According to a leaked NSA document, the spy agency can snoop on personal iPhone communications
such as SMS messages, location and cellular data. Though any
device could be compromised likewise given the physical access required, the document demonstrates that the NSA a) is actually doing it, and b) is working on (and may also have successfully developed) remote hacks. Apple says it has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of its products
and is unaware of the shenanigans. [Daily Dot] — Rob
Valentin Squirelo and friends at HackerLoop built a miniature model of the flying house from UP! outfitted with a Raspberry Pi computer and floated it above Paris where it posted live photos to Instagram. This was particularly interesting because generally photos can only be uploaded to Instagram via the official iOS or Android app. HackerLoop worked around that limitation. HackerLoop's #Upstagram
You know how some media love "he said, she said" journalism? The kind in which any issue, no matter the facts or relative degrees of extremism, is narrated in perfect equilibrium between two opposed, yet indistinguishably-intractable sides. Doesn't that stuff suck? OK! Cool.
Moving on, Slate's Daniel Engber has an interesting article up today about how Democrats and Republicans all hate science just as much as one another: "Willful ignorance of science is a bipartisan value."
YouTube makes available a set of different-sized thumbnails for every video through its API, but sometimes you just need to grab 'em and go. So I made a plain-jane widget to grab what's available, at-a-glance, for any given YT URL
. Enjoy! — Rob
Yesterday, GoDaddy went down, taking with it countless hosted sites. A hacker claimed credit
, gaining the attention of the entire tech press. But his story was soon debunked
: a DNS configuration mistake was the real cause. At Threat Level, Robert McMillan recounts the greatest hacks that never were
. — Rob
Jason Torchinsky of Jalopnik shows how to turn old car parts into a video game controller.
The idea came to me while adjusting the mirrors in a car, and realizing that the little mirror-control joystick was better than many video game joysticks I used. I then had a waking dream of the grand possibilities of playing old videogames with control pads sourced from cars. The dream was a beautiful, fantastical vision of a world we could all achieve. I woke up hours later behind a CVS, and headed straight to a junkyard to make this dream real.
Super-sleuth readers may note that in the final project I used a seat control panel instead of a mirror controller. There's a reason for that. When I got the mirror control pads and joysticks home and tested them, I uncovered one of the auto industry's darkest secrets: the "up" and "left" directions on mirror controllers are THE SAME DAMN THING. They're wired together! Think of all the times you've thought you were adjusting your mirror up, not left, thinking you were hot shit? IT'S ALL BEEN A FILTHY LIE. So I soon learned to look elsewhere. Luckily, 70s-80s American cars provided the solution, since they're full of funny little chrome joysticks for seat controls and other various duties.
How to turn old car parts into a video game controller
To avoid a return to work, an unemployed Austrian man apparently sawed his own foot off
. [Reuters] — Rob
to stop people rooting
their PlayBooks are failing
. But it will keep trying! Because sunk costs aren't just about money, you know! — Rob
The next time you log into your Sony Playstation Network account, the company is going to ask you to click through a EULA whereby you promise not to sue them in a class action
if they get hacked again, even if they're negligent, and even if you get screwed over as a result. If you don't agree, no more PSN for you. (Thanks, @sickkid1972!
At Macworld, Lex Friedman looks at recent reports of hacked iTunes accounts, where hundreds of users say gift card credit was wiped out by purchases made without their permission. Apple is issuing refunds, but is otherwise mostly silent on the matter.
This is a mystery story, but it’s not a great one. A great mystery generally involves a detective who gathers the evidence, performs an investigation, and finally issues the spectacular reveal: the motive, the guilty party, and—if all goes well—the punishment. In the mystery of the Towson Hack, unfortunately, we’ve got a crime, evidence, and a motive, but no justice, and no real resolution. Consider yourself warned.
The Towson Hack: The mystery of vanishing iTunes credit
Many social games have measures to prevent cheating by mucking around with the date settings. But kids are too smart to be stopped that easily. PC Magazine's Sara Yin reports on a brilliant exploit discovered by CyFi, a 10 year-old Girl Scout who presented her findings at Defcon.
She began tinkering with the code after growing impatient with the game's slow place, and discovered that by disconnecting her phone from Wi-Fi and re-setting the clock forward in small increments, she could fast-forward many of the actions in the game, "a new class of vulnerabilities" she dubbed "TimeTraveler."
10-Year-Old Presents App Exploit at DefCon [PC Mag]