The Internet of Dongs remains a security dumpster-fire

See the original posting on Boing Boing

The Internet of Dongs is Brad Haines’s term for the world of internet-connected, “teledildonic” sex toys, and Haines, along with Sarah Jamie Lewis, have exhaustively documented all the ways in which internet-connected sex toys can screw you, from leaking private data to physically attacking your junk.

But Lewis and Haines’s work remains an obscure curiosity that is mostly followed by information security geeks; and now the do-not-buy advice for these gadgets is going mainstream. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Mozilla updated its Privacy Not Included guide (previously) (a review of tech gadgets’ security and privacy practices),to include a suite of “romantic” gifts, from fitness trackers to “smart beds” to sleep trackers to sex toys, that track you, transmit your personal details to distant corporations, and sell, leak, or endanger your private information.

I was pleased to see Lovesense blacklisted by name, given the company’s incredible, appalling history of security blunders, including making secret audio recordings of your sex sessions (the company called this a “minor bug”).

Not all the products are do-not-buys: there’s a kegel exerciser that looks pretty good, but others, like the Lovense Lush 2 get failing grades for “shar[ing] your information with 3rd parties for unexpected reasons”; while the charmingly named Vibratissimo Panty Buster flunks for not using encryption (!).

So what makes for a cyber-safe sex toy? According to Mozilla, you’ll want to look out for things like whether the product uses encryption, automatic security updates, strong password requirements (where applicable), an accessible privacy policy, and a way for the company to manage security vulnerabilities in its products.

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Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab S5e is its lightest and thinnest tablet ever

See the original posting on The Verge

There isn’t a single Android tablet we can currently wholeheartedly recommend, but the new 10.5-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e looks like it could be a contender — at $399, it’s not only far more affordable than the flagship $649 Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, it’s arguably surpassed it in some ways.

For starters, the Tab S5e has the thinnest and lightest metal unibody of any Galaxy Tab, measuring 5.5mm thin and weighing just 400 grams — even compared to the 11-inch iPad Pro at 5.9mm thick and 468 grams, the Tab S5e is both lighter and thinner.

The company also claims they’ve maximized space with the Tab S5e’s massive 81.8 percent screen-to-body ratio, which on paper, is an improvement over the Tab S4’s lower 79 percent ratio. It’s also right on…

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The latest Nintendo Switch bundle includes a $35 eShop gift card

See the original posting on The Verge

The Nintendo Switch probably won’t receive a price cut anytime soon, but the latest bundle is close enough thanks to its inclusion of some eShop cash to jumpstart your digital collection of games.

Starting today at GameStop, Best Buy, and Amazon, you’ll be able to find the console for its regular $299.99 price, bundled with a free $35 eShop gift card. Previous bundles have come with first-party games, like Mario Kart 8: Deluxe or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but this bundle lets you make the choice on what to buy.

Nintendo’s eShop offers digital games for those who don’t want to stockpile cases and cartridges. But several acclaimed titles for the Switch, like Stardew Valley, Hollow Knight, and Into the Breach, are only available through…

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The Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop Review: Absolutely AMD – Ryzen Plus Polaris

See the original posting on Anandtech

Today we are taking a look at the Acer Nitro 5, which is one of the least expensive ways to get into a gaming laptop. Acer offers several models, with the lowest cost offering coming in at just $669.99 MSRP, while the top of this range capping out at $999.99. Regardless of the price range you are looking at, all of the Acer Nitro 5 models offer pretty reasonable feature set, with a dGPU at least 8 GB of RAM, and other than the lowest-priced tiers, SSD storage as well. There’s a lot of laptop here for the price, and Acer has options for this entire end of the market with the Nitro 5.

Eight Sleep’s $2,000 smart mattress is exactly what you’d expect

See the original posting on The Verge

The Pod is a new smart mattress from Eight Sleep that is able to adjust its temperature automatically throughout the night according to your sleep habits. Your body’s temperature naturally shifts as you sleep, cooling off as you wind down for the night and warming up in the run-up to morning. A “thermal alarm” also allows you to use the mattress as an alarm clock, by having it cool down your side of the bed to wake you up.

