Tuesday, 28 August 2012

How to Steal Personal Data From Someone's Brain

Emotiv's EPOC Brain Signal Reader via Emotiv
The Emotiv brain-computer interface was designed to let users control their computers with their thoughts alone, opening up a new avenue for hands-free computing as well as a potential means for those with disabilities to communicate through machines. So much for good intentions. Scientists at the University of California and the University of Oxford in Geneva have devised a way to steal a user’s sensitive information--account numbers, PIN numbers, etc.--via Emotiv’s off-the-shelf brain signal-reading technology.
The $300 Emotiv device works by sensing electrical signals in the brain and interpreting them as commands for a computer. But the researchers in this case were interested in another application that essentially boils down to mind-reading. Using the Emotiv, could they tap into signals that would reveal sensitive information?
Specifically they were monitoring for the P300 signal in their test subjects, a brain signal that is associated with recognition--a tip-off that a particular word or image is meaningful to the user. The researchers placed their Emotiv-clad subjects in front of monitors displaying a series of random images of banks, numeric keypads, PIN numbers, and various people, looking for P300 signals that showed a flicker of recognition. They found that over time they could reduce the randomness of the imagery and focus in on what the user found relevant. Slowly, they were able to zero in on the images--and numbers, and banks--most relevant to the subjects.
Of course, in order to execute this kind of fraud the user would have to be a willing participant. But should technologies like Emotiv’s interface proliferate, it would be easier and easier to perpetrate such a scheme. An unsuspecting user could be talked into playing “games” that result in their essentially being interrogated, the researchers say. And the information that the interrogators take off with would be nothing shy of the very information stored in a person’s memory.
In news that doesn’t foretell a dystopian future where our very minds are ripe for robbery, the paper in which the researchers published these results also nodded toward a more benign use of these procedures in law enforcement interrogation--not to steal specific thoughts but rather to tell if a suspect is withholding relevant information or lying about an incident much more accurately than today’s lie detectors can.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012



Mutant Butterflies Something doesn't look right. via Nature
The first serious indications of the ecosystem impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan are in, and they’re troubling. Researchers there collected 144 common pale grass blue butterflies from the region a couple of months after the catastrophic nuclear meltdowns leaked radiation into the environment last year. After studying them for a few generations, those researchers are finding signs of genetic mutations that are leading to physical abnormalities.
Those abnormalities include smaller-sized wings, disfigured antennas, strange indentations in the eyes, and shifts in wing color patterns. Initially, only 12 percent of the butterflies sampled showed such mutations. But samples collected six months later showed abnormalities on the rise--28 percent of this second group exhibited abnormalities while 52 percent of their offspring expressed mutations, indicating that the genetic issues arising from the radiation exposure are manifesting themselves further generation after generation.
That’s not good news, though it’s no reason to panic either, the researchers say. Butterflies are good barometers for this kind of thing, because they exist nearly everywhere and their life cycles are relatively rapid, allowing researchers to observe many generations in a short span. But how radiation exposure will affect other species--like livestock, fish, or humans--has yet to be seen. Species’ sensitivities to radiation vary, so there’s no reason to assume these kinds of mutations will apply to humans in the area.
Radiation spilled into the region after the March 2011 9.0-magnitude Tohoku earthquake knocked backup generators offline at a local nuclear power station. The inability to cool those reactors in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake caused meltdowns at three of the station’s reactors.

So....are we going to see Mothra level Tokyo??

Friday, 10 August 2012

Master Blaster Vs Skywalker and Yoda

For some reason or other its one of those things we tend to think about here at Kount Kreepy's lair.
Impossible pairings that really only nerdom could possibly come up with the real answer.

I saw this picture of Yoda and Luke Skywalker 
Yeah kind of cute and disneyesque moment, there the warrior with the brains in a backpack/director/controller riding on his back. But can they compete against the post-apocalyptic bad assed might that is..........

MASTER BLASTER!!!!!!!!!(link to Mad Max wiki)
Sure the Jedi's got some telepathy and whatnot but does all that Jedi hocus-pokus work in the Thunder Dome? Lets just say no for shits and giggles. My prediction is that Master-Blaster will still run Barter Town and LukenYoda, Yodaluke?, will wind up "Facing the Wheel" and most likely getting "Gulag"

(at left the Barter Town punishment of "Gulag")

other good Mad Max news is that Mad Max 4 "Fury Road or Road Furies" is a go, is filming currently and has some pretty cool machinery.....
check here for the evidence. =EvS

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Zombie Tools

So you think you're prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse? Well maybe one of these babies will give you that edge over the other would be "survivors". All handmade and battle ready! When guns fail, only cold steel will do!