ReHacked vol. 199: The Early Issues of Byte Magazine, New Sony Walkman, Bitwarden extends passwordless leadership with acquisition and more

Computers have not become intelligent per se, but they have provided capabilities that augment human intelligence. --Michael I. Jordan /

ReHacked vol. 199: The Early Issues of Byte Magazine, New Sony Walkman, Bitwarden extends passwordless leadership with acquisition and more
This sequence of artist's illustrations shows how a black hole can devour a bypassing star. 1. A normal star passes near a supermassive black hole in the center of a galaxy. 2. The star's outer gasses are pulled into the black hole's gravitational field. 3. The star is shredded as tidal forces pull it apart. 4. The stellar remnants are pulled into a donut-shaped ring around the black hole, and will eventually fall into the black hole, unleashing a tremendous amount of light and high-energy radiation. Credit: NASA, ESA, Leah Hustak (STScI)

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WiFi Routers Used to Produce 3D Images of Humans #software #privacy

Simple Wi-Fi routers can be used to detect and perceive the poses and positions of humans and map their bodies clearly in 3D, a new report has found.

With the help of AI neural networks and deep learning, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University were also able to create full-body images of subjects.

This proof-of-concept would be a breakthrough for healthcare, security, gaming (VR), and a host of other industries. It would also overcome issues affecting regular cameras, such as poor lighting or simple obstacles like furniture blocking a camera lens, while also eclipsing traditional RBG sensors, LiDAR, and radar technology. It also would cost far less and consume less energy than the latter, researchers noted.

Microsoft pushing update to count unsupported Office install • The Register #privacy #software

Quietly mentioned in a support post this week, update KB5021751 is targeting versions of Office "including" 2007 and 2010, both of which have been out of service for several years. Office 2013 is also being asked after as it's due to lose support this coming April.

"This update will run one time silently without installing anything on the user's device," Microsoft said, followed by instructions on how to download and install the update, which Microsoft said has been scanned to ensure it's not infected by malware.

"Microsoft scanned this file for viruses by using the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorized changes to it," the Windows giant said on the update notice page.

BYTE MAGAZINE: Early computer publication #computers #history

Byte magazine was an early microcomputer magazine, influential in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s because of its wide-ranging editorial coverage. Byte started in 1975, shortly after the first personal computers appeared as kits which were advertised in the back of electronics magazines.

Boston Dynamics’ Atlas can now toss tool bags around a (fake) construction site - The Verge #technology #robotics #futurism

Is Boston Dynamics slowly preparing to put its bipedal robots to work?

In a glossy new video, the company has shown off its prototype Atlas robot tossing planks and tool bags around in a fake construction site. In a second, behind-the-scenes video, Boston Dynamics’ team lead on Atlas, Scott Kuindersma, explained that the video is “meant to communicate an expansion of the research we’re doing on Atlas.” As ever, it’s important to note that these videos are rigorously planned and structured, with falls and mistakes edited out. But, as Kuindersma notes, it’s still a change of pace for Atlas.

New Sony Walkman music players feature stunning good looks, Android 12 | Ars Technica #music #fun

Sony has a pair of new Android Walkmans out, the NW-A300 and NW-ZX700. Yes, that's right, Walkmans, Sony's legendary music player brand from the 1980s. Apple may have given up on the idea of a smartphone-adjacent music player when it killed the iPod Touch line recently, but Sony still makes Android-powered Walkmans and has for a while. The first was in 2012 with the Android 2.3 Gingerbread-powered NWZ-Z1000, which looked like Sony just stripped the modem out of an Xperia phone and shoved it onto the market as a music player. Since then, Sony has made designs with more purpose-built hardware, and today there are a whole series of Android-powered Walkman music players out there. Sadly these new ones seem to only be for sale in Japan, the UK, and Europe, for now.

