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Episode Apple third-quarter results. Apple hires X-Box Co-creator. Apple Pencil for iPhone in ? Apple card arrives for some. Feedback on rumor coverage. Apple stops listening to Siri recordings. Case of the missing comments. I'm more excited about a in Macbook Pro. Rank 2: Maccast Latest on iPhone Apple confirms buying Intel's modem business. Apple Card expected soon. Not for Siri's ears only? More on the inch MacBook Pro. Your thoughts on "exclusive" podcasts.
Media Library caches hogging storage. Too few secrets any more? Rank 1: Myspace Misplaced My Mixtape! Apple updates iPads, MySpace loses your media, and where your online money really goes. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast. We explore the reasons and discuss the discrepancy between technology's promise of a productivity enabler and the real-world outcome. Director of Mac Product Marketing at Apple. He's worked on projects including the original iMac.
Earlier this week, he took to the Apple keynote stage to introduce the new Mac mini. The following day he sat down with me to talk about that new Mac mini as well as the new MacBook Air and Apple's complete current line-up of Macs: What the design goals are, how to choose the right Mac for you, and how Apple sees the Mac now and into the future.
Rank 2: MacBook vs. Air vs. Pro: The one you should get!. The old Steve Jobs product grid is gone. The old grid is dead. With the new Air and old, the low end and high end inch, and the inch no Touch Bar to inch Vega MacBook Pro, with lots of room to fuss with exact processor, memory, and storage options in between, there's a lot of choice in Apple's current notebook lineup. Which is why grids only ever really took us so far. Rank 1: What The Tech Ep. Plus Andrew and Paul discuss the new Mac Pro design aka the cheese grater. Will Apple have trouble selling the new Mac Pro?
Rank 2: What The Tech Ep. Paul discusses his review of the Google Pixel 3A. Microsoft partners with Sony to explore future cloud gaming solutions. Does Microsoft's partnership with Sony make sense? What did Paul think of the series overall? Sometimes just one tip can cause you and your two favorite geeks alike to learn at least five new things. Does this episode have that magic tip? Visit eero. Note: Shownotes are in progress Your questions answered, as always, including several unresponsive Macs and how to fix them, Life after CrashPlan, Problematic iCloud syncing, and moving your media libraries.
Plus, a healthy competition about internet speeds between your two favorite geeks is in there, too! Press play and enjoy! A text power tool for everyone! Sponsor: Casper makes an obsessively-engineered mattress at a shockingly fair price. Visit casper. Sponsor: For humans, BarkBox is a delivery of 4 to 6 natural treats and super fun toys curated around a surprise theme each month. For dogs, BarkBox is like the joy of a million belly scratches.
Visit barkbox. Note: Shownotes are complete! Rank 1: Premium Hand Feel. Motorola has sold over 70 million Moto G devices since , and their phones are omnipresent in Brazil. Now they're looking to expand their growth around the globe. The fun doesn't stop there! Amazon has announced the Echo Dot Kids Edition, and they want to deliver packages into the trunk of your car. Google is keeping pretty quiet about sales figures for Pixel 2, but it's clear their hardware focus is bigger than ever. Six months in, Google Lens is still lackluster but showing signs of improvement. In a final slurp of alphanumeric soup, LG G7 ThinQ is getter even closer to being real thanks to some new renders — and One Plus 6 will be announced on May 16 in London.
GameStash: Hundreds of awesome games on your Android phone. Try it free for 14 days! Rank 2: Punch and Pie. Daniel Bader, Andrew Martonik, and Russell Holly convene once again via a series of tubes to discuss lots of hot topics in Android news. First, Epic Games is bypassing the Google Play Store for the upcoming Android release of Fortnite — requiring users to side-load the game and pay for in-app purchases directly to Epic.
Next, Android P finally has a name: Android 9 Pie! Samsung Galaxy Note 9? Never heard of it. But the Galaxy Tab S4 is here; with high end specs, build quality, and a price tag to match. A full review is still forthcoming, but comparisons to iPad and Chromebooks are plentiful. In the home stretch, Moto Z3 is officially coming to Verizon on August 16th. It's the first "5G-upgradeable" smartphone thanks to a Moto Mod expected in LightStream LightStream rewards consumers who have good credit with a great interest rate and no fees!
