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Physics Confession

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"You know lightning, right? When electric charge builds up in a cloud and then discharges in a giant spark? Ask me why that happens." "Why does tha--" "No clue. We think it's related to the hair thing."
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alt_text_bot
21 hours ago
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"You know lightning, right? When electric charge builds up in a cloud and then discharges in a giant spark? Ask me why that happens." "Why does tha--" "No clue. We think it's related to the hair thing."
reconbot
21 hours ago
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Me about computers
New York City
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Young Explorers

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Young Explorers is a wonderful series of short films by Jacob Krupnick that follow toddlers who have recently mastered walking as they explore the wide world on their own. Fair warning: as a parent, the solo NYC street crossing scene gave me a heart attack!

Kids do not want to be contained — they are built for adventure. As a culture, we are wildly protective of our little ones, often to the point of protecting them from happy accidents and mistakes they might learn from. “Young Explorers” is a series of short films about what happens when you allow kids who are very young — who have just learned to walk by themselves — to explore the world completely on their own.

There are ten films in all so far, two of which are available on Vimeo (embedded above). They are on display outside the ICP Museum in NYC until July 23.

Tags: Jacob Krupnick   parenting   video
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reconbot
1 day ago
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This is great
New York City
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Hacking a Segway

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The Segway has a mobile app. It is hackable:

While analyzing the communication between the app and the Segway scooter itself, Kilbride noticed that a user PIN number meant to protect the Bluetooth communication from unauthorized access wasn't being used for authentication at every level of the system. As a result, Kilbride could send arbitrary commands to the scooter without needing the user-chosen PIN.

He also discovered that the hoverboard's software update platform didn't have a mechanism in place to confirm that firmware updates sent to the device were really from Segway (often called an "integrity check"). This meant that in addition to sending the scooter commands, an attacker could easily trick the device into installing a malicious firmware update that could override its fundamental programming. In this way an attacker would be able to nullify built-in safety mechanisms that prevented the app from remote-controlling or shutting off the vehicle while someone was on it.

"The app allows you to do things like change LED colors, it allows you to remote-control the hoverboard and also apply firmware updates, which is the interesting part," Kilbride says. "Under the right circumstances, if somebody applies a malicious firmware update, any attacker who knows the right assembly language could then leverage this to basically do as they wish with the hoverboard."

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reconbot
2 days ago
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New York City
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Satellites Taking Pictures of Rockets Carrying More Satellites

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At Planet, we launch new satellite flocks regularly. For years, we’ve been talking about getting that perfect shot from space of a rocket mid-flight; and as our on-orbit fleet has grown in size, the odds of one of our satellites being in the right position to image these rocket launches have only increased. Last week, the orbits aligned.

Our Dove constellation is a monitoring one, meaning we point each Dove straight down, imaging what’s directly below in strips as the Earth rotates. In the hours leading up to our recent Soyuz launch we determined that a Dove would be near enough to Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to get a shot of our newest flock launching. Once we determined it was possible, our Attitude Control team worked with our Mission Operations team to point a Dove at the launch pad.

And, to put it frankly, the results are pretty cool. Check out what we captured:

We stitched together tons of still images to create this animation of the launch of Flock 2k

To create this animation, we pointed a Dove approximately 50 degrees off-nadir towards the pad, capturing one still image per second of the fixed target as the Dove travelled overhead at an approximate speed of seven kilometers per second (or 15,658 MPH). Then our Imaging Team cropped and stitched the stills together. All in all, this short clip covers about two and a half minutes in real-time including lift off and flight.

From an operational standpoint, these on-orbit maneuvers were exciting to perform. We realized we’d be able to snap these images about 5 hours prior to launch; and our extensive ground station network made it easy to get the target commands up to the satellite really quickly. The next morning, right around the time the Doves Flock 2k were deploying from the Soyuz into orbit, we received the data.

Looking through it for the first time was exciting for the team. We’ve captured some spectacular imagery over the last few years, but these launch shots of the Soyuz are some of my personal favorites. Learn more about the flock of 48 satellites of Flock 2k that launched onboard the Soyuz.

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reconbot
2 days ago
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New York City
satadru
3 days ago
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New York, NY
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An Idea

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reconbot
3 days ago
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New York City
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1 public comment
kleer001
3 days ago
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Radiohead hid an old school computer program on their new album

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As if you already didn’t know that Radiohead are a bunch of big ole nerds, there’s an easter egg on a cassette tape included in the Boxed Edition of OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017. At the end of the tape recording, there are some blips and bleeps, which Maciej Korsan interpreted correctly as a program for an old computer system.

As a kid I was an owner of the Commodore 64. I remember that all my friends already were the PC users but my parents declined to buy me one for a long time. So I sticked to my old the tape-based computer listening to it’s blips and waiting for the game to load. Over 20 years later I was sitting in front of my MacBook, listening to the digitalised version of the tape my favourite band just released and then I’ve heard a familiar sound… ‘This must be an old computer program, probably C64 one’ I thought.

The program turned out to run on the ZX Spectrum, a computer the lads would likely have encountered as kids.

Tags: computing   music   Radiohead   video
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reconbot
4 days ago
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New York City
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