Earlier this summer, we showed you a smart kitchen scale that worked with an iPad app to make sure you were adding the right amount of each ingredient to your recipe. At the time, it seemed like the Internet of Things had reached its peak. Jumped the shark, even. Well, apparently even that requires too much effort. Meet PantryChic, an airtight food canister that dispenses ingredients into a digital scale, so that you never even have to break out a measuring cup. All told, if you were serious about your baking (and seriously OCD), you could buy any number of these stackable canisters, and fill each with a different ingredient, like baking soda or brown sugar. Then, when you need one, you attach it to the digital scale, which is pre-programmed to dispense 50 ingredients (meaning, it knows how to convert volume to weight). Oh, and don’t worry about pushing any buttons: You can connect over Bluetooth using the PantryChic app, at which point the machine can “see” what recipe you’re using and know, for instance, that you need three cups of flour.
Obviously, this doesn’t remove all the work — only one canister can attach to the scale at once, so you’d still have to swap in different containers as you proceed with your recipe. Still, it’s definitely less messy than a normal baking workflow; without any measuring spoons or cups, and with little risk of spillage, you’re looking at way less cleanup. Additionally, as a standalone scale, it’s capable of measuring meats and liquids in addition to dry goods, so you could use it that way too, if you were so inclined.
Nik of Time, PantryChic’s parent company, just launched a Kickstarter campaign, with a fundraising goal of $50,000. If you order now, it’ll cost $199 with two canisters, though the company says the price will be $249 when it finally hits retail stores. Meanwhile, canisters come in packs of two for $59 (the price will later be raised to $69). All told, the pricing seems sounds about right, considering both the “smarts” inside the main scale, as well as the premium brushed stainless steel construction. Also, let’s be real: A gadget like this would be catnip for upscale shoppers at places like Williams Sonoma, where folks routinely pay hundreds of dollars for whiz-bang kitchen appliances. Tentatively, Nik of Time is saying shipments will begin in February of next year, with retail availability coming later. In the future, too, the outfit might add WiFi integration, along with substitution suggestions, “recipe walkthroughs” (whatever that means) and a 100-calorie brownie pan, cookie scoop and cupcake tin. First things first, though: The project needs to achieve funding and then, you know, get made.
Filed under: Household
Starwood isn’t the only hotel chain that wants you to use your smartphone as a hotel room key; Hilton is launching an initiative that lets you use your Android or iOS device to control virtually every aspect of your stay. Later this summer, a Hilton app will let you choose your preferred room, make special requests, check in and check out. You’ll only have to speak to staff when it’s time to pick up or return your keys. And in 2015, you won’t even need to do that much — your phone will also unlock your room, letting you make a beeline for your bed after a long flight.
The rollout will take some time, but it should trump Starwood in terms of sheer scale. Room selection should be available in over 4,000 Hilton-affiliated hotels by the end of the year, including DoubleTree and Embassy Suites. Marriott will have check-in and check-out features at a similar number of locations by the end of the year, but Hilton’s room selection and key features might give it an edge. Whichever hotel chain you prefer, the advancements are good news if you’re a globetrotter — you can spend more time sleeping, and less time waiting in line.
Via: Wall Street Journal
NPR already has a few options for sorting its range of programming, but now the public radio outfit is looking to get more specific. The latest effort is the NPR One, which offers a local stream along with curated content that’s accessible with one tap — all broken down into short segments. For example, upon launching the app and signing in with a Facebook, Google or NPR account, pressing play begins streaming the latest update from the closest station (WUNC in my case). Swiping to the left of the Now Playing section offers a history of recently broadcast content for a quick recap, while a swipe to the right allows you to scroll through upcoming bits. There’s also controls for skipping back in 15-second increments and jumping from the current story to another. Of course, if you’re after the latest All Songs Considered or Fresh Air episodes, those are easily searchable as well. Both Android and iOS apps are available via their respective repositories.