Josh: Wipe that drive! Allyn: Precision power supply on the cheap Rigol Sebastian: If you have to use a dongle, make it high-res! Rank 1: Tii - iOS Tii - iOS Apple Card Roll out planned for August. Intel acquisition - 2 for Apple all time in terms of Dollars and 1 in terms of Employees. Rank 2: Tii - iTem - iOS 6. Tii - iTem - iOS 6. Samsung launches the Watch Active 2, Apple issues new credit card, Microsoft claims hacking group Strontium is targeting hot devices. New regulations in Turkey put online content providers under the regulation of RTUK, Cloudflare terminates service to 8chan, and Texas joins the list of state attorneys suing to stop the T-Mobile-Sprint merger.
Rank 1: Mac OS Ken: Use offer code macosken at eero. Rank 2: Mac OS Ken: Rank 1: Linux Action News Plus Microsoft makes it into linux-distros, the Raspberry Pi 4 charger issue, and more. Links:Server breach at Pale Moon project goes undetected for 18 months — Server breach at Pale Moon browser project goes undetected for 18 months.
There was just a lot more digging to do than we expected. ISPA withdraws Mozilla Internet Villain Nomination and Category — In the 21 years the event has been running it is probably fair to say that no other nomination has generated such strong opinion. Firefox 68 ReleasedMicrosoft admitted to linux-distros list — I see no valid reasons not to subscribe Microsoft or part s of it, see below to linux-distros. The only voiced reasons not to, such as in Georgi Guninski's posting and in comments on some technology news sites that covered Microsoft's request, are irrelevant per our currently specified membership criteria.
Drop snap support! The remaining usage in the Snap plugin is not a common case on desktop and not necessary to support anymore. Rank 2: Linux Action News The controversial season wraps up. Will the end satisfy the audience? Rank 1: Fluid animations. This week on the Windows Central Podcast: New builds in testing, our thoughts on animations in Windows 10, and more reorg news! We're back with another exciting episode of the Window Central Podcast.
This week, Daniel Rubino and Zac Bowden talk about new builds for Insiders in Fast and Skip Ahead, our personal opinions on animations in Windows 10, the current state of Progressive Web Apps, and a few more details on the recent Windows reorganization. Help us make this show the best Microsoft podcast in the world. Thank you so much for listening! Rank 2: Surface Hub 2 is amazing. All TWiT. Read more. Share this podcast:. Netcasts :. Best Episodes All Episodes. Rank 1: MacBreak Weekly There.
Sponsors: capterra. Aug 06 Aug 08 Sponsor: netscout. Jul 31 Samsung Unpacked Microsoft rumoredthen confirmedto be at today's Galaxy Note 10 launch. With the marketing materials leaking, we have some clues as to what they will add to this event: S Pen compatibility for Office - similar to iPad support earlier Maybe Office support for Dex desktop mode? And what can Microsoft do to fix this? New Windows 10 20H1 build is out today with a few minor updates and tweaks Microsoft confirms that Windows 10 will get a cloud restore feature Microsoft to finally disable VBScript in Windows 7, 8.
Google's doing it in Android with both web browsers and search engines. And the latter will come with a twist. Xbox Microsoft teams with Ninja. Over 20 years old? Let me explain. Flagship phone sales are dipping while the midtier gets stronger. Google flips the script on how it presents search engine options in the EU. Play Pass offers a collection of premium games and apps for a monthly fee.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a new tablet for fans of premium Android slates. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 adds a rotating bezel to the popular watch. Fossil unveils the Gen 5 Series with options for men and women. LG teases its hardware announcement for IFA Yeah, exactly, on Windows. But the danger is that someone might know that a corporation or a group or a company or a user is a Safari user, and then do a so-called directed attack Leo: Spear phishing. Steve: Yeah, I jumped over that because there was a different term that we used recently. Because it might not be a phishing attack.
Leo: Right, not an email necessarily, yeah. Steve: I'm blanking now on what the term was. But we had a new term of art that we've started using that was, like Leo: Targeted hacks. Targeted exploits. Steve: Targeted, yeah, there was a better word for it. Anyway, it'll occur to us, or someone in the chatroom will let you know what it was. So, and the second is Leo: Weaponized email? Steve: That's it, weaponized email. Leo: Thank you to WindowWasher, who was the first to get that one.
