Hacked & Burned

This week's best in tech - from cybercrimes, hardware and scientific discoveries to rad Tumblrs and GIFs

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TUMBLR OF THE WEEK: Random Shopper

Anyone with Cyber Monday remorse should get a kick out of randomshopper.tumblr.com. Darius Kazemi assigns an Amazon shopping bot a monthly $50 budget and the surprise presents it procures for him are chronicled on randomshopper.tumblr.com. 

GIF OF THE WEEK: Comic Sans Must Die 

Let the record state that I'm chill about Comic Sans -  hell, one of the most important scientific discoveries of the last century was announced in Comic Sans. But haters gonna hate, and this GIF comes from a single serving Tumblr that digitally disintegrates Comic Sans.

SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK: Olfactory White

It's like white noise, but for your nose! The same perceptual shrug that static evinces has been replicated for smell. Scientists molecular engineered a generic scent they call “olfactory white”, and I'd be very surprised if it didn't make it onto the experiential dining circuit in the future.

CYBERCRIME OF THE WEEK: Anonymous rattle cages of RFID surveillance school 

Anonymous are back in the cybercrime mix this week, and this time a school is in their crosshairs. The details of this story read like a grim 'sign of the times' report: a school in Texas have suspended a girl for refusing to wear a surveillance RFID chip around her neck, and anonymous have come to her rescue, White Knight style!

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Minecraft Reality

Like many one-trick AR ponies Minecraft Reality overlays virtual additions to the real world when you view your surroundings through your smartphone. The twist is that you can view pixelated creations lovingly (and painstakingly) assembled in indie gaming sensation Minecraft.

HARDWARE OF THE WEEK: Memeto Camera - Effortless Lifelogging

Further proof that writing sci-fi is a mugs game as the dystopic future foretold by Charlie Brooker's Dark Mirror get's it's beta incarnation with the Memoto camera. This portable 5 megapixel camera takes 2000 snaps every day and geotags them with its built in GPS.

GEEK OF THE WEEK: Open Source Cancer Care 

When confronted with news of his brain tumour Salvatore Iaconesi set to work converting his MRI data into open source formats. He released the files on his site along with a call to everyone to intepret or remix the data and return 'a cure'. The results so far: his tumour is on the Pirate Bay, ready to be printed out by any willing 3D printer; it 'exists' in second life and a number of medical experts have been in touch to offer a second opinion. 

ALGO ANXIETY OF THE WEEK: Sleepwalking into Skynet

This week the Human Rights watch produced a 50-page dossier on 'The Case against Killer Robots'. Thankfully they've nothing to worry about: the folks at the Pentagon reassure us that a human will always decide when a robot kills you.

WETWARE OF THE WEEK: Your brainwaves to control cockroach leg

A group of Chilean biohackers have built a kit that lets you control a cockroach leg with your brainwaves. Galvani eat your heart out! 

TECHNONOMY OF THE WEEK: “...no, thank YOU for clicking on my face...”

You may have noticed that facial recognition is srs business on the web these days. The latest (and somewhat inevitable) entrant into the fast growing sector amps up the creepiness. SexFaceFinder.com and Naughty America's "Face", matches user-uploaded images against facial profiles in their existing databases. 

Also... go vote for the Mars Rover as your person of the year.

Text by Stephen Fortune

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