Posts in July, 2013

2013 San Diego Comic Con cosplay – the best of…

// July 31st, 2013 // No Comments » // Geeky cosplay

The 2013 San Diego Comic Con was a huge success this year and cosplayers showed up in record numbers. Here’s the best of the breed from the 2013 San Diego Comic Con convention.

Can we deduce how NSA’s electronic surveillance programs work? Yes, and here’s how it’s done.

// July 31st, 2013 // No Comments » // Hacking and Security, Politics and legal

Access to complete phone records of all Americans is only the tip of the iceberg. Details from whistleblower Edward Snowden recently revealed that a top-secret NSA program named “XKeyscore” allows National Security Agency analysts to search (with no prior authorization) through vast databases containing content of emails, online chats, social networking sessions, web content searches, […]

Motorola and Verizon take giant step backward with release of disappointing new Droid lineup

// July 24th, 2013 // No Comments » // Mobile

Verizon announced their new Droid lineup yesterday and their heaviest hitters, the Droid Maxx and Droid Ultra, look to be a pretty big disappointments (a cute little Droid Mini was also announced). We can hope that good software engineering overcomes some of the disappointing hardware specs but I’m not holding my breath. I think Motorola/Verizon […]

Samsung’s new Exynos 5 Octa chip raises the bar once again. Will we find it in the Note 3?

// July 23rd, 2013 // No Comments » // Hardware

Samsung has been teasing its updated Exynos 5 chip since last week and today we find that the dangling carrot is well worth reaching for. The updated Exynos 5 SoC is based on ARM’s big.LITTLE design, offering four Cortex A15 cores clocked at 1.8GHz and and four Cortex A7 cores at 1.3GHz giving the CPU […]

NSA to Congress: “But we want ALL the data. Any other way is just TOO hard.”

// July 22nd, 2013 // No Comments » // Politics and legal

The Wall Street Journal has revealed that a “select few lawmakers” have received a heads up from the NSA regarding their controversial sweeping telephone-surveillance program whereby the major phone companies provide the NSA with the phone records of *all* of their customers. In response to White House and Congress demands that the NSA change the […]

New mind-bending model successfully describes the universe with no “Big Bang”, no beginning, and no end

// July 17th, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

A professor at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan has proposed a new model built from some of the most basic entities: time, space, mass, and length. In this new mind-bending model, time and space can be converted into each other and mass and length also convert in the same manner. Basically, as the universe […]

Do a lot of “streaming”? Scientists discover way to charge smartphone using urine

// July 17th, 2013 // No Comments » // Futuristic Technology

Don’t flush that valuable energy source down the drain! Scientists have announced that they have found a way to charge a smartphone using urine. Researchers from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory passed the urine through a series of microbial fuel cells, which contain tiny microbes that consume and metabolize the liquid into small amounts of energy […]

Wendy’s restaurant says hidden subliminal message in new logo is not a conspiracy

// July 17th, 2013 // No Comments » // Entertainment

Settle down conspiracists – nobody’s out to steal you away from Mom’s home-cooked meals. Wendy’s restaurants said on Monday that it had not purposely hidden a secret message in the shirt collar worn by their red-headed mascot. Many had suspected that Wendy’s new logo, released last year, contained the word “Mom” in the ruffles on […]

Legendary convicted music pirate pressured to work for RIAA as spokesperson – tells them “go F*#k yourself”

// July 17th, 2013 // No Comments » // Hacking and Security

The RIAA is once again tightening the screws on a music pirate that was convicted for piracy and fined $222,000 in October 2007. Jammie Thomas, a 36-year woman from Minnesota, owes the RIAA $222,000 for sharing 24 songs online. The case was one of the first file-sharing related lawsuits ever and is best known for […]

Up close and personal – Typhoon fighter jet nearly lands on onlookers’ heads at RAF airshow

// July 12th, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

Up close and personal, RAF Waddington Air Show viewers got the shock of their lives when a RAF Typhoon jet fighter accidentally dropped too low during a landing, skimming just a few feet above the heads of onlookers and barely clearing an airport boundary fence. The plane spotters were located just outside of the airport […]

Fleeing impala takes advantage of window of opportunity to outwit hungry cheetahs

// July 12th, 2013 // No Comments » // General Science News

A fleeing impala was caught on film taking advantage of a window of opportunity while fleeing from a pair of cheetahs in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. University of Pretoria student Samantha Pittendrigh and her friends were on a day trip at the park and stopped along with other cars to watch a pack of […]

Due to recent events, Def Con says Feds are not welcome at this year’s hacker conference

// July 11th, 2013 // No Comments » // Hacking and Security

For the first time in the 21-year-old history of the famed hacker’s convention, government employees are being asked to stay away from the DEFCON event. Def Con has always catered to hackers, researchers and others interested in security research and employees from the CIA, FBI, and NSA have always been welcome and in fact, regularly […]

Apple and several book publishers nailed for conspiring to raise ebook prices

// July 10th, 2013 // No Comments » // Politics and legal

In a decision that could reshape how e-books (and wishfully, digital music) are sold on the Internet, a federal judge in Manhattan has ruled that Apple Inc conspired to raise the retail prices of e-books in violation of antitrust law, and has called for a trial on damages. Apple had been accused of colluding with […]

Whoops. IRS accidentally uploads tens of thousands of private social security numbers in public database

// July 8th, 2013 // No Comments » // Politics and legal

PublicResource.org, an organization that specializes in publishing government archive, had to make an embarrassing call to the IRS this week. Apparently the IRS IT department does not have a filter installed to monitor for errant data uploads which allowed a regularly-refreshed IRS database report of the nonprofit industry to be uploaded with a smattering of […]

Largest building in the world opens and includes an indoor beach

// July 8th, 2013 // No Comments » // Futuristic Technology

The largest building in the world has opened in China this week. At 1.7 million square meters, the glass and steel-frame New Century Global Center took only a little more than a year to build. It stands 18 stories tall and sits above a new subway station in Chengdu, a Sichuan province city of more […]

Look. Up in the sky. It’s a life-size radio-controlled Superman!

// July 2nd, 2013 // No Comments » // Comics News

Recently spotted flying above the skies of San Diego, Otto Dieffenbach’s radio-controlled Superman drew quite a few stares from puzzled citizens. The test flight took place June 27, 2013. Otto, and his business partner Ed Hanley, have started a small startup company that specializes in getting unusual (read, not-aerodynamically shaped) objects, including comic book heroes, […]