Steve: Yup. So someone could send you, if they knew you were using Safari, a piece of weaponized email Leo: That's nasty-sounding. So the second issue is an information disclosure problem with the way Safari handles HTTP authentication credentials in an HTTP request that can cause some information to leak out of your computer. So not such a big deal to worry about as remote code execution, but still hopefully Apple will jump on this and bring us up to 4.
In the meantime, there's no fixes available for these. So be careful if you're a Safari user. Leo: On Windows. And by the way, I just wanted to mention that I realized often we're talking about security updates, and other times we're talking about security news. I had previously been sort of merging them together.
And I've decided I'm going to sort of break that out since they are separate issues. So that's all of our update stuff. Now in the news. There was a truly horrifying revelation which occurred recently. I mean, so recently I don't have it yet. But they did release some news about their results hacking car control systems.
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And the only way I can do this justice is to read this story, which was covered many places, and in this instance it's from the BBC. The News. The researchers showed how to kill a car engine remotely, turn off the brakes so the car would not stop, and make instruments give false readings. Despite their success, the team said it would be hard for malicious attackers to reproduce their work. But this is - my concern is what this foretells. And we'll talk about that once I'm through reading this story: "The team of researchers, led by Professor Stefan Savage from the University of California-San Diego and Tadayoshi Kohno from the University of Washington, set out to see what resilience cars had to an attack on their control systems.
The researchers concentrated their attacks on the electronic control units ECUs scattered throughout modern vehicles which oversee the workings of many car components. It is thought that modern vehicles have about megabytes of binary code spread across up to 70 ECUs. But ECUs communicate, so that many different systems can be controlled as the situation demands. For instance, in a crash, seat belts may be pre-tensioned, doors unlocked, and air bags deployed. The team got at the ECUs via the communications ports fitted as standard on most cars that enable mechanics to gather data about a vehicle before they begin servicing or repair work.
The researchers mounted a series of attacks against a stationary and moving vehicle to see how much of the car could fall under their control. In the final seconds the horn honks; and, as zero is reached, the car engine shuts off, and the doors are locked. The team concluded that car control software was 'fragile' and easy to subvert. In some cases simply sending malformed packets of data, rather than specific control code, was enough to trigger a response.
Leo: Yeah, which is very kind of you, thank you. And I should say very kind of Elaine. I apologize to Elaine, our transcriptionist, who has to work twice as fast today. Steve: Oh, yeah. So they said, "'Cars benefit from the fact that they are hopefully '" - and they put "hopefully" in their paragraph - "'not connected to the Internet yet , and currently are not able to be remotely accessed,' said Rik Fergson, a security analyst at Trend Micro.
As cars and everything else in life, up to and including even pacemakers or refrigerators, become steadily more connected and externally accessible, research such as this should be taken increasingly seriously by manufacturers,' he added. I mean, our listeners already know how terrifying this news is because we are, I mean, there's this tremendous drive to add features to our technology.
And you can, I mean, we know that there's XM radio now in autos that is sending data to - so that we're able to listen in our cars. There's beginning to be technology that lets you check on your car. I know there's some web-based stuff that allows you to have some sort of interface with your car in some situations. So unfortunately, I mean, I just - I hope that the people who are building these systems are listening to Security Now! It's already dispiriting to learn that it's possible to have, I mean, we know the problems that Toyota has been having with their brakes.
And presumably this is buggy code. But here we see that it's possible for, in a research environment, for just accessing through the access ports that mechanics use, that it's possible to deliberately cause a car's brakes to be disengaged so that the foot pedal no longer engages the calipers on the disks. Leo: So that's a hack. But we should emphasize, you need physical access to that port. You have to get in the car and reprogram it.
Steve: Well, we should emphasize what we know, which is that the researchers did have physical access. So, yes. I don't want to scare anyone away from driving. Leo: Nobody's going to be pointing something at you, a ray gun, a portable dog killer at you, brake killer at you as you drive by. You have to get in the car. That access port's usually right under the steering wheel on all modern cars. And they have to plug into it.
At least that's the hack that they were doing. And so the concern, again, I don't want to over-alarm anyone. But Leo, we know where these things go. I mean, it's funny because as I'm reading about them talking about a malformed packet, it's like, wow, that's what we had with routers 10 years ago. Leo: It's software. Software is hackable, often. And unfortunately, when we hear that there's a hundred megabytes of code, it's like, okay, I'm going to keep my current car running as long as I can.
