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Parler's coding could haunt Capitol Hill rioters.

Views expressed in this science and technology update are those of the reporters and correspondents.

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Accessed on 13 January 2021, 0418 UTC, Post 063.

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Russ Roberts

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Ars Technica

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Parler’s amateur coding could come back to haunt Capitol Hill rioters
Enlarge / Parler? (credit: Getty Images) By now, you may have heard of the hacker who says she scraped 99 percent of posts from Parler , the Twitter-wannabe site used by Trump supporters to help organize last Wednesday’s violent insurrection on Capitol Hill. What you may not know yet is the abysmal coding and security that made the scraping so easy. To recap, the scraping was pulled off by a hack
Jared Mauch didn’t have good broadband—so he built his own fiber ISP
Jared Mauch installed about five miles' worth of this fiber cable. [credit: Jared Mauch ] The old saying "if you want something done right, do it yourself" usually isn't helpful when your problem is not having good Internet service. But for one man in rural Michigan named Jared Mauch, who happens to be a network architect, the solution to not having good broadband at home was in fact building his
Big ISPs pause donations to 147 Republicans who tried to reverse Biden’s win
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | SilverV) Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon say they have suspended political donations to the 147 Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying Electoral College results, but the companies left the door open for resuming campaign contributions to those lawmakers in the future. "We will be suspending contributions in 2021 to any member of Congress who voted i