In addition to its variable temperature feature, the Pod also includes all of the functionality of Eight Sleep’s previous mattress, meaning it will track your sleep, allow you to set different temperature zones for each side of the bed, and integrates with other smart home devices like Nest, Philip Hue smart lights,…

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This wireless AI camera runs entirely on solar power

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The prototype device built by startup Xnor can run indefinitely just on sunlight.

A big trend in AI is the transition from cloud to edge computing. Instead of AI devices doing their computation remotely via an internet connection, they’re increasingly handling things locally, with algorithms working directly on-device. Benefits of this approach can include faster results, greater security, and more flexibility. But how far can you push this model?

Seattle-based startup Xnor is certainly right at the bleeding-edge. This week the company unveiled a prototype AI camera that runs entirely off solar power — no battery or external power source required. The camera has a piddling 320 x 320 resolution, an FGPA chip to handle processing, and is loaded with a state of the art object recognition algorithm.

You could,…

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Dependency Injection in .NET Core Console Applications

See the original posting on DZone Python

ASP.NET Core uses a built-in dependency injection mechanism provided by Microsoft. This blog post introduces how to use the same mechanism in .NET Core console applications. For those who like other DI/IoC frameworks, this article provides a demo about how to use Autofac with .NET Core framework-level dependency injection.

Framework-Level Dependency Injection in ASP.NET Core

I don’t describe here details of dependency injection in ASP.NET Core. Those who want to find out more about it can skim through these writings:

COB LED Teardown

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Big Clive] picked up some chip-on-board (COB) LEDs meant for hydroponics that were very unusual and set out to examine them on video. Despite damaging the board almost right away, he managed to do some testing on these arrays and you can see the results in the video below. He also compares it to older LED modules.

The 144 LEDs produce a lot of light. In addition to powering the device up, he also looks at the construction of the LEDs under a magnification, comparing the older style that used tiny bond wires to make connections versus the new version …read more

Python Script Sends Each Speaker Its Own Sound File

See the original posting on Hackaday

When it comes to audio, the number of speakers you want is usually governed by the number of tracks or channels your signal has. One for mono, two for stereo, four for quadrophonic, five or more for surround sound and so on. But all of those speakers are essentially playing different tracks from a “single” audio signal. What if you wanted a single audio device to play eight different songs simultaneously, with each song being piped to its own speaker? That’s the job [Devon Bray] was tasked with by interdisciplinary artist [Sara Dittrich] for one of her “Giant Talking Ear” …read more

FPGA Makes Digital Analog Computer

See the original posting on Hackaday

When you think of analog computing, it’s possible you don’t typically think of FPGAs. Sure, a few FPGAs will have specialized analog blocks, but usually they are digital devices. [Bruce Land] — a name well-known to Hackaday — has a post about building a digital differential analyzer using an FPGA and it is essentially an analog computer simulated on the digital fabric of an FPGA.

Whereas traditional analog computers use operational amplifiers to do mathematical integration, on the FPGA [Land] uses digital summers The devices simulate a system of differential equations, which can be nonlinear.

Of course, at heart it …read more

Be Ready To Roll With Universal Electronic Dice

See the original posting on Hackaday

There are applications you can download for your smartphone that can “roll” an arbitrary number of dice with whatever number of sides you could possibly want. It’s faster and easier than throwing physical dice around, and you don’t have to worry about any of them rolling under the couch. No matter how you look at it, it’s really a task better performed by software than hardware. All that being said, there’s something undeniably appealing about the physical aspect of die rolling when playing a game.

Luckily, [Paul Klinger] thinks he has the solution to the problem. His design combines the …read more

Now Hackaday Looks Great on the Small Screen Too

See the original posting on Hackaday

Most of use read and comment on Hackaday from the desktop, while we let our mind work through the perplexing compiler errors, wait for that 3D print to finish, or lay out the next PCB. But more and more people discovering Hackaday for the first time are arriving here on mobile devices, and now they’ll be greeted with a better reading experience — we’ve updated our look for smaller screens.

Yes, it may be a surprise but there are still people who don’t know about Hackaday. But between featuring your amazing hacks, and publishing the incredible original content tirelessly written …read more

Mint copy of Super Mario Bros. sells for $100,150 at auction

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A mint condition original copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES has sold for a whopping $100,150 at an auction, making it one of the most expensive games ever sold.

