Denial-of-coffee attacks affect networked coffee-maker

If you own a Jura F90 Coffee Maker, you can also buy a Jura Internet Connection Kit, which lets you program and set your coffee prefs via the network: however, its got a bunch of vulnerabilities that allow for remote denial-of-coffee attacks:

Guess what - it can not be patched as far as I can tell ;) It also has a few software vulnerabilities.

Fun things you can do with a Jura coffee maker: 1. Change the preset coffee settings (make weak or strong coffee) 2. Change the amount of water per cup (say 300ml for a short black) and make a puddle 3. Break it by engineering settings that are not compatible (and making it require a service)


(via /.)

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Charlie Stross in Second Life this Saturday

Wagner James Au sez, "Extropia, a large and prestigious futurist/transhumanist city in Second Life, will host Charles Stross at Sophrosyne's Special Salon, this Saturday, June 21, from 1-2:30 pm Pacific. Charlie will discuss the Singluarity in fiction, cutting-edge technologies, his Hugo-Award finalist novel Halting State, about virtual worlds and augmented reality, and his upcoming novel Saturn's Children. All event info at the link."


(Thanks, James!)

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Recycled teacup lights

Domestic Construction's "Ted Lights" are made from recycled teacups -- you can get 'em in singles or clusters.


(via Cribcandy) Read the rest

Philly cops raids activists who circulated anti-CCTV petititon

Privacy activists in North Philadelphia who circulated a petition opposing the spy-cameras that were going up in their neighborhood were busted by cops on a warrantless raid. The police captain later gave a press interview where he called them a "hate group" and said he hoped to " drum up charges against them."

He said he isn't a member of any political group, but he said he and others in the house recently circulated petitions that raised questions about the appearance of surveillance cameras in the neighborhood and about the beating of three suspects by police that was seen on a TV video.

Moffat said police did not mention damage to any surveillance camera when they arrived Friday morning. He said Wilson had told him police had received a complaint that the residents of the house were living there illegally.


(via Futurismic) Read the rest

Swedish journalists march on Parliament to oppose wiretapping bill

Danny sez,

Sweden's parliament is about to vote on a law that would legalize a massive data-mining wiretap on all its cross-border traffic: scooping up millions of innocent communications and feeding them to a shady, military government agency, the FRA, that most Swedes had not heard of until this week.

Tech-savvy Swedes have been campaigning against this law for over a year, but it's only now that the general public have heard about its provisions. It will only take four MPs to vote down the bill, but Sweden's normally calm parliamentary procedure has been riven with strong-arm tactics from the leading parties (one rebel MPs was in tears as she was pressured to take a fake "compromise"). Now it looks like the law will pass.

The vote happens tomorrow (June 18th), the Swedish Federation of Journalists has called on all writers to march on parliament, and are asking the international media to cover this story before the "Swedish Spywall" is raised.


(Thanks, Danny!)

See also: Swedes take to the street to fight domestic spying Read the rest

School has child taken away because "psychic" claimed she was abused

The administration at Terry Fox Elementary in Barrie Ontario called Children's Aid on Colleen Leduc and accused her of allowing her autistic daughter to be sexually assaulted. They based the accusation on something a "psychic" told the special ed worker who worked with the kid.

"The teacher looked and me and said: 'We have to tell you something. The educational assistant who works with Victoria went to see a psychic last night, and the psychic asked the educational assistant at that particular time if she works with a little girl by the name of "V." And she said 'yes, I do.' And she said, 'well, you need to know that that child is being sexually abused by a man between the ages of 23 and 26.'"

Victoria, who is non-verbal, had also been exhibiting sexualized behaviour in class, actions which are known to be typical of autistic behavior. (See other typical actions here) That lead authorities to suspect she had a bladder infection that may have somehow been related to the 'attack.'


(Thanks, Bruce!) Read the rest

TimesPeople, a lightweight socialnetwork for the New York Times

TimesPeople is a pretty neat-sounding social networking plugin for the New York Times website -- the thing I like about it is how lightweight it is. It's not trying to get you dates or make friends, it's just trying to use the people you trust to help you find good stuff.

TimesPeople is a social network for Times readers. But it's not a social network like Facebook or MySpace – you won't have Times friends, and it won't get you Times dates. Instead, you'll assemble a network of Times readers. Then you'll be able to share interesting things on with others in the network. For example, when you recommend an article, comment on a blog post, or rate a movie or restaurant, these activities will become visible to other TimesPeople members in a special toolbar at the top of every page. You'll also have a personal page that keeps track of your TimesPeople activities and lets you browse your network of readers.