Quick, how big is that battery in your Samsung Galaxy S5? Chances are good that most average users don’t have any idea. What they care about, however, is how long they can go off of a single charge. Ideally, we’re unplugging our smartphone in the morning and not worrying about it again until bedtime. That’s… Read more »
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You guys all know how much we here at AndroidGuys love helping you customize your Android experience, so why not you start off your Monday with a new wallpaper? Xiaomi’s recently announced Mi 4 smartphone isn’t available yet, and won’t be coming to the U.S. anytime soon, but the company just released the wallpapers on… Read more »
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It looks as if the judges who operate the gateway between the NSA and the cable companies may not be as impartial as their job description requires them to. An investigation by Vice has revealed that several judges who sit on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are also Verizon shareholders. Big Red, of course, has previously tried to fight metadata collection, but isn’t entitled to have a say, or participate in these secret hearings. Naturally, judges are bound by a conflict of interest law that requires them to step away from any case where their judgment could be materially affected, which may not apply in this situation. Still, it doesn’t seem the wisest thing to do if you’re trying to maintain an unimpeachable reputation for fairness, does it?
Via: Ars Technica
“Skimming” is a blanket term used when referencing a crime where you take small amounts of money. It literally means to take cash off the top, as if money were the sweet cream floating atop a cauldron of lesser riches. Fifty years ago, skimming might have meant stealing a handful of dollars from your employer, or even millions in elaborate scams we’ve seen in countless Hollywood films. Today’s skimming, however, employs tricks and hardware that are absurdly complex and yet sneaky enough to elude detection. Unless you know what to look for, of course. Today’s world of skimming is high-tech, and it wants your credit card and banking info.
Though we can’t help you catch every conceivable method that crooks are using to try to rip you off, being armed with a bit of knowledge on the topic could save you major hassle down the road. No matter what you take away form this read, at a minimum you’ll never look at an ATM or POS terminal the same way again.
WHAT IS IT?
A skimmer in the ATM world usually features two important pieces of hardware: A micro camera positioned within eyesight of the keypad, and a magnetic card reading device that captures your card’s details. To “clone” — duplicate — your card, this is all the info a would-be thief needs. The scenario is, sadly, very simple: You wander up to your local ATM, pop your card in and a device captures your card details; next you type in your PIN and that’s captured on camera. You carry on with your day, business as usual, but in the following weeks you’ll get a call from the bank or credit card company about “strange” transactions on your account. Perhaps you’ve heard this story before?
Similar things happen with POS terminals in retail shops — payment registers — sometimes with the employee’s knowledge and sometimes without. Bogus terminals exist that will even print out a “transaction complete” record when the device never actually contacted your bank. You buy a pack of gum, run the sale through with your card and the thief buys your treat for you. Then, using the info gleaned easily recovers his or her losses. Nervous yet? You should be, this stuff is rampant.
Recently there’s been a spate of reports that gas stations are being targeted for skimming. The same principle for ATM systems is used, but the concentration of cards passing through gas stations is higher. It’s like an ATM card smorgasbord. The system can be installed in under two minutes and the stored card details are easily captured remotely via Bluetooth by the crook. So unless someone notices the device, or its battery dies, a thief could quickly grab hundreds of accounts from just one skimmer.
WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Nobody wants to lose his or her hard earned money to some criminal, right? In most cases you’ll have an argument to recover your losses, but the cost in time and to the banks is real. Consider the time and effort required to deal with your bank, your card company, any pre-authorized payments you have, potentially time off work. It’d be a pretty bleak feeling to get taken like this. Many of us have gone through the hassle of replacing cards when somebody got the details and used them without asking permission. Most people assume it happened because of an online scam, but the new reality is that more and more opportunities exist for this type of crime.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
ATM skimmers run the gamut from cheapish homemade plastic to the sophisticated custom pinhole cameras, keypad overlays and magnetic readers that can go in or over the existing slot. Plastic parts can be printed with a 3D printer: paint for parts is easily matched to ape the real thing, and then using double-sided tape they’re slapped on in just a few minutes. Skimmers can be purchased on the web by sites boasting how effective their equipment is, card printing stock and equipment to make credit and debit cards is fairly easily sourced as well. All this aligns to make it pretty easy to understand why somebody with some money and no worry of arrest would want to get involved.
