Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Security

Uber's Android app is acting like malware, reporting personal data back to the company tha...

Security researcher GironSec has pulled Uber's Android app apart and discovered that it's sending a huge amount of personal data back to base – including your call logs, what apps you've got installed, whether your phone is vulnerable to certain malware, whether your phone is rooted, and your SMS and MMS logs, which it explicitly doesn't have permission to do. It's the latest in a series of big-time missteps for a company whose core business model is, frankly, illegal in most of its markets as well.  Read More

Intrinsic Use Control uses the weapon’s fluctuating radiation fields to create use control...

Nuclear weapons are a paradox. No one in their right mind wants to use one, but if they're to act as a deterrent, they need to be accessible. The trick is to make sure that access is only available to those with the proper authority. To prevent a real life General Jack D Ripper from starting World War III, Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) Defense Technologies Division is developing a system that uses a nuclear weapon's own radiation to protect itself from tampering.  Read More

Using a smartphone, users could scan QR codes to see encrypted 3D images (Photo: Shutterst...

Whether they're on product packaging, promotional materials or in magazines, most QR codes do the same thing – when a smartphone scans them with its camera, they trigger that phone's web browser to navigate to a given website. In the near future, however, they may be used to securely display 3D images on the user's phone, without even involving the often-untrustworthy internet.  Read More

Ling Zang with his prototype explosives sensor (Photo: Dan Hixon, University of Utah Colle...

Along with flame-retardant clothing, flexible supercapitors and a stronger alternative to carbon fiber, carbon nanotubes may soon have yet another application. Led by Prof. Ling Zang, a team of researchers at the University of Utah has integrated the tiny tubes of carbon atoms into a prototype explosives sensor. It can also detect illegal drugs and toxic chemicals such as nerve gas, reportedly doing so better than currently-used technologies.  Read More

Researchers have found a simple risk score could help improve mobile device security (Phot...

Next time you download or update an app for your smartphone or tablet and blitz through messages asking for permissions approval, you may be unnecessarily exposing your personal information to possible cyber violation. Researchers suggest this issue could potentially be addressed through better consumer education and an easy to understand risk score for each app.  Read More

The Zombie Fortification Cabin (ZFC-1), by British company Tiger Log Cabins (Image: Tiger ...

British company Tiger Log Cabins has stepped up just in time for Halloween to offer a fortified cabin that sports everything required to fight the undead, including off-grid technology, entertainment facilities, and even some heavy weaponry.  Read More

A ship's bridge, with the Marine Armor System deployed

There are a number of systems out there designed to keep pirates from boarding ships, incorporating everything from lasers to acoustic devices to writhing water hoses. However, what happens if the pirates get on board anyway? If the ship is equipped with the Marine Armor System, a series of ballistic blinds will roll down throughout the vessel, blocking access to its interior.  Read More

The Yardarm Sensor fits into the grip of a firearm to monitor use in real time

Anytime a police officer draws their weapon, it's likely to be a tense, confusing situation where split second decisions can be the difference between life and death. In an attempt to reduce some of the confusion, Yardarm has developed a wireless sensor that allows firearms to be tracked and monitored in real time thanks to a small electronics package that fits into the weapon's grip.  Read More

Google's new USB Security Key provides a secure and convenient means of two-factor authent...

There's an increasing recognition that passwords alone are not going be an adequate form of online security in the future. Two-factor authentication can vastly improve security, by simply introducing a second means of verification alongside a password. Google's new USB Security Key does just that.  Read More

The Plastc Card features an e-ink screen and a rewritable magnetic strip

Tired of digging through the collection of credit, debit and loyalty cards in your wallet? Well, if you are, then you're the sort of person who might like the Plastc Card. It's a new electronic card-format device, that can store the information for up to 20 other cards on it at once. You just select the card that you want to access via the e-ink screen, then use Plastc as if it were that card.  Read More

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