TimesPeople is a great way to discover things on that you might not otherwise have found and to share your discoveries with people you know and trust. It's also a way to connect with other Times readers whose recommendations interest you.

Link to TimesPeople download page, Link to TimesPeople FAQ Read the rest

Debunking the climate-change denialists' talking-points

Have you noticed that whenever you mention climate change online a bunch of people show up with identical objections -- almost as though there was a list of talking points somewhere on the Internet that astroturfers and denialists used to derail discussions of the most grave existential crisis facing the human race today?

Here's Grist's answer to that, a point-by-point debunking of the climate change "skeptic's" talking points:

I. There's nothing happening

1. Inadequate evidence * There is no evidence * One record year is not global warming * The temperature record is simply unreliable * One hundred years is not enough * Glaciers have always grown and receded * Warming is due to the Urban Heat Island effect * Mauna Loa is a volcano * The scientists aren't even sure

2. Contradictory evidence * It's cold today in Wagga Wagga * Antarctic ice is growing * The satellites show cooling * What about mid-century cooling? * Global warming stopped in 1998 * But the glaciers are not melting * Antarctic sea ice is increasing * Observations show climate sensitivity is not very high * Sea level in the Arctic is falling * Some sites show cooling

3. No consensus * Global warming is a hoax * There is no consensus * Position statements hide debate * Consensus is collusion * Peiser refuted Oreskes


(via WorldChanging) Read the rest

Edge-notched cards: stacks of papercraft hypertext

Kevin Kelly brings us an extraordinary reminiscence of the not-entirely-defunct (?) "edge-notched card," a punchcard hypertext technology that inspired visionaries and weirdos for decades before the PC came along.

Edge-notched cards were invented in 1896. These are index cards with holes on their edges, which can be selectively slotted to indicate traits or categories, or in our language today, to act as a field. Before the advent of computers were one of the few ways you could sort large databases for more than one term at once. In computer science terms, you could do a "logical OR" operation. This ability of the system to sort and link prompted Douglas Engelbart in 1962 to suggest these cards could implement part of the Memex vision of hypertext.


(Thanks, Daniel!) Read the rest

Las ultimas palabras de la Pequeña Hillary Clinton

"The final words of la Pequeña Hillary Clinton." Goddamn I'm gonna miss her. Not the American presidential candidate, but the impersonation by a diminutively statured YouTube star of the (very deep) south. How can we forget this campaign speech? Snip:

American don' whon gou the wold whre people wis floyerty Iraq brincous where no sacrificie ouf pipple.

Or this unforgettable interview? She's the only politician whose words make any sense.

Anyway, Video Link to her final message. She's actually part of a troupe of performers who appear in videos produced by a guy in Chile named Felipe Avello. (via Reverse Cowgirl)

Previously on BB:

La Pequeña Prohibida La Pequeña Hillary Clinton La Pequeña Amy Winehouse Read the rest

Reuse and ingenuity in Nairobi's metalworking industry

Afrigadget reports from Gikomba, a metalworking district in Nairobi where ingenious reuse and improvisation are the order of the day:

I ran into a George Odhiambo, a bulk fabricator of everything from wheelbarrows to chisels. The chisels caught my eye, primarily because one of them looked a lot like a shaft straight out of a Land Rover. It turns out that they reuse multiple types of iron for their goods, including leftover pieces from old vehicles. Nothing goes to waste here.

Even more interesting to me (probably because it moved and did stuff with fire), was the bicycle-turned-to-bellows that kept the fire going that would heat the metal rods. It’s a fairly simple, yet ingenious contraption that utilizes old materials with a little bit of engineering. The thing runs all day, every day too, so it’s made to last.

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Today on Boing Boing Gadgets

Today on Boing Boing Gadgets, we divided the cake to millimeter-accurate precision; bemoaned the cancellation of the MSI Wind subnotebook's best feature; and wondered why Apple was underselling the speed of AT&T's HSDPA network. Looking askance at AMD's derivative advertising tropes, we stood in awe before Read the rest

Smithsonian magazine on synthetic diamonds that fool experts

Here's a great article from the Smithsonian about synthetic diamonds, which are getting better all the time. The De Beers cartel is none too pleased to have its empire threatened by upstarts like Apollo Diamond.

"This is a virtual diamond mine," says Apollo CEO Bryant Linares when I arrive at the company's secret location, where diamonds are made. "If we were in Africa, we'd have barbed wire, security guards and watch towers. We can't do that in Massachusetts." Apollo's directors worry about theft, corporate spies and their own safety. When Linares was at a diamond conference a few years ago, he says, a man he declines to describe slipped behind him as he was walking out of a hotel meeting room and said someone from a natural diamond company just might put a bullet in his head. "It was a scary moment," Linares recalls.

