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Lethal iPhone App informs you of fatality likelihood of your neighborhood

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 06:12:15 PM |

lethaltitle.pngLethal is a practical iPhone app for a change: a nice tiny program that uses your phone’s built-in location services to gauge where you are, then tell you how likely you are to be maimed, mugged, mauled or otherwise maligned.

Let’s state you are walking through my neighborhood back in Berlin. It’s Prenzlauer Berg, so it’s plenty shady: on one street corner, three filthy, mad-eyed hobos roast a baby on a spit over a burning mattress. The gutters are thick with used needles and coughed-up lung tissue. Madly jactitating mad men wrapped in raincoats stained with genetic filth eye you lasciviously from the shadows, singing to you in German about the orifices they can smell. WIndows explode above you, accompanied by screams and buckshot.

But how perilous is Prenzlauer Berg really? Well, just load up Lethal and it will tell you: a Wildlife Rating of Zero, Crime and Disease bars maxed, and a Disaster Rating hovering around 80, since God’s cursed it and all. Good to know for only $1.99.

Lethal [iTunes]

[Source : Boing Boing Gadgets]

MSI NetTop D130 is just so Wall Street

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 05:10:46 PM |


There is something awesome in the literal sense of this MSI NetTop. As in, it fills with awe. How did this design leap hurtling out of the 80’s? Why does MSI think it looks Nordic?

Such questions are better off unanswered. Let’s leave it to Charlie Sorrel of Wired’s Gadget Lab to say all that needs to be said: “If Charlie Sheen had had a personal in the motion picture Wall Street, this would have been it (although it would have been perched atop a stack of graphic equalizers and spectrum analyzers).”

Suffice to state, MSI ’s positioning the NetTop D130 as a sort of light HTPC: it’s a dual-core Atom 330 with 2GBs of RAM, a DVD superdrive, a couple HDMI ports, a card reader and a 7.1 surround sound card, all for $240. Congrats to MSI for finally managing to design something even more aesthetically apathetic than the first-generation Wind.

NetTop D130 [MSI via Gadget Lab]

[Source : Boing Boing Gadgets]

TOFU is the best dancing robot

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 01:45:30 PM |

Keepon sucks now. Meet the new king of the cute robot dance-a-thon: MIT Media Labs’ TOFU, the ponderously eyebrowed robot fuzz owl with OLED eyes and some seriously rhythmic body jams.

[Source : Boing Boing Gadgets]

Adware programmer explains slide into evil

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 12:59:16 PM |


Fantastic interview over at Philosecurity with Matt Knox, a Ruby instructor and coder who happened to find himself writing adware for Direct Revenue, which was directly responsible for infecting millions of computers with invasive pop-ups.

He’s repented, though.

I was utterly and grindingly broke for a little while. I started working on SPAM filtering software. That work got noticed by [Direct Revenue], who hired me to examine their distribution chain. For a little while, the site through which all their ads ran was something like top 20 in Alexa. Monstrous, really massive traffic. Maybe 4 or 5 months into my tenure there, a virus came out that was disabling some of the machines that we had adware on. I stated, “I know enough C that I could kick the virus off the machines,” and I did. They stated “Wow, that was really cool. Why don’t you do that again?” Then I started kicking off other viruses, and they said, “That’s pretty cool that you kicked all the viruses off. Why don’t you kick the competitors off, too?”

It was funny. It really showed me the power of gradualism. It’s hard to get people to do something bad all in one big jump, but if you can cut it up into small enough pieces, you can get people to do nearly anything.

I’ll tell you, we’ve got some community projects planned for BBG over the course of the next year, and that is exactly what we’re counting on.

Interview with an Adware author [Philo Security via Hack A Day]

[Source : Boing Boing Gadgets]

Obama phone

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 12:15:30 PM |

obamaphone.jpgBarack Obama’s dad came from Kenya, and as a result he is a popular figure in the African country. It’s to see the world’s first oPhone, which will sell for just $30 through local carrier miPhone.

The specs don’t offer much in the way of change: it’s a dual-band GSM handset in “Black + Obama colour” and has enough memory to hold 100 SMS messages and 300 phone book entries. It has an FM radio, a couple of games, and basic calc, calendar and other basic features.

Yes We Can phone [miPhone via CrunchGear and CN]

[Source : Boing Boing Gadgets]