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Owen Wilson must choose between real and fantasy worlds in Bliss trailer
Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek star in the forthcoming science fiction film Bliss . Owen Wilson ( Shanghai Noon, Zoolander ) plays a man who finds himself flitting between two worlds, one of which is supposedly a simulation, in Bliss , a new science fiction film coming to Amazon Prime next month that co-stars Salma Hayek ( Desperado, Frida ). Sure, the basic concept sounds a bit like a ripoff of The
N95 masks, gamer style: Razer’s crazy face-mask prototype revealed
The Razer Project Hazel N95 mask concept. [credit: Razer ] The annual deluge of CES gadgets and gizmos usually tries to predict what consumer-grade tech will look like in living rooms of the near future. But after a year like 2020, bendable TVs and surround-sound systems seem less interesting than a more pressing category: tech to help people go outside during an ongoing pandemic. That's why we'r
Trump admin. adopts Biden’s vaccine plan, threatens to punish slow states
Enlarge / Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on December 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty | Jacquelyn Martin ) The Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed is shifting gears for distributing COVID-19 vaccines in a last-ditch effort to accelerate the country’s sputtering rollout—and it’s using plans that closely resemble those announced by President-elect Joe Biden’s team l
Facebook and Twitter could be sued for “censorship” under proposed state law
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Peter Dazeley ) Republican state lawmakers in North Dakota want Facebook and Twitter to face lawsuits from users who have been "censored." A bill submitted by the six legislators last week is titled, "an Act to permit civil actions against social media sites for censoring speech." It says that social media websites with over 1 million users would be "liable in a ci
Hackers steal Mimecast certificate used to encrypt customers’ M365 traffic
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images) Email management provider Mimecast said that hackers have compromised a digital certificate it issued and used it to target select customers who use it to encrypt data they sent and received through the company’s cloud-based service. In a post published on Tuesday , the company said that the certificate was used by about 10 percent of its customer base, which—accord
LG’s first flexible smartphone, the LG Rollable, is coming “early this year”
The LG Rollable can go from this... [credit: LG ] CES is very often the home of vaporware product demos, and that certainly seemed to be the case when LG briefly teased a rollable-smartphone prototype, called simply "LG Rollable," during its press conference. Pie-in-the-sky flexible display prototypes have been a regular fixture at CES since 2008 , after all. After the main press conference, LG E
Review: Heartbreaking His Dark Materials S2 finale sets the stage for war
His Dark Materials Enlarge / The second season of His Dark Materials , starring Dafne Keen as Lyra Belacqua, concluded just before the new year. (credit: BBC/HBO ) The first season of His Dark Materials , the BBC/HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman's classic fantasy trilogy, had its share of critics, particularly with regard to its sometimes sluggish pacing. Fortunately, those shortcomings have been
Despite Facebook’s attempts, pro-Trump events, groups still flourish
Enlarge / Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg speaks during a Facebook Community Boost event at the Knight Center on December 18, 2018, in Miami, Florida. (credit: Joe Raedle | Getty Images ) Facebook executive leaders promise they are doing everything they can to prevent the platform from being a tool for an anticipated new wave of violence in the nation's capital in the upcoming da
Trump Admin’s attempt to “red team” climate research gets people fired [Updated]
Enlarge (credit: NASA ) Update 1/12/2021, 3:45pm EST: The OSTP has now released a formal statement on these documents via a pair of tweets , and it's an angry one. “Dr. Droegemeier was outraged to learn of the materials that were not shared with or approved by OSTP leadership," the statement reads. "He first became aware of the documents when contacted by the press, As a result, Dr. Droegemeier t
Wolfenstein 3D + Super Monkey Ball = free Nazi-flattening fun!
BONK! [credit: Nickireda ] Back in 1992, id Software proved that it can be a lot of fun to shoot virtual Nazis on your computer with Wolfenstein 3D . Back in 2001, Amusement Vision proved it can be a lot of fun to roll around in a sphere collecting bananas with Super Monkey Ball . This week, Itch.io game maker Nickireda proved that both of these concepts somehow fit perfectly together with Return
Remember Sony’s electric car from CES? Now it’s being road-tested
Remember the Sony Vision-S from CES in 2020? It's back for 2021, and there's more than one. [credit: Sony ] Perhaps the highlight of last year's CES was Sony's surprise battery electric concept car, the Vision-S . At the time, we thought that the Vision-S—which looked like a cross between a Porsche Taycan and a Lucid Air—was mostly meant to show off all the different enabling technologies it cont
Fenn treasure hunter pleads guilty for damage caused in Yellowstone Park
Enlarge / Over 350,000 people tried and failed to find the Fenn treasure before someone finally solved the puzzle last June. (credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus ) A Utah man charged with causing more than $1,000 worth of damages in Yellowstone National Park has pleaded guilty to two felony charges, The New York Times reported last week . The man, 52-year-old Rodrick Dow Craythorn, had been huntin
Intel at CES: Alder Lake looks a lot like M1, plus new chips for gaming laptops
Some initial specs for the new Core i9-11900K. [credit: Intel ] The Consumer Electronics Show this week was never going to be where Intel would venture into extreme detail on major new 12th-generation CPUs, but nonetheless, the company hosted a press conference this morning that laid out a few new evolutions of the 11th-gen CPUs it has already been shipping, plus an early look at what to expect f
Bethesda, Lucasfilm tease new Indiana Jones video game
Enlarge / Artist's conception of the gaming public eyeing the prospect of another movie-licensed game with suspicion... Bethesda will be publishing a new Indiana Jones game "with an original story" in collaboration with Wolfenstein: The New Order developers Machine Games, the publisher announced today via Twitter . Todd Howard, best known for his directing work on Skyrim and Fallout 4 , will serv
The automotive industry has got SPAC madness, and it may not end well
Enlarge / Fisker now has a market cap of $4.1 billion thanks to a SPAC reverse merger in 2020. It says that the Ocean SUV will be the most sustainable vehicle ever sold. (credit: Fisker) With technology disrupting the automotive industry, investors have raced to secure exposure to potential winners—whether battery makers, manufacturers of other forms of power storage or developers of the “lidar”
FedEx will be the first customer for GM’s new electric delivery van
FedEx Express is slated to be the first customer of the BrightDrop EV600 and will begin receiving its vehicles later this year. [credit: General Motors ] On Tuesday morning, General Motors Chairwoman and CEO Mary Barra announced a new business for the company during her keynote speech at this year's all-virtual CES. It's called BrightDrop, and the goal is to provide a range of electrified product
Capcom confirms at least 16,000 people affected by Nov. data breach
Enlarge Back in November , Capcom announced that personal data for up to 350,000 people may have been revealed by a "customized ransomware attack" on its systems. Today, the company announced that the number has grown to 390,000 potential victims, including over 16,000 confirmed to have had their information compromised. The group of 16,415 people whose personal data was definitely taken is prima
“Selfish Idiocy:” Infected lawmaker blasts Republicans for bunkering maskless [Updated]
Enlarge / Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC, July 29, 2020. (credit: Getty | Graeme Jennings ) UPDATE 1/12/2021, 11:15am EST: And now there is a third. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill) announced Tuesday morning that he, too, has tested positive for COVID-19 after sheltering with maskless Republican colleagues. In a statement , Schneider said that during the ins
BMW made this really weird short film to celebrate 20 years of iDrive
In 2001, BMW put a digital display in the dash of its newest 7 Series, heralding the advent of the iDrive infotainment system. [credit: BMW ] With the coronavirus pandemic causing CES to be held virtually this year, some exhibitors have been looking for different ways to capture our attention. Take BMW for example. In CESes of yore, the German automaker often had a large presence, showing off con
Russia may fine citizens who use SpaceX’s Starlink Internet service
Enlarge / A Falcon 9 rocket launches five dozen Starlink satellites on August 18, 2020. (credit: SpaceX) Russia's legislative body, the State Duma, is considering fines for individuals and companies in the country that use Western-based satellite Internet services. The proposed law seeks to prevent accessing the Internet by means of SpaceX's Starlink service, OneWeb, or other non-Russian satellit
Electricity and CRISPR used to write data to bacterial DNA
Enlarge (credit: Rizlan Bencheikh and Bruce Arey, PNNL ) In recent years, researchers have used DNA to encode everything from an operating system to malware . Rather than being a technological curiosity, these efforts were serious attempts to take advantage of DNA's properties for long-term storage of data. DNA can remain chemically stable for hundreds of thousands of years, and we're unlikely to

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