According to Heritage Auctions (which ran the auction), the NES game “set a world record for a graded game,” so it may not be the outright most expensive ever — just the most expensive copy that’s had its condition professionally graded and certified. That outsized price tag also is the reason that the copy was bought by a group of collectors, who’ll share ownership of the game.

Almost as interesting as the price is the actual game, though, which looks practically preserved in amber from when it was released in 1985. The particularly…

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A gorgeous, haunting story of technologically mediated love

See the original posting on Boing Boing

After years of outstanding work as a cyberlawyer and science fiction/policy wonk, Kevin Bankston (previously) has published his debut science fiction story, Early Adopter, and it’s a doozy.

Bankston uses chatlogs and other exhaust from digital communications tools to spin a gorgeous and haunting tale of romance that starts with “met cute” and goes farther than you’d ever believe. If you’re not at least a little choked up by the end, then I don’t wanna know you.

Craigslist> SF bay area> san francisco> community> missed connections: September 27: Atari Teenage Riot in Dolores Park (Mission District).

We passed each other yesterday while I was walking my dog Baxter in Dolores Park. You (brunette curls, green eyes, wry smile) stopped to pet the dog (terrier, Jack Russell, brown and white) and then commented on my old Atari logo t-shirt because you were wearing an Atari Teenage Riot band t-shirt (“I guess that means I’m the more aggressive one” you said). But then you kept going before I (tall, dark, momentarily speechless) could really talk to you. I’ve never used CL missed connections before–it always seemed like a long shot–but my friend said that even if you didn’t see it, maybe someone who knows you would, and I’m going to be kicking myself for a long time if I don’t try something, so…hope we can connect!

To: w5cjq-6599435498@comm.craigslist.org
From: her@gmail.com
Subject: Atari Teenage Riot in Dolores Park

Dear Old Skool Atari Boy–Glad you posted despite not being familiar with this so very newfangled technology.

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Who can forget those scenes in Count Zero where they all stand around eating soup?

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Back in the 1980s, the giant German sf publisher Heyne tried out an experimental partnership with a soup company Maggi (they’re still around), and it was bonkers.

Under the terms of the deal, science fiction novels would be periodically interrupted by scenes in which the characters would drop everything and start eating Maggi soups, smacking their lips and exclaiming over just how delicious they were.

But to keep readers from confusing the soup ads with the novels, these scenes would be set in different type and set off with other weird textual flourishes.

To German sf fans of a certain vintage, these Maggi ads are legendary: I first heard tell of them from Tim Powers, who told me how he’d been leafing through a German edition of one of his books and discovered this weird stuff and asked a German fan about it and been told, “Oh, those are the soup ads, of course!”

Of course.

Heyne publishes some of my German editions, including the forthcoming German edition of Unauthorized Bread, and the editors I’ve spoken to there all seem weirdly proud but embarrassed by the soup ads (I’m sure there’s a long German compound word to describe this emotion). I think they should do an anthology of these weird, food-oriented fanfic short stories.

Here are the soup ads from William Gibson’s Count Zero, the sequel to his seminal novel Neuromancer. For reasons no doubt lost to history, this book was called “Biochips” in German, and boy, did it have a hell of a cover! Read the rest

The LG G8 Has a Vibrating OLED Screen For a Speaker

See the original posting on Slashdot

LG’s next upcoming flagship smartphone is the LG G8, which is expected to debut at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month. While much of the phone is similar to last year’s model, LG yesterday announced some news on the phone’s audio capabilities. “The phone uses the same ‘Crystal Sound OLED’ branding that LG has used on some of its TVs before; this means that the entire display will vibrate to work as a speaker, which was previously rumored,” reports The Verge. “The news also confirms that the G8 will be the first flagship G-series phone not to use an LCD.” From the report: The G8 still has a bottom-facing speaker for louder use cases like speakerphone calls, and LG says this can be paired with the top part of the screen for 2-channel stereo sound. Elsewhere, the signature quad DAC from LG’s recent flagship phones returns — which means there’ll be a headphone jack — as does the “Boombox Speaker” functionality that produces surprisingly bassy sound when the phone is placed on a table. LG has already confirmed that the G8 will have a front-facing 3D camera with a time-of-flight sensor, while rumors suggest there could be an optional second screen accessory.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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