These Gorgeous Photos Capture Life Inside a Drop of Seawater | Science | Smithsonian Magazine #nature

In every drop of water is a hidden world. Scuba divers can’t see it through their masks; neither can snorkelers swimming among the coral reefs. To really enter this world, you need to look through a magnifying lens. There you’ll see a vast array of vanishingly small plankton, including crustaceans known as copepods. They come in some 13,000 known species, from glimmering-blue sea sapphires to noodle-shaped cod worms. Some roam freely, while others cling to plants or animals. One copepod species can swim into the womb of a gestating shark and attach itself to her calf.

Microengineer_be-j_eng #engineering

CAPACITY 0.7~1.0kg/time

RECYCLE RATIO More than 80%(3h/time)

Websites Selling Abortion Pills Are Sharing Sensitive Data With Google — ProPublica #privacy #health

These third-party trackers, including a Google Analytics tool and advertising technologies, collect a host of details about users and feed them to tech behemoth Google, its parent company, Alphabet, and other third parties, such as the online chat provider LiveChat. Those details include the web addresses the users visited, what they clicked on, the search terms they used to find a website, the previous site they visited, their general location and information about the devices they used, such as whether they were on a computer or phone. This information helps websites function and helps tech companies personalize ads.

Stop Calling Everything AI, Machine-Learning Pioneer Says - IEEE Spectrum #ai #science #longread

In 2019 Jordan wrote “Artificial Intelligence—The Revolution Hasn't Happened Yet," published in the Harvard Data Science Review. He explains in the article that the term AI is misunderstood not only by the public but also by technologists. Back in the 1950s, when the term was coined, he writes, people aspired to build computing machines that possessed human-level intelligence. That aspiration still exists, he says, but what has happened in the intervening decades is something different. Computers have not become intelligent per se, but they have provided capabilities that augment human intelligence, he writes. Moreover, they have excelled at low-level pattern-recognition capabilities that could be performed in principle by humans but at great cost. Machine learning–based systems are able to detect fraud in financial transactions at massive scale, for example, thereby catalyzing electronic commerce. They are essential in the modeling and control of supply chains in manufacturing and health care. They also help insurance agents, doctors, educators, and filmmakers.

Despite such developments being referred to as “AI technology," he writes, the underlying systems do not involve high-level reasoning or thought. The systems do not form the kinds of semantic representations and inferences that humans are capable of. They do not formulate and pursue long-term goals.

“For the foreseeable future, computers will not be able to match humans in their ability to reason abstractly about real-world situations," he writes. “We will need well-thought-out interactions of humans and computers to solve our most pressing problems. We need to understand that the intelligent behavior of large-scale systems arises as much from the interactions among agents as from the intelligence of individual agents."

Moreover, he emphasizes, human happiness should not be an afterthought when developing technology. “We have a real opportunity to conceive of something historically new: a humancentric engineering discipline," he writes.

Dating app malware, not charging cables, blamed for money theft #security #internet

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has rejected a social media post that a man lost money from his bank account when recharging his phone at a public outlet, and blamed the theft on a malware attack.

Police later also blamed malware for the theft, saying the user had downloaded an unsafe dating app known as "sweet meet".

The central bank released a statement on Wednesday in response to a report on the possibility of mobile phone users losing their money through modified charging cables.

The concern about hacking cables surfaced after a Jan 8 post on Facebook by a person using the name Widsanusawan, who claimed he lost 101,560 baht from a bank account when charging his phone at a public outlet.

A BoT-Thai Bankers' Association investigation found that the phone owner's money was removed from his account because malware had infiltrated the device and tricked him into installing an illegal application.

Bitwarden extends passwordless leadership with acquisition | Bitwarden Blog #software #privacy #security

Bitwarden announced that it has acquired European-based startup, a significant milestone in rounding out the Bitwarden commitment to offering open source, scalable, and secure passwordless solutions to every business and end user.

