Working, thumbnail-sized papercraft single-stroke engine

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Aliaksei Zholner's Youtube account features various small, clever papercraft engines that he's made over the years, but the latest one, measuring a mere 18 x 13 x 22 mm, is the daintiest, most lovely one yet, and well worth the long hiatus since Zholner's previous outing. Read the rest

Woman Kyrgyz singer records amazing version of a traditionally male-voiced poem

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Gulzada Ryskulova's musical version of the Manas epic -- a folkloric tale usually recited by Kyrgyz men -- is nothing short of amazing, as is the tale itself, which was preserved through furtive oral tradition during the Soviet era, in which it was suppressed. Read the rest

The latest generation of chatbot toys listen to your kids 24/7 and send their speech to a military contractor

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Last year's Hello Barbie chatbot toy sent all your kid's speech to cloud servers operated by Mattel and its tech partner, but only when your kid held down Barbie's listen button -- new chatbot toys like My Friend Cayla and the i-Que Intelligent Robot are in constant listening mode -- as is your "OK Google" enabled phone, your Alexa-enabled home mic, and your Siri-enabled Ios device -- and everything that is uttered in mic range is transmitted to Nuance, a company that makes text-to-speech tech (you probably know them through their Dragon-branded tools), and contracts to the US military. Read the rest

Mr Robot has driven a stake through the Hollywood hacker, and not a moment too soon

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Mr Robot is the most successful example of a small but fast-growing genre of "techno-realist" media, where the focus is on realistic portrayals of hackers, information security, surveillance and privacy, and it represents a huge reversal on the usual portrayal of hackers and computers as convenient plot elements whose details can be finessed to meet the story's demands, without regard to reality. Read the rest

dj BC has your Christmas mashups covered with this year's amazing Santastic holiday music sampler

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dj BC writes, "My best Christmas mashups from the past decade are collected for this year's Santastic (previously) holiday music sampler. You can also dig on the site for the full albums from past years, our 'Menorah Mashups' Chanukah collection, and my chill instrumental album of holiday classical remixes. It's all free." Read the rest

Peter Sellers recites the Beatles (in funny voices)

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Robbo writes, "Peter Sellers recorded a series of performances, in a variety of voices, reciting the lyrics of popular Beatles songs. It is demented weirdness - and perfect in all its madness." Read the rest

Crooks can guess Visa card details in six seconds by querying lots of websites at once

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In Does The Online Card Payment Landscape Unwittingly Facilitate Fraud?, a new paper in IEEE Security & Privacy, researchers from the University of Newcastle demonstrate a technique for guessing secruity details for credit-card numbers in six seconds -- attackers spread their guesses out across many websites at once, so no website gets enough bad guesses to lock the card or trigger a fraud detection system. Read the rest

My keynote from the O'Reilly Security Conference: "Security and feudalism: Own or be pwned"

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Here's the 32 minute video of my presentation at last month's O'Reilly Security Conference in New York, "Security and feudalism: Own or be pwned." Read the rest

UK reports of webcam blackmail (sextortion, RATting, etc) more than double in 2016

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So far 864 people in the UK have reported instances of "webcam blackmail" to police in 2016, more than double the number of reported incidents in 2015. Read the rest

NTP: the rebirth of ailing, failing core network infrastructure

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Network Time Protocol is how the computers you depend on know what time it is (this is critical to network operations, cryptography, and many other critical functions); NTP software was, until recently, stored in a proprietary format on a computer that no one had the password for (and which had not been updated in a decade), and maintained almost entirely by one person. Read the rest

Kickstarting Soviet Daughter, a graphic novel memoir of coming of age in Ukraine after the Revolution

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Elly from Microcosm publishing writes: "Our next book has been in the works for years, but as we launch our Kickstarter we find it's become terrifyingly current: Soviet Daughter is a rather swashbuckling story of her great-grandmother Lola, who came of age in the Soviet Ukraine, in the wake of the October Revolution." Read the rest

Beyond Bad Lip Reading: the Auralnauts' astounding Star Wars remixes

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The Auralnauts' wildly successful Star Wars remixes have gone from strength to strength, combining bad lip reading, South Park-ish raunchy humor, and massive dance-parties accompanied by some seriously rockin' tunes. Read the rest

Bad Lip Reading Empire Strikes Back: the funky seagull mix

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Yoda's never been so funky as he is in this amazing 4-minute music video for "SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)," a masterpiece from the Bad Lip Reading project, whose virtuosity is so great that "lip reading" a puppet doesn't even seem like a cheat. (via Waxy) Read the rest

A prescient glimpse of the Trump Oval Office

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(Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Vi Hart's statistical perspective on the American electoral divide

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Fast-talking national-treasure math vlogger Vi Hart (previously) takes a statistical look at the polling data from the 2016 presidential election and concludes that the most significant divide in the country is "old vs young," which drives things like rural/urban (because young people leave failing rural areas for cities) and even racial divides. Read the rest

Listening to users is the first step in making them secure

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Quinn Norton's lecture A Network of Sorrows: Small Adversaries and Small Allies at Hack.lu (helpfully transcribed by the Open Transcripts folks!) is a great call-to-arms for user-centered security. Read the rest

Brilliant: YYZ meets Milkshake

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Gary writes, "This mashup of Rush's 'YYZ' and Kelis's 'Milkshake' is an absolute masterpiece." Also: Randy "Macho Man" Savage and Thong Song. Read the rest

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