design for a cheap, reliable, stylish Geiger counter for everyday carry, under the auspices of Safecast, a group that works on ongoing disaster relief in Japan. Being a consummate hardware hacker, bunnie has documented the steps he took along the way to create his free/open Geiger counter.

After much discussion and review with the Safecast team, we decided that a key component of the user experience should be a graphic display, instead of a 7-segment LED readout. Therefore, a 128×128 pixel OLED panel was incorporated into the design. The OLED panel would be mounted behind a continuous outer shell, so there would be no seams or outward design features resulting from the introduction of the OLED. However, as the OLED is not bright enough to shine through an opaque white plastic exterior shell, a clear window had to be provided for the OLED. As a result, the naturally black color of the OLED caused the preferred color scheme of the exterior case to go from light colors to dark colors. User interaction would occur through a captouch button array hidden behind the same shell, with perhaps silkscreen outlines to provide hints as to where the buttons were underneath the shell. I had originally resisted the idea of using the OLED because it’s very expensive, but once I saw how much an LND7317 tube would cost in volume, I realized that it would be silly to not add a premium feature like an OLED. Due to the sensor alone, the retail price of the device would be in the hundreds of dollars; so adding an OLED display would help make the device “feel” a lot more valuable than a 7-segment LED display, even though the OLED’s presence is largely irrelevant to the core function of the apparatus.

Safecast Geiger Counter Reference Design

Hunger Games trimmed by 7s to earn kid-friendly UK rating

The Hunger Games is a young adult novel about a grim future, in which teens are picked each year to fight to the death on TV. The subject matter, however, has earned the eagerly-awaited movie adaptation some ratings troubles. In the U.S., the MPAA issued it a PG-13 rating, for movies with material "inappropriate" for pre-teens. In the UK, the distributor cut 7 seconds of blood splatter to earn a "12" rating instead of the "15" first offered by censors there -- children under the rated age may not enter theaters unless accompanied by an adult.

Reminder: Maggie live chat about the future of energy at 11:00 Eastern

I'll be chatting live with the editors of Treehugger.com, starting at 11:00 Eastern. The chat will be embedded at Treehugger. There will be opportunities for viewers to participate in the conversation!