Modding a Porsche 911 to Play Doom Is Absurdly Dangerous


By now, it seems safe to say that Doom can be played on any device a person wants. It’s been adapted for printers, ATM machines, calculators, the Apple Touch Bar and many others. But none of those devices have 370 horsepower to send you careening down a road, honking like a maniac while you blow demons back to hell.

A YouTuber going by the name vexal uploaded this video tutorial showing what he claims to be a step-by-step guide to playing Doom on the console screen of a Porsche 911. That would be moderately interesting on its own but as he explains, the cars shifter, horn, accelerator and steering wheel all control the game—meaning you drive while you play.

According to his steps, take a flash drive that contains a single file with the car’s VIN number on it. Insert the drive into the Porsche’s USB slot and start the car. That should take the computer system into debug mode. Then, insert the game (he shows Doom II but says it works with the original as well) and select it on the console screen.

Once the game is fired up, start driving, start shooting and start praying because this isn’t safe. In fact vexal says that this video was shot on private property and warns not to try this on public roads. We’ll go further and suggest no one tries this at all. Even on private roads you could hurt yourself or your incredibly expensive sports car.


from Gizmodo

Endless nuclear power can be found in the seas


Climate change is such an urgent issue that despite problems with radioactive waste, nuclear power is once again viable until renewable solutions like solar and wind are more widely adopted. The ocean is a good source of uranium fuel, but it exists in such small quantities that extracting it hasn’t been economically feasible. However, Stanford researchers have developed a new technique that can capture up to three times more, meaning we might soon get a new source of uranium that could help keep CO2 in check.

A surprising amount of uranium exists in the ocean in the form of positively charged uranyl ions (no jokes please). The total is estimated at 4.5 billion tons, enough to power current plants for around 6 millenia. However, there’s only around a grain of salt per quart (three parts per billion) and so far, it’s been too time-consuming and expensive to extract it in decent quantities.

The best way to get uranium out of salt water is to dip plastic fibers coated with an organic chemical called amidoxime into seawater. The uranyl ions stick to the amidoxime, and can later be extracted and refined into uranium fuel. The key to its practicality is how quickly ions can be capture, how much sticks and how often the fibers can be reused.

Chong Liu examines a carbon-amidoxime electrode before assembling it into the flow device.

Researcher Chong Liu examines a carbon-amidoxime electrode (Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News)

The Stanford team came up with a conductive hybrid carbon and amidoxime fiber prototype that’s better in all three of those areas. By sending electric pulses down the fiber, it was able to absorb up to nine times as much uranyl as previous fibers without becoming saturated. Over an 11-hour test at Half Moon Bay, the team captured three times as much uranium and the fibers had thrice the lifespan of standard amidoxime.

In 2012, a Japanese team estimated that their seawater extraction technique, using previous tech, could be developed for about $300 per kilogram. That was about three times the commercial price at that point, but right now, the price is around half of that. "We have a lot of work to do still, but these are big steps toward practicality," said the paper’s co-author, Li Cui. "For much of this century, some fraction of our electricity will need to come from sources that we can turn on and off. I believe nuclear power should be part of that mix."

Source: Stanford

from Engadget

Can Blockchain Make Music Great Again?


dj, music

Blockchain technology can’t write songs or play instruments – at least not yet. But, it might be able to ensure that those who do get the proper credit and compensation, a problem that has always bedeviled this $15bn industry.

Since the start of the 2017 alone, both The Three Degrees and The Carpenters have brought cases against their record companies for alleged unpaid royalties.

And the modern move towards streaming services, like Spotify and Jay Z’s Tidal, has brought a plethora of cases where artists said they have not been adequately compensated for the use of their music.

In 2015, for example, Spotify was sued for $150m by a group of artists who claimed that the service had reproduced and distributed their music without permission. Tidal, too, has been hit with law suits over the issue.

The Open Music Initiative (OMI) is a newly launched consortium that seeks to leverage blockchain technology to solve disputes like these, but it’s far from the only one.

There are a number of companies dedicated to building a blockchain solution for music, including dotblockchain Music (dotBC), Mycelia, MusicChain and UjoMusic, said attorney Jason Epstein, a partner in the Nashville office of Nelson Mullins, where he co-leads the technology and procurement industry group.

