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Hacked & Burned: tech news

Our tech contributor Stephen Fortune on everything you needed to know about Bitcoins

GIF OF THE WEEK: Giant botnet network

Last time out we reported on the audacious mapping of the internet through a gigantic botnet. I hope you'll be pleased to know that this brazen piece of hacking also produced this spangly GIF that illustrates precisely when and where people logged onto the Internet over a 24-hour period all over the world.

WETWARE OF THE WEEK: Transistors for Living Machines

Synthetic biologists are hard at work transforming microbes into living computers. This week they reached a landmark in their quest. A wetware equivalent of an electrical transistor was created inside a living cell. This allows for a greater range of logic gates, paving the way for the first genetic CPU.

CYBERCRIME OF THE WEEK: Chinese malware on android

Chinese hackers regard all computers as fair game. Some solid journalistic sleuthing points by Citizen Lab to the Chinese complicity in malware designed to target the Android smartphones of Tibetan activists.


Tumblrs infinite scroll leads itself to woozy digital derives. DIna Kelberman's new tumblr explores what a search engines stream of consciousness looks like, assembling a vast catalogue of images sharing visual associations with one another. If this is your thing, make sure you check out Sebastian Schmieg video art ( exploring similar themes.


The Underhanded C Contest dangles a $200 prize to the hacker who create the most innocuos AND malicious piece of code. Extra points will be awarded for “humorous, spiteful, or ironic bugs, such as evil behavior in an error-checking routine.”

Digital Archaeology: The internet is in fact a series of tubes

Amid much kerfuffle about the DDOS to end teh internetz comes a sobering reminder of how vulnerable our internet infrastructure is to absent minded carelessness. Last week a ships anchor severed one of the main internet hoses in the Mediterranan, while on the continent “war” raged between SpamHaus and Cyberbunker. In both cases the TL:DR boils down to: humans satisfice and make victims of us and our systems

PRO TIP OF THE WEEK: Bitcoin infographic

Want to know how Bitcoin works – start with this infographic and proceed to this appraisal

ALGO ANXIETY OF THE WEEK: The Kinect will see you now

The XBox Kinect can be programmed to have ridiculously precise knowledge of human body language – so much so that it can accurately diagnose symptoms of depression.

HARDWARE OF THE WEEK: Tie between Dragonfly Drones and Itsy Bitsy Arduinos

It's a tie! Festos incredibly cool Dragonfly drone (aka the BionicOpter) is the more eye catching of this weeks contenders (and you can pilot it with your smartphone). , but the teeny tiny arduino is almost certainly more interesting when you consider what the avid community of makers could do with it (internet of ingestible things anybody?)