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Number 2378
Broadcast Date DECEMBER 3, 2014
Episode Length 34:37
Hosts Tom Merritt
Guests Allison Sheridan

Allison Sheridan braves a burning router to appear on the show and talk about the new Google CAPTCHA system. Is it creepy? Is it accessible?



ReCode says two sources close to the investigation say Sony Pictures Entertainment will name North Korea as the source of the attack on its internal networks. An announcement from Sony Pictures and security firm Mandiant is forthcoming.
GigaOm reports that Google is rolling out a new reCAPTCHA system. Instead of distorted words and numbers users will simply click a check box next to the words “I’m not a robot.” Google’s “Advanced Risk Analysis” will look at IP addresses, cookies, mouse movements and more in an algorithm to determine whether a user is human or bot. Mobile users will be presented with a puzzle for instance matching a picture of a kitten with other pictures of kittens in a grid of multiple pictures.
Wired UK reports that the YotaPhone 2 is going on sale. The dual screen smartphone from Russian company Yota Devices has both a-front facing AMOLED 1080p screen and an e-ink panel on the back. The Yotaphone 2 has a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, an 8-megapixel camera on the back, and a 2-megapixel camera on the front. The phone will cost £555 in the UK and 700 Euros in the EU. You can buy one online or in the YotaPhone store in London. The phone goes on sale in Asian markets early next year and will be available in the Americas–eventually.
CNET reports that according to market research Parks Associates, in the first three quarters of 2014, 10 percent of US households with a broadband connection bought at least one streaming-media player. Roku kept the top spot with 29 percent of sales in the first nine months. Google’s Chromecast however moves into second place with 20 percent of sales, sending Apple TV to third with 17 percent. In fourth? Amazon’s Fire TV box and stick.
Ars Technica reports on the announcement of the newly announced Bluetooth 4.2 spec. Among the improvements are the ability to connect directly to the Internet over IPv6 and 6LoWPAN, controls over whether beacons are allowed to track your device, speeds improved up to 2.5 times. Some older Bluetooth 4 devices can take advantage of the privacy features with a firmware update the speed and packet improvements will require a hardware update.
GigaOm passes along that Mozilla’s release manager tweeted the company is going to get Firefox on iOS. Apple added the WKWebView API in iOS 8 which gives third-party browsers access to the full power of the JavaScript Nitro engine which previously was only accessible to the Safari browser.

News From You

Ars Technica reports that security firm Cylance published a report Tuesday describing “Operation Cleaver.” The sustained cyberattack campaign has attained the highest level of system access at targets in 16 countries. Compromised systems include employee login servers, VPNs, routers and switches. Among the 50 target organizations are airports, hospitals, telecommunications providers, chemical companies, and governments. The team of attackers use Persian handles, work from IP addresses registered in Iran. Cylance believes the group could only be backed by a nation-state.
Submitted by starfuryzeta
The Verge reports about the all-girl robotics team at Carl Hayden Community High School in West Phoenix, Arizona. Carl Hayden is a school where 70% of students lived below the poverty line, and less than 40% of students graduate. So two teachers at the school founded a robotics club. And the club went on to beat MIT in a robotics competition and get a movie made about them. But the teachers noticed that the girls on the team rarely worked on the robots. They wrote the papers and gave the presentations. So in 2007, they formed a girls-only team. And guess what. GIRLS BUILD AWESOME ROBOTS TOO. And then they go to Stanford. Because ROBOTS. And more importantly, BECAUSE TEACHERS. Go read the article. It’ll make you happy.
Submitted by MacBytes
A YouTube post explains why they had to re-code their view counting software thanks to pop star Psy. Turns out people are still watching Gangnam Style and when the 2 billion 147 million 483 thousand 647th viewer hit it maxed out the 32-bit integer they had reserved to count views. So they had to upgrade to a 64-bit integer. YouTube now can rest easy until Gangnam Style gets past the 9 quintillionth view.
Submitted by CaliforniaKarl


Pick of the Day

The app is similar to iMessage in that it allows Android users to send text messages from their tablet and computer (through a chrome extension) keeping me from switching to my phone whenever I am using my other devices. The app also has neat features like: telling you your phone’s battery life, contacts, scheduling future messages, and you can dial from one of the other apps.
Submitted by Scott



Preceded by:
"Reasonable people? On the Internet?"
Followed by:
"Yesterday’s DRM"