So what do they do with this info? Well, the thief heads back to wherever he left his gear and physically retrieves it, or remotely downloads the info. A new card is then printed with your stolen details — the aforementioned clone. Then a “runner” — there are job titles! – is dispatched to either take all the cash they can using bank machines, or sent shopping for easily sold goods. Credit cards, of course, offer even more flexibility since they can be used online at many more places than debit can.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF?
There’s no magic answer yet, Interac Inc claims that Chip and Pin systems have done a lot to reduce debit and credit card fraud in Canada, but these systems are still backward compatible with the swipe system. The best advice is to pay some attention when paying for your transaction or taking out cash. Since the reader device is typically only secured with double sided tape, yank on it. You’re not going to break anything. Give the ATM a bit of scrutiny before using it. Does it look like the others nearby? Are there any strange-looking bits that bulge out? Look above the keypad or to the side for pinhole cameras. If anything seems out of place, don’t use it! Find another.
Cover your hand when entering your PIN number! It’s a really easy thing to do and that one step will absolutely make the collected card details worthless.
Call your bank, talk to them about security policies. Are you covered if anything should ever happen? Are they taking steps to work with card providers to create new or improve existing policies? Banks are slowly beginning to use Two-Factor authorization to protect you and your money. Two-Factor means you use your password and a one-off key to access online accounts or login to your bank. So even if a thief has your card details and password, without the key they can’t get in. Banks consider your card and PIN to be a two-factor system, though considering how simple it seems to be to get access, we’d suggest another layer wouldn’t hurt.
WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY?
There’s nothing vague about the law here. Theft is theft is theft, though; sometimes catching the people involved is difficult as the money can be spent abroad or on goods delivered to a P.O. box. Also, unfortunately, people often only contact the bank about a skimming-related crime and the bank sorts it out for the consumer. Once your bank has started the process to resolve it, call your local police and report it to them, too. Banks like paying out money about as much as you do, while it costs for them to spend on security, they’ll do it to stop fraud to protect
you their bottom line
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
There’s a wealth of great information out there about skimming and what current scams exist, arm yourself against them by taking an interest and protecting yourself by knowing a bit about them. Brian Krebs security site has a great series of articles on this very topic, I encourage you to take some time to read and check out all the pics of the various devices. Go have a peek at TwoFactorAuth.org, they maintain a great list of institutions that support two-factor and handy links to tweet to those that don’t.
[Image credit: bedharak / Flickr, ASSOCIATED PRESS, Shutterstock / Oliver Hoffmann, Brian Krebs / krebsecurity.com]
Countries that have less-than-stellar records when it comes to dissenting voices must really, really hate Tor. Coincidentally, Russia’s Interior Ministry has put out a bounty of around $110,000 to groups who can crack the US Navy-designed privacy network. After the country’s vicious crackdown on dissenting voices back in 2012, protestors who hadn’t escaped or been jailed began using anonymous internet communication as their first line of defense against the Kremlin. If you’re considering taking part in the challenge (and earning yourself a tidy stack of cash to quell your conscious), be warned — the bounty is only open to organizations that already have security clearance to work for the Russian government.
Filed under: Internet
Via: The Inquirer
Source: Russian Interior Ministry
Fans of space and beautiful live wallpapers have a reason to rejoice. GyroSpace 3D Live Wallpaper gives your device’s wallpaper a fresh outlook on space. GyroSpace 3D is an interactive space scene live wallpaper that works with the gyroscope on your device. This gives the live wallpaper the ability to move with you as you… Read more »
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Printing has been the Achilles’ heel of mobile devices since their existence. In the last 18 months, printing has started to get easier by the means of apps by manufacturers and even Google building in its cloud printing service. Epson follows that trend with their extremely easy to use Epson LabelWorks LW-600P Label Printer. Opening up the package,… Read more »
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