Kickstarting Fabulous Beasts, a tabletop game that uses smartblocks

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Fabulous Beasts is a new game from indie studio Sensible Object, which combines stacking/balancing (think Jenga) with smart, sensor-enabled blocks that talk to your mobile device as you play the game, creating fun and complex challenges. Read the rest

Call for submissions: SHARE electronic art festival, curated by Bruce Sterling

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The ninth Share Festival, held in Turin, Italy in May 2016, awards a "Share Prize" for best electronic art on the festival's theme of "House Guests," which raises a series of questions about everyday living and the Internet of Things, inspired by Casa Jasmina, a human-centered model IoT home: Read the rest

Abusing the Internet of Things: Blackouts, Freakouts, and Stakeouts

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Nitesh Dhanjani's 2015 O'Reilly book Abusing the Internet of Things: Blackouts, Freakouts, and Stakeouts is a very practical existence-proof of the inadequacy and urgency of Internet of Things security.

A search-engine for insecure cameras, from baby-monitors to grow-ops

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Hackers have been compromising wireless baby-monitors since 2013, but the more popular they've become, the more vulnerable they've become, and the attacks just keep getting more terrible. Read the rest

Just look at this password-dispensing banana

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Just look at it. Read the rest

GM's Dieselgate: mechanics privately admit software update removes crimeware from Opel cars

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Luc Pauwels from Belgium's VRT News took his Vauxhall (GM) Opel Astra in for service, and a mechanic there disclosed that Vauxhall had asked him to flash the firmware of any diesel Opel Zafira to remove a defeat-device that caused it to emit 500% of the legal NOx limit -- an order that came down right after the Dieselgate scandal broke.

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Griefer hacks baby monitor, terrifies toddler with spooky voices

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Remember how, back in September 2015, researchers revealed that virtually every "smart" baby-monitor they tested was riddled with security vulnerabilities that let strangers seize control over it, spying on you and your family? Read the rest

The Internet of Things in Your Butt: smart rectal thermometer

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Ha-ha-yes, it's true, there's an IoT rectal thermometer, which is about as irrationally exuberant as you can get about a technology bubble, bu(t)t... Read the rest

Your smartwatch knows your ATM and phone PIN

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Because a PIN-pad is so constrained and predictable, the accelerometer in your smartwatch is able to guess with a high degree of confidence (73%) what you enter into it -- it can also serve as a general-purpose keylogger, though with less accuracy (59%), thanks to the complexity of the keyboard. Read the rest

Vtech, having leaked 6.3m kids' data, now wants to run your home security

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Remember the Hong Kong-based crapgadgeteer Vtech, who breached 6.3 million kids' data from a database whose security was jaw-droppingly poor (no salted hashes, no code-injection countermeasures, no SSL), who then lied and stalled after they were outed? They want to make home security devices that will know everything you say and do in your house. Read the rest

The DMCA poisoned the Internet of Things in its cradle

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Bruce Schneier explains the short, terrible history of the Internet of Things, in which companies were lured to create proprietary lock-ins for their products because the DMCA, a stupid 1998 copyright law, gave them the power to sue anyone who made a product that connected to theirs without permission. Read the rest

Unevenly distributed futures: an interview with @internetofshit

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The @internetofshit account posts sardonic observations about the Internet of Things, which is filled with the most depressing array of useless, dangerously insecure, exploitative junk imaginable. Read the rest

Ada Lovelace: what would go into an Internet of Women's Things?

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Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, is no longer who she once was, 200 years ago. Time changes all famous people, especially cult personalities. Ada has become a modern icon for the digitizing world of science and literature.

What's inside a "Hello Barbie" surveillance toy?

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Mattel's Hello Barbie has a microphone and a wifi interface, and it transmits the phrases it hears to a central server in order to parse them and formulate a response. Mattel claims that the data isn't being retained or harvested for marketing purposes, and assures parents that they can make Barbie stopping eavesdropping on them at will. But does it work? Read the rest

Caterpillar's heavy vehicles are killswitched subprime computers on wheels

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In an earnings call in which Caterpillar execs explained their dismal takings to investors, Cat execs explained their plan to grow by leasing tractors to Chinese companies with crummy track-records for payment. Read the rest

Librarian of Congress grants limited DRM-breaking rights for cars, games, phones, tablets, and remixers

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Every three years, the Librarian of Congress allows the public to request exemptions to a law that makes it a felony to break a digital lock, even on on a device that you own, and which you are breaking for a lawful purpose. For the past year, public interest groups have been spending their scarce money and resources writing petitions to the Copyright Office, arguing that people who own devices with computers in them should have the same property rights as they do in their non-computerized devices: the right to open, change, and improve the things they own in lawful ways.

Near-future Ikea catalog: the Internet of Things' flat-pack as a service

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Julian Bleecker and his Near Future Laboratory have followed up on their amazing Skymall-of-the-future catalog with an imaginary near-future Ikea catalog that jam an insane amount of witty futuristic speculation into elegantly presented, arresting images.

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