Just, you know, because I like the old, the nine-year-old technology I have in it. Leo: You have a pre- what is the date that these things became common? It's been a while. Steve: Well, yes, it is. I mean, I have a car. So it's nine years old. Leo: And it doesn't have the port. Steve: Oh, yeah, I think it does. Leo: Yeah, I think '98 is when they started putting those ports in. Steve: I think it does. I mean, I think that's what they check. Leo: '96, yeah. Steve: But again, what happens is, as we've seen before, it's like, oh, these ports are nice. These ECUs are handy.
Steve: Let's put them in the seat belt. Let's put them, like, 70 of them apparently scattered around now in many cars, all little nodes. I mean, it's like the Borg, little nodes communicating with each other. And it's like, oh. Again, I wish there weren't - okay. First of all, what would be the motivation? It's difficult to see the motivation. And motivation does matter because we know that people are hacking, that bad guys hidden through anonymity on the Internet are hacking people's computers to get their credit card numbers and identity and authentication information in order to, ultimately, somehow, to make money, to steal money, or send spam or something.
So I hope there isn't motivation for this kind of auto hacking. Frankly, Leo, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that it's possible today because that's the way these things are. The level of complexity that these vehicles have obviously now achieved to me makes them seem, as these researchers said, extremely fragile. And that's just not good news.
Steve: So we'll hold our breath. As we've seen also, it takes motivation. And so we'll hope there isn't nefarious motivation. Leo: This will be something on "Law and Order. Leo: But, I mean, remember "North by Northwest"? They got Cary Grant drunk, and they disconnected his brakes, and they sent him down a road. So that was 50 years ago. I mean, they had to cut the brake or let the brake fluid out. But if you have physical access to a car you can make it dangerous.
Steve: Well, yes, you can do anything, yes. Leo: And that's true in hacking, too, that a lot of times we hear about exploits that require physical access to the computer. My philosophy has always been, if somebody has physical access, you're screwed. Steve: And my point is, physical today, nonphysical tomorrow. Because it's software. Steve: Well, and because there's, I mean, there's a tremendous desire for connectivity. I mean Leo: That's the issue. Because right now you can't get into a car remotely because it's not online, it's not, I mean Steve: Well, we hear about OnStar and, you know, oh, sir, we know you've been in an accident.
Leo: Well, I talked with Ford about this, as a matter of fact, CEO Alan Mulally of Ford about this, and they make very sure to separate the entertainment computer from the car computer, and that there is not merely a firewall, but they're not connected systems. Steve: Good, good, good, good, good. Leo: So because of that; right? You don't, if you're going to open connectivity, and boy, they really are increasing it, you cannot allow that connected computer to speak to the car computer.
That would be dangerous. Well, and we heard, same good intention with the high-security government networks that were going to be not connected to the Internet. But they ended up somehow being connected to the Internet. And that's caused problems. Leo: Of course, somebody's pointing out, yeah, pointing out that the OnStar system can disable the car. The OnStar operator can disable the car. That would seem to me Steve: That's what I'm saying, Leo.
I don't know how, and I think there are rules about can they do it when it's running, et cetera, et cetera. Steve: I know, I know. And where did they get their security certificates? Who signed them? And has that been spoofed? I mean, you put together a blended attack, and it's like, oh, boy, this stuff relies on infrastructure that the designers assume is robust. And then elsewhere the security community goes, oh, that's not quite as strong as we thought it was.
And then somebody with the motivation - again, it takes motivation. And I just don't want to have any motivation. But, unfortunately, this is, I mean, I hate being right about this kind of thing. But, oh, it's really - this really deeply creeps me out. You've got a good point. Now, Google and WiFi. First I learned of this was when a journalist with Reuters called and said, Steve, have you heard about the Google admission that they were promiscuously - actually that's my word, I explained to him what promiscuous mode was on a WiFi radio - that they were capturing publicly available data and storing it, recording it on hard drives.
And I was quickly brought up to speed and talked to him about what I thought this meant. So for those of our listeners who may not have heard the story, it's been making big news almost for a week now because it was last Friday that I talked to this reporter. Google, in their Street View technology, and we talked about this a couple weeks ago relative to my realization with my iPad that the Skyhook service, which Apple apparently uses, was able to capture SSIDs and MAC addresses from WiFi hotspots as they were driving around with GPS, mapping where all these things were.
