Welcome to Cyber Dump number 18. Here's a look at what's been happening over this past week. As always, all source links are below.
IHS Markit Technology recently released a parts teardown of the Oculus Rift headset, finding that the components cost just over $200, with the retail price being $600. Interestingly, more than half this cost is attributed to the 2 high res displays. Hopefully as display prices come down, this will enable some very affordable headsets.
Edward Snowden and Bunnie Huang have announced their intention to develop a phone case that helps privacy conscious users know when any radio signals are being transmitted from their smartphones. Dubbed the Introspection Engine, the idea is to help journalists definitively know when their phones are dark, so they are in control of potentially intrusive tracking features.
In other privacy news, the president of the UAE recently issued a series of new laws that forbids any citizen from using a VPN. Those caught using VPN or proxy servers can face imprisonment and a fine up to $545,000.
Youtube user Fahim Chowdhury has released a really cool video series showcasing his own DIY Google Glass project. The glasses use an arduino and bluetooth module for it's brains, and is enclosed in a custom 3D printed case.
Another good DIY video by Brainergiser shows you how to create a crawling robot that can traverse almost any ground surfaces.
Open Secrets have revealed that the Correct The Record organization has increased it's budget from $1million to $6million. For those not in the know, this is a Hillary Clinton backed political group that literally pays people to post pro Clinton messages on forums and comments sections, and negative messages about any political oppostion, in an attempt to manipulate public discourse on the internet.
Massoud Hassani has launched a great Kickstarter for the Mine Kafon Drone, a drone designed to clear land mines around the world. The quadcopter automatically maps out a grid, using it's metal detector to find mines, then once found, drops charges to explode them from a safe distance. They aim to clear all land mines world wide within 10 years.
Last week Facebook launched the first flight of the Aquila, a solar powered drone which aims to bring internet connectivity to people all over the world. I'm not so sure about a Facebook controlled internet, but I think these solar powered flying meshnetworks are very cool.
At last weeks HOPE conference, security researchers revealed they have cloned all 7 TSA master keys, allowing anyone to 3D print the keys, and open up all TSA approved luggage locks. The 3D files are all available on Github for those interested.
In other security news, researcher Jonathan Zdziarski has found that WhatsApp is leaving full chat logs on phones, even when the app says they have been deleted, cleared or archived. His write-up details how forensics tools can be used to easily restore what you thought was removed.
Last month, Police approached the lab of a professor at Michigan State University to help them unlock the phone of a dead person. They plan to create a capacitive 3D printed fingerprint to bypass the biometric lock.
And finally, Ultimaker have created a portable backpack 3D printer that you can carry with you. The goal is to allow teachers to demonstrate the power of 3D printing to communities by taking it directly to them. Pretty cool.
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