Notes From Crazytown, Day Three: Black Hat Breakdown

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black-hat So far this week, at Black Hat, I have learned to deeply mistrust: passwords, chip-and-PIN cards, USB devices, HTTPS connections, more than two billion phones, governments worldwide, all human societies, and my sense of the ridiculous. You should mistrust all those too! Sorry.
What follows is a summary of the most eyebrow-raising talks I attended or heard about: Read More

This search engine shows you 3D models of everything

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Are you a digital animator, 3D printmaker, or just like looking at cool rotating 3D models of things? Then Yobi3D is for you. The search engine, which launched in June, is basically the Google of 3D object renders. Type in almost any conceivable generic object name (even some proper nouns) and you’ll get a grid view of 3D models sourced from around the web. You can also rotate the models directly within the search results pages.

“I was really amazed with how mature web browsers have become in rendering 3D graphics,” says Jessy Lee, the search engine’s founder and CEO. Right now, Yobi3D’s results can be sporadic and thin, but Lee promises that the engine will only improve as it crawls more 3D models from around the web. “We are still…

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The visual effects legend behind ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Terminator 2’ on realism, restraint, and adventure

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For over 25 years, John Bruno has created some of the most memorable visual effects in film, and he’s got an Oscar (and a pile of nominations) to prove it. His credits include classics like Heavy Metal, Batman Returns, and Ghostbusters. And his collaborations with longtime friend James Cameron gave us The Abyss, Terminator 2, True Lies, Titanic, and Avatar. For all of these, Bruno has dictated the style and substance of the surreal and supernatural on our screens.

Most recently, Bruno took a…

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Guesswork Wants To Focus Machine Learning On Customer Information

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Table with the words Who am I? on it. Guesswork, a new machine learning tool built on top of the Google Prediction API, launched a new service today with a twist. Instead of trying to be all things to all businesses, it’s focusing on customer information. CEO and company co-founder Mani Doraisamy says Guesswork uses a template-driven approach so customers can do things like customize a newsletter or figure out which… Read More

Anonymous Emailing Service Leak Shuts Down

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leak In what may be a new record (?), recently launched anonymous emailing service Leak has already crashed and burned. Or, at least, the service has been temporarily suspended while its creators figure out how to port it over infrastructure better designed for the purpose at hand. In case you missed it: Leak rolled out in late July as something of a side project from French… Read More

Casper Mattress Startup Lands $13.1 Million Series A

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Screenshot 2014-08-08 09.13.09 Casper, the company looking to reinvent the way mattresses are made and sold, has closed a $13.1 million Series A round led by New Enterprise Associates, bringing its total funding to $15 million.
Not unlike other up-and-coming ecommerce startups, Casper looks to cut out the commission-based middle man and sell well-made mattresses at a much lower cost. Read More

The artist behind Hollywood’s most beautiful movie posters

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Movie posters aren’t what they used to be. In recent years, the most interesting and innovative work is coming from the fans, not traditional advertising departments. Through shows like Comic-Con and outlets like Mondo, talented artists and designers are creating wonderful posters that help fill the gap left by the drab marketing material put out by major studios. But it wasn’t always that way.

For decades, John Alvin crafted some of the most iconic images in Hollywood, and they were almost…

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