OMI is being led by the Berklee College of Music Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) in Boston, in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab and IDEO, and with support from a number of major music labels, media companies, streaming services, publishers, collection societies and nearly 100 other founding entities.

Panos Panay, co-founder of OMI and founding managing director of BerkleeICE told CoinDesk:

"The objective behind the initiative is to use our academic neutrality and research abilities to advance the process of creating an open protocol."

If that sounds dense or unfamiliar, you’re not alone.

Stuck in the Middle With You

To understand how the blockchain could benefit the music business, it’s important to first understand a bit about that industry, Panay notes.

For one, it’s a complex mesh of many players, most who stand between the artists and musicians who create the music and the consumers who listen to it.

All of these players – record companies, publishers, streaming service providers – have their own separate databases to keep track of who owns the rights to the music and who is owed what money.

But none of these databases talk to each other. On top of that, ownership of the underlying assets – the composition of the songs as well as the sound recordings of the music – change hands all the time.

Another problem is the "dynamic and conflicting nature of the metadata itself", Epstein said.

"One company’s data will have identifiers for works, contributors, recordings and artists as one thing and another company may have different identifiers altogether. Often, there are even conflicts with the data in the same company," he continued.

For example, Chuck Berry, Charles Berry and other variations on the name could all be the same person, but might have different identifiers. This makes it very difficult to identify the works and who to pay, Epstein said.

"This lack of interoperability, coupled with the complexity of the way music is being both created and consumed, has created an issue where hundreds of millions of dollars are not really sent to their rightful owners," Panay said in interview.

He sums up the problem, and the opportunity for blockchain, succinctly:

"Just about every lawsuit you hear about in the music industry is ultimately the result of this lack of uniform way of identifying ownership."

Ball and Chain

Panay took his argument a step further, suggesting that this design also holds the industry back from its own ability to innovate. The cost of starting a new streaming service, he said, is prohibitively expensive, largely because of rights and licensing.

"Right now if your music gets played on the radio or in a restaurant or on a streaming service, it takes a minimum of 18 to 20 months to get paid, and when you get paid you have no idea if that is the right or wrong amount,” Panay said.

Panay argues a blockchain-type system could add oversight – a subject he knows about as the founder of Sonicbids, a leading platform for bands to book gigs and market themselves online.

OMI, he said, "is an attempt that uses the underlying technology of blockchain to effectively create a distributed ledger that enables all of these different databases and applications to interoperate."

Indeed, the distributed nature of blockchain tech, he said, is "catalytic" to making music industry participants excited about joining OMI.

"The technology is proving critical to getting the players to the table to advance this," Panay said. "For me it’s all because of the nature of the underlying technology."

For example, it sidesteps the past issues that have become apparent when central authorities have entered the equation, Panay said, adding:

"At its core, this is a distributed ledger where they are able to share data and validate transactions without having to give up their individual sovereignty."

Nevertheless, blockchain isn’t necessarily a panacea, said Epstein.

"Tracking royalties and licensing rights is only as good as the metadata associated with the data," he explained, suggesting that the solution may lie in combining blockchain with other technologies.

For example, one of his clients, Dart Data, uses machine learning to resolve the dynamic nature of data conflicts, which would facilitate the use of blockchain in the music industry.

Come Together

The exploration, while still in its infancy, has also attracted some major players who you might not associate with the finer arts.

For example, OMI is using Intel’s Sawtooth Lake, an active open-source project within Hyperledger, as its reference platform.

Sawtooth Lake is a modular platform for building, deploying and running distributed ledgers. The platform supports customizable data models to capture the current state of the ledger, transaction languages to change the ledger state, and consensus methods to validate transactions.

While that might not sound like the perfect match with OMI’s initiative, Reed argues the opposite.

"We have been encouraged by the banks and the music providers who have collaborated with us," he said. "Both collaborations have informed requirements that will increase the robustness and the versatility of Sawtooth Lake in the future."

Still, OMI is admittedly a bit of an oddity in comparison to Intel’s other work. Intel is a founding member of Hyperledger and is working across its more than 100 members, Reed said.

In addition to starting work with OMI, the company has had success with a bond-trading proof of concept with R3’s banking consortium.

Waiting Game

But how soon until all this becomes reality?

