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Author Topic: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...  (Read 3847 times)

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Mac

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #75 on: June 26, 2012, 08:19:07 am »
7 Minutes of Terror: Curiosity Rover's Risky Mars Landing

This video is pretty cool. A little over dramatic on the speakers parts or maybe it’s just the music. But still, this is pretty amazing stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2I8AoB1xgU
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Chiprocks1

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #76 on: June 26, 2012, 08:29:42 am »
Cool video.

Am I the only one that thinks that there will never be a manned ship to Mars? If there ever were to be one one, it's gonna come from a private company. Why? I don't think NASA will ever sign off on sending a human to Mars when it would definitely be considered a death sentence for that astronaut. The moon is one thing, but Mars is a different beast all together.

First person to land on Mars........Richard Branson.

First thing he does on Mars....plants the Virgin Flag and claims ownership of planet.
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Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Mac

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #77 on: June 26, 2012, 09:57:19 am »
We have to go Mars.

Martians... duh
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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #78 on: September 27, 2012, 04:26:21 pm »
Passwords

Gawd I hate passwords. Yet I have two pages of typed passwords for all my crap. So we at work talk on occasion what's coming down the pike. Well this article is very refreshing and complete detour of, believe it or not, old thinking with retina scans, cards and finger scans.

Quote


It's been a rough year for passwords.

First, 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords were leaked online. Soon after, millions of passwords from eHarmony and Yahoo users were published by hackers. These events exposed untold numbers of accounts to criminals, as many consumers use the same passwords across multiple accounts. 

The leaks also proved something experts had fretted about for a while: Passwords are very easy to guess. Analysts quickly compiled results from the list of passwords and  found that really dumb choices abounded. The most common phrase in the LinkedIn passwords, for example, was "link." Not far behind was "1234."

Despite years of warnings, the truth is incontrovertible -- mortal users do a very poor job of defending their data with passwords. To add insult to injury, a recent analysis of debit card PINs shows that 1 in 10 users pick "1234." And the "safest" PIN code, 8068, is no longer safe because it was published in the analysis.

It's quite possible that 2012 will be a turning point in the history of passwords; or rather, it may be the point that passwords become history.

For years, you've been hearing about space-aged authentication systems like retina scans and computers that recognize your voice. And yet, for the overwhelming majority of computer users and home and at work, simple user/password combinations are all that stands between their data and the bad guys.

This old-fashioned system has obvious limitations, the most evident being user memories.  Our brains are ill-suited to recall eight-digit combinations of letters, numbers and special characters that are recommended. Sticky notes with password lists taped to computer screens remain common.

Meanwhile, "Forgot your password?" is among the more popular links on websites, and among the more dangerous, as it often puts only your pet's name and your high school mascot -- easily determined from Facebook -- between your data and hackers.

There has to be a better way. And there is, if Carnegie-Mellon University and a small Canadian start-up firm are right. At the school's new "Biometrics Research and Identity Automation Lab," researchers are investigating whether the way people walk can be used as a simple yet secure way to affirm their identities.

“The continuing threats to military personnel and critical infrastructure and the growing national cybersecurity vulnerabilities demand a new breed of credentialing technology, and what our group has achieved certainly puts a whole new spin on things," said Todd Gray, president of Ottawa-based Autonomous ID, which is working with the university on the project. The system uses a "BioSole" inserted into shoes to assess a wearer’s gait, matching that distinctive pattern against an existing record to verify the person’s identity.

BioSoles are among dozens of new authentication systems vying for acceptance in a thriving industry that has gained momentum because of the recent troubles with passwords. Before we describe more of them, it's important to discuss the basics of authentication technologies and why new systems might succeed where others have failed.

Security professionals often talk about "two-factor" authentication as a way of double-checking to see if a person logging into a system should be authorized. Traditionally, those two factors include "something you have" and "something you know." For example, a debit card is "something you have,” and a PIN code is “something you know.” For a criminal to hack your bank account, he or she must have both elements, which is a much harder challenge than simply stealing a password.

Biometric passwords expand the possibilities into the "something you are" category. A retina scan or fingerprint, for example, authenticates users based on something they are, and, in most cases, cannot change. Biometrics have a decided advantage over passwords because they don’t rely on users’ ability to remember them -- you are who your retina says you are. There is a dramatic downside, however. Horror films have long exploited the plot line where a bad guy cuts out a target's eyeball and uses it to log into a computer or enter a secure facility.

Facial pattern recognition maps are on display at Carnegie Mellon's CyLab.

The newest technologies retain the advantage of biometrics, but don't create the same level of physical risk. They involve "something you do," such as the way you walk, as being researched at Carnegie Mellon. Another similar tool involves quantifying the unique way users type, a technique that's been dubbed "keystroke analysis." These so-called "behavioral" authentication mechanisms give systems architects four distinct methods to choose from.

