The young man you see above is Jake Davis, an 18-year-old hailing from the Shetland Islands off the coast of Scotland. At first glance he looks innocent enough (smug expression and unnecessary eye-wear aside). Though, if accusations are to be believed, he might in fact be Topiary, a key member hacktivist group, LulzSec.
Appearing in a London court on Monday, Davis was officially charged with the following crimes:
- Unauthorized access to a computer system, contrary to Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990;
- Encouraging / assisting offences, contrary to S46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007;
- Conspiracy with others to carry out a Distributed Denial of Service Attack on the website of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency contrary to S1 Criminal Law Act 1977
- Conspiracy to commit offences of section 3 Computer Misuse Act 1990, contrary to S1 Criminal Law Act 1977
- Conspiracy between the defendant and others to commit offences of section 3 Computer Misuse Act 1990 contrary to S1 Criminal Law Act 1977.
Authorities are confident that they have the right man despite lingering rumors online saying that the police have fallen victim to another one of LulzSec’s classic pranks. Evidence obtained from a search of Davis’ residence and computers is quite damning. Noted bits of evidence include the possession of about 750,000 files of personal information and a draft of Rupert Murdoch’s obituary. The later bit of evidence seemingly creates a direct link between Davis and LulzSec as the hacktivist group had claimed responsibility for defacing the Sun’s website with a fake obituary of the media mogul. Davis is currently out on bail and is scheduled to appear in court again on the 30th. Anonymous and Lulzsec twitter accounts have fallen silent for the time being.
Federal intelligence officials are in Las Vegas this week to try to recruit hackers at the annual Defcon convention.
The National Security Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and NASA will all descend on the gathering to tempt some of the most talented hackers to join their ranks. NSA official Richard George says they’re looking to hire the “best and brightest” hackers to join offensive and defensive efforts in the cyber wars. The spy agency is looking to hire some 15-hundred people by September 30th and another 15-hundred in the year that follows. Defcon runs today through the 7th.
When I first learned the price of JH Audio’s 16 PRO earphones, it was all I could do to not do a spit take. A THOUSAND DOLLARS? No, actually it was $1,149, but close enough. Could such a obscene price actually be worth it? The company was kind enough to send me a pair to find out.
First, full disclosure: Every pair of these earphones is customized to the shape of the owner’s ear canals, so when I say “try out,” it means JH Audio created a pair of earphones specifically for my ears. They also sent them with a rock-hard protective case emblazoned with the DVICE logo, which you can see in the gallery below. Cute.
JH Audio markets its earphones to audio pros — especially sound engineers. But after using them for over a month, I think they have appeal that goes beyond that niche group, assuming you have the cash to burn. These earphones are the best I’ve ever used in three key ways:
1. Noise Isolation with No Tradeoffs
The first time I put on the earphones, I was surprised about how much they cut outside noise. I was on a busy New York City subway platform, and I could hear the music from my iPhone with shocking clarity, and at low volume. You usually have to go to an empty room (and turn off the air conditioning) to hear so precisely (JH Audio rates the noise isolation at –26 dB). Sure you could just buy headphones with active noise cancellation, but those have issues, too — namely bulkiness and the need for recharging. These fit in your pocket and are ready to go anytime.
2. Truly Amazing Sound Quality
The 16 PROs are said to be the only earphones in existence with
eight 16 drivers total, four eight for each ear. Most loudspeakers don’t have nearly that many. They also have “precision-balanced armatures” and a “triple bore” design, meaning each set of frequencies gets to your eardrum via a different canal. Impressive.
The idea of putting this kind of audio technology in a pair of earphones may sound a little absurd, but think about it: portables like iPods and cellphones are the main way we listen music today. It makes complete sense to focus sound engineering on the way people actually listen to music. (One could argue that all that tech is pointless if all you’re listening to is compressed music, but that’s another debate.)
OK, all that stuff sounds great on a spec sheet, but do the damn things sound good? Yes. To get a feel for just how good, I ripped a ton of WAV files from various CDs of different music styles, paying close attention to individual instruments and especially bass. One of the albums was Radiohead’s OK Computer, and all the complexity of “Paranoid Android” was in full force: I could hear every guitar pluck and every drum beat perfectly. The crescendo near the end, which can become quite smushed with lesser earbuds, came through with excellent clarity.
A couple of other examples: The horns, voices, drums, and other instruments on the fast-paced Mighty Mighty Bosstones tune “Sugar Free” were all discernable. During their solo, the horns felt particularly punchy, as if they were in the room with me. As for bass, I decided to really put the 16 PROs to the test, listening to recordings of plane engines from Round Sounds. A flyby of a Boeing B-29 and the startup of a Martin 404 engine gave plenty of kick. The 16 PROs kept all the revs and clicks nice and clear, even at high volumes (sorry, ears).
Speaking of volume, the extra bonus with these earphone is that you don’t have to listen very loudly. A little sound goes a long way with these babies, and your portable’s battery won’t run down as quickly.
3. Earphones That Fit Pefectly
I was extremely gratified to finally — finally! — have a pair of earphones that don’t just pop out or fall off my ears when I move my head suddenly. The individualized shells slip into the ear, and they stay there. It’s actually a bit tricky to get them in your ear canal properly, but once they’re in they just feel… right. The experience was slightly disconcerting at first (using them in public made me fear them getting pulled out suddenly), but once you start listening you’re fine. To be fair, though, JH Audio is far from the first company to offer isomorphic earphones.
In my experience, the JH Audio 16 PROs are the best earbuds money can buy. If you value great sound — I mean really value it — these are the earphones you want. They give you fantastic sound and the tradeoffs are few. However, they do suffer from the problem that afflicts all small gadgetry with a high price tag: You’ll constantly be terrified you’re going to lose them.
I could not stop laughing after reading this 😀
There were two nuns…
One of them was known as Sister Mathematical (SM), and the other one was known as Sister Logical (SL).
It is getting dark and they are still far away from the convent.
SM: Have you noticed that a man has been following us for the past thirty-eight and a half minutes? I wonder what he wants.
SL: It’s logical. He wants to rape us.
SM: Oh, no! At this rate he will reach us in 15 minutes at the most! What can we do?
SL: The only logical thing to do of course is to walk faster.
SM: It’s not working.
SL: Of course it’s not working. The man did the only logical thing. He started to walk faster, too.
SM: So, what shall we do? At this rate he will reach us in one minute.
SL: The only logical thing we can do is split. You go that way and I’ll go this way. He cannot follow us both.
So the man decided to follow Sister Logical.
Sister Mathematical arrives at the convent and is worried about what has happened to Sister Logical.
Then Sister Logical arrives.
SM: Sister Logical! Thank God you are here! Tell me what happened!
SL: The only logical thing happened. The man couldn’t follow us both, so he followed me.
SM: Yes, yes! But what happened then?
SL: The only logical thing happened. I started to run as fast as I could and he started to run as fast as he could.
SL: The only logical thing happened. He reached me.
SM: Oh, dear! What did you do?
SL: The only logical thing to do. I lifted my dress up.
SM: Oh, Sister! What did the man do?
SL: The only logical thing to do. He pulled down his pants.
SM: Oh, no! What happened then?
SL: Isn’t it logical, Sister? A nun with her dress up can run faster than man with his pants down.
And for those of you who thought it would be dirty, say two Hail Marys!
In a small town in America, a person decided to open up his bar
business, which was right opposite to a church. The church & its
congregation started a campaign to block the bar from opening with
petitions and prayed daily against his business.
Work progressed. However, when it was almost complete and was about to
open a few days later, a strong lightning struck the bar and it was
burnt to the ground. The church folk were rather smug in their outlook
after that, till The bar owner sued the church authorities for
$2million on the grounds that the church through its congregation &
prayers was ultimately responsible For the demise of his bar shop,
either through direct or indirect actions or means.
In its reply to the court, the church vehemently denied all
responsibility or any connection that their prayers were reasons to
the bar shop’s demise. In support of their claim they referred to the
Benson study at Harvard that inter-cessionary prayer had no impact !
As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the
paperwork and at the hearing and commented:
‘I don’t know how I am going to decide this case, but it appears from
the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer
and we have an entire church and its devotees that doesn’t.’
It seems as if Google+ is making its way into everyone’s life even if you don’t get to use it. Since the launch of Google+, Google has been changing certain aspects of the UI of our favorite Google services to match that of Google+, and they are not done. Blogger and Picasa, Google’s blogging service and photo service are going to be re-branded because they have been integrated into Google+. They will be called “Google Blogs”, and “Google Pictures”.
And because we are on the subject, I want to share my thoughts about these being integrated into Google+. I think that these are great additions to Google+, because you are able to create a blog for your profile, so that you can write about whatever you want to and not have to clutter up your “Stream” with whatever it is you want to share. And Picasa is also great for Google+, because you can edit your photos right from Google+, instead of turning to other services like “Picnik”, where you must pay a monthly fee to see and use all of the features, or turn to a photo editing program on your computer just for a few simple tweaks to a photo.
These changes should take place within the next 6 weeks in anticipation of Google+ being opened up to the general public.
Among many news surrounding the hacker movement called AntiSec, one report appeared to be quite interesting. Fox News announced that tFlow, a high-profile member of LulzSec hacker group, was arrested in the United Kingdom and is currently facing extradition to the US. However, Anonymous members didn’t confirm the report, but Fox News insist they tell the truth.
Fox News repeatedly confirmed the hacker’s identity both online and in responses to the queries made. Their story is that 16-year-old tFlow was arrested and out on bail. Meanwhile, Anonymous members provided the public with a link to tFlow’s Twitter account, which hasn’t been updated in a while, but tFlow is recognized as a kind of a user that isn’t always on Twitter.
The media reported that the teenager is currently facing extradition to the US over his involvement with LulzSec. tFlow was arrested in south London during another wave of online attacks, and remained in custody for a night. London Police believe the teenager is connected to the notorious hacking groups blamed for a handful of attacks on agencies like the CIA and the US Senate. The boy was held under the Computer Misuse Act and the reports are that his nickname appeared to be tFlow – a name of the high-ranking LulzSec member. Still, the hacker groups haven’t confirmed the news thus far.
Anonymous said that all they know is that some 16-year-old boy from South London was arrested who was suspected to be tFlow. Later the boy was released on bail with no charges to go back for additional questioning next month. Without any other information, it makes no sense to confirm it was the real tFlow. The only person who may confirm the news is tFlow himself.
By the way, it wasn’t the first time the media falsely announced a high-profile hacktivist has been arrested. Earlier, when the reports were that an arrest was made in the United Kingdom, media claimed LulzSec’s leader Sabu had been arrested, which appeared to be not true. Instead, it turned out to be someone running an IRC server and wasn’t heavily involved in the hacking. Now the truth is that nobody really knows the online identity of the arrested boy except himself. It may be a high-ranking (16-year-old?) LulzSec member, facing extradition to the US over the suspicion of being connected with Anonymous, but still there’s no evidence of him being tFlow.
Corporate radio is preprogrammed junk. But don’t curse the DJ; seize the airwaves! With a soldering iron and a cheapo FM transmitter — the kind used to play an iPod through a car radio — you can transform your humble Honda into a Radio Free Civic that can broadcast your tunes up to … 100 feet.
Step 1. Pry open the transmitter’s case with a putty knife and remove the internal antenna (often labeled ant).
Step 2. In its place, solder a telescoping antenna or a piece of copper wire — no more than 35 inches long for broadcasting within the standard FM transmission spectrum.
Step 3. The transmitter may have a resistor, typically marked with an r, to limit the power of the signal. Replace it with copper wire to boost the transmission.
Step 4. Slap a bumper sticker on your ride advertising your station’s frequency. You’ll soon build a grateful audience of fellow commuters suffering through that traffic jam.
Contributed by Mathew Honan