Leo: Has to be in the packet or it won't work. Steve: Correct. So what we found out was that, I believe it was Germany that was pressing Google because the Germans were very upset, just sort of felt a little creepy from a privacy standpoint, were apparently really pressing Google for exactly what data it was that they were capturing.
And that forced an admission from Google that, whoops, well, we didn't really intend to, we didn't mean to, we didn't want to, but it turns out that, despite all of those disclaimers, we were capturing the payloads of the WiFi data that our Street View cars encountered as they were roaming around Germany, and storing them on disk drives, and we have all that. So the reporter from Reuters said, "Steve, what does that mean?
Very often, if they're using POP or IMAP protocols, that is, not web-based mail typically, but regular sort of earlier protocols, their username and password would be in the clear. Not supersensitive stuff, which is generally deliberately encrypted by their connection, if not - and in this case not by the WiFi network. I said, but, you know, radio is radio. It's being broadcast. This stuff is in the clear. Now, I did hear in part of Google's explanation for how this happened, a plausible source of, like, code. Apparently some other researcher doing something else years before had written some code that did do promiscuous capture, that is to say, it simply sucked in everything that a WiFi radio could receive and stored it.
And when, years later, a different group who were doing the Street View project said they kind of looked around Google's massive project and software repository, it was like, oh, look, over here is some code that we could use that somebody wrote before. So they just kind of grabbed it, in sort of typical open source mode, and dropped it into their technology for Street View, and saved themselves reinventing the wheel. Now, what this code did was record all the payloads of all the packets, rather than only what they really needed.
Because if I were doing this, I would incorporate signal strength in so that, as the car was moving, you'd get a sense for - you could actually do very good triangulation over time to get a sense for the physical location of this node whose SSID and MAC address you've acquired by looking at the signal strength as the car drives around.
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So I think the problem is that hard drives are huge. I mean, and lord knows Google must have some sort of serious quantity discount they get on buying hard drives, with indexing and caching the Internet and Gmail that apparently has endless storage and so forth. I mean, Google's probably got more storage than anything else on the planet. So hard drives don't cost much. They probably weren't worried about saving hard drive space. So they were probably recording packets and maybe tagging it with this extra metadata, SSID, MAC address, well, actually that would be part of the packet, and like the GPS information, and maybe just who knows, I haven't looked in detail at their Street View technology; but, sure, they could be doing all of this processing in the vehicle as it drives around.
Or they could just massively Leo: Capture it all, yeah. Leo: Ah. I bet you that's what they were doing. And then that would explain it. Steve: That's my, yes, that's my guess is that they had a relatively brain-dead massive capture operation where they were just sucking this stuff in, tagging the packets with the GPS metadata.
And then offline, or off the street, rather, like back at headquarters, then they would reprocess the data and do all the computations necessary to geolocate the specific MAC address and SSID node. I mean, that makes sense. So they didn't have to do it that way, but that was probably the path of least resistance, which makes sense they would do. So I guess my overarching feeling is, hey, the best thing about this is it serves as a wakeup call about unencrypted WiFi. But to me this helps raise awareness of the relative exposure that people have, not having their wireless networks encrypted.
I mean, we've talked about it all the time. Leo: Now, I mean, it's fragmentary data they got. They probably got nothing of value. Steve: True. They would have - and, see, that's just it. Germany's freaking out over this. And my sense is, first of all, I really believe that this wasn't deliberate.
I can see how they would have followed a path that would have allowed them to capture this due to what they explain. It's entirely plausible to me. I mean, and why would they care? I mean, they've got as much data as they could ever ask for just being Google. Steve: They don't need to drive around and suck up random packets that are unencrypted as they're driving by. It's not like they set up permanent listening posts and were sucking this in. Steve: So, yes. I think it's, on one hand, much to do about nothing. Their explanation makes sense. And but I do hope it serves as a bit of wakeup call.
Leo: Absolutely, yeah. I mean, if you still have an unencrypted - the point, in a way, is these people are broadcasting that stuff anyway. It's out there. All Google did was the same thing you do when you listen to a radio station. Leo: So you really ought to not broadcast is the message. It's radio. And if your keystrokes and your username and password, the sites you're visiting are available, well, again, I hope that the story serves to raise awareness of this, that Google doesn't get tainted because of what they did.
