GeekSpeak for 2010-08-07

A Cappella DefCon

Ben, Lindsey, Alex, and Miles discuss the Week in Geek and DefCon.

Mind-Controlled Artificial Arm Begins the First Human Testing

The world’s first human testing of a mind-controlled artificial limb is ready to begin. A joint project between the Pentagon and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), the Modular Prosthetic Limb will be fully controlled by sensors implanted in the brain, and will even restore the sense of touch by sending electrical impulses from the limb back to the sensory cortex. Last month APL announced it was awarded a $34.5 million contract with DARPA, which will allow researchers to test the neural prosthesis in five individuals over the next two years.

Pi - 5 Trillion Digits

Someone did it! It’s a new record. Check out the history of computing Pi [here|http://numbers.computation.free.fr/Constants/Pi/piCompute.html].

Tor: anonymity online

What is Tor? Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.

China to Solve Traffic Problems with HUGE Busses

Seriously, this is the future that China’s envisioning: huge friggin’ buses engulfing smaller cars on the road. Despite the silly picture and the eccentric “3D Express Coach” branding, this cunning project by Shenzhen Huashi Future Car-Parking Equipment actually makes sense.

Tor Developer Detained At US Border, Pressed On Wikileaks

A security researcher involved with the Wikileaks Web site — Jacob Appelbaum, a Seattle-based programmer for the online privacy protection project called Tor — was detained by US agents at the border for three hours and questioned about the controversial whistleblower project as he entered the country on Thursday to attend a hacker conference. He was also approached by two FBI agents at the Defcon conference after his presentation on Saturday afternoon about the Tor Project.

Hubble Accuracy Surpassed By Earthbound Telescope

A high-speed adaptive optics system helped the Large Binocular Telescope (on Earth) to beat the accuracy of the Hubble Space Telescope’s observations.

3D Movies Discussion

3D is an ever-evolving process, which is why the effect can be such a hit-and-miss affair. But those who insist 3D glasses give them headaches are a little wide of the mark, according to the man who trains the filmmaking pros.

“It’s not the technology’s fault, it’s really the content that can cause these problems,” explains Buzz Hays. “The more care taken when making the content, the better off everyone’s going to be. My mantra is that it’s easy to make 3D but it’s hard to make it good – and by ‘good’ I mean taking care to make sure that this isn’t going to cause eyestrain.”

iPhone jailbroken by Safari vulnerability again

The page JailbreakMe.com exploits a vulnerability in Apple’s mobile Safari browser to jailbreak the iPhone (3G, 3GS and 4), iPod Touch (four generations) and iPad without the use of a PC. Jailbreaking gets around Apple’s restrictions on what applications can be installed on the Apple devices. Previously iPhone hacks were available from the same site and at the end of 2007, the site carried a similar trick for iOS 1.1.1.

Verizon Changes User Router Passwords To Serial Numbers

About a fortnight ago Craig Heffner, a researcher with Maryland-based security consultancy Seismic, said that he will release a software tool that exploits the routers through DNS rebinding, at the Black Hat Conference, and he indeed did that? I don’t know. Well, whatever it is, here’s the list of those vulnerable routers, and Verizon doesn’t wants its routers to be a part of that vulnerable list and has probably been taking necessary actions. According to a story on Slashdot, a user says that Verizon is changing passwords to respective serial numbers, without even consulting the customers in the first case. Good thing is that, Verizon alerted the customer immediately after changing the password.

Implantable Eye Telescope Treats AMD

A telescopic implant that fits directly into the eye to treat certain kinds of blindness has finally received FDA approval for use in the US after more than five years of waiting. The Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT) is used to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Computer Chip Implant to Program Brain Activity

An international team of researchers led by Dr. Matti Mintz at the University of Tel Aviv is working on a biomimetic computer chip for brain stimulation that is programmable, responsive to neural activity, and capable of bridging broken connections in the brain.

Google Wave is dead

Google pulled Wave last night, announcing they are no longer going to update it. So where the heck are you going to do your complex collaborative editing tasks now? Here have five alternatives for you.