Updates from November, 2016 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • case

    case 2:22 am on November 22, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    $100 off the HTC Vive during Black Friday 

    “On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, HTC is dropping the Vive’s price at all online and retail stores, including Amazon and the official Vive site. That means it will sell for $699 “while supplies last,” the first big discount we’ve seen of a high-end VR headset”. Source.


  • case

    case 3:46 am on November 11, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: htc vive, , , , wireless   

    HTC Vive Goes Wireless With $220 Add-On, Pre-Orders Start Friday 


    More at http://uploadvr.com/htc-vive-wireless-kit/

  • case

    case 2:56 am on November 11, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: consumer protection, galaxy 7, gizmodo, news   

    New Zealand: Samsung Starts Cutting Cell Tower Connections for Note 7s 


    In a statement on its website, Samsung New Zealand says:

    We strongly urge any customers still using their Note7 to return their device to the place of purchase for a refund or replacement. Between November 4th – 18th, we will contact our customers on at least two separate occasions with information about this network discontinuation event to ensure they have received adequate notice.

    So this is great for New Zealand, but what about the rest of the world? A Samsung spokesperson told me:

    In the US, we’re considering many options to ensure that all remaining Note7 devices in customers’ hands get returned as smoothly as possible.

    The Galaxy Note 7 is already banned on all US airlines (and in many other countries too) and Samsung has even limited charging of the device in some countries to just 60 percent capacity. Samsung is also offering cash incentives to get customers to turn in their phones for a new Samsung. Since the global recall, Samsung has seen its profits sink.

    Read more: http://gizmodo.com/samsung-starts-preventing-the-note-7-from-connecting-to-1788572324

  • case

    case 4:59 pm on November 8, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: distortion, overvaluation, startups   

    Startups are overdosing on ambition 

    A nice little comment on startups from the notes on https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12900537

    phmagic 1 hour ago [-]

    This is a great motivation to start.
    I thought this was the order:

    1. Seed – delight hundreds of people and pull in thousands a month. Demonstrate your idea is viable in the niche.

    2. Series A – delight thousands to a million people. Demonstrate you can take that idea beyond the niche.

    But there’s a couple of capital intensive plays that have distorted the system like Magic Leap. For those plays, it seems like the main customers are VCs, not actual users.

  • case

    case 4:56 pm on November 8, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: chain reaction, exploit, , , safety, , zigbee   

    IoT Goes Nuclear: Creating a ZigBee Chain Reaction 


    A nice little paper came out about creating IoT worms. Definitely a read if you’re interested in IoT Security and big wave attacks. Personally I’m not a big fan of ZigBee (security, building with it, ect.) and it’s nice to see a paper like this. We’ve been warned about this forever. Now we’ll see lots of people playing with the exploits.

    Full page is here: http://iotworm.eyalro.net/ excerpts and link to full paper below:

    Creating an IoT worm

    Within the next few years, billions of IoT devices will densely populate our cities.
    In this paper we describe a new type of threat in which adjacent IoT devices will infect each other with a worm that will spread explosively over large areas in a kind of nuclear chain reaction, provided that the density of compatible IoT devices exceeds a certain critical mass. In particular, we developed and verified such an infection using the popular Philips Hue smart lamps as a platform.

    The worm spreads by jumping directly from one lamp to its neighbors, using only their built-in ZigBee wireless connectivity and their physical proximity. The attack can start by plugging in a single infected bulb anywhere in the city, and then catastrophically spread everywhere within minutes, enabling the attacker to turn all the city lights on or off, permanently brick them, or exploit them in a massive DDOS attack. To demonstrate the risks involved, we use results from percolation theory to estimate the critical mass of installed devices for a typical city such as Paris whose area is about 105 square kilometers: The chain reaction will fizzle if there are fewer than about 15,000 randomly located smart lights in the whole city, but will spread everywhere when the number exceeds this critical mass (which had almost certainly been surpassed already).