I mean, yes, they could have arranged not to store this data. Leo: They have now, by the way, and they've deleted it all. And they've got a gazillion trillion terabytes of data, so what's a little more? Steve: Okay. Leo: Ooh, this is a bad one here, this one. Yes, yes, yes. Leo: This one is really creepy. Steve: Yes, it is.
And it turns out this is not the only such site. There's a site called Paste-It. And so if you use Google to do a site-specific search Leo: Oh, I know where you're going with this one. I didn't see this in your notes. This is really interesting. And if you - so, for example, if you put Google. Leo: You don't even have to do that. If you just do site: it'll work even in a standard Google search. Steve: Oh, okay, yeah. Leo: Site:paste-it. Leo: I know where you're going with this, too. Steve: Well, yes. And in fact, Leo, if you do that, just, I mean, click on the first link.
I have. It's safe. You will see a page full of people's credit card information, real people, their names, their addresses, their Leo: What the heck is this? Steve: Their CVV2. This is a site that the bad guys use for buying and selling credit card information. It is a site designed to allow people to paste information.
Then they get a unique URL. And unfortunately Google indexes it. That's nice. I mean, this is literally, look at it, it's actual credit card information. There they are with their CVV2 code and the name and the street address. Leo: Oh, this is terrible. Steve: I mean, it's horrifying. This is a fun search to do. With a lot of things [laughing]. So the bad guys, yeah, because, I mean, it's not like an individual user put his card in there.
This is a list of hundreds. Steve: Oh, it's hundreds. And those links, I mean, when you do the Google search, you can sort of see what the dates are. There are some that are only - that are fresh. Steve: So what happens is, from packet capture, just like we've been talking about, or from malware, some guy running a botnet collects all these.
Leo: And he's publishing it. Steve: He gets a buyer, well, he gets a buyer for it. And he uses a site like Paste-It. Leo: Right, because it's anonymous. So he drops all that stuff there, then gets a unique link which, you know, he gets payment from his buyer, sends the buyer the link. The buyer clicks on the link, brings it up, copies the page, and here's a whole ton of recently captured, fully, I mean, all the information you want in order to charge people's credit cards maliciously. So I just thought I would share that little bit of happy news with our listeners. Leo: One way this could be solved is if the folks at Paste-It would use robots.
That would be a help. Now, see, or maybe do, I mean, if this is a problem, that we've got anonymous drop sites like this, I guess obviously there are Leo: Well, they're very useful. I mean, I use them all the time to share code or whatever. So that's fine. And then there's drop. But they should absolutely block Google indexing. So VeriSign has sold its authentication services to Symantec. Leo: Oh, how interesting. Steve: I'm sort of not happy about it, only because, I don't know, I've never been a big fan of Symantec.
And remember the VIP program that we've talked about extensively? That's part of it. I received two pieces of email yesterday because I'm on VeriSign's various lists as a purchaser, as a customer of theirs. So, and it's been in the news. And I guess maybe I need to change my attitude toward Symantec. It's an old attitude, back from the days of Gordon Eubanks, who was the founder. Leo: I like him. You didn't like Gordon? Steve: I heard some stories about him. Leo: Oh, interesting. Steve: From people who really did know him, out shooting squirrels.
It's like, okay, well, that's too bad. Leo: Interesting. And I got to know Gordon then. Steve: Was it personal software? Leo: It wasn't. It was another, they did Steve: Because that was Fred Gibbons. Leo: Yes, it was Fred Gibbons. It was a DOS text editor. But I knew him in that context. And after he went to Symantec we kind of lost touch. But he worked at Digital Research. He was a partner with Gary Kildall. And Naval Postgraduate School.
Yale-educated Leo Laporte is losing his dream studio to a neighborhood bar
Let's see. Well, I guess it was Symantec. That was it. Steve: That's right, yup. Leo: You remember that? It was really cool. Steve: Yeah, yeah. He was at Oblix Steve: So, VeriSign has sold that off. I just wanted to let our listeners know. So just as another little security news Leo: For what it's worth. Steve: I did want to mention in errata that my handle on Twitter didn't last out the day last week. Leo: I noticed you changed. There were, I mean, it's significant, when I learned about the problem with handle length for retweets, that that's a problem because they take up space in the text of the tweet.