Another promising new behavioral technique takes advantage of a skill most video game players know well -- users learn behaviors that become automatic through play.  Later, they can recall these learned behaviors – they can recognize patterns, for example --  without having to think about them. Researchers at Stanford and Northwestern are working on a system that would "teach" users to recognize a pattern of dots in a puzzle-like picture, then have that puzzle serve as a password. As writer Devin Coldewey notes, the most secure password might be the one a user doesn’t have to remember.

Marty Jost, who works in Symantec Corp.'s authentication group, says he thinks behavioral techniques offer the most promise for next-generation "passwords."

"Biometrics have been around a long time, but have historically tended to be unreliable. Just when you need it most, your fingerprints are dirty and they don't read right, for example. That's what's held it back," he said. "The key to success is providing a second factor without making it difficult to use. When you try to use an exotic method, it becomes a different problem, such as a customer service problem or a user satisfaction problem."

Symantec is concentrating on behavioral techniques that don't require dramatic changes by users. For a while, token-based authentication procedures were all the rage -- banks and corporations gave users small gadgets that provided temporary passwords to prove the person logging in satisfied the "something you have" requirement -- but users often misplaced them. So now, companies like Symantec are increasingly using cell phones as tokens. A simple text message or phone call sent to an employee’s phone serves as a second authenticating factor.

"Users are much less likely to lose their phones," Jost said.

Symantec also concentrates on back-end behavioral techniques, such as observing the kind of activities the user is attempting. A user who normally logs in from New York but suddenly appears to be logging in from Hong Kong is flagged for extra security challenges. Similarly, a user who usually transfers small dollar amounts from one account to another is flagged if her or she  suddenly requests a $10,000 transfer.

"Behavioral data over time develop a profile," he said. “We can analyze these patterns without having to involve the user.”

Jost is pessimistic about what he calls "exotic" login tools for mass audiences, because even a small failure rate can create a big problem for consumer brands.

"If you are a bank and you’ve done something exotic, if it’s not working for 1 percent of people, that's a lot of people,” he said. “We try to strike that balance between strength and usability. … We do things that make the activity safer for people without them necessary even knowing about it."

A user’s tolerance for taking extra security precautions depends on motivation. Some "exotic" methods are already in use today where circumstances encourage their use. In high-crime areas of Brazil, for example, "vein printing" machines that detect blood flow patterns in the palm of a user’s hand have been deployed. In the U.S., where ATM theft rates in the U.S. are not published by banks, the American Banking Association recently said that a successful ATM crime nets more than 10 times the cash as a traditional bank hold-up, and it hopes U.S. banks adopt one or more advanced ATM protection technologies.

Meanwhile, facial- and voice-recognition systems like Samsung’s “Face Unlock,” and Apple’s Siri mean consumers are getting used to biometrics in their everyday mobile lives, and they might be more tolerant of similarly imperfect technologies at work and at home.

Avivah Litan, a security expert at the consulting firm Gartner, thinks that the move to mobile computing holds the key to the future of passwords.  As users perform more and more critical functions with their mobile device – such as mobile banking – authentication methods will have to change with the times. So-called “out-of-band” authentication techniques, like text messages sent to web users warning that their accounts have been accessed, are clumsy to use in concert with mobile banking. So Litan thinks that, finally, mobile users will tolerate a biometric technique that they are already very comfortable with – talking.

“I do think voice has a real shot now,” she said. “Who wants to carry around a token that might weigh more than your iPhone?”

The big hurdle with voice printing is “enrollment,” or getting an initial clean version of a users’ voice that’s used for comparison purposes later. Techniques for mass enrollment are still under development, but cell phone carriers are in a unique position to do this easily when they sell new phones, Litan noted.

“It would be easy for them,” she said. “But there are plenty of other ways this could be accomplished.”

But despite the technological advances, the crime and all those leaked passwords, are passwords really on the way out?  Jost isn't so sure.

"I certainly think the awareness of the problem is rapidly growing," he said. "It's quite easy to guess (passwords) … and by using other types of systems you can overcome that problem. Is this a turning point or not? I'm not really sure. But I hope so. It is a problem that gets bigger and bigger."
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Mac

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #79 on: September 27, 2012, 04:36:31 pm »
'Grounded' VFX Breakdowns

For those that get into the making of... in special effects.

For the short film Grounded here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjJ6Qm5qXvQ
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Chiprocks1

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #80 on: September 28, 2012, 09:34:35 am »
Passwords

Gawd I hate passwords. Yet I have two pages of typed passwords for all my crap. So we at work talk on occasion what's coming down the pike. Well this article is very refreshing and complete detour of, believe it or not, old thinking with retina scans, cards and finger scans.

