The government sentced former Swiss banker Bradley A. Birkenfeld to three years in prison for abetting tax evasion. They also paid him $104 million dollars for blowing the whistle on tax evasion. (SLMedium)
What happens when you type google.com into your browser and press enter? [I]nstead of the usual story, we're going to try to answer this question in as much detail as possible. No skipping out on anything.
USB-to-serial chip manufacturer FTDI has deployed a new version of their Windows device driver, with a small bug: it doesn't work with many Arduinos and is damaging devices that used to work. Turns out that it isn't a bug -- FTDI's new driver is deliberately "bricking" devices if it thinks the chip is counterfeit (which is fairly easy to see). FTDI says it is in the license agreement and claims that they are "definitely not targeting end users", despite the fact that their actions are destroying end-user devices where the purchasers had no idea about the provence of the chips inside. Various communities respond and some question if the new driver is malware.
Computer users pass around USB sticks like silicon business cards. Although we know they often carry malware infections, we depend on antivirus scans and the occasional reformatting to keep our thumbdrives from becoming the carrier for the next digital epidemic. But the security problems with USB devices run deeper than you think: Their risk isn't just in what they carry, it's built into the core of how they work.
Ever wanted to know why the Bluetooth symbol looks like it does, or what the deal is with the logo on the Command button on Apple keyboards? This link, which tells the story behind the design of many common user interface symbols, has got you covered.
Aram Bartholl created the first file-sharing dead drops as an art project in 2010, but since then the more than 1200 USB dead drops have been installed around the world (28c3 talk, blog). Also, WiFi based dead drops called WiDrops offer better security than USB dead drops, especially for Windows machines, but require power. [more inside]
Here are some free tools for rescuing infected Windows systems: Windows Defender Offline Beta - Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 - BitDefender Bootable CD - Avira Bootable CD - How To Geek provides instructions for scanning a system from an Ubuntu Live CD. For more info, click through.... [more inside]
HELLO WORLD (SLYT) "Lego felt tip 110" printer connected to an Apple Mac. This is not a kit you can buy and does not use mindstorms. I designed/built/coded it all from scratch including analog motor electronics, sensors and printer driver, the USB interface uses a "wiring" board.
"Seed" - an anthology of short fiction published on a USB flash drive shaped like a penis. Sample story. More on the concept without pictures of plastic penises. (Safe for workness may vary)
In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.
The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
USB Wine. French comprehension not required.
The challenge, take the usb drive to new levels, you may have seen the mimobot usb drives, pretty hip but perhaps only Japanese-influenced since manufacturer Mimico is Boston based. The true Japanese usb style is undeniably unbalanced, por ejemplo: The USB Chameleon (video), the Self-destruction USB hub (video), the USB motorcycle engine hub (video), and no movie here but you will be happy to know that the Kore Janai robot USB drive is the "perfect cool toy" with the uncool appearance. Full context found here
Is there anything USB drives can't do? PortableApps has dozens of applications from Open Office to Firefox, that will run from a USB key (and there are other applications as well), or you can run an entire Linux or Windows installation from your drive, or just steal passwords. And don't forget the weird gadgets (here is a slideshow), including cool USB rechargable batteries, missile launchers [Google Video], and, of course, the ultimate USB hub.
We have flash drives. Three days after the Los Angeles Times broke the story of the US military secrets for sale at an Afghan bazaar, a reporter for the paper bought ($40) another computer drive sold openly outside the U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan. The 1-gigabyte flash drive holds "what appears to be a trove of potentially sensitive American intelligence data, including the names, photographs and telephone numbers of Afghan spies informing on the Taliban and Al Qaeda, personal snapshots, Special Forces training manuals, records of direct action training missions in South America, along with numerous computer slide presentations and documents marked secret." Most documents are neither locked nor encrypted. But the good news is, some of them can't be opened without a password, and the Army is investigating anyway. (LAT BugMeNot)
For those lacking a little extra USB in their lives: Universal Connections.
The Portable Freeware Collection tracks free Windows software that can be launched from a USB flash drive with no installation. It advises on how to prepare and launch the software (usually as simple as saving and double clicking an exe file), and if/where settings are written to the computer. I'm particularly keen to get to grips with the Pimmy email, newsgroup and RSS client; the KM@ web browser (portable versions of Firefox and Opera are also available); and organizational joygasm NeoMem.
Skype can now be stored on a flashdrive and taken from PC to PC. And this tiny BotTorrent client (82Kb) can also be carried around on a flashdrive.
Ars Technica has an updated review of ten different USB 2.0 flash drives. In the market for a floppy drive replacement? Have you just purchased a flash drive and want to know how it stacks up to the competition? Read on to see which drive meets your needs and what extras you get for the cash. With which USB drives have Mefites been most satisfied?
What do you keep on your USB thumbdrive? Maybe you want to turn yours into a dual boot drive. Or maybe you want to keep a special portable Firefox implementation, including extensions, on there.
Child Pornographers Using Small Storage Drives. Small drives like this are giving the police quite a bit of trouble. One of the more interesting quotes from the story, "Even if the photos are encrypted, computer forensics specialists can break through most encryption schemes these days anyway."
Tired of your office mate's irritatingly cute Hello Kitty USB hub? Balance the forces of cuteness with Hubzilla. (Via Macintouch)
Convergence baby! Sony has released a Minidisc Player/Recorder, MP3 player with USB connectivity, and PalmOS PDA, all wedged into one small unit. Wow, that's enough buzzwords to kill a horse...