And there was enough comments about, well, yeah, this is a spelling test. And I thought, okay, we don't want to give people spelling tests. Leo: AgileSynapse, right. Leo: Now, there is somebody named SteveGibson on Twitter that's not you. Steve: No, it's not. And in fact I just saw something from him, actually, and I meant to send a note to him this morning. But he's, I guess now that I've joined, he's just been flooded with people who think that I am him.
Leo: So you are not SteveGibson. You are SGgrc. Steve: I'm not SteveGibson. He's been on Twitter for three years and no doubt likes his handle as it is. So SGgrc, that's me. Many people did seriously ask for the plans for the portable dog killer. You wouldn't believe all of the justifications that I heard for rats in the backyard Leo: Please, please, please, please.
If you're not smart enough to invent it yourself, you're not smart enough to use it, my friend. Steve: Well, that's precisely the lesson I was going - I mean, you've got me, Leo. You know me well enough. I was thinking about Oppenheimer, and the lesson being exactly that. If you're not able to design it yourself, then you don't pass the test of being responsible enough in its use. Because it really, you know, something like that, as I demonstrated, could cause some problems. So I think it's - first of all, I don't have the plans.
And I went rummaging around in war surplus store bins in order to get them, like the specific pieces. So I wouldn't even know how to specify it these days. And I just - I wanted to share the anecdote. But unfortunately I did put on the map the fact that you could have a lot of fun with a sonic beam weapon. Leo: Well, give us a clue. What frequency audio does it generate? And there was really no way - I didn't have a frequency counter. There was no way to really calibrate the sweep. My guess is that it was like in the 15 KHz range.
Leo: Very, very low. That's sub-audible. I mean, above audible. Steve: No, most people can hear to 20, Leo: Oh, okay. Not me. Steve: So 20, is about the - well, as we get older we do - our high-frequency cutoff of our ears drops lower and lower. But when like you get an audible test where they give you those tones Leo: Right, you can hear it. It's almost a physical sensation. Steve: Yeah, with 15, I think you can probably hear. It was high, but it wasn't supersonic, by any means. Leo: Well, what is the frequency of those - I guess they don't do it anymore.
But in the old days the motion detector alarms would send out a very, very high-pitched sound you could hear. Steve: Well, that's technically ultrasonic. That's the Leo: When I was a young man I could tell. I could feel the sound. Steve: No kidding.
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Steve: Well, I have - I do remember you telling me that you had extremely high-frequency hearing. Leo: In the old days. Steve: Well, in fact - well, no, not even so long ago. Remember when I wrote the speech compressor using the Speex codec. Leo: Oh, yes, I did hear some differences there.
Steve: And we did the AB testing. I could absolutely not hear any difference. And then you said, oh, I can hear the difference. I said, oh, come on. And like we played a little game. And you got it every time.
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Leo: There is a - my kids have it. You can download a ringtone, a sound for your iPhone. They call it the Teen Annoyer. Steve: Yes, I heard. And, like, parents can't hear the phone ring. Leo: So the kids use it so they can notify each other in class. The teacher won't hear it, but the kids will hear it. Steve: I love it. See, this is kind of along the same lines.
Steve: Yes, very much so. Leo: And Henry uses it. And we actually did it during a TWiT when we had a live audience some years ago. And Dvorak and I are sitting here, blithely playing the tone. And the younger people in the audience are going, "Agh, make him stop, make him stop. Steve: Wow. Leo: They say mostly people under That's great. Leo: That's a kind of a sonic Steve: Audio, well, it's an audio filter. Yeah, it's sort of a sonic firewall because we can't hear it, the old folks can't hear it, but the young kids still can.
That's neat. And I'm trying to find the spec for that tone. But I'm thinking it's around 15 KHz. And I thought, oh, my god. So it's SMElectronics. And I clicked the link - well, actually I typed it in myself because you know about me and links - and put it into my browser. Up it came, 42nd Avenue Electronics. And on the home page it says "Since Leo: That you found. Now, I have to say that you did not hear it, nor did I, but I played a 15 KHz tone moments ago, and the chatroom is going "Ow.
Do it again. Leo: And by the way, if you're listening to the MP Steve: Oh, yeah, it might not be able to get through. Steve: I'll bet it can't get through Skype. Leo: It's probably Skyped, not - but I'm in the studio, and I can't hear it. Leo: On the other hand, it did - people in the stream can hear it, which is interesting. Flash - listen, listen. They hate it. Now, I'm going to play - let's play something - let's play 10 KHz. You could hear that. Can you hear that? Steve: No. Leo: Skype's rolling it off, then.
