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Hacked & Burned: Techno Viking crowdfund, mice-cloning from drops of blood & robots tripping balls

GIFS OF THE WEEK: Watergate / Exploding Actresses

From the Watergate video game, which looks the best sort of manic...

Plus, is exploding actresses sexist? It smacked of 'girlfriends in refrigerators' to me...

GEEK READ OF THE WEEK: The secret pre history of code breaking

NSA demonstrate an uncanny sense of timing: declassifying the secret pre history of code breaking computing [PDF].


Colors Magazine and Jonathan Chomko connected a megaphone, a tape recorder, a television, a video recorder, a radio antenna and a miniature printer in series to stage 'the telephone game' across as wide a variety of media as physically possible. It's a clever reflection on how errors inevitably creep in as information is disseminated!


The DEA just notched up its first triumph over everyone's favourite cryptocurrency, nabbing 11 bitcoins in a Silk Road raid. Elsewhere, the purest definition of doing it wrong. In order to ensure that “the average user won’t be able to by mistake print a gun” a Danish company is hard at work building the DRM equivalent for 3D printed objects.

www-CULTURE OF THE WEEK: Techno Viking crowdfund

The ever excellent Regine De Batty speaks with Matthias Fritsch about his crowdfunded effort to tell the untold story of Techno Viking. It's a long read, but fascinating, as Regine and Matthias discuss the famous ravers intractable efforts to swim against the tide of internet culture: he wants ALL traces (including the action figure merchandise) erased from existence!

GEEKS OF THE WEEK: This Year's Internet Hall Of Famers

The 2013 inductees reads like a roll call of people contributing to internet freedom in the most important ways. Take a bow John Perry Barlow, Jimmy Wales, and Richard M. Stallman who also join the deceased Aaron Swartz in the 2013 internet hall of fame.

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Information is Beautiful Awards

Several websites demand your eyeballs this week, but there is no better eye candy than the gorgeous visualisations over at the Information is Beautiful Awards.


We can now clone mice from tiny drops of blood (10 microliter's worth, to be precise).

FIRST EXPOSURE OF THE WEEK: Firecloud and post-web P2P internet

Working in the Mozilla Hatchery Vinay Gupta and Doug Belshaw are engineering FireCloud: a truly peer to peer model of the internet (you own your data, and your participation in the network keeps it running, ala mesh networks). Doug has even picked out other P2P projects of note. Exciting times for the post-WWW era.

APP OF THE WEEK: Chew gum and play games at the same time

For a while I was hating on facial recognition technology big time. Thankfully this video game has consigned my biometrics anxiety to the rubbish bin of Luddite history. You see the same technology that performs facial recognition can also let you play a game based on how you chew your gum. Living in the future my friends, living in the future.

ALGO-ANXIETY OF THE WEEK: Robots Tripping Bawls!

There is an algorithm that conjures “hallucinated” or “imaginary” humans in a robots perception of reality. And get this, it's making the robots perform household chores with much greater efficacy.


Not content with creating robot hands that NEVER lose at rock-paper-scissors, researchers at a rival German lab have created a mechanic hand capable of fistbumping buildings into submission. Or something...

Turns out the Germans are total dark horses of the robotics world. They plan on sending robotic apes to explore the lunar landscape.The iStruct Apes he robotic apes are assembled using 43 individual force-sensing resistor, a 6-axis Fore/Torque sensor, distance sensor, digital 3-axis accelerometer, two temperature sensors and digital magnetic angular encoders.