U.S. military-run slot machines earn $100 million a year from service members overseas : NPR #society

The U.S. military runs more than 3,000 slot machines on American military bases overseas even though the rate of problem gamblers in the military is thought to be around twice that of the rest of the general population, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling, an organization that advocates for services to assist people and families affected by problem gambling.

The slot machines, operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, earn the DOD more than $100 million each year in the name of "morale, welfare, and recreation" for service members, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office that was written in response to demands from Congress.

Slots are often found on bases where there is precious little to do, like Diego Garcia – a 12-sq.-mile island in the Indian Ocean with a population of just over 4,000 people – where the Navy runs 52 slot machines. And they can be played by service members as young as 18 – individuals who wouldn't be allowed to enter most casinos in the U.S. before they turn 21.

UK lawmakers vote to jail tech execs who fail to protect kids online | Ars Technica #internet #privacy #security

The United Kingdom wants to become the safest place for children to grow up online. Many UK lawmakers have argued that the only way to guarantee that future is to criminalize tech leaders whose platforms knowingly fail to protect children. Today, the UK House of Commons reached a deal to appease those lawmakers, Reuters reports, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government agreeing to modify the Online Safety Bill to ensure its passage. It now appears that tech company executives found to be "deliberately" exposing children to harmful content could soon risk steep fines and jail time of up to two years.

The FBI Won't Say Whether It Hacked Dark Web ISIS Site #privacy #security #internet

The FBI somehow obtained the IP address of someone who allegedly visited an ISIS-related site on the dark web. The DOJ is blocking discussion of the issue from entering the public docket.

Hubble finds hungry black hole twisting captured star into donut shape #nature #space

Black holes are gatherers, not hunters. They lie in wait until a hapless star wanders by. When the star gets close enough, the black hole's gravitational grasp violently rips it apart and sloppily devours its gasses while belching out intense radiation.

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have recorded a star's final moments in detail as it gets gobbled up by a black hole.

These are termed "tidal disruption events." But the wording belies the complex, raw violence of a black hole encounter. There is a balance between the black hole's gravity pulling in star stuff, and radiation blowing material out. In other words, black holes are messy eaters. Astronomers are using Hubble to find out the details of what happens when a wayward star plunges into the gravitational abyss.

Hackers broadcast movies over a dead satellite | Popular Science #hardware #software #hacking

With only a $300 piece of equipment and (legal) access to an uplink station, you, too, can broadcast WarGames from a decommissioned Canadian satellite—that’s what hacking enthusiast Karl Koscher showed everyone over the weekend at the annual Def Con hacker meetup in Las Vegas. As a new writeup from Motherboard details, after being granted access to an abandoned uplink facility, Koscher and friends used a software defined radio called a Hack RF to connect with Canada’s defunct Anik F1R satellite last year and “have some fun with it.”

After 15 years of loyal service, the telecommunications satellite in geostationary orbit roughly 22,236 miles above the Earth was put out to pasture in 2020, with subsequent plans to then move it into a “graveyard orbit” in November 2021. In that window of purgatory, however, Koscher and fellow buddies within the hacking group, ShadyTel, obtained both a license to use an out-of-use uplink facility along with the Anik F1R satellite’s transponder lease.

Tunnel Ultra: The mind-bending 200-mile ultra-marathon in the dark - BBC Sport #interesting

Do you put your feet up in front of the TV? Maybe shopping is your way to unwind? Perhaps you're a bit more adventurous and enjoy a stroll in the countryside?

That doesn't quite cut it for some people, who choose to run a 200-mile ultra-marathon in a disused railway tunnel instead.

The Tunnel Ultra is a race like no other. It's easy to find longer events. Some even involve repeating the same loop for days on end. But nowhere else can you take part in a race so twisted that you spend more than two days in darkness doing a one-mile shuttle run 200 times, or so punishing that one runner went temporarily blind - then thanked the race organiser for the privilege.

No outside support is permitted, headphones are banned and runners are not allowed to run side by side. Oh, and there is a strict time limit of 55 hours.

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