Why is '8068' considered to be the safest? I've never heard of this. But then again, I never paid any attention to other Passwords before.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Mac

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #81 on: September 28, 2012, 11:15:36 am »
Good question. I actually meant to explore that further... but forgot... until now.

Quote



We know people default to bad passwords, whether for their computers or banking PINs. But, we have to stress this here, people are really bad at picking passwords. This infographic visualizes that idea by taking all of the possible combinations and mapping them based on frequency of use.

A data set of 3.4 million pins was used. The first two digits are on the horizontal end; the second two on the vertical end. That perfectly diagonal yellow line streaking across it shows the frequency of 1111, 2222, etc. Data Genetics crunched the numbers (based on "released/exposed/discovered password tables and security breaches") used in the graphic, and came up with some fascinating finds:

    You can crack more than 10 percent of random PINs by dialing in 1234. Expanding a bit, 1234, 0000, and 1111, make up about 20 percent.
    26.83 percent of passwords can be **** using the top 20 combinations. That would be 0.2 percent of the passwords if they were randomly distributed.
    For the data set used, 8068 is the "safest" password, used just 25 times out of 3.4 million.
    Birthday years are big. The 1900 PINS--1986, 1960, 1991, and so on--are extremely popular, with PINs from later in the century used the most.
    A full 17.8 percent of PINs are couplets, such as 7878, 8181.
    2580 seems random, but comes it at No. 22 most-used on the list. Why? Because it's straight down the middle row on a telephone keypad.
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Mac

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #82 on: November 30, 2012, 04:37:52 pm »
Quote
In the Terminator films, it’s Cyberdyne Systems which creates an artificial intelligence that becomes self-aware and eventually tries to wipe out humanity. In the real world, it turns out it might be Disney that opens the door for the rise of the machines.

Check out this cool (and sort of creepy) new video featuring a prototype humanoid robot that the House of Mouse is working on developing. The machine, which uses lots of nifty animatronics and a Microsoft Kinect game camera, is already capable of playing catch and “juggling” three balls with another human. It always starts out with something innocent, then next thing you know these things are ready to crush us under the metal heels of their boots.

While we’re impressed by the machine’s ability to not only catch and toss a ball (and his reactions when he fails), we’re also a wee bit nervous by this technology. Even if this guy doesn’t eventually realize he’s a machine and become hell-bent on wiping out mankind, it’s still pretty unsettling to think of a day when we might go to a Disney park and interact with eerily lifelike machines as opposed to actual people. They tried that stuff in Westworld (ah, Yul Brynner) and it didn’t turn out so well.

If you think we're just being paranoid about this whole Terminator thing, well, we're not alone -- check out this story about Cambridge University's plans to open a Center for the Study of Existential Risk. One of the risks they're looking into? Your odds of dying in a robot apocalypse.

Take a peek at this footage below – and start preparing to welcome your new robot overlords.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83eGcht7IiI
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Chiprocks1

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #83 on: December 01, 2012, 01:28:21 am »
Everybody likes to joke about machines rising up to take over the human race. But mark my words, my toaster and coffee machine have been looking at me funny lately as if they want to kick my ass for not cleaning them, and one day they really will rise up.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Chiprocks1

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #84 on: December 22, 2012, 06:27:59 am »
The Aquarium Bed



This is sick!! I gotta get me one of these!!
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Mac

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #85 on: December 22, 2012, 06:32:03 am »
That is rather cool
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Mac

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #86 on: December 24, 2012, 09:34:06 am »
This is something to keep an outlook for in the very near future. It really steps over from being geeky to cool and mainstream. I see this has some incredible potential. 15 years ago I was doing this cutting edge stuff in a midsize production company. Now I see it as something possible for everyday consumers.

Replicator 2



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Chiprocks1

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #87 on: December 24, 2012, 09:47:11 am »
Is this just a Printer or a PC/Printer Combo? That price tag is a whopper. Give it a couple of weeks to drop down 90% and I'm there!
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Mac

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #88 on: December 24, 2012, 02:52:32 pm »
I believe just the printer... And you are exactly right. Bring this down to a price point and it will start to get some serious attention. The machine I worked with was the size of a Volkswagen and I could only guess the price.
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Chiprocks1

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Re: Cool Techie Geeky Stuff...
« Reply #89 on: December 24, 2012, 03:03:55 pm »
You already know this, but usually with new tech they jack the prices up because they (insert company of choice) know that there is small clique of people that will pay through the nose to be the FIRST to have (insert new product/toy) on the market. Once that group has tapped out, that's when you see a huge drop in price. I never understood the need to be the first. It also gives me time to track said product and see if there are any production issues or recalls, which I can then decide it's worth purchasing.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

 

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