    To make such an attack possible, we had to find a way to remotely yank already installed lamps from their current networks, and to perform over-the-air firmware updates. We overcame the first problem by discovering and exploiting a major bug in the implementation of the Touchlink part of the ZigBee Light Link protocol, which is supposed to stop such attempts with a proximity test. To solve the second problem, we developed a new version of a side channel attack to extract the global AES-CCM key that Philips uses to encrypt and authenticate new firmware. We used only readily available equipment costing a few hundred dollars, and managed to find this key without seeing any actual updates. This demonstrates once again how difficult it is to get security right even for a large company that uses standard cryptographic techniques to protect a major product.

    Possible Worm applications

    Bricking attack

    An attacker can use the worm for a city-wide bricking attack. The malicious firmware can disable additional firmware downloads, and thus any effect caused by the worm (blackout, constant flickering, etc.) will be permanent. There is no other method of reprogramming these devices without full disassemble (which is not feasible). Any old stock would also need to be recalled, as any devices with vulnerable firmware can be infected as soon as power is applied.

    Wireless network jamming

    The IEEE 802.15.4 standard which ZigBee runs over uses the 2.4GHz ISM (Industrial, Scientific, Medical) license-free band. This band is widely used by many standards, including IEEE 802.11b/g (n mode supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands). These 802.15.4 SoC devices have a special `test mode’ which transmits a continuous wave signal that is used during the FCC/CE emission certification process. This test signal can be tuned to overlap on any of the 2.4 GHz 802.11 channels (or sweep between them), and can be used as a very effective jammer. Using many infected lamps at once, WiFi communication (or any other 2.4 GHz transmissions) could be disrupted in the whole city.

    Attacking the electric grid

    All the city’s smart lamps can be scheduled to simultaneously turn on and off multiple times. The sudden changes in power consumption can have a detrimental effect on the electric grid.

    Causing epileptic seizures

    By repeatedly flashing the lights at the right frequency, it is possible to induce epileptic seizures in photosensitive people on a large scale.

    Full results described in the following paper:
    IoT Goes Nuclear: Creating a ZigBee Chain Reaction [PDF, 6.7MB]
    Eyal Ronen, Colin O’Flynn, Adi Shamir and Achi-Or Weingarten

  • case

    case 5:24 am on November 5, 2016 Permalink  

    Samsung recalls over 3 million washing machines over fears of explosion 

    What a mess! 



    Samsung Electronics, which is already reeling from a global recall of its Note 7 smartphones, said it would recall about 2.8 million of its top-load washing machines in the United States to address safety concerns.

    The top of the washing machines can unexpectedly detach from the chassis during use, posing a risk of injury from impact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a statement on Friday. 

    The machines being recalled were manufactured between March 2011 and November 2016.

    Samsung received nine related reports of injuries, including a broken jaw, injured shoulder and other fall-related injuries.

  • case

    case 5:23 am on November 5, 2016 Permalink  

    EVGA issues patch to stop its GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 cards from catching fire 

    EVGA issued a patch to its GeForce GTX 1080, 1070, and 1060 graphics cards this week after some users reported that their cards overheated and sometimes caught on fire. Is this the year of exploding gadgets? Tom’s Hardware Germanyinitially reported an issue with EVGA’s cooling system. The site found that the card reached up to 107 degrees Celsius, or 224 degrees Fahrenheit, when put under the Furmark stress test. 

  • case

    case 5:21 am on November 5, 2016 Permalink  


    We’re going to need more of it. 

    A lot more. 

    Or we will get very stuck. 

  • case

    case 7:39 pm on November 4, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: , cloud, computers, evolution, ,   

    Evolution of Computers Over Time 


    I use this graph a lot. Going to the ‘cloud’ all of the time is an unnecessary and insecure waste of bandwidth.

  • case

    case 6:31 pm on November 4, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: static websites, web 1.0, website conference   

    Announcing the Web 1.0 Conference at MIT Media Lab! 


    Dates: Friday, Dec 2nd, 2016 – Saturday, Dec 3rd, 2016.

    Website: http://websiteconf.neocities.org/

    Get tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/web-10-conference-at-mit-media-lab-tickets-21106338627

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