Fiber optic flash ring

Ring lights that surround the lens are generally used for macro photography – they’re not cheap, but they’re one of the few ways to get shadowless photos. This fiber optic flash diffuser is based on the same ideas of this one. Rather than use a few large optic strands, [Joris] is using many, many more to decrease shadows as much as possible. His previous efforts are even more interesting. He built a LED version – with serial connected LEDs and a step up switching power supply to drive them. Then he moved on to cold cathode fluorescent before moving onto the fiber optics.

ToorCon 9: URI use and abuse

[Nathan McFeters] and [Rob Carter] gave a presentation on the problems with URI handling. URIs are used to send commands to external applications from a web browser. itms:// for iTunes for example. Any application that registers a URI has the potential to be abused through this route. For their first example they showed a stack overflow in Trillian’s AIM handling. The next demo created a “Critical Update Available” button on Picasa’s interface. When the user clicked it, their photos would be uploaded to the attacker’s server. They even display a “download progress” bar to encourage the user to keep the connection open. You can read about the attack on cocontributor Billy Rios’s blog.

ToorCon 9: CDMA unlocking and modification

[Alexander Lash] gave a short overview of what you need to unlock a CDMA phone. He strongly recommended Howard Forums for finding most of the info you need. You’ll probably need BitPim and the Qualcomm PST (product support tools). Using the PST you can flash your new carrier’s firmware and then activate the phone on their network.

Verizon offers two ways to get unlimited EVDO data. $59 for a data plan or $15 for VCast. You’re not supposed to be able to use your VCast phone as an EVDO modem and it sends a different network access identifier (NAI) if you tether the phone. Using the PST you can change the NAI and use the cheaper VCast plan for data access. Here is a forum post detailing the process.