Steve: Yeah, I'm sure they are. Leo: Yeah, Skype's rolling that off. We're doing a little hearing test. All right, kids. The chatroom is going crazy [laughing]. They really did hear it. Leo: People complained, they really heard it. It's very interesting, isn't it. Steve: Where are you getting these different frequencies? Leo: This is NoiseAddicts.
And it's called - a blog that's called Steve: I'm sorry that I asked. I'm sorry that you said. Leo: It's the online music and audio magazine. And there is a post, a blog post, you'll have to go back a year, "Can you hear this? And actually a very interesting idea. Steve: So 15, so you could imagine - imagine if that 15 - oh, you can't hear it.
Leo: I can't hear it. Steve: I think maybe the portable dog killer was down at 10, then. Because, I mean, it was, I mean, adults could hear it. Archibald had no problem hearing it from across the quad, so Leo: And, you know, probably - I don't know what MP3 rolls off. But MP3 is a very interesting codec that doesn't just - it doesn't necessarily roll off frequencies, but it does some interesting things.
Steve: It's using psychoacoustic science Leo: Exactly. And it gets rid of complexity that we just - that doesn't matter. Leo: And the chatroom is just going crazy. They are hearing it. They say their dogs are barking. Oh, my god, I have a headache. I don't how much of that is facetious and how much of that is real. But I will no longer play anything. And it may be that - we don't know what the Flash, I don't know what the Flash media encoder is doing to it. So it may be - because if you're watching at home, you're watching on it.
Steve: Well, now you've made me curious. So I'll have to go over there and listen to it myself, so Leo: We'll have to call this episode the "portable listener killer. Steve: So I did get a neat note from a Security Now! He's in Calgary, Canada. He said, "Hello, Steve. I've used it in its maintenance mode the whole time, running it" - not full-time, but never other than maintenance mode - "running it monthly on my own PC, and running it on friends' and family machines when they had me do an upgrade or repair for them, and have gotten several of them to buy copies for themselves after much praise.
That is to say I have no problem with him running it on other people's machines, encouraging them to buy their own copy. I've recently installed the newest Ubuntu release, I ended up having a lockup and had to force a reboot with the power button on the laptop.
But some keystroke invocation, apparently. Leo: Yeah, no Steve: And he said, "When it rebooted I got an error message and a command prompt. Not knowing what happened, I tried a couple of different things to no avail. I figured before I'd try anything more serious I'd give SpinRite a whirl. And so he said, " So I left the computer to work away at the drive overnight.
I checked this morning, and SpinRite had completed. I did a quick reboot before work and was shown the Ubuntu login screen that I had been trying to get for several hours the previous day. Thank you so much for such a great product. SpinRite saved my Ubuntu. Leo: And that's an important point, that SpinRite is not operating at the file system level.
It doesn't know from operating systems or file systems. Steve: So it runs on Linux just fine. Leo: Yeah, because it's looking at the sectors on the hard drive. Steve: Precisely. Which means EFI-booting machines, like the Macintoshes, it does not work with. Steve: Not today. Leo: Is somebody - you mentioned at one point somebody was looking at a way to do that.
Steve: I've heard people anecdotally say they've succeeded. And I've even had them take screenshots. I mean, I've seen photos of SpinRite running on Macs. Leo: Really. But I've never pursued it myself. Can you boot it, in other words. Steve: It will. Leo: Absolutely. Leo: We should point out, though, and this is a different thing, that checking a USB drive with SpinRite is going to give you limited results. Steve: Oh, no no no, don't want to do that.
Leo: Because the USB hides the interface. Steve: Well, and there's, I mean, SpinRite's really oriented toward physical magnetic media. You're right, obviously a flash drive don't do. Steve: Oh, oh, a USB-connected hard drive. Leo: A USB-connected hard drive. Well, we do have success stories with it. I'm not as bullish about it because, as you say, Leo, the USB interface only does reads and writes. And SpinRite is able to do a much better job if it, like, has physical low-level access to the drive. That's far superior. But people say, I mean, as a last resort, SpinRite can still work.
Leo: Worst case you'd take out, I mean, if you really - if it didn't work, take it out of the USB enclosure. And I have had people successfully do that with their Macintosh.