GeekSpeak for 2011-03-12

10-Gallon Cranium Unit

Lindsey brings up a story about a robot “soldier” that will soon be called to “duty,” researchers show how to hack an off-the-shelf (?) car remotely, and a big thank you to the civil engineers around the world!

Researchers Hack Into Cars’ Electronics - NYTimes.com

In their remote experiment, the researchers were able to undermine the security protecting the cellular phone in the vehicle they bought and then insert malicious software. This allowed them to send commands to the car’s electronic control unit — the nerve center of a vehicle’s electronics system — which in turn made it possible to override various vehicle controls.

- Sent in by listener Bob Lippi

TechShop Opens Tool Heaven in San Francisco

TechShop, founded in 2006 in Silicon Valley, is a workshop filled to the gills with all kinds of tools. Instead of renting the tools, you pay a flat monthly fee and can come in and use whatever you want.

Activist Michael Anti Furious He Lost Facebook Account

“Chinese blogger and activist Michael Anti wants to know why he is less worthy of a Facebook account than company founder Mark Zuckerberg’s dog.”

Pwn2Own 2010: Google Chrome is the last man standing

“Pwn2Own 2010 is under way, and after day one of the annual security showdown the results are darn near an exact replica of last year’s. Safari was the first to fall, followed by Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7. Firefox on Windows 7 x64 was also taken down, as was the iPhone’s mobile Safari. Google Chrome, however, has yet to succumb.”

Japan’s Strict Codes and Drills Are Seen as Lifesavers

“Hidden inside the skeletons of high-rise towers, extra steel bracing, giant rubber pads and embedded hydraulic shock absorbers make modern Japanese buildings among the sturdiest in the world during a major earthquake. And all along the Japanese coast, tsunami warning signs, towering seawalls and well-marked escape routes offer some protection from walls of water.”

With hacking, music can take control of your car

By adding extra code to a digital music file, hackers were able to turn a song burned to CD into a Trojan horse. When played on the car’s stereo, this song could alter the firmware of the car’s stereo system, giving attackers an entry point to change other components on the car. This type of attack could be spread on file-sharing networks without arousing suspicion, they believe.

Google Lets Users Blacklist Sites From Search Results

Google is giving users the ability to block sites that annoy them from ever showing up again in their search results.

Robotex creating gun-toting robots to replace human soldiers

Robotex is aiming to create a new breed of mechanical soldier that’s quick to build and cost effective. The Silicon Valley startup has garnered quite a bit of funding from angel investors, and apparently, it has already created a two-foot tall, motorized robot that can travel ten miles per hour, spin around “on a dime,” be controlled remotely and most importantly, “blow a ten-inch hole through a steel door with deadly accuracy from 400 meters.”

Tsunami warnings now faster, more accurate

Dozens of deep-ocean tsunami-monitoring sensors more than three miles beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean picked up information on the silent swell of water and transmitted it by way of a satellite to the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Wash.

CanSecWest: Researchers Show Off Method For Disabling Phones Via

A pair of security researchers from Germany demonstrated several techniques at the CanSecWest conference here Wednesday that enable them to remotely reboot, shut down or even completely disable many popular mobile phones with SMS messages.


! Special Guest

[Laurel Kline|http://www.linkedin.com/in/laurelkline] , Developer Relations Expert and Geek Girl Extraordinaire!

! Math is a Doodle!

For today’s Geek Bit, we present you with “[Doodling in Math Class: Infinity Elephants|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK5Z709J2eo]” for your consideration.