The Pwn Plug (for those who aren’t familiar with the term “pwn”, here’s a definition) is a miniature computer about the size of a large AC adapter. You plug it into the wall and connect it to a network. It will attempt to hack into the network and then communicate with you, giving you access to the compromised network. A great tool for illegal hacking activities, you might think, but they actually sell quite a few to corporations that use them for in-house penetration testing and remote network management.
Archive for the 'Cool Stuff' Category
This is a neat idea. For a fairly reasonable price, you can drive a real tank, shoot machine guns, and even crush cars under the treads. What man wouldn’t enjoy this?
Long-time Chad’s News readers will recall this post, where a man explains how his group pulled off an “impossible” diamond theft. In the same vein (and a la Sneakers), Jim Stickley is a security consultant who uses social engineering to infiltrate a bank’s computer network and steal confidential financial information.
Imagine if you can, Bruce Lee playing ping pong. But just to make it fair, he uses nunchucks instead of a paddle. The linked video is hilarious.
Thanks to Garrett for this link.
From the linked article: “3M has developed a see-through film that turns ordinary windows into solar panels. … A square meter of the film can generate roughly enough electricity to charge an iPhone under peak sunlight, but still allows for high visibility.” It’s an easy, do-it-yourself install and will go on sale sometime this year.
Cephalopods (squid, octopuses, and cuttlefish) are very, very good at camouflaging themselves—it’s their primary method of protection from predators. But just how good is shown in the linked video, where an octopus is hiding. The word “unbelievable” is appropriate.
Thanks to Josh for this link.
These two cartoon strips by Dan and Tom Heyerman of Pants Are Overrated are spinoffs of the classic Calvin and Hobbes cartoon. They take place when Calvin and Susie are married and have a daughter nicknamed Bacon. Very well done, and they leave me wanting MORE! MORE! MORE!
The linked article has a map of the world. It was created by tracing Facebook connections on a blank canvas—no boundaries were actually drawn, but they show up clearly nonetheless.
QR codes are two-dimensional bar codes that are becoming popular here in the United States. They can contain text, web links, calendar events, vCard addresses, and much more. Some people even put them on their gravestones! You scan them with your smartphone to pull up the desired information.
The linked website allows you to create custom QR codes. Josh, a friend of Chad’s News, suggests making one that contains your vCard data and then setting that image as the lock screen for your smartphone. Should you lose your phone, your contact details are right there for anyone who finds it and wants to return it.
The linked article has pictures of a very good crocheted model of Discworld, including Great A’Tuin and the four elephants. For those Chad’s News readers who aren’t familiar with the Discworld series of novels by Terry Pratchett, I highly recommend it. Start with The Colour of Magic. My introduction to the series, and still my favorite story, was The Last Hero.
The US Navy is attempting to develop a superlaser for use on its ships, and the latest prototype can burn through 20 feet of steel per second at 14 kilowatts. The power level needs to reach 100 kilowatts to be useful in the field, and the Navy’s ultimate goal is to reach a megawatt and be able to pierce 2000 feet of steel per second. Expect this technology to be deployed sometime in the next 10-20 years.
Did you know that the Earth’s north magnetic pole isn’t fixed, and it moves about 40 miles per year? In fact, several years ago it left Canada and is now over international waters, heading towards Siberia. And since compasses point “north” towards the magnetic pole (versus the real north pole) this movement can have a tangible effect on compass readings. For example, the Tampa, FL airport recently changed its runway designators to account for the changes to magnetic north. This NOAA article shows the locations of the magnetic pole from 1831 to 2007.