TEH 054: Level Up Your Battlestation

In This Episode: New computers, and old languages. The Earth’s shifting magnetic fields are screwing up GPS (sort of). The U.S. government shutdown is affecting .gov web sites for an interesting reason. Pixels on your wall. Tesla says “Pwn Us”. Can the police make you unlock your phone?

This Week’s Hosts

Show Notes

  • In the warmup, Randy is configuring his wife’s new computer, Leo is configuring his own new computer, Gary re-read George Orwell’s 1984, and Kevin researched the VIGIL programming language for the Commodore PET and scanned the manual.
  • Randy talked about Earth’s magnetic field, and how it’s getting so erratic “they” have to do an emergency update to the GPS correction table, but…. (London Independent) Leo noted that was also the topic of today’s XKCD.
  • Leo talked about the U.S. government shutdown affecting something unexpected: government web sites, due to expiring security certificates no one is around to renew. (ZDnet)
  • Gary likes the idea of the Nanoleaf Canvas (pictured), where you can create your own wall artwork with LED pixel tiles. He also noted if you look at them on Amazon, there are already competitors (scroll down).
  • Leo says Tesla is entering the Model 3 into Pwn2Own, one of the world’s toughest hacking contests (Tech Crunch). The prize? A Model 3. That led to a tangent about Responsible Disclosure.
  • We’ve talked before about how the police can’t force you to unlock your phone with a password or code, but can force you to give up a fingerprint (etc.). Now, Leo says, a federal court in northern California says no, that’s not legal either. It’s sure to be appealed. (Gizmodo)
  • And Randy is amused that an astronaut accidentally called 911 from the International Space Station. It actually happened awhile ago, but only just came to light. (NPR)

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