Panay notes that OMI is still in its early stages of development and acceptance. The entire coalition is planning to hold its third technology meeting in New York in the next few weeks to discuss the progress.

"I would expect between now and the end of the summer we will be able to demonstrate some early prototypes of what this can do," Panay said, but noted that it will take a few years to fully implement.

Epstein of Nelson Mullins notes that there are many different data standards for blockchain as well as various and emerging blockchain business models, factors he said will make development slow.

"It will take some time for those standards and models to develop before enterprises are willing to go all in," he said. Over time, however, "change is inevitable and it is merely a function of how all stakeholders in the industry adopt".

If the music initiative succeeds in this process, it could have wider implications for other similar creative and entertainment fields, such as book publishing, movies, television and the like.

"The implications are tremendous for efficiency in terms of payment flows, cutting out intermediaries, the ability of these companies to monetize content," Panay said, adding:

"In most places right now, that’s virtually non-monetizeable."

DJ-music image via Shutterstock

Blockchain ApplicationsIntelLifestyleMusic

from CoinDesk

Color-changing hair dye responds to your environment


Just because you want to color your hair doesn’t mean you want the same color all the time. Wouldn’t it be nice if it could change with the weather, or whether or not you’re inside? You might get your wish. The Unseen has developed a color-changing hair dye, Fire, that reacts to shifts in temperature — it could be red outside and revert to a more natural color indoors. The carbon-based molecules in the dye alter their light absorption when they’re subjected to temperature changes, producing different colors that you can reverse just by heading somewhere new.

Creator Lauren Bowker tells Wired that the dye is safe. It uses "less toxic" materials, such as irritants that are wrapped in polymers to minimize the damage to your hair and scalp. In theory, it shouldn’t be any more harmful than the dye you buy at the store.

Fire still needs to be refined and fully assessed for safety before you can buy it. However, this isn’t one of those far-off projects that will take many years to reach shelves — there’s already production-oriented testing underway. If everything goes smoothly, you could soon have a hair color evolves from moment to moment, not just whenever you feel up to a dyeing session.

Via: Wired

Source: The Unseen

from Engadget

A single typo let hackers steal $400,000 from a bitcoin rival


thief robber stealing hack riot
Touhig/Getty Images

Typos aren’t just a headache — they can sometimes have very
costly consequences.

On Friday, digital currency Zcoin announced that a typographical
error had let an unidentified attacker make a profit of around
$400,000 (£320,000).

Zcoin is similar to Bitcoin — it’s a digital currency powered by
cryptography, and without any single central bank. It’s based on
Zerocoin, a software protocol that was developed to to provide
its users with “complete financial privacy
and anonymity.”

But in implementing it, the Zcoin made a single screw-up.
“Yesterday, our team found a bug in our implementation of
Zerocoin,” Zcoin
community manager Reuben Yap wrote in a blog post on Friday
“A typographical error on a single additional character in code
allowed an attacker to create Zerocoin spend transactions without
a corresponding mint.”

In other words, they got a single letter wrong in their code —
and this let a hacker steal coins by cashing out from single
transactions multiple times.

Yap emphasises that there’s nothing wrong with Zcoin’s
cryptography — it was just the typo that was the problem. “The
exploit happened due to the bug in the code and not from any
weakness in the cryptography. The bug from the typo error allowed
the attacker to reuse his existing valid proofs to generate
additional Zerocoin spend transactions,” he wrote.

In short: It’s human error, they argue, rather than any fatal
flaw in the Zcoin project.

The still-unidentified attacker was able to steal around 370,000
Zcoins — around
$680,000-worth (£546,000) at current exchange rates, according to
. Almost all of these have already been sold on,
netting the attacker a profit of around 410 bitcoin — $437,000
(£351,000) —
according to Zcoin

The attacker evaded detection for weeks by slowly making payments
and withdrawals. “From what we can see, the attacker (or
attackers) is very sophisticated and from our investigations, he
(or she) did many things to camouflage his tracks through the
generation of lots of exchange accounts and carefully spread out
deposits and withdrawals over several weeks,” Yap wrote.

“We estimate the attacker has created about 370,000 Zcoins which
has been almost completely sold except for about 20,000+ Zcoin
and absorbed on the market with a profit of around 410 BTC. In
other words, the damage has already been mostly absorbed by the

Get the latest Bitcoin price here.

from SAI