Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Judge: Bitcoin Isn't Money

"Why Bitcoin isn't money, as one Florida judge ruled"

Aging Whiskey

"The scientific arms race to age our whiskey". (Via H.R.)

US Nukes and Floppy Disks

"Yes, floppy disks are still used at our nuclear bases -- but there’s a good reason":
There are parallels here to fiction, which can be just as instructive. In the 2004 hit TV series Battlestar Galactica, humanity comes under assault from robots that it created. Much of the human space fleet is taken by surprise, crippled by a robot-built computer virus that spreads from ship to ship thanks to the sophisticated networks linking the crafts together. The Galactica, an obsolete warship due to be mothballed, is one of the few to survive the initial surprise attack. Why? Because the Galactica’s systems were not part of the humans’ IT network, sparing it from the virus that disables the rest of the fleet. The lesson seems clear: Sometimes, newer is not better.
I can see how this might be a minor unintended good consequence. But I'm not sure this was a planned feature.

Self-Driving Car Fatality Update

"The first self-driving car fatality proves nothing"

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hacking Financial Systems

Economist: "If financial systems were hacked"

Police Request 3D-Printed Copy Dead Man’s Fingers To Unlock His Smartphone

"Police Request 3D-Printed Copy of a Dead Man’s Fingers to Unlock His Smartphone"

Black Market Medical Records

"On The Dark Web, Medical Records Are A Hot Commodity":
On the dark web, medical records draw a far higher price than credit cards. Hackers are well aware that it's simple enough to cancel a credit card, but to change a social security number is no easy feat. Banks have taken some major steps to crack down on identity theft. But hospitals, which have only transitioned en masse from paper-based to digital systems in the past decade, have far fewer security protections in place.

On the dark web, complete medical records typically contain an individual's name, birthdate, social security number, and medical information. These records can sell for as much as (the bitcoin equivalent) of $60 apiece, whereas social security numbers are a mere $15. Stolen credit cards sell for just $1 to $3. During the tour, we spotted one hacker who claimed to have a treasure trove of just shy of 1 million full health records up for grabs.

As IBM's Kuhn explained in a follow-up interview, these medical records can be leveraged for a wide variety of nefarious purposes...

The Future Of Transistors

"Transistors will stop shrinking in 2021, but Moore’s law will live on". (Via H.R.)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

Gorilla Glass 5

"Corning's new Gorilla Glass 5 survives drops 'up to 80%' of the time"

Free Downloadable Books at NY Public Library

"You can now download over 300,000 books from the NYPL for free". (Via C.M.)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Light Posting

Admin note: Posting may be lighter than usual this week due to external obligations.

Doppelganger Odds

"You are surprisingly likely to have a living doppelganger". (Via H.R.)

Meet the Megaprocessor

"Meet the Megaprocessor: A 20kHz behemoth CPU you can actually see in action"