Midnight In The Desert — computers

Your old computer could be a better source of metals than a mine

Posted by K R on

Your old computer could be a better source of metals than a mine

From your water-logged phone to your smashed smart TV, those personal electronics headed for the landfill are a potential goldmine. Or copper mine. Or—some day—a lithium mine. Economists already knew that along with the swelling 44.7 million metric tons of electronic waste tossed each year we were throwing out billions of dollars in resources. But quantifying all the gold, copper, iron, plastic, and rare earths languishing in our landfills and recycling centers is only part of the problem. Figuring out whether it’s worthwhile, financially speaking, to sift those resources out of the rubble—instead of continuing to extract them from traditional...

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Computer Problems? It Could be Possessed by a Demon

Posted by K R on

Computer Problems? It Could be Possessed by a Demon

Do you have trouble with your computer? Does is freeze or shut down at the most inopportune times? Does it go haywire suddenly or arbitrarily erase important data for no reason? Does it vomit forth long dead languages in a deep, growling voice? If so, then you may have a serious problem. According to some reports, your computer or even your smartphone may actually be possessed by an evil spirit. Demonic possession is a very well-documented phenomenon among human beings, and has been for centuries, but what of modern devices such as computers and smartphones? Can these machines serve as...

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Artist Builds Model of Midtown Manhattan Out of Old Computer Components

Posted by K R on

Artist Builds Model of Midtown Manhattan Out of Old Computer Components

Zayd Menk, a very patient artist from Zimbabwe, spent three months building a 0.0635:100 scale model of Midtown Manhattan out of discarded computer components. The 17-year-old artist, who made the model for a school project, used 263 sticks of hot glue, 27 motherboards, 11 CPUs, 10 CRT monitor motherboards, 18 sticks of RAM, 15 batteries, 12 Nokia E-series phones, 7 power supplies, 4 watches, 4 audio cards, 3 hard drives, 2 telephones and various other electronic components to create mathematically sound versions of Manhattan skyscrapers and buildings. To do this he spent much of his time collecting data from sites...

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Hacker Steals Data from Air-Gap Computer Using Noise, Light, and Magnets

Posted by K R on

Hacker Steals Data from Air-Gap Computer Using Noise, Light, and Magnets

The field of cybersecurity is obsessed with preventing and detecting breaches, finding every possible strategy to keep hackers from infiltrating your digital inner sanctum. But Mordechai Guri has spent the last four years fixated instead on exfiltration: How spies pull information out once they've gotten in. Specifically, he focuses on stealing secrets sensitive enough to be stored on an air-gapped computer, one that's disconnected from all networks and sometimes even shielded from radio waves. Which makes Guri something like an information escape artist. More, perhaps, than any single researcher outside of a three-letter agency, Guri has uniquely fixated his career...

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What are these new CPU bugs affecting nearly every computer and device?

Posted by K R on

What are these new CPU bugs affecting nearly every computer and device?

If you’re confused by the avalanche of early reports, denials, and conflicting statements about the massive security issues announced today, don’t worry — you’re far from the only one. Here’s what you need to know about Meltdown and Spectre, the two huge bugs that affect practically every computer and device out there. What are these flaws? Short answer: Bugs at a fundamental level that allow critical information stored deep inside computer systems to be exposed. Security researchers released official documentation — complete with nicknames and logos — of two major flaws found in nearly all modern central processing units, or...

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