Bryant's father, Robert Linares, working with a collaborator who became a co-founder of Apollo, invented the company's diamond-growing technique. Robert escorts me into one of the company's production rooms, a long hall filled with four refrigerator-size chambers bristling with tubes and gauges. As technicians walk past in scrubs and lab coats, I glance inside the porthole window of one of the machines. A kryptonite-green cloud fills the top of the chamber; at the bottom are 16 button-size disks, each one glowing a hazy pink. "Doesn't look like anything, right?" Robert says. "But they will be half-caraters in a few weeks."

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George Takei and Brad Altman first to get marriage license in West Hollywood

From Damon Romine, Entertainment Media Director, GLAAD:

Actor George Takei, 71, and Brad Altman, 54, were the first couple to ever receive their marriage license in the City of West Hollywood. Takei and Altman will have a wedding ceremony in September in the Democracy Room of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

The couple have been together for 21 years and were invited to be part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony inviting the couples into West Hollywood Park to receive their license. Many couples even went on to have wedding services performed in the park under wedding gazebos, surrounded by music, flowers and passed decorated cupcakes.

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Punks in the Masons

Last week, the Boston Globe talked to some local punk musicians who have taken to hanging out in local Masonic lodges. I know quite a few old punks in California who have joined the brotherhood too. Want to be one? Ask one. From the Boston Globe:

“It’s kind of like a history class that no one else can take,” said Dave Norton, drummer for Victory at Sea and The Men. He believes his membership in the fraternal organization will be especially rewarding when he tours Europe later this year.

“I can go anywhere in the world and find a brother,” he said.

Gary Robley, drummer for Dashboard Jesus and J. Geils cover band Blow Your Face Out, said he joined because his father was a Mason, as are many of his friends.

“There were a bunch of musicians I knew in it,” Robley said. “It was kind of a brotherhood. Musicians have always been a part of Masonry since its inception.”

Link (Thanks, Vann Hall!) Read the rest

Lenslok: proto-DRM from the ZX Spectrum era

Paul sez, " has an excellent post describing what must be one of the first DRM devices evar. the Lenslok is a foldable optical lens that was required to decipher scambled unlock codes in early 1980's video games. from the torrentfreak post:"

The first game to use the Lenslok DRM was the ZX Spectrum version of the hugely successful wireframe-3D shoot ‘em up, ‘Elite‘. But of course, we’re talking about DRM here so yes, you guessed it, it caused lots of problems for the legitimate users. As each version of the Lenslok device was unique to the game it sought to protect, sending out the incorrect Lenslok device to around 500 buyers of ‘Elite’ wasn’t the best move made by the publisher, ‘Firebird‘. None of these people could play the game, but probably had an interesting experience for a few hours trying to work out how to use the prism. With no Internet forums to voice their anger, there were many complaints in the computer magazines of the day.

The final nail in the Lenslok coffin was its inability to work with anything other than a tiny portable TV, as the on-screen input window would otherwise be bigger than the device itself, rendering it useless.


(Thanks, Paul!) Read the rest

Coffee may prevent heart disease

New research suggests that heavy coffee drinkers are less likely to die of heart disease, such as heart attacks, strokes, and arrhythmia. Edidemiologists from the Autonomous University of Madrid analyzed data from more than 120,000 men and women. According to their study, women who drank four or five cups of brew a day were 34 percent less likely to die form heart disease. Men who drank more than five cups a day were 44 percent less likely to succumb to heart disease. Still, there are too many variables and unknowns in the research for anyone to sensibly boost their coffee intake as a prophylactic. From New Scientist:

(Researcher Esther Lopez-Garcia) speculates that anti-inflammatory compounds found in coffee may be responsible for its apparent health benefits.

This is in spite of high levels of caffeine, which might increase the chances of suffering a heart attack by raising blood pressure. "Our hypothesis is that caffeine has a short term effect, but in the longer term, [other aspects of coffee are] more important," she says.

Other studies have, however, shown just the opposite. In 2007, (University of Florence epidemiologist Francesco) Sofi analysed more than 20 studies of health and coffee drinking and found little consensus.

One explanation for these conflicting results could be genetic. In 2006, a team of Canadian researchers discovered that people with a mutation in a gene involved in metabolising caffeine had higher rates of heart attack than people without the mutation.

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