| Wednesday April 16th 2014


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iPhone case allows you to take photos with phone held horizontally

iPhone MirrorCase

The MirrorCase for the iPhone lets you take photos while holding the phone flat, like an old-times camera. It seems like a good way to shoot video of yourself, too – just set it on a table and do your thing. At $50, it’s a bit pricey. I wonder if there’s a D.I.Y. version? (I think this is the gizmo used to secretly tape Mitt Romney declaring that 47% of Americans suck.)

Raspberry Pi purchase and setup guide for developers

Raspberry Pi

The following are the steps I took to get my raspberry pi set up for development. I like to keep wires to a minimum, so by the end of this you should be able to plug your rPi into an outlet somewhere and connect to it remotely via ssh.

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Cops Ask Congress for Your Text Messages

Law enforcement authorities are asking Congress to mandate that cell phone companies record and store data from Americans’ text messages for at least two years, according to a report on the tech media site CNET. In recent years, the use of cell phone data in criminal cases has increased, and now law enforcement wants cell phone companies to be required to retain that data.

phone lockThe groups asking Congress include the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, which represents the biggest police forces in the U.S., the National District Attorneys’ Association and more. Civil liberties groups have come out to oppose the idea.

Law enforcement groups claim that the lack of a retention requirement for cell phone data hinders criminal investigations. As Congress debates updates to a 1986 privacy law, these questions are coming to the fore.

“We would oppose any mandatory data retention mandate as part of ECPA reform,” one American Civil Liberties Union staffer, Christopher Calabrese, told CNET.

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StickNFind – Bluetooth powered ultra small location stickers

Ultra small Sticker with Bluetooth Low Energy, that you can stick on your stuff, and use your smartphone to find them. Now this is a start-up I can get behind…

  • Stick-N-Find stickers have a buzzer and light, so that you can find stuff also in the dark.
  • Stick-N-Find Stickers have a Range of about 100 Feet, with a Battery that lasts for over a year.
  • Say you are looking for a missing Sticker, that your phone can not find, or is not in range. Once that Sticker is in Range, your phone will Alert you.
  • You could also stick the Stick-N-Find on your wife’s car. Once she pulls in the driveway, you get a notification, clean your mess, and go wash dishes before she comes in.
  • Create a virtual Leash on a sticker, if that sticker moves away more than the approximate selected distance from your phone, your phone will Alarm you.
  • You can also create a Reverse Virtual Leash: You put a Sticker on your keys etc, if you forget your phone behind, the sticker on keys will buzz.


Facebook in talks to buy WhatsApp

WhatsAppCould Facebook be in the mood for purchasing another messaging company? The social network giant bought popular mobile messaging client Beluga last year, and rumors suggest Facebook could add WhatsApp to its portfolio. Techcrunch reports that unnamed sources close to the deal say that Facebook and WhatsApp have been in talks about a possible acquisition. Details about price have not been revealed, and its unclear if an agreement will be reached, but the two sides are in talks, according to sources.

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Unlocked Quad Band Dual Sim Android OS Smartphone on Amazon

Android iPhone

A buddy just bought this Chinese “iPhone” on Amazon.com. Came with 2 batteries and runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

For $148, not bad. seems to work great according to him. He is going to Europe and is using it as his phone there; the dual sim cards makes it a 2 line phone. 1 line for European calls, 1 line for U.S. calls. The Chinese obviously have a love affair with dual sim phones.

Why doesn’t MTV play music videos anymore?

Remember the end of Planet of the Apes? That’s how this video makes me feel about myself, and my? generation.

Microsoft Surface reviews are out

Apple iPad vs Microsoft Surface

AnandTech brought up a point I hadn’t considered.

The Surface RT is theoretically capable of working with a wide array of peripherals, but they need special ARM drivers for it. Essentially, you’ll be able to plug in anything to a Surface Pro though. (Printer, scanner, etc)

Reviews after the jump…

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Vote for Mitt Romney?

This is utterly convincing. You may remember this chap from here… you remember, the man who see penises everywhere…

New Orleans cancels plans for Super Bowl drone

The Bravo 300

Above, “The Bravo 300,” a tactical drone man­u­fac­tured in New Or­leans by Cres­cent Un­manned Sys­tems. Weeks after New Orleans local investigative paper The Lens began digging into city of­fi­cials’ plans to use a U.S. Home­land Se­cu­rity De­part­ment aer­ial drone to mon­i­tor crowds at the upcoming Super Bowl, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Lan­drieu announced that the city is no longer pursuing those plans.

Spokesman Ryan Berni of­fered no rea­son for drop­ping the eye-in-the-sky tech­nol­ogy, telling a re­porter to sub­mit a pub­lic-records re­quest. In a brief phone in­ter­view, he would say only that the de­ci­sion to ditch the drone was made “over the past sev­eral days.” In a fol­low-up email, Berni said Home­land Se­cu­rity would be pro­vid­ing a manned he­li­copter, equipped with a cam­era, and that “the City learned by phone in the last few weeks” about the switch.

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DMX uses Google (and possibly a computer) for the first time

Not staged at all.

Apple Without Steve Jobs

apple maps

Upgrade to iOS 6 Right Now

iOS6 now

Although iOS 6 won’t see an official release until September 19th, you can install the final version right now even if you’re not a developer thanks to some anonymous public postings of the software update files. Here’s how…

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Apple’s iPhone launches no longer excite


Now, having had two years to plot and scheme, Apple’s renowned designer Jonathan Ive has replaced the tiny 3.5in (8.9cm) screen with a slightly-less-tiny 4in (10.2cm) screen? Wow. Knock me over with a feather. What do you do with the rest of your time, Jony?

To use a car analogy, six years ago the iPhone was like a sexy new flagship model from BMW or Porsche. Today it’s a Toyota Camry. Safe, reliable, boring. The car your mom drives. The car that’s so popular that its maker doesn’t dare mess with the formula.

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Mayo drops “Mon Music” video

Mayo from the58s and Ben Fredette team up on visuals for the latest drop from the58s crew. Peep Mayo’s Mon Valley Music prod by Sledgren of Taylor Gang. This is one of my favorite tracks from Mayo and the58s camp and the visuals only solidifies that. Welcome to Pittsburgh and a small slice of Mayo’s life.

Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE price cut to $0.01 on Amazon

HTC Evo 4G LTO phone

The HTC EVO 4G LTE on Sprint is currently the best Android phone, from HTC, that money can buy. The handset’s typical $199.99 price tag is fair, but what if I told you that the EVO could be yours for just one penny? That’s right, Amazon has just cut the price of the Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE to $0.01 if the handset is purchased with a new two-year contract.

Obviously, some of you may not qualify for this amazing deal, but we suggest you check it out to see what your price would be based on your current plan.

If the you’re not willing to make the switch to Sprint, there are a few other deals which could save you a bit of cash…

Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE to – $0.01
Verizon HTC Rhyme – $0.01
Verizon DROID Incredible 4G LTE – $49.99
AT&T HTC One X – $99.99


ATM Skimmers Get Wafer Thin

thin ATM skimmers

Police in an unidentified European nation have retrieved wafer-thin ATM skimmers that are so small that they can be fitted inside the credit-card insertion slot. Brian Krebs describes the finding:

That’s according to two recent reports from the European ATM Security Team (EAST), an organization that collects ATM fraud reports from countries in the region. In both reports, EAST said one country (it isn’t naming which) alerted them about a new form of skimming device that is thin enough to be inserted directly into the card reader slot. These devices record the data stored on the magnetic stripe on the back of the card as it is slid into a compromised ATM.

Another EAST report released this week indicates that these insert skimmers are continuing to evolve. Below are two more such devices. Insert skimmers require some secondary component to record customers entering their PINs, such as a PIN pad overlay or hidden camera.

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Mont-Saint-Michel from space


France’s Mont-Saint-Michel island and commune as seen from the Pléiades satellite.

A birds-eye view of France’s Mont-Saint-Michel comes courtesy of the Pléiades satellite, which snapped the island on May 3.

Until the end of the 19th century, no bridge spanned the expanse between Mont-Saint-Michel and the mainland, so the tiny islet was accessible only at low tide.

The image, recently released by the European Space Agency, shows where water meets mud flats, with multiple channels interwoven into the mud.

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“Ready Player One” and “The Freedom Maze” win the Prometheus Award for best novel

Congratulations to Ernie Cline for winning the 2012 Prometheus Award for Best Novel! His book, Ready Player One, shared the prize with The Freedom Maze, by Delia Sherman. Both Cline and Sherman will receive one-ounce gold coins (what else would you expect from the Libertarian Futurist Society?).

The Freedom MazeDelia Sherman’s young-adult fantasy novel focuses on an adolescent girl of 1960 who is magically sent back in time to 1860 when her family owned slaves on a Louisiana plantation. She’s mistaken for a light-skinned slave fathered by a plantation owner. She endures great hardships, commiserates with others suffering worse, works in the household and the fields, and sees the other slaves demonstrating their humanity in the face of incredible adversity. In the process, she comes to appreciate the values of honor, respect, courage, and personal responsibility.

Ready Player OneErnest Cline’s genre-busting blend of science fiction, romance, suspense, and adventure describes a virtual world that has managed to evolve an order without a state in which entrepreneurial gamers must solve virtual puzzles and battle real-life enemies to save their virtual world from domination and corruption. The main characters work together without meeting in the real world until near the end of the story. The novel stresses the importance of allowing open access to the Internet for everyone.

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What “Fifty Shades of Grey is badly written” is really code for

Laurie Penny has a spirited defense of Fifty Shades of Grey, a best selling pornographic novel that started out as Twilight fanfic (“quite good, quite detailed descriptions of sex written from the point of view of a woman who seemed to be really enjoying herself”)Fifty Shades of Grey and looks at the gender issues and double standards lurking in the widespread condemnation of the book…

Similarly, I can’t recall Page Three of the Sun ever getting taken to pieces for its lack of artistic imagination. The point, the only point, is to show three million men some tits in the morning, and they’ve been happily ogling those pixellated teenage breasts on public transport for thirty years. That’s understood. Exactly the same basic principle applies to the Fifty Shades series, which has the added bonus that no actual nubile, desperate postpubescents were harmed in its production – but somehow the idea that women might gobble down a poorly-written book in their tens of millions just because they’ve heard there might be some fucking in it is uncomfortable for the sort of snobbish commentators who have absolutely never themselves bashed out a cheeky one over FHM magazine.

When you get down to it, the problem most people seem to have with Fifty Shades of Grey is that it’s for girls. Even worse – it’s “mommy porn”, porn for mommies, for older women to read and get excited about, and that dangerous nonsense really needs to be stopped right now. Everyone knows that the only women who are allowed to actually have sexuality are slender, high-breasted twenty-one year old virgins – rather like, it has to be said, the heroine of “Fifty Shades of Grey”.

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