(Sub)Urban boyscout.Tech-whisperer. Tech-skeptic.
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grei skuring

jwz
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chrisrosa
2 days ago
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feeling okay?
San Francisco, CA
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Vigilante server administrator is fixing insecure routers without permission

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A Russian hacker who calls himself "Alexey" is infiltrating insecure networks and adding security patches to Latvian-made MikroTik routers so they "can't be abused by cryptojackers, botnet herders, or other cyber-criminals," reports ZDNet. Alexey claims to have secured over 100,000 MikroTik routers so far. A security expert told ZDNet that over 420,000 MikroTik routers have been hijacked to mine cryptocurrency on the sly.

Alexey has not been trying to hide his actions and has boasted about his hobby on a Russian blogging platform. He says he accesses routers and makes changes to their settings to prevent further abuse.

"I added firewall rules that blocked access to the router from outside the local network," Alexey said. "In the comments, I wrote information about the vulnerability and left the address of the @router_os Telegram channel, where it was possible for them to ask questions."

But despite adjusting firewall settings for over 100,000 users, Alexey says that only 50 users reached out via Telegram. A few said "thanks," but most were outraged.

The vigilante server administrator says he's been only fixing routers that have not been patched by their owners against a MikroTik vulnerability that came to light in late April.

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chrisrosa
8 days ago
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Nice image reference @BoingBoing. I'll give you this one. #harrytuttle #ftw
San Francisco, CA
Manzabar
7 days ago
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Cedar Rapids
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Banksy’s Barely Believable Batteries

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Nearly a decade ago my friend [Dru] gave me an unforgettable tour late at night of Stokes Croft, the inner suburb of Bristol known at the time for its counterculture and artistic scene. It’s a place dominated by building-sized graffiti and murals, and it has a particular association with the Bristolian street artist [Banksy]. If you’ve not seen a Banksy in the wild, the place to do it is by Bristol Saturday night street lighting to the sound of passing revelers and traffic on the A38.

[Banksy] is famous aside from his anonymity, for his pranks upon the art world. The (real) elephant in the room or the Dismalland theme park are his stock in trade, and you may have seen another prank of his in the news in the last day. One of his paintings, the 2006 Girl With A Balloon sold at auction for over a million quid, and as the gavel fell a hidden shredder in the picture frame sprang into life and partially shredded the canvas. The report suggests that a number of [Banksy]’s associates were present at the event, and that one of them was detained with a device that might have been a remote control trigger for the shredder. The quote from Sotheby’s Europe head of Contemporary Art, [Alex Branczik] says it all: “We got Banksy’d”.

The interior of the Banksy shredder frame, taken from a frame of the video.
The interior of the Banksy shredder frame, taken from a frame of the video.

[Banksy]’s cool and all that, but where’s the hack? The artist briefly put up a video with a few details, but aside from showing us a row of craft knife blades and a tantalizing but fleeting glimpse of a few equipment enclosures, it’s short on technical details. We can see what appears to be at least one motor, and those white boxes may be batteries, but that’s it.

This hasn’t stopped some fevered speculation as to how the feat was achieved. A home-made shredder would require a significant amount of readily available power, and since this one has seemingly lain undetected within the frame since 2006, that power source needs to have possessed both exceptional  energy density and retention. We can’t imagine many consumer grade batteries in 2018 being able to retain a charge for twelve years, so how on earth did he do it? Our best guess is that a primary battery was involved, as anyone who has found a neglected Duracell in a box of electronics from their youth will tell you it’s not unknown for decent quality alkaline cells to live well beyond their shelf lives, and other chemistries are specifically designed with that property in mind. Even so, for the cells to power a receiver circuit in standby for so long would certainly tax their capabilities, so it has also been suggested that a concealed switch could have been flipped by a [Banksy] accomplice during the viewing phase to activate the system. There are still so many unanswered questions that it’s certainly piqued our technical curiosity. Sadly we don’t know [Banksy] to ask him how he did it, but we welcome speculation both informed and otherwise in the comments.

Our own [Joe Kim]'s tribute to the work in question.
Our own [Joe Kim]’s tribute to the work in question.
Meanwhile the piece itself lies half shredded and protruding from the base of the frame. On the face of it that’s ruined the painting as an artwork, but of course this is a Banksy. Normal rules seem not to apply, so the notoriety it has received will no doubt mean that its shredded remains are an artwork in themselves, and possibly even one worth more.

Banksy owners worldwide are no doubt now paying a huge amount more attention to the artist’s frames than previously, but Hackaday readers need not worry. Our London Unconference logo and stickers featured a [Joe Kim] homage to the Banksy in question, which we can guarantee does not incorporate an artist’s shredder.

 





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chrisrosa
11 days ago
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was wondering about this myself.
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SF’s Only Swiss Restaurant Bids Fond Farewell After 24 Years

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The Mattherhorn Swiss Restaurant is closing at the end of the month

The Matterhorn Swiss Restaurant will serve its last bubbling hot pot of cheese fondue on September 30th as owners Brigitte and Andrew Thorpe say goodbye to San Francisco. The couple, originally from Switzerland, will retire to Florida after almost 25 years in the Bay Area, where they’ve run their restaurant at 2323 Van Ness Avenue since 1994.

“We’re closing because we’re old and tired,” Brigitte says with typical good humor. “We’re thrilled about retiring, we’re both in good health, and we wanted to do it while we were still walking and talking.”

Diners at the Matterhorn enter through the lobby of a mixed-use apartment building, passing beneath a banner for a one-time “Fondue Festival” that the Thorpes have never taken down. Once inside, first-time guests are in for a surprise: At the end of a hallway, the Matterhorn is a convincing recreation of a Swiss chalet, decked out in wall-to-wall knotty pine.

“It’s a crazy story,” Thorpe says: Her landlord, also from Switzerland and a contractor by trade, dreamt of opening a Swiss restaurant. He had the interior assembled in Switzerland, taken apart, and shipped to the US in 1987.

A few years later, he invited the Thorpes to operate their restaurant in his building. Since then, they’ve served countless pots of gruyere and raclette cheese fondue with cubes of bread and vegetables to dip, plus boiling bowls of broth and oil for cooking slices of aged beef. Other specialties: A strong selection of Swiss wine and chocolate fondue for dessert.

“The fondue is the big draw,” Brigitte says, and it’s a figurative as well as a literal melting pot. “That’s why why really survived over these years: Young people, middle-aged people, older people [all enjoyed it]. That’s the secret to a successful restaurant.”

When the Thorpes declined to renew their lease, “our Landlord was very bummed out,” Brigitte says. “It’s a loss because we’re the only Swiss restaurant left in San Francisco.”

Others, like the Old Swiss House on Pier 39 and Luzern in the Outer Sunset, have closed over the years. The Matterhorn’s landlord will retain the restaurant’s chalet decor and hopes to find a new operator from Switzerland.

In their final days, the Thorpes are already slammed with goodbye visits from regular customers — over the past few years, they’ve whispered their retirement plans to loyal patrons. Then, the fondue festival over, they’ll finally take down that old banner outside.

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chrisrosa
29 days ago
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Should have been "...Bids Fondue Farewell..." #dadjokes
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Volkswagen Built an Off-Road Golf During the ’90s

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The Volkswagen Golf has torn up streets, grabbed groceries and transported people from A to B for almost half a century. For seven generations, the Golf has remained fast, affordable, and reliable. We weren’t aware…
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chrisrosa
31 days ago
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not quite sure why this is so appealing.
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Frying Pan Ocean Cam powered by EXPLORE.org

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chrisrosa
36 days ago
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Live webcam